I wrote previously about IDing a cover of a book I own from several seconds of noticing it as set-dressing in an unrelated production. Watching Law & Order recently, I caught a new one:
L&O S4E14 "Censure"
Yep, that's Lt. Anita Van Buren, under cover and reading a copy of the 1974 Bantam printing of Gravity's Rainbow. A book I owned for years.
I put down that book in sheer exasperation more times than I could count. When I moved, I finally realized that if I was going to ever read the damn thing, it would be on an eReader and I sold my copy, along with 75% of my library.
Watch enough modern-day detective shows and techno-thrillers and you'll notice one common thread: if an image is ever pulled up on a computer screen, it suddenly becomes resolute to the infinite degree. An episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent from 2006, for instance, had webcam footage on a real-estate website read text off the LCD display on home security box. TVTropes has, obviously, covered this (as I've covered them, earlier) and a video was born:
Futurama, the mothership of technological satire, also covered this:
Of course, we do live in the future, so some amount of magic really is possible, given an appropriate amount of resolution: