Wednesday, July 27, 2016

US Nukes and Floppy Disks

"Yes, floppy disks are still used at our nuclear bases -- but there’s a good reason":
There are parallels here to fiction, which can be just as instructive. In the 2004 hit TV series Battlestar Galactica, humanity comes under assault from robots that it created. Much of the human space fleet is taken by surprise, crippled by a robot-built computer virus that spreads from ship to ship thanks to the sophisticated networks linking the crafts together. The Galactica, an obsolete warship due to be mothballed, is one of the few to survive the initial surprise attack. Why? Because the Galactica’s systems were not part of the humans’ IT network, sparing it from the virus that disables the rest of the fleet. The lesson seems clear: Sometimes, newer is not better.
I can see how this might be a minor unintended good consequence. But I'm not sure this was a planned feature.