[Google has a web site on the best of their research videos. Lots of excellent material - but the one I particularly recommend is Van Jacobson's talk on the future of the Net. Anybody who is doing research on next generation Internet and/or native XML/URI routing, repositories and peer to peer architectures should be interested in this talk. His basic premise is that Netheads are in danger of being caught in the similar closed mindset of how networks should be designed much in the same way that Bellhead researchers were trapped by circuit switching modality. His argument was that the current Internet is ideally designed for conversations between devices, while what we need now is global pltaform the dissemination of information.
In terms of SETI this means that we have to stop thinking of "communicating" with ETs by looking for communication channels, but instead look for and"join" inter-galactic discussion boards - sort of an intergalactic Facebook--BSA]
Van Jacobson's talk: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6972678839686672840&q=engedu Today's research community congratulates itself for the success of the internet and passionately argues whether circuits or datagrams are the One True Way. Meanwhile the list of unsolved problems grows. Security, mobility, ubiquitous computing, wireless, autonomous sensors, content distribution, digital divide, third world infrastructure, etc., are all poorly served by what's available from either the research community or the marketplace. I'll use various strained analogies and contrived examples to argue that network research is moribund because the only thing it knows how to do is fill in the details of a conversation between two applications. Today as in the 60s problems go unsolved due to our tunnel vision and not because of their intrinsic difficulty. And now, like then, simply changing our point of view may make many hard things easy
SETI - An alternate strategy
To date most SETI research has focused on the assumption that an advanced extra- terrestrial society will want to "communicate" with similar beings throughout the universe. But it is my belief that given the vast distances and time that communication via a "communications channel" even if it is one way, such as optical or radio frequency transmissions will be impractical. Instead we must look for extra terrestrial intelligence in a similar way we searched for signs of intelligence on earth prior to the modern age. We can not hope to communicate to prehistoric man, but we know that intelligent beings existed on earth thousands of years of ago through archaeological evidence. However for extra terrestrial intelligence we will need to look for "archaeological" radio frequency and other techniques where past intelligent beings may have created electronic equivalent to "cave paintings", "tombstones", "pyramids" or other records of their activities not so much to communicate to us, but to communicate to future generations of their own society. We need to look for ways advanced societies could have created perpetual signal regeneration as their signals propagated through space, or used wide scale and unchangeable features of the universe such as CBR as a reference plane. Rather than use point to point communications ETs may use an inter-galactic equivalent of Facebook.