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When zombies attack: An instant-messaging perspective

Posted on November 5, 2013, by
When zombies attack: An instant-messaging perspective

When the zombie apocalypse comes – and make no mistake, it will– which mobile messaging system will you rely on to communicate with other survivors: iMessage or BBM?

Let’s assume that in the early days of the outbreak, before essential government services and infrastructure break down, barrelling us all back into the Bronze Age, mobile networks remain functional and accessible. The two services are largely interchangeable with balancing pros and cons on each side: they’re both free (not that anyone will be getting a bill in the post once all Royal Mail employees have joined the hordes of the undead).  Blackberry is the original innovator with years of experience while Apple is the new kid on the block; iMessage can be used across a range of Apple devices, but BBM users are limited to Blackberry mobiles and iMessage can only be used on Apple products while BBM is (slowly) rolling out over multiple devices. The logistics of use are much of a muchness between the two, so we anticipate the tie-breaker will be fought over the issue of security.

As we’ve learned from TV shows such as The Walking Dead and films like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and pretty much ever other film ending with of the Dead, the greatest danger during a global crisis like the zombie outbreak is the uninfected themselves. So the last thing you’d want is the world’s criminals and cannibals decrypting your next survivor meet-up location. Hence the iMessage/BBM dilemma.

The Blackberry network enjoys a pretty rock-solid reputation for the security of its communications (for the most part), which is the reason their products have always been so popular with corporate and government clients. Apple claimed to have similar levels of security, until it was recently revealed that Apple itself has the power to decrypt and monitor messages sent over its network. Apple denies this, but if you had a flesh-hungry animated corpse breathing down your neck and a roving gang of lawless bandits nipping at your heels, would you take the chance?

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