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A Critical Look At Walter "Scorpion" O'Brien 193

1729 (581437) writes Back in August, there was speculation that the "real life" Walter O'Brien (alleged inspiration for CBS's new drama Scorpion) might be a fraud. Mike Masnick from Techdirt follows up on the story: "The more you dig, the more of the same you find. Former co-workers of O'Brien's have shown up in comments or reached out to me and others directly — and they all say the same thing. Walter is a nice enough guy, works hard, does a decent job (though it didn't stop him from getting laid off from The Capital Group), but has a penchant for telling absolutely unbelievable stories about his life. It appears that in just repeating those stories enough, some gullible Hollywood folks took him at his word (and the press did too), and now there's a mediocre TV show about those made up stories." Masnick's article is a fascinating look at a man who appears to have conned both TV executives and journalists into believing his far-fetched Walter Mitty fantasies.
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A Critical Look At Walter "Scorpion" O'Brien

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  • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @01:33PM (#48105003)

    I'm happy to suspend disbelief for a good show. Scorpion is not a good show. It's impossible to suspend that much disbelief for the junk they threw at us.

    • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @01:38PM (#48105059) Homepage
      Totally true. They confabulate genius with autistic savant, they misrepresent what genius (or autistic savants) can do, and generally have no idea how "normal" people react.

      The basic problem is that the writers are not smart, let alone geniuses, so they simply do not know enough to write a show about geniuses.

      • by Reason58 ( 775044 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @01:44PM (#48105127)

        The basic problem is that the writers are not smart, let alone geniuses, so they simply do not know enough to write a show about geniuses.

        Most of the viewers are not smart, let alone geniuses either.

        • I suspect those viewers are watching Ghost Hunters and happy with it. This is a show whose niche market is mostly disgusted with it.

        • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @02:13PM (#48105435) Homepage Journal

          Holy hell is this post ever going to come off as smug and condescending, but I have a point I want to make, and I can't express it less awfully.

          Entertainment and intelligence are basically oil and water, most of the time. You can take brilliant writers who are very smart people, and they don't write "intelligent" stuff for mass market entertainment. They just focus their intelligence into making good writing that is evocative to everyone. I wouldn't expect a brilliant screenplay to expect everyone in the audience to make the kind of deductions I know some people are capable of, to tie everything together super subtly as some kinda cleverness test(though the occasional piece like that is nice).

          In the same way, writers of all stripes(though mostly bad ones) write "smart" characters by filling their lines up with appropriate jargon. In some cases most familiar to slashdotters that means technobabble, but in others legalbabble, moneybabble, or psychobabble. They do this because actually coming up with intelligent things to say is hard and requires a lot of in depth knowledge of an appropriate field(there's an anecdote out there about the director of "A beautiful mind" expecting their math consultant to fill a chalkboard with genuinely intelligent math equations in an hour, as if that were no problem). And in the end that hard work doesn't come off to most people as nearly as intelligent as a bunch of nonsensical jargon.

          That brings me to my thesis: real genuine genius is only interesting to people equipped to break it down and understand how it's novel. And that has a lot more to do with field-specific domain knowledge than intelligence. For example, anyone versed in math can tell you that the triumph for a brilliant idea comes when you have an new notion of where to start deducing things, not when you write the final calculation down. And the formulation of a clever computer program comes way back in the architecture phase, not a few lines of coded jotted out at the last moment.

          You don't want it in most entertainment. It's nowhere near as satisfying as coming up with the right thing at the right moment to solve the problem facing you. It doesn't fit with the narrative format.

          • One can be "on" - or thinking critically and deeply - only so often. There is valid and merit in entertainment that causes one to not think/ponder/actively-consider for a period of time. Just because something does not require you to think about it and is incredibly stupid does not mean there isn't value in it, even if it does cause you to have to stop thinking things through logically for a period of time. Genius TV sticks with you. You *need* to think about it. You need to figure things out. Your brain c
          • That brings me to my thesis: real genuine genius is only interesting to people equipped to break it down and understand how it's novel. And that has a lot more to do with field-specific domain knowledge than intelligence.

            I think that's only really true when you're talking about writing a character who is supposed to be a field-specific genius, regarding whether that character is saying actual genius things.

            So for example, if you want to have a character that's a medical genius (e.g. Dr. House), then it might be hard to come up with medical deductions that are actually genius, and it's probably not worthwhile because almost none of your audience will know the difference. In cases like that, I don't mind writers coming up w

          • I agree 100% with what OP said. However, to be brief, he basically said, that for entertainment to be interesting you have to have no understanding of the field at all. Those of us who aren't oil rig techs, miners or rocket scientists can love Armageddon. However, those who are those will generally hate it because it talks about stuff thats impossible. Tyson hated Gravity because he knew how wrong the physics of it was. Me, I though wow! thats amazing. I didn't know that could be possible. Our entertainment
        • by plopez ( 54068 )

          Or people posting on /. for that matter ;)

        • Most of the viewers are not smart, let alone geniuses either.

          The show isn't trying to portray smart people, it's trying to portray dumb people's idea of what smart people are probably like..

          • But in all fairness, both Mythbusters and Penn & Teller's Bullshit also portray dumb people's idea of smart people.

            So don't get smug over there. Yeah, I'm talking to you.

          • Most of the viewers are not smart, let alone geniuses either.

            The show isn't trying to portray smart people, it's trying to portray dumb people's idea of what smart people are probably like..

            Same could be said for Big Bang Theory. Look at how popular that is.

            • by Isaac-1 ( 233099 )

              True, but Big Bang does a great job of getting it with nerd culture although perhaps in a self deprecating way. Where Scropion just blows it with idiots trying to pretend to be smart. It is the classic problem of the person with an IQ of 135 thinking they are the smartest person in the room, where the person with an IQ of 155 often thinks they are not. The difference being they tend to be in different rooms and different social crowds. It really all comes down to one problem smart people can recognize

      • Same problem as 'Big Bang Theory'.

        • And it is one of the most watched shows on TV.
          • And it is one of the most watched shows on TV.

            I believe that proves the point. ;-)

            People watch American Idol as well ... that doesn't make it any good.

            • And it is one of the most watched shows on TV.

              I believe that proves the point. ;-)

              People watch American Idol as well ... that doesn't make it any good.

              Yes! Ding, ding ding: popular does not (necessarily) equal good
              (Review our current/historical crop of elected officials, fast-food chains, etc... for examples.)

              If this guy can keep this up, he has a big future as a TV "News" pundit (somewhere...)

          • Just like the Big Mac is the most eaten burger.

        • by mythosaz ( 572040 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @04:31PM (#48106803)

          I enjoy BBT.

          While the idiosyncrasies of the characters are grossly exaggerated, and while Sheldon's character is rife with contradictions, I still find the show enjoyable for exactly what it is -- simple comedy. 22 minutes a week, most weeks, where I get to have a laugh with some familiar faces who stumble through the same sort of tried-and-true TV comedy tropes of shows past -- except this time it happens in places and settings and over topics I'm intimately familiar with. I've sat in a game store and had conversations about girlfriends over comic books. I've seen friends that needed rescued from 96 straight hours of WoW. Putting your basic "Cheers" comedy in this setting makes it something I can relate to.

          I can put aside Sheldon's conveniently-ignored-when-inconvenient logic as part of my suspension of disbelief.

          The show used to be about the "triangle" between Sheldon and Leonard and Penny. The show has evolved to a compare-and-contrast of the relationships of Shedon/Amy, Leonard/Penny and Howard/Bernadette. Even now we explore the relationships of Raj and his new girlfriend, and minor character Stewart and Howard's mom. I've grown up in the nerd world. I'm watching my younger friends get married now. I see the same compare and contrast.

          ...and non geeks can relate to this. They can relate to normal human interaction told in a funny way but in a slightly nerdier setting that most of them come from. People could laugh at Wings, even though they'd never worked in a regional airport...taking a plane flight or two probably helped though. You didn't have to be an alcoholic to like Cheers, you didn't have to serve in Korea to like MASH, and you didn't have to share an apartment in Manhattan to like Friends. You can hate all of those shows, of course, but it's possible to enjoy these shows from the outside looking in too.

          It's not perfect, but it's an enjoyable 22 minutes.

          Aside: If you enjoy Chuck Lorre's comedies AT ALL, I suggest tuning into "Mom." It's surprisingly dark with a wonderful cast who deal with real problems -- teen sex and pregnancy, alcohol and drug dependency, infidelity, money....real problems. It's not intended to be literal-serious, of course, but it's a wonderfully refreshing twist on what Chuck gives us.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M... [wikipedia.org]

        • Yeah but they do not watch 'Big Bang Theory' for the abilities of the characters, they watch for the quirks and laughable moments.

          In fact, quite a few plot lines on other sitcom shows evolve or devolve around out of place people with idiosyncrasies. It's sort of a go to for Hollywood and it's ilk.

      • I'm not sure that it's specifically an intelligence problem. It's going to be essentially impossible to write a convincing 'genius' or distinguish him from a 'savant' unless both the writer and the audience have at least an approximate idea of how the difficulty level in their discipline is distributed.

        Computers are a horrific subject for that. People don't know what's easy, what's hard, what's suspected to be impossible but so far not proven to be, what would leave a *nix-using CS expert puzzled but be
      • Totally true. They confabulate genius with autistic savant, they misrepresent what genius (or autistic savants) can do, and generally have no idea how "normal" people react.

        The basic problem is that the writers are not smart, let alone geniuses, so they simply do not know enough to write a show about geniuses.

        I say the same thing about The Big Bang Theory. Not everyone with a high IQ is socially awkward or OCD. For better or worse, the show is written to appeal to its intended audience. Hackers, The Matrix, and Jurassic Park took liberties to try and show "normals" how the world appears to hackers.

      • The basic problem is that the writers are not smart, let alone geniuses, so they simply do not know enough to write a show about geniuses.

        ...right there. [9gag.com]

    • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @01:57PM (#48105257)

      Suspension of Disbelief: Spiderman exists and has super powers and is the only one capable of stopping The Lizard.

      Terrible Writing: Some guy in New York totally knows all the crane operators in New York, knows the location of Spiderman as well as his destination, and at a moments notice is able get all his crane operator buddies to line up a dozen or more cranes on building tops along a single street and extend them so that Spiderman may web sling from them.

      Hollywood: The cops hate Spiderman and want to capture him, but after seeing The Lizard they have a change of heart and love Spiderman. To show their newfound love for their new favorite superhero, a police helicopter hovering just above the roof Spiderman is on shines its spotlight onto the cranes that were lined up for him. Showing Spiderman the way to swing, swing, swing, swing, swing toward the Lizard Man is a nice gesture, but it would have been faster, easier, less dangerous, and a hell of a lot more practical to just give him a ride in the fucking helicopter.

      • ...[I]t would have been faster, easier, less dangerous, and a hell of a lot more practical to just give him a ride in the fucking helicopter.

        In before "Why didn't the eagles fly the One Ring to Mount Doom" and/or "Why didn't the eagles fly the company of Dwarves to the Lonely Mountain."

        • ...[I]t would have been faster, easier, less dangerous, and a hell of a lot more practical to just give him a ride in the fucking helicopter.

          In before "Why didn't the eagles fly the One Ring to Mount Doom" and/or "Why didn't the eagles fly the company of Dwarves to the Lonely Mountain."

          Because the eagles would have been corrupted (the one ring corrupted everything, thats why it was sought by Sauron. Its evil. As for the dwarves, because walking to Lonely mountain creates character and creates a second useless movie for Hollywood to shove at us.

        • There's a simple answer to this one from Oglaf:

          http://oglaf.com/ornithology/ [oglaf.com]

          (note - while this particular entry is safe enough, in general this comic is *highly* NSFW - and may flag depending on which blockers your employers use)

      • Suspension of Disbelief: Spiderman exists and has super powers and is the only one capable of stopping The Lizard.

        Terrible Writing: Some guy in New York totally knows all the crane operators in New York, knows the location of Spiderman as well as his destination, and at a moments notice is able get all his crane operator buddies to line up a dozen or more cranes on building tops along a single street and extend them so that Spiderman may web sling from them.

        Hollywood: The cops hate Spiderman and want to capture him, but after seeing The Lizard they have a change of heart and love Spiderman. To show their newfound love for their new favorite superhero, a police helicopter hovering just above the roof Spiderman is on shines its spotlight onto the cranes that were lined up for him. Showing Spiderman the way to swing, swing, swing, swing, swing toward the Lizard Man is a nice gesture, but it would have been faster, easier, less dangerous, and a hell of a lot more practical to just give him a ride in the fucking helicopter.

        Reality: Spiderman gets bit and dies a horrible death, The lizard is captured by several bullets to the chest and heat and is disected by some doc in washington and we never notice anything.

      • by Trogre ( 513942 )

        Comic book universe. That's why Spiderman could never take a ride in a helicopter.

    • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @02:01PM (#48105307) Homepage

      It's impossible to suspend that much disbelief for the junk they threw at us.

      Painfully true. I saw the pilot. I won't be watching any more episodes. The show didn't have to be that lame. In Tokyo Airport, a Japanese drama, a similar problem occurs. The controllers get out hand-held radios and their final backup, a big hand-held spotlight with red and green lenses.

      It's a painful demonstration of the fact that Hollywood has an idea shortage. Almost everything is either a sequel, or awful, or by Joss Whedon. The most successful trend in Hollywood now is mining old Marvel comic books for second and third tier characters who haven't had a movie yet. The second most successful trend is recycling novels from the Teen Paranormal Romance section.

      Then there's CBS, the Police Procedural Network.

      • Hollywood has an idea shortage.

        True, but there is another point you might want to consider: media fragmentation.

        It used to be that there were only three TV networks, and most people could only see a movie by going to the theatre (which didn't have 12 different screens in those days either). For music, there were a limited number of radio stations.

        Now, there are many different cable channels, plus YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Rhapsody, and DVD rentals or purchases. For consumers this is great, because

      • Hey CBS still has Survivor and the Amazing Race. And what is wrong with Joss Whedon?
    • Somehow I happened to see a commercial for it. I say somehow because I no longer have a cable connection so wouldn't normally see commercials.

      Anyway, I watched the commercial for this new show and instantly recognized it was a complete and utter disaster, on multiple levels.

      Just the preview alone showed the execs were trying much too hard to make a show with suspense and/or cuteness. It's one thing to have someone be able to fool people. It's quite another for someone to deduce which hard drive to pull fr

    • I'm happy to suspend disbelief for a good show. Scorpion is not a good show. It's impossible to suspend that much disbelief for the junk they threw at us.

      The first episode was AWFUL. I think it has gotten better since then, though. It is absolutely not "great", but is a somewhat enjoyable "dumb action show".. I think "Person of Interest" is a better show, but both are completely ridiculous technologically, but they're both enjoyable "dumb action shows".

  • I don't understand why it'd matter. Just look at him as the writer of the series.
    • by 1729 ( 581437 )

      I don't understand why it'd matter. Just look at him as the writer of the series.

      He's been all over the media promoting his super-genius consulting company, and CBS has been running news stories proclaiming his "achievements":

      http://losangeles.cbslocal.com... [cbslocal.com]
      http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/... [cbslocal.com]
      http://boston.cbslocal.com/201... [cbslocal.com]

      • by Soch ( 188557 )

        Yeah. And. So. What?

        He can tell whatever stories he wants to in order to promote himself or his business. Lies in those situations are to be expected.
        CBS is the group responsible, in this case, for determining how much is verifiable. If you're surprised that the news isn't fact checking well, then you've not been watching the news for the past decade or so.

        • by 1729 ( 581437 )

          If you're surprised that the news isn't fact checking well, then you've not been watching the news for the past decade or so.

          I'm not surprised, but does that mean we should just be complacent? News should be based on verifiable facts. When it's not, we -- the viewers -- should call them out on it.

    • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @01:53PM (#48105227) Homepage

      I don't understand why it'd matter

      From the sounds of it ... he's making some pretty deluded statements about his life, passing them off as if they're true, and then selling it to people who are making it into TV which says 'based on a true story'. In many places, that's called fraud when you financially gain from it.

      Why, when I first carved the internet out of an old bar of soap, I took the left over soap scraps and molded them into the prototype of the first iPod, but Steve Jobs and I got drunk and I forgot all about it until years later. I told Al Gore he could keep the whole internet thing as long as we made sure to put plenty of porn in it.

      And then my wife, Morgan Fairchild (who I've slept with) and I decided to go on an around the world cruise in our giant yacht, and by the time I was done rescuing all the baby seals, Apple was already marketing it. I swear, between the sea-sickness and the size of my giant penis, poor Morgan could barely walk for weeks.

      Why only the other week, Warren Buffet was calling me to ask why I never filed a patent, and BTW, what do I think of HP splitting into two companies. I told him I don't have a lot of time to explain market fundamentals to him, and suggested he reads Investing for Dummies" first. And, besides, I'm still on retainer with HP as their shadow CEO, so it would be unethical.

      I'd tell you why Kim Jong Il has been out of the public eye for a while, but I'm sworn to secrecy for the next twenty years. Fortunately, me am Obama were chilling over steaks the other night, and he had a good laugh about it. At least I can talk to someone about this. The Secret Service guys are really cool, and sometimes let me shoot the guns, and the airforce pilots let me show them how to do a hammerhead in airforce one. Good times. You wouldn't believe what they've got in the secret fortress under Camp David, though. All I can say is Area 51 isn't where the really cool stuff is.

      Basically, it boils down to credibility. Sure, have all the fiction you want. But if you are passing it off as fact, and someone is failing to check if any of it's true, and then subsequently pass it off as fact ... they're morons.

      It sounds like this guy has been going around making extraordinary claims, and nobody has had the slightest inclination to challenge him on it.

      • I call it 'Dan Browning.'

        • Although Dan Brown's books do require extreme suspension of disbelief, I've never heard any claims that the author actually experienced any of the same kind of events in his life, which is what people are having a problem with in this case.

      • You should call up CBS with your life story. I'd watch that show.
      • by taustin ( 171655 )

        From the sounds of it ... he's making some pretty deluded statements about his life, passing them off as if they're true, and then selling it to people who are making it into TV which says 'based on a true story'. In many places, that's called fraud when you financially gain from it.

        In Hollywood, however, it's called "a day that ends in 'y'."

        "Based on a true story" means "based on the title of a book that you might recognize." If you don't know that, you should be kept in a home for the mentally insufficient, for your own safety.

        It sounds like this guy has been going around making extraordinary claims, and nobody has had the slightest inclination to challenge him on it.

        Why would they? It doesn't make any difference whatsoever if the producers (or network) believe him in any way. It doesn't matter how credible he is.. All that matters is if they think they can sell more advertising during the show than they think they could du

        • "Based on a True Story" leads us to "Inspired by Actual Events" which is synonymous with "I made this crap up."

      • From the sounds of it ... he's making some pretty deluded statements about his life, passing them off as if they're true, and then selling it to people who are making it into TV which says 'based on a true story'.

        Perfect answer. I didn't know that the show was 'based on a true story', but then again, I don't watch tv at all.

        Interestingly enough, yesterday I was lost in YouTube and ended up looking at some clips that had to do with folks going around telling others that they were Navy SEALs, and how some real Navy SEALs would give them hella shit about it. I wonder if any of this guy's BS had gained the attention of anyone that could debunk it. I guess not.

      • I'm more inclined to believe that hollywood was just figuring that the TV show would be more believeable / watchable if they had a "based on a true story" element to it, and rewrote his backstory to fall in line with the show.
  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @01:47PM (#48105157) Homepage Journal

    And decided it wasn't worth my time. It's not just a crap show, it's a fake crap show and there's no way it's based on anybody's life, any more than that Lazzarr guy worked on an Alien Spacecraft at Area 51. If you believe any of that crap, I've got a nice bridge to sell you.

    • You'd probably be more successful if you offered to coat the bridge in tin-foil free of charge.
    • If you believe any of that crap, I've got a nice bridge to sell you.

      Where is it located and how much are you asking for it?

      • If you believe any of that crap, I've got a nice bridge to sell you.

        Where is it located and how much are you asking for it?

        We can discuss where it is later. The bridge is only $1,000 US dollars, but I do require shipping and handling in advance. (FedEx Rates, of course.)

        • I don't like receiving my packages unbroken, could we use UPS instead?

          • I don't like receiving my packages unbroken, could we use UPS instead?

            ummm.... perhaps I should clarify. While charging "shipping and handling" implies that something will be shipped, I did not actually say that the bridge would be shipped. Only that you would be charged shipping and handling fees at FedEx rates.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Everybody knows it was Brent Spiner who worked on the Alien spacecraft at Area 51!

    • It seemed easy to make that conclusion from the advertisements.

  • So a person's story used to make a fictional drama for entertainment purposes on TV turns out to be fictional drama made for entertainment?
    • by 1729 ( 581437 )

      The linked article should clarify a bit: O'Brien is using the news stories about his "genius" to promote his consulting business.

  • So let's suppose he's a "fake". He would therefor be guilty of turning a lie into a profitable entertainment venture.

    Isn't that exactly how every author, producer and actor makes their living?
  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @02:06PM (#48105379) Homepage Journal

    He has claimed that his misused image recognition software caused 2600 casualties in the Iraq war, and also later claims that Scorpion has 2600 employees across the globe...

    What's his fascination with this number? I think Emmanuel Goldstein (Eric Corely), publisher of 2600 Magazine, has grounds to sue. And so does Captain Crunch (John Draper).

    I'm willing to bet this guy couldn't program his way out a paper bag, and I've known and befriended hackers who were many times smarter than this fraud.

    • I've known and befriended hackers who were many times smarter than this fraud.

      I've known and befriended quackers who were many times smarter than this fraud. Actual ducks.

  • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @02:13PM (#48105445) Homepage

    I watched the first episode but only made it to the part where the stereotypical Asian woman was telling the stereotypical black government agent to not shoot the Radio Shack quality keypad at the "data center" that was obviously a self-storage vault, after the rest of the contrived story line (yes, of course, the aviation industry has no backup plans for backup plans if a tower goes dark and EVERYONE WILL DIE ; emergency vehicles in LA are only allowed to use the freeway and cannot bypass traffic ; you have to drive to a data center to get a hard drive ; software at an air traffic control sysem is only backed up 12 hours, every five minutes), collection of stereotypes (the Smart Ethnic People, The Guy in the Bowler Hat, The Unknown Genius Kid and The Misunderstood Autistic Guy. Not to mention The Eye Candy Waitress Who Isn't Just Eye Candy And Tells You About It) and over-used hacking tropes (I just hacked your video camera system from a diner in three seconds).

    I turned the TV off and read a book about a English policeman who is also a wizard, which was far more believable that the utter crap which Scorpion was. I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy, so I'm not opposed to the fantastic and/or the outlandish -- but Scorpion just pulled the same old tired crap out of the file, changed the names, crapped out a script, spent a pile of money and called it done. There are other shows on television with fantastic or scifi elements that are entertaining and fun to watch -- Doctor Who and Sleepy Hollow to name two current series, and there have been plenty in the past which have done a credible job -- The X-Files, Fringe, Alias, LOST, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek, 24 to name a few. Some varied from "light mind candy" (e.g. Alias showed off Jennifer Garner's abs at 30 minutes in every time) to serious business (LOST, BSG), but Scorpion just missed on everything -- plot, story, characters, originality. It's just terrible to watch.

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      Dude, you missed the best part, at the end, when they're driving a Ferrari under the jet liner that's flying eight feet off the runway, with the copilot sitting on the lowered landing gear dangling an Ethernet cable down to the car so they could grab a copy of the magic software off the plane's flight systems.

      It was so ridiculous, I kept looking for Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw for a hand. What made it funny was how earnest they were about it all. How anyone could keep a straight face long enough to finis

      • by enjar ( 249223 )

        I kept looking for Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw for a hand.

        I'd take Bruce Campbell with a boomstick. Or heck, even Bruce Campbell as Sam Axe. Or Bruce Campbell as Elvis Presley.

        At least when Bruce is on the screen you know it's not all that serious. As an aside, if you ever get the opportunity to see "Evil Dead Live", I highly recommend the show.

    • I turned the TV off and read a book about a English policeman who is also a wizard, which was far more believable that the utter crap which Scorpion was

      Rivers of London series, by any chance?

      • by enjar ( 249223 )

        Yes, indeed. I'm reading the fourth book (Broken Homes) now and I'm really enjoying his writing style, the setting, the characters -- pretty much the whole package.

  • Pilot episode was unwatchable. Characters were annoying caricature of "nerds". I wanted to punch people at CBS after about 15 minutes.

  • "Based on true story" can mean only one fact is in the whole story, it's Hollywood. Relax people! It's entertainment , either watch it or don't, hate it or love it or anywhere in between.
  • Yeah, the show is mediocre, but it starts off with an end tag so what do you expect. I saw the end of the show first and wound back to see if they had started with a matching open tag, but no. Nobody there has a clue what they are, just "web stuff."

    Look, compared to network tv shows, it's in the top third. Would you rather have another reality show about an ugly woman and her abusive husband who both have an IQ of 98?

    See if you can maintain a perspective on all this.

    • by enjar ( 249223 )

      Look, compared to network tv shows, it's in the top third. Would you rather have another reality show about an ugly woman and her abusive husband who both have an IQ of 98?

      I've started grouping any recreational activity like television, music, movies, reading, video games, web surfing as "entertainment". So any arbitrary television show might have to compete against a decent novel I've wanted to read, a new album from a band I like, a video game I'm working through, watching a movie I've heard about and ch

    • by taustin ( 171655 )

      Would you rather have another reality show about an ugly woman and her abusive husband who both have an IQ of 98?

      Or Sex Box [washingtonpost.com]. Because "Naked Dating" was such a smash hit.

  • by uvsc_wolverine ( 692513 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @02:28PM (#48105587) Homepage

    I watched 10 minutes of it the other night (on accident I swear!) and had to spend another 10 minutes explaining to my wife why I was laughing so hard. They were tracking down some cyber-bad guy (ugh) through the internet and one of the characters stopped working to do the obligatory "I'm going to explain how the internet works to the seasoned tech-illiterate detective who fears technology" part of the episode. He then proceeded to explain how data flows through many points on the internet to get where it needs to go (okay so far). He told the cop that these points are called (I am NOT kidding) "Router-hubs". These router-hubs each keep a "shadow copy" of every document (shut up shut up SHUT UP!) that flows through them for months (what the hell?) and that they could find the document they needed by going to some random data center with one of these router-hubs (it hurts to type that) and getting the shadow copy.

    Then they went to some random building start doing things on a computer next to a long row of what appeared to be rack-mounted LED lights. Oh, and there was a smokey haze in the DC for some reason. Probably some atmospheric bullcrap. Anyway this show does have entertainment value, but only if you look at it as a parody.

    • by Isaac-1 ( 233099 )

      After seeing the exact same scene, I turned to my wife and said thats nice and all if the internet actually worked that way

    • Yep, I saw that very scene because my wife watches it and I happened to be around, and I also had to explain to my wife why I was laughing derisively.

      I'm sure some hack can spin our common laughter into a story about how watching Scorpion is a communal experience for people in tech fields.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      These router-hubs each keep a "shadow copy" of every document (shut up shut up SHUT UP!) that flows through them for months (what the hell?) and that they could find the document they needed by going to some random data center with one of these router-hubs (it hurts to type that) and getting the shadow copy.

      They're probably not far from the truth there but more by accident than anything else. The "router-hubs" are just installed and maintained by the NSA.

      Lol "rack-mounted LED lights".

  • The way I see it, the only possible problem is that the network claims that the show is based on real life. Otherwise, pretty much everything on TV is a made up story, including everything on "reality" shows, some of the stuff on the news, and perhaps even the occasional sporting event.

  • by 1729 ( 581437 ) <slashdot1729@@@gmail...com> on Thursday October 09, 2014 @03:02PM (#48105933)

    For everyone saying "it's just a show": that's not the problem. Walter O'Brien is using his credibility from his show to promote himself as a real super-genius consultant. He has news programs [cbslocal.com] touting him as the person who solved the Boston marathon bombings. He spent two hours on the radio [kfiam640.com] last night promoting his "concierge" service. It's not just a bad TV show; the guy is perpetrating a real-life fraud.

  • There will always be people willing to capitalize on the ignorance of others. O'Brien may be laughable, but he wasn't the first, nor was Michael Synergy, nor will either of them be the last.
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Thursday October 09, 2014 @03:29PM (#48106261)

    On TV, an IQ as low Albert Einstein's (165?) is a joke.

    Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Criminal Minds, etc; I think everybody has an IQ of 190, or better.

    Furthermore, I would think that everybody on slashdot would know that computer security is all about high speed car chases and gun fights. It's not as if computer security people just sit around in front of computers all day.

  • The number "2600" appears a lot in his stories. Phreaker wannabe?
  • Because if so then I sort of admire the guy, because that is some EPIC level trolling he's managed to pull off:

    I've only seen one clip of the show, but I kid you not it was some of the dumbest "hollywood take on tech" shit I have ever seen. Something to do with having to download some software from the onboard computer of a commercial airplane and the best way to do it was... DANGLE a goddamn ethernet cable down from the airplane mid-flight to the protagonists in their fast car so they can plug it into thei

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