This Supercut Shows How Hollywood Thinks Hacking Works

One movie trope Hollywood just can't seem to move past? The frantic hacker. Here's how those scenes usually go: A character on the screen is shown banging away at a keyboard while a timer counts down and lines of code flash across their monitor. But how realistic is that? YouTuber elsafrickey compiled clips from various movies made between 1970 and 2000, and the resulting supercut shows that while technology has changed over the years, the misrepresentation of hacking has remained consistent.

One of the films included in the supercut is the 1995 cult classic Hackers. In conjunction with the film's 20th anniversary, the website Hopes and Fears gathered a group of real hackers together to watch and discuss the scenes that they say created a "certain mystique around hacking culture that other tech films never quite matched." The hackers took issue with several parts of the movie, from the characters' most basic actions to what the film got wrong about coding. "I think one of the most unrealistic parts is taking a floppy that you wrote on a machine, putting it in another one, and all of the files had no read errors," said someone identified only as Hacker 2, to which Hacker 4 added, "I think one of the most unrealistic things is pulling something from a Mac and putting into a PC in that era."

Still, the creative liberties filmmakers take make sense, one hacker told Hopes and Fears. "The truth is that if you were to watch a real movie about real hacking, it would be the most boring sh*t imaginable. It would be unwatchable," the anonymous source said. Eric Limer of Gizmodo has also defended these kinds of big-screen depictions, writing that "there's a whole host of problems, starting with how screens during real hacking don't necessarily have any motion, and static data display is boring on the big screen for any amount of time longer than a second ... add that to tiny text sizes that are unreadable at any reasonable filming distance, and you've got a pretty good argument for replacing it all with some flashing lights and colors."

Check out some of Tinseltown's most memorable hacker portrayals above.

[h/t: Visual News]

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Afternoon Map
The Most Popular Infomercial Product in Each State

You don't have to pay $19.95 plus shipping and handling to discover the most popular infomercial product in each state: AT&T retailer All Home Connections is giving that information away for free via a handy map.

The map was compiled by cross-referencing the top-grossing infomercial products of all time with Google Trends search interest from the past calendar year. So, which crazy products do people order most from their TVs?

Folks in Arizona know that it's too hot there to wear layers; that's why they invest in the Cami Secret—a clip-on, mock top that gives them the look of a camisole without all the added fabric. No-nonsense New Yorkers are protecting themselves from identity theft with the RFID-blocking Aluma wallet. Delaware's priorities are all sorted out, because tons of its residents are still riding the Snuggie wave. Meanwhile, Vermont has figured out that Pajama Jeans are the way to go—because who needs real pants?

Unsurprisingly, the most popular product in many states has to do with fitness and weight loss, because when you're watching TV late enough to start seeing infomercials, you're probably also thinking to yourself: "I need to get my life together. I should get in shape." Seven states—Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, and Wisconsin—have invested in the P90X home fitness system, while West Virginia and Arkansas prefer the gentler workout provided by the Shake Weight. The ThighMaster is still a thing in Illinois and Washington, while Total Gym and Bowflex were favored by South Dakota and Wyoming, respectively. 

Kitchen items are clearly another category ripe for impulse-buying: Alabama and North Dakota are all over the George Forman Grill; Alaska and Rhode Island are mixing things up with the Magic Bullet; and Floridians must be using their Slice-o-matics to chop up limes for their poolside margaritas.

Cleaning products like OxiClean (D.C. and Hawaii), Sani Sticks (North Carolina), and the infamous ShamWow (which claims the loyalty of Mainers) are also popular, but it's Proactiv that turned out to be the big winner. The beloved skin care system claimed the top spot in eight states—California, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas—making it the most popular item on the map.

Peep the full map above, or check out the full study from All Home Connections here.

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Design
A Florida Brewery Created Edible Six-Pack Rings to Protect Marine Animals

For tiny scraps of plastic, six-pack rings can pose a huge threat to marine life. Small enough and ubiquitous enough that they’re easy to discard and forget about, the little plastic webs all too often make their way to the ocean, where animals can ingest or become trapped in them. In order to combat that problem, Florida-based Saltwater Brewery has created what they say is the world’s first fully biodegradable, compostable, edible six-pack rings.

The edible rings are made of barley and wheat and are, if not necessarily tasty, at least safe for animals and humans to ingest. Saltwater Brewery started packaging their beers with the edible six-pack rings in 2016. They charge slightly more for their brews to offset the cost of the rings' production. They hope that customers will be willing to pay a bit more for the environmentally friendly beers and are encouraging other companies to adopt the edible six-pack rings in order to lower manufacturing prices and save more animals.

As Saltwater Brewery president Chris Gove says in the video above: “We want to influence the big guys and kind of inspire them to also get on board.”

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