This week's poll is designed to get you thinking about how ET could communicate with us. It is often argued that SETI is so difficult that the aliens will send us the simplest conceivable signal -- a sine wave -- which tells us no more than the simple text ("I'm at
the mall this location in the galaxy.") A growing number of scientists believe that ET may send us a signal containing unlimited information, like a prolonged monologue. The tradeoff is that while a sine wave is easily discovered, informative signals are more easily proven to be artificial and are more interesting. On Friday, Apr. 22, 2011 (11 AM, Pacific Time; GMT 6 PM), Gerry Harp will be giving an online colloquium (IRC chat) that describes recent research toward sensitive ways to discover informative signals.
Shameless plug: Harp's recent publication on this topic is chapter 4 in this book (http://www.amazon.com/Communication-Extraterrestrial-Intelligence-Dougla...).