Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breaking the Internet: The Movie

In the September 7 issue of Newsweek, the back page story is a helpful guide titled: How do you Break the Internet? While this is obviously meant to be both informational and tongue-and-cheek, it is perhaps unintentionally also a go-to list for wanna-be super villains and movie executives.

The list includes eight different ways someone could "break the internet." That is, take their best shots at the worldwide network's weakest links. But if movie producers are paying attention, there are eight summer blockbusters up for grabs right there on the back page of Newsweek.

1) Take Up Fishing.
NEWSWEEK: Nets pulling up undersea cables are the single biggest cause of Internet breakages.
BLOCKBUSTER: The newest Bond film opens on a poor South Asian waterfront fishing community. As we close in on one particular boat, one "fisherman" played by Christoph Waltz looks suspiciously evil and European.

2) Grab a Hacksaw
NEWSWEEK: Follow the lead of vandals near Santa Clara, California who cut through underground fiber-optic wires, halting all service to the area.
BLOCKBUSTER: Zach Efron leads a group of young and ethnically diverse whiz kids on their road to revenge after their billion dollar idea was stolen by a computer mega-corp (read: Microsoft).

3) Pray for an Underwater Earthquake
NEWSWEEK: Preferably, a repeat of the quake that took down cables carrying 75 percent of Internet traffic between Europe and the Middle East last December.
BLOCKBUSTER: After 10.1 earthquake hits sending shockwaves throughout the globe, a team of sexy scientists, including Ryan Reynolds and Jessica Biel must get the internet up and running again before something terrible (but very vague) happens.

4) Become the Head of ICANN
NEWSWEEK: Once in charge of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers - the organization that coordinates the global system of IP addresses - you can redirect traffic at will.
BLOCKBUSTER: A computer illiterate guy (Kevin James) accidentally impresses a powerful senator (Ken Howard off his recent Emmy win) and is appointed Head of ICANN. Hilarity ensues.

5) Break into an Internet Data Center
NEWSWEEK: There are thousands of centers housing computer servers in the United States alone. Take your pick and get mischievious.
BLOCKBUSTER: "Oceans 14"

6) Sabotage a Few Boats
NEWSWEEK: Internet providers like Verizon lease fleets equipped to locate and repair broken cables. Stop the ships and you stop the fix.
BLOCKBUSTER: A ship of international pirates (including Jean Reno and Lucy Liu) take a cable repair ship hostage only to be overthrown by their captain Vin Diesel.

7) Wait 29 Years
NEWSWEEK: On January 19, 2038, the internal clock for Unix, the operating sytem for many servers, will overflow, Y2K style. Big meltdown or big letdown? Only time will tell.
BLOCKBUSTER: "Untitled Samuel L. Jackson Project"

8) Train Sharks
NEWSWEEK: The stealthy sea creatures have been known to gnaw through a few cables.
BLOCKBUSTER: 3-D animation enhances this Dreamworks story of sea creatures who find a way through humor, diligence and anthropomorphism to repair undersea internet cables. Voices include Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Bob Newhart.

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