Feeds

Space firm to send Christmas Day tweets to dead people

Is there anybody out there? Let's hope not

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Och aye! It's the Loch Ness Monster – but only Apple fanbois can see it
Fondleslab-friendly beastie's wake spotted... OR WAS IT?
Japanese boffin EYES up big bucks with strap-on digi-glasses
AgencyGlass saddles user with creepy OLED display
Sleuths find nosy NORKS drones on the Chinternet
UAVs likely to have been made in the Middle Kingdom
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Dorian Nakamoto gets $23,000 payout over Bitcoin invention saga
Maintains he didn't create cryptocurrency, but will join community
Pirate Bay's 10 millionth upload: Colour us shocked, a SMUT FLICK
P2P badboys show online piracy is alive and humping
Teen girl arrested with 70-year-old man's four inch weapon inside her
Charged with introducing .22 snubbie to penile facility. It wasn't firing blanks
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.