Space Hackers?

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Captain Fantastic
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Space Hackers?

Post by Captain Fantastic » 11-11-2003 02:41 PM

Microsoft may have to fork up big bounty bucks trying to unearth future hackers, particularly when they are light years away on distant worlds.

Add one more worry to the computerized world of the 21st century. Could a signal from the stars broadcast by an alien intelligence also carry harmful information, in the spirit of a computer virus? Could star folk launch a "disinformation" campaign -- one that covers up aspects of their culture? Perhaps they might even mask the "real" intent of dispatching a message to other civilizations scattered throughout the Cosmos.

These are concerns that deserve attention explains Richard Carrigan, Jr., a physicist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. Those engaged in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), he contends, should think about decontaminating potential SETI signals.

The so-called "SETI Hacker" hypothesis, Carrigan argues, is an issue of interstellar discourse that should be taken seriously. We should exercise caution when handling SETI downloads, he said

Altruistic, benign, or malevolent?

Carrigan notes that Earth's early radio ramblings have already traveled some fifty light years away. (A light year is the distance that light travels in a vacuum in one year, equal to 5.88 trillion miles (9.46 trillion kilometers).

Turns out that on the order of 400 stars are within 50 light years of Earth. Any civilization out at that distance may have immediately responded and sent a signal back to Earth. "Such a signal could be useful or possibly very harmful to us," Carrigan suggested in a recent scientific paper presented at the 54th International Astronautical Congress, held September 29th - October 3 in Bremen, Germany.

A key question is whether or not a SETI signal might be altruistic, benign, or malevolent. "It would help to understand the motivation of a message before reading too much of it," Carrigan said. Like Odysseus of Greek Mythology, he added, "we may have to stuff wax in the ears of our programmers and strap the chief astronomer to the receiving tower before she is allowed to listen to the song of the siren star."


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Post by Laird » 11-11-2003 05:30 PM

Wow I like this window ... quick pad launch

The work being conducted at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab's might have some ideas. Try reading the article written by Usha Lee McFarling on Voyager's interstellar status. Its an eye opener.
In the past old radio signals have bounced back ... was it do to the radiation pulses at the termination shock which seems to be a barrier at the magnetic bubble at the heliosphere.

Man could sabotage himself if what I'm suggesting is true.
"Speak softly and carry a big stick" Teddy Roosevelt

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Dale O Sea
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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-12-2003 01:43 AM

Yikes! Maybe I should start scanning my WUs before I crunch them. :eek: ;)

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Post by Linnea » 11-12-2003 03:06 AM

Boomer John sent in this link. Fascinating...

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Post by Tracker3 » 11-14-2003 01:03 PM

All I can say is WoW. The Human mind is always amazing. When it lacks sufficient definatives it provides a wealth of alternative ponderances. Clearly an asset to the species. An amazing collective and what a dance of collaboration considering that each Human is 4 trillion plus individuals working together in harmony for the same cause. Survival. Ah a varitable orchastra of semi infinite purportions of which the mind has little need to comprehend. You are merely an expression of one particular level (dimension) of a nearly infinite level of dimensions. Wars, Oppression, Diversity, Equality, Advancement, Achievement and Innovation just to name a few. They also exist on many levels of existance as well. To think that humans are alone in this vastness of cooperation is to be truely and utterly incognizant of reality. Were it not for needs at one end of the level...the other would not exist.

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