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More Than 20 Years of the Web on the Big Screen 536

Posted by Hemos
from the look-at-the-past dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "WSJ.com has compiled clips from a dozen movies over the past 23 years that depict the internet, with varying degrees of accuracy. Among the selections: WarGames, Sneakers, .com for Murder, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The Matrix Reloaded used real Linux code, while Mission: Impossible had the improbable email addresses Job@Book of Job and Max@Job 3:14. In a related article, WSJ.com reviews some of the more-absurd Hollywood conventions when it comes to the web. Harry Knowles, of Ain't It Cool News, says, 'The thing that always gets me is watching people send emails. You click "send" and the entire document begins to fold into an envelope and disappear into the screen. I tend to send around 300 to 400 emails a day, and that would drive me insane.'"
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More Than 20 Years of the Web on the Big Screen

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  • by suso (153703) * on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:28AM (#15236363) Homepage Journal
    And with that goes more than 20 years of kids at school saying things like "I just hacked into the school's mainframe last night, with the password pencilsharpener, and changed your grades to all Fs".

    Besides, its more like 24 years. They forgot Tron, in which the MCP uses the net or a direct connection to break into those other computers.
  • Accurate or not (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Malakusen (961638)
    Regardless of how probable or improbable Wargames may have been, it was and will likely remain one of my favorite "nerd" movies. I don't think I could ever get tired of it. The chick's hot too. Jason had some of the best lines, even if they did sound like they were delivered by a Speak N Say. Perhaps because of it. Wouldn't you rather play a nice game of chess?
    • by amliebsch (724858) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:42AM (#15236442) Journal
      Jason had some of the best lines

      For someone who claims to love the movie, I'd think you'd know it was Joshua, not Jason! Nerd card SUSPENDED!

    • Re:Accurate or not (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ccandreva (409807) <chris@westnet.com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:53AM (#15236527) Homepage
      For 1983, I think WarGames got far more right than it got wrong. You really could get free phone calls by shorting out an old-style rotary pay phone.

      You really can fake out any system that communicates via DTMF tones by recording and playing them back. Anyone remember hearing tones when you put money in early touch-tone payphones ? If that lock did communicate to a central system via DTMF, you could get out that way.

      Poor passwords used to be far more common. From 2006 Joshua looks like an obvious bad backdoor, but that's only because it used to BE so common.

      What did they get wrong ? WOPR was already an antique at the time, but they wanted something with blinking lights. There couldn't be a voice synth with the same voice everywhere. Often overlooked that complaint is the fact that they bothered to introduce it as a device at all.

      I always thought they presented it correctly as a cinematic device, sort of like a scene starting in a foreign language with subtitles, to establish the characters are foreign, then switching to English so the audiance knows what is going on.
      • What did they get wrong ? WOPR was already an antique at the time, but they wanted something with blinking lights. There couldn't be a voice synth with the same voice everywhere. Often overlooked that complaint is the fact that they bothered to introduce it as a device at all.

        One of the ways I've heard the voice synth explained is that it was pretty likely that both Matthew Broderick's character and the government bought the voice synth equipment from the same place. Much like how the Windows male voice
        • Re:Accurate or not (Score:4, Informative)

          by DarthBart (640519) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:32AM (#15236807)
          One of the ways I've heard the voice synth explained is that it was pretty likely that both Matthew Broderick's character and the government bought the voice synth equipment from the same place.

          Most of the voice synth hardware in the 80s used the same voice synth chip, the venerable SPO256-AL2 from General Instruments...so yes, everything is going to sound similar, if not the same.
      • Re:Accurate or not (Score:5, Interesting)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatmanNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:19AM (#15236711) Homepage Journal
        Often overlooked that complaint is the fact that they bothered to introduce [a voice synth] as a device at all.

        And yet it was still surprisingly realistic. The Intellivoice [wikipedia.org] module (a voice synthesizer with its own built-in speaker) was released for the Intellivision console in 1982, and the Macintosh "introduced" itself in 1984. It received a standing ovation from the crowd. And that's just what the public saw. The actual research into Voice Synthesis goes back to the 1930's [wikipedia.org]!

        So it was perfectly reasonable to include voice synthesis in WarGames, even if its purpose was to allow the viewer to read less text.
      • by stunt_penguin (906223) on Monday May 01, 2006 @10:14AM (#15237158)
        The main thing that they got wrong in that scene was the fact that he actually impressed an attactive young female with his hacking skills, rather than eliciting a blank stare, a yawn or a breakup.

        So unlike real life.
  • Aside from the laughablely unbiquitous Apples, let us not forget television's greatist contribution to the ludicrous depiction of online capabilities and hacking, the oh-so-forgettable show "Whiz Kids [imdb.com]". Oh, Albert Ingalls, how could you have went so wrong?

    -Eric

  • by grub (11606) <slashdot@grub.net> on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:32AM (#15236381) Homepage Journal

    Subject says it all.
    • On a related note, from TFA:

      Filmmakers must sidestep delicate trademark issues when setting a scene. Prominently showing an AOL email screen or Google search page, for example, requires approval from the companies, so some production designers create a variation that avoids the red tape.

      Yet showing a coke can prominently is ok? Well duh, coke paid them for it. So why can't Google pay to show up on a computer screen in 24 or something?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Willow: "Have you tried Googling her?"

        Xander: "Willow, she's only 17!"
      • This depresses me somewhat... The real world is full of trademarks and copyrighted works. It seems impossible to film anything, save naked humans or other animals in pristine nature, without violating something. It isn't trademakr violation for me to say "I am holding a can of Coke" or "Google offers a search engine". Should it be so legally dubious to do the same via film? Is trademark the relevant law here?

        • It seems impossible to film anything, save naked humans or other animals in pristine nature, without violating something.

          That whould explain the popularity of porn. It's the only honest cinematography left.
  • Web != Internet (Score:3, Informative)

    by turgid (580780) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:32AM (#15236382) Journal

    Come on, this isn't the BBC's Technology section or PeeCee Shopper magazine.

  • The internet is >20 years old oh yeah. But the web as we know it means web page's/websites as I know it and 20 years is a tadge of a pinocio situation there.

    Coz it is hollywood/movie land and they do like re-writting history some.
  • by iamdrscience (541136) <.michaelmtripp. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:33AM (#15236397) Homepage
    The Web != The Internet

    Also, just to further nitpick, I don't think Wargames even had the internet in it -- he found WOPR by dialing it up directly.
    • ..And looking for backdoors. Pretty accurate for the time, you could get into a lot of telephone switching systems like that back then.

      Very few norad supercomputers however....
    • You could argue that the 'Internet' includes machines connected only by modem as well as those attached to network gateways.
      • by geoffspear (692508)
        And you could argue that the Internet includes a piece of paper I have sitting on my desk. You'd be wrong either way.
    • by sootman (158191)
      One awesome thing about War Games: they rigged the computer he was using so that each time he pressed a key--ANY key--it would pop up a letter on the screen. One of my big pet peeves in movies is when the sound of the keyboard doesn't sync up with the screen display.

      So, Matthew Broderick didn't have 7337 typing skillz, but the filmmakers did loan him Galaga to play, so when he's playing that game in the movie, that's really him playing.
  • I remember "The Net" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by daviddennis (10926) <david@amazing.com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:34AM (#15236399) Homepage
    Not my kind of movie, seeing that the hapless heroine spent the whole bloody thing running away, without any kind of respite or comic relief or joy.

    That being said, I seem to remember it used a perfectly authentic looking traceroute, even if they had to give each row different colours to make it more visually appealing.

    Maybe my memory is failing, but the chat program used there didn't seem any more hokey than AOL chat or the average myspace profile. My theory is that most people quite like hokey.

    D
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by koreaman (835838) <uman@umanwizard.com> on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:34AM (#15236400)
    I can't believe that list of inaccurate depictions left off Independence Day. No, you can't write a computer virus on your Mac and upload it to alien ships on the fly. And even if you could, it probably wouldn't show a pretty blue progress bar that said "uploading virus" while you did it.

    Honestly, that's the worst depiction of computers in film that I've ever seen
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:50AM (#15236502) Homepage Journal
      No, you can't write a computer virus on your Mac and upload it to alien ships on the fly.

      Maybe you can't...

    • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JimmehAH (817552)
      Independence Day is on the list. That very scene too. But in the film Area 51 had 50 years to reverse engineer the computer systems on the crashed alien ship, so it's not entirely unrealistic.
      Disclaimer: I've not seen the film in years and my memory of it is a little patchy.
    • by 93,000 (150453)
      Agreed -- I lost a lot of faith in my fellow man after seeing that. Some writer was dumb enough to think that he could sell such a crap scenario to the masses as plausible, and somehow he was correct -- people out there bought it! The mere fact that the scene exists is frustrating to me.

      I need to go breathe in a paper bag and lie down for a few minutes.
      • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:41AM (#15236881) Homepage
        Are you kidding me? Every night on CSI they zoom in 100x on digital photo and are able to make the photo clear as an original, with no pixelation. People have no idea what's possible with computers. They just assume that everything they see on television could really happen.
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by mgblst (80109) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:55AM (#15236538) Homepage
      To be fair, the film screws up so badly in all areas, it would be weird if they got the computer stuff right.

      How did Jeff Goldblum's character figure out the alien signal?
      How did they know how to fly the alien ship?
      All of the characters in this film are stereotypical.
      The President of the United States of America flies a fighter plane against alien ships.
      The town drunk is a hero for no reason.
      I could come up with more, but like a child who had been molestered by her uncle, I don't like thinking about it too much.

      Possibly the most idiotic film of the past 30 years.
      • by Tx (96709)
        I love that movie, it being great braindead entertainment which leaves me not at all worried about nitpicking the technical points, but I'll take the time to answer your points.

        Q. How did Jeff Goldblum's character figure out the alien signal?
        A. Duh! He's a genius.

        Q. How did they know how to fly the alien ship?
        A. Captain Hiller is a bad-ass hero fighter pilot, he can fly anything. Anyway, you saw the controls - if pulling one way makes it go backwards, pulling the other way goes...

        Q. All of the characters in
        • Re:Wow (Score:3, Funny)

          by dorkygeek (898295)
          A. He got probed up the ass by the aliens, he's got to get some comeback. It's a classic tale of revenge and redemption. Positively Shakespearian.
          Some of us here would be very happy to get it at least up the butt. Although a kind of "revenge" afterwards woul be nice too.

        • Re:Wow (Score:4, Informative)

          by geoffspear (692508) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:41AM (#15236873) Homepage
          Q. The President of the United States of America flies a fighter plane against alien ships.

          A. So what's your point? Admittedly with your current draft-dodging coward of a president, I can understand your skepticism (if you're not American, I apologise for that).

          Our current draft-dodging coward of a President was actually trained as a fighter pilot (in a unit that had no realistic chance of seeing combat, but that's hardly relevant to whether he could fly a fighter plane if he needed to.)

          At the time the film was made, the previous President had been an actual combat fighter pilot. So no, not unrealistic at all. Although if someone told me that either of the Bushes would be an effective pilot in combat during their presidencies, years after having flown anything at all, I'd be a bit skeptical.

          • Re:Wow (Score:3, Informative)

            by monkeydo (173558)
            Actually, members of Bush's unit did see combat. Bush tried to volunteer for the program that would have taken him into combat, but by the time he had enough flight hours, the jet that he was trained to fly was being phased out.
          • Re:Wow (Score:3, Funny)

            by Zaphod2016 (971897)

            The day I see the President of any political party fight aliens in a jet plane, I will pay double my taxes and adopt a family on welfare.

        • Re:Wow (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kombat (93720)
          Q. How did Jeff Goldblum's character figure out the alien signal?
          A. Duh! He's a genius.


          Wasn't his character falling-down-drunk mere minutes before hacking the alien code and writing a cross-platform virus?

          It's not just computers that Hollywood takes liberties with. People in movies sober up instantaneously, and are almost never hungover. See "40 Year Old Virgin" for another example. He's utterly wasted at the end, goes back to some random's apartment, then sobers up and rides his bike to tell Katherine K
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:04AM (#15236597) Homepage
      It's a movie about a friggin' alien invasion, yet you complain about the computer stuff being unrealistic?
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:21AM (#15236728) Homepage
      I can't believe that list of inaccurate depictions left off Independence Day. No, you can't write a computer virus on your Mac and upload it to alien ships on the fly. And even if you could, it probably wouldn't show a pretty blue progress bar that said "uploading virus" while you did it.

      Actually, in fairness to the film, if you watch the special edition/director's cut that whole part makes a LOT more sense than the theatrical release which outraged us all so very much.

      In the director's cut, they add back enough footage to show that the communications of the aliens is sound/radio wave, and that he (Goldblum's character) had figured out the way their communications worked.

      He didn't write a computer binary virus on his Mac and upload it to the aliens. He used his Mac which had been outfitted with signal processing gear, and transmitted a series of signals which acted on their system in the way a virus would operate on a computer. So the bar could be the same as an upload status -- "this much more signal to transmit".

      As much as I thought it was a travesty when I saw the theatrical release, I thought the expanded version's explaination was plausible.

      Likewise, if you want to see a film that made no sense in theatrical release but becomes clear in extended release -- The Abyss is a good example. SO much of what was cut ouf ot he theatrical release caused it to become muddled and confusing. The extended release made sense.

      In both cases, the films were somewhat crippled by the way theye were initially released to the public, but SO MUCH BETTER in a director's cut.

      Anyway, just some musings from a film geek. :-P
    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sootman (158191) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:49AM (#15236954) Homepage Journal
      Remember, that film took place in the System 7 days--the Mac OS *was* the virus. What you were seeing was the installation progress bar. :-)
  • by 4of12 (97621) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:37AM (#15236415) Homepage Journal

    My favorite: the odometer/slot machine password cracking software, whirring the last few places as you hear the Bad Guy® coming down the hall...

  • Not really web- or internet-specific, but regarding general computer usage: The thing that bothers me most about computer use on movies is how movies' computers generally make a noise for every character displayed on a screen. A close second is how they display the characters slowly enough that you can actually watch them appear serially on the screen. I guess even modern, high-tech computer systems still use 300 bps modems after all.
  • Now don't get me wrong, I loved Independence Day [imdb.com], for the premise, the special effects, and a pretty damned good cast. But was any idea more absurd than Jeff Goldblum hacking into an alien computer system and planting a virus in it to destroy it. Did I miss the part where a crack team of hackers cracked their system and reverse engineered root access and the aliens' virus detection software? Is it possible a race with such militaristic intentions would miss the idea of trying to infect a computer system? It

    • Yeah, I have trouble enough opening a Microsoft Word document created on a Macintosh, let alone a system-destroying, self-propogating network worm...

      Anyone who's ever seen the error message "Quicktime(tm) and a TIFF(LZW) decompressor are needed to see this picture" knows what I'm talking about...
  • by ianscot (591483) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:44AM (#15236453)
    The diary entries on "Doogie Howser, MD" and Carrie's "Sex and the City" word processor were about par for the course when it comes to computers in the pop media. Both shows posited worlds where computers were for t-y-p-i-n-g v-e-e-e-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, in fonts that took up maybe 1/10 of the screen per line, so that the viewer could watch the appear over the character's shoulder. (Both shows also featured characters whose grand observations about life were invariably a single short sentence's worth of trite aphorism, or a simple question.)

    As a narrative device it's lame, okay, but frankly I'll take that over the postmodern delayed deus ex machine of the geek's solution to a technical problem: Oooh, our brainwizard has been working away steadily at a problem all plot long, and now that we're ten minutes shy of the ending, she's finally broken through the security system/discovered the answer to the riddle/broken the code. The writers may as well have Geordi adjust the trust old modulation on the phase transponder, it's the same plot device.

    Lately we're up to the level found in the funnies (other than FoxTrot): names get dropped. Ooh, she "googled" that term! That's about how far we've gotten with the Web in movies and TV... and the brain dead comic strip "B.C." for that matter.

  • I know on TV, that the framerate of the film & the monitor usually don't match up.

    Wouldn't you get the same flicker on Movie film? Or is there some trick that TV/Film people use to get around that?
  • ..compared to what I saw in a Hindi movie, called "Amar Akbar Anthony".

    A scene of blood transfusion is going on. Mother needs blood. The blood from her 3 sons is getting in a bottle 6 feet above ground defying all rules of gravity. The blood is mixed online and then comes down through 4th tube for their mother.

    There are many, but this one was classic.

  • by gregarican (694358) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:49AM (#15236488) Homepage
    The WSJ writer claims, "I tend to send around 300 to 400 emails a day, and that would drive me insane."

    Just the thought of sending out 2,000 e-mails per workweek would drive me a bit apeshit as well. Is he the new distributor for Matthew Lesko's wares?

  • by a_nonamiss (743253) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:49AM (#15236489)
    First off, I love the show 24, but when I watch it, I have to shut my computer nerd brain off.

    CHLOE: Jack, I'm going to open a socket to CTU so you can use your phone to upload the data from the thumb drive.
    JACK: I can't upload it. Something's wrong!
    CHLOE: It looks like the terrorists are trying to overload the router with IP addresses.
    JACK: Can you find out where it's coming from?
    CHLOE: I can't Jack, they're using a level 4 encryption algorhythm. It'll take me a few hours to decipher it.
    JACK: Maybe you can use some of the bandwidth from the FBI servers to help break the encryption!
    CHLOE: That might work, but I'll need level 5 network access from the FBI. I'll call you back!

    It's a damn good thing that show has other good qualities...
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:50AM (#15236493) Homepage Journal
    I actually enjoyed that movie alot.
  • by kunzy (880730) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:50AM (#15236498) Homepage
    Oh, this is a *Unix* system. I know all about this. --Jurassic Parc
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:51AM (#15236507) Journal
    I started watching "24" for the first time this year, because the buzz was that it was good - and while I do enjoy the fast pacing of the plot and the twists, the novelty quickly wears off if you ever let your "suspension of disbelief" slip for too long.

    Comic book action stuff aside, one of the things that kicks the belief out, are the frequent computer superheroics. "Oh, I just machine coded up a thing-a-ma-bobbie to frammit the security on that secure line." (Ok, that's not a direct quote from the show - I said I watch it, not that I was an obsessive quote collecting fan.)

    I am sure the same thing happens in just about any field that takes any expertise - entertainment media is bound to get things wrong, because their expertise is entertaining, not the subject matter of the plot vehicle. (Often on purpose - I mean who wants to watch a "real-time" show on a long drawn-out legal battle, for instance.)

    In the end, the patient needs to be better at the end of the hour, the case solved, and the Internet deliver whatever lines it needed to to finish the story.

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:51AM (#15236509)
    I tend to send around 300 to 400 emails a day, and that would drive me insane.

    Man, that's nothing. You should see Jim Carrey sending email in 'Bruce Almighty'
  • One thing that's always bothered me about movies is the fact that the visuals are terrible. Like stated in the summary, an e-mail will transform into an envelope, and when someone tries to hack into a system, the "ACCESS GRANTED" text fills up the entire screen.

    I also love how, even when the movie is trendy and has its actors use iMacs, people seem to always TYPE everything because a mouse isn't computer-ish enough. Sometimes, the computers are even green text-mode terminals, even in modern TV shows.
  • by geophile (16995)
    24 is amusing on this point. They obviously have someone who knows something provide jargon. But then it gets translated into near-gibberish. Nearly every episode has Chloe "opening a web socket", or Tony will ask someone to "send it to my screen". It's nonsense, but you can see where it came from.
  • Is he sending spam by hand?

    Who sends 300-400 emails a day? Really?

    Assuming he takes 2 minutes per email and an average of 350 emails, that's like 700 minutes per day sending emails. That's almost 12 hours!!

    And you say Hollywood is not realistic.

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:59AM (#15236557) Homepage
    One example in which Hollywood is somewhat realistic is in their depiction of progress bars to build suspense. I rather like this device.

    In "Under Siege 2", Steven Seagal is desperately trying to send a fax from an Apple Newton (!)... which he has wired into the satellite transmission system on a moving train using, if I recall correctly (not), some nailclippers and his native SEAL instincts to identify the correct wires. The progress bar moves slowly, slowly, slowly as we hear bad guys coming closer, closer, closer to Seagal's hiding place.
  • BEEP! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dubpal (860472) * on Monday May 01, 2006 @08:59AM (#15236561) Homepage
    Great article! It's not just the web that gets misrepresented in movies, though. Most computers in film are generally similar in that they're always generating some sort of sound. Anything happening on screen, in some cases just scrolling down a window, is accompanied by a click or a beep or some noise, assumedly, to make sure you didn't miss it. Besides being completely unrealistic, the thought of having to actually work at a computer that noisy, or even a room of computers that noise would drive anyone insane.
  • Hollywood has always played around with "stereotypes" that are totally wrong in real life. For example:

    o All the fire sprinklers going off in a building when only one has been activated.
    o Car tires that "squeal" on dirt roads.
    o Cowboys shooting indians with pistols, from horseback at a gallop (with 100% accuracy)
    o (Not 100% sure of this one) The placement of periscopes in the main control rooms of submarines

    The list goes on and on. After all it *is* Hollywood.

  • EnHANCE that image! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:01AM (#15236576) Homepage Journal
    My family and I always love it when someone will zoom in ion some distant face in a scratchy webcam sht, get basically a twelve-pixel image, and magically "enhance" it to get a crystal-clear picture of some important bad guy or something, often when he was even facing the wrong way.
  • SkyNet a la The Terminator would most definately fit the bill.

    If you look closely at the code that scrolls through Ahnold's head you'll see it's Atari 8-bit DOS.

    Pretty cool, considering when the movie was released.
  • I remember when I was in school I went to see The Terminator with some friends. When the assembly code was scrolling up the screen many of us recognised it and sang out "Hey he's a Commodore 64".

    They probably all read slashdot now. Hi Guys!

  • The reason that movie makers do stupid things like show a big envelope flying off into the ether is that your average movie-goer could not recognize email being sent even if the screen read "Your email has been sent". All they would see is someone pecking at a keyboard. Then they would wonder "What just happened?" Without the envelope, you would need the character to turn around and announce, "Okay, the email's been sent!"

    Average movie-goers still don't get computers, and probably won't for a while.
  • Surveilance camera's (Score:5, Informative)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:10AM (#15236646) Homepage
    I can't believe they forgot this; I've seen it in dozens of movies and TV series, including "realistic" ones like CSI.

    Surveilance camera catches a blurred, grainy, black and white image with a 2x2 pixel head on it, software enhances the face into a highly detailed 3D model and even autodetects the name of the person.
  • Amusingly - (Score:2, Funny)

    by Geminii (954348)
    As an office tech, I was once pulled aside to demonstrate screenlocking to a new employee. I told her to put in a password while I wasn't looking, then locked the screen and had her unlock it. Then, to kill five seconds, I said "And now look what happens when I try to guess it," and with half a neuron thinking of "WarGames", quickly typed "Joshua" into the password box and hit Enter.

    How was I to know it was also her kid's name?
  • by ascii (70907) <ascii@microco r e .dk> on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:12AM (#15236654) Homepage
    The show / movie escapes me but I'll remember this pants wetting funny awful sequence to the day I draw my terminal breath:

    > DELETE ALL SECRET FILES
    SECRET FILES ARE PROTECTED. CANNOT DELETE.
    > OVERRIDE
    DELETING ALL SECRET FILES...DONE!
  • Transferring Funds (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blaster151 (874280) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:34AM (#15236819)
    Another example I've seen a couple of times is when someone is attempting to transfer funds (usually under intense time pressure, of course) and the computer screen shows a progress bar moving across the screen with a quickly changing counter showing how many dollars have been transferred! As if an electronic wire transfer sends one dollars at a time and your status could be at $748,282 of $1,000,000. Atomic transactions, anyone?
  • by ishmalius (153450) on Monday May 01, 2006 @09:37AM (#15236848)
    Now matter how hard you work to break into a computer, the hacking is not completed until you say the magic words, "We're in!" I challenge you to find a script that does not have that statement, or something like it.
  • by smithmc (451373) * on Monday May 01, 2006 @11:08AM (#15237621) Journal

    from Clear and Present Danger - "We're wayyy beyond birthdays now. I'm gonna have to write... a special program, here."
  • Sneakers (Score:3, Informative)

    by BigFootApe (264256) on Monday May 01, 2006 @01:25PM (#15239029)
    Overall, this film was not a bad offender. The clip shown was of Janek's black box, which was the film's McGuffin. The technology behind it is not really described in detail, except that it has encryption cracking technology hard wired in.

    Throughout the film, technology behaves properly (pretty well). TV cameras do what TV cameras are supposed to, security systems are bypassed by breaking into wiring closets and such. The worst scene for accuracy, by far, was the telephone trace.

RADIO SHACK LEVEL II BASIC READY >_

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