Product: Calculator
Drake's Equation Calculator   (+8, -1)  [vote for, against]
You know they're out there -- but just how many of them?

Packaged as a neat futuristic looking device with knobs and digital readouts, it'll give you an accurate estimate of just how many alien civilizations are out there, waiting to be found.

Turn up the knob on the star formation rate, and watch those civilizations multiply!

Turn down the knob on the fraction of live planets that evolve intelligence (there's no proof, after all), and watch those civilizations dwindle!

For an extra $9.99, add an audio chip using the digitally sampled voice of Carl Sagan to read out the output.
-- theircompetitor, Feb 01 2004

Drake's Equation Primer http://www.seti-ins...ience/drake-bg.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Aliens Cause Global Warming http://www.crichton...eeches_quote04.html
Crichton points out the scientific fallacy of Drake's equation. [waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) here ya go!
enter your own values... [futurebird, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Database of Current Thinking http://www.halfbake...0Current_20Thinking
A lot of the discussion on this thread is very relevant to Crichton's article, above. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Billions of Earths http://www.washingt...R2010102806505.html
[theircompetitor, Oct 29 2010]

Einstein's Pedometer http://www.popsci.c...ur-daily-activities
[theircompetitor, Apr 11 2011]

Thanks, BBC
[theircompetitor, Aug 26 2012]

Wow, 100 billion or more planets in the Milky Way http://www.scienced...01/130103143422.htm
[theircompetitor, Jan 03 2013]

Drake's Equation from the point of view of a tapeworm http://www.antipope...tapeworm-logic.html
[normzone, Jan 11 2013]

Latest estimates on "earth sized, liquid water" planets http://www.washingt...37c6f484_story.html
[theircompetitor, Nov 04 2013]

Estimates climbing http://www.nytimes....ytopinion&smtyp=cur
[theircompetitor, Jun 10 2016]

1500 years to go
[theircompetitor, Jun 16 2016]

ADE 651 Bomb Detector https://andrewflynn...fake-bomb-detector/
unbelievable, but believed [xenzag, Jun 16 2016]

ADE 651
good role model for the Drake's Equation Calculator [xenzag, Jun 16 2016]

getting close to a good planet count estimator
[theircompetitor, Aug 14 2019]

Life? Everywhere... Intelligent life? Probably somewhere https://www.popular...fe-exist-elsewhere/
[theircompetitor, Nov 25 2020]

waugs: excellent article; I've seen myself the absurdities of the arguments about the ozone layer. I'm off outside to get a drag of some secondhand smoke.
-- DrCurry, Feb 01 2004

Over the weekend I saw a WWI naval gunnery computer that had various knob and wheel driven input settings and then it chuntered out a result. This could be adapted to do this and would look wonderful too.
-- oneoffdave, Feb 02 2004

What's the point of this? If you want random numbers, use something involving radioactive decay, which is always more fun. And if you want unreliable statistics, hire pollsters.

On the other hand Crichton's essay must get some sort of credit for getting more than half way through before comparing contemporary scientists to nazis.
-- kropotkin, Feb 02 2004

the linked app measures relativistic impact of your motion.
-- theircompetitor, Apr 11 2011

and so nothing to do with cost/benefit analysis of throwing cloaks over muddy puddles as I had initially expected?
-- not_morrison_rm, Aug 26 2012

See last link.... if you construct a device and make it convincing enough, then it will convince people. In this case we see a bomb detector that did absolutely nothing but was sold for thousands of dollars and widely used, over a long period of time, fooling everyone.
-- xenzag, Jun 16 2016

The tapeworm bit is pretty dim. Tapeworms can reproduce sexually and frequently populate diversely within a given host. It is reasonable to assume that mechanisms of communication exist to keep this population informed of one another for reproductive purposes within a given host thus they do not doomed live in a speculative isolation but in a state of primative society with other tapeworms as well as some level of competition with other parisites.
-- WcW, Jun 16 2016

I didn't know ducks were so clever.
-- not_morrison_rm, Aug 16 2019

random, halfbakery