What should I do if my computer detects a yeti?
Nothing. The software will automatically connect to our local servers to begin the second stage processing. You do not need to do anything -- it's all completely automated.
No, I mean...what do I do about the fact that there's a yeti in my yard!
The processing takes many hours per image capture, so by the time the software has gotten a positive ID, the creature is either already long gone, or has kidnapped you and taken you to his lair as his chosen mate.
What about other evidence such as hair, footprints, skeletal remains, etc.?
Ignore and discard these. This sort of physical evidence can be too easily faked and hence is not credible. We feel our software and image capture process is proof enough to validate our project. Computers never lie, and pictures don't lie. The two together are infallible. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say. In this case, since we have the best possible data going in, we are guaranteed to have good data coming out.
What about pets?
We recommend not allowing pets in the viewable area of the image capture to prevent possible false positives (unless your family pet IS a Bigfoot). We are especially concerned about squirrels. Our algorithms are unable to distinguish reliably between a Bigfoot and a squirrel, and a sighting of a squirrel will result in a "false positive".
A false positive is when the software mistakes something else as a positive ID. The software believes it has correctly identified someone or something as a Bigfoot or yeti and proceeds to process the results as if it were truly a Bigfoot. Below are two examples of false positive results -- comic actor Robin Williams, and a sock monkey:
What about other creatures, such as Nessie, aliens, chupacabra, leprechauns, gnomes, etc. ?
While the software can identify these creatures positively and reliably (and, in fact, has done so many times in test trials) any such identification is immediately and silently discarded by the software. Our original grant proposal did not mention these creatures and they are therefore beyond our scope of study.
What about false negatives?
A false negative is when the software incorrectly identifies a real yeti as something not-yeti, such as a cast-iron lawn ornament or man in an ape suit. Currently, the software has a false negative report rate of about 65%m which we feel is acceptable.
Will I get any credit if a yeti is found by my computer?
We appreciate your contributions to this project by lending out your computing resources for the greater good. Should a positive ID be made, you will be sent an acknowledgement letter and attractive bumper sticker reading "I saw a YETI@Home". We hope you in doing this in the same philanthropic manner as we are, therefore you will not be listed by name in any way in any of our papers, grant applications, etc. You will never receive any financial compensation of any sort. We reserve all rights to use any data or images collected in mass media publication or fictional depictions as we see fit. Use of the YETI@Home software consitutes agreement with these terms.