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The Royal Navy and BAE Systems plc were pleased as punch yesterday to announce that their implementation of Windows for Submarines™ is complete ahead of schedule. Windows boxes on Ethernet LANs are now in control of the UK's nuclear-propelled and nuclear-armed warship fleet. The programme is called Submarine Command System Next …

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XP ?

Umm, isn't that due for EoL in only a year or two...

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Boffin

Sub Lost by General Protection Fault!

Can't wait for that headline.

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Stop

Just not true, Lewis!

"collection of Windows boxes the ability to loose off a sheaf of Aster missiles without human authorisation. "

not so

the system does not operate in that way

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Gummint

And some cretin at the MOD will get a knighthood for this..........

Pity his father didn't have one - and use it!

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Anonymous Coward

Relax !

Windows for Wetgroups™ is of little importance. Let's face it, new Navy bathtoys are only there to keep the Scots in jobs and voting Labour. Life in the Faslane eh?

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XP - EoL

Literally: End of Live to be expected in 2 years from now. Not only XP, but the entire world will blow up due to a last but not least servicepack rollup causing nuclear blasts all over the planet.

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Boffin

Vincennes?

I thought the main cause of the USS Vincennes Airbus disaster was having an overly-aggressive fleshie in charge, not a possibly insecure or ineffective computerised fire control system? As I recall, the Aegis fire control system did its job right to spec., it was the fleshies reading the situation that got it wrong, mainly due to poor processes and an aggressive mindset probably partially brought about by the attack on USS Stark the year before, where 37 US sailors died becasue they didn't react when attacked by an Iraqi Mirage.

In the meantime, I'm staggered by ANYTHING being installed by the MoD in only eighteen days! And BAe saving money with an off-the-shelf purchase - what a scary precedent! Next you'll be telling me it didn't require 200+ civil servants to support the purchase.....

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XP?!?

What was wrong with Vista then, eh? Surely its inability to copy files properly didn't affect the decision.

Why not Windows Server 2008?

They picked a buggy, slow, insecure, old and soon to be dropped version of Windows. How on earth did that happen? I thought the military were supposed to be good and to get the best of everything.

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Coat

StopMissileDestroyingEarth.exe

StopMissileDestroyingEarth.exe has encountered an invalid page fault and will be shut down.

If you were working on keeping the missiles locked down and not launched then your hope has been lost.

Please save your submarine to your planet in a safe location to continue living.

Do you wish to send Microsoft an error report? [YES] [NO]

Mines the one with the blue screen of death screenshot on it.

-- Richard

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Pirate

re: XP?

....don't forget there's a PC World in every home port! They just need to goto PC World website, order a Vista upgrade and get the junior rating to collect in 30 minutes. Shame there's no parking berths for Nuclear Subs at my local PC World....is that discrimination?

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Stop

Ways of saving money, part 71

"The use of commercial-off-the-shelf technology is expected to save the taxpayer as much as £22m in support costs over the next ten years - a bit more than £2m a year, or about a thousandth off Trident's running costs."

Or... scrap Trident and its renewal programme and save £15-20bn.

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MoD flexing ITs Muscles?

Sounds promising, Lewis..... and not before time. XPerienced Drivers have been badly missed in the Defence portfolio.

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Trident Submarines

This gives new meaning to "Blue Screen Of Death".

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Pirate

So, spooks was half right?

All those laughing at the notion of a piece of off-the-shelf malware disabling a submarine may wish to reconsider their positions.

Let's just hope that a group of security experts were allowed to code-review the version of Windows being used. One assumes that the MoD also get a different license agreement than the rest of us, or choose to ignore the part about mission-critical systems.

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Gates Horns

Bill Gates. Criminal Mastermind

This now confirms that Microshaft and Bill Gates are planning to take over the world in the style of Blofeld.

I for one welcome our backdoor enabled Sub controlling ex PFY multigazzillionaire overlord.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this a first step to Linux?

If they can do it with Windows they can do it with Linux or gOS or whatever...? But why would they want to? is a better question? Does this mean that we'll have a Seaborne BOFH episode soon?

There may be a capital cost saving, there may be an operational cost saving but I'd be very interested in knowing that the risk assessment for the implementation took in a few more areas and looked at the critical performace parameters affected by this dinky idea.

But, hey, I'm only a taxpayer and crown subject - why should my interests matter when its "toys for the (armchair) boys".

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Black Helicopters

Windows for Warships

I know that at least *some* of the systems on the T45 are Windows 2000 based and have proved to be stable platforms in (very) extensive testing. I have no experience of the XP systems, so can't comment there.

Anon, because I have no wish to be visited by the Black Helicopters!!!

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Pirate

vote labour? who me?

hardly anyone votes labour up here anymore my good man. and i have to say its a tiny minority who work for BAE or at faslane, rosyth.

windows in control of defence forces?

kinda scary.

och aye the noo

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N
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BSOD?

Perhaps it should be

Black Submarine Of Death

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@Mark_T

Racist twat, if you were better informed or educated you would know that a lot of the current navy spending is in the south of England, in Appledore, in north Devon, Portsmouth, Barrow-in-Furness. Never mind the many other MoD contracts given out to English based companies. Ffs are you not happy enough that they have destroyed pretty much every historic Scottish Army regiment. TBH I'm Surprised there is anything still made in Scotland after the Tories, who were not voted for in Scotland, demolished pretty much all heavy industry in fact try reading more of Lewis Pages articles and you'll see that although he tends to be anti scots he does admit this:

"the Conservatives cynically shifted Trident submarine refit work south at huge cost, abandoning a partly-completed drydock" This was from Gordon Browns constituancy.

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I can see how this works ....

It looks like you are trying to launch a nuke. Are you sure?

**click**

You do not have to correct permissions to launch this application. Please log in as the Administrator

**Clickety Click**

It looks like you are trying to launch a nuke. Are you sure?

**Click Click**

trident_nuke.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. Sorry for any inconvenience. Do you want to send an error report to Microsoft?

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FM1600B

Back in my day (1989), the Ferranti FM1600B was the backbone of the ship's 'information superhighway' and the OS was loaded from punched paper the point being that paper tape was immune to EMP. I presume these windows boxes will have magnetic HDD's....interesting.

Give me the 1600B any day. Setting switches on the main console so that the bit display counted in binary was much more fun than playing minesweeper :)

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Coat

games

Only one question. Does it install with Battleships for WIndows by default?

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Pirate

I wonder who will 'support' this

I wonder who will support this?

I worked for a company who provided support to the Navy at one of their training facilities. They were just about all Windows desktops apart from a few thin clients which were running Windows Terminal Services.

I remember on one occasion that one of the Terminal Servers in the cluster fell over and started to take down all 10 machines in the cluster.

All I can say is GOD HELP US ALL!

Anon as they had blokes with rather big guns at that place.

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Alert

Didn't the Navy try Windows a while back?

Hmm, only ten years on and we're here again...

http://www.slothmud.org/~hayward/mic_humor/nt_navy.html

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Go

BSOD?

Presumably the BSOD has been replaced with a Red Screen Of Death to avoid screwing up night vision?

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Pirate

Great theory, shame about the facts

"Windows for Wetgroups™ is of little importance. Let's face it, new Navy bathtoys are only there to keep the Scots in jobs and voting Labour. Life in the Faslane eh?"

And it's so successful we now have an SNP government. Of those that care about it, no-one wants Trident in Scotland and it's one of the millstones round Scottish Labour's necks.

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Stop

One cotton picking minute....

.....in the advert for the Royal Navy, didn't the guy "just turn it off and on again".

As it clearly isn't Windows, as it predates it.... what crap system was it running? Linux? Unix? OSX? Amiga OS?

I demand to know!

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M7S
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Coat

I know the password some Jolly Jack Tar will use as a joke.

Joshua.

It would be a WOPR of a mistake though.

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Unhappy

We're all going to die....

That is all.

Mine's the one with the tinfoil hat and the earthing spike attached (for EMP shielding)

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Flame

Windows - but not as we know it

For the consoles on today's industrial control systems, Windows isn't a bad choice. This obviously isn't an out-of-the-box install, with all manner of DLL hell and yucky services running. This is a Windows kernel with some proper device drivers for the specific hardware, likely to be pared back to the minimum install, with few if any network services running. Think of it as a display appliance based on a Windows kernel.

This is as far from the bloated free-for-all of a consumer installation as a Linux kernel based appliance is from Intrepid Ibex. I'm no Microsoft fan, but do try to judge the system as deployed, not your own pre-conceptions of transplanting a c**pware infested peesee into the environment.

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Coat

The BIG BLUE screen of death

I wonder if their version has a new crash dump screen?

I'll get my coat.

D

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New rules still needs old skool (paranoia).

Is there cyrypto/authentication on the internal LAN? Could I just plug a laptot in and even bridge it to the totties WiFi? Just because a network is isolated from the rest of the world does not mean its secure, so you have to be there to hack it, or point guns/money at someone who will do the job for you.

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Flame

Also ...

... having no desire to be visited by Black Helicopters, I shall remain anonymous.

Windows for Warships, or whatever it's official title, doesn't necessarily run everything. Consoles and some peripheral devices may be hosted via a Windows box, which, incidentally, will have a carefully customised build installed, but some core functions may, and probably do, remain on specialised hardware. As to reliability, you'd be surprised how reliable a PC can be if it's properly housed and hardened, and built from good components in the first place. I could tell you stories about PCs surviving some fairly severe events, but ..... then there's those darn Black Helicopters again.

And it's not like they sit you at a screen with regular keyboard and mouse - the user interface is specially built, including customised buttons (for example, on a separate touch-screen).

Of course, they'd have done better if they'd chosen Linux, but if they were smart enough to do that, they wouldn't be working in Defence.

Oh, regarding the "man in the loop" missile release argument .... seeing as I work very closely with those systems ......... generally speaking, Lewis is right. For example, this can happen now when ....... oh, darn, Black Helicopters again!

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Joke

Re: XP?!?

Easy answer: Because Vista won't let them install the drivers for a Trident Ballistic missile submarine without them being passed through WHQL testing first.

The RN won't hand it's proprietary submarine technology over to MS for testing.

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Paris Hilton

Software for the masses

Here in the Sovietski Soyuz ve use your open sourceski softvare for ze veapons. Ve can see vot ve're doing and ze guys vot write ze vindows wiruses all vork for us anyvay. Ve vouldn't use zat stuff if ve vas you. Bottoms up boobies!

Ve've got girls like Paris too; have a quick Pinsk at Ludmila Komsomolskaya Leningradskaya Petrovsky Kalanchevskaya here - by the time you say zdrastvuitye she's half way to Norwich already.

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Joke

Ann Old-Joak

Who is General Protection Fault and what is he doing on my suibmarine?

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Happy

The ultimate failsafe...

At last we can be sure there'll be no accidental firing of nuclear weapons, or in fact any firing of nuclear weapons.

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Tim

Congrats due

Despite all the cynicysm, I feel that some congrats are due to those who developed, tested and project managed this through both successfully and ahead of schedule.

Tim#3

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Re:Vincennes

@Matt Bryant

" I thought the main cause of the USS Vincennes Airbus disaster was having an overly-aggressive fleshie in charge, not a possibly insecure or ineffective computerised fire control system? "

I think his point was that the Vincennes shot because the Airbus didn't respond to the warnings made on the radio, and that a computer failure could result in a similar loss of comms systems, meaning no response to the warnings....

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@ Matt Bryant @AC (12:59) @Cam Colley

The USS Vincennes episode was indeed as Matt describes. One of the reasons *why* the T45 is the way it is.

@AC (Linux? 12:59) who would "be very interested in knowing that the risk assessment for the implementation took in a few more areas and looked at the critical performace parameters affected by this dinky idea" - yes, there is extensive risk analysis in the design / configuration of COTS products for military applications.

@Cameron Colley: "Let's just hope that a group of security experts were allowed to code-review the version of Windows being used. One assumes that the MoD also get a different license agreement ". Sadly, 'no' and 'no'. Windoze is as grey a lump of sludge to MoD as it is to any other end user; the assurance derives mostly from the extensive testing alluded to by the AC worried about helicopters.

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Paris Hilton

Newsflash....

.....global thermonuclear war predicted in 19 days....and counting....

Paris because submarines are long and hard and full of....oh, this is too easy....

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Happy

RE: @Mark_T

Sweet, dude!

Nomination for incoherent FOTW !

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Happy

Re: XP ?

"Umm, isn't that due for EoL in only a year or two..."

If they used the embedded version, the EOL is not for another ten years. Of course, one presumes that Automatic Updates are disabled on these boxes...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Also ...

Me again. Sorry, don't know what happened there. That was supposed to be the Black Helicopter icon, not a flame.

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Coat

A submarine commanded by...

General Failure and Colonel Panic?

Sounds like a recipe for disaster!

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@Cameron Colley

> Let's just hope that a group of security experts were allowed to code-review the version of Windows being used. One assumes that the MoD also get a different license agreement than the rest of us, or choose to ignore the part about mission-critical systems.

Heard the one about the Chinook codes? Hope and assume what you like, but do you suppose the Chinook codes are worth more or less than Window$? Right. And with HMG's record on data security? No chance.

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Anonymous Coward

@Matt D

You can't be serious that think Trident should be abandoned and not replaced? It's not as if we are ever going to use them unless it is in defense, and if we don't have them then what are we supposed to use as an effective deterrent?

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USS Vincennes Airbus disaster?

Are you kidding? You fly at a warship that's been shot at (or had buddies shot at) and you don't expect a smacking?

From the transcript of the situation, I would have shot down that Airbus myself. Better them blown up than me being blown up.

"Fire when ready!" icon for obvious reasons!

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wow!

... and I thought the only thing the MOD could fit in 18 days is a toothbrush holder.

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