News America controls its nukes with ancient floppy disks

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by dawg, May 26, 2016.

  1. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    Tucson05_TitanICBM.resized.jpg

    America’s nuclear arsenal depends on a surprising relic of the 1970s that few of us may recall: the humble floppy disk.

    It’s hard to believe these magnetic, 8-inch data storage devices are what’s propping up the most fearsome weapons humanity has ever created. But the Department of Defense is still relying on this technology to coordinate key strategic forces such as nuclear bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to a new government report.

    The floppy disks help run what’s known as the Strategic Automated Command and Control System, an important communications network that the Pentagon uses to issue launch orders to commanders and to share intelligence. And in order to use the floppy disks, the military must also maintain a collection of IBM Series/1 computers that to most people would look more at home in a museum than in a missile silo.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the military’s reliance on seemingly archaic tech: back in 2014, U.S. nuclear warriors showed CBS’s “60 Minutes” one of the top-secret floppy disks that helps it store and transmit sensitive information across dozens of communications sites. So to hear from the Government Accountability Office that the Pentagon has still not phased out the technology — and doesn’t plan to until the end of fiscal year 2017 — is remarkable.

    Still, there is a major reason — other than simply being behind the times — for the military's continued use of floppies: Sometimes, it says, low-tech is safer tech.

    That may come as a surprise at a time when digital technologies have almost completely superseded analog ones — heck, some companies literally give away USB flash drives these days because they’re so cheap. It highlights the yawning gulf between consumers and government.

    President Obama has highlighted that as a problem he wants to solve. The White House has pushed strongly to use technology more widely in government. From opening up stores of public data to creating a whole website for Internet petitions, President Obama has tried to make government more tech-savvy. And yet it’s still not enough. Speaking at the South By Southwest Interactive festival in Austin earlier this year — marking another first for the White House — Obama’s pitch to geeks and coders was simple: Join us.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...controls-its-nukes-with-ancient-floppy-disks/
     
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  2. face palm

    face palm Well-Known Member

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    like a cloth?
     
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  3. face palm

    face palm Well-Known Member

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  4. Tipsey Russell

    Tipsey Russell VIP Extreme Gold

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    I did see the 60minutes story
    doors held open with crowbars
    and this old 80s computer stuff--they did feel it was way safer--you can't hack it--there's nothing to hack or whatever
     
  5. DDragon

    DDragon VIP Extreme Gold

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    Did anyone save any floppy disks ? I still saved them from when I was a kid. Nostalgia is making me not throw them out. Its a whole bunch of video game mostly. I also have old wrestling magazines saved but I think those got ruined.
     
  6. MissTee

    MissTee Well-Known Member

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    LOL!

    I think the launching sequence is run on a Pet.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. DarkFriday

    DarkFriday Fired as a MOD...Twice. Gold

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    If it ain't broke...
     
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  8. Droog

    Droog Well-Known Member VIP

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    They should use keypunch machines instead. :grad:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. DrivenByDemons

    DrivenByDemons Spinoff Jesus Staff Member

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    Bits are bits. Bytes are bytes. I work on duplex processors from the 80's that have 99.9999% uptime for years and years.
     
  10. Droog

    Droog Well-Known Member VIP

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    I have a dozen or so laying around somewhere. They're old server boot disks.
     
  11. Stinkfist

    Stinkfist Well-Known Member

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    Not surprising. My ship used sound powered telephones (think two cans connected by string).
     
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  12. The Booey

    The Booey Well-Known Member

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    Defense Dept budget was $660 billion in 2011 (so says Wikipedia). I assume it's gone past $700 billion by now ... and we're still using floppies??
     
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  13. Stu Blumpkin

    Stu Blumpkin Well-Known Member

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    Makes ya wonder where all the money goes......
     
  14. Murcielago

    Murcielago Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast

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    I hope they at least know that trick where you use a hole punch to make them double-sided.

    Saves money.
     
  15. dawg

    dawg In The Dog House Staff Member

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    Its not the money they just dont know how to change things.
     
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  16. YodaQuiversStern

    YodaQuiversStern Turn and face the strange

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    This is a fantastic book. 600 pages, but I finished in 2 or 3 days because I couldn't put it down.

    upload_2016-5-26_18-18-0.png
     
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  17. TheMercenary

    TheMercenary Collecting Light Gold

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    Harder to hack. Closed system. Tons of fail-safes.

    I'm happy it's not "modernized"
     
  18. LonghornJ

    LonghornJ VIP Extreme Gold

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    Keep those fucking things off the internet... floppy disks are great, perfect
     
  19. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

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    That's only about $5,000/family, or $10,000 per actual taxpayer!
     
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  20. reno

    reno VIP Extreme Gold

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    What's the big deal. I've got an eight inch floppy dick. It serves me well. Oops! You're talking about computers. Carry on.
     
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