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 …
Ah! But are they going to have to unship the drive to provide enough power to short-circuit the continuum on a five or six parsec level?
If so, where are they going to get the shielding?
Love the twitter refrence :)
Surely they'd need an omnidirectional antenna?
A 5m parabolic antenna will have a beamwidth of substantially less than one degree, how do they know where someone's dead relative will be?
"ripe for harvesting"
Something tells me this wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to us, and might benefit us...
Anyway, why are ex-NASA chiefs getting hot and bothered? Didn't they pretty much bolt "hello, if found please return to..." on the Voyager probes, with a drawing of what we looked like, what we liked to listen to and a scan of someone's brainwaves - perfect for when our overlords-to-be want to calibrate their mind-control-a-tron.
Fortunately, this will only be figured out if our new overlords are into vinyl.
"Didn't they pretty much bolt "hello, if found please return to..." on the Voyager probes"
Oh yes, golden records meant to be played on 16 2/3 RPM... good luck finding a gramophone using that speed.
Plaques with "We're here, please return to owner", though, were bolted on Pioneer 10 and 11. Mind you, I saw on "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" that one hot-headed Klingon captain named Klaa used Pioneer 10 for target practice, so we're down to half of our plaques.
What do you mean "it's science fiction"? I've seen it on TV, it must be true!
we've also bolted pulsar maps of our location on to space probes, so in about a million years someone may turn up to see what's here, or to demand a record player...
Or demand to see "single female lawyer"
good luck finding a gramophone using that speed
there's a good selection in the galactic gamma quadrant, man
I'm waiting for an Overlord to track us down from one of our probes, and issue the Earth with a fixed penalty for not disposing of plutonium powered machinery in the correct wheelie bin.
Bite my shiny metal ass!
* Coming from someone who has the complete series box set**... and who's girlfriend mysteriously asked me if the new four film Futurama boxset had Benders head on the box. Wonder what I'm getting for Christmas?! :-)
** The original big box version, but the new smaller square box version looks appealing!!
There can be only one course of action
"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."
The way forward seems clear. Twitter must be destroyed for the sake of humankind. Rise up my brothers (and sisters) and rain the holy fire upon the abomination that is TXT SPK!
Seems to me that if the phrase "fuck all use to anyone" were in the dictionary, then the definition would be precisely what this story is describing.
It's almost as though we need some sort of award - like a Darwin award for pointless use of technology.
No risk, just exploitation
Michaud and Billingham are idiots. Any civilisation with the ability to pay us a visit is going to find us no more interesting than the average planet full of monkeys, of which there are almost certainly squillions within their sphere of interest.
On the other hand, the target market for this scam seems to consist of "people who are so distressed by their loss that they'll try anything", which strikes me as tasteless and abusive. The real story here is what people suffer at the hands of their fellow humans, not aliens.
Just into the sky?
Alternatively, for those whose relatives were slightly less saintly, I will be simultaneously lobbing my wireless router down the bog and broadcasting any tweets you may have....
If they timed it correctly...
They could just wait until the LHC fires up for a full power test and then beam the dead tweets into the resulting alternate universe.
Hailing frequencies open
i dread to think what will happen when it reaches omicron persei 8
I'll 2nd that. @Ad Fundum
"It's almost as though we need some sort of award - like a Darwin award for pointless use of technology."
Now there's a regular feature, website and merchandise operation just gaggin' to be Headquartered at Vulture Central.
So come on El Reg, you know you want to.
"Michaud and Billingham are idiots. Any civilisation with the ability to pay us a visit is going to find us no more interesting than the average planet full of monkeys, of which there are almost certainly squillions within their sphere of interest."
What responds to the signal may be an individual with vast automated resources and a tendency to pull the legs off bugs for fun.
We don't have anything it needs, we don't have anything it wants, but we're fucked anyway.