There has long been a fear of a technology apocalypse of sorts, with our various and sundry machines rising up against us for a bloody battle to the death. Hollywood has given us all manner of interpretations on the subject, but I think they are missing the machines’ most likely course of attack, one far more diabolical then a prolonged war: firmware updates.
After a month of fairly frequent travel, this weekend I powered up several devices and computers that hadn’t been used in some time. Each demanded a raft of updates, reboots, and subsequent updates, with my favorite being a home theater component that informed me, in a deadpan that only a computer programmer could love, that “The Updater requires an Update”.
Rather than bullets and bombs, I’m convinced the machine apocalypse will start with incessant demands for updates, and updates to updaters and so on, until we quickly surrender to our new mechanical overlords, happy to hand them the responsibility for humanity along with managing all the various updates that seem to be required for modern life.