Government Accountability Office record info ‘museum-prepared’ machines controlling nuclear force messaging device which are ‘out of date’
8in floppy and a mushroom cloud
Computers that want 8in floppy disks as huge as your head are nonetheless required to communicate with US nuclear forces. Composite: Richard Masoner/Joint Task Force One/Flickr/AP
Thursday 26 May 2016 12.30 BST Last modified on Friday Bastille Day 2017 20.21 BST
The US Army’s nuclear arsenal is controlled by means of computer systems constructed within the 1970s that still use 8in floppy disks.
A file into the nation of the United States government, launched by using congressional investigators, has revealed that u . S . Is spending around $60bn (£40.8bn) to hold museum-ready computers, which many do now not even understand a way to perform anymore, as their creators retire.
The Defense Department’s Strategic Automated Command and Control System (DDSACCS), that is used to ship and receive emergency action messages to US nuclear forces, runs on a 1970s IBM computing platform. It nevertheless uses 8in floppy disks to shop data.
We’re no longer even speaking the more contemporary three.The 5in floppy disk that Millennials may handiest know as the keep icon. We’re speak me the OG 8in floppy, which changed into a huge floppy rectangular with a magnetic disk inside it. They became commercially to be had in 1971, however, were replaced by way of the 5¼in floppy in 1976, and by way of the extra acquainted hard plastic 3.5in floppy in 1982.
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Shockingly, the United States Government Accountability Office stated: “Replacement components for the gadget are tough to find due to the fact they are now out of date.”
The Pentagon stated it changed into instigating a full substitute of the historic machines and whilst the entire upgrade will take longer, the essential floppy disks have to be long gone by way of the case of subsequent yr.
Given that magnetic media has a finite shelf life, and that disks and the drives had to examine and write to them are older than a number of the operators of the machinery, the floppy revelation makes you surprise whether or not the United States could even release a nuclear assault if required. An “errors, facts corrupted” message could be actually existence or loss of life.
Bees’ tiny brains beat computers, observe unearths
Bees can resolve complex mathematical problems which keep computer systems busy for days, research has shown
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• Fears for vegetation as shock figures from America display scale of bee disaster
Researchers found that bees should solve the ‘traveling salesman’s’ shortest route hassle, notwithstanding having a brain the dimensions of a grass seed. Photograph: Rex Features
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Sunday 24 October 2010 21.45 BST First posted on Sunday 24 October 2010 21.45 BST
Bees can resolve complex mathematical issues which keep computer systems busy for days, studies have proven.
The insects discover ways to fly the shortest direction among flowers located in random order, successfully solving the “journeying salesman problem”, said scientists at Royal Holloway, University of London.
The conundrum entails locating the shortest path that allows a visiting salesman to call at all of the locations he has to go to. Computers remedy the trouble with the aid of evaluating the length of all feasible routes and deciding on the one that is shortest.
Bees control to attain the same answer the usage of a brain the dimensions of a grass seed.
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Dr. Nigel Raine, from Royal Holloway’s faculty of organic sciences, stated: “Foraging bees solve touring salesman problems each day. They go to vegetation at multiple places and, due to the fact bees use masses of power to fly, they find a route which continues flying to a minimum.”
Using laptop-managed synthetic plant life to test bee behavior, his wanted to recognize whether the bugs could observe a simple path defined by means of the order in which they discovered the vegetation, or search for the shortest direction.
After exploring the place of the plants, the bees speedy discovered to fly the excellent route for saving time and energy.
The research, due to seeming this week in the journal The American Naturalist, has implications for the human world. Modern living relies upon on networks which include visitors flows, net statistics and enterprise supply chains.
“Despite their tiny brains bees are capable of first rate feats of behavior,” said Raine. “We need to understand how they are able to clear up the traveling salesman hassle with out a laptop.”