It’s always nice to feel useful, even if not much comes of it in the end.
The millions of people who, over the past two decades, donated their home computers’ processing power to the SETI@home search for extraterrestrial intelligence no longer need concern themselves with such matters. The project, which launched in 1999 with the goal of using the world’s idle computing power to analyze scientific data and maybe find signs of alien life, will officially stop sending out work requests on March 31.
For those who don’t remember the heady days of the early 2000s, the SETI@home project offered an exciting alternative to screensavers. Instead of having a bunch of random shapes dancing around your giant monitor, your computer screen could be occupied by the visual representation of all that possibly alien data your machine was churning through at the behest of SETI@home. It was a cool idea, and, as The Atlantic reported in 2017, a million people signed up right when the service launched. Read more…
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