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Author Topic: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film  (Read 72427 times)

SalinityBased

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Re: War Games Tic-Tac-Toe scene
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2006, 07:08:52 AM »

Just to respond to madmyk,

I am definitely fuzzy on War Games, not having seen it in years and not having a tape or DVD of it. Still I didn't think I got that image of a password being broken, one character at a time, from another movie. Luckily someone on the web has the screen play posted and luckily there's now a decent search engine like google to make finding it a quick task.

http://www.script-o-rama.com/movie_scripts/wargames-script.html

Do a search of the page for "What are those?" It's at that point that the computer "Joshua" begins its attempt at breaking the launch code. The question refers to the running characters being displayed on the screen.

This is some of the dialog in sequence though with no indication of gaps -

"Joshua's trying to find the right codes|so he can launch the missiles himself."

"He's got one. When he gets all ten,|he'll launch the missiles."

"- Games!|- Try it."

"Three numbers locked in."

"Global thermonuclear war."

"Four numbers."

"Tic-tac-toe.
You're in. Order it to disarm the missiles.
No! No.
Five numbers. It's got half the code."

The idea of "games" was to get the computer to stop its attempt at breaking the launch code and launching the missiles. As you mentioned, tic-tac-toe helped the computer "realize" the pointlessness of trying to "win" the "global thermo nuclear war" game. That particular aspect of the movie didn't impress me much since there were about half a dozen original Star Trek episodes where computers were "out smarted" with a similar use of "logic."

There were aspects of War Games that did very much strike techy home though. This is also vague but I think I remember the modem tone handshaking being a part of one or more scenes. I don't think familiarity with handshaking tones was that common then (1983). Also in guessing at login passwords one of the tries involved using a pet's name. Someone I was with at the time I saw this in a theatre used a pet dog's name as a password. A Kevin Mitnick like technique before Mitnick?
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paleryder

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2006, 07:49:40 AM »

Most of those I dont have a problem with HOWEVER, you do realize an IPOD contains an 60-80 gb laptop HD, so conceivably all you need is some kind of interface and you can use it just like a regular HD that is in any laptop. The fact he used a FAX machine is a little out there but hey, when your in a hurry, anything that can handshake to a computer will do. So the only assumption you have to make is that the computer he is connecting to has a modem that the fax can interface with. OK its a reach to get there but not totally impossible.
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tim-bit

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #42 on: September 25, 2006, 07:28:42 AM »

zomg, site is borked!

/.'d?
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PIYIRIO

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #43 on: September 25, 2006, 08:59:53 AM »

zomg, site is borked!

/.'d?

:lol: i noticed... stupid digg... :lol:
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"Lois, you better watch who you call a child. Because if I'm a child, that makes you a pedafile, and I'm not gonna stand here and argue with a pervert" - Peter Griffin

gho$t

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2006, 12:27:15 PM »

Since i didn't see the move "The Core" mentioned in this post I'm assuming you simply forgot about it :)

That movie not only containes the most idiotic tech bullsh*t i've ever seen, it also contains so much of it. Please check that movie out and update your list  :D

Ok, it's kind of a scifi movie but no more than jurassic park and it happens in modern time.

(At least check out the scene where the ubergeek plays a tone to a cellphone to mysteriously unlock free longdistance calls)
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GideonX

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2006, 12:50:50 PM »

Since there's a big interest in this article, I'll put out a second edition to include some scifi genres.

We hit the trifecta, digg'd, then fark'd, then /.'d. Sorry for the slowness, the two servers are working as hard as they can :)
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mr_ibis

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #46 on: September 25, 2006, 01:46:59 PM »

I really have a problem with #1. I'm not much of a hardware hacker, but I could build that damn iPod device. A Gumstix linux computer, USB cable to Pod, which acts as a USB HDD, and a network cable plugged into the Switch at the top of the rack. If I'd designed the system, I could write code to run on it that would intercept the account information going over the network.

What's far-fetched about that ?
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defl8ed

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #47 on: September 25, 2006, 01:51:54 PM »

How is it possible that Sandra Bullock's 1995 masterpiece "The Net" didn't make it onto this list?
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fil

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #48 on: September 25, 2006, 03:28:09 PM »

I wonder about the assertion that a 10-year-old couldn't know about UNIX.  I was programming by the age of 13, and probably would have been at 10 apart from the fact that I'm old enough that 13 was the first time I (or anyone I knew) had seen a computer.

Is it the fact that the person in question is a 10-year-old, or that they are a girl, that makes this unbelievable to you, I wonder?

In order to prove that your disbelief is unjustified, perhaps I should mention Elizabeth Garbee as a counter-example:

  http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/linuxunix/0,39020390,39186360,00.htm

Here, presenting a talk at LCA aged 13.  She installed a Debian GNU/Linux system from scratch at age 9, with no more than moral support from her Dad.

OK, so dad's Bdale Garbee, who happens to be Linux CTO for HP, and ex-leader of the Debian Project, but I'm sure he's not alone among Debianites in giving his kids Debian systems to play with at an early age, and in Debian alone we have 1000+ developers, of whom a proportion have succeeded in overcoming the odds, and reproducing  ;-)

Scaling that up for all the other geek Mums & Dads, I'd imagine you'd find several hundred individuals that knew their way around a shell pretty well aged 10, about half of whom are likely to be girls (parents tend to discriminate against their own kids rather less than society, and geeks tend to be at the less bigoted end of the spectrum) so having the ofspring in a technically able family know an unusual amount about other technology, is not all that astounding.
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GideonX

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Re: Tech Bits: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
« Reply #49 on: September 25, 2006, 04:45:45 PM »

The Net was not added mainly because, well, I thought I'd give some other films a chance. There are a LOT of films that can fall into this list, can't put them all in here ;)

JP's little girl was just zany. Yes, I'm sure there are little girls out there in the world that can do this. However, what gets me is with showing this in film, the mass public will think UNIX is a common thing little girls (or boys) should be masters at. Honest truth is, it's not. Most adults aren't experts or 'know' it, let alone kids.
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