Archive for the 'News' Category

Goodnight Hiptop: A Wake for Danger

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

The Danger servers shutdown today. It’s hard to put into words the impact that Danger and the Hiptop had on the entire wireless industry, as well as me personally. I know that it also played a personal role in a large number of people’s lives.

For a trip down memory lane you can check out the Sidekick timeline and Geekwire has a recap of the history of the Sidekick.

Some other blasts from the past for Sidekick die-hards:
– The old blue camera that plugged into the headphone port that only did 120×90 pixels?
– The excitement of the silver camera that let you take 320×240 pictures!
– The Hiptop Halloween Hunts
Danger’s Official Timeline (circa 2007)
– Remember 10 Pin Bowling? Blockade? Cognet? HipPaint? the hacked Google Maps application?
– How about all the code names? Shuriken, Gekko, Zante, m1, m2, Aspen, Blade
– The rise and fall (thanks to Popular Science) of the Developer keys.
– hiptopinfo.com, hiptop.com, hiptop.bedope.com, skdr.net, skholla.com, The Danger Zone, hiptop411.com, hipalbum.com, and more…
– Discovering the hidden feature of custom themes. Thanks Jurai!
– T-Mobile’s Sidekick/Grammy tour and all the release parties
– The countless FCC leaks
– The Snoop Dogg commercial where he was asking for help with his laundry
– Who remembers Johnny Chase?

And last but not least.. where’s my cat remote?

If you’ve got a story or a memory to share about the Sidekick, please leave it in the comments. We’d love to hear how it touched other people too.

Good News, Everyone! Contact Recovery

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Good News, Everyone!

T-Mobile has posted instructions on how to download your contacts and restore them to your Sidekick. Basically you log in to your account at my.t-mobile.com and a new link will appear on the front page, “Restore your contacts”

mytmofrontpage

Once you click on the link to Restore your contacts, it’s a 2 step process to fully restore contacts. Download the contacts to your computer, and then upload the downloaded file to your Desktop Interface. It will probably take a few minutes for them to appear on your device after this.

This is only the first phase of recovery, as T-Mobile, Danger and Microsoft have stated that the remaining PIM data (Calendar, Notes and ToDo’s) as well as Photos saved to the backend and not your SD card will be returning shortly. Perhaps through a similar method.

Let us know in the comments how the recovery goes and if you were in the group that lost all their contacts, or some of them. We’re curious to know!

Danger Microsoft Able to Recover “Most” Data

Thursday, October 15th, 2009
u can haz ur datas back now

What started out as “the worst loss of consumer data” will probably now be called “Microsoft’s Worst PR Disaster”.

An update from Microsoft’s own Roz Ho was posted early this morning on the T-Mobile Sidekick forum. She says that they have recovered “most, if not all, customer data” and that it will all soon be restored according to plan. She also confirms that it was indeed a system failure that wiped out the database and back-ups.

So here’s hoping that the Sidekick Disaster will soon be over and everything will be back to normal. I’m still wondering confirmation of the technical details on how this all happened and why Microsoft was so quick to say that all the data was “almost certainly has been lost” early on. Oh and one last handy tip to Microsoft/Danger: Make an application so that Sidekick users can ACTUALLY backup their data themselves.

The full post from Microsoft:

Updated: 10/15/2009 1:00 AM PDT

Microsoft Confirms Data Recovery for Sidekick Users

Data Restoration to Begin as Soon as Possible for Affected Customers

Dear T-Mobile Sidekick customers,

On behalf of Microsoft, I want to apologize for the recent problems with the Sidekick service and give you an update on the steps we have taken to resolve these problems.

We are pleased to report that we have recovered most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage. We plan to begin restoring users’ personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts, after we have validated the data and our restoration plan. We will then continue to work around the clock to restore data to all affected users, including calendar, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores, as quickly as possible.

We now believe that data loss affected a minority of Sidekick users. If your Sidekick account was among those affected, please continue to log into these forums for the latest updates about when data restoration will begin, and any steps you may need to take. We will work with T-Mobile to post the next update on data restoration timing no later than Saturday.

We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up. We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data.

We will continue working closely with T-Mobile to restore user data as quickly as possible. We are eager to deliver the level of reliable service that our incredibly loyal customers have become accustomed to, and we are taking immediate steps to help ensure this does not happen again. Specifically, we have made changes to improve the overall stability of the Sidekick Service and initiated a more resilient backup process to ensure that the integrity of our database backups is maintained.

Once again, we apologize for this situation and the inconvenience that it has created. Please know that we are working all-out to resolve this situation and restore the reliability of the service.

Sincerely,
Roz Ho
Corporate Vice President
Premium Mobile Experiences, Microsoft Corporation

Class Action Lawsuits Filed Over Sidekick Disaster

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Sidekick LX 2009 fail

We all knew it wouldn’t be long before lawsuits were filed over the Sidekick outage and data loss. As Microsoft/Danger still struggles to restore data and get things back up and stable, people are already filing lawsuits, “claiming negligence and false claims.”

A suit filed for a Bakersfield, CA man and “all others similarly situated” says that Danger failed to handle Sidekick user’s data and that they advertised in a misleading manner. He’s asking for monetary damages as well as the court to order Microsoft to fix the Sidekick service or offer a full refund. The attorney handling the case was quoted as saying: “We are hopeful that T-Mobile and the rest of the defendants will do the right thing, use this as an opportunity to redesign the system as a new standard for cloud computing storage, and provide full compensation for the data loss.”

Another class action law suit (PDF of filing) was filed for Maureen Thompson and again “all others similarly situated” against T-Mobile/Danger/Microsoft for the outage and loss of data. Same sort of thing.

And there’s yet another suit (PDF) filed by Oren Rosenthal against T-Mobile for the negligence, breach of contract, blah blah blah.

Should be interesting to see how these play out. If you hear of any others, let us know over on skfail.com‘s Lawsuit forum.

image via kcoury

Personal Information Lost

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

If you haven’t lost your contacts from a hard reset, start copying them to something else right now. Microsoft has officially announced that your contacts, calendar, and other data has “almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger”.

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

T-MOBILE AND MICROSOFT/DANGER STATUS UPDATE ON SIDEKICK DATA DISRUPTION

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.

I am speechless.

Original post

Nationwide Outage for Sidekick Data Service

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

The reports are lighting up like a Christmas tree on SignalStrength and T-Mobile’s Customer Care confirmed that we are in the midst of a nationwide outage of the Sidekick Data service. It started late last night/early this morning and the 2-dots have been dancing all day long for everyone. So stop toggling airplane mode, put your Sidekick down, take a deep breath and relax. We’ll get through this together. T-Mobile didn’t give an estimated time of resolution, but said things should be fixed “shortly”. If it’s really impacting you, you might have some luck calling Customer Care and requesting a credit on your bill for the outage. Usually this will be in the form of free minutes or a $5 credit.

T-Mobile Sidekick Least Likely To Give You Cancer

Friday, September 11th, 2009

The age-old debate on whether cell-phones cause brain cancer continues. This time at least it’s good news for Sidekick 2008 users. A study ranked the cell phones with the lowest radiation on the market and the Sidekick is in the top ten! The study was done by the non-profit organization Environmental Working Group and analyzed emissions from 1,268 cellphones. Here’s the report on the Sidekick and you can check out all the available phones on the market too.

German Sidekicks Going Away?

Monday, August 17th, 2009

In some very sad news, it looks like T-Mobile Germany may actually be bringing down the axe on the Sidekick. There is a post over on teltarif.de that gives some cause for concern. What, you can’t read German? Here is the content of the article, translated via Google:

T-Mobile announces Sidekick services on 31 December
The reason is termination of service by American producer Danger

T-Mobile announces the remaining value of a current Sidekick, the Sidekick service as well as the Sidekick Data option on 31 December this year. This confirmed a spokesman for the company over teltarif.de. The reason for the termination of the options is to set the Sidekick service by the American producer Danger. The smartphone of the Californian company, originally under the name Hiptop become known in Germany and were initially exclusive to E-Plus markets. Later, T-Mobile devices on the German market. The mobile telecoms subsidiary called smartphones, but – as in the U.S. – Sidekick.

Termination option, but not termination

As the T-Mobile Press Office notifies the service center Danger for the whole of Europe on 31 December, so that any user of the device – no matter under what name – which is affected. In the U.S. offer Danger’s service, however, continue to converge, as there are also more recent Sidekick devices are sold and they are enjoying great popularity. From the termination had several thousand T-Mobile customers affected, the spokesman Dirk Wende.
The affected customers are in the tariff options, but not the whole contract being terminated. As it says in the letter: “Your T-Mobile contract shall remain unaffected and continue to exist.” Turning points, however, if the customer is at the T-Mobile hotline turn, will be a “solution together with the customer” can be found. Here you will also offers customers to switch to current equipment and fares subject. Wool partout but the customer terminate the contract, there will be also a possibility, since each Hotliner a “some leeway”, so the T-Mobile spokesman.

It’s a bit difficult to read, but it looks like Germany is losing the Sidekick, but that it will continue on in the United States: “In the U.S. offer Danger’s service, however, continue to converge, as there are also more recent Sidekick devices are sold and they are enjoying great popularity.” Unfortunately the only English article we can find on this says “A company spokesperson attributed the move to the Sidekick service being terminated by Sidekick manufacturer Danger” and a similar statement is given in the sub-headline of the German article. Hopefully this is just a translation mistake and they intend it to mean that Danger is terminating the German service and not across the board for all Sidekicks. Regardless, it’s a sad day for all the German Sidekick/Hiptop users.

Thanks Mike!

RadioShack and T-Mobile Teaming Up

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Looks like in the near future you’ll be able to walk into RadioShack and pick up a new T-Mobile phone. They’ve announced a “retail agreement” where in RadioShack will be selling T-Mobile phones at over 4000 stores in the US and Puerto Rico starting later this summer. Guess the “radio” in RadioShack now means 3G radios? The full press release is below:

RadioShack and T-Mobile USA Announce Retail Agreement

RadioShack to Offer T-Mobile Products and Services in Stores Beginning This Summer

FORT WORTH, Texas and BELLEVUE, Wash. — July 23, 2009 — RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) and T-Mobile USA, Inc. today announced a retail agreement to offer T-Mobile® products and services in more than 4,000 RadioShack stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico beginning later this summer.

The relationship expands RadioShack’s postpaid wireless offerings, and enables RadioShack to offer its customers a selection of T-Mobile’s most innovative, in-demand handsets – including the highly anticipated T-Mobile® myTouch™ 3G with Google™. For T-Mobile, the agreement nearly doubles the number of national retail partner stores offering its postpaid products and services nationwide, and makes RadioShack T-Mobile’s largest national retail partner. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“RadioShack is focused on growing our mobility category and is committed to providing our customers with a broad selection of the best wireless products and services in the industry,” said Peter Whitsett, executive vice president and general merchandising manager at RadioShack. “The ability to offer a full line of T-Mobile devices, including the hottest exclusive T-Mobile handsets, reinforces RadioShack’s leadership in wireless.”

Doug Chartier, senior vice president of sales at T-Mobile USA, said, “Through our milestone partnership with RadioShack, T-Mobile’s presence in national retail stores expands nearly twofold, giving millions more people the opportunity to readily access our products and take advantage of the tremendous value T-Mobile provides its customers. By combining T-Mobile’s innovative devices and great value with RadioShack’s knowledgeable sales representatives, we expect customers to have an excellent in-store experience.”

With 4,450 company-operated locations, RadioShack offers one of the largest selections of wireless phones. RadioShack’s knowledgeable sales associates are committed to helping customers choose the best technology solution to meet their needs and the company was named one of the top customer service retailers in the nation in the fourth annual National Retail Federation Foundation/American Express Customer Service Survey.

T-Mobile is dedicated to providing the best experience in wireless, and has achieved the “Highest Ranked Wireless Customer Service Performance” in J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Wireless Customer Care Performance StudySM – Volume 1,* which ranked T-Mobile higher than all of its competitors for overall customer care performance. T-Mobile continues to expand its retail footprint, bringing this award-winning customer experience and the company’s wide array of innovative products, such as the iconic T-Mobile Sidekick® and groundbreaking Android™-powered devices, to more people nationwide. T-Mobile currently has more than 1,900 company-owned retail locations and distribution agreements with a number of large national retailers.

For more information on RadioShack, please visit http://www.RadioShack.com. For more information on T-Mobile products and services, please visit http://www.T-Mobile.com

Pre order your Sidekick LX (2009) Now!

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

T-Mobile is launching the new Sidekick LX (2009) on May 13th, but if you Pre Order yours now online you’ll get it earlier (When, is unknown.)

Here’s the featureset:
3G Enabled
Social Networking apps (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter) built in
GPS Live Search and Geotagging photos
3.2″ TFT LCD (F-WQVGA 854×480 pixels)
Thinnest Sidekick Ever
3.2MP Camera with AutoFocus
Record your own Ringtones
Carbon (Black) or Orchard Finish

Pre order with 2year contract for $199.99 (Plus taxes and fees, and a 50 dollar Mail In Rebate) at Sidekick.com or buy without contract for 449.99.

*Note: When we spoke with T-Mobile we were told we would NOT have to change the old 19.99 plan to use the 3G on the new devices.