BBC News Review: Floppy disks control US weapons 2022

November 11, 2022

US nuclear force still uses floppy disks. Neil and Finn look at how the world’s media is reacting and pick out the words and phrases you need to talk about the story. For more, visit our website:

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  1. Reply
    J L F. Johara-Noor St. Lawrence November 11, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    "Child of the 70's!" Love it!

  2. Neil and Finn, you are not ancient at all. You are cool guys ,in spite of the fact that you were born in the 70's!

  3. thanks to bbc

  4. congratulations!!!!! the program is fantastic and the people who present it are great. Thank you BBC!!!

  5. phase out – stop doing something gradually
    nukes – slang word for nuclear weapons
    ancient – very old

  6. I think the US using floppy disks to control weapons isn’t so terrible from the point of view of systems migration costs. Replacing floppy disks might require a systems change and that can be a big risk to people if something fails in the migration process; we are talking about Nukes control systems! We don’t know the type of systems they have, in the industry sometimes it’s better to use “ancient technology” until we have a more secure replacement.

  7. Finn's voice is amazing. Thanks Finn and Rob

  8. great job guys. I`m learning a lot with these videos. Iwould like to share my studing with others students around the world. If you want to improve your english send a messenge to me. facebook

  9. Hello and welcome to the news review.
    the program where we give you words and phrases you need to talk about the news.

    Hi, Im Neil with me today is Finn. Hi Finn, Hi Neil.

    What's our story?

    Today we're talking about very old technology in a very unexpected place.

    old technology and in an unexpected place. very interesting
    Let's hear more from this BBC world service News bulletine
    The U.S gorvernments ( ) office says it concerned many federal activities
    including the country's nuclear arsenal ( ) need to upgrade ( ) technologies
    it said Pentagon's systems helping to cordinate ( ) , such as intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear bombers rely on 40 year old computers and floppy disks.
    right, floppy disks!! remember them? that's this things.

    Apparently the Pentagon still uses them. and ( a bit worring <– this phrase not sure )
    I think U.S gorvernment is slightly concerned about this.
    and they have a plan to phase out to start using new technology
    they want to get rid of these old and out dated technology.

    yes, probably good idea.

    you've been looking around the world media and how are these stories being coverd.
    What are the words and phrases that have been jumping out to you?

    O.K I'll give three. "phase out", " nukes " and " ancient".

    O.K let's find those now,
    "phase out" meaning to stop doing something gradually.
    " nukes " that's a slang word for neclear weaphones and
    " ancient " here is used in a humorous way , meaning very old and more about that particular usage of that word.

    when we're looking the details at the headlines and you've got the headlines Finn?

    ( ) <– Finn said something that I couldn't understand , did you guys hear that?

    ok first of all , from the website the Verge. we have
    "US nuclear force will phase out floppy disks next year"

    that's "phase out" as Im sure our audiances know this is a phrasal verb not a phrase verb
    that phrasal verb , and they can be very difficult to understand , can't they?

    they can be very difficult to work out ,
    exactly!! things like get on with, what is that mean?
    to work out , great meaning to understand to determine the meaning

    with no literal sort of connection.

    that's right, if you don't know the meaning of work out , it's hard to work it out.
    but phase out is hopefully slightly easier , if you know the meaning of phase which means a period of time and proposition "out"
    the period of time moving out ,it's running out ,it's changing.
    to phase out is to gradually stop doing something.

    usually it apply to sort of old systems things like that.

    that's right, maybe when you pay for thing,
    these days it's quite common to use contactless on a payment devices
    you just touch your card
    in the past we used to sign or to use pin or to use cash
    these things are maybe being phased out , Great.

    ok very good. what's next?

    ok, next we have SkyNews with this Headline
    " US Nukes and missiles controlled by Floppy disks"

    and here we have "Nukes" ok, this is short and slang for nuclear in this case nuclear weaphones.
    now, nuclear weaphones serious thing.
    if you talk about this in the slang sense in the wrong context,
    it can be very offensive, so for example
    Barack Obama has just been in Japan in Hiroshima and where the US and allies deploy nuclear weaphones in the past

    so he is commemorating the dead in a nuclear attack that would be normal way to say.
    if you would just say, he is commemorating nukes attack
    that would be seen as bad , offensive, inappropriate in this context.

    here we go, and your and the third word we've got then?

    the third word is a word that might be very familiar nomally.
    "Ancient floppy disks are still used in U.S. nuclear computer system"

    that's an ( ) UK , so ancient

    ancient, this computer's from the ages of the Greeks and Romans.

    the pyramid , yeah. the kind of ancient egyptian floppy disks
    (no that's old <– this phrase not sure ) I love that.
    I mean "ancient" we think of things that are very old, thousands of years old.
    as we use it humorously , jokingly to exaggerate how old something is in context.

    old ( ) just out dated

    yes, past its best , past its peak in its time.
    ==> I had a search for this expression to get the meaning right but failed. 🙂 <==

    obviously technology moves so quickly
    something like that in the 1970's
    so, what decade , if you don't mind , me asking you were born in ?

    Im a child of 70's ,Neil. I belive you are as well.

    Does that mean you're ancient like that floppy disks ?

    we Korean describes it like this situation between Finn and Neil
    as " contest of Acorn on who is the tallest " just kidding. 🙂

    Im ancient enough to recognize. and you remember using floppy disks as well.
    yes, you can use it about people , you can say , "oh, he is ancient"
    meaning he is a bit old.

    but you wouldn't say that about somebody born in the 1970's because you're not out-dated, are you? whereas the technology is clearly out-dated.

    yes, indeed, it's been a long time since I used floppy disks.
    I don't know about you, do you still use them?

    I don't even have a computer.

    rihgt. he is that ancient.

    ok thank you very much, let's hear more about this story from the bbc's Gary O'Donoghue
    news listening

    thanks BBCle , Finn and Neil for this lesson which is having me fun whilst studying.
    I hope this program will get more updated than once a week.
    I think everyone watching this program would think like me as well. 🙂

    everyone in the world , have a lovely day.


  10. I like it so much. thanks.

  11. Thanx for all

  12. very good video

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