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Intelligent life search not in job description

Posted: Tuesday, October 19, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The search for extraterrestrial life has ended at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The department on Thursday fired a computer programmer who admitted to using a state-owned computer server to process data for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project, run by the University of California at Berkeley.

Charles E. Smith, 63, told administrators he didn't think loading the SETI software on the server was much of a problem because he ran the program only on weekends and on weekdays between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., when the server wasn't being used, according to a disciplinary report.

Department director Tom Hayes disagreed.

''I understand his desire to search for intelligent life in outer space, because obviously he doesn't find it in the mirror in the morning,'' Hayes said. ''I think that people can be comfortable that security has beamed this man out of our building.''



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