• Apple in 2005 helped two contractors for the U.S. Department of Energy construct a modified iPod able to housing specialised .
  • An Apple engineer who labored on the venture speculates that the federal government needed to create an undercover Geiger counter to covertly report radiation ranges.

In a captivating story posted to TidBITS this week, former Apple engineer David Shayer particulars how he helped two engineers with ties to the US Department of Energy modify an current iPod in order that it could possibly be used for clandestine functions. As you would possibly anticipate, all the collaboration between the 2 entities was stored high secret, with Shayer noting that solely 4 folks at Apple have been even conscious the venture existed.

Shayer notes that the engineers in query not directly labored for the Department of Energy by way of their employment at Bechtel, a protection contractor utilized by the DOE. Shayer, as you may think, wasn’t totally clued in as to what the engineers have been aiming to do. Rather, his sole job was to easily assist the engineers add customized — and undetectable — to a fifth-gen iPod. Naturally, the engineers demanded modified iPod ought to perform precisely like an everyday iPod.

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Of course, with Apple being Apple, the corporate had some safety protocols of its personal to comply with:

This wasn’t a collaboration with Bechtel with a contract and cost; it was Apple doing a favor below the desk for the Department of Energy. But entry for that favor went solely up to now.

Needless to say, Paul and Matthew weren’t allowed to entry our supply code server immediately. Instead, I gave them a replica of the present supply code on a DVD and defined it couldn’t go away the constructing. Ultimately, they have been allowed to maintain the modified copy of the iPod OS they constructed, however not the supply code for it.

Interestingly, the venture was so hush-hush that the 2 Bechtel engineers weren’t even given safety badges for simple entry into Apple headquarters. Rather, they needed to name up Shayer and check in as visitors.

With the 2 Bechtel workers shortly getting up to the mark on the inside workings of the iPod, it wasn’t lengthy earlier than they have been ready so as to add a secretive piece of to a fifth-gen iPod. The two engineers instructed Shayer that the info recorded by their add-on must stay hidden, prompting Shayer to counsel that they add one other disk partition to the gadget.

Shayer…

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