Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mission Impossible hard drive

Pyrotechnic data security
  [vote for,

A largely conventional hard drive with an expiration date. It contains a timer and is manufactured using an inflammable case and platters. One year after manufacture, it plays the message "This drive will self-destruct in ten seconds", proceed to heat itself to several hundred degrees and catch fire.

It is of course internal only. Also motivates backups.

nineteenthly, Jul 18 2010

Mission Impossible Thumb Drive http://www.thinkgee...gets/security/99f1/
This thumb drive will self-destruct in ten seconds. After 10 incorrect password attempts. [Cedar Park, Jul 18 2010]

Hot Drive Hot_20Drive
Was that really 2004 ? Sheesh, doesn't time fly ... [8th of 7, Jul 18 2010]

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       //internal// sp. infernal, as in "infernal device"
mouseposture, Jul 18 2010

       Good point. Fire extinguisher card optional.
nineteenthly, Jul 18 2010

       OK, thanks. I'm finding it hard to believe this idea's not on here already in some form but i've taken a look and it seems to be absent. I find this very surprising.
nineteenthly, Jul 18 2010

       What [21Q] said.   

8th of 7, Jul 18 2010

       What [8th] said. [+]
Grogster, Jul 18 2010

       What [Grog] would have said if he hadn't simply quoted [8th]. [+].
swimswim, Jul 18 2010

       Just buy anything but a Mac, and you get this as a standard feature.
xenzag, Jul 18 2010

       Well, now that you mention it, [swimx2], I WAS thinking that as long as you're going to have a nice fire in there, it would be oh-so-polite, [nineteethly] if, at the very least, a nice steaming fresh bun or other such pastry pops out of the DVD tray when it's finished...
Grogster, Jul 18 2010

       We did CDROM pizza oven already ...   

8th of 7, Jul 18 2010

       [21 Quest]: I didn't know Steve Jobs starred in Dirty Harry.
Cedar Park, Jul 19 2010

       [21 Quest] You're confusing a Mac with an iP(hone)|(ad). What you get on a Mac is BSD, which serious open-source nerds consider more open than Linux. Very friendly environment for non-proprietary software, I've found.   

       If you've had difficulty building from source under OSX, the problem might be that you haven't installed gcc, make, and all that stuff, which is included free, but not pre- installed on the hard drive; it's on that "Developer Tools" DVD that came with your Mac.   

       As for the robotic arm and gun, that's a myth. Since OSX is basically Unix, what actually happens is that your toaster grows an arm and stabs you in the face.
mouseposture, Jul 19 2010

       Apple prosecuted Franklin for the Ace back in the early 'eighties while IBM invited PC clone manufacturers into their factories so they could do it better. Says it all, i think.
nineteenthly, Jul 19 2010

       Apologies for veering off topic a bit:
[Ian]'s not wrong. The iPhone is a phone 2nd, and media thingymajig first. I've got one, it does a good job of many things and has some new touches that other devices didn't have a few years ago. However, some simple things give clues away: the lack of decent SMS 'draft' folder, the recent aerial debacle for the iPhone4... Sure, it is a phone, but it's a media device with a cellular connection - and the media (apps, iTunes, etc.) are something Apple want to ringfence at all costs.

       <coming back on-topic> hard disks typically have a life span limited to a couple (or several) years. If the self destruct happened at the point of life expectancy, this could be a useful feature for planning your data storage needs...
Jinbish, Jul 19 2010

       <also off-topic> The other thing to bear in mind [21Q] is that Apple and Google are new to producing phones. They may have varying degrees of assistance from existing Market players (manufacturers etc.) but they don't have the history of the Nokias of the industry. This means a) a fresh look, and b) characteristics of their 'primary' business come through.      

       Apple has been very closed (despite what it says) and Google has been less closed (not all the Android phones have same level of hack-ability). Apple is bringing in an ad based revenue system, but was mainly about a model centred on iTunes; meanwhile Google is gearing up to use 'targetted services' based on your personal data. It's in it's interest to be open...
Jinbish, Jul 19 2010

       Wasn't [8th of 7] after a new category for ideas like this?
kaz, Jul 19 2010

       Hmm, the mac thing is a bit of a diversion - the hardware is sourced from the same far-east factories as any other hardware supplier, so quality issues should be just as good/bad as for any other company in the market. The computer/mobile device thing, as others have noted is different too and there (again as others have noted) apple do seem to be deploying a different strategy in their computing arm as opposed to their mobile device arm - the first being far more open than the second Mac OSX is a great mix of shiny stuff sitting on a solid BSD core - effectively providing the 'M1 tank' of Neal Stephenson's article 'In the Beginning...Was the Command Line' and all placed neatly under the hood of their 'Euro-styled sedans' - something that Microsoft may care to consider...   

       But the posting is about hardware, rather than software OS - and while I don't like the prospect of my hard-drive exploding within my machine, it is interesting to think of how perceptions might change if storage media had a fixed lifespan, and the behavioral changes that might ensue.
zen_tom, Jul 19 2010

       [21_Quest] //why would they make their computers so developer-friendly//
Because their OS was getting long in the tooth, and they wouldn't commit the resources to develop a new one completely in-house, the way Microsoft did. Also, because their business is hardware, so it's not crucial to profits that they own their software 100%.

       However, it is crucial to controlling the user experience, and Apple's all about that. When they were able, in pre OSX days, they behaved closer to your description (even deliberately breaking third-party programs that didn't conform to their UI guidelines, so it was rumored).   

       You'd think they'd be unhappy to have me running programs that use X11, Tkinter, etc. for a UI. The fact is, though, Apple started providing a native X11 client (you used to have to get a third-party one), so I think they're more than tolerant of open-source; they seem to be promotng it. Another example is the inclusion of numpy with the native Python instalation on recent versions of OSX.   

       I believe they're relinquishing control over Macs (the Intel CPU is, ultimately, an even bigger concession) because they see gadgets like the iPhone & iPad as the future of the company.   

       [zen_tom] //if storage media had a fixed lifespan//
They do, but longer than most people care about. It's a serious problem for archivists, though. This idea could be viewed as a dramatic reminder of that important, overlooked fact.
mouseposture, Jul 19 2010

       Yes, that's part of it - security combined with motivation to back up.
nineteenthly, Jul 19 2010


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