By Shirley Higgins-Croft.
Top End Software has had to cancel release of its much anticipated snake detection program. The iSnake app, which uses infrared and ultraviolet nuclear magnetic resonance technology, was designed to detect and locate the presence of over 500 different snake species. It has been under late stage beta testing by members of the public.
Of the 200 members of the four-week trial, 97 have been either killed or hospitalised with snake-bite and 24 are not responding to texts. When asked for comment, Professor Amos Keegan, of the William Bligh University Department of Snakes and Monotremes, described the results as “probably statistically significant”, but cautioned that “correlation does not confer causation.”
Trilbo Misso Cairns have launched a class action on behalf of the trial participants. They are seeking a public apology and 1.3 Billion New Guinea kina in damages.
Professor Keegan was not optimistic about the chances of a payout in the litigation. “These big software companies know what they are doing,” he said. “When you sign up for a trial like this, you are basically agreeing to forfeiture of life, limb and boxer-shorts. If you limp away with 100 kina and mild erectile dysfunction you can count yourself lucky.”
Top End software have not indicated when the app might again be available. In a written statement, Chief Operating Officer, Nevis Aboud (above), said that the development team were checking the vibration-emulator and tongue-flick detection subroutines and that “no bugs have been found.” He said that exhaustive tests had indicated that there was no truth to the theory, promulgated on social media, that the app had somehow acted as an attractant for the reptiles.