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Cisco Saves The World -- On TV

Blatant product placement on Fox's "24" series sets the network security bar higher than any company can reach.

Did anyone happen to see the TV show "24" last week? You know, it's the Monday-night Fox series where counter-terrorist Jack Bauer, played by Kiefer Sutherland, spends a desperate day trying to save America from various forms of annihilation. Well, I've been Tivo-ing the series since it started four years ago, and it's had its share of jump-the-shark moments.

But I fell out of my Lay-Z-Boy last Monday night when a nuclear terrorist's attempt to penetrate the show's Counter Terrorist Unit's computer network was foiled by a new security system said to have been just installed the previous night.

It wasn't just any security system, you see, it was a CISCO security system. You can see the clip on Cisco's Web site, (QuickTime required) and here's a rough transcript of the conversation between Chloe, the show's cranky computer expert, and Buchanan, the suit in charge of CTU:

Chloe: How did this happen? Mr. Buchanan, the network security monitor lit up. Someone on the outside is trying to jam our satellite servers.

Buchanan: Could this just be high network load?

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