Aliens in your computer
For many years now the SETI@Home project has been allowing people around the world to download data and use their computer's spare processing power to process it looking for signals which might be from another civilisation. Back in 1999 when I got my first computer I started running the software and processing bits of data. My computer never found anything, but it was fun looking. This morning I was listening to an old episode of Skepticality featuring an interview with Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer with the SETI Institute, and I decided to install the software again. It's changed quite a lot since I last used it! The SETI@Home data processing is now handled through the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) package which also handles a collection of other distributed computing projects such as climate prediction, gavitational wave detection and finding cures for human diseases.