British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Nowhere is this idea more alive and well than Hollywood, where real technology is explained away in a series of buzzwords that make about as much sense as the almost-Latin gibberish used to cast spells in everyone’s favourite fantasy worlds.
For those with a technical background, watching shows or films where technology plays a pivotal role can be a cringe-inducing experience.
The opening scene of 1995's 'Hackers' is one of the first examples of Hollywood showing computer infiltration as something like a video game with lots of pretty animations.
'Can you enhance it?' This super-cut shows how much Hollywood overuses the 'zoom and enhance' trope in solving mysteries.
Don't have a picture from the angle you need? That's ok, the 'CSI: Miami' team can just grab a reflection from the eye of someone in a photo looking the right way.
'NCIS' writers seem to believe that hacking is a video game and the more hands you have on the keys, the better luck you'll have fighting off a hacker.
If that's the case, the bad guys must have had a lot of hands on a keyboard to stop this hack, despite the computer 'not even knowing it's on.'
Apparently the writers of 'NCIS' think it's possible to have a 'high score' in massively multiplayer online games like 'World of Warcraft.'
The key to tracking down a killer's IP address is to... create an app in Visual Basic? Way to go, 'CSI.'
An IP address is a unique idenifier for devices on a given computer network. The writers of 'Numb3rs' seem to think that it's a well-hidden password that gives a back door into whatever a user is doing.
Internet Relay Chat (commonly referred to as IRC) is a protocol generally used by online communities to let their users chat without signing up for a service like AIM. According to 'Numb3rs,' it's 'how hackers talk when they don't want to be overheard' and you need to 'speak leet' to understand what they're saying.
'The files are all there, I just had to defrag your hard drive.' Defragging your drive lets your computer access files a bit faster, but it probably won't fix any bugs keeping your PC from working outright.
No one can deny that the iPhone's camera is the best on the market whenever a new model comes out. With that said, there's no way you could get this much detail out of zooming in on a picture taken on a smartphone.
The 'NCIS: Los Angeles' team puts the NSA to shame: in this clip, their tech guy takes down a fictional 'YouTube' competitor in seconds from a tablet.
The hacking scene in 'Skyfall' is just awful -- computer code is shown as a big swirly puzzle and MI6's head of technology is surprised that plugging an enemy spy's computer into your network is a bad idea.
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