h a l f b a k e r y
This is what happens when one confuses "random" with "profound."
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Convince millions that alien civilization has been detected
Write a virus (well, strictly, a worm) that behaves as
1. When it arrives at a machine that isn't running SETI@home, it propagates itself in some fashion
and then disappears without trace.
2. When it arrives at a machine that *is* running
SETI@home, it propagates itself and then
hibernation waiting for a pre-specified date and time.
At that moment, it diddles SETI@home so that the
graphs go uncharacteristically spiky, and after a
minute or so of this it pops up a notice saying
something like "Hey, we found something really
That's all. Result: no damage, but thousands of people
around the world are briefly convinced that they have
found evidence of alien civilization. It might even get
on the news. That would be a bit more entertaining
than deleting files and crashing computers.
This is what they're on about
[lubbit, Mar 21 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]
||I was hoping that this would be a virus that loads SETI@Home onto computers. Alas.
||The SETI@Home staff already has information on their site explaining what will and will not happen if a computer detects an interesting signal, but I'm sure they would still end up having to deal with more overeager shmoes than they already do.
||I copied the Seti@home box into paint then mucked about with it, wrote a message at the bottem saying that ET had been discovered and asking them is they wanted to try to communicate. Then I set it as my desktop wallpaper. You wouldnt believe how many people fell for it.
|| I changed it for a cure for cancer hoax wallpaper a few weeks ago.
||Millions of people around the world sifting through obscure data, looking for cosmic clues, waiting for a fantastic, world-changing revelation... Why does SETI remind me so much of Christianity?