I saw a handful of news articles about the Sidekick. Basically, all T-Mobile Sidekicks apparently store everything–contacts, texts, photos, etc.–in the cloud. If the device is hard-rebooted, it doesn’t bother saving them, since it can just pull them back from the cloud. No one was ever really aware of this, it seems, since it worked so well.

Until, last week, the service went down across all of T-Mobile. Minutes (it’s a smartphone. It’s like crack.) turned to hours, which turned to days. Finally, it was announced that anything that wasn’t restored was probably irretrievably lost.

An additional, confusing detail: T-Mobile runs the network, but Danger, who created the phone, runs the servers that this all runs on. Except Danger was bought by Microsoft, so Microsoft is essentially at fault. (Which explains something that confused me greatly at first: why Microsoft was being blamed for a failure on a non-Windows phone.)

A few coworkers and I were talking about this at work. It boggles my mind that the data is just gone. Take, for instance, our database at work. For reasons that irritate me, our site runs off of a single server. But we have enough copies of it, including multiple hot spares, that I don’t feel like counting them to tell you how many we have. They not only span different storage mediums and switches (so that, say, a SAN failure, or an Ethernet/Fibre switch failure would be inconsequential to our operation), but they span physical locations, although only our “real” data center is online. You could detonate an atom bomb in one of our cabinets and we’d still have all of the data available offsite. The other side of things is that deliberately-deleted data (“DROP DATABASE master_database”) would be merrily replicated across most of our servers. But we have enough backups (again, spanning both physical locations and storage mediums) that we would probably only lose a few hours’ worth of records.

Our site is probably considerably smaller than Sidekick’s setup. They apparently ran an Oracle RAC setup, for example. So it should be next to impossible for all that data to just disappear.

AppleInsider completes that sentence with an “unless…” that many of us probably didn’t even consider: unless it was internal sabotage.

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