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Your Computer Can Help Humanity

Do you know what your computer is up to while you are at work or school?

If your online backup is complete, it is probably just standing by or sleeping the day away when it should be working. Not to worry. Lots of new projects on the Web will keep your computer off the streets and out of trouble when you are gone.

First, your computer can help in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). All you have to do is download some software and when you aren’t using your computer, it will be busy analyzing 107-second slices of radio telescope noise.

The noise, which originates from a radio telescope in Peru, is part of the SETI project in Berkley, Calif., which searches constantly for ET, under the assumption that ET is using a radio to search for us. Go to

If space is your bag, you can also put your computer to work searching for spinning neutron stars (pulsars).

The Einstein-At-Home project uses data from gravitational wave detectors. Headed by University of Wisconsin professor of physics Bruce Allen, this is a World Year of Physics 2005 project. Go to

For those more concerned about affairs at home, your computer can help predict the climate in the 21st century. In this project, you download a “climate model” and watch world weather patterns evolve. This project attempts to predict global warming and its consequences. Go to



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