BlackBerry Outage

Maybe you didn’t notice yesterday, but your Blackberry wasn’t working.

Right. You did notice.

The BlackBerry outage on February 11 has been speculated as happening because of a system upgrade or more vaguely, a “failure at two Network Operating Centres.” While analysts are conjecturing causes and how this might affect RIM’s stocks, RIM is probably sending drafts back to its PR writers with big red letters, “No, we can’t say THAT either,” on them.

An odd little sidenote to this outage saga is a headline that appears on the Toronto, Ontario, Globe and Mail newspaper Web site. Toronto is about an hour’s drive from RIM’s Waterloo, Ontario headquarters:

Weekend Workout: Time for a BlackBerry blackout
Globe and Mail Update February 11, 2008 at 11:20 AM EST

As of right now, there’s no article below it, no posting, nothing ( The BlackBerry blackout occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. Maybe the reporter who posted the above has since quit the paper this morning to take a job as a Hollywood psychic—or a Wall Street trader.

Or maybe it was just going to be a posting about how we’re all too obsessed with staying in touch and how none of us ever truly gets away as long as we’re carrying a BlackBerry and how we ought to pay more attention to the things that matter, such as being with the people we love and being present in our lives. Maybe? Nah.

The widely quoted blasting of RIM by Stuart Gold of Omniture also piqued my curiosity. He said he’d request his IT department give him a backup model, such as a Palm Treo, in case such an outage happens again.

Or maybe, instead of a Treo, he’ll end up with a re-branded device from Microsoft, which just bought consumer communications device-maker Danger (

I’m curious about whether Gold will succeed in his demand for a backup to a BlackBerry. Have others decided also that that’s a viable option?

Update: A half hour after I posted the above(it's still Feb. 12, however) I couldn't help but notice this announcement coming through our corporate email system:
Attention Penton Employees,
We are currently experiencing a technical problem with one of our two Blackberry servers. We are working with Blackberry support tor resolve this problem as quickly as possible. Once these issues have been resolved we will post a notification.

Uh oh. I must have angered the BlackBerry gods....

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