RIM apologizes for BlackBerry outage in Europe

rim apologizes for blackberry outage in europe deadberryAs if to add insult to injury, on the morning of the day when the iPhone 5 went on sale internationally, BlackBerry users across the world woke up to discover that their devices didn’t work anymore.

Well, kind of.

What actually happened was that users throughout Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East had connectivity issues with the BlackBerry Messenger, email and Internet access for around four hours from 8am BST onwards. It took some time for BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion to acknowledge the problem – almost two hours, in fact, before the company Tweeted that “some users in Europe, Middle East and Africa are experiencing issues with their BlackBerry service,” updating around ten minutes later with “We are investigating and apologize for any inconvenience.”

Around two and a half hours later, service was fully restored.

An official statement from RIM offered “our apologies to any customers impacted by the BlackBerry service issue today,” going on to add that “We can confirm that services have been restored and are now operating normally.” It’s not known exactly what the problem was at this time; according to a spokesperson in London, the issue only affected users using specific carriers, with Vodaphone being named in a statement to the Guardian newspaper. John Jackson, a wireless analyst at CCS Insight told Reuters that the outage may be connected with a similar problem that befell the device last October, and suggests that it’s a bad sign of thing to come. “That RIM has experienced another outage is worrisome,” he said, adding that it could be seen as a hint that “something hasn’t been put right” after last October.

Oddly enough, that particular October 2011 outage – which lasted for four days and affected tens of millions of users across the world, embarrassing the company and leading to a public backlash against both Research In Motion and the BlackBerry as a device – also coincided with a major Apple release, this time the release of Apple’s iPhone 4S. While it’s a step towards conspiracy theory to suggest any connection between iPhone releases and BlackBerry outages, it’s definitely a very strange coincidence. Joking about the outages being some inept attempt to divert attention away from the iPhone sales, it’s perhaps woth suggesting that RIM should consider beefing up resources as soon as the next iPhone release is announced, just as a precaution, based on past experience. If nothing else, it couldn’t hurt.

In a public apology to users, RIM’s chief executive Thorsten Heins said that the company is “conducting a full technical analysis of this quality of service issue and will report as soon as it concludes.” The emailed statement ended with Heins adding “I again want to apologize to those customers who were impacted today.”

Computing

Amazon breach exposes an unknown number of email addresses

Amazon blamed a technical error for accidentally exposing your email address ahead of Black Friday. The company still has not revealed any details about this latest breach, but it did say that a fix has been implemented.
Cars

Tesla owners will soon be able to summon a repair van in a few taps

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out plans to expand the Tesla mobile app so Tesla owners can request on-demand service for common problems from Tesla Ranger mobile service vehicles in just a few taps.
Computing

Service restored after glitch locks out Microsoft Office 365 business users

Microsoft reported that a problem with its system caused some users to be locked out of their accounts. Because the multifactor authentication system went down globally, some Office 365 and Azure users were unable to log in.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Smart Home

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best wireless earbuds around.
Social Media

Time alerts put the brakes on Facebook consumption, are rolling out now

Just how much time do you spend scrolling through the Facebook feed? Facebook will now tell you. The new features also include daily alerts that tell users when they've spent too much time on the social network.
Deals

The best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Mobile

How to find a lost phone, whether it's Android, iPhone, or any other kind

Need to know how to find a lost phone? We have a simple guide right here that will help you to locate your lost or stolen phone using both native and third-party apps and services, whether it’s a smartphone or an older model.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Computing

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Deals

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…
Cars

Here’s how Uber plans to improve its service for riders in wheelchairs

Uber is working to improve its service for disabled riders. Its latest initiative sees it teaming up with a specialist transportation firm to provide more wheelchair-accessible vehicles with wait times of less than 15 minutes.
Mobile

Google Play Store offers big movie and game discounts for Thanksgiving

With the holiday season upon us, Google has unleashed a torrent of tempting deals in the Play Store. You can snag top games for up to 80 percent off, rent any movie for just 99 cents, and get discounts on books and apps.