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Top 10 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the upload-a-virus-and-win dept.

Movies 874

An anonymous reader writes "From blowing up your keyboards to developing a malignant sentience, Expert Reviews rounds up the things that movie makers believe computers can do, even though they use the same technology every day to write scripts." I like the summary of how you crack a password in movies. I hate that this page splits into multiple pages. Very lame.

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874 comments

ENHANCE (5, Funny)

coniferous (1058330) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084646)

I wish i could just yell "ENHANCE" at a photo on my computer to make it magically uncover detail that was never originally there. That would be awesome.

Re:ENHANCE (2, Informative)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084738)

My favourite take on this by far was in Super Troopers. For an instant I thought they were actually doing it seriously ;)

Re:ENHANCE (0, Offtopic)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085036)

for a while? if your definition of "a while" is only 7-10 years.

I call "a while" the 50 years that fuel injection has been around. 7-10 years = we aint' got the bugs out yet.

Re:ENHANCE (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084890)

The best example of this was in Red Dwarf: Return to Earth. They zoomed in on a business card, then zoomed back out. Found a reflection behind the people in the picture, enhanced the reflection, then found a water droplet on a telephone pole, enhanced the reflection from that, and THEN they used a window seen in the reflection on the water droplet to see the back of the card. Then, they flipped the image...all so they could read the address on the back of the card.

It was fsking epic.

Re:ENHANCE (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084972)

The best example of this was in Red Dwarf: Return to Earth. They zoomed in on a business card, then zoomed back out. Found a reflection behind the people in the picture, enhanced the reflection, then found a water droplet on a telephone pole, enhanced the reflection from that, and THEN they used a window seen in the reflection on the water droplet to see the back of the card. Then, they flipped the image...all so they could read the address on the back of the card.

It was fsking epic.

Very obviously done for laughs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUFkb0d1kbU [youtube.com]

Re:ENHANCE (1)

Barnett (550375) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084926)

Yea, you got to love how they can scan a printed picture, then zoom in on a small silver vase in the background, and end up with a crystal clear picture of the person who took the photo along with everyone else who were standing behind the camera. No wonder I see so many pixelated photos used in ads. Thanks to the movies, the average person now thinks that computers can enlarge a small web graphic back up to 300dpi for printing.

Re:ENHANCE (2, Informative)

classic773 (683088) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085000)

I wish i could just yell "ENHANCE" at a photo on my computer to make it magically uncover detail that was never originally there. That would be awesome.

While movies typically do this in a b.s. fashion, it is possible to create an "enhanced" still image using multiple frames of a video source. It is called Super-resolution http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super-resolution [wikipedia.org]

Re:ENHANCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32085146)

In "Enemy of the State" with Will Smith, they were able to reconstruct a 3D visualization of what was in Will's bag using one frame from a security camera.

Re:ENHANCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32085076)

Don't forget the nice sounds that this enhancing must make!

Worst ever use of computer lingo in film (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084648)

Re:Worst ever use of computer lingo in film (5, Funny)

teh31337one (1590023) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084842)

Site with the article is down =/

This is Numb3rs' description of how IRC works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2rGTXHvPCQ [youtube.com]

Re:Worst ever use of computer lingo in film (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085020)

hahahaha
that made my day. Never watch that show...
I know plebs that do. This explains a lot about how they think about computers. Since they all "know I'm a hacker" apparently I'm super cool now?

My personal favorite (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084656)

In Terminator 3, the Terminator T-X is able to take over complete control of automobiles simply by sending a virus to their onboard computers. Forget that none of these cars (most of them older ones at that) have any way for the onboard computer to access steering, acceleration or brakes; the real kicker is when the movie shows one of them actually shifting into gear on its own. And not ONE of them was even a Toyota!

And, on the opposite side, I would like to recognize the movie "Wargames." It wasn't perfect (the AI is certainly exagerrated), but it's definitely one of the most realistic computer films to ever come out of Hollywood. If they remade that today, they would probably show Joshua blowing up buildings and sending robotic minions after David. As it is, Wargames makes a simple ringing phone and a countdown clock way more suspenseful than anything ever produced with CGI special effects. Kudos to John Badham for getting away with making a movie that's pretty thoughtful and low-key--and just a year after Tron showed us how evil programs can suck you into the digital world with a laser, no less.

Re:My personal favorite (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084780)

I’m pretty sure the T-X injected totally new circuitry into the cars. Not only did it upload a virus, it used minuscule amounts of its own material to design completely new computer & control systems.

Re:My personal favorite (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085124)

I guess she was able to send up some servos to control the steering, gearshift, and pedals too.

clone53421 likes stalking others to other forums? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32085128)

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?s=0c20bd72321b9c96c7a66c25b68b16a6&p=13958812#post13958812 [pcreview.co.uk]

Says it all right there. Pretty pitiful clone53421, and all because you badly lost a debate here on /., where you libeled me repeatedly as well with information from sources who tried the same in Jeremy Reimer and Jay Little (who only got caught email harassing me by their ISPs, had their websites with death threats & impersonations of myself removed in part or their entirely (3 of them no less, 3 times) by their hosting providers, and had law enforcement in their local areas notified on them both, due to such "geek angst based" death threats).

APK

P.S.=> clone53421 - Seek help for your condition, please. However, I am not sure if there is a 'cure' or treatment for 'geek angst', lol... apk

Re:My personal favorite (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084792)

In Terminator 3, the Terminator T-X is able to take over complete control of automobiles simply by sending a virus to their onboard computers. Forget that none of these cars (most of them older ones at that) have any way for the onboard computer to access steering, acceleration or brakes; the real kicker is when the movie shows one of them actually shifting into gear on its own. And not ONE of them was even a Toyota!

I assumed she quickly installed servos for all that stuff before setting off after the gang. ;)

Re:My personal favorite (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084804)

In Terminator 3, the Terminator T-X is able to take over complete control of automobiles simply by sending a virus to their onboard computers.

You are mistaken. She has nanotechnological tranjectors. In other words, she's installing tiny remote control drones in those electronics. Not a virus, thousands of little remote control robots.

LK

Re:My personal favorite (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084870)

If they remade that today, they would probably show Joshua blowing up buildings and sending robotic minions after David.

Close. Not a remake, but a "sequel" - WarGames 2: The Dead Code [imdb.com] . And yeah, it's guilty of all that crap.

Re:My personal favorite (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084966)

Most cars have had electronic "throttle by wire" systems for a while. Power-steering systems already have all the mechanical systems for electrical control of steering, and I seem to recall some luxury sedans having some sort of computer "assistance" (power steering gain is adjusted based on speed, etc). Finally, conventional car's brakes are completely independent, but hybrids that use regenerative braking involve the computer. No so far fetched.

Re:My personal favorite (5, Informative)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084994)

Matrix Reloaded: Trinity exploits an actual vulnerability to hack into the power station.

Re:My personal favorite (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085104)

Oh and the worst was Independence Day when they upload a "virus" to what would be a totally unknown operating system. Does Bill Gates do interplanetary deliveries? But no...they HAD to do a twist on War of the Worlds.

Re:My personal favorite (2, Funny)

camg188 (932324) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085002)

I started watching The Net 2.0 and at the beginning they show the protagonist at her bank's web page checking her account balance. She dozes off and the camera zooms in on the computer screen to show her account balance rolling down until it reaches zero.
I immediately shut off the DVD player and never finished watching the movie.

Re:My personal favorite (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085132)

And not ONE of them was even a Toyota!

The first car it took over was a Lexus (aka everybody but Americans calls it a Toyota)

Yeah that is so annoying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084662)

I hate that this page splits into multiple pages. Very lame.

Computers cannot fix everything.

Gotta love the "Gibson" in Hackers, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084676)

--Crash Override

Re:Gotta love the "Gibson" in Hackers, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32085102)

I've got something you need to see. Meet me at the indoor rollerblading skate ramp/arcade; you know the one.

FTFA (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084678)

In Star Trek, Kirk need only ask an alien computer to "Explain. The. Human emotion. Known. As.....Love", for it to go into a bizarre loop where its logical systems can't computer and it explodes.

I hate it when my machine can't computer.

this topic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084688)

is old and boring, how many of these articles are there? I swear one of these pops up every 6 months.

Re:this topic... (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084830)

is old and boring, how many of these articles are there? I swear one of these pops up every 6 months.

Nope, it's the same one that gets copypasted every single time with some minor changes.

#8 now true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084692)

Google wave actually shows each character as it is typed.

Re:#8 now true (2, Informative)

Coopa (773302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085034)

ICQ had this ability in a realtime chat mode about 10 years ago too.

Hollywood is partially right (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084696)

I can't perform my daily sysadmin duties unless I'm getting fellatio from a chick under my desk at the same time as having a loaded gun pointed at my head while someone counts down from an arbitrary number.

Re:Hollywood is partially right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32085014)

So you call breaking into government servers your daily sysadmin duties? Well, I didn't know Travolta was your Boss. :D

Re:Hollywood is partially right (1)

SiaFhir (686401) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085072)

Oh yes, my favourite part of that whole movie... pleasure and fear messin with ma consentrashun... and oh look I successfully hacked into the most secure computer in the U.S.! Yeah right... I always get the pleasure over with before concentrating. And fear? It'll freeze me up like Windoze.

Obligatory (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084710)

Still, Jeff Goldblum's power book hacking into and planting a virus in highly advanced space faring alien architecture has to be my favourite. Don't know if that made the list.

Re:Obligatory (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084736)

Still, Jeff Goldblum's power book hacking into and planting a virus in highly advanced space faring alien architecture has to be my favourite. Don't know if that made the list.

Yeah, it's the rule where good guys always use Macs.

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084838)

If you watch all the scenes they cut from the movie, you learn how he was able to do this.

Had to stop at... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084716)

... the sentence which ends with "...for it to go into a bizarre loop where its logical systems can't computer and it explodes." Very reminiscent of "All your base are belong to us."

then don't reward them? (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084730)

I hate that this page splits into multiple pages. Very lame.

Then...don't reward them by linking to them?

"BAD, Johhny! Don't pull your brother's hair! Here's an ice cream sundae."

Re:then don't reward them? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084770)

I think they were punished by having their site slashdotted. Seems fitting, somehow.

Re:then don't reward them? (4, Funny)

OnlyJedi (709288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084806)

Considering that one of the things it seems the article's computer *can't* do is handle a slashdotting without crashing and going up in flames, I would hardly consider linking to them being a reward.

Re:then don't reward them? (4, Funny)

Skater (41976) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084866)

Considering that one of the things it seems the article's computer *can't* do is handle a slashdotting without crashing and going up in flames, I would hardly consider linking to them being a reward.

I love that someone used that "going up in flames after being Slashdotted" cliche on an article about things computers don't actually do.

It is punished with a slashdot whooping now. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084910)

"The connection has timed out"
"The server at www.expertreviews.co.uk is taking too long to respond."

That will teach them to create split pages ;)

Good guys only use macs (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084752)

Yeah I read TFA .. but I can point out an exception to "the good guys only use macs". In one of the robocop movies (#2?? I know I never saw #3 or anything later if there was anything??) the robocop interface is shown as DOS like, but his nemesis is shown having a mac like interface.

Re:Good guys only use macs (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084812)

my guess there, mac is what is available for the studio crew. So when the script say "computer" they grab the nearest one for the shot, and it will more likely then not be a mac, thanks to its longish history in media circles.

Re:Good guys only use macs (1)

OnlyJedi (709288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084902)

Well, considering that Robocop 2 was made in March 1990, a few months after System 6.0.5 and a few months before Windows 3.0 were released, it is hardly surprising that they used a DOS computer. That's what most people would have recognized after all. The whole "good guys use Mac" meme is a much more recent phenomenon.

Re:Good guys only use macs (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084942)

I know what I pointed out was a historical quirk, but it amused me at the time to recognize the joke embedded in the movie.

There's a Famous Story, in Certain Circles... (5, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085086)

It's taken on a kind of Urban Legend patina, so take it with a grain of salt, but here goes:

Seems that the Art Department and Properties guys -- the crew responsible for dressing the set -- for Star Trek IV were all HUGE Amiga fans. No real surprise there, given where Amiga was at the time the movie was shot. So... in the famous scene where Scotty, the ultimate fictional Uber Engineer, has traveled back in time and assumes all computers are voice-activated (as they are in his century), talks into a mouse, the Art guys wanted their Amiga to be the one featured in the scene. So they sent some reps just up the road apiece from where they were filming in San Francisco to meet with the Amiga honchos and get some hardware for the scene. As the story goes, the Amiga guys were initially annoyed, cuz it was all so unannounced and sudden, and then they agreed only if the crew paid for the gear. "No loaners."

"Um, but, it's the new Star Trek movie, and it's Chief Engineer Scott, and he's back in our century, and he could be using YOUR computer, and we all really love Amigas on the set, and..."

"Sorry. Sign this Purchase Order or get out."

So the crew called Apple, who "got it" in a heartbeat, sent in a Marketing SWAT team with free Macs for the scene, free Macs for everyone on the crew, and technical advisers to stand by during the filming to make sure everything went smoothly.

Amiga, the astute among you have by now noticed, is no longer with us. Apple, on the other hand...

Must be controlled with a keyboard... (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084764)

The article tries to assert that somehow a keyboard is not an effective way of controlling a computer in a hurry. I would like to say that they are full of shit. On any OS that is worth anything, I do more work with the keyboard than with the mouse; especially if the situation is urgent. I don't want to be inconvenienced with a mouse when something important is going down, I want all my fingers available for typing.

Re:Must be controlled with a keyboard... (2, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084980)

(zoomy experimental mouse/OpenGL file browser shows on Iris Crimson minicomputer...)

Lex: This is Unix! I know this!

Re:Must be controlled with a keyboard... (5, Insightful)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085004)

The bandwidth of ten fingers and 104 keys is far greater than a two-dimensional vector and a couple buttons.

Re:Must be controlled with a keyboard... (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085022)

"On any OS that is worth anything"

Scotsman's fallacy.

You're correct in that using a key board should be faster, and that in every current mainstream OS it is faster. But that doesn't excuse your logical fallacy.

I had to rewrite a system that the original programmer made completely mouse driven.
Here's this kicker: It was a system specifically for data entry, but you could not tab to the next entry area.

They forgot the beeping interfaces (5, Insightful)

drcagn (715012) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084766)

That's one thing that always drives me nuts when I'm watching computers being used on TV or in the movies... EVERY user interface element BEEPS. Text will scroll on the screen (no idea why it won't just show all at once) and as the computer renders each and every single character, it lets out a beep. That sort of machine would drive me nuts after about 3 minutes of use.

Re:They forgot the beeping interfaces (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084904)

Try booting up Windows ME on an old Gateway. If you don't get blue screens and beeps every 3 minutes you've managed more than I ever could.

Re:They forgot the beeping interfaces (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084940)

I've had a computer that gave a high-pitched chirping noise from some electronic component whenever something on the screen moved; text, window, mouse cursor or otherwise.

copying files deletes the original (4, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084776)

Whether its the EMH or just a mundane collection of data. Once it's been copied from its original place the orginal has gone.

However, if DRM really gets a grip, this could become fact not fiction.

Re:copying files deletes the original (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084882)

rm /bin/cp && ln /bin/mv /bin/cp

Re:copying files deletes the original (0)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085078)

mv is just a convenience program that copies and then deletes in the first place.

Re:copying files deletes the original (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32084932)

Whether its the EMH or just a mundane collection of data. Once it's been copied from its original place the orginal has gone.

So *this* is where we got the notion that piracy==theft from!

Re:copying files deletes the original (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085006)

Well, if the EMH were a bunch of qbits, then this would be true. However, we know it is not true because in some episode the EMH was left in some godforsaken planet and Voyager still managed to reload it from a backup...

I'm still waiting... (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084822)

To get my VR glasses & navigate the virtual file system on my very own Gibson super computer. I'll look for oil and stuff with it... Good times!

Re:I'm still waiting... (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084846)

To get my VR glasses & navigate the 3D virtual file system on my very own Gibson super computer. I'll look for oil and stuff with it... Good times!

Re:I'm still waiting... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085150)

The "glasses" he had in the end sequence were real. It was a led based text display. Steve Mann and Thad Starner both used them for wearable computer research in the 90's

Also they never had a "virtual 3d" anything. those sequences were what he was seeing in the data on the screen.

P.S. buy the script, theres a lot more detail in it than what was shot.

Slashdotted already :( (1)

GordonCopestake (941689) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084824)

Anyone got a mirror?

Re:Slashdotted already :( (4, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084916)

Anyone got a mirror?

Believe me .. in this case the slashdotting is a benefit and not a drawback

My wish (1)

winterchapo (1787988) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084832)

How about all the fancy GUI Hollywood shows when someone is coding/hacking? I want them to show someone using VI.

Re:My wish (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084930)

Oh but don't you know? In real life nobody uses keyboards!

This article is totally a joke all around. The only difference between these guys, and the Hollywood guys, is that the hollywood guys are going to make a lot more money while demonstrating their lack of computer knowledge.

Re:My wish (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085110)

It seems that lately, "hackers" and other "computer savvy" Hollywood characters use interfaces full of text (often rapidly scrolling). Perhaps it's the influence of the Matrix, but it's closer to the real thing than flying through a 3D representation of a hard drive.

Computers? Big Deal... (5, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084836)

When John Wayne fired a gun, at least two Indians dropped instantly. *At least* two. You can keep those computers, I want to better understand the technology behind The Duke's bullets...

Re:Computers? Big Deal... (1)

Bugamn (1769722) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084936)

That is easy. One indian was killed by the bullet, the other by his evil look.

Re:Computers? Big Deal... (3, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084990)

Start small, like with the JFK "Magic Bullet" theory. Once you grasp that, you can move on to The Duke and such puzzlers like the 24-shooter that really looks like a 6-shooter.

V'Ger (4, Informative)

AllyGreen (1727388) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084900)

The V'ger reference at the end annoyed me. It was given life by other beings, it didn't just become sentient!

Yet another rant on hollywood computers, huh? (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084912)

Hollywood does not actually think computers can currently do nor do they think they ever will do these things.

Hollywood does think is that having computers do such things in a story usually (not always, but usually) makes it easier or faster to tell the story the way it is intended, rather than getting bogged down in the real life technicalities that are actually involved that would bore almost anybody.

The only real problem with this is that some people could be left thinking that computers do or can do some of these things. But that's more a case of those people not being able to tell fiction from reality, which has nothing to do with how Hollywood tells stories, it has to do with what sort of education and life experience a person has.

Heh. (1)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084920)

I read page 1, then the site got slashdotted, appearantly. I can only imagine the fire alarms going off, server rooms on fire, sparks everywhere, chaos, mayhem... Much more interesting than a "an unexpected error has occured. contact your administrator." windows dialog on a machine.

Well then, without the original article... I guess one thing that Hollywood thinks computers can do, is for servers to be ab-so-lu-tely quiet... In series such as 24 and CSI, I see rack after rack of Dell equipment, and they must be on because there are blue lights everywhere... Yet people can have normal conversations. Also, especially in CSI:NY, why are the server racks in the office rooms? Oh, and come to think of it... In CSI, where people are supposed to scrutinize every little detail, not to miss everything... Who thought it would be a good idea to work on transparent screens? I would imagine that all the distractions you see *through* the screen, would make you miss essential clues? Weird.

storytelling (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084952)

It's just an aspect of storytelling. Most stories are about conflict and resolution between the characters, not the intellectual masturbation of what layer in the network stack is responsible for ack/response. Details like that don't matter. Struggling against time, intrigue, and moving the plot along: that's what matters.

In the movie House of Flying Daggers, there's a swordfight scene where the two rivals finally clash in an epic struggle as the seasons change from summer to fall to winter all around them. Obviously nobody can fight for nine months. Obviously the sword choreography was on a completely different time scale to the environment they were in. Details like this matter if you're a weak-minded literalist. As pretty as the visuals were, it simply communicated a story like a line in a novel. It was a powerful visual metaphor.

Next time the guys in CSI can scan a DNA sequence in a matter of minutes (or perhaps hours, as the camera briefly observes an analog clockface), don't nitpick the usual technical constraints of a process that usually takes days or weeks or months. Just insert "no technical challenge will stop this team." Even for geeks who enjoy the technical aspects, some details are like watching paint dry.

Mistaking dramatic license for technical error... (4, Insightful)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 3 years ago | (#32084956)

8. Online chats always display each character as its typed.
...each character of a message is displayed as its typed...the typing is always faster than fluent touch-typists can manage and no mistakes are ever made - not once is the backspace key pressed...No IM system in popular use does this...

I was using ICQ back in 1998, and it had the option of displaying each chat character as it was typed. It meant you could express more complex thoughts, without requiring the other person to sit and wait patiently for you to develop a whole paragraph. It let the other guy step in and say 'I see where you're going, but let me stop you there...'. It opened up opportunities for dramatic timing and deliberate use of backspacing for comedic effect. It was more 'live' than a one-line-at-a-time chat modality, despite its warts. While this style of online chat may not be particularly popular today, it was (and still is) readily available.

In real-life telephone conversations, you don't get to review each sentence before it goes out over the wire; if you choose the wrong word you just have to live with it.

To the other point, I just have to say -- what? People can perform tasks flawlessly in movies? It turns out that unless required for dramatic effect (as a somewhat-lazy shorthand to convey nervousness or poorly-concealed deception), characters always speak in clear, perfect setences and never use the word "um". Their shoelaces are always tied, their hair is always perfect, and they never miss the bus unless their character is required to be unlucky or miserable. People in movies seldom need to visit the washroom, and then only to have private conversations -- never to defecate, except as a route to teen-movie fart jokes.

Movies are a projection of reality, not an exact duplicate. People tend to do non-visually-arresting and plot-irrelevant things faster or behind the scenes. Watching someone make typos for two hours isn't my idea of a good time.

Re:Mistaking dramatic license for technical error. (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085046)

It let the other guy step in and say 'I see where you're going, but let me stop you there...'. It opened up opportunities for dramatic timing and deliberate use of backspacing for comedic effect.

Kanye?

Passwords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32085024)

I guessed more than one person's password in two tries or less in college. One was "flip" (she was a gymnastics fan). Another was "girls" (That should be enough for you to picture this guy).

Cracked Article (0, Redundant)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085026)

This seems almost identical to the Cracked article of the same name, just less humorous.

Irony (2, Funny)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085048)

"Here's a link for the top 10 things that computers can do in movies but can't do in real life"

*clicks link*

"A rendering error occured"

Very lame indeed. (5, Informative)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085084)

If you want to read something alot more entertaining and you're happy with it being spread across multiple pages, read the pages at TV Tropes instead: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicalComputer [tvtropes.org] It includes all the ten tropes in the list, plus many more, without obnoxious advertising.

It's much funnier, has exhaustive examples, and will ultimately ruin your life.

A bit more back on topic, my favourite "enhance" button was seen in some terrible movie starring Jack Black as a CIA hacker which I came across whilst, er, herbally medicated. It featured the usual "enhance [208.116.9.205] " button with a (literal) twist - using "inference AI" it could turn a patchwork of images into a 3D model... including the bits that weren't filmed. The wall-banging stupidity of this was even a major plot point - the model was done so they could find out where someone had stashed the microfilm, or some such rubbish - typical modest programmers, they write their AI to infer things and it turns out to be an all-seeing eye that can observe past events witnessed by no other human. The only reason I'm sad I can't remember the name of that film is in case I accidentally start watching it again.

Rainbow Tables? (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085106)

I've cracked passwords in a few minutes using rainbow tables. Granted you need the weeks/months before hand to generate said tables, but if you have a few hundred gig laying around, no reason not to.

To be fair, Ozymandias' password was in the comic (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085114)

The movie was faithful to Alan Moore's take on how passwords were cracked in the graphic novel.

Another version... (2, Insightful)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#32085116)

Looks like a variation on the "5 Things Hollywood Thinks Computers Can Do" article from cracked.com. [cracked.com]

Also, i'd like to point out that the Expert Reviews version used really poor examples for their #1 case that computers which are just left on will develop intelligence. V'ger didn't develop intelligence on its own, the original primitive computer was massively upgraded and reprogrammed by some aliens who found it, it wasn't just "left on." In Skynet's case the basic computer was powerful enough to develop sentience and did so almost immediately after being turned on, there was no "just leave it on long enough" involved. The WarGames example from the cracked article was better because it didn't show any signs of intelligence immediately after being turned on, and it involved completely understandable and by now quite outdated technology that clearly would have a hard time opening a modern webpage, much less developing intelligence.
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