Friday, April 20, 2007

Crackberry Down!

Regarding last week’s post questioning the readiness of the Internet and it’s related ecosystems for Web-only applications:

I thought the 12-hour Blackberry outage Tuesday night illustrated my point in a perfect and timely fashion, although I’ll concede that its users/fans/chattels may find it difficult to find any redeeming qualities in the blackout. Blackberry users had comments (in the Reuters article in eWeek) like, “"I felt like my left arm had been amputated," and the story says that “one Wall Street analyst said she kept hitting her BlackBerry's version of a ‘refresh’ button in disbelief that the system could fail.”

It's looking like I won’t be able to resist quoting a criminal defense lawyer in New York named Charles Ross (though no relation), who said the outage left him feeling "vulnerable and uncomfortable," and that is caused him to miss breakfast! (Okay, “a breakfast appointment.” It only sounded like these people were being denied basic sustenance.)

Now it turns out that all it took was an insufficiently tested routine system upgrade (“to provide better optimization of the system's cache," according to RIM. Appropriate, perhaps, since that upgrade's sure to cost them some extra cash). That’s great – I’m sure if it was an all out criminal-hacker assault, they would have handled it much better.

So, now how do we feel about depending on the Web for even more of our most basic applications? Let me hasten to note that Web apps are a great idea in theory, and probably an inevitable evolution, but that we are (i.e., the Internet is) just not ready for it yet.

RIM explains its BlackBerry outage
Cascading software and system problems caused interruption”
April 20, 2007

A Night Without 'CrackBerry': Curse or Blessing?”
Reuters, by Franklin Paul, via eWeek - April 18
Related, here:
"Baaack it up!" * (Before the Botnets get it) 1/15/07

(...which featured this quote from a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist:
‘The war to make the Internet safe was lost long ago, and we need to figure out what to do now.”)
"A Working Simple System" - John Gall

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