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SETI@Home Discovers Deep Space File Swappers
© Don Mowbray
August 26, 2003

The University of California at Berkeley shocked the astronomy community today by announcing that scientists from the SETI@Home project have confirmed the reception of radio signals from extraterrestrial sources.

"Preliminary analysis suggests that our radio telescopes have intercepted Wi-Fi peer-to-peer traffic originating from a binary star in the vicinity of the Crab Nebula," said SETI project director Dr. David Anderson in an afternoon press conference.

According to the press release, Shelley Newman of Greenville, S.C. identified the candidate radio telescope data segment while running the
popular SETI@Home client screen saver software.

Soon thereafter, scientists correlated Newman's segment with other signal segments and eventually identified the payload as a variant of the Kazaa file swapping service.

Further study of additional signals captured from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico revealed the illegal exchange of copyrighted interstellar hip-hop hits such as "My Pimp Tentacle is Strong" and "Supernova Sucka" as well as a new rendition of the classic folk ballad "Cryogenic Blues (Bye Bye Love)".

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which insists on shutting down illegal file swapping services that cut into its clients' revenues, vowed to thwart the newly discovered service by uploading spoofed music files to dilute the network's content.

When asked if the corrupted files beamed to the Crab Nebula will contain profanity-laced admonitions from pop diva Madonna similar to the ones recently injected into Earth-bound peer-to-peer networks, RIAA spokesperson Michael Phillips suggested the RIAA would employ alternative tactics.

"No, we're bringing out the heavy artillery for these deep space swindlers -- they'd better brace their exobiological booties for the wrath of the Macarena," said Phillips with a maniacal grin.

"And if that initial sortie fails, we've got an ample supply of the Macarena Christmas Party Mix in reserve."
Don Mowbray is a well-intentioned writer who attempts to pepper his prose with tidbits of humor but invariably ends up macing his readers with painful puns, nauseating non sequiturs, and artificial alliteration.

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