Tuesday, February 24, 2009

24 Techspeak

One of the most annoying parts about 24 is the way the show's writers throw around technical terms in a hodgepodge method to try to make a device or a process sound more impressive or plausible than it actually is.  Last night's episode had a few examples of that during the "system reset" attempt by the two rogue FBI analysts.   I don't remember the terminology word-for-word but the female analyst claimed that all she needed to do to erase the hard drives from all FBI computers was to "write a socket-enabled hyper macro that is inserted into the level 4 subnet with sector based access rights".

I'm convinced that the producers and writers know virtually nothing about networking and information technology in general and instead buy a pack of those refrigerator words (technical edition) and lay them out on a table.  They then pick 5 or 6 of the words and put them in some random order and plug that into the script.  Try it for yourself.  Here are several available words.   Feel free to use any of them to make a perfectly legitimate sentence that a CTU or FBI techie would spout.

firewall
subnet
module
configuration
socket
drive
macro
network
port
filter
database
application

Just randomly, I could write "configure the socket port to filter the subnet module" and while I know (because I'm a nerd) that it makes no sense, it could totally be used on the show.

Also there's no way a single "CIP Firewall" could protect all the devices and integral pieces of technology that power the country's infrastructure.  It does make for a nice plot point though.

6 comments:

Mommy, Esq. said...

Just saw the episoide and I think it is very hard to make computers exciting (I know, it is your job, sorry). They do the best you can. How often can Jack tell Chloe that the health and happiness of humanity (and her child) is at stake with her quickly figuring out some technology that would really take 18 warrants and 1 year to figure out?

Jordan said...

Hey I know computers aren't exciting for most people. They don't HAVE to keep throwing all these ridiculous technical feats into the scripts. I'm just saying that if they're going to go that route, at least let it make some sense. No need to throw out the big words, just make it slightly plausible.

Stacey said...

Jeremy and I watched the episode last night and we were both rolling our eyes at the plot point. Especially because Chloe got the data anyway so what did it matter? Does anyone else feel like this season's pacing is a little odd? It's like they had a whole season in the first half and now Almeada is back to kickstart the second half. I don't mind that a lot happens in an episode but I want to like this season more than the last two and to do so the second half needs to be as good as this first half. I'm not sure they can do that. How the hell do these terrorist foreign leaders get into the country? If immigrants from Mexico can't do it...

Theresa said...

I've finally decided to give up 24 for good. I cannot get into this season - I feel like it's just the same plot over and over and over again. I think it's for the best. Monday nights are tough on the DVR anyway.

jerseygirl77 said...

Add a few words to your list and add to the fun: packet, mainframe, node, uplink, patch.

JACK, I NEED MORE TIME TO PROVIDE MAINFRAME UPLINK ACCESS FOR THE SUBNET FILTER AND A MACRO PATCH CONFIGURATION!

Theresa said...

One more - the all purpose "DEVICE"!!