Feeds

Bebo users to summon superhuman alien pop-fancier invasion

Russian boffin in close encounters of the Web 2.0 kind

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A controversial Russian scientist with a history of beaming powerful radio signals to possibly hostile alien civilisations has now teamed up with Bebo. The idea is that a collective of Bebo users - and people selected by them, such as their chosen musical artistes - will compile multimedia packages to be transmitted into deep space on behalf of the human race.

The project, referred to as AMFE (A Message From Earth) by Bebo, is up and running under the control of a group of freshly recruited Bebo users, who "know what makes their friends tick, what sparks imagination and makes people laugh, and what turns young web users off".

Once the AMFE team - who know "what works and what doesn't when it comes to web content" (even in the case of an alien audience, apparently) have got their stuff together, it will be transmitted in the direction of the star Gliese 581 by Russian space-messaging scientist Alexander Zaitsev using a powerful radar telescope in the Ukraine.

The recently-detected orbiting planet Gliese 581c is considered to be "capable of supporting life", being at such distance from its dim, red sun as to possibly allow liquid water to exist on its surface. It is generally accepted that only civilisations evolved from unintelligent drifting scum - like those of humanity - would be able to understand a message composed by Bebo users.

That said, the possibly protoplasmic pop-fanciers of the Gliese 581 system would probably be a bit sturdier than the average skinny-jeans wearer here on Earth. The alien homeworld has gravity around five times stronger than ours, meaning that the extraterrestrials - should they choose to visit us - would have superhuman strength.

The AMFE group have already interviewed selected young-persons' rhythm combo performers to get their messages to the interstellar community, and interested Bebo fanciers are hotly debating the burning questions of space diplomacy - namely, just what pictures should be sent to the aliens. Categories include "humans", "animals" and "celebrities".

The Bebo compilation will be thrown open to all comers on August 4, and close on September 30. The "best" 500 submissions will be beamed out to Gliese 581 on October 9, and should get there in a couple of decades.

"I understand that in the majority of cases these messages may be naive, but I also hope that we will receive a creative and fresh look at the subject," Dr Zaitsev tells the Guardian. According to the Graun meeja hacks, the whole caper was dreamed up by the same talent which conceived that splendour of modern telly, Wife Swap.

Zaitsev is already well-known for his previous use of the Ukrainian transmitter to send messages to possible aliens, a process referred to by some as "Active SETI" - as opposed to passive Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence methods where one merely listens quietly for others rather than shouting out to them. There are many in the space community who consider all such methods highly unwise, and who question the right of Zaitsev to speak alone for the entire human race.

These objections might also apply to the Bebo project, of course. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.