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the tech stupidity of some TV writers

Basically about the only thing I watch on TV are series, namely, The West Wing, The Sopranos, The Shield, and 24, or a miniseries like Taken. It's a relatively short break in my otherwise ludicruous nightly schedules, and they are all good stories, with good acting, and good direction. Since currently only The West Wing and Taken are on TV here in Ireland, today I decided to check out CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Big mistake.

What a crappy show. The over-acting made me bleed through my eyes. The fashionable wardrobe of investigators was ridiculous (picture a woman walking around a crime scene in the middle of a forest, looking at the wound on a dead body, with an attire you could only see at a a fashion show). The over-explanation of every stupid little detail and the supposedly super-experienced forensic investigators walking each other through an idiotic 'mystery' as if it was a children's book was sickening. But what really nailed its Idiotic Show of the Year award (for me at least) was a tiny reference to email.

These two "investigators" are looking at emails on a "victim's" computer (the real victim here is the viewer). The dialogue goes something like this (You'll probably need only one brain cell to read this, so you can send the others to rest):

-Oh, Look at this
-You know all those weird numbers that you get at the bottom of every email?
-They are actually addresses of the computers that transmitted it and of the original computer that sent it... but this is strange. This email has seven originating computer addresses. Probably a computer network...

Then some kind of window magically pops up in the middle of what's arguably America Online, running on a PowerMac, with a Windows Interface (!). A bazillion numbers flash on the window, apparently IP addresses. Finally, the answer pops up. They have found the address! The number?

Something like this: 417.274.129.365

They press a single key, and from the IP number they get the exact address of the computer/network/whatever.

Sheesh. Numbers at the bottom of every email? (they must have meant the email headers, but I suppose that they thought, oh, header, footer, whatever). An email originating from seven IPs? Oh, "a computer network", that's right. Some kind of Connection Machine I suppose? Or maybe in this show's la-la-land many computers can actually send a single email. And then the program's UI, the ludicrous IP address... was it so hard to get someone that knew what the hell they were talking about to write this?

Anyway, if you are ever tempted of watching CSI, you've been warned! :-)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on January 20 2003 at 10:37 PM

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