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The Military Technology

Military Electronics That Shatter Into Dust On Command 221

Posted by samzenpus
from the poof-it's-gone dept.
First time accepted submitter MAE Keller writes "Two U.S. companies are joining a military research program to develop sensitive electronic components able to self-destruct on command to keep them out of the hands of potential adversaries who would attempt to counterfeit them for their own use. From the article: 'Last Friday DARPA awarded a $2.1 million contract to PARC, and a $3.5 million contract to IBM for the VAPR program, which seeks to develop transient electronics that can physically disappear in a controlled, triggerable manner.'"
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Military Electronics That Shatter Into Dust On Command

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  • BUCK FETA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:23PM (#46177613)

    Also, fuck beta!

    • by richlv (778496)

      oh, maybe it could shatter into DUST

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Remember, if you or any of your IM force are caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge.

    Good bye Mr. Phelps.

  • Why has Dice declared war on the slashdot user base?

  • beta sucks (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:26PM (#46177665)

    just saying the obvious

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:27PM (#46177673)

    So...slashdot's user base is set to shatter when beta goes live?

  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:27PM (#46177677) Homepage
    Car analogy time:
    I have gotten rid of vehicles that sucked less than the Slashdot beta. Seriously even that '85 Bronco II where everything was rusty, none of the body panels matched, and that had bad compression on the #5 cylinder sucked less than beta.slashdot.org.

    Too bad Slashdot beta won't shatter into dust on command
  • by ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:27PM (#46177683)
    I write code like this all the time. Oh wait, you mean on purpose?

    Ob note: uck-fay eta-bay

  • by TigerPlish (174064) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:27PM (#46177685)

    Electronics that smoke themselves? Have had plenty of them.

    They all spewed magic smoke shortly after warranty expiration. Coincidence? I THINK NOT! BWAHAHA!

    Just like Slashdot will spew magic smoke when its bitch daddy Dice pulls the plug on classic. All that will remain is a box full of bad smells and no life.

    • All that will remain is a box full of bad smells and no life.

      So, your mom's basement, then?

    • Miss enough payments, and all the circuitry inside your computer, your car, the home theater you got from Rent-A-Center, or whatever... *poof*

      Of course, it'll put a lot of repo-men out of work...

      • I'm thinking games consoles. A self-destruct-on-tamper device to prevent reverse-engineering and modding, perhaps triggered by a firmware image that matches the integrity hash but not the signing key. It would mean anyone trying to reverse-engineer the device would probably burn through a great many of them before they learned enough to avoid triggering the auto-destruct, which would price many out of the attempt.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Given recent light of the NSAs behaviour, this whole thing stinks of having nothing to do with protect technology deployed in the field and everything to do with crippling other countries infrastructure at the press of a button. It is becoming pretty obvious in you get you computer or software essential infrastructure out of the US then you are a bloody idiot, they can not be trusted in any way shape or form and it is pretty obvious they are fully intent on doing far worse rather than better.

  • . . . oh, wait. Disappear in a controlled, triggerable manner . . . Never mind, Bill.
  • Slashdot Does A Digg (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No doubt about it Slashdot beta sucks and everyone hates it. But, the Slashcrew, like Digg of old, refuse to listen.

    Show them the error of their ways, boycott Slashdot 2/7/14.

  • by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:28PM (#46177707) Homepage
    Too bad Slashdot beta won't shatter into dust on command
    • Maybe we're just not using the right one.

    • Too bad Slashdot beta won't shatter into dust on command

      Well, it was clearly designed by some kind of weapons grade stupid. This could be the prototype for it... it just failed to deploy as intended and so we're stuck with this digital Exxon Valdeez puking up mangled content and terrible design all along the shores of our global networks as it's drunken pilots sing "We're gonna beeeeee rich! da da do do de daaaa...."

    • Too bad Slashdot beta won't shatter into dust on command

      Actually, the "beta" is nothing but the result of DARPA testing this technology on Slashdot server circuitry.

  • Beta Sucks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:28PM (#46177713)

    Keep classic /.

    oh and does anyone else hear the crickets??

  • If they have a technology to make chips have their underlying silicon substrate crack into unusable bits, that is one thing... but wouldn't e-fuses and on-die capacitors be another route to this with established technology? e-fuses may not be Michael Bay type of material, but the ability to render CPUs, RAM, ASICs, and other silicon on a board completely unusable on a physical basis might be just as good.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DaHat (247651)

      That's not always enough...so long as you have the surviving chips, with a bit of polishing off of the layers & an electron microscope, it's very doable to create a schematic of the part... from that you can learn how it does certain things internally, as well as identify attack points (within the IC) that with a focused ion beam can be attacked for when next you acquire a less damaged part.

    • by mikael (484)

      There was the "Stop and Catch Fire Instruction" on 6809 chips. Designers decided to share the input/output ports using the same pin connects. These were selected between by a couple of bits. Set both bits at the same time and the silicon die went into meltdown. Some graphics card would do the same with a driver update.

      I guess you could always have a compressed cylinder of nitrogen, release it suddenly onto the components to make them brittle and vibrate them at high frequency so they basically disintegrate

      • Destroying parts on demand isn't hard. Just takes a small explosive charge. I'm guessing they want pre-stressed instead because it would be lighter, more compact, and safe to trigger in proximity to a soldier's body. I'm thinking less of top-secret radar equipment and more of field radios and other communication gear. I know that DARPA is very keen on the 'connected soldier.'

  • by anthony_greer (2623521) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:29PM (#46177731)

    I have used dice to find many jobs, including the one I have right now, but I will not use Dice again if this beta isn't reversed.

    Dice makes way more off of a placement than some silly adverts, if the technical professionals who read this site want to make a stand, kill your Dice profile - want to find a job? target your goal city and call head hunters, they will get you good jobs if you have a good skill.

  • by dciman (106457) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:29PM (#46177741) Journal

    I'm not sure why the editors think that simply continuing to blindly post stories is going to change things here.

    We aren't talking about the news!

    Respect your users!

    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @04:02PM (#46178187)
      What really scares me is the thought that the editors haven't really even noticed.

      One of the things that has always surprised me (even bothered me a bit) about Slashdot is that the people running the site do not appear to actually use the site. The editors don't routinely participate in discussions. We occasionally see a comment from an editor, but they are certainly not among the top commenters. (Even CmdrTaco's comment history was surprisingly thin...) These are people who are paid to be involved with the site. I know they have other duties, and perhaps being an employee makes participating in the community less fun. But on the other hand, if your job is to manage an online community, I would expect to see more involvement.

      I sometimes wonder whether the editors actually read through Slashdot comments at all, or whether they just queue up some stories and then work on something else.

      I'm guessing that by now they've noticed the firestorm of hate, since it's being injected into the comments, firehose/story-submissions, polls, via email, etc. But even so, I feel that ultimately the disconnect between what the Slashdot community wants, and what the powers-that-be are planning to provide, is that the people running Slashdot are not Slashdot users (much less contributors). So they do not even realize why we hate the beta so much. To an outsider, one commenting system and another might seem pretty much the same. It might seem like we're complaining over minutia. But to someone who is trying to participate in the fast-paced and highly technical discussions that erupt on Slashdot, the commenting system is paramount. Ruin it, and you've killed the site.
      • I started today at the bottom and have been working my way up the page with the articles.

        'Soulskill' joined in the discussion about the beta that was raging on the Quakecon article(IIRC).

        Here's my take:

        According to him, the editors are reading the comments and sending them upstream to their Dice corporate overlords, and have been warning same OL's that this was likely to happen. Many of the editors feel the same way, but the editors are too far down the ladder to have much say about this.

        He also said that f

  • It's a program to make hardware self-destruct 'into dust', and it's called 'VAPR' and _nobody_ tagged the article 'Vaporware'? Come on, people!

    • What tags on the article? The ones that aren't displayed on the beta site, so I couldn't see them until I switched back to classic?

      Apparently, like the article, they were also from the "poof it's gone" department! Not to mention, even the "from the 'poof it's gone' department" text itself is gone too, at least on the front page. It's like Beta is the VAPR of Slashdot!

  • by mccotter (185752) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:29PM (#46177749)

    I've been looking for an excuse to reclaim some time in my day.

  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:30PM (#46177751)
    Fuck Slashdot Beta Fuck Dice
  • Is Dice Holdings that owns /. the same Dice that creates Battlefield? Just curious.
    • Is Dice Holdings that owns /. the same Dice that creates Battlefield? Just curious.

      Does Battlefield look like it was gangbanged by a team of toddlers with pastel construction paper and cut-outs of magazine advertisements? Well then, there's your answer: No. Battlefield still looks like something cool, designed by adults, not middle managers who rode the short bus and still have to use the safety scissors.

  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:30PM (#46177775)

    1. Military electronics
    2. Dice Holdings, Inc.'s bottom line.

    That's pretty much the sentiment. But here's an idea: Rob Malda (may God bless him in our time of ultimate need) gave us a tool to fight off our oppressors: The source code that powers classic slashdot. The kryptonite of the Overlords. Let us come together now with a kickstarter project, crowdsource our way into the amazon cloud, and free ourselves of these idiot fucktard web 2.0 morons. We have the technology! We can build it faster. Better. Stronger.

    And free of Dic--Derp Holdings. Discuss.

  • Fuck the beta (Score:2, Informative)

    by kruach aum (1934852)

    It's terrible. I haven't seen such horrors since I had a fever dream about At the Mountains of Madness.

    • by Laxori666 (748529)
      The Beta killed my children. It was awful. I hope it doesn't kill the rest of my children cause I actually have more but the Beta only killed a few of them.
      • You should be happy for the ones who died and don't have to look at beta any more. You should probably kill the rest of them and put them out of their agony.
  • OPFOR (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jbmartin6 (1232050)
    How long until adversaries get the codes to remote destroy US military equipment while it is in use?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705)

      My thoughts exactly ... knowing how to make military hardware keel over on command is going to be a very valuable thing.

    • Obviously you run into problems if you want any soldier to be able to destroy the hardware at any time creating a tradeoff but authentication is a very well studied topic. A hashed passphrase will suffice as long as you trust your data stores and if you don't trust your data stores it's probably better not to put the hardware out there anyway.
  • For those who haven't seen "slashdot media" yet, our beloved /. is now categorized as "Social Media for B2B Technology". See for yourself: http://slashdotmedia.com/about... [slashdotmedia.com]

    Go on, click the "Tour the new Slashdot" button (can't be opened in a new tab) and wait for the nausea to kick in. Meaningless marketing buzzwords, "feedback tools", "user engagement" and so on and so forth.

    It's over. The trained monkeys in marketing have won. A sad day indeed.

    • That's funny. We used to have "user engagement." Now the engagement consists (rightly) in screaming about the beta. That gives an interesting spin on the stuff they're bragging about:

      2.9 Million Monthly Unique Visitors [All of which will say WTF!?! when they make their monthly visit in February.]
      4,653 Average Comments Per Day [Peaking well about this when it was announced that the beta was being phased in. 93% of the comments include the keywords "Fuck" and "Beta".]
      93 Million Page Views Per Month [Past P

    • Wow. One more thing. Clicking "Tour the New Slashdot", one is presented with the following claim:

      A redesign 16 years in the making... you know it's going to be good.

      Hey, I fell for that when I decided to play Duke Nukem Forever. I'll never get those 10 minutes of my life back. Fool me once...

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      For those who haven't seen "slashdot media" yet, our beloved /. is now categorized as "Social Media for B2B Technology".

      I think for the first time in my life I actually can use the statement "I threw up a little in my mouth". Now if you don't mind, I'll be in the corner crying.

  • If you hate Beta, DO NOT VISIT Slashdot on 2/7!!

    How you you show them Beta sucks? You drop their ad impressions!
    Keep Classic/Fix Beta, or we walk.

    • If you hate Beta, DO NOT VISIT Slashdot on 2/7!!

      How you you show them Beta sucks? You drop their ad impressions!
      Keep Classic/Fix Beta, or we walk.

      No, keep visiting and bitching until the last day. Then remove the link, and enjoy the new sites as they appear. I wonder which will win the "slashdot replacement" race?

  • Kill Beta! (Score:5, Informative)

    by d34thm0nk3y (653414) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:39PM (#46177909)
    Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet.

    On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

    Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic Slashdot discussion and moderation system.

    If you haven't seen Slashdot Beta already, open this [slashdot.org] in a new tab. After seeing that, click here [slashdot.org] to return to classic Slashdot.

    We should boycott stories and only discuss the abomination that is Slashdot Beta until Dice abandons the project.
    We should boycott slashdot entirely during the week of Feb 10 to Feb 17 as part of the wider slashcott [slashdot.org]


    Moderators - only spend mod points on comments that discuss Beta
    Commentors - only discuss the Beta - Vote up the Fuck Beta stories

    Keep this up for a few days and we may finally get the PHBs attention.

    Discussion of Beta [slashdot.org]
    Discussion of where to go if Beta goes live [slashdot.org]
    Alternative Slashdot [altslashdot.org]
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by d34thm0nk3y (653414)

      Here is Plain-Old-Text version so you can copy/paste this youselves:

      Please post this to new articles if it hasn't been posted yet.

      On February 5, 2014, Slashdot announced through a javascript popup that they are starting to "move in to" the new Slashdot Beta design.

      Slashdot Beta is a trend-following attempt to give Slashdot a fresh look, an approach that has led to less space for text and an abandonment of the traditional Slashdot look. Much worse than that, Slashdot Beta fundamentally breaks the classic S

      • Bummer, thought it would leave the tags in....

        • Yeah the Slashdot comment-box has some longstanding issues, like support for displaying source-code/html properly, or unicode support in general.

          The devs should really consider coding an improvement to Slashdot that addresses these concerns. Some kind of 'Slashdot beta'. I'm sure it would turn out great...
    • WTF is that?!? If I didn't look at the domain, I'd just swear it was a parody. The comments are quite entretaining...

      Shazbot! We ran into some trouble getting the comments.
      Try again... na-nu, na-nu!

      Is this the same for everybody?

  • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:40PM (#46177919)

    I got a message urging me to try it, so I clicked on it, looked at the Beta and thought: oh, this looks like Slashdot on my phone. And clicked back to the original interface after only a short while. Learn a lesson from Win8: Interfaces that look good on a phone, are crap for a desktop.

    I mean, you have people on this site that actually believe that a CLI is a superior interface. And you try to impress them with eye-candy that takes functionality away? Goodluckwiththat.

    What were you guys thinking?

  • It's called C-4 explosive. it will shatter any laptop into dust on command if you use enough of it.

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @03:57PM (#46178135)

    BETA, I command you: turn into dust NOW.

  • I really had a comment that related to this article from when I was in the Air Force in the early 1970's and bugging the Ho Chi Minh trail. However, I made the mistake of taking a look at the slashdot beta and now it is gone forever. Kind of like taking a very strong laxative.
  • ... I wonder, by remote command? What's the mechanism? I don't even bother asking how secure, because the value of a secret increases in proportion to it's usefulness, and past the point where risk balances gain, it will get loose.

  • Dice can't see it, since they are new here (he he)...

    But, the most loyal long time most avid readers of Slashdot, are not trolling the site, in protest of the failed beta.

    Where is GNAA, Natalie Portman grits, and frist prost when you need them!

    They won't have a clue what I am saying ...

  • I've emailed them... they ignore... the more they ignore the quicker their downfall.

    Ignore your userbase, and you shall have none. If I am ignored much longer, I will leave. Just like I left mashable after their AOL'ed it.

    PS. I've been a slashdotter for 7+ years.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday February 06, 2014 @05:14PM (#46179013)

    This could be used by dissidents in various countries worried about the government seizing their computers and using the information contained therein against them. Or heck, criminals would be interested too, if the feds come a knocking, they just hit some buttons and turn all their criminal record data to unreadable dust.

  • Glad I'm still on classic. :-)

    • by Herve5 (879674)

      The classic version is to be shut down. That is one issue.
      The original issue, though, is the new interface has forgotten all our efficiency at filtering comments and getting compact, long threads, and when contacted on this the new owners seem to depend on an existing system that won't, and can't, evolve this way.

      As for me, if I lose the capability to filter my way, the very essence of /. disappears.
      It's not even that I'll decide to come back or not: there will be no place to come back...

      I fully understand

  • For $5.4 million, they better be talking about more than simply damaging the electronics beyond use. I could throw something together to do that overnight for less than $100.

  • by SuperDre (982372)
    and the enemy can use it too to disable the army itself, because if the US can disable the electronics remote, so can their enemy...
  • by PGC (880972)
    Like the /. community when Beta will be implemented.
  • I have to agree that Beta is not so awesome. Doesn't work on my droid phone so I lose 30 mins a day looking at other sites.

    A lot of the issues go deeper than Beta though. Firstly, as IT folks we are (mostly!):

    Educated
    Have disposable income
    Revel in nerdy stuff
    Have decision making/influencing power.

    All the above is an IT advertisers wet dream

    I am starting to find the content rather dull and repetitive.

    Can you imagine the sort of stories that could be brought to Slashdot as an exclusive if Slashdot actually pa

  • ...could give new meaning to 'planned obsolescence'.

  • which seeks to develop transient electronics that can physically disappear in a controlled, triggerable manner.'

    You mean like regular commercial electronics do right after the warranty expires?

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