IRC chat on Tuesday! Join us may 01, 2012, 11am California time, 18:00GMT, for our weekly setiQuest IRC chat at irc://irc.freenode.net/#setiquest
Or in a browser: http://webchat.freenode.net/?channels=setiquest
Lets make an agenda. I'll start with my suggestions, please feel free to reply and add your own.
This week we should discuss what will be the future of SetiQuest. I think we all are frustrated that it has not blossomed into a vibrant on line community devoted to participating in the search.
I would like to suggest and discuss letting setiQuest settle into a "local minima energy state" which would be a sort of maintenance mode. (Sigbips came up with that description, and I like it.)
This would mean operating pretty much like we are now, except being more up front about it.
So, let's all discuss this in the meeting.
[11:00am] jrseti_: Hello all! It is 11am California time.
[11:00am] jrseti_: Time for the SETIQuest IRC chat
[11:00am] sigblips: Geetings SETIzens.
[11:00am] jrseti_: See: http://setiquest.org/forum/topic/community-meeting-2012-05-01
[11:00am] gliese581c: Title: Community Meeting 2012-05-01 | setiQuest (at setiquest.org)
[11:01am] jrseti_: Have a look at the Agenda, suggestions appreciated.
[11:02am] leash: According to the agenda, we want to keep using setiQuest, but not stressing to push it forward?
[11:03am] sigblips: Yup, setiQuest is in a local minima energy state.
[11:03am] leash: I still don't understand what this could mean for setiQuest's purpose.
[11:05am] sigblips: I think it is important to be upfront about our current state so that people don't have expectations that can't be met.
[11:05am] jrseti_: yes, no changes really- except we will be more upfront. But note: project like MWWT still will be active.
[11:06am] jrseti_: leash: We are trying to get the attention of Jonathan Fay of the MWWT project. My idea is that it would be good to have him help us integrate into MWWT and show it off at SETICon in June.
[11:06am] leash: So what specifically can I do for SETIcon?
[11:06am] Jill: might this minimum energy state turn into a place where information about all things SETI and all the quests get aggregated along with wish lists of projects that could use help and interactions?
[11:08am] sigblips: Yes that would be a good use of the current setiQuest infrastructure.
[11:08am] jrseti_: Leash: I need to update the files, then you can help load them, see if they are OK, and determine if anything should be added. Once we get the attention of Jonathan at MWWT (I hope we can) maybe he'll have suggestions to make it better than we know how to do now.
[11:09am] Jill: we could invite other SETI searches to post information about their efforts here - don't know if we'd have any success.
[11:09am] jrseti_: Jill: That is a good idea.
[11:10am] Jill: then we ought to update the archive of searches i keep at seti.org (2 years since any real effort and update) and post it here as well
[11:10am] leash: jrseti - Just let me know when you update the files. I can spend more time playing with the settings and making it more user-friendly.
[11:11am] leash: There were quite a few instructions on my last attempt to do this.
[11:11am] sigblips: What are peoples thoughts about pumping more energy into setiQuest to change its energy level? Is there any desire or willpower to do this?
[11:12am] jrseti_: Right now we at SETI have our hands full. On my part there is desire, but I don't have the bandwidth. it would have to be a community driven thing.
[11:13am] jrseti_: but in the past, the community has wanted access to more data, whcih would involve SETI support, time which we don;t have at the moment
[11:15am] jrseti_: But, if a group wants to be a community and keep the discussions alive, maybe some projects like MWWT, that would be useful and doable
[11:16am] sigblips: The SETIcon venue could be used to recruit people for setiQuest but is an influx of new members what we really want right now? Remember how crazy the first month of GSoC was last year?
[11:17am] Jill: well - if we are going to keep the site alive, it might be good to recruit at SETIcon someone who could help sigblips with that job.
[11:18am] jrseti_: At SETICon we'll probably try to tout SETILive
[11:18am] jrseti_: Jill: yes
[11:20am] jrseti_: I would have no problem letting a small group of people have admin rights to setiQuest
[11:22am] sigblips: Maintenance mode is fairly easy. The spam level is fairly low. Things like the "broken buttons" we talked about last week do need to be fixed. The SETI Institute isn't making any money with that broken Donate button!
[11:22am] Jill: but the two do not have to be mutually exclusive. those that want to have access to real-time data or improve the display environments or develop mobile apps can affiliate with SETILive where we at SETI have committed to supporting the feedback that results from data analysis. those who want to work with stored data or do other sorts of outreach or just discuss SETI can do so at setiQuest
[11:24am] jrseti_: Several people leading others could improve the site - and also keep the forum going
[11:24am] jrseti_: at the very least
[11:26am] jrseti_: But, where is this all leading us? Shall we make a page on the site explaining that we are in low energy state, and welcome anyone who wants to usher things along?
[11:28am] sigblips: Yes that would be a good idea. Best to be upfront about about.
[11:28am] sigblips: about it.
[11:29am] jrseti_: OK, I can do that, make it easily accessible via the front page.
[11:30am] sigblips: Like the ATA being in hibernation. SetiQuest being stuck in a local minima doesn't mean that it is forever or permanent.
[11:30am] jrseti_: yes
[11:31am] Jill: i think i'd be more upbeat and advertise joining forces with Citizen Science Alliance to improve the real time searching and assure people that setiQuest will remain the portal to data for signal detection algorithm development and for community projects.
[11:32am] jrseti_: How are we going to support algorithm development? That involves SETI attention and resources
[11:33am] jrseti_: I guess I am not quite clear about what we are to do with the data aspect.
[11:34am] jrseti_: We've made it clear we are not able to support any algorithm development, right?
[11:34am] sigblips: It doesn't take much to maintain the current data archive. Or are you concerned about peoples questions?
[11:35am] jrseti_: Questions and support.
[11:35am] Jill: we can try again to get this opportunity in front of EE DSP courses at universities whose instructors can deal with the people questions.
[11:36am] jrseti_: I still feel bad we did not give Dave Robinson enough attention.
[11:37am] sigblips: I've noticed that the GPS datasets are the most popular.
[11:38am] jrseti_: I assume because they have the potential for pretty looking signals
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[11:38am] sigblips: I get the feeling that it is being used in some University course work.
[11:39am] sigblips: GPS is a great teaching topic. There is so much technology inside.
[11:40am] jrseti_: If so, that would be nice to know. maybe we should ask up front that people let us know if they are using the data for something other than personal interest, like part of a class.
[11:41am] sigblips: Doesn't the SETI Institute have an educational outreach program / department?
[11:41am] Jill: good idea - do we have any visibility into who has downloaded datasets? who is working with machine instances in AWS?
[11:42am] sigblips: Yes there are logs.
[11:44am] sigblips: Some University IP addresses.
[11:45am] jrseti_: Hey - some volunteer could take our logs and try to create a map
[11:45am] Jill: would it be easy to send those IP addresses my way - could be that i could engage faculty at those places.
[11:45am] sigblips: Jill: I'll do that.
[11:48am] jrseti_: A general map would probably be OK, like the maps you sometimes see on an open source site or forum that shows a world map of everyone on-line at the moment.
[11:48am] leash left the chat room. (Quit: Page closed)
[11:49am] jrseti_: I feel we've made some real progress during this meeting - a way to go forward.
[11:49am] sigblips: The map wouldn't have a lot of dots which wouldn't make locations all that anonymous. Need to ask the setiQuest lawyer.
[11:50am] jrseti_: Anthing else anyone wants to discuss?
[11:52am] sigblips: There where two posts in the forum from a UFO / alien fan. They weren't spam but they also are not the sort of discussion we want to encourage at setiQuest. I did not delete them. What are your thoughts.
[11:52am] Jill: yes - does the withdrawal of the setiQuest lawyer from our discussions indicate that we really should give this up?
[11:53am] sigblips: I don't think so. It's just a persons choice. I have to respect that but I also get to make my own choice.
[11:53am] jrseti_: I don't think we should give it up - just change it. I still think this will all become very useful to SETI.
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[11:54am] jrseti_: It provides the SETI signal efforts the only real web presence it has
[11:56am] Jill: well, i've made my choice, since this is the first official day of my 'retirement' - Gerry Harp with take over as Director of the Center for SETI Research, and i'll retain my Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI :-)
[11:57am] sigblips: Wow! Happy retirement. Happy you aren't planning on going anywhere too.
[11:59am] jrseti_: OK All, that about wraps it up for me. I'll make some website changes - so watch out!
[12:00pm] jrseti_: bye
[12:00pm] sigblips: The flickr page is empty so if it's easy to remove that button would be a good idea.
[12:01pm] jrseti_: ok
[12:01pm] sigblips: Bye. I'll post the transcript to the forum.
[12:01pm] jrseti_ left the chat room. (Remote host closed the connection)
[12:01pm] Jill left the chat room. (Quit: Page closed)
IMO, the failure of this project has been its inability to produce a sensible explanation as to why we can't get access to real-time data on equal terms with, say, Zooniverse. To this day, I don't know if it's a political decision or an economic one. If it truly was an econonic one, surely it must be possible to overcome it somehow. However, since we have not seen any efforts to that end, I'm led to believe it must be a political one. And politicking is bound to drive people away.