Last daily update:
2020-07-14 16:37:52 UTC
Last incremental update:
2020-07-14 21:31:56 UTC
2020-07-14 22:29:53 UTC
Read the latest installment of the Nebula blog: Observations on observation.
We met with a group of outside experts to review some of our back-end algorithms. It was a productive meeting.
The last data has been sent out, but our work on Nebula - the final phase of data analysis - is picking up steam. However, not all ideas are good ideas. Read about Multiplet scoring: back to the drawing board.
As promised, we've stopped the process that puts new data into the queue today. Data distribution will continue until the files shown on the status pages are done. We'll be accepting results and resending results that didn't validate for a while.
We are saddened to report that former moderator and long-term friend of SETI@home Jim Scott passed away unexpectedly this morning. Angela has started a thread where people can post their memories of Jim and offer condolences.
SETI@home will stop distributing tasks soon, but we encourage you to continue donate computing power to science research - in particular, research on the COVID-19 virus. The best way to do this is to join Science United and check the "Biology and Medicine" box.
Richard Lawn has posted a new SETI Perspective entitled How did life begin on Earth and elsewhere?.
If we don't find ET, our secondary goal is to quantify the sensitivity of the search. Read about
some ideas about how we can do this in the Nebula blog.
On March 31, the volunteer computing part of SETI@home will stop distributing work and will go into hibernation.
We're doing this for two reasons:
1) Scientifically, we're at the point of diminishing returns; basically, we've analyzed all the data we need for now.
2) It's a lot of work for us to manage the distributed processing of data. We need to focus on completing the back-end analysis of the results we already have, and writing this up in a scientific journal paper.
However, SETI@home is not disappearing. The web site and the message boards will continue to operate. We hope that other UC Berkeley astronomers will find uses for the huge computing capabilities of SETI@home for SETI or related areas like cosmology and pulsar research. If this happens, SETI@home will start distributing work again. We'll keep you posted about this.
If you're currently running SETI@home on your computer, we encourage you to attach to other BOINC-based projects as well. Or use Science United and sign up to do astronomy. You can stay attached to SETI@home, of course, but you won't get any jobs until we find new applications.
We're extremely grateful to all of our volunteers for supporting us in many ways during the past 20 years. Without you there would be no SETI@home. We're excited to finish up our original science project, and we look forward to what comes next.
For a couple of reasons, the result table has grown to the point where it no longer fits in main memory. That has been slowing the validators and assimilators, which is causing the result table to grow further.
We'd like to get it down to a manageable size before our Tuesday outage. To that end we are throttling work generation to a rate at which the table size is shrinking. We hope that this rate will increase as the table gets smaller.
So for the next few days work will be hard to come by (but not zero).
Check out Stars in Their Eyes?, a research paper from the University of Geneva about why people run SETI@home.
Mr. Kevvy and the GPU Users Group have graciously convened a fundraiser to help modernize our aging storage infrastructure. Thank you Mr. Kevvy and GPUUG!
It's the Friday before a holiday week and the servers know it.
The file system containing the beta project uploads directory is having problems, so beta is down until further notice.
This problem may be affecting the rate at which the main project can handle results, so the validation and assimilation queues are getting large, which may affect the rate of work generation.
Dr. Korpela and his colleagues Prof. Shauna Sallmen and Ms. Kaisa Crawford-Taylor have published a new paper today in the Astronomical Journal about whether astronomers be able to detect belts of satellites circling planets around other stars. Unfortunately, the answer is that even the thickest satellite belts will be very difficult to see with current technology. Even the James Webb Space Telescope will find it difficult.
If, like most sentient beings in the Galaxy, you don't have a subscription to the Astronomical Journal you can see a preprint of the article at arXiv.org.
Dr. Korpela and his colleagues Prof. Shauna Sallmen and Ms. Kaisa Crawford-Taylor have published a new paper today in the Astronomical Journal about whether astronomers be able to detect belts of satellites circling planets around other stars. Unfortunately, the answer is that even the thickest satellite belts will be very difficult to see with current technology. Even the James Webb Space Telescope will find it difficult.
If, like most sentient beings in the Galaxy, you don't have a subscription to the Astronomical Journal you can see a preprint of the article at arXiv.org.
We've started our 2019 funding drive. Many of you have probably received our email penned by Jeff Cobb who has been in the SETI group longer than I have. If you can't wait, you can read yours here.
Because of our continued effort to be GDPR compliant, we're not sending emails to anyone with an EU/EAA email addresses, anyone who listed an EU/EAA country, or anyone who listed "International" as their country. And, of course, anyone who has opted out of our emails won't get them.
Thanks for your support!
Richard Lawn has posted a new SETI Perspectives entitled "Is ET in Our Solar System?"
Check out All in the Timing, a report on recent progress in SETI@home's back-end data analysis.
SETI@home member Morris Penasso has developed a SETI@home News "skill" for Amazon Alexa/Echo that can tell you the latest from our news feed.
You can get it here.
Large swaths of Northern California, including the UC Berkeley Campus, are under a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to high winds and the associated wildfire risks. Our servers are located in the campus Data Center which is protected by a high capacity UPS. We expect that our servers will remain up for the duration of the outage. Thus far Internet connectivity also remains up although this depends on factors outside of the Data Center.
Richard Lawn has posted another interesting article to "SETI Perspectives". This one is titled What to expect from ET? .
Congratulations to our own Dan Werthimer for winning the 2019 Carl Sagan Prize for Science Popularization! The Sagan Prize is presented specifically to recognize and encourage researchers who ?have contributed mightily to the public understanding and appreciation of science.? You can read more about the Sagan Prize and see past winners at http://wonderfest.org/sagan-prize/ .
Every year SETI.Germany organizes an event in honor of the anniversary of the Wow! signal. This year's event (the 42nd anniversary) takes place from 15 to 29 August . Further information can be found here .
Richard Lawn has posted another interesting article to "SETI Perspectives". This one is titled Seeing the Unseeable: The Black Hole Image and is about the Event Horizon Telescope's image of the black hole in M87.
Happy Anniversary! On this date in 1999, SETI@home came online. Since then millions of our volunteers have helped us sift through petabytes of data from multiple radio telescopes. ET still hasn't shown up to the party.
We're not discouraged. We're able to examine less than a tenth of a percent of the radio spectrum, over only 1/3 of the sky and a limited number of additional stars. But our capabilities are increasing every day. In 1999 it took up to a week to process a single workunit on a home PC. Now, on a machine with a GPU, it might only take a few minutes to do a far more detailed and more sensitive analysis. Who knows what the next 20 years will bring?
Richard Lawn has written a new article, this one on the Panoramic Optical SETI effort, PANOSETI. As a bonus he includes a bit of an update on 'Oumuamua.
An update on the SETI@home back-end data analysis is here.
We had to recover the master database on oscar from a backup taken today on carolyn. Oscar is now back to being the master DB and carolyn is once again the replica DB. Things will be a bit slow as the database becomes resident in memory.
Richard Lawn has given us a new SETI Perspectives article to think about. This one is about the Drake Equation.
This time the primary database machine crashed and hasn't automatically recovered. We've fallen back to the replica machine, and the only symptom should be a few extra hours of outage.
I'm glad we have the replica.
Richard M Lawn has posted another interesting article to the SETI Perspectives forum. This one is about the mysteries of Fast Radio Burst (aka FRBs), possibly some of the most distant explosions ever seen.
Hopefully there won't be any further problem.
Our attempt to upgrade the memory on Oscar (the BOINC database machine) and Carolyn (the replica database) took a bit of DIMM swapping to find pairs of DIMMs that worked. Carolyn is still short two DIMMs (32 GB), but we didn't want to extend the outage any further to try to get it up to the full 192 GB.
We might try to max out Carolyn during the outage next week.
And as is usual after a long outage, we've got a large number of hosts out there starving for work. It'll take a little while before "no work" messages start to get less frequent.[/edit]
We had a problem with one of our download servers that was slowing down downloads and slowing down work generation. We've fixed the problem, but there are lots of people out there trying to download. It'll probably be a while before our downloads aren't swamped with requests.
Work ready to send has started trending back up, so we shouldn't end up with a work shortage.
We have added a new forum called SETI Perspectives that will showcase thoughts on SETI and related topics from people not directly connected with the Berkeley SETI group. Richard Lawn, Ph.D is our first contributor with an article about 'Oumuamua, the first object we've seen that convincingly originates from outside from outside the solar system. We hope have a long collaboration with Richard. Please welcome him into the SETI@home family.
I'm sad to report that we've lost another long time SETI@home volunteer and moderator Gordon MacKenzie Lowe. A remembrance thread has been started here.
Gordon will be greatly missed.
I'm sad to report that we've lost another long time SETI@home volunteer and moderator Gordon MacKenzie Lowe. A remembrance thread has been started here.
Gordon will be greatly missed.
The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) system is the software infrastructure used by Einstein@Home and many other volunteer distributed computing projects. The BOINC Open Source Project is looking for volunteers to develop and maintain the BOINC client on macOS. The BOINC Client and Manager are C++ cross-platform code supporting Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, and several other operating systems. We currently have a number of volunteer developers supporting Windows and Linux, but our main macOS developer is winding down his involvement after many years. He is prepared to help a few new macOS developers get up to speed.
If you have macOS development experience and are interested in volunteering time to help support and maintain the BOINC macOS client please have a look at the more detailed description here: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/MacDeveloper
If you want to help, please sign up to the BOINC Developer email list here: ?https://groups.google.com/a/ssl.berkeley.edu/forum/#!forum/boinc_dev.
If you are not a macOS developer, but have other skills and are interested in contributing to BOINC, the link above also has more general information.
A machine that was holding 15% of our outgoing workunits has crashed and refuses to start back up. Short term it means that attempts to access those workunits will cause an error until the workunit is marked as bad.
Sorry for the incovenience.
GeorgeM, the machine that holds the data that you download, decided that it was time to verify that the RAID array is in good shape. That will slow down disk access until the verify procedure is complete. The main effect is slowing down the rate at which work can be created. It's likely that we'll run out of work in the next hour or so. Things should recover automatically when it's done.
You may have noticed occasional bits of data from years past showing up in your queue. While running a completeness check I noticed some files that had never been completely analyzed. Some may have fallen through the cracks. Some may just be bad data that never made it through the splitters. I'm going to trickle them into the queue when the Arecibo queue is empty, just in case.
We had a minor science database crash today that brought work generation to a halt. Everything appears to be OK with no data losses. We should [be] entirely back up at this point, but I'll keep checking things out.
Because of the Christmas and New Years Day holidays, our weekly outage will be on Wednesday rather than the normal Tuesday both this week and next.
The report from the NASA Technosignatures Workshop has been uploaded to arxiv.org. You can find it here if you are looking for some light reading.
We've started our 2018 funding drive. Many of you have probably received our email penned by one of our undergraduate researchers. If you can't wait, you can read yours here.
Because we're not yet fully GDPR compliant, we're not sending emails to anyone with an EU/EAA email addresses, anyone who listed an EU/EAA country, or anyone who listed "International" as their country. And, of course, anyone who has opted out of our emails won't get them.
Thanks for your support!
We've finally got the BOINC account deletion feature installed and enabled. Account deletion cannot be undone. You'll also need your password and a valid email address for identity verification.
You can access it from your account settings on the web site.
NASA TV will be livestreaming the Technosignatures workshop at this URL. The workshop is about the numberous ways we could search for extraterrestrial technologies. Many of the Berkeley SETI personnel will be speaking today (Wednesday). The agenda can be found here
The development of Nebula, the second and final stage of SETI@home data analysis, has made slow but steady progress. Check out the latest progress report: Improved multiplet-finding.
Every year SETI.Germany organizes an event in honor of the 41th Anniversary of the Wow! signal. This year's event takes place from 15 to 29 August . Further information can be found here .
A group of SETI astronomers led by Duncan Forgan, and including myself and BSRC director Andrew Siemion, has published a revised version of the Rio Scale. The Rio Scale is designed to predict the public impact a signal would have, like the Richter scale does for earthquakes. The prior version of the Rio scale, in addition to being rarely used, tended to overestimate the impact of low quality or low significance reports of detection.
Now all we have to do is convince other SETI astronomers and the press to use it.
There is a related article at GeekWire.
A calculator for Rio 2.0 scores in now available here.
The HBO series VICE will be broadcasting an episode with a segment entitled "Are we alone?" starting June 1 at 11pm EST. It will be available on HBO streaming service, HBO GO, at 7:30pm EST.
The segment includes interviews with the father of modern SETI, Frank Drake, and a SETI@home volunteer, John Fluth, who has been a part of the project nearly as long as I have. We'll be interested in seeing your reaction to this piece.
Trailers are available through facebook and twitter.
The UC data center switched over to a new firewall this morning. Since then packets into and out of the data center have been suffering drops. The Data Center staff is debugging the problem, we'll probably be dropping packets until it's resolved.
The database has gotten hung up a couple of times with slow queries. I've restarted it once and that seems to have helped. It'll take several hours to be sure.
If that didn't solve the problem, it probably means the index the server uses to choose workunits to send has gotten corrupted. If I need to rebuild it, we'll probably be down most of tomorrow while I do so.
Something is happening to the network connection between Green Bank and Berkeley that is slowing down the rate at which we can transfer data for splitting. We've opened a trouble ticket with campus networking services. Hopefully they will be able to find and fix the problem quickly. Until then, work may be in short supply.
The outage ran long today because we needed to run down to the data center to swap some bad drives with new ones and reboot a few of the machine to pick up kernel and mysql updates.
Sorry for the delay.
Our upload server is malfunctioning. The projects are down until we can fix this.
Our upload server is malfunctioning. The projects are down until we can fix this.
Because of several requests, I've resurrected the idea that we could take donation in gridcoin, a cryptocurrency you can earn by participating in volunteer computing projects.
Our gridcoin address is now listed on our donation page.
Thanks to our collaboration with Breakthrough Listen and their international colleagues, we will soon have the ability to access data recorded at the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. For the first time, this will give us full-sky coverage, including the southern hemisphere, in our search for ET. However, due to the enormous amount of data that the 13-beam receiver at Parkes can generate, we will require extra hardware to store and distribute it. We need your help to purchase this.
Thanks to some special offers, one from the Hanson family in memory of Robert W. & Mary P. Hanson, one from Richard Haselgrove in memory of his mother, Jenifer Leech, and one from Mr. Kevvy, we have the possibility to match donations which will allow us to purchase the Parkes Data store server (~$34K) and the GPU development systems (~$10K) we will need for the coming year. For every dollar you donate in this special fund raiser, Mr. Kevvy will match it, the Hanson Family will match it with two, and Richard Haselgrove will match it with two more. That means for every dollar you donate we'll get six dollars towards the purchase of these servers!
Because this is a special fundraiser we'll have special notation on your account page and on the forums. The 12TB disk drives in the Parkes Data Store cost $450. One sixth of that is $75. So, a donation of $75 or more gets you a disk drive icon. The GPUs in the GPU development machine that we will be using for our recording systems at future telescopes are $1500 each, so a donation of $250 or more will get you a GPU icon. And as always, any donation of $10 or more will get you a green star.
But in the end, it's not about the icons: it's about getting the data and making a discovery for the ages. Your help, whether by crunching data or by donating, is always appreciated.
I had to turn the splitters off, again. I underestimated the rate at which we were creating work (damn moveable decimal points!). I thought we could go without adding more space to the database until we had time (tomorrow morning) to delete the old database spaces.
I was wrong, we really zoomed through the files on disk, and we ran out of space. Deleting database spaces is dangerous, so I really want Jeff to check the command script before it gets run. That won't happen until morning. But once it does we'll be back in operation.
Hopefully most SETIzens won't even notice this short absence of work.
Applications are invited for 10-week paid undergraduate research internships at Berkeley SETI Research Center for summer 2018. BSRC is a
world-leader in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence ? the quest for a scientific answer to one of humanity?s oldest questions: Are we
alone in the Universe? Housed in the Astronomy Department at the University of California, Berkeley, the team at BSRC leads the science
program for the $100-million Breakthrough Listen project. Our scientists and engineers are pioneers in the development of software,
instrumentation, and science strategy for the search for intelligent life on other worlds. We have access to substantial amounts of time on
the planet?s largest telescopes, connections to leading players in industry, and we?re based in one of the world?s premiere astronomy
research institutions. We?re also psyched that we get to wake up each day and hunt for aliens.
Current sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduates (including non-US citizens) studying at a degree-granting institution in the US are eligible to
apply. Around 5 - 7 positions will be available. A stipend of $20 / hr (up to a maximum of $8000) will be provided. Details and links to the application form are at https://seti.berkeley.edu/Internship.html
It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but we're back online. It'll probably be a few days before we have a full ready-to-send queue.
Now we can get back to finding ET.
At first I thought the restart on Tuesday had solved our database problems. I guess I was wrong. It only fixed some of them.
We've hit yet another hidden limit in our Informix science database. The good news is that we know how to fix this one. The bad news is it will take a little while.
We don't have to wait for the full fix before starting to split again, but the point at which we can split will probably be sometime tomorrow. Until then, we only have a few re-dos and a little bit of astropulse to do.
Long time setizen, Richard Lubrich (Dr. C.E.T.I., aka Dr. SETI, aka nobody) passed away today. Richard was a fixture on the forums from our earliest days. He was a great friend to SETI@home and will be greatly missed.
We're having some as yet unexplained slowness with the our BOINC database. There don't seem to be any hardware issues. Temperatures are running normal and all the drives seem good. Yet for some reason the query that fills the "ready to send" queue is running about 10 times slower than it normally does.
Until I get it fixed, it means that on average we're sending out 3 workunits a second rather than 30+.
I'll let you know when I've got it figured out.
We've started our annual fundraising drive to help raise the money we need to keep SETI@home running and expand it to new telescopes. Your computers provide us with the power to analyze this data, but your donations are an important part of keeping us operating.
If you haven't yet received your fundraising letter, you can preview it here. You can donate at https://setiathome.berkeley.edu/sah_donate.php.
Thanks for keeping SETI@home going!
Berkeley SETI Research Center is holding a fundraiser to raise $7000 to send our student interns to conferences to present their work.
We?ve been working with some great students at Berkeley SETI, and we?re optimistic that some of them will become the scientists and engineers who lead the field in future and maybe even find the signal we?re searching for. In the meantime they have been doing amazing work and we?d like to send them to academic conferences to present their results, and for their own professional development. If you would like to help with this effort, we are running a crowdfunding campaign at https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/SETItravel - every donation counts! We also have some fun perks including the chance to ask questions to members of the Berkeley SETI team, and to attend a party in our lab.
Although this does not directly benefit SETI@home (our annual fundraiser will start in a couple weeks), it's a worthy cause. I'll be contributing!
I've been asked by several people to post a status update on the situation at Arecibo following hurricane Maria's passage.
Unfortunately, at this point we haven't gotten any news. The last information we have is from a couple hours prior to when the eye passed Arecibo. That report said all the employees were accounted for and in sheltered buildings.
Since then we've had no news. That's understandable. With power out on the whole island, electronics communications aren't going to be possible for some time. Heavy rains are still expected today, so I'm sure that the primary concern is still keeping everyone safe. Assessment of any damage will take time.
Let's hope that everyone is safe, that their homes are intact, and that any damage can be repaired quickly.
For those who didn't recognize the name KIC8462852 in their work unit names, this data comes from GBT observations of Tabby's Star (aka Boyajian's Star, aka WTF-0001, aka the Weirdest star in the galaxy). This is not yet the full data set, which lives at Penn State, it's some test on-target/off-target observations that we're checking out.
You might also notice another change. We've doubled the size of our work units which will reduce our quantization noise by 34%, and, depending on the strength of other noise sources, could give us as much as double that as a sensitivity increase.
The UC Berkeley Space Science Laboratory Domain Name Services (DNS) server has been having problems for the past 24 hours, and a wildlands fire near the Space Sciences Lab has prevented SSL personnel from fixing the problem.
Because of this, any server functions (i.e. password reset, forum notifications) that require email interaction are not working for most people.
If the problems continue tomorrow its likely that BOINC clients will eventually lose access to the SETI@home servers until the DNS server can be repaired.
SETI.Germany is again organizing this Year's event in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Wow! Signal. Further information can be found here. The event will run from Aug 15th, 4.00 UTC to Aug 29th 2017, 4.00 UTC.
Ryan Lynch works on pulsar research at the Green Bank Observatory. In this video, we sat down with Ryan to chat about how to paint the world's largest steerable radio telescope, and what modern convenience he misses most while living in the middle of the National Radio Quiet Zone.
Follow us on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @BerkeleySETI
We took a GoPro Omni 360 VR camera up to the top of the Green Bank Telescope, the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. Join us on Part 1 of our journey, as we check out the telescope wheels that each carry more than a million pounds of weight, and learn about the 2004 individually controllable panels that make up the surface of the dish, which is larger than a football stadium.
The SETI@home back end is getting closer to completion.
Our algorithms for removing RFI and finding repeated signals work fairly well. We can inject "birdies" (synthetic signals) to measure how well they're working. We've developed tools for browsing, drilling down, and visualizing signals and candidates.
At this point we need to manually scan lots of results, looking for cases where our algorithms don't seem to be working perfectly. If you like, you can help us with this.
At Berkeley SETI Research Center, we've long been friends and collaborators with Professor Michael Garrett and the team at Jodrell Bank. We're delighted to continue our collaboration as the Breakthrough Initiatives announce a formal partnership with Jodrell in the search for intelligent life beyond Earth: https://breakthroughinitiatives.org/News/11
Although this partnership doesn't involve data from telescopes at Jodrell flowing to SETI@home (at least at the present time), the sharing of data, algorithms, and strategies will benefit the science programs at Berkeley and Jodrell, as well as at other telescopes involved in Breakthrough Listen and in SETI in general. You can seen an interview with Mike, recorded a few weeks back, at https://youtu.be/ZRMiuCFACCw, and take a 3D tour of the Lovell telescope and control room at Jodrell at https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=B8UZb1joxsG.
For more news from Berkeley SETI, follow us on social media:
Engadget has published an article on SETI which includes discussion of Breakthrough Listen and SETI@home.
The Atlantic has published a new article entitled A Brief History of SETI@home featuring interviews of Dan Werthimer, David Anderson, and Eric Korpela.
Berkeley SETI's Steve Croft is joining other SETI and exoplanet researchers on Deep Astronomy right now (4 pm PDT, 2300 UTC). If you join live you can ask questions of these scientists.
Once again I need to explain our policies on free speech, as I've been getting lots of nastygrams both here and on twitter and facebook.
First, let me explain our relationship to the UC Berkeley administration. Despite the fact that I met with the Chancellor once for about 15 seconds, the UC administration neither knows nor cares that SETI@home exists. Threats of quitting SETI@home or withholding donations will be about as effective as kicking a stray dog because you don't like something the dog catcher did. They won't notice. They don't care. They get no direct benefit from SETI@home, so here will be no effect on them, or the on University. We could shut off our servers tomorrow, and nobody in Sproul Hall would notice a thing.
So here are our project commandments on free speech.
0. Thine speech is free as in freedom, not free as in beer.
1. Thou mayst speak thine mind.
2. Thou shalt do so in the appropriate forum.
3. Thou shalt recognize that speech has consequences to thine self and to others, some legal, some financial, some painful.
4. Thou shalt not force others to pay for the delivery of or the consequences of speech they may not agree with.
5. On public SETI@home forums, thou shalt use language a parent would not mind their 12 year old hearing.
6. Failure to obey the forum rules will result in moderator action. If thou dost not understand, see thou commandment 4.
In other words, if you want to be heard on the current controversy, try the Politics forum. Then use twitter, facebook, instagram and whatever social media you want. SETI@home in general and me in particular have no power to effect change of any sort.
It sounds like there's still going to be a riot in Berkeley tomorrow because a group of white supremacists and a group of left wing anarchists are ignoring commandments 2, 3, and 4. The people of Berkeley and the people of California will be picking up the tab for their "freedom of speech" whether they want to or not. And personally, I think that's what's been missing from the whole discussion.
Thanks for helping us analyze Breakthrough Listen data from the Green Bank Telescope! Berkeley SETI engineer Dave MacMahon takes us behind the scenes into the server room at Green Bank where the Listen instrument lives, and we also interview Green Bank director Karen O'Neil about keeping computers cool in our latest video: https://youtu.be/-gQocykdo1Y
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram @BerkeleySETI
And with some incredible luck we didn't lose any entries in the pulse signal table at all.
We've found some corruption in a part of our science database that holds the power vs time profiles of detected pulses. We're running some table checks to see if we can localize the problem and come up with a solution that minimizes the lost workunits that need to be redone.
We're moving closer to completing the analysis of our 18 years of Arecibo data. Recent work has given us a good handle on RFI removal. See the Nebula blog for details.
We have been approached by the producer of a Japanese television documentary about SETI which will feature SETI@home. They are hoping to interview some SETI@home volunteers in early February in the bay area. If possible they would like to interview a parent and young child who are both excited about science and SETI. If that describes you and you are willing to be interviewed, please contact me either by private message or by email ( korpela at ssl.berkeley.edu ).
We've started a new mining effort on Bitcoin Utopia. If you've got mining equipment and want to help out, please join the effort.
The ~5 bitcoins that were donated last year went primarily to buying replacement hard drives. With the number of drives we have running we lose quite a few over the course of a year. It was nice not to need to dip into cash to replace them.
We're having some problems with centurion, the computer holds the Breakthrough Listen data and does our Breakthrough Listen splitting. Correction will probably require an OS upgrade.
Because of this GBT data will be scarce over the weekend.
A new blog documents the progress and status of Nebula, the SETI@home back end.
We changed the SETI@home web site to use Twitter Bootstrap, a CSS toolkit. This makes the site usable on small displays, and lets us use color schemes developed by other people (this one is called Darkly).
The SETI@home Fall 2016 fundraiser has begun. If you haven't received your fundraising letter you can find it here.
The abundance of data has made our funding needs a little more demanding this year, so we're hoping you can help us out a bit more.
As always, thanks for running SETI@home
We are sad to report the passing to long time SETI contributor Celttooth (M. Ian Russell) We will be lessened by his absence.
Read about Nebula, a new and faster back end for SETI@home. Nebula removes RFI and finds persistent signals. Its goal is to let us finish the current SETI@home experiment.
WIRED interviewed Berkeley SETI Research Center's Steve Croft and Eric Korpela, and the SETI Institute's Seth Shostak, about one method we use to figure out whether claimed ETI signals are legit: https://www.wired.com/2016/10/aliens-trying-contact-use-handy-scale/
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube @BerkeleySETI
Dr. Korpela has posted his thoughts about the claimed detection of pulsed emission from extraterrestrial intelligence being beam at Earth from 234 different stars. He's not optimistic.
The Breakthrough Listen project has also posted a statement of a similarly cautious tone.
The replica database will be offline until we can restore it from the primary database on tuesday (at the earlies). This will result in slowness of the web site and the scheduler.
In our latest video, Berkeley SETI Research Center Engineer Dave MacMahon takes us into the server room and shows us some of the equipment that powers the search: https://youtu.be/WcTcQIVrskw
Watch Part I of our interview with Dave at https://youtu.be/IOJ6-_gIyP0
Sorry about the misinformation on the weekly outage. When we're in outage mode the message uses the current day of the week as the day of the weekly outage. We will go back to Tuesday outage next week.
The delay in the outage this week was due to the media flap over the Russian announcement.
The Breakthrough Listen team has posted their archival search for emission from HD 164595 and the initial analysis of their recent observations of that target.
I'm sure that many of you have seen the news reports of a "SETI signal" detected from the star HD 164595
I was one of the many people who received the the email with the subject "Candidate SETI SIGNAL DETECTED by Russians from star HD 164595 by virtue of RATAN-600 radio telescope." Since the email did come from known SETI researchers, I looked over the presentation. I was unimpressed. In one out of 39 scans that passed over star showed a signal at about 4.5 times the mean noise power with a profile somewhat like the beam profile. Of course SETI@home has seen millions of potential signals with similar characteristics, but it takes more than that to make a good candidate. Multiple detections are a minimum criterion.
Because the receivers used were making broad band measurements, there's really nothing about this "signal" that would distinguish it from a natural radio transient (stellar flare, active galactic nucleus, microlensing of a background source, etc.) There's also nothing that could distinguish it from a satellite passing through the telescope field of view. All in all, it's relatively uninteresting from a SETI standpoint.
But, of course, it's been announced to the media. Reporters won't have the background to know it's not interesting. Because the media has it, and since this business runs on media, everyone will look at it. ATA is looking at it. I assume Breakthrough will look at it. Someone will look at it with Arecibo, and we'll be along for the ride. And I'll check the SETI@home database around that position. And we'll all find nothing. It's not our first time at this rodeo, so we know how it works.
We hope you enjoy this five minute highlight reel of some of our previous and upcoming videos. Hear about SETI@home and the Breakthrough Listen optical and radio searches, visit the Green Bank Telescope, see our computing hardware, and meet some of our undergraduate researchers: https://youtu.be/y0betLmOYhk
Follow Berkeley SETI on Twitter: http://twitter.com/setiathome
The SETI@home team is sad to note the passing of long time SETI@home volunteer Jack Lass. Many of you will remember him from the original SETI@home forums. Our condolences go out to his wife and son. We will miss him.
New video! BSRC engineer Dave MacMahon talks GPUs, FPGAs, and the hardware that powers the search https://youtu.be/IOJ6-_gIyP0
To celebrate the 39th anniversary of the Wow! signal, SETI.Germany is organizing a SETI@home crunching competition from Aug 15th to Aug 29th. Everyone is welcome!
Vice Magazine has posted an article about the potential closure of the Arecibo observatory.
BSRC's Dr. Steve Croft recently gave a one-hour public talk about how we find planets around other stars, the search for life beyond Earth, and the new Breakthrough Listen project. Watch the video at https://youtu.be/LJaQi8XYzRU
Follow Berkeley SETI on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BerkeleySETI
and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/setiathome
We are sad to hear that our friend and colleague Stéphane Dumas passed away this week. Here is a video of his recent SETItalks talk.
Recently the NSF announced its intent to start the process which could lead to the partial shutdown, mothballing, or complete disassebly of the Arecibo Observatory. As most of you know, this is not a new discussion in the scientific community. Several years ago we had asked you write letters to Congress in hopes of averting this fate.
A petition has been started on whitehouse.gov to ask the President to ensure it is funded. I'm pessimistic about the chances that it will change anything, as the President cannot change Congressional budget priorities, and only has limited ability to move money between NSF programs. However, bringing attention to the issues of science funding in this country cannot hurt.
BSRC's Dan Werthimer describes how our capabilities have improved by a factor of a trillion since the search began. http://www.airspacemag.com/space/new-seti-search-180959126/?no-ist
We couldn't do any of this without you. Our search relies on the generosity of those who donate their computing resources and electricity, their coding skills, and also financial help to make what we do possible. Any and every contribution counts, and we appreciate all of you. While we are not funded by big government grants, we are fortunate to be based at one of the world's leading public universities, where one of our most precious resources is the bright young minds who will be the scientists and engineers leading the search in the years to come.
So we invite you, if you feel motivated to do so, to help us with the resources to set up an undergraduate lab with new software-defined radio tools to help train our undergrads in the tools of the trade. To get an idea of how engaged these students are, check out our interview with Kyle at https://youtu.be/PIJ6TkM46wE. And if you'd like to support our work, please visit https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/1704. But whether or not you choose to contribute financially, we are so grateful for all of you that have chosen to be a part of SETI@home as we attempt together to answer humanity's biggest question. Thanks!
Inverse.com has published an article about our distribution of Breakthrough Listen data.
Happy Yuri's Night #55, the 55th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's historic first space flight on April 12, 1961.
In celebration, we're starting distribution of Breakthrough Listen data from the Green Bank Telescope today. No intervention is necessary on your part. The main difference you will see is a change in your screen saver graphics, if you have them running. We'll still be distributing Arecibo data as well, so that won't change.
The Breakthrough Initiative is also distributing raw data in multiple formats, so you can write your own analysis code if you'd like.
You can read about it in this press release.
It should also work on other ARM linux machines that use the gnueabihf ABI.
We're raising money to support our undergrads to build hardware to search for ET. We'd love for you to help at https://crowdfund.berkeley.edu/project/1704. Perks at the higher levels include a roundtable with BSRC Director Dr. Andrew Siemion, tours of our UC Berkeley labs, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Green Bank Telescope. Or you can just bask in the warm fuzzy glow of helping out our undergrads. Every donation counts!
Our main web server machine became inoperative this morning. We have migrated web service to another machine.
BSRC Director Andrew Siemion will talk about Breakthrough Listen, SETI@home, follow-up of Tabby's Star, and other SETI programs at BSRC, Tuesday February 23 at noon, in Mountain View, CA. The talk is hosted by our friends at the SETI Institute?, and takes place at Microsoft Silicon Valley. To attend, please register for free tickets at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-breakthrough-initiative-listen-and-megastructures-at-kic-8463-tickets-19539745906?ref=ebtn
For those of you unable to attend in person, SETI Institute talks are typically recorded and posted on YouTube about a week after the event.
Berkeley SETI Research Center's Dr. Steve Croft, in collaboration with colleagues at UC Museum of Paleontology and the Space Sciences Laboratory's "Multiverse" education group have put together an educational site focusing on the conditions needed for life to arise in the Universe. Although aimed primarily at high school teachers and their students, this material may be of interest to broader audiences. In the "Research Profiles" section of the site you can also find an interview with BSRC's Dr. Eric Korpela, Director of SETI@home.
Kevin Luong joined Berkeley SETI Research Center as an intern in summer 2015. Kevin worked with David Anderson to revise the NTPCKR system to run on cloud computing servers. There are still a few kinks to sort out, but if it works, this should let us run our data base through NTPCKR in a few weeks instead of more than a year. Kevin transferred to UCLA in the fall, but is continuing to work with SETI to explore cloud computing for other projects.
We'll be launching an expanded undergraduate internship program soon. Details will be announced later this year.
Watch the video at https://youtu.be/gR91rObbfqs
I know everyone has been waiting. It's finally time.
We need some Mac users with ATI Radeon HD4000 series card to help the beta test before we can release that version. So if you've got an HD4XXX GPU, please join the beta.
BSRC Director Andrew Siemion is one of the featured speakers at TEDxBerkeley on Saturday, February 6. Details and tickets at http://tedxberkeley.org/portfolio-item/4162
SETI@home version 8 has been released. This version finally gives us the ability to process data from multiple sources, including the Green Bank Telescope. That means we'll be ready for data from Breakthrough Listen when it's available.
We're releasing the versions for CPUs first. We'll release versions for graphics processing units (GPUs) and Android devices as they come available. We're releasing slowly so as not to overtax our download server. This update will happen automatically, unless you use a special version you got from another web site.
We've also made small changed to our science code to improve the Gaussian fitting routines. This means version 8 results are not compatible with version 7. So if you use a version of SETI@home you got from another site, or if you compile your own version, you'll need to get or build a version 8 application. I'm sure link will be made available in the Number Crunching forum.
A shout out to the volunteer developers (especially Urs, Jason and Raistmer) and all the beta testers for helping out.
Happy New Year!
The University of California's big 24 hour fundraising extravaganza started Wednesday, November 18th at 9 pm and ends on Thursday, November 19th at 9 pm. If you'd like to make a donation to help SETI@home access our new data sources you can do so here.
If KIC 8462852 really is harboring an advanced alien civilization, ought we to have seen something in existing radio surveys? Michael Garrett, director of ASTRON in the Netherlands, investigates:
Zuhra Abdurashidova started working at BSRC in June, and will be helping to get the Breakthrough Listen initiative running. You can see our interview with her at https://youtu.be/0GgDfJ7OMiA
While still working our way through a lot of data, this article asks the question: Did SETI@home ever find aliens?
?Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.?
Read more about a strange star that has all of us in the SETI community intrigued. http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/10/the-most-interesting-star-in-our-galaxy/410023/
BSRC Director Andrew Siemion was called to testify to the US Congress about the search for life beyond Earth. Video at http://t.co/1spztN81Pe (Andrew's testimony starts at 28:49).
SETI@home Director Eric Korpela discusses alien contact in the MeanwhileInTheFuture podcast episode entitled "Greetings".
The entire data center (where our servers are) had to be shut down. That crisis is now over and we're carefully bringing our servers back up. See details here.
You can share your stories here here.
Graduate student Lauren Weiss is working with Berkeley SETI Research Center's Prof. Geoff Marcy, searching for Earth twins and exploring where life might be found in the Universe. Find out more in our latest video profile: https://youtu.be/7KG50exx_rg
SETI@home Director Eric Korpela's most recent SETI paper "Modeling Indications of Technology in Planetary Transit Light Curves - Dark-side Illumination" (in collaboration with Prof. Shauna Sallmen) has been published by the Astrophysical Journal. A preprint is available at arXiv.
Jack Hickish, a visiting scholar from Cambridge University, talks about how new technologies are transforming SETI, in our latest video profile. https://youtu.be/7UHnZxQq6GY
Here's a one hour radio interview featuring Berkeley SETI Research Center's Dan Werthimer that aired on CBC radio last weekend. http://www.cbc.ca/1.3182903
To celebrate the 38th anniversary of the Wow! signal, SETI.Germany is organizing a SETI@home crunching competition from Aug 15th to Aug 29th. Everyone is welcome!
The science database is down while we make a copy for offline data analysis. This is taking a bit longer than anticipated. During this period work production is off. We hope to resume work production tomorrow morning.
SETI@home and Berkeley SETI Research Center are proud to be participating in the new Breakthrough Listen initiative, that will dramatically expand the search for life beyond Earth. http://nyti.ms/1KfWuYF
David Anderson, co-creator of SETI@home and Director of BOINC, took some time to chat with us recently.
Developer Matt Lebofsky is key to keeping SETI@home software & databases running. Check out our latest video profile of one of the guys who sends you your work units.
We put out a call on Twitter and Facebook for questions for our scientists and engineers. We picked seven of the submissions and had our team give short answers.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/setiathome
Berkeley SETI Research Center Project Scientist Eric Korpela talks about giant red aliens, sky queens, and what we'll do when we make contact. Check out our latest video profile at https://youtu.be/skhDicuJCwk
Getting a steady stream of funding for SETI research is a challenge, as BSRC Director Andrew Siemion explains in this short video. https://youtu.be/jY5cQTKlYSs
Check out SETI@Andalucía, a new Spanish-language web site about SETI and SETI@home.
Seth Shostak from the SETI Institute recently visited Berkeley SETI Research Center and took time to chat with us about challenges in the search (including funding!), as well as why he thinks we have a chance to detect ETI during the next couple of decades. Watch the four minute video at https://youtu.be/y66UBo12uOY
On Sunday, May 17th campus is upgrading the network infrastructure at the facility hosting our servers. We will bringing the projects down for about 6-8 hours (starting at 8am, Pacific Time) to avoid complications during the upgrade.
Shelley Wright, a former postdoctoral scientist in the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department, and now faculty at the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, visited Berkeley SETI Research Center recently to talk about infrared and optical SETI, and how ET might be using huge lasers to communicate. Watch our four minute video interview at https://youtu.be/JoOkXhNUQO4
Did you know that at one time our best idea to contact ET was a 20 mile wide pit full of burning kerosene? SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer gave a talk last Saturday on the history and current state of SETI. You can watch the video at https://youtu.be/F-I5fb2qKwU
Here's a research poster by BSRC director Andrew Siemion from 2013 (but still mostly up to date) summarizing our group's work, including SETI@home.
We are currently working on deep cleaning one of our databases (see http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=77096), but we hope to have new work units out to your clients soon. Thanks for crunching!
Due to recent problems we are doing a deep cleaning of one of our larger databases. Update: though we are still working on the database, we were able to start workunit generation again over the weekend.
Check out this new animated map showing SETI@home data transmissions during a 5 minute period within the last 24 hours (updated regularly - click on image to view):
Over the weekend a false news report from a known source of false news reports reported that we had detected an extraterrestrial signal. Of course, if we had, known sources of real news reports would also be carrying the story.
In other words, no such luck.
Prof. Shelley Wright from UC San Diego, working with members of the BSRC team including Dan Werthimer, Andrew Siemion, and Geoff Marcy, successfully achieved first light last weekend on a new instrument to search for pulses of infrared light from extraterrestrial intelligence. This exciting new area of research is highly complementary to our ongoing work using radio telescopes and SETI@home. Read more at http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/search_for_extraterrestrial_intelligence_extends_to_new_realms
We'd like to keep you up to date with what's going on at Berkeley SETI Research Center! Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BerkeleySETI and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/setiathome where you can find video interviews with Berkeley SETI Research Center staff, news items about our research, and more. We'll be linking to some of these posts via SETI@home client messages too.
Our message board at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_forum.php?id=908 will continue to post updates from the team including news items, server and database status updates, and other relevant topics, and you can participate in other forums at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_index.php too.
The databases are still being repaired, but we are now in a state where we can create new workunits and collect results.
Dr. Korpela has posted slightly more detail of his thoughts on sending messages to ET.
The versions of SETI@home currently distributed can't run on Android 5+ (Lollypop). We're working on new versions.
We've limited distribution to earlier distributions. If you can't get work on Android 4, it may be necessary to update your BOINC app.
In conjunction with other interested members of the SETI community, we've written a statement on beaming messages to other planets.
The essence of the conclusion is that a few people shouldn't be making this decision for an entire planet.
We were saddened to learn that colleague Professor Charles Townes died this morning, January 27th, at the age of 99. A professor at UC Berkeley since 1967, Townes had a long and distinguished career, winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 for work that led to the development of the laser. He was active in research as recently as last year, making regular visits to his office at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory, and to Mount Wilson Observatory where he worked to develop the Infrared Spatial Interferometer telescope. His broad research interests included the search for extraterrestrial intelligence - as co-author of a 1961 paper, he was one of the first to discuss interstellar communication using lasers. This gave rise to the rapidly growing field of optical SETI, including searches currently underway at UC Berkeley. Prof. Townes also served as an Advisory Board Member to the new Foundation for Investing in Research on SETI Science and Technology. We will miss him here at UC Berkeley, and send our condolences to his wife Frances and family.
It appears that the root partition filled on marvin (rapidly) while I was AFK, for no reason that I am aware of, which caused it to crash. Nobody is at the colocation facility right now, so the astropulse DB is down. I'll try to get remote accesses for a reboot, but chances are that marvin is down until monday morning.
Help SETI@home and own a piece of SETI@home history! Check out these auctions of SETI@home museum pieces
Validators and assimilators and splitters are back on. New Astropulse work should be flowing soon.
The four disks from AO have arrived - about 5TB of data. I have queued them up for pre-processing (radar blanking) so new SETI@Home workunits should be going out soon.
We've now inserted 231,770,000 of the 306,362,193 AstroPulse signals into the database. Over the last week the insert rate has slowly declined from 1.5 million per hour to 870,000 per hour. At that rate we're looking at another 86 hours (+24 for index building), which means Saturday morning (US Pacific time).
On the plus side, Arecibo has four full drives of data that they can send us, so there might be SETI@home work before then if we're really lucky. I'll be posting updates in the Tech News forum through out the week.
If you haven't been checking the tech news, here's the current status. We're rebuilding the Astropulse database. The current rate is an anemic 1.5 million rows per hour. There are 220 million rows left to do, which translates to 140 hours. Then I estimate it will take 24 hours to build the one remaining index necessary to create new work. That adds up to a week. I don't really understand why this is so slow. The disk array should easily handle twice that rate.
Sorry the news couldn't be better. There's always the SETI@home fundraiser at bitcoinutopia. Or you could choose a worthy backup project
We are likely to (temporarily) run out of workunits to process as soon as this weekend. Please read this recent news item from Eric Korpela for further explanation leading up to this. We are currently solving various database issues, developing a new splitter so we can start processing our Green Bank Telescope data, and hunting for tapes that haven't fully been processed to get out of the current drought.
The 3rd annual SETI.Germany Wow!-event has completed, with 838 participants from 48 countries generating a record 463 million credits. See a list of the winners.
Our colleagues here at the UCB Space Sciences Lab recently reported the first capture and analysis of interstellar dust particles. They were aided by thousands of volunteers in the Stardust@home project.
37 years after the detection of the Wow! Signal on August 15th, 1977, SETI.Germany is holding the third SETI@Home-Wow!-Event from 15.08.2014 to 29.08.2014. Join the crunching race, and maybe find the next Wow! signal. Everyone is welcome. Register here.
Dr. Korpela has posted a new blog entry on Net Neutrality and why its loss might be bad for distributed computing. It includes instructions on how to comment to the the FCC about the issue.
Recently Dan Werthimer was at the Smithsonian giving a talk about SETI. Video of this presentation is now available online.
Since I'm new to all, I don't know much.. I love the screensaver but I don't know how to interpret it.. Is there somewhere I can go that would explain all that.. I was probably given that info at one time and managed to overlook it..
Welcome to S@H.
In the homepage there is a section "About" in the upper left with some useful links.
Since I'm new to all, I don't know much.. I love the screensaver but I don't know how to interpret it.. Is there somewhere I can go that would explain all that.. I was probably given that info at one time and managed to overlook it..
Thanks for telling us about this, Matt.
Thanks for telling us about this, Matt.
Some feedback on whether the testimony bore fruit would be appreciated..
That feedback will come when they vote on funding. The US of A is under budget sequestration so any funding will be a victory.
I am hoping that this testimony and the way it was cordially received may be an indication of continued interest and funding for the Radio Telescopes and SETI as well.
There simply was not enough emphasis on the collaborative aspects of SETI at Home and the multitudes of people running the program and providing the data processing. More emphasis on the "human" aspect of this volunteer effort and the willing collaboration of so many from so many of the Nations of the world. This in turn would show the Congress that funding provided would allow SETI to continue to operate engage many people and perhaps even evolve in a greater enterprise in the "search".
Some feedback on whether the testimony bore fruit would be appreciated..
Dear Dan Werthimer
I'm an amateur astronomer and I search the heavens for 30 years always looking and trying to improve my research. I discovered something. I fabricated a device that can see through Titan's atmosphere in the visible spectrum. I would send the technical details of my invention to SETI.
Congratulation and Thank You Mr. L,
From Natsumi Mieko Kimi Katou.
I do look forward to the video. In which I did download, On behalf of Berkeley, and Seti. I am enrolled into the program. and Will continue with this, unless told otherwise. I do hope to get in touch with Mr Anderson, The signer of the Certificate. and hope to make my way to Berkeley soon. I will be honest with this. In my notation of the program. I did note the program of Boinc, Runs smoothly on my end. Nothing wrong. Unless if I am on the Net. It will at times pause it's self. But that is about it.
Natsumi Mieko Kimi Katou.
Researcher, and CEO - COO
World Public Media International
Natsumi Katou Productions.
They were just resends of tasks that are already in the system from before AP production ceased. ;-)
OK, thanks, didn't think about it that way.
I plan to add the video once that is made available.
Our own Dan Werthimer went before the U.S. House of Representatives to present the current status of SETI research. Here is the full text of his testimony. Video is available at this location.
A new short video about our project (made by the Exploratorium in San Francisco) is now available. You can view it at the Exploratorium website or on YouTube.
The SETI talks by Jill Tarter, Eric Korpela, Shauna Sallmen, and Ian Morrison at the "Search for Life Beyond the Solar System" conference will be broadcast live on Friday, March 21. The scheduled time for the talks is:
1:30PM PDT (2030 UTC) - Jill Tarter
2:00PM PDT (2100 UTC) - Eric Korpela
2:20PM PDT (2120 UTC) - Shauna Sallmen
2:40PM PDT (2140 UTC) - Ian Morrison
To connect go to http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/ebi2014/. If you have difficulty with that link, try http://connect.arc.nasa.gov/ebi2014?launcher=false Once you are there, select enter as guest, and enter a name, then click "Enter Room". Participants may get the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.
Astropulse work is flowing once again. Thanks to Matt and Jeff for performing the necessary brain transplant.
The server hosting the Astropulse database crashed. The database is okay, and we have a replacement machine, but it may be 1-2 weeks before Astropulse is back on line. We are still serving regular (multibeam) workunits in the meantime.
We've released SETI@home 7.03 for Intel GPUs that support OpenCL 1.2. If you have an Intel GPU and want to use it to speed up SETI@home make sure that "Use Intel GPU" is set to "yes" in your Project Preferences.
Thanks again to the crew at lunatics.kwsn.net for porting and testing this app.
If you didn't get our email detailing some of our accomplishments and plans, you can read it here.
We're sad to report the passing of long time SETI@home volunteer John Clark. Those of us who frequented the forums will certainly remember him. John was very recently mourning the passing of his wife, Sheila. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
People are posting their condolences and their memories of John in this thread.
Berkeley SETI scientists will be at the California Academy of Sciences this week. Dan Werthimer will be giving a talk Thursday night (Oct 10) at Nightlife at the Academy. Eric Korpela, Andrew Siemion, and other SETI scientists will be there as well to answer questions and chat about SETI. Nightlife runs from 6pm to 10pm and is for people aged 21 and over.
On Saturday and Sunday, Eric and Andrew will be participating in Brilliant!Science: Extraterrestrial Life also at the Academy. They'll be giving demonstrations and explaining SETI techology and techniques. This event is child friendly and runs from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
We've received notice that the NRAO telescopes at Greenbank will be shut down at 5pm on Friday if the government shutdown continues. We don't have any immediately scheduled observations there, so this should not affect us in the short term.
We have not yet heard of any impact on Arecibo, but since it is operated under contract rather than being directly operated by the government, we are hoping observations there will continue.
Last night there was a power outage that affected the entire Berkeley campus. The data center, where our servers are located, does have facility wide UPS so all servers stayed up. Unfortunately, the data center air conditioning did not stay up. Machines were getting hot, so the data center staff had to bring them down.
We're beta testing the Android version of the SETI@home application and we're looking for more testers to speed up the process. If you'd like to help, install the Android version of BOINC through the Google Play Store or the Amazon App Store. Then when asked to join a project enter http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta as the project URL.
note: The beta project does not have access to SETI@home user accounts. Unless you're already using the beta project, you'll need to create a new account there.
SETI.Germany is organizing an Event to celebrate and honor the 36th Anniversary of the Wow! Signal detection. The event will happen from Aug 15th, 16:00 UTC to Aug 29th 2013 16:00 UTC.
Dr. Korpela has posted his promised summary of what is new in SETI@home v7.
The AVG virus scanner heuristic virus detection method reports a false positive for SETI@home version 7.00 on windows. This alert doesn't not indicate an infection with a known virus, but indicates that the application contains code that the virus scanner considers to be suspicious. AVG 2012 apparently does not report any issues.
We believe that this alert is related to the method we used to compress the executable in order to save network bandwidth. We are examining how we can resolve the problem. Until then the best strategy is to click "cancel" or "ignore" to the AVG warnings.
Your BOINC client should automatically download it in the next few days. No need to abort any current work you are doing.
We've released versions for Windows, MacOS and Linux, and four versions for NVIDIA graphics cards running under windows, and versions for ATI graphics card running under Windows and Linux.
My thanks to the KWSN/lunatics folks for getting this done and especially to Raistmer, Jason, Josef, Urs, Claggy, Mike, Richard, and too many beta testers to name.
Tomorrow I'll post explaining why we wanted version 7 and what's different about the analysis it does.
We are moving most of our servers to a colocation facility with better cooling, power, and network, which should improve uptime in general. This procedure will start on Monday, April 1st at 08:00 (PDT) and should take 3 days to complete, during which our entire project will be unavailable.
The entire lab was shut down this past weekend for electrical repairs. We came back on line Sunday morning (Feb 24th).
UPDATE: the outage scheduled for the weekend of the 4th-6th has been cancelled so normal operations shall continue. We still plan to have our air conditioner repaired and will be completely off line from January 14th to January 15th during that time.
UPDATE: the air conditioning unit in our server closet was successfully repaired on Monday. All systems are back to normal functionality.
Problems with timeouts will continue to occur, but less frequently, we hope.
Scheduler crashes have continued, so we'll be down until we've isolated and solved the problem.
We're thankful for you, our volunteers, who continue to donate your time, computers and money to keep SETI@home up and running and improving.
The scheduler will be down until someone can get to the lab to reboot it. I'll try to convince Angela to let me go in once the turkey is in the oven.
We're continuing to have issues due to a database problem early last week and a botched attempt to fix it.
The problem is that the result and host tables in the database have grown large enough, and hosts have gotten fast enough that the lookup of result in process for a host and the enumeration of new results to send don't finish before the web connection times out either on the server or the client side. This resulted in hosts being assigned large number or results to compute without the transaction that tells them about these results being completed. The host. think it received no results would then contact the server for more results, which it would again not receive.
This isn't a hardware problem. The database currently fits in memory and the processors are fast. We've just crossed a threshold where each host computes fast enough that host queues and the result table have become large enough to cause this problem. To solve it, we've put per host limits on results in process back in place. But hosts that are having this problem will probably continue to have it until the average number of results per host has fallen to a workable level. That could take weeks.
For a more permanent fix, we plan do more work in each result by quadrupling the size of the workunits. But that fix will probably take months to implement and test.
The main boinc database suffered a crash this morning. We are back up and running now and are catching up on work distribution.
We've started out annual fund raising campaign. If you haven't gotten an announcement in your email, you can find your letter here. Thanks in advance for your help keeping SETI@home going!
SETI@home volunteer Mr. Kevvy has started a Weekend Fundraising Challenge to raise money for disks we need to transport data from Green Bank Observatory.
SETI@home volunteer Mr. Kevvy has started a Weekend Fundraising Challenge to raise money for disks we need to transport data from Green Bank Observatory.
Through the fine work of the GPU Users Group, Terabit Systems has generously donated both a 1Gbit and a 10Gbit ethernet switch to our group. The 1Gbit switch will be a substantial upgrade to our server room. The 10Gbit switch will become part of a very high speed SETI spectrometer to be deployed at the Greenbank Telescope.
We've identified a bug in the current BOINC server that is online at SETI@home. With older BOINC clients this bug results in running multiple SETI@home GPU applications simultaneously on a single GPU.
While we debug and fix the problem we've suspended distribution of NVIDIA work. We hope that everything will be back to normal some time tomorrow.
We're slowly recovering from the power outage. The main BOINC database was performing poorly at first for an unknown reason. We'll be monitoring it as the recovery continues.
Due to a planned day long power outage, which starts early on Wednesday, all servers will be down from the beginning of Tuesday's normal outage until early on Thursday.
We've released the first of four new AstroPulse Windows applications for ATI/AMD Graphics Processing Units that support the OpenCL language. If you've got an one of these GPUs you may be able to process AstroPulse results 15x faster than your CPU alone. If your computer supports a version, it should get it automatically.
The first release supports ATI GPUs on BOINC 7.0.25 or later. The second release (probably next tuesday) will support ATI GPUs on BOINC versions prior to 7.0.25.
The final two version will be for NVIDIA GPUs. (Until then NVIDIA GPUs will have to satisfy themselves with SETI@home results).
Thanks to the optimizers at KWSN and the folk at the beta project for helping me get this out.
SETI.Germany is organizing an Event to celebrate and honor the 35th Anniversary of the Wow! Signal detection. The event will happen from Aug 15th, 4:00 PM to Aug 29th 2012 4:00 PM UTC.
Berkeley SETI PhD candidate Andrew Siemion talks about why your computer won't be getting an alien virus in this article on io9.com.
We've teamed up with OpticsPlanet to create a fundraiser where you can support SETI@home while getting great deals on telescopes, astronomy gear, sunglasses & prescription eyewear and much more! Check it out here at the SETI@home coupon store.
Our entire building suffered some wild power fluctuations early this morning, affecting many projects including SETI@home. This is completely unrelated to power issues from a couple weeks ago. Despite losing some hardware all of our services are recovering.
There was a major power outage on Tuesday evening that affected several buildings here on campus including the entire Space Sciences Laboratory. Power has been restored this morning, and we are slowly getting the project back on line.
The author I mentioned in the previous news item would also like to interview someone outside of the US, hopefully in an interesting location. Again, contact me if you fit the bill.
We've been contacted by one of the authors of a book/multimedia project called "The Human Face of Big Data." They're looking to interview someone who is heavily involved in SETI@home (lots of computers) and is also participating in SETILive.
If that's you, drop me a line and I'll help you get connected.
If you're wondering about the difference between SETI@home and SETILive, Dr. Korpela has posted the differences here.
We've released the Astropulse version 6 application to the SETI@home project. The only real difference is a couple of minus signs in the code that were added to match changes to the way the data recorder works.
It'll take a while for the credit granted by this application to settle out to a reasonably constant value. If you run optimized applications, I'd suggest you wait a couple of weeks before starting to do Astropulse v6 work just to avoid the possibility that you will be granted an extremely low credit for your work.
Update: The problem is resolved and new work is being generated as of 15:00 PST 24 Feb 2012.
There is a problem with the new workunit table. Repairs are underway. We cannot generate new work until this table is back online.
We hit a storage limitation in our science database. Everything is okay but we will remain down, at least overnight, to run various tests.
Update: After reaching a logical (i.e. not physical) limitation in our science database we had to rebuild one table. No data were lost. We resumed normal operations today around noon.
SETI@home Project Scientist Eric Korpela has published a blog entry in the Huffington Post's new science section. Other Berkeley SETI bloggers may follow. Depending upon the response we may only blog there, may restrict blog entries here to things directly related to SETI@home, or we may duplicate the posts here. Let us know what you think.
Check out our First Look at Kepler SETI Candidate Signals - No ET yet.
Tuesday morning we reached 2 Billion BOINC results processed by SETI@home! Or to be more accurate, 2 to the power of 31 results (2,147,483,648). This explains why we haven't yet recovered from the weekly outage: we need to update code to accept larger numbers.
The BOINC download server is offline, and will remain so for a day or two while we effect repairs.
For the last few months, network routing issues have been interfering with the connectivity of some participants. The actual problem turned out to be a lack of sufficient memory in our router at the PAIX in Palo Alto. Two days ago we increased the memory in that router by a factor of four. This fixed the problem.
We would like to thank Hurricane Electric, Packet Clearing House, and CENIC for their great technical help in diagnosing and fixing this problem.
Our annual fall funding drive has started. If you haven't gotten our message in your email, you can see it here. Please help us keep SETI@home going by donating today.
Our connection with HE suddenly went down this afternoon. We are looking into it and HE has been alerted.
Our work unit storage server crashed this morning. Until we get this fixed, we are unable to send out work.
In addition to crunching, you can provide some support to SETI@home by using GoodSearch and GoodShop. These search engines redirect a half their advertising to revenues to charity. Just be sure to choose "University of California - SETI@home" as your charity of choice.
In an attempt to push some older unanalyzed files through the pipeline we encountered data that could not be successfully preprocessed or split. This has resulted in work distribution going to near zero. We are currently transferring newer files from off site storage and soon will be receiving a disk shipment from Arecibo. Once these data are on hand work distribution will pick up.
We have migrated storage service to thumper. Now it's a matter of transferring raw data to thumper, preprocessing it, and splitting it. This will all take some time. The Overland server is up and its raid is operational (thanks Overland!). Diagnosis of this unit is proceeding.
One of the RAID arrays failed to rebuild. Personnel from Overland Storage are working to solve the problems. Meanwhile we're creating temporary working storage on Thumper.
We are having difficulties with one of our storage servers. Until we fix this we are unable to generate new work.
The storage server has been repaired. It will take some hours to resync the RAID. We will let that process complete before restarting work generation.
ML1 pointed out an article about the change of management of the Arecibo Observatory. Cornell University, which has managed Arecibo since it opened, will no longer be managing the Observatory. A consortium of organizations will new be handling the management. We don't expect this to affect SETI@home much. It may mean changes to how observing is scheduled and how much observing time we receive per year.
All change at Arecibo:
Nature: Change rattles the world's biggest dish
After nearly half a century, Cornell University loses stewardship of the renowned Arecibo radio telescope
UC Berkeley SETI Survey Focuses on Kepler's Top Earth Like Planets
Grad student Andrew Siemion reports that new modifications to a data recorder at Green Bank that we need for our Kepler SETI observations are now complete, thanks to a huge amount of help from Paul Demorest, a former grad student and one of initial authors of AstroPulse. Our first hour of test time is scheduled for this Saturday, 17:30 EDT. We'll be observing with 450 seconds per target on 90 Kepler field stars with interesting planet candidates (~habitable zone, ~Earth size, ~Earth period, ~several planets), then do a raster scan of the entire Kepler field.
We are sad to report that long time SETI@home volunteer Wes Wycoff has passed away. His efforts will be missed. Our condolences go out to his friends and family.
As noted in the Scientific American and elsewhere, the Allen Telescope Array was recently forced into hibernation. While we are sad to see this happen, SETI@home receives its data elsewhere, so our project is not directly affected. Dr. Eric Korpela wrote a helpful Q&A about this in the SETI@home Staff Blog.
We are still having RAID failures on our workunit server. We are getting good support and are working to fix it.
The system that removes heavy radar contamination from our raw data is not operating. We are working to understand and debug the problem. This contamination must be removed before distributing the data, thus we are about to run out of workunits to send.
Our upload server is having disk problems. We converted a recently donated server (synergy) to temporarily handle uploads, but you may still have trouble connecting due to heavy demand.
SETI@home volunteers that use Flattr can now make microdonations to SETI@home by pressing the button at the bottom of the main SETI@home page.
Thanks again for another year of generous support for our project! We couldn't do this without everybody's help. Onward to 2011...
Over this past weekend we had an disk issue (unrelated to the new servers) which hampered workunit creation. We back to full production at this point, though due to high demand it might be a while until your clients receive new work.
Some browsers (especially older ones) may experience trouble with the SETI@home donation site at givetocal.berkeley.edu if the browser doesn't recognize COMODO CA, Ltd as a valid security certification authority. Details and a workaround are available here.
Dr. Masaki Morimoto, a SETI pioneer and one of the fathers of Japanese radio astronomy, passed away this morning at the age of 78. He suggested the frequency L11->L10 transition of formaldehyde (4.83GHz) as a possible magic frequency for extraterrestrial communications. He was active participant in SETI searches up to the present, and influenced many younger researchers. He will be missed.
The air conditioning in our server closet failed on Saturday, causing several of our important machines to overheat. Most servers and services were shut down to prevent damage and mostly remained down as initial attempts to fix the air conditioning system failed and new parts were ordered. We're hopeful the fixes made this morning (Thursday) will hold.
Don Backer, Berkeley professor and director of the Allen Telescope Array, passed away on Sunday, July 25th. Don was a very important contributor to radio astronomy and to the study of pulsars. He will be missed.
We have lost connectivity somewhere between our two routers. One of these routers is located at the Space Sciences Lab and the other at the Peering And Internet eXchange (PAIX) in Palo Alto. Until we get this problem cleared up we cannot distribute new work.
A structural failure at the telescope on February 3rd was partially repaired in March, and we've been observing with reduced motion since then. The next phase of repairs is slated to start July 12th, and may take up to 6 weeks for full implementation and testing.
Starting next week our servers will be turned off for several days a week - initially, Tuesday through Thursday. This will allow us to devote more time to scientific development.
We're having difficulty getting a new scheduler running that handles cuda_fermi applications properly. We'll be down until we get it sorted out.
Astropulse: A Search for Microsecond Transient Radio Signals by Joshua von Korff (congratulations, Josh!).
Here is the pdf of another paper presented at the Astrobiology Science Conference. This paper describes the various strategies and instruments developed by Berkeley SETI / CASPER team, with a focus on hardware.
Here is the pdf of a new paper describing our strategy for rejecting interference and finding candidate signals. This paper was presented at the Astrobiology Science Conference which was held April 26-29 in Texas.
There will be a planned power outage today from 18:00 to 22:00 PDT. All of our servers will be unavailable during that time.
We have recovered from the computer crash over the weekend, but there may be continued difficulty reaching our servers due to current high levels of traffic.
Also a warning: On Thursday evening (California time) there will be a lab-wide power outage for about 4-6 hours for building-wide repairs. Our web site may remain up, but all services and data transfers will be off during this time.
You may have noticed that our user database machine "mork" crashed, bringing down absolutely everything. It has recovered and it claims everything is fine. But we're going to make sure things are in good shape before we start distributing work again. Work will probably start flowing sometime tomorrow.
Till then, the forums are still around for your enjoyment.
David Anderson, director of BOINC and SETI@home, is interviewed on www.seti.cl (Spanish, English).
David Anderson, director of BOINC and SETI@home, is interviewed on www.seti.cl (in Spanish).
You can now see video from "The Great Debate - Are we Alone?", publicly held by Dan Werthimer and Geoff Marcy on April 30th at UC Berkeley.
The IRC channel #boinc-it on irc.freenode.net has been created for discussion of BOINC and SETI@home in Italian.
Planet-hunter Geoff Marcy and SETI scientist Dan Werthimer will be having a public debate about the existence of technological life in the universe on Friday, April 30, 2010 (7:30pm) at UC Berkeley. Free admission. Click here for more information.
Update: This will be streamed live. When exactly? It depends where you are.
Check out a Youtube video about making a multi-GPU desktop supercomputer.
William E. Gordon, the designer of the Arecibo radio telescope, has passed away at the age of 92.
Gianni Urso is interviewed by Bruno Moretti Turri on radio astronomy, SETI@home, and BOINC distributed computing (31 min., in Italian)
We started sending out our annual year-end donation drive mass e-mail. The process could take days. If you didn't get one (possibly due to spam blocking), you can read the same letter on-line here. Thank you!!!
SETI@home Project Scientist Eric Korpela has posted an FAQ and comments about the forced resignation at Higley Unified School District in Arizona
The connectivity problem noted yesterday turned out to be one of our switches and not the router.
We swapped in a replacement switch today and connectivity was restored.
Our router, which connects all of our data servers to the Internet, is down. Until
we resolve this, the project is unable to send out work or receive results.
SETI@home is recognized as a landmark event in
The History of the Internet.
We have been in the process of transitioning parts of our data pipeline. You may be having trouble downloading workunits until this process is complete - hopefully later this week.
Welcome to SETI.IR,
a new web site for SETI@home participants in Iran
and other Persian-speaking countries.
The UC Berkeley Astronomy Department is holding a Telescope Building Workshop and Star Party on October 23 at 7pm in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy. If you would like to attend, details can be found here
SETI@home Project Scientist Eric Korpela discusses life in the universe in
Galactic Watercooler Podcast #190. This is one episode in an arc relating to the late Carl Sagan's Cosmos series.
An article in PCWorld,
12 Worthy Causes Seek Your Spare PC Cycles,
describes BOINC and 12 projects that use it,
Facebook users: check out the
BOINC Milestones app.
The Space Sciences Lab at UC Berkeley (which is where SETI@home resides) recently celebrated its 50 anniversary.
Here's a fun slideshow/article in Network World about BOINC and various other BOINC projects.
An article in The Star (New Zealand)
tells how a 14-year-old arranged to run SETI@home
on 90 computers at his school.
We are proud to announce the very first publicly available output of the Near-Time Persistency Checker (a process which ranks the statistical interest of points on the sky). Please read the Frequency Asked Questions first.
The SETI@Netherlands team is hosting a 10th anniversary Gauntlet. If you think your machines have the power to compete, signups end September 18th.
We updated the master seti.berkeley.edu page, which contains information/links about all of U.C. Berkeley's SETI-related projects, as well as general weekly meeting minutes!
In case anybody missed them (links were posted elsewhere on this site),
here are videos of all the talks
given during the SETI@home 10 Year Anniversary celebration in May.
The web site of the
Paddy's in Space team
is newly renovated.
The Institution of Engineering and Technology has posted an article about volunteer computing in astronomy.
We updated the SERENDIP web site, now containing information about our recent trip to Arecibo (to install the new instrument and do some testing).
Here's a video of Dan Werthimer giving a short talk about SETI@home at the Maker Faire Bay Area (on May 30th, 2009). Warning: must sit through ad before viewing.
Dan Werthimer was on Science Friday discussing SETI@home's 10 year anniversary. Here is a recording of the interview.
A new update from the Planetary Society: SERENDIP Takes a Great Leap Forward.
You can tune in to video from tomorrow's SETI@home Anniversary seminar live on ustream.tv starting at 10am pacific time (1700 UTC). If you can't watch it live, don't worry. We will be posting the video for download later.
SETI@home 10th Anniversary T-shirts are now available for order. See this thread for details. Thanks to Uli for handling the T-shirt manufacturing and shipping, and thanks to Misfit for the winning design.
If you're planning to attend the SETI@home 10th anniversary picnic in Berkeley on May 23, please RSVP if you haven't done so already. You can RSVP in this thread, send a personal message to Uli or email korpela -AT- ssl.berkeley.edu .
SETI@home marks its
10th anniversary on 17 May 2009.
will be held on 21 May.
Volunteers can submit questions for a panel discussion,
and can view the proceedings online.
A new portal for astronomy related newsfeeds and blogs called Portal to the Universe has opened.
team web site has been updated with
pictures of a trip to Arecibo.
Contratulations to team SETI.USA, which has recently passed the 1,000,000,000 credit mark on SETI@home and continues to pile up credits at over 1 million per day!
One of our volunteers, Blurf, has started a SETI@Home Tax Time Donation Challenge!
SETI@home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer gave a International Year of Astronomy talk in Berkeley on March 21st. A video of the talk is available here.
We are currently managing several problems with the science database server. The database will be okay, but it is currently offline. It was take a while before we are fully back up and running normally. In the meantime we will mostly be unable to create new workunits, so expect your clients to run idle for the next few days (unless you are running other BOINC projects!).
Congratulations to SETIBR,
the Brazilian team which,
across several BOINC-based projects,
has achieved the levels of 100K average credit
and 50M total credit.
SETI@home volunteers in the San Francisco Bay Area may
be interested in attending some of the
public events planned
by the UC Berkeley Astronomy Department
for the International Year of Astronomy (2009).
Our own Dan Werthimer will be speaking on March 21st.
A version of SETI@home that runs on NVIDIA graphics boards
using their CUDA computing engine has been released.
The CUDA version runs up to 10X faster than the CPU version.
NVIDIA has put out a press release
about the SETI@home CUDA client and about GPU Grid.
See directions for getting started.
Overland Storage donated 10 Terabytes
of network attached storage to us today
(in the form of one Snap Server 18000 and two SD30 expansion units).
This will vastly help our current workunit/raw data storage
problems. Thank you Overland!
Giuseppe Cocconi, author (with Philip Morrison) of the first paper
on radio SETI,
'Searching for Interstellar Communications' and a central figure
in particle physics and cosmic rays, passed away on 9 November at age 94.
Read more about Cocconi.
Check out the new Spanish-language site, BOINC SETI Chile.[/url]
The CASPER/SETI@home/Astropulse teams wrote a joint paper about
New SETI Sky Surveys for Radio Pulses. Warning: highly technical
(to be published in Acta Astronautica).
looking for an attorney to assist us with setting up a
charitable 501(c)(3) foundation which will handle fundraising operations
for the SETI@home project.
Some of our volunteers have started a Halloween Donation Challenge. Feel free to beat the holiday rush. Assuming your bank is still in business, and you can still afford it.
By the way... SETI@home just received its billionth result using BOINC - thanks to everybody who donated their computing power to help us reach this incredible milestone!
The Planetary Society presents a radio interview with Dan Werthimer: "Astropulse: A New Way for E.T. to Phone Home"
New article from The Planetary Society: "Astropulse: A Fresh Look at the Skies in Search of E.T."
The Foundation for Computational Learning and Science is performing a survey of BOINC users. The survey asks BOINC client users about their demographic data, level of education, income, project participation, level of interest, suggestions for improvement, and technical data related to their computers running BOINC. If you would like to participate the survey is here.
Apparently people weren't satisfied with a 3 day challenge, so Blurf started a new 5 Day SETI Donation Challenge.
Thank you to all who gave for Blurf's 3 Day Seti Donation Challenge! The final amounts are: $5977.65 Donated and $6500 Pledged.
Some of our volunteers have started a 3 Day Donation Challenge.
The upload server has been fixed. Once the system clears the backlog of results waiting to be uploaded, validated, and assimilated, disk space will clear up and this will allow new work to be generated.
We've started creating work for SETI@home's new Astropulse application. At first we will just create a small amount, but we expect to enter full production next week.
There is an article at Wikinews[/url] about the budget cuts that threaten the Arecibo telescope.
Apple/Mac computers have been unable to get new workunits since yesterday - we're working on this bug.
We have been struggling with database problems for the past few days, though we made some progress today. Various services may still be up and down throughout the weekend, but we may be beyond the worst of it.
The future of Arecibo Observatory (where SETI@home collects its data) is threatened. If you are a U.S.
citizen, please write your representatives to support the Senate bill and
House resolution to continue Arecibo's funding.
We swapped servers around this morning (in preparation of future upgrades) - you may be experiencing temporarily difficulty connecting to our data servers. Stopping/restarting your BOINC client may help.
We are in the process of recovering from a minor science database issue. Due to the general heavy load on our systems you might find it hard to upload/download work for the next day or so.
SETI@home Project Scientist Eric Korpela speaks about the probablility of finding intelligent life on earthlike planets as one of the guests interviewed by Seth Shostak on this week edition of 'Are We Alone', the SETI Institute's Weekly radio magazine.
Congratulations to team SETI.USA. Their total BOINC credits have exceeded 1 billion cobblestones!
The Near Time Persistency Checker (software we are developing to get up-to-date analysis of SETI@home results) has enjoyed recent progress.
There is work still to be done, but the basic plumbing is in place - for example, on the Science Status page we
added counts of signals SETI@home found where the Arecibo is currently pointing.
Some SETI@home volunteers put together a tribute to Arthur C. Clarke as a means of paying their final respects. We are sure he would have been touched by your sentiments.
Last night the BOINC database server crashed - all services are recovering now.
Arthur C. Clarke, visionary science fiction writer and friend of the SETI@home Project, passed away today at the age of 90.
A tip of the hat to the
Clemson University #1 team, which has been
the top-ranked team in the University category for several years.
We have been informed of the passing of a dedicated SETI@home volunteer and active participant on the forums, Dennis Peters, (aka Dogbytes). Our condolences go out to his family and friends.
A new article from the Planetary Society:
From SETI@home to Hominid Fossils: Citizen Cyberscience Reshapes Research Landscape.
UC Berkeley Press Release: SETI@home looking for more volunteers.
Outage Update: Last night (December 6) around 15:00 PST we powered
down the entire project for lab-wide electrical repairs. Without much ado we turned everything
back on this morning, and all data servers are slowly catching up.
Live in Washington DC? Get together with other BOINC users via
(or create a Meetup
in your own city).
The preferences for email notification of private messages
was mistakenly initialized to 'on'.
We have changed it to 'off' for all users.
If you want to turn it back on,
We will be having a 4 hour outage on Monday, 11/19/2007, starting at 10:00 PST. The purpose of this outage is to reroute many of the power cords for
the project servers, rearrange some of our UPSs and pull deprecated equipment out of
the server room.
New science newsletter:
Planetary System Detected Around SETI@home Target Star
(article from the the Planetary Society).
A big index build is stressing our science databases and the splitters are running very slowly. This
has resulted in the project running out of work to send. We hope to see it clear by tomorrow morning.
SETI@home user Melt Wreckage sent us a song Arecibo Dance inspired by the
1974 radio transmission from Arecibo.
We are having air conditioning problems. The project is down for the night.
In order to quickly recover from the fallout of recent server outages, we'll be offline all night to clean up the database. Data transactions will resume Tuesday afternoon.
Upload service is back to normal. Details are in technical news.
We tried moving the upload store off of a possibly flaky disk array yesterday. This slowed upload service
dramatically. The slowdown was unexpected and we are in the process of fixing it.[/url].
We had three server crashes over the weekend and are recovering now. Details later today in technical news.
We note the passing of dedicated SETI@home volunteer John McCoy. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to his friends and family.
There were some problems with our science database server over the weekend but we are
currently creating and sending out new work.
The problematic server is back up and work is flowing.
Were're having problems with one our servers. We'll be down until someone can get into the lab to fix it.
Our BOINC database server crashed this afternoon and finally recovered. However other
systems are having problems. We're probably going to be offline all night.
All data services will be off until we clean all these things up.
Our Internet connectivity was restored at 01:00 PDT today.
All of our servers came up fine after the power outage. However we are currently experiencing a routing problem that we are working with campus on. This problem is preventing the distribution of work. At this point it looks like we will be off the air until tomorrow.
There will be a lab-wide power outage (for repairs in a nearby building) this weekend. We'll be shutting down BOINC/SETI@home services around 16:00 PDT on Saturday, and coming back on line 08:00 PDT on Sunday. All web/data servers will be unreachable during this time.
If you are having problems with the MacOS version of SETI@home (5.21) please reset the project to get version 5.22.
A mysterious source of radio interference has been identified and fixed - read about it here.
Here's a SETI@home Update (article written by the Planetary Society).
Amir Alexander of The Planetary Society talks about
SETI, distributed computing, and space exploration in an interview by Mike of BOINC UK.
Help increase SETI@home's computing power -
publicize SETI@home and BOINC by writing to computer magazines.
We have an update on the Arecibo Painting Upgrade.
We're having a brief server outage to reconfigure our databases. We should be back up in an hour or so.
Read about how to participate in grid computing projects that benefit humanity.
We're moving our usual Tuesday outage to today (Monday) in order to clean
up some problems we've been having with the BOINC database over the weekend.
The data servers and most web pages will be offline during this time.
The database and project have been down for a few hours. We're working on the slow
feeder problem that was causing work distribution to go slowly.
We are back up after some additional complications. There will be a period
of "catch up" before things are back to normal.
We've solved yesterday's problem and we're back up.
If your BOINC client is not able to upload to or download from
the SETI@Home servers, look for the message Message from Server: Incomplete request received
in the BOINC Manager messages area. If you see that message, stopping
and restarting your BOINC client should fix the problem.
We got the new server yesterday, inserted our old disks and booted
it up. It came right up, but verifying the file systems took overnight.
The work is being created, the splitters and assimilators are working.
It will be a while before we catch up. Thank you for your continued
patience and support.
Our science database server died on Tuesday, May 1st.
We haven't been able to create new workunits since then (though we are still
accepting completed results). Sun is graciously
replacing this server. The bad news is, despite earlier claims, it won't be
here until Friday the 11th, which means the earliest we'll be creating new
work is Monday the 14th. Thank you for your continued patience! Updates,
discussion, and more information about this and other server-related topics
can be found in
Great news! Sun Microsystems is coming to the rescue
and will be replacing our inoperative science data base server. They are preparing
the machine now and will be rushing it to us on Monday. Once we have
the machine up and the database recovered, we can start sending work out
again. Details on the server crash and our recovery from it can be found in Technical News.
Happy May Day. Unfortunately for us it's been "Mayday! Mayday!" At 4:43 (PDT) this morning, our science database machine, thumper, became hasenfeffer. It currently refuses to acknowledge that it has any disk drives. Since the controllers are attached to the motherboard, major repairs will probably be required. No work can be created until this machine gets fixed. We are on the phone with Sun now in hopes of securing repair or a replacement. More info in Technical News.
Since the announcement of Gliese 581c
(the first possibly habitable extrasolar planet), we've been asked many times about
what we have seen during our observations of this red dwarf star.
Unfortunately, Gliese 581 is located just beyond the visible sky we
can see at Arecibo Observatory, so we actually made no such observations.
Arecibo Observatory is currently shut down for three months to
clean up corrosion on the telescope platform (which includes safe
removal of lead paint). SETI@home will continue to operate on
classic data, and we have a backlog of new multibeam data to
analyze as well. While not collecting data we'll have extra time to
work on Astropulse.
As we are close to distributing new data recorded with the multi-beam
recorder, we decreased redundancy levels for current data. In the near
term, there may be periods when it is difficult to obtain work.
Your BOINC clients should retry regularly on their own
and will eventually get data to process.
We are moving our database service around. Db_dump (stats) is off
for a couple of days..
This week our servers are being patched to include the new
Daylight Savings Time schedule. Certain services (web sites, data
transfers, etc.) may by off-line for short periods.
Yet another reason to run SETI@home - it can help
recover stolen laptops.
We are in process of making network changes which may have affected
your SETI@home client's ability to connect to our servers. If you are
having trouble, try this.
has been selected as a finalist for the Web Awards
at the 2007 SXSW Interactive Festival. Please
to cast your vote for them at the SXSW website.
We're currently in the middle of network/database testing.
Connections to our web and data servers may be intermittent.
We are experiencing a database problem that is leading to erratic
work distribution. We will run diagnostics
and rebuild the affected tables(s) tomorrow.
MySpace members: check out the
BOINC on MySpace group.
We recovered from database problems over the past weekend. This
was resulting in erratic workunit downloads. More in Tech
BOINC's new Online Help system
lets you get help from volunteers
by talking with them using Skype.
Volunteers speak several languages.
SETI@home Classic users:
you can now
transfer your workunit totals to your SETI@home/BOINC account,
even if you lost your Classic password.
Check out new add-on software:
the SETI@home Toolbar
for Firefox and IE on Windows, and
a system tray application for Linux.
Vote for SETI@home (or not) in the
BOINCcast.de screensaver contest
(in German). UPDATE: SETI@home wins in the Natural Sciences
division, edging out QMC at home.
Vote tally is here.
Dr. Eric Korpela was interviewed by Graeme Knight
(a Post Graduate Astronomy student with
Swinburne University, Victoria, Australia).
Eric explains how SETI@home works, how the data is processed
and the possibilities of finding ET.
Download the MP3 file (11.8 MB).
The interview was recorded at the studios of
Check out this SETI@home wallpaper from Scott Linder:
We had a couple minor server issues over the weekend.
Details in Technical News.
Eric Korpela and David Anderson were interviewed today
by Mike O'Connell of BOINC UK.
Many topics were covered, including the question of
credit and optimized clients.
Download a recording of the conversation (MP3, 13.5 MB) from
or a mirror at Berkeley.
Update: We are wrapping up a database upgrade and ran out of work
to send out. However, we are now finally creating more. Expect heavy traffic
on our servers.
If you're interested in donating time -
rather than computing power - to help Astronomical research,
check out Clickworkers
(from NASA Ames Research Center)
(from UC Berkeley Space Sciences Lab).
Outage update: Though we moved a bulk of the data onto the new science
database server over the weekend, there is still plenty to do before
we can start using this new server. In the meantime, we may be able to
start creating new work to send out later today.
The Planetary Society article on the new multibeam
receiver and data recorder is now available
as an MP3 file,
thanks to the efforts of BOINC UK.
We ran out of work to send out due to our science database going down.
More details in Technical News.
Check out the screensaver background image
submitted by a user (and send us your own).
which lets you manage your account on SETI@home
and other BOINC projects, recently moved into beta test.
It was written up by CNET.
Teams may now order
SETI@home T-shirts and mugs with their team logo added.
Read the latest
newsletter from the Planetary Society about our new
Spread the word about SETI@home -
send email to your friends and family.
BOINC user survey:
due to a bug in our software, answers to the question
'Which are the most important factors when you decide whether to participate in a BOINC project?' were not recorded correctly.
Please fill out the survey form again.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Please fill out the BOINC user survey.
Your responses will help us improve SETI@home.
We had a power glitch this morning that brought down our
science database. The assimilators and splitters are off
while we run checks on the tables.
Last night we had a lab-wide power outage to diagnose
electrical problems in a nearby facility.
More detail available in Technical News.
Last week the new multi-beam data recorder was installed
at Arecibo Observatory and has already taken some data. A science newsletter with
more details is forthcoming.
There will be a brief outage today at 17:00 UTC for database maintenance. We estimate the data servers and web pages will be offline for 2 hours, after which the usual "catch up" period will follow.
At 13:30 UTC yesterday the SETI@home upload/download server failed. We've solved the problem, so you should be able to upload results and download new work at this time. There will probably be a long period where the servers are overloaded with backlogged requests. Thank you for your patience.
The SETI@home store is now open.
Buy unique SETI@home items - coffee mugs, T-shirts, caps, space pens and more -
all with SETI@home logos and graphics.
Part of the proceeds go to support SETI@home.
The costs of electricity, both monetary and environmental,
Be aware of the
associated with SETI@home and volunteer computing.
All of our splitters have been altered to create workunits for SETI@home enhanced. Thanks for your patience during this transition.
A cascade of problems today caused inability to return results and later, the inability to download new work. One of the data servers lost the ability to see the upload directory. After reboot, it temporarily lost the ability to see the entire network.
An excellent Catalan-language site,
has recently opened; check it out.
A scene in the new television film, Mammoth (Sci-Fi Channel), prominently features the SETI@Home screensaver. Access the clip here
The first SETI@home fundraising drive has drawn to a close. Thanks to your help, we've raised over $250,000 for continued operations, about one-third of our total goal. Because of this we've been able to complete and release our SETI@home Enhanced application. In addition, in June we will be going to Arecibo to install the new Multi-beam data recorder. If you haven't yet donated, please do.
We've started distributing work for a new version of SETI@home called
Last evening a problem developed on the scheduler host that caused
work distribution to slow and then stop. This has been fixed. However,
the number of unsent results is low so work distribution may still be
spotty for a while. This will correct itself.
SETI@Home Chief Scientist Dan Werthimer will be giving a free, public
talk about SETI and SETI@Home today on the UC Berkeley campus at 1pm.
You're invited to join him in Room 120 Latimer Hall on campus.
Also, the SETI Lab will be open for visiting and short tours between
11:00am and 3:00pm.
That's in Room 325 at the Space Sciences Laboratory behind the
We're not sure what they're for,
but 'kinhull' made a set of
Also, Marco Sunder recorded a song
Don't you hear us?
about elusive aliens.
Our regular Wednesday maintenance outage has been moved to Tuesdays beginning this week. We're doing this to accomodate a number of scheduling conflicts that prevented all of the engineers from being available during the outages.
We're now over $225,000 so far during our
first annual fundraising drive. Thank you for your
help so far! Please help us reach our goal by
BOINCstats.com is one of
several excellent web sites showing the statistics
of SETI@home and other BOINC projects.
It's available in a number of languages, now including
Added a link detailing future plans
to the about SETI@home page.
Our master science database has been checked and is OK. We
are (as of yesterday evening) sending out new work.
Our master science database recovered from an unexpected
power outage Tuesday morning, but we are still in the process
of thoroughly checking the data.
More in Technical News.
is the first German Podcast about BOINC.
Weekly episodes of 5 minutes length will explain Distributed Computing
and the Goals of BOINC to the German public,
and will present and explain the projects that use BOINC.
BOINC and Climateprediction.net have joined forces with the BBC
to launch a new experiment, a full simulation of climate change
from 1920 to 2080, described on
a BBC television documentary Meltdown
(BBC-4, February 20th, for UK BOINCers).
SETI@home participants can attach to
(be warned that a 160-year climate simulation is a long workunit even
by Climateprediction.net's extravagant standards).
BOINC lets you mix in other scientific computing with SETI@home.
For example, check out
a new project from the Technical University of Munich.
SIMAP calculate similarities between proteins,
and supplies the resulting data
to many bioinformatics research projects.
Or join the
SZTAKI Desktop Grid,
from the MTA-SZTAKI Laboratory of Parallel
and Distributed Systems in Budapest, Hungary, which is attempting
to find all the generalized binary number systems.
We finished our science database merge (consolidating all
data from Classic SETI@home and SETI@home/BOINC) and are
back online serving workunits. Our servers may be overly
busy trying to create/send work for a day or two. More
information in Technical News.
It looks like we may be experiencing local SSL network
problems again. If so, this will likely be fixed tomorrow.
Today is a university holiday. In the meantime there will
be intermittent problems contacting the scheduling server.
SETI@home Classic users: if you've been unable to link
your BOINC and Classic accounts (with the error message
'No SETI@home/BOINC account with Classic
ID xxxx was found') please try again;
we fixed a bug in the script.
There have been numerous but very brief network drop outs over the past few days
affecting all of the Space Sciences Lab. This turned out
to be a problem with the SSL firewall and is hopefully fixed
at this point.
The final SETI@home Classic work totals have been
copied to SETI@home/BOINC, and are shown on User Pages.
The outage is over, but there will be a long period of time
as our servers work hard to catch up. Connectivity will be
intermittent as we return to normal.
More about it in Technical News.
Yesterday we stopped accepting results for SETI@home Classic.
The Classic project stats are now frozen.
After 6 years of operation,
SETI@home Classic sent out its last workunit.
We will clean up and synchronize the Classic stats with the current
SETI@home project in the coming weeks.
Thanks to all SETI@home Classic participants for their
tremendous dedication to the project.
You made SETI@home into something of lasting significance.
Read a brief history of SETI@home.
about SETI@home's transition to BOINC appears in the Nature web site.
We are now successfully recovering from a week of server
connection problems. Some connections may still break, but
most are getting through at this time.
We will be extending the deadline for returning results so that
the troubles with the result upload handler will not result in
lost credit. More in Technical News.
Windows users: if you were having problems attaching to SETI@home,
please download new client software (5.2.12) and try again.
We have fixed some problems involving personal Internet Firewalls.
You can now attach to SETI@home using your account key,
without setting a password first.
(This is a server change - no client download needed.)
We are getting reports of problems attaching to SETI@home,
and are working to resolve them.
If you get stuck in the Proxy Info dialog,
make sure you're connected to the Internet and
that BOINC is not blocked by a personal firewall.
More help is here.
If you're not getting email with your account key,
make sure your ISP isn't blocking email from SETI@home,
and try again.
If the BOINC Manager fails to connect,
try restarting BOINC (this problem will be fixed
in the next BOINC release).
Please go to the
Questions and Answers area for help.
We recently had some problems with busy web servers. This is
clearing up now. More info in Technical News.
The official SETI@home Certificate frame
is on sale for $34.95!
Get one before they're gone.
The old SETI@home Classic project
will stop issuing work on December 15, 2005.
Anyone still running SETI@home Classic should deactivate it
and install SETI@home/BOINC (see instructions under
'Getting started' on this page).
Tomorrow we will start merging the SETI@home classic
science database with SETI@home/BOINC. This will take
several days, during which some back-end servers will be offline
(splitters and assimilators). We stored up a large queue of
work - we are hoping this will keep all BOINC clients occupied
during the outage.
Progress will be detailed in Technical News.
Give your computer some variety - check out
This new BOINC-based project aims to solve the ab initio
protein structure prediction problem,
and to design new chemical catalysts and potential HIV vaccines.
Participants who found the lowest energy structures have already
been acknowledged in a scientific paper describing the results.
Version 5.2 of the BOINC client software has been released.
It lets you attach to projects,
and log in to their web sites,
using email address and password, instead of account key.
Users have not chosen a password may do so
Our upload/download server is no longer dropping connections.
We had the validators off overnight to hasten the recovery.
They are now back on.
Our upload/download server has been dropping connections
since yesterday's regular outage. We are not yet sure
what the bottleneck is. It may be that our load of
old-but-undeleted results and workunits has passed some
threshold. We'll be cleaning this up parallel to normal
operations. At this point, the connection drop rate is
decreasing and should reach zero by the end of the day (PDT).
Rocky Cudd, a long-time SETI@home participant
and active community member, passed away recently.
We honor him as User of the Day.
He'll be remembered.
Message board postings and user profiles have been converted
from HTML to BBCode. You might need to tweak your profile
to make it look right.
SETI pioneer Carl Sagan's groundbreaking series COSMOS
is returning to television on The Science Channel.
The first two episodes premiere on Tuesday Sept. 27
at 9 and 10 PM (ET/PT),
with subsequent episodes airing every Tuesday night at 9 PM.
Outage Notice: We are still in the middle of an outage
to reconfigure our upload/download file systems - the copying
of data is taking longer than expected.
Uploads and downloads will be unavailable at this time.
This should vastly improve our general system performance.
More information in Technical News.
Now when you donate to SETI@home,
a will appear next to your user name
on this web site (unless you choose to remain anonymous).
SETI@home Classic will process its
two billionth workunit today.
Congratulations to everyone for this achievement.
A number of accounts were accidentally deleted on August 26,
causing users to get 'Invalid or missing account key' messages.
These accounts have now been restored.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
Most of the servers are back up, but still dropping a lot
of connections as we recover from a week-long outage.
More information in Technical News.
You can now log in to this web site using
your email address and a password of your choice.
Set your password here,
BOINC is being changed to use email/password
instead of account keys (the long random strings)
to identify accounts.
This is detailed
Outage Notice. Starting on Monday, August 22, we will be having
daily 3 hour outages for a few days. This will allow us to clear
the upload directory of old results. The outages will begin at 17:00
UTC. See Technical News.
Outage Notice. We have gotten word that there will be a 2 hour lab wide outage
starting August 19 at 01:00. That's just in a few hours. The outage is to repair
a faulty router. The web site and the scheduler will be off the air.
Outge Notice. We will be having a 1 hour outage tomorrow starting
at 17:00 UTC
to test the deletion of old result files. See Technical News.
There is a hardware problem with the building network here
at SSL. This is affecting the scheduling and web servers. You
may see intermittent connection problems. The SSL network
folks are working on a fix.
We are just now coming out of our regular weekly outage (which
took a bit longer than expected). More news eventually be posted
in Technical News. Until then, servers
may be clogged as the backlog of work clears.
We are back up after the power outage. Some backend services
will remain off until the initial demand dies down.
We will be having a 14 hour outage, starting this Sunday (August 7)
at 02:00 UTC, because of major electrical work being done at the lab.
We recently made a DNS switch affecting the scheduler. This and more
can be read about in detail in Technical News.
We are looking for ways to boost workunit production See
At the current time the system having difficulty meeting
demand a number of clients are getting No Work from Project
We are still trying to figure out if there is a software reason
for the connection drops that are causing the upload and download
failures. We are also working on a hardware solution in the
form of a more powerful data server machine. There are several
steps to getting a new machine online but, barring any show stoppers,
we hope to have it online in the next day or so.
We now have the new data server online. It has 3x the capacity of the
old one. Details will be appearing in Technical News.
This should help clear the backlog of result uploads.
The data server is continuing to drop connections, which is very unusual
this long after an outage. We are working to figure out why.
We safely restarted the project after an all-night (planned) power outage.
It will take significant time for the servers to catch up. More info in
Read the new Planetary Society newsletter:
in Real Time.
We had a four-hour outage this morning for database backup and UPS maintenance (one hour longer
The file upload handler crashed last night, but is back up and running now.
BOINC statistics sites continue to evolve.
Check out Every Earthly Hour, developed by Hydnum Repandum
Update: Today's outage is postponed with the date TBD.
Outage Notice. We will be having an outage tomorrow for UPS
maintenance. This will start at 17:00 UTC and should not
last more than an hour.
We have released the SETI@home application version 4.18 for windows
and Mac OS X. Graphics are now available for Mac OS X.
The Windows release fixes an ATI graphics bug.
Outage Notice. We will be having an outage tomorrow in order to back up
the database. The outage will start at 17:00 UTC and last two to three
Outage Notice. We will be having an outage tomorrow in order to add an
index to the result table in the seti/boinc database. This index will
be used to better track client errors.
The outage will begin at 17:30 UTC and may last up to 2 hours.
We are switching the http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/ URL
to point here.
The SETI@home Classic web site has been moved to
The science database has been successfully relocated. The splitters and assimilator are
The splitters and assimilator are offline for a day or so while we relocate
the backend science database.
The DB reinit went fine. But then we had a problem with a recently installed
software firewall. It was working when we left the lab yesterday but cut
off the data service interface a short time later. We have switched off this
firewall for now. Software firewalls are now required for all machines by
campus policy but we will get an exception until ours is working. Note that
we are, and always have been, behind a hardware firewall that works great.
Given the length of this outage, service will be slow with lots of connection
drops until the backlog is cleared.
We will be having a general outage tomorrow to do a database backup and to
reinitialize our replica database server. The replica became corrupt last
week due to a disk space issue. After this is done, we should not have to
have outages for backups. We will start at 17:00 UTC. The outage will last
In memoriam: Philip Morrison.
Professor Morrison pioneered the concept of interstellar communication in 1959, creating the field of SETI.
Phil will be deeply missed by the Berkeley SETI team.
There is an excellent document about the European connectivity issue along
with work around proxy information here.
Appreciation goes to setiathomer tigher for putting together this page and to many
others on the messages boards for contributing information.
We have confirmed that there is a known network peering issue between Cogent
(our ISP) and OpenTransit (France Telcom) that is affecting connectivity for
many participants in Europe. Campus has opened a trouble ticket with Cogent
but we are unsure that this will result in a fix. We will post news items as
we learn more. Many thanks go to the posters in this message board thread for their diagnostics and work arounds.
There are reports of a connectivity problem between some parts of Europe and
our Cogent facing server. We are making inquires. For discussion of the problem
and a suggested workaround using proxies, see
this message board thread.
Volunteers have ported SETI@home and BOINC to
a variety of platforms,
including Solaris/x86-64, Linux/x86-64, Linux/PPC, HP-UX, and FreeBSD.
You can now
select a language for this site
without changing your browser's language preference.
We have temporarily taken down 4.10;
it did not solve the graphics problem.
We have released version 4.10 of the SETI@home application for Windows.
This release fixes a bug that caused graphics not to display.
Now you can print a
SETI@home Certificate of Computation
that shows your Classic work, BOINC work, or both.
While you're at it, support SETI@home and
buy an Official SETI@home Certificate Frame.
SETI@home Classic participants: you can now
activate your SETI@home/BOINC account
(with your Classic work totals)
even if the email address of your Classic account
is no longer valid.
We're now fully back on-line. More information about
recent outages can be found in Technical News.
Our Internet link through Cogent went down at around
midnight UTC on March 18/19. It was repaired this evening, and the
servers may be bogged down as they try to make up for lost time.
We'll post more information once we're told what happened.
Please note that we still plan to have an outage tomorrow
morning (see message below).
The project will be down for 4 hours this coming
Tuesday, March 22, starting at 14:00 UTC. Our building
will be without power as campus tries to find the reason
for the power losses we experienced a couple of weeks
In preparation for shutting down SETI@home Classic
(in about 1 month, hopefully)
we're trying to make sure that SETI@home Classic accounts
are linked to the proper SETI@home/BOINC account.
This is a bit complicated because of email address changes.
See our current transition plan.
We have cleaned up our account database,
merging accounts with conflicting email addresses.
This may cause some users to get 'Invalid or missing account key'
messages. This is easy to fix;
instructions are here.
We have updated the SETI@home/BOINC database
with current information from SETI@home Classic.
Official SETI@home Certificate frames
are now available!
Star Trek is going off the air!
here how Star Trek Helped Launch SETI@home.
All services are up and graceful shutdown in case of
a power outage is in place.
Around 18:00 UTC we had another unexpected lab-wide power outage.
The cause of these random failures is being investigated by campus,
but all our systems/databases survived without any corruption. We will
be down as we work to further protect ourselves. More info and updates in
The database has been restored and all services are back up.
The data server is very busy right now. There will be upload
and download problems until the load normalizes.
More info in Technical News.
Update: a breaker blew and the power for the entire lab was off for
several hours. Power returned at 23:30 UTC, but we will be dealing
with fallout for a while - the project will probably be down all night and
through tomorrow morning. More info in Technical News.
We are looking for volunteers to translate
the SETI@home web site into non-English languages.
If you're interested, learn more.
For data server updates, see Technical News.
project was officially launched this morning.
We encourage SETI@home users to also participate in this project,
which searches for spinning neutron stars (also called pulsars)
using data from the LIGO and GEO gravitational wave detectors.
We are still dealing with a data server storage problem. The project will
be going up and down as we work on this. See Technical News.
Update. Yet another data server array hang. The vendor is looking into it.
The project has been up for several hours although the data server
is a bit overwhelmed with pent up demand. We are adding services
back one at a time while we monitor the data server storage array.
Update. Once the RAID rebuilds we are going to run a job to delete
old workunits and results from the array. These would normally be deleted
by the file deleter but the latter is still backed up from before the database
migration. The project will remain off through all of this.
The data server failed around 20:30 UTC for the third time in as many days.
The project will be down as we continue to diagnose the problem.
The RAID resync is complete and the project is up, although
the data server is a bit overwhelmed at the moment. In positive
news, the new database server is running great (today's malfunction
was not on that machine).
We have moved the primary database service over to the the new system.
See Technical News.
The initial migration of the database to the new server is complete.
Tomorrow we will make this new server a database replica. If all
goes well it will become the database primary in a few days.
We will restart the database migration to the new hardware
Monday, February 7, at 18:00 UT. The outage will be several hours
Currently, workunit production is falling behind demand. The
splitters themselves are able to keep up but are not able to insert
work fast enough because of competition for database access.
The project was offline most of the day today due to a
We have created a new
in partnership with Alibris.com.
Find great books, read about science (fact and fiction),
and benefit SETI@home!
The DB migration stopped when the new server crashed.
See Technical News.
We will begin the migration to the new hardware at 19:00
UT tomorrow, 1/31. The project will be down for several
We have turned on db_purge in preparation for the DB
migration to the new hardware. This will reduce the
size of the DB and so the migration will go faster.
The validator will probably fall even more
behind in the meantime. The migration will occur early
next week. We will post the time once we have pinned it down
Due to recent database problems, we had to turn off
XML stats generation for the time being.
We're looking for a Certificate of Appreciation
design based on the new SETI@home logo.
If you know PHP and do graphic design,
maybe you can help.
The validation backlog is slowly clearing. There appears to
be no problem with validation other than the slowness the backlog
itself is causing.
We are still running a backlog of results waiting to be validated
and are looking into it.
The waiting for validation/transition counts on the
server status page are disabled
until we diagnose a recent DB slowdown.
We have decided to send out 4 copies of each workunit
and use a quorum size of 3 for validation.
Validation should be quick because a single result in error
will not delay reaching a quorum.
We have started removing database records for results
that were completed more than 7 days ago.
This will limit the size of the workunit and result tables
in our database.
We are experimenting with redundancy parameters.
We will continue to send 3 copies of each workunit,
but will validate results and grant credit
when 2 (rather than 3) of them are returned.
This should result in faster validation.
The project will be down for roughly the next 24 hours
while make some changes to the database structure.
[ Good news - changes are all done, and it only took 2 hours ].
Versions of BOINC and SETI@home for Solaris/x86
courtesy of Jochen van Waasen.
Windows application version 4.08 is released.
It should fix the graphics preferences problem.
We had an unexpected 3 hour outage this morning. More info
in Technical News.
SETI@home application version 4.07 is released.
This build should increase speed over the previous version.
The disk array has resynced and the scheduler is back on.
The disk array holding the upload/download directories crashed
last night. Until we are able to reboot and resync the drives,
the scheduler will be off (i.e. your clients won't be able to
connect to our servers). More details
in Technical News.
There was a two hour outage this morning for hardware upgrades.
Read more about it in Technical News.
SETI@home and BOINC are featured on Catalan TV news.
(RealVideo) or the English transcript.
Each team now has a Create team account URL.
Accounts created through this URL will belong to the team,
and will have the project preferences of its founder.
Team founders: put this URL on your team's web page.
The web server was offline for a brief time (around 19:00 PST)
when its disk filled up. Files were cleaned up, old logs removed,
and everything is back to normal.
For the first time in a very long time the validator has caught up
on the large backlog of results waiting for credit. Of course, many
results still have pending credit until similar results are returned
by other users (and therefore cannot be validated yet).
Version 4.13 of the core client is now available. Version 4.12, which
contained various bug fixes, including one pertaining to file upload
problems, was released two days ago. Version 4.13 contains an
additional bug fix involving a rare case where user permissions
weren't being understood correctly by the client.
We added more data and informative text to our
Server Status page.
This morning's outage lasted a bit longer than expected, but we are
now back up and running again. The outage was for reconfiguration
of the new replica database.
Read more technical details about our project in the new
Technical News section.
We just had (about 21:00 UTC) an unexpected outage due to a disk
crash. Everything is back up now.
We added some new message-board features.
A problem with file uploads has existed for the last few days.
This problem causes file uploads to fail.
We now understand the problem and are working on a fix -
it will probably require upgrading your BOINC client.
Please stay tuned.
This morning a hardware failure caused one of our storage arrays
to require resetting.
Downloads will be temporarily halted until the drives have
This should be complete in the early evening hours (Pacific Time).
There's been a problem with file uploading
for the last few days.
We think it is fixed now.
Our apologies if you lost work because of this.
The disk array holding the upload and download directories
failed yesterday and needed to be rebooted and resync'ed.
The project has been mostly down since last night, but as of
now it is back up and running.
UPDATED: We successfully swapped our database hardware, giving the
master database access to much faster disks. Within a couple hours
weeks-old queues drained completely. We're not completley done with
the swap, but all parts of the BOINC system are back up and running
UPDATED: A new version (4.05) of the windows SETI@home client is available
(and will be automatically picked up by your core clients next time you
contact our servers). Changes include: the "heads up" mode now works and the
progress bar advances in a more linear fashion.
Earlier today we released a similar version 4.04 which gave users
checksum errors and failed to run. This has been fixed in 4.05.
Learn how to customize SETI@home graphics.
A software error on our scheduling server made it impossible for any
schedulers to start. Clients were unable to connect
since yesterday afternoon. We tracked down the bug this morning and
fixed it. You should be able to connect to the schedulers now, though
there may be heavy traffic for a while (as the backlog clears up)
preventing you from getting through right away.
The upload directory move completed this morning and we turned the
file deleter and validator back on.
We have relocated the upload directory to off load demand from the DB
server. We are currently moving all of the old upload files (results)
to the new location. Until the move is complete the file deleter, validator and
assimilator need to be off.
The scheduler is back on. We are still investigating the transitioner lag.
Both the transitioner and the validator have fallen behind. We are
determining whether this situation is because of a software or hardware
bottleneck. In the meantime we need to allow these programs to catch up so the
scheduler is off over night. We are in the process of obtaining faster hardware
for DB server.
The upload of user-profile images
has been broken since July 22; it's fixed now.
Early this morning campus got a call from SANS that the seti@home classic web site
appeared to be hijacked. At that point campus (rightly so) blocked access
to our site at the campus router. As it turns out though, we were not
hijacked at all. Our nightly front page regen script had malfunctioned and
produced a truncated page. This is now fixed.
We have released a new version of the core client for all
platforms, this should fix the various issues with the
NOTE: If you are using a Win9x machine, please upgrade
to this release as soon as possible.
We have added
a web page showing server status.
The permanent link is under
Participate in SETI@home.
SETI@home is open source,
so you can port it to new platforms
or optimize it for specific architectures.
We have set up an mailing list,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for people interested in this.
Sometime last night the scheduling server (which handles all workunit/result
transfers) crashed. We're looking into what exactly
happened, but in the meantime it has been restarted and data is being
The validator fix (see September 8, 2004) and an associated
transitioner fix have been implemented, tested, and placed
online. Credits are flowing.
We have added a number of new features to the message boards.
Details are here.
Thanks to Janus Kristensen for contributing this.
Stats are now available on your cell phone.
See 'Your Account' for the URL.
This feature was developed by Carl Christensen of CPDN.
Yesterday we discovered that when result files are lost, say due
to a restore from a backup (restores involve both the DB and the ULDL
directories) the validator ends up in a endless loop. The entire result
set for an affected workunit gets ignored and after a while the validator
ends up enumerating only affected workunits and is thus in a loop. We
turned off the validator when we discovered this. Today we have coded
a fix and are testing it in the alpha project. While the validator is off
credits are not given but they should show up once we turn the validator
The snap server continues to run well.
We came up this morning and had to tune the data server to
keep connection drops from happening. The download/md5 errors
should no longer be occurring.
Because of the holiday weekend and family commitments we are
a bit short handed and short on time. So the uldl move is
taking us longer than expected.
The SnapApp folks were here for most of the afternoon. They replaced
the processors with ones that are faster and have larger caches. More
importantly, we talked about how to stabilize the system. The plan is
to simplify both the HW and service mix as much as possible in the hopes
of removing the variable that is causing the hangs (and of course they will
be going for the root cause at their lab). We altered the startup
so that a bare minimal set of services are running. And we are going to
only use the 18000 head unit for now, keeping no data on the sd30 expansion.
This means moving some data around. We first have to move the upload/download
data to a temporary volume on the sd30, then reconfigure the space on the
18000 head, then move the uldl to the head. The move to the temp volume
is happening now. Tomorrow morning we will do the reconfiguration and
start final move. With luck we will have the project up by EOD tomorrow.
Some technical folks from Snap Appliance are on their way
to SSL to provide on site support. They will likely swap
out the CPUs.
The Snap App hung again. We will be down for the night.
We have completed the SnapApp work around. We had a bit of a scare
with a volume mounting issue but once again Snap App gave us great
support and all seems fine at this point.
We will be having a short (less than 1 hour) data server
outage tomorrow at 16:30 UTC. We will be implementing the
Snap Applicance work around on the 18000.
We are back up after restarting the Snap Appliance and making sure
everything is OK. We had a long conference call with the engineers
at Snap this morning they have come up with a work around as well as
a potential fix that should end the system hangs. Thanks go to the
Snap App folks for working very hard on this problem.
During all of this some web site files were lost and these are being
Starting with version 4, BOINC does 'time-slicing'
to divide CPU time between projects.
another BOINC-based project, is now open.
We urge all SETI@home to consider participating in
This will keep your computer busy (and earning credit)
even when SETI@home has no work available.
We are investigating the Win98 hang/crashing issues in this
Please check it out for any updates.
NOTE: This bug puts your machine in a state that causes you
to reset your machine in order to be able to use it, this in turn can
cause disk corruption. We recommend that you hold off executing BOINC
on Win98 and WinME until this issue is resolved.
Our storage array hung again (the SnapApp work around is not
yet implemented). It has not yet responded to a reboot command.
Data service may well be off until we can hard reset it tomorrow
A fix to scheduler code to get around a possible memory leak
was causing it to bomb after a number of connections.
We have backed out this change for
now and the scheduler seems to be working OK at this point.
After fixing a few inevitable gotchas,
we are back up with the major version upgrade to 4.x.
The servers may be slow in responding as all clients will be
getting a new supply of work.
Everyone will need to download a new core client.
The migration plan has been rescheduled for tomorrow the 29th at 10am PDT. We
have brought down the scheduler and file upload handler until the migration
happens to give the splitters and transitioners time to produce enough workunits
and results to send out after the migration when the clients reset themselves.
The last set of hardware issues have been resolved. Due to the time of
day and other factors the upgrade will be delayed until at least tomorrow
morning. We'll post the revised schedule as soon as plans have been firmed up.
We are currently experiencing a hardware issue with our scheduling server,
we expect this issue to be resolved within the hour. The upgrade to 4.x will
start around 11am PDT and will take roughly an hour. Anybody who has any
remaining results to report should get them in before the upgrade.
upgrade you'll need the 4.x clients to report new results, and upgrading to
the 4.x client will reset the project on your machine. Roughly 100,000
results are queued up and ready to be sent out after the upgrade, plus the
three splitters will be up and running producing work as quickly as possible.
We fixed the bogus URL bug and all servers are back up. If your cache is
empty of all valid workunits and you have any of the bogus workunits, then
reset the project.
We have brought down the splitters, transitioners, and scheduler until a
bug in the splitter can be resolved which was causing a bogus URL to be
posted for the work-unit.
A trio of splitters are now up and producing new work.
We plan to release major version 4 of BOINC and SETI@Home
A clarification about last week's fallback to an earlier
DB state: all work that was uploaded during the period of
August 13th to 18th
was lost and so cannot be credited. As well, all work that
was generated and downloaded during that period was lost to the DB and so cannot
be credited. This work is being regenerated and redistributed.
The validator is up and running and credit is now being calculated
for all those backlogged results.
We are currently working on getting the alpha/beta projects working again, as well
as getting new workunits generated so that when we restart the public SETI@home project
there will be work to send out to the clients.
Another note about the database restoration: All user profile/preferences updates
between August 13th and 18th were lost as well.
The database has been restored and is being checked now. You may notice
that message board posts made in the past week are now missing - this is because
we had to fall back to an earlier copy of the database. Sorry for the
We are now recovering the database from a snapshot made
a few days ago. This process will continue through tomorrow.
The project ended up running all night despite the dropouts, but this
afternoon we encountered a sudden raid failure that caused some data
corruption. The project will remain down until we recover the database.
Today we are continuing to work with Snap technical support to
solve our mounting problems. In the meantime, you may notice the
project being started/stopped for brief periods as part of our
Currently the project is up, as we were unable to recreate the
problems we were seeing on Friday. Now there are occasional dropouts,
but nothing devastating. We will keep everything running for the
time being, but may have to stop if problems arise.
We encourage everyone to run SETI@home Classic
during our server outages.
SETI@home Classic makes the same scientific contribution
All the data has been copied to the Snap device. Both attempts to
bring the project online met with an unexpected NFS issue. Roughly
ten minutes after bringing the project online the NFS daemon drops
the mount point. Hats off to the Snap technical support team who
have been helping us work through this issue. We are still
investigating this issue and don't expect to be back online until
the beginning of next week. In the meantime everyone have a great
The download directory is fully transferred at this point, but we
are still waiting for the upload directory to finish. We predict
it will finish late in the evening, and we'll start the project
fresh tomorrow morning.
The DB is now on the Snap Appliance and the web site is back up.
The project itself is still down as the transfer of the upload and
download directories is still under way.
The project is now down for the move of the DB and the upload
directory to the Snap Appliance. Along with the still running
download move, this will be a long process. We hope to be back
up midday tomorrow.
We have started the copy of the download directory to the Snap
The servers are back up as far as receiving results but not as
far as distributing new workunits. We are simultaneously clearing
out the old download directory and preparing to move both it and the
upload directory to the Snap Appliance, along with the DB.
Allowing result uploads will ultimately speed both the deletion
of old workunits and results and the granting of credit. Credit
for the backlog of results will start being granted once we move
to the Snap Appliance and turn on the hierarchical directory structure.
The scheduling server is down while we work on a download storage
problem. This may take a day or so.
We developed a hierarchical directory structure to get around the
big directory problem (see August 4, below). This solution is backward
compatible with all current work units. It is being tested
in alpha now. Next week it will go to beta and then to public.
We also have a tool to distribute all recent results into the
new hierarchy. When that tool is run, credit will appear for
all of these results. The credit appearance will be spread over
a number of days.
In other news, we have the SnapAppliance 18000 configured. It
shows a 10x speed up over the software RAID we are now using. We
are awaiting a UPS for it.
A misconfigured scheduling server ran for about an hour this morning,
misinforming users that they had to upgrade to version 4 of the
BOINC software. This message was in error - please remain with version 3.
We discovered that the sheer number of files in the upload directory
was killing NFS performance for the file_upload_handler. We started
with a new empty upload directory and the file_upload_handler performed
much better. The rate of connection drops on the upload server dropped
to zero (most of the time). Of course we need to get all those older
results back into play somehow.
We are preparing our new SnapAppliance 18000 to host the database. We
need to fit it into the power load in our already fairly full data
closet, configure the DB volume, run some tests, and then copy over
the DB files. We will post the progress as we go.
While the project is up and functioning normally, the database and
web servers are overloaded. Because of this you may have noticed
difficulty in transferring work and loading certain web pages.
We're tuning these servers and trying to find the bottlenecks now.
The project remained down all weekend, but we are back up now.
To add insult to injury, the entire lab lost network connectivity
to the rest of the world for a few hours this morning.
In light of the unexpected length of this last outage, we are looking
into mechanisms that allow us to keep certain parts of the
project up while others remain down for repair.
The project is *still* down. The database cleanup for the bug
found on July 28 is going much slower than expected. We hope to
have everything back up later today or early tomorrow. Sorry for
The project is currently down. We found a bug in the scheduling
code such that returned results were not being updated in the
database. We are now running a fix script on the DB, marking
each affected result as unsent so that it will be resent.
Unfortunately, credit was not given for results affected by the
We have shutdown the schedulers and file upload handlers so the transitioners
can play catch up again. The transitioners keep falling behind because the DB
is I/O bound. We believe that the new hardware we have coming online will
resolve this issue. Until it is online we'll be continuing these rolling
blackout style server outages.
The project is down while we deal with a backup problem. We hope to be
back up soon.
The good news is that the scheduler is now running as a fast cgi
which means it maintains a persistent connection to the DB. The
load on the scheduling server has gone way down which is a good
thing and the mysql server is using more CPU which is also a good
thing. The bad news is that the transitioner is still way behind
and so the project will probably run out of send-able work as
early as 04:00 UT tomorrow. The transitioner is slow because the
mysql server is IO bound. We are having Sun look at our IO system
to see if it can be tuned to better performance. At the same time
we are planning on moving the physical DB to a high performance Snap
Appliance box in the near future. So we are hopeful that these IO
problems can be solved.
We are now up and running again, during the night we generated 400k
results to be sent out. Things might be a bit weird for awhile, somebody
decided to launch a denial of service attack yesterday afternoon.
We found and fixed the no results bug. It was a malformed
embedded SQL query. But we are leaving the scheduler off
overnight to let the transitioner work through it's backlog.
The transitioner works a great deal faster with a small
backlog and we hope yesterday's changes will go a long
way in preventing a large backlog from recurring.
Yesterday we introduced a bunch of performance enhancements to the
system. During the course of letting the system run overnight, we have
detected a bug that keeps results from being sent to hosts. It looks
at though this bug has only been around for about 13 hours. While we
are debugging this issue we have decided to shutdown the scheduler
and try and let the transitioners pick up the pace a bit.
The log files are currently being compressed, after thats done the
project should return to normal.
We have brought up an additional transitioner to try and cut through
the backlog we have accrued. Since the beginning of the project we have
already processed 2.7 million results. For comparison, the beta project
had only processed 6 million through the whole life of that project to date.
Sometime between 5pm and 12am PDT, the splitters seem to have
stopped producing new workunits. We have restarted the splitters
and they are back to creating new workunits.
A server bug was preventing
new results from being created in response to failed results.
If 2 out of 3 results for a WU succeeded and the 3rd failed,
the 2 successful results would not be validated or credited.
This is now fixed and the system will issue new results for
all workunits in this state.
Our database server hung and had to be forcibly terminated.
It took several hours to check all the tables and indices.
Then we ran into problems with our
Network Attached Storage device, which we rebooted
for the first time in 18 months.
Additional outages may occur throughout the night and possibly tomorrow.
It looks as though the server components
(splitter, transitioner, feeder, scheduler)
are now keeping up with demand.
Since yesterday evening we have distributed over
600,000 results. Thats a six-fold increase in
overall system performance from our previous best. Now it looks
as though we'll have occasional workunit shortages as we'll
have to bring additional splitters online to keep up with demand.
It's 8:50pm PDT and we have about 30,000 results in the queue, and we
are sending about 1,000 every 10 minutes. Currently
the splitters generate 4 workunits per minute which creates 12 results
We have moved the scheduling server to another machine in
order to free up CPU and memory for the DB server. Active
clients will fail 10 times to connect to the old scheduling
server and then will self correct by contacting the master URL.
To force the correction right away, simply detach and then
(re)attach the project.
We're making some major changes to deal with
server performance problems.
The project will be shut down for several hours today.
We made some progress and are turning the project on.
You may still have problems getting work.
If that is the case, you might consider switching
back to SETI@home Classic for the next few days.
We've been having problems with server performance.
To address these problems we're making some changes to our database.
The project will be shut down most of today while this is being done.
Yesterday morning we shut down the front end of the system
to let the transitioners catch up with several days worth
of backlogged work, which is why some of you were noticing
three results and no credit assignment. During the down
time we also converted the scheduler into a fast-CGI
application. Upon bringing the system back up the new
fast-CGI scheduler decided to choke on something that it
hadn't choked on in Alpha. We are currently debugging the
new scheduler. We were able to get through 60% of the
We passed the safe threshold again,
so the web site has been shut down until Monday,
after we have had a chance to relocate some more infrastructure
The web site has been reenabled.
We have several upgrades scheduled throughout
the week which should help with the performance problems.
If the project runs out of work again you are welcome to
revert back to the original SAH client.
An additional transitioner has been brought online.
We are turning on the web site and will be monitoring the system.
We may have to shut it down again if traffic becomes too bad.
We are investigating further performance enhancements.
We are going to leave the project down until Monday.
We are going to bring back up the scheduler in an hour.
The transitioner was moved to its own machine and is
processing workunits at a much faster rate.
The transitioner is not currently able to keep up with the splitters.
We are going to top the project to allow the
transitioner a chance to catch up with the rest of the system.
We added a second splitter and then hit the next bottleneck which
was the transitioner.
Memory for our web server was defective;
we are waiting on replacements before bringing it online.
To handle increased demand for work,
we are bringing another splitter online.
We will be having a short server outage tomorrow at 17:00 UTC.
Read about SETI@home's
transition to BOINC
Our database server crashed yesterday,
and it's taken a while for the database to repair itself.
Some message-board postings and user profiles
may have been lost.
Welcome to the new SETI@home!
The project is now officially active.
We've reset the project by deleting all results and workunits,
and setting all credits (user, team, host) to zero.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the
alpha and beta
tests for their help in debugging SETI@home and BOINC.
Version 3.19 of the BOINC core client for Windows is released.
The URL of this project is http://setiathome.berkeley.edu.
If you joined using a different URL, please detach
and attach to this URL.
NOTICE: this project is not officially active.
Use at your own risk.
We may delete results and reset credits at any time.
The project was shut down for about 12 hours yesterday
while we removed the uniqueness constraint on SETI@home classic
user ID (this was preventing new accounts from being created)
A version of the SETI@home splitter is now feeding
work to this project.
We have created the project and migrated the
user-related tables from the SETI@home database.