The Top Ten Signs That Your Co-worker Is a Hacker
10. Everyone who ticks him off gets a $26,000 phone bill.
9. She’s won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes for three years running.
8. When asked for her phone number, she gives it in hex.
7. Seems strangely calm whenever the office LAN goes down.
6. Gets HBO on his PC at work.
5. Mumbled, "Ouh-puleeez!" 256 times during the movie, The Net.
4. Massive 401(k) contributions made in half-cent increments.
3. His video dating profile lists "public-key encryption" among turn-ons.
2. Instead of the "Welcome" voice on AOL, you overhear, "Good Morning, Mr. President."
1. And, perhaps, the most incriminating sign that your co-worker is a hacker: You hear her murmur, "Let’s see you use that Visa card now, Professor-I-Don’t-Give-‘A’s-in-Computer-Science."
What Movies Teach Us
Movies give us a wonderful view into "reality" and how computers work. For instance:
• Word processors never display a cursor and you never have to use the space bar when typing long sentences.
• High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA and the CIA, have easy-to-understand graphical interfaces. And those that don’t will have incredibly powerful, text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.
• You can gain access to any information you want by simply typing "ACCESS ALL OF THE SECRET FILES" on any keyboard.
• You can infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing "UPLOAD VIRUS."
• All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain’s laptop computer, even if it’s turned off.
• Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or whenever the screen changes.
• Some computers also slow down the output on the screen so that it doesn’t go faster than you can read.
• The really advanced computers also emulate the sound of a dot-matrix printer as the characters come across the screen.
• A hacker can get into the most sensitive computer in the world before intermission and guess the secret password in two tries.
• A password can be figured out for anyone, even if you only have the most remote knowledge about the person in whose computer you’re trying to hack into.
• Any PERMISSION DENIED has an OVERRIDE function.
• Complex calculations and loading of huge amounts of data will be accomplished in under three seconds. In the movies, modems transmit data at two gigabytes per second.
• If you display a file on the screen and someone deletes the file, it also disappears from the screen.
• The younger and more adorable you are, the greater your chances for being able to hack into a high-tech computer – usually after all of the top-notch adult techies have failed.
• There is no way to copy a backup file – and there are no undelete utilities.
• No matter what kind of computer disk it is, it’ll be readable by any system you put it into. All application software is usable by all computer platforms.
• Most computers, no matter how small, have reality-defying, three-dimensional, realtime, photo-realistic animated graphics capability.
• Laptops, for some strange reason, always seem to have amazing realtime video phone capabilities and the performance of a CRAY-MP.
• No knowledge of computers? No problem!
• Whenever a character looks at a VDU, the image is so bright that it projects itself onto his/her face.
• Computers never crash during key, high-intensity activities.
• Humans operating computers never make mistakes under stress (like when the building is about to explode).
• Programs are fiendishly perfect and never have bugs that slow down users.