Number One Contributor to Alien Search Program Fired From His Day JobS

Brad Niesluchowski used to be the network systems administrator at Higley Unified School District. Until he got fired for searching for aliens using the SETI program, in which he's the #1 contributor. Well, for that, and a lot more things.

Niesluchowski was known as NEZ at the SETI volunteer program. He scored 575 million hours of data mining during a nine years period, which pushed him to "god" status among the SETI@home users, who in 2007 were writing things like this:

What is NEZ? Who is NEZ? Is he a god?

According to the Higley Unified School District investigation, Niesluchowski went from installing SETI—a software program that analyzes data from radiotelescopes in search of intelligent signals—in every computer in the district to purchasing more powerful computers specifically for that task. And downloading porn. And left all the machines running 24/7. And adopting 18 school computers at home. In total, the school says that his Earthling antics got the bill up to $1.6 million. [Arizona Republic via Techdirt]