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Calling John Connor! Skynet will destroy humanity tomorrow, sorta

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(Read caption) Skynet is taking over the world. Here, the original Skynet assassin gets ready to dish out some cheesy catchphrases.

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Feel something sinister on the Web this afternoon? Fret not –– that's just Skynet, becoming sentient, taking over your computer, and preparing to conquer the world. Confused? According to the mythos of the Terminator series, yesterday, April 19 –– circa 8 p.m. –– was the date when our new cyber overlords first signed online. Which means today, April 20, is when Skynet gets working on that whole subjugating/exterminating the human race thing.

Skynet, of course, first appeared in The Terminator, a 1984 hit film directed by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. However each movie and now the TV show keeps rewriting the history. There are no fewer than seven official time lines. The April 19-21 dates are from the most recent revision (the TV version).

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Today, Mr. Cameron –– also the mind behind Avatar, the most lucrative film of all time –– took to Twitter to acknowledge Skynet Day. "Instead of machines taking over, we have the very real threat of global warming," Cameron wrote.

True! But as Adam Boult of the Guardian quickly retorted, Cameron shouldn't "downplay [his] own prescience. We can worry about global warming and the possibility that robots are going to kill us all," Boult jokes. "[A UK Ministry of Defense] report has just this week warned that we're heading for an 'incremental and involuntary journey towards a Terminator-like reality.' " You can read more about that report here.

The most recent movie installment in the Terminator franchise was Terminator: Salvation, which starred Christian Bale. Our reviewer opined that the director, McG, steered the action "passably well. (I suppose we should be thankful this film wasn't presented in 3-D or else we'd all be ducking for cover for two hours.) I wish, however, he had inserted a bit of humor into the maelstrom."

Big fan of the Terminator series? Convinced that a real-life version of Skynet is even now in the process of taking over the world? Share your conspiracy theories in the comments section below. In the meantime, to stay abreast of the big tech news – including all things Terminator –– sign up for the free weekly Innovation newsletter, which is emailed out every Wednesday.

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