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Space Science

British Astronomers Turn To Interstellar Spam 60

Posted by kdawson
from the mmm-chips dept.
Barrista En Flambe alerts us to a stunt that may reflect the desperate funding crisis in British astronomy: astronomers have agreed to beam a 30-second Doritos ad to a solar system 42 light years from Earth. The transmission is being directed at the solar system of 47 Ursae Majoris, a star similar to the Sun which has planets and may have a habitable zone.
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British Astronomers Turn To Interstellar Spam

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  • by apdyck (1010443) <aaron DOT p DOT dyck AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:47PM (#22677534) Homepage Journal
    It would be a long drive to get a bag, if someone over in 47 Ursae Majoris actually wants the doritos...I rarely travel more than five minutes for a snack, let alone 42 light years!
    • If we advertise to other galaxies, they'll start to crave our stuff, and by the time we reach them we can sell doritos to them like opiates to china.
      • by Harlequin (11000) on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:36PM (#22678350)
        Or, they'll just start to crave stuff here on earth and invade us to get it. If I've learned anything by watching sci-fi movies, it's that if an alien race travels all the way across the galaxy to get something from us, they're probably not going to pay for it.

        I hope doritos put an unsubscribe link in their spam so we don't get hit with fines for violating the interstellar CAN-SPAM act.
        • I hope doritos put an unsubscribe link in their spam so we don't get hit with fines for violating the interstellar CAN-SPAM act.
          After the spam wars of 1027299377 annihilated 6 interstellar routers and 8 solar systems spamming became a capital offense in interstellar law. The warships will be along shortly.
    • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:50PM (#22677570) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, well, they get ripped on some pretty tasty bud in 47 Ursae Majoris. If we beam 'em something to deal with cottonmouth, too?

      We'll soon have an invasion: "Take me to your Litre!"
      • A++ Would LOL again.
      • by mikiN (75494)

        We'll soon have an invasion: "Take me to your Litre!"
        Considering the stuff of the matter, I bet they'll say "Take me to your Dealer!"

        Booze and buds don't go well together IMLE. Doritos do, bigtime.
    • A surprisingly long-term oriented company. Usually they don't think past what Wall Street will think of the next couple quarters... With the shipping charges and time delay, Doritos would probably be a high-society import. When I was in China in 1996, when we had fancy banquets, the table always had a couple bottles of Sprite and Coke. (1L bottles, which was a little annoying. Since there were 8 people per table, you could never drink enough to not be thirsty, and I was afraid it would be insulting to
  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) * on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:47PM (#22677536) Homepage Journal
    Where to begin!

    I previously - jokingly - believed SETI and Voyager to be like cosmic spam. Now, we are beaming to space, evidence that no intelligent life exists on Earth?

    Doritos! Here's six ways to poison a carbon-based lifeform! Maybe we can beam the text of "The Omnivore's Dilemma [michaelpollan.com]", too...
  • Sssh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Brian Gordon (987471) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:48PM (#22677554)
    Don't tell Doritos that it would be practically impossible for any aliens to reverse engineer a video codec, or that the aliens wouldn't even get the message for years, or that they wouldn't be interested in eating Doritos.
  • by verbalcontract (909922) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:49PM (#22677556)

    ...if the first extraterrestrial message we get from outer space is a response to this.

    And the message is, "No thanks, we prefer Sun Chips."

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:51PM (#22677588) Journal
    Doritos just doomed us all. I hope they're happy when the galactic warships move in to "de-list" our planet from the universe for spamming.
    • ...the whole bit about the hyperspace bypass was just to satisfy local galactic planning regulations. The Vogons have been aware for the past 50 Earth years that spamming space was inevitable.
  • It's worked... (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Otter (3800)
    I'm minutes away from lunch, and am now suddenly craving Cool Ranch Doritos. So Frito-Lay (or whoever makes those things) is already seeing some return on their investment in this publicity stunt -- I expect the astronomers to discover something amazing in return!
    • by s-orbital (598727)
      Yeah, I have the same craving, although I think I'll just have some plain corn chips and homemade guacamole... much better, IMHO.
  • what no "I, for one," comments yet?

    What would the odds be that in 43 years, we are attacked by an alien race in FTL ships whose young resemble Doritos in their larval stage.

    " Won't someone please think of the children? "

    • What would the odds be that in 43 years, we are attacked by an alien race in FTL ships whose young resemble Doritos in their larval stage.
      About the same as being attacked in 43 years by aliens in FTL ships whose young don't resemble Doritos in their larval stage. Also, I never realized Doritos had a larval stage... would those be Fritos?
    • I'm more worried that we'll be seen as the demigods whose wise message of inspiration was the basis of the foundation of another world's civilization.
      • And now let us give praise to the gods of the mountain who so sagely advise us, to "do the dew".
  • by snarfies (115214) on Friday March 07, 2008 @01:57PM (#22677706) Homepage
    Dear Sir,

    I am Xorpquan, the Supreme Subcommander in charge of Auditing and Accounting section of First Xenu Intergallactic Bank of 47 Ursae Majoris with due respect and regards. I have decided to contact you on a business transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the transaction.

    During our investigation and auditing in this bank, my department came across a very huge sum of money belonging to Porshgar the Mighty who died on the 4th day of the 5th year of the rule of Lord Emperor Tashyon in a Torplack Race and the fund has been dormant in his/her account with this bank without any claim of the fund in our custody either from his family or relation. The said amount was 1,853,831,184 Credits. As it may Interest you to know, Meanwhile all the arrangement to put claim over this sum as the bonafide next of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in place.

    On smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 20% of the total Sum as gratification, while 3% will be set aside upon conclusion, to take care of expenses that may arise during the time Of transfer both local and intergalactic like Yushan Pirate Raids, asteroidal clearance, e.t.c, while %25 will be for me and my partner.

    All other necessary information will be sent to you When I hear from you. I suggest you get back to me on my private e-mail address as Soon as possible stating your wish in this deal.

    In the name of great Lord Emperor Tashyon,

    Supreme Subcommander Xorpquan
  • I don't know what that means.....
  • by techpawn (969834) on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:04PM (#22677796) Journal
    Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam!

    I think someone hit the Python Reruns...
  • PAL? NTSC? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ELProphet (909179) <davidsouther@gmail.com> on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:10PM (#22677902) Homepage
    I'm assuming that because these are British scientists, the signal will be in PAL format, but either way, how do they expect aliens that may or may not exist to magically decrypt a format that we ourselves can't use across a measly ocean?

    Second question: Will Doritos still even be around in 42 years when this signal gets there? Or be able to send them some when they get an order in 84 years? Actually, that is a conversation I want to hear.

    Doritos sales rep: Hello?
    47 Ursae Majoris Alien: Sqwauk squelch sqee sqee
    DSR: Oh, sorry, I forgot to turn on the universal translator.
    UMA: Ah. Anyway, yeah, I'd like to order half a million crates of your Cool Ranch Doritos.
    DSR: Sorry, we haven't made those since 2019...
    UMA: What? That's it! You humans are going to die! (Fires space laser- http://blag.xkcd.com/2008/02/15/the-laser-elevator/ [xkcd.com] modulated with "Fine! We'll take Cheetos instead!)
    • by the time that conversation is done (42 years each hop) we may actually have the technology to deliver :)

      • by the time that conversation is done (42 years each hop) we may actually have the technology to deliver :)

        Delivery in under 100 years or it's free!
  • So this civilization will get their own version of the Wow! Signal [wikipedia.org].
  • by jfbilodeau (931293) on Friday March 07, 2008 @02:17PM (#22678028) Homepage
    UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, EARTH, SOL

    ATTENTION: THE PRESIDENT/CEO/OVERSEER/GRAND MASTER/SUPREME OVERLORD

    DEAR SIR, MADAM OR DRONE,

    CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL

    HAVING CONSULTED WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND BASED ON THE INFORMATION GATHERED FROM THE EARTH CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE AND CORRUPTION, I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO REQUEST FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE TO TRANSFER THE SUM OF $47,500,000,000,000.00 (FORTY SEVEN TRILLION, FIVE BILLION THOUSAND CREDITS) INTO YOUR ACCOUNTS. THE ABOVE SUM RESULTED FROM AN OVER-INVOICED CONTRACT, EXECUTED COMMISSIONED AND PAID FOR ABOUT FIVE EARTH YEARS (5) AGO BY A FOREIGN SYSTEM. THIS ACTION WAS HOWEVER INTENTIONAL AND SINCE THEN THE FUND HAS BEEN IN A SUSPENSE ACCOUNT AT THE CENTRAL BANK OF SOL APEX BANK.

    WE ARE NOW READY TO TRANSFER THE FUND OVER SUBSPACE MONEY TRANSFER AND THAT IS WHERE YOU COME IN. IT IS IMPORTANT TO INFORM YOU THAT AS CIVIL SERVANTS/SLAVES, WE ARE FORBIDDEN TO OPERATE A EXTRA-SOLAR ACCOUNT; THAT IS WHY WE REQUIRE YOUR ASSISTANCE. THE TOTAL SUM WILL BE SHARED AS FOLLOWS: 70% FOR US, 70% FOR YOU AND 5% FOR LOCAL, INTERNATIONAL AND INTERSTELLAR EXPENSES INCIDENT TO THE TRANSFER.

    THE TRANSFER IS RISK FREE ON BOTH SIDES. I AM AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE EARTH NATIONAL PLUTONIUM CORPORATION (ENPC). IF YOU FIND THIS PROPOSAL ACCEPTABLE, WE SHALL REQUIRE THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

    (A) YOUR BANKER'S NAME, SPECIE, ACCOUNT, SOLAR SYSTEM AND PLANET

    (B) YOUR PRIVATE SUBSPACE FREQUENCY AND ESP NUMBERS -- FOR CONFIDENTIALITY AND EASY COMMUNICATION.

    (C) YOUR LETTER-HEADED CRYPTO STOMPED AND MARKED.

    ALTERNATIVELY WE WILL FURNISH YOU WITH THE TEXT OF WHAT TO TYPE INTO YOUR LETTER-HEADED PAPER, ALONG WITH A BREAKDOWN EXPLAINING, COMPREHENSIVELY WHAT WE REQUIRE OF YOU. THE BUSINESS WILL TAKE US THIRTY (30) WORKING EARTH DAYS TO ACCOMPLISH.

    PLEASE REPLY URGENTLY.

    BEST REGARDS
  • or does this sound like the beginning of a Douglas Adams story?
    • or does this sound like the beginning of a Douglas Adams story?

      ...only if you're having trouble with your lifestyle....

      No worries, though, a small dog will take care of it for us...

  • this isn't the dorito ad you're looking for. move along.
  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@world3AAA.net minus threevowels> on Friday March 07, 2008 @03:13PM (#22678972) Homepage
    Unfortunately this is a very good illustration of the problem we have in this country with R&D/science stuff. We used to be pioneers of technology, but these days people aren't interested.

    My theory is because we have no society any more. One of Maggie Thatcher's most famous quotes is "there is no such thing as society". It's true, there isn't in modern Britain. Even when British people do achieve amazing things, we don't seem to care or make a big deal of it. Thus, anything which does not bring individuals obvious and immediate benefit becomes very hard to justify.
  • It was once thought that all the TV chatter we've been putting out will actually someday make it to distant stars. It's now known that it only gets about a light year or two out before it degrades into background noise.

    And now we know why.

    Spamblockers.
  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday March 07, 2008 @03:47PM (#22679552)
    We're all laughing about how useless this is, but now Slashdot and probably half the tech news sites out there are talking about Doritos. I'd actually say this was a pretty intelligent move by their marketing department.
  • The Doritos ad is being sent to 47 Ursae Majoris. Unfortunately, to the residents of 47 Ursae Majoris, "Doritos" loosely translates to "Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you." If we send this ad, the aliens are bound to attack us viciously with their noxious gas cannons and alien livestock catapults. When that happens, our only recourse will be to run away!
  • ...and it will get your zwinki firm.
  • I just finished reading this [amazon.com] and I'm thinking maybe the human race needs to just STFU?

    (good luck finding a used copy, it's way out of print :/)
  • That's rather tasteless. And the message wasn't a good idea either.
  • They'll come to Earth, get our email addresses, send spam back to us and take control of Earth by getting Earth President Nixon to fall for a dodgy 419 scam.

    Then all they need to do build a fleet of solid gold death stars and they'll be unstoppable!

    (For everyone wondering what I am going on about, check out the movie length Futurama episode "Benders Big Score")
  • All of your salsa are belong to us!
  • Undoubtedly just a publicity stunt for Doritos to advertise it here on Earth.
  • Please ./ gods, I desperately need a "-1, Unfunny" moderation tag.
  • I, for one, welcome our new doritos munching overlords from 47 Ursae Majoris ....

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