Feeds

Space firm to send Christmas Day tweets to dead people

Is there anybody out there? Let's hope not

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Bereaved Brits desperate to send a message to their departed loved ones this Christmas could instead simply alert hostile aliens to our tenuous Earthly existence.

The Bereavement Register - a useful service to help bereaved families avoid being deluged with junk mail and cold calls targeted at their dead relatives - is offering the chance to beam into space "a personal message in remembrance of someone who has died".

The Bereavement Register will forward the messages to "Our broadcast service provider, Deep Space Communications Network (DSCN)... located next to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA".

DCN will then squirt out all the messages on Christmas Day, "as a single data package into an area of deep space where there are no known satellites".

This will be done using "state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment (inclusive of redundant, high-powered klystron amplifiers connected by a travelling wave-guide to a five-meter parabolic dish antenna)".

While the service may have an appeal to bereaved folk looking to feel a connection to their dear departeds at a particularly difficult time of the year, it ignores the obvious dangers of sending random messages out into deep space.

Just two years ago, a brace of space thinkers - Michael Michaud, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Science and Technology, and Dr John Billingham, former chief of the NASA SETI office - expressed their dismay at the active SETI initiative.

Michaud said it was "a deliberate attempt to provoke a response by an alien civilization whose capabilities, intentions, and distance are not known to us". Such initiatives should be a matter of government policy, he said, not left to madcap scientists with access to a satellite dish.

The fact that the Bereavement Register is restricting messages to a Twitter-style 140 characters gives further cause for concern, as any life form that picks up the message is likely to take one look and write us off as a non-intelligent life form ripe for harvesting. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
MEN WANTED to satisfy town full of yearning BRAZILIAN HOTNESS
'Prettier, better organised, more harmonious than if men were in charge'
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.