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Password Prompt; "Access Denied"; Geeky Heroes Crack Code; The End.

Anyone out there find the 1983 hacker flick "WarGames" slightly unrealistic? -- plot summary: "a young man finds a back door into a military central computer in which reality is confused with game-playing, possibly starting World War III." (I, for one, was pretty sold. I was also three when it was released.) Anyway, cynics among us take note: Hollywood has a tendency to exaggerate reality when it comes to portraying the Internet onscreen, writes Andrew Lavallee in a pretty entertaining story in the Wall Street Journal today.

Example: A situation resembling the plight of Sandra Bullock's character in "The Net" -- "Her driver's license. Her credit cards. Her bank accounts. Her identity. DELETED" -- highly implausible these days. Also, the e-mail Tom Cruise's character sends to "Max@Job 3:14" in "Mission Impossible?" All that address screams is "error message." Check out the rest of Lavallee's story here and view a collection of clips from some of the more notorious examples here.

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