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This page (like others in the Useless Trivia space) exist to provide analysis and review of computer security in films. Reviews of usernames and passwords used in these films will be mentioned as they can be found and identified.

23 - Nichts ist so wie es Scheint (23 - Nothing is as it Seems): Thriller, Suspense, Conspiracy, Coincidence

(http://www.hagbard-celine.de/ is a kind of shrine and dedication to Karl Koch A.K.A. Celine Hagbard. Plenty of docs are there and links to many page, but most are written in German.)

(Summary of 23 with a link to Alterations to the real story.)

(English Subtitles? We have English subtitles for this film and have made them available for download. Feedback to make them better is welcome! English Subtitles Release version 1.0 Came out Jan 21, 2004 and been revised several times with spelling fixes, modified content, grammatical fixes and more. You can download subtitles for this movie to have them play with at least two different rips of this video. Information on getting the latest versions of subtitles, how to make suggested changes to the subtitles, and credit to people who have chosen to accept credit for their work is available near the end of this page by following this link.)

People who have read a book by Clifford Stoll called "The Cookoo's Egg" know about the $0.75 discrepancy on a phone bill at Lawrence Berkeley Labs that pushed Clifford to track down the cause, an unauthorized used of phone system and computer system resources. (Also see the PBS, NOVA presentation called The KGB, My Computer and Me available on VHS from order through PBS (VHS, U.S. NTSC format) or at your local library also by Clifford Stoll as a video of the same story.) However, you may not have heard a story about the hackers on the other side of the Atlantic in Hanover, Germany. As it turns out, this film (23 - Nothing is as it Seems) is a story about this other side. (Citation: http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,14693,00.html.) Another article (http://www.byte.com/art/9509/sec7/art25.htm) says the intruder on the LBL systems was actually Markus Hess.

This is a difficult film to acquire with English Subtitle (or any subtitles for that matter.) I bought a copy from Europe (which had no subtitles) and a DVD-R from http://www.revengeismydestiny.com/. The copy from http://www.revengeismydestiny.com/ Was in DVD-R format and has subtitles as part of the actual video and I did not like how they chose to translate many parts; technical translations and genuine references to people and groups are lacking and some aspects of the story are lost in it. Also, since they are part of the video, you can't turn them off. Also, the video quality is not as good as the Region-2 DVD. However, it is a DVD-R and can be played on many modern DVD players that can play DVD-R. For information on the two copies of this movie that I own, scroll to the bottom of this page to read more.

This is an example of a Hollywood movie that actually has the technical aspects of computer systems fairly accurately displayed. <Sarcasm>Ohhhhhhh. wait. This was not a Hollywood film this is a film from Germany.</sarcasm> (Heh.)

This film includes references to Atari computers, Commodore 64, and other systems, while we also see some IBM and IBM clone systems, a few portable computers (briefcase-sized systems with amber monochrome LCD) and even a PDP-11 system. They even address the different power needs of a PDP-11 system and make references to a need to condition the air and manage the temperature. Taken as a whole, the movie was much more technologically accurate with the use of computers than most other movies. In fact, the representation of "what technology can do" is pretty good for "movies about hackers." (Using the common movie definition of hackers.) They also do a rather good job of not showing things being done by computers that can't be done by computers. Though it is not perfect, it is a much better representation of computer technology than most "hacker" movies I have seen.

To its detriment, I think the creators of the film take a lot of creative licensing in creating a story that is entertaining. Many factual events are thrown into the timeline of the movie, but I have my doubts on certain events in the film. However, I guess there is a difference between a documentary and entertainment for the masses -- and the movie is entertaining.

Like all of the other films reviewed here, this is about the film, not about the real-life people after which the film was created.

In this film, we see several computer security references:

Movie Trivia

A number of associates and I have been working on English subtitles for "23 Nichts ist so wie es Scheint" ("23 Nothing is as it Seems") and would like to share these with others. We have a few hundred hours invested in building them, but want to hear suggestions on how to make them better.

We would like to ensure all changes and suggestions made to the subtitles are always available to everyone.

Here is a chronological list of users who have contributed to making these subtitles better and the country they wish to claim as their point of origin. These people are cited at the end of the subtitles: (AnonUser's are not nicknames. They are users who wish to stay anonymous. "n/a" mean "not available" which means they do not want this item published. "(?)" Means best guess based on available information.)
Translation Credits and Citations
NName Country Name E-Mail URL
(?) psicotreta (?)
Uploader of Portuguese subtitles at http://extratitles.to/
n/a n/a (?) thedoc@rtlworld.de (?) 1029009593-24-23_pt.zip
CotMan us n/a sub23@passwall.com Thanks BabelFish!
BoomBox dk n/a n/a n/a
^-=*V*=-^ kz n/a n/a n/a
AnonUser1 de n/a n/a n/a
AnonUser2 us n/a n/a n/a
z0idb3rg qc.ca Albert Bachand wawazuzu at sympatico dot ca n/a
SilentRob us n/a n/a n/a
phobal ca n/a n/a place-holder/citation
n/a us Christopher Hesse n/a n/a

Downloadable subtitles:
The subtitles available for download are the work of many people working in cooperation. If you would like to contribute to improving the subtitles, you should know the goals we would like to meet:

  1. Subtitles should convey the same sense as the spoken German. (Translated intent is better than a direct translation.)
  2. German spoken about technology in the film should be technologically accurate in English. (Consider the crowd of people who will review this film.)
  3. Spoken vulgar German words should be closely paired with closest matching written vulgar English words.
  4. When it does not interfere with any of the above, include comments for people who are hearing impaired. (We think we have included sufficient comments for the hearing impaired to have them understand many of the events in the film and events that require hearing events, but maybe we missed some. Let us know if you have more suggestions.)
  5. A majority of subtitles should be a max of 1 row, occasionally 2 rows, but should almost never use 3 rows of text on-screen with standard mplayer or MS Media Player default fonts.
  6. All contributors with included contributions receive equal "credit time" in the subtitle credits regardless of size of contribution.
  7. The order of credit is based on chronological submission; earliest workers appear first.
  8. Any names with vertical bar (UNIX pipe "|") will need to choose an alternate character for the credits since that is an EOL terminator in the subtitles format used. (I do not know of any escape characters for "|" in subtitles either.)
  9. Contributors must have a valid e-mail address! I don't care if it is hotmail or yahoomail or you want to hide your identity with another method, but I need to be able to reply to you! (Which goes to the next item as why I would need to contact you.)
  10. Contributions will not be included unless contributor responds to reply to their submission agreeing to terms. (Terms like: agree to have their contributions "OpenSourced" under a, "to be determined OpenSource license," like GPL, GNU, Creative Commons, or similar license to make sure anyone with a license to play the movie may freely download use and redistribute them to others who have license to play the movie.) We want to make sure submissions are available to everyone and anyone who wants them so long as we do not break the law. We also need confirmation on what name to credit and if your e-mail address may be published on this page. All submissions must be extended to the owners and creators of the film to use as they wish for profit or not.
  11. Get the latest subtitles files and use them before you make suggestions. Maybe someone else beat you to the suggestion and is credited. If you indeed have the latest subtitles files, feel free to send me unified diff instead of complete subtitles files. If you don't know what this means, then just send me the whole subtitle file you have changed.

NOTE: If you try to use these subtitles with an other file/version, then you will likely need to adjust the frame index for the subtitle file to match the frame count of your file.

The latest release of subtitles is version 1.0.5 (Released Feb 26, 2006). This version includes fixes for 1 punctuation/spelling error, 1 spelling error, and 1 suggested change in wording in a difficult phrase. This release also includes a new subtitles file to work with an original DVD imported from Europe when played with something like mplayer or xine.

Yes, we provide a subtitle file for this film. No, I will not provide anyone an AVI or video-format of this film. It is up to you to locate the Video if you wish to play it. If you have a license to play the film, consider any of a various P2P-based network acquisition systems. I have seen a number of people using these to get this film. Subtitles for this film are provided for people with license to use the film. (I want to ensure my part in publishing them remains legal.)

Even though I won't provide the video file, I do provide the subtitles file only because I believe it is legal for people who own the film to download subtitles for another language for the same film they own. These subtitles are not ripped from the DVD published in Europe nor are they taken from the DVD-R from the "revengeismydestiny" website. The subtitles are a collaborative effort from many different people. These subtitles are also useless without a copy of the movie. Use of these subtitles separate from the movie may lead to issues of Copyright with respect to the creators of the film. As a result, if you choose to create derivative works or use these subtitles without a license to play the film, you may need to contact the creators of the film for permission to use their "script" for your purpose outside the film.

If they ever release a Region-1 DVD of this film with English subtitles, whatever distribution company chooses to do so may use these subtitles. (And when such a region-1 DVD is produced, I'll plan to buy that one too!) With these subtitles, it is possible for english speaking people who are hearing impaired to understand this movie. This permits U.S. universities accepting dollars from the U.S. government to play this film and meet many of the requirements specified by the U.S. ADA. If you own the movie, feel free to download. If you do not own it, consider buying a legal copy; the European DVD (Is a Region 2 DVD and needs a special player outside of Europe) is of much higher quality WRT sound and video than any ripped version, and you encourage the film industry to make more films like this one and (hopefully) fewer films that are less accurate.

Our English Subtitles: DOWNLOAD File 23_-_Nichts_Ist_So_Wie_Es_Scheint_Dvd_Divx_German-English_sub.zip (English Subtitles) made for the file of length 680941568 bytes with md5sum d49426dfc1cdffa70cbdc67fde981bf1 and frame count of 141847.

Complete list of various subtitle versions we provide for download: (I'll probably shift over to smi-based subtitles as they have more features and can be used regardless of frame count.)

Primary File 23.-.Nichts.Ist.So.Wie.Es.Scheint.Dvd.Divx.German.avi
Size bytes/kB/MB (k=1024,M=1024k) 680941568/664982kB/649MB
MD5Sum d49426dfc1cdffa70cbdc67fde981bf1
# Frames 141847
Subtitle File: DOWNLOAD English Subtitles File for this version AVI

Alternate frame shift for subtitles provided by "Albert Bachand" (z0idb3rg)-qc.ca
Alternate File #1 23-Nichts.ist.so.wie.es.scheint.avi
Size bytes/kB/MB (k=1024,M=1024k) 701765632/685318kB/669MB
MD5Sum 43f78d6837cddff2b675b90db8c159af
# Frames 142017
Subtitle File: DOWNLOAD English Subtitles File for this version AVI

Alternate frame shift for subtitles provided by "Christopher Hesse" ()-.US
Alternate File #2 DVD : German Import : Barcode 4 009750 296189
DVD Released by http://www.eurovideo.de/ (23 Nichts ist so wie es Scheint) or Google Search for BN
Length/Format/Region ca. 95 Minutes / PAL / Europe
# Frames 142026 (guessed)
Subtitle File: DOWNLOAD English Subtitles File for a DVD

How do you make the subtitle files work with your video player? (Plans to expand this section later)

This has been the most difficult film to find with any kind of subtitles. (My spoken and written German is just plain awful; it takes me several passes when hearing something to figure out what is being said.) I Found this movie available from several sites in Europe. I found one that claimed to have English subtitles, but recently checked and found that description of their sold item has been removed.

If you decide to buy a DVD from Europe to play in the U.S., then know these items:

So, make sure your DVD Player can play DVD from the region you are buying and make sure you can play movies in the format (NTSC and/or PAL) that your TV can handle!

(Example, I bought a DVD player that can play all regions (manually region selectable) and can convert PAL video to NTSC so I can play them on a regular ordinary U.S. TV.)

There is a reference to a Divx version with English as a language mentioned at http://www.wa-junge.de/movies/details/2663.html but later it states there are no subtitles on the disc ("Keine Untertitel"). I have sent the site owner to verify this and am awaiting a response. Perhaps "English" is the language for the text in that section of the page.

There are also Portuguese subtitles http://extratitles.to/searchs.php?z3=23. This was a useful resource as another "take" on what was being said on film, but in another language.

After more searching, I found a U.S. based company that sells it in VHS format in NTSC format and English subtitles. Check out http://www.revengeismydestiny.com/EuroTrashT.html and scroll down the page till you see it. The subtitles in that film are okay, but not what I would have chosen for subtitles. Many technological references were missing as was reference to the Chaos Computer Club. Several other omissions made the subtitles as part of that film less than ideal. There are a number of omissions that really alter the story. There are some cases where omission of translated spoken German to English leads to a different impression of the characters portrayed in the film. I believe our subtitles are technologically more accurate, and more consistent with the story. We also take the time to include comments for the hearing impaired and translate signs or other text that appears in the film. We also translate spoken Russian in the film.

When I e-mailed the guy that runs the site, I asked him about the movie and asked if he had it in DVD format. Though http://www.revengeismydestiny.com/EuroTrashT.html does (did) not show a DVD version as being available, he was willing to make a DVD-R! (NOTE: this is not the same as a conventional DVD, but most newer DVD players made today can usually play DVD-R too.)

I was a little concerned about sending money to a guy who runs a website with part of the name including "Revenge is my Destiny" (http://www.revengeismydestiny.com/) but I decided to check it out. I searched USENET archives, and use google to search the web for references and reviews for the site, but could not find customer reviews that were positive or negative. I found an article that was from 2002 that wrote about his site, and after examining the whois information and finding it was created around the same time and not being able to find any negative reports, and noting it was not much money for the movie, I was willing to take the risk.

The website says that you should wait from 6-8 weeks for delivery. Through e-mail, he said he could get it out to me in 3-4 weeks. The package actually arrived in a little less than 3 weeks. Based on my experience with his company, if I find I would like to have other titles from his collection, I will not hesitate to order from him again. (Great service, I received exactly what he told me I would receive in the timeline he said I would receive it.)

Since my original order, I have ordered more copies of this film from the same site, and will be ordering more coppies from Europe to give to some people I know as gifts. I'll post my experience with these orders too:

I ordered another package from this guy, but this was a larger order. It took about 10 weeks, but it was a larger order, and if you check on his site, larger orders take longer.) For reference, I ordered 7 DVD-R in February, and they all arived just fine. They were exactly as advertised. This is two orders placed, for a total of 8 items, and all arrived just fine. I would still do business with this guy in the future.

(C) 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 Passwall.com. Copyright Information: Any of the above content that was created by me may be copied so long as each copy includes this copyright and links back to this site with reference to source and the content not be used for financial gain.

(C) 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 of information included above with explicit credit to people other than me who have submitted documentation, additions, corrections. You will need to get their permission to use their included content.

I do not provide screenshots from movies, or downloadable movies for any films to avoid issues with Copyright infringement. It is my intention to legally provide news, information, trivia, and discussion about films and ensure content is not illegally reproduced. If you control Copyright to any of these movies and will extend to me permission is writing to capture screenshot images to be used on the web, please let me know!

If you have suggestions on additions, feel free to e-mail them to me. Please use valid e-mail addresses so I can reply to you. I like to offer credit to people for their submissions. When you provide your submission, please specify what name should be credited with the information provided and if you would like to have an e-mail link to your address or a URL to your home page.

Useless Trivia: Movie reviews with respect to computer security.