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When you’re trying to come up with a dramatic script or integrate “hacking” into your police drama show, there’s no time for reality. An actual depiction of hacking would be terribly boring, but add some flashing windows, fast-paced typing, and dramatic music and you’ve got yourself a thrilling scene. Time and time again, television shows and films have fallen flat on their faces when it comes to understanding technology, and the results make for great entertainment.
Think of this as a “greatest hits” list of some of the most hilarious and ridiculous examples that have been mentioned on the Web. You don’t have to be a computer geek to appreciate the hilarity here, but it certainly helps.
Tracking The Killer’s IP Address With Visual Basic
This one’s a classic from CSI. The show’s trying to impress us by throwing technical-sounding terms like “GUI,” “Visual Basic,” and “IP address” at us, but it misses the mark and just sounds completely ridiculous.
“We’re Being Hacked!”
From NCIS comes an attempt to transform “hacking” into visual drama. Apparently, hacking involves windows flashing on and off your screen. To fight it, two people should type on the keyboard at the same time, as if they’re psychically linked and wouldn’t just be typing gibberish. If you’re unsuccessful, you’ll see code on your screen and may end up exclaiming “I’ve never seen code like this!”
IRC Is For Hackers
According to Numb3rs, IRC is “how hackers talk when they don’t want to be overheard.” It’s also like “two boats meeting in the middle of the ocean to swap a load of illegal drugs,” so you have to catch them in real-time. Don’t worry, though – it’s easy to set up an alarm that monitors every IRC channel on the entire Internet. And if an IRC conversation is taking place, you can easily drop in and watch it. Remember to take a screenshot, though – you can’t possibly log an IRC conversation to disk.
If you believe CSI and other police drama shows, there’s always a reflection in someone’s eye in an important photograph. All you have to do is grab the reflection and you’ll see a crisp, high-resolution image that you can use to crack the case.
Rotate That Photograph
Some shows pretend to be serious by only “enhancing” a still image, but the characters in Enemy of the State actually rotate a still image. Somehow it’s possible to see something the camera couldn’t. This is explained as the computer being able to “hypothesize.” Sure, guys.
Even though Jack Black is in this, it isn’t supposed to be a comedy. This is a scene from a serious thriller.
Zoom & Enhance Parody
Everyone’s seen the typical “zoom, zoom, enhance – there’s the killer!” scenes. This video from Red Dwarf parodies them and adds new actions, such as “uncrop.” The sad thing is that this scene is actually more realistic than the rotation trick used above.
Hacking Is A Graphical Video Game
Masterminds shows us a rare glimpse of what hacking is like for an actual hacker. Apparently, hacking is a first-person game where you walk through a hallway and dodge skeletons.
Hiding Secret Data In A Video Game
NBC’s Life – another police drama show, what is it about these things? – brings us some dramatic police-playing-video-games action. Watch as the police struggle to beat level 10 in Prince of Persia, knowing that the evidence is hidden in level 11. With all the ways to encrypt things and hide files, what hacker wouldn’t hide their most sensitive data in a video game level?
She Has The High Score In Every MMORPG
This character from NCIS has the high score in every massively multiplayer online role-playing game — a big accomplishment, especially considering they lack high scores. What’s more, she appears to practice basic hygiene and not be chained to her computer all the time. If this were even possible, this character would never be able to leave her computer or sleep. And she’d have to find hundreds of hours to play each day.
An Actual Zoom & Enhance
Castle deserves recognition for this scene. In it, our brilliant detectives realize that, if they could only enlarge and “enhance” part of a photograph, they could see the killer’s face! So they send it off to the photo techs, who deliver them an enlarged and “enhanced” photo.
They’re stunned to discover that “the enhancement only increased the pixelation” and realize that “in the real world, zoom and enhance can only get us so far.” Amazing!
Do you know any other hilarious videos that we missed here? Leave a comment and share them with us!
Image Credit: Man With Images Around Head via Shutterstock