It’s the end of the world as we know it

May 26, 2011
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(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

Well, I suppose it was a good thing that old preacher dude got his dates mixed up about the whole end of the world thing but now that we’re going to be around a bit longer I suppose I’ll have to pay that pesky power bill.

Then again, maybe it really did happen: they (the well-balanced folk spending their life savings to tell us sinners it’s all over) reckon the rapture will result in 200 million true believers being called to heaven while everyone else gets to hang out down here until the hellfire and brimstone arrives. Perhaps the 200 million have already gone and we just didn’t notice.

Perhaps I don’t actually know anyone deemed enough of a true believer to get the big invite.

And it was quite a warm day on Monday, so perhaps that was the hellfire we were promised. Because as we all know, the reality never really lives up to the hype of the advertising.

The internet is, naturally, full of borax-poking examples of rapture predictions and predicaments and now the bloke who gave us the ETA of May 21 has taken another look at his calendar and confessed to a minor miscalculation. It seems we’re looking at October 21 now, so make sure you’ve packed you fireproof undies and SPF2000 sunblock and brace yourselves for the trip of a lifetime.

Symantec is also offering a warning of biblical proportions, particularly for users of mobile phones and devices. Android.Smspacem is a “Trojanised” malware version of the legitimate Holy F**king Bible app that ties in with the May 21 end-of-times drama by automatically replying to text messages sent to infected devices with “Cannot talk right now, the world is about to end” before randomly selecting one of several other similar predefined messages and sending those to users’ entire contact lists, trying to contact a host service and changing the wallpaper display on the infected device.

The mobile nasty is spreading via unregulated Android marketplaces so Symantec recommends configuring devices to stop the download of apps from anywhere but the official Android Market, which is configuration is the default on most devices.

This week’s video shows how the news might look on October 21:

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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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