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  • 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night



    Saturday, 19:00, Royale Pavilion 1 & 2
    25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames
    Followed by a fireside chat with David Scott Lewis, IT & green tech entrepreneur, model for David Lightman

    Originally posted by David Scott Lewis in Wired August 2008
    Hacking was easy back then. There were few if any security measures. It was mostly hackers versus auditing types. The Computer Security Institute comes to mind. I would read all of their materials and could easily find ways around their countermeasures. The part in the movie showing David Lightman perusing the library to find Falken's backdoor password, "Joshua," is clearly a reference to many of my antics.

    In those days, there were no blackhats or whitehats. I didn't do anything too serious. Just wanted to see what I could get away with. Just like in the movie."
    -David Scott Lewis
    (as quoted in Wired magazine, August 2008)

    Based in China and affiliated with Tsinghua University (China's MIT), Lewis has held executive positions with Microsoft, Oracle, Samsung and the META Group (now owned by Gartner).
    Last edited by TheCotMan; 07-01-2008, 12:59 PM. Reason: User Requested Edit for citation being added

  • #2
    Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

    Wargames: The Dead Code opens July 29th.... any thoughts on a 'viewing' of this?
    take a long walk backward....into the now.

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    • #3
      Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

      Originally posted by Shadowvex View Post
      Wargames: The Dead Code opens July 29th.... any thoughts on a 'viewing' of this?
      It is probably going to suck, and they likely won't include as many examples of "hacking" in it as the original. As for sequels, I would bet it won't be as bad as Highlander 2 (a sequel so bad, that later sequels ignored it as part of the story completely) compared to the first Highlander movie.

      If the existing Wargames was a 6 on a scale from 1 to 10, its sequel will be a 4.

      If it actually is better, then I'll be pleasantly surprised.

      [Edit: added content below here:]
      IMDB rates WarGames at 7.0/10.0 with 19602 votes but 96% Fresh on RT with 7.3/10
      IMDB rates Sneakers at 7.0/10.0 with 19287 votes but 84% Fresh on RT with 7.6/10
      IMDB rates The Constant Gardener at 7.7/10.0 with 37489 votes but 84% fresh on RT with 7.6/10

      RT stats says, almost everyone likes Wargames a little bit, but Sneakers and The Constant Gardener were not liked by almost everyone, but the people that enjoyed it really enjoyed so much as to rate it high enough to overcome the lower scores provided by those that disliked them.

      WarGames would have a near even distribution near an average line, while Sneakers and The Constant Gardener would more likely have a distribution similar to an inverted bell curve for scoring, as most people tended to really enjoy ithem a lot, while a small number wer disinterested in them.

      Oh, and for reference:
      IMDB rates Swordfish at 6.3/10 with 42059 votes but 26% Fresh on RT (Rotten) with 4.3/10
      IMDB rates Highlander 2 at 3.5/10 with 14674 votes but 00% Fresh on RT (TOTALLY ROTTEN) with 2.7/10
      Last edited by TheCotMan; 07-11-2008, 12:20 AM.
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      • #4
        Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post

        If the existing Wargames was a 6 on a scale from 1 to 10, its sequel will be a 4.
        You really thought wargames was only a 6? It's not a great film and the writing was a bit thin, but it's up there in my top movies for nostalgia's sake.

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        • #5
          Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

          Originally posted by jedi View Post
          You really thought wargames was only a 6? It's not a great film and the writing was a bit thin, but it's up there in my top movies for nostalgia's sake.
          When I was younger, I was entertained by it, and would have rated it higher, but it has not stood the test of time. Sneakers was not as entertaining when I was younger, but became more entertaining when I got older.

          In WarGames we have, what?
          Research to solve problems
          Asking a "guru" about something
          "Back Door" defined
          War Dialing
          Easy Passwords
          A sample "phreaking' session with short-to-ground for a free call
          Social Engineering: get in trouble to gain physical access to passwords, "i'm part of the tour" etc.)
          Playback attack (recorded tones)

          Was there anything else that they showed?
          Last edited by TheCotMan; 07-09-2008, 07:38 PM.
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          • #6
            Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

            Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
            In WarGames we have, what?
            Research to solve problems
            Asking a "guru" about something
            "Back Door" defined
            War Dialing
            Easy Passwords
            A sample "phreaking' session with short-to-ground for a free call
            Social Engineering: get in trouble to gain physical access to passwords, "i'm part of the tour" etc.)
            Playback attack (recorded tones)

            Was there anything else that they showed?
            It's interesting that you broke it down into the significant things that Lightman did. I was just thinking more about sheer entertainment value. Sneakers is definitely a far better movie for variety of reasons, including technical. But wargames is still about nostalgia.

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            • #7
              Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

              Originally posted by jedi View Post
              It's interesting that you broke it down into the significant things that Lightman did. I was just thinking more about sheer entertainment value. Sneakers is definitely a far better movie for variety of reasons, including technical. But wargames is still about nostalgia.
              Ok. I'll say it was better than Swordfish.
              (Of course, most anything is better than swordfish.)

              WarGames is not a bad film, it just does not entertain me as much as it once did. The examples of "hacking" are probably the best thing is has going for it. The story, certainly isn't as strong as I remembered it.
              (I own it on VHS and DVD, as well as The Last Starfighter, but they are far from great films.)
              (This is the part where I duck, before AlxRogan see me typing this... again. ;-)

              Compare WarGames to The Constant Gardener. The Constant Gardener was a pretty good story even though it was not primarily about technology and hacking. The, "hacking," and privacy issues touched upon by it were in the realm of what is possible with today's technology and a conspiracy or cooperation (or effective manipulation of or) between government and industry.
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              • #8
                Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                Compare WarGames to The Constant Gardener. The Constant Gardener was a pretty good story even though it was not primarily about technology and hacking. The, "hacking," and privacy issues touched upon by it were in the realm of what is possible with today's technology and a conspiracy or cooperation (or effective manipulation of or) between government and industry.
                Cot, I'll have to respectively disagree.

                The constant gardener was just depressing.. the main character was weak, manipulated non-stop by his 'wife', oblivious not only to the world she lived in but everyone else he was having relationships with. It was a sort of slow motion puzzle against a depressing backdrop of poverty ending with a suicide. The acting was good, but I think it was meant to leave the watcher drained.. everyone involved had a sort of terminal fate. Not quite the same as War Games.
                The Dark Tangent: Use PGP Key ID: 0x5D2405E5 for sending me email
                PGP Fingerprint: D121 EAAE D1B6 3D2E A0B1 953F FFAF A718 5D24 05E5

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                • #9
                  Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                  Originally posted by Dark Tangent View Post
                  Cot, I'll have to respectively disagree.

                  The constant gardener was just depressing.. the main character was weak, manipulated non-stop by his 'wife', oblivious not only to the world she lived in but everyone else he was having relationships with. It was a sort of slow motion puzzle against a depressing backdrop of poverty ending with a suicide. The acting was good, but I think it was meant to leave the watcher drained.. everyone involved had a sort of terminal fate. Not quite the same as War Games.
                  You saw all of that and *still* didn't like it? ];>

                  He was focused in his own life ignoring his wife's affairs, which is much like what we see today, considering divorce rates being what they are; people can be selfish and focus mostly on themselves. Additionally, there was no scene where the super-Hollywood decryption machines are able to show progress in breaking a code as each character of the launch-code is found. (Where can I buy one of those?) In The Constant Gardener, when the main character tells his buddy, "my dead wife's laptop has encrypted files protected with a passphrase," and his buddy says, "my son is a wizard with computers," and they go to visit his friend son, his friend's son doesn't "See the code" in breaking some code and break it in less than 60 seconds (Swordfish)... no, the kid's explanation for knowing the passphrase? "I set it up for her." Awesome. That is much closer to the real world.

                  One of the things that made The Constant Gardener entertainment for me was that it was close to reality, but maybe "one-off" and showed what could happen under the wrong circumstances. It is a film that caused me to think about it, long after I watched it.

                  When I was a kid, I could believe that something like WarGames might be possible, but as I grew older and learned more about how things work, I realized how much of the movie wasn't possible, so the drama that existed based on the fear of what could happen was lost on me.

                  When a film is known to be a fantasy, suspension of disbelief is easy. TRON, for example, and Ironman.

                  When a film improperly uses techno-jargon, or shows you things from your own fields of interest which are impossible, it makes it difficult to see past these inaccuracies to enjoy the film -- at least for me.

                  Incidentally, this is why I don't like MS Certification exams.
                  "The best choice in a mail server for an enterprise-class network is:
                  a) MS Exchange, b) ... , c) ... , d) ... , e) ..."
                  A great illustration of the difference between what is right, and what is correct.

                  I know WarGames is quite popular among many attendees, so maybe I should stop complaining about it for a while. I hear people sharpening weapons and saying, "human: the other, *other*, white meat." :-)

                  Even if I skipped this showing of the movie (as I've seen it many, many times on my own over the past 25 years) I would still want to visit this event for this reason:
                  Followed by a fireside chat with David Scott Lewis, IT & green tech entrepreneur, model for David Lightman
                  Last edited by TheCotMan; 07-10-2008, 03:59 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                    As long as you aren't saying anything bad about Tron I'll forgive you Cot. ;)

                    I look at Constant Gardener this way- if I want depressing reality, I'll stay in the real world. If I want fantasy to escape life for a few hours, I'll watch Tron, WarGames, Hackers, etc... (or of course The LostboYs)-

                    LosT

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                    • #11
                      Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                      Originally posted by LosT View Post
                      As long as you aren't saying anything bad about Tron I'll forgive you Cot. ;)

                      I look at Constant Gardener this way- if I want depressing reality, I'll stay in the real world. If I want fantasy to escape life for a few hours, I'll watch Tron, WarGames, Hackers, etc... (or of course The LostboYs)-

                      LosT
                      When I was talking to someone about 5 or 6 years ago, they had an interesting take on TRON and The Matrix. (I don't remember who it was. Maybe it was someone here, and they will claim this idea as theirs.) Their suggestion was the Matrix was a like a possible sequel to TRON. TRON (character in the movie) fought to defeat the MCP and bring freedom to the code/programmers. However, we know that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so TRON could become corrupt, or become the intelligence behind one of the first machines that tried to establish a working relationship with humans, only to be attacked, forcing a war between the programs and the humans.

                      As for sequels to movies, based on history, there are very few cases where a sequel is actually as good as or better than the original. This could be caused by establishing a level of entertainment in which the viewer then has a level of expectation applied to the sequel, which may be impossible (or too expensive) to achieve.

                      Hollywood is a great example of opportunistic capitalism-- if there is opportunity to make profit, someone will try. A great movie can have a crappy sequel and still make a great deal of money for a small investment, and when combined with the previous mentioned suggestion, could be what some studios do, to ensure the 3rd installment will be better received.
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                      • #12
                        Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                        Ok. I'll say it was better than Swordfish.
                        (Of course, most anything is better than swordfish.)
                        Swordfish was fun. But no, it wasn't all that good.

                        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                        WarGames is not a bad film, it just does not entertain me as much as it once did. The examples of "hacking" are probably the best thing is has going for it. The story, certainly isn't as strong as I remembered it.
                        (I own it on VHS and DVD, as well as The Last Starfighter, but they are far from great films.)
                        (This is the part where I duck, before AlxRogan see me typing this... again. ;-)
                        To me, WarGames was pretty layered. On one level, you had an example of a new subculture arising around technology. At another level, you were dealing with the topic of fear surrounding the "imminent" threat of nuclear war. While not completely timeless, I still it as a poignant example of the early 80's pop culture.

                        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                        Compare WarGames to The Constant Gardener. The Constant Gardener was a pretty good story even though it was not primarily about technology and hacking. The, "hacking," and privacy issues touched upon by it were in the realm of what is possible with today's technology and a conspiracy or cooperation (or effective manipulation of or) between government and industry.
                        Haven't seen The Constant Gardner. I'll have to check it out so I can understand your comparison.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                          Originally posted by jedi View Post
                          Haven't seen The Constant Gardner. I'll have to check it out so I can understand your comparison.
                          Since you appear to like WarGames more than me, and so does DT, I'll guess that you will agree with his summary and view of the story.

                          As for the new WarGames...

                          Do any of you know what it means, when discussing the quality of a movie, and the movie totally skips appearances at a theater and happens to go, "direct to DVD?"

                          Is that generally an indication of anything? ]:>

                          WarGames: The Dead Code (2008), for sale on DVD, (This title will be released on July 29, 2008.)

                          Hey! Someone could get this before Defcon. (heh heh heh.)

                          Also, I edited a previous post to include movie reviews of several of the movies we discussed here, and their ranks/scores from IMDB and RT.
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                          • #14
                            Re: 25th Anniversary Showing of Wargames at Movie Night

                            Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                            WarGames: The Dead Code (2008), for sale on DVD, (This title will be released on July 29, 2008.)

                            Hey! Someone could get this before Defcon. (heh heh heh.)
                            I actually just finished watching it. You should be able to find a copy in your local bargain bin in the morning, or through more exotic channels.

                            I went in expecting epic horrible. Horrible to the point of being great for its horribleness, kind of like how I feel about Hackers.

                            The first two minutes or so delivered on that expectation. And then that hope was shattered and the movie became a mediocre popcorn popular media hacker flick. They used terms properly (unless I missed something) on the rare occasion that they used them, and there were a few slightly-wrong (or blatantly wrong) techniques used (including one that made me scream at it) but in general it was a lot of suspenseful music, and pictures of people running on CCTV cameras.

                            The ending had the opportunity to redeem the whole thing. There were a half dozen ways to end the movie that would have won. Instead, they chose the one that you saw coming 20 miles away.

                            They were quite confused as to what a hacker is. They ended up with a bizarre cross between the kid from Wargames, the kids from Hackers, and kid from Die Hard, and a WoW player.

                            Final verdict: If you think Hackers belongs under the genre "Comedy", watch this. Otherwise, you'll probably be bored. Alternatively, drink. A lot. I can see this being a GREAT movie when your BAC is .1+

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