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Danger Danger: the Great SideKick Disaster?

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11th October 2009

 The Great SideKick Disaster A potentially catastrophic data loss has hit customers who use T-Mobile USA's SideKick devices. An official statement urges subscribers not to power off or reset their handsets because any data not synchronised with the SideKick will be lost.

Data services for T-Mobile's SideKick users are provided by a Microsoft subsidiary called "Danger, Inc" - perhaps an unfortunate name in these circumstances. What is amazing is that a company owned by a market leader such as Microsoft should be in a position where it has lost all its subscriber's data. And this level of disaster by an established - and presumably experienced - provider shows just how dangerous it can be to trust all your data to somebody else.

At the time of writing, T-Mobile's status page says:

    Sidekick customers, during this service disruption, please DO NOT remove your battery, reset your Sidekick, or allow it to lose power.

    Updated: 10/10/2009 12:35 PM PDT


    Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:

    T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption.

    We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.

    Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips in our Sidekick Contacts FAQ. We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.

    In addition, we plan to communicate with you on Monday (Oct. 12) the status of the remaining issues caused by the service disruption, including the data recovery efforts and the Download Catalog restoration which we are continuing to resolve. We also will communicate any additional tips or suggestions that may help in restoring your content.

    We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers' personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.

    We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.

    Once again, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger regret any and all inconvenience this matter has caused.

Of course, because this is happening in the US then there is already talk of a class action against T-Mobile. Hopefully, the Danger engineers can recover the data.. but things are looking pretty grim.


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