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FCW : September 30, 2016
5 September 30, 2016 FCW.COM 19 Hollywood is not known for accurate depictions of computer technology in popular movies. Typically, movie computers are custom-made, highly animated devices that would seem out of place in the typical office or laboratory setting. Still, computers have been integrated into movies since the early days of the machines. Generally speaking, they appear more realistic when they are in the background. When they are relied on to generate plot twists, things often go off the rails. Here is our non-exhaustive list of some favorite films and film moments that might have special appeal for federal IT folks. 1“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) In this early look at artificial intelligence, the highly interactive HAL 9000 computer seems like the ideal helpmate for a years- long space voyage. But things take a dark turn when it turns out that HAL is sentient and harbors doubts about the devotion of his human crewmates to their important mission. 2“Three Days of the Condor” (1975) IT is very much in the background of this paranoid spy thriller. But CIA analyst Joe Turner (Robert Redford) takes time out of his busy day scouring novel plots for real-life espionage ideas to rewire the innards of an uncooperative computer. When his boss complains that there are people paid to fix the machines, Turner says, “These things aren’t as complicated as they look.” 3“WarGames” (1983) This late-Cold War hacker classic depicts the inadvertent intrusion into North American Aerospace Defense Command systems by a teenage tech whiz. The crowning moment comes when the computer brain inside the system that powers the U.S. nuclear arsenal speeds through a range of simulations and deems an atomic exchange with Russia to be unwinnable. 4“Clear and Present Danger” (1994) Although this action movie set against the Colombia drug wars is highly kinetic at points, the technology is used mostly in support of typical government desk jockeys. In one memorable sequence, hero Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) gains access to a rival’s computer to ferret out information about a secret war against a drug cartel being waged on presidential authority alone. It’s a race against time as Ryan furiously taps at the PrtSc key while his nemesis works the delete key in the file directory. 5“Independence Day” (1996) There is more military hardware than government software in this alien invasion classic, but the movie hinges on the impromptu use of shadow IT. Who can forget the scene in which the private-sector computer whiz played by Jeff Goldblum goes to confront the alien mothership in a purloined spacecraft piloted by Will Smith and injects it with a crippling computer virus using a Macintosh PowerBook? n Got a favorite film that showcases IT? Share your list with @FCWNow on Twitter. 5 MUST-WATCH FILMS FOR FEDERAL TECHIES BY ADAM MAZMANIAN Photos courtesy of Everett Collection, IMDB, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Paramount Pictures. 0930fcw_014-027.indd 19 9/7/16 12:43 PM
September 15, 2016