No official word from T-Mobile, but Radioshack let it slip that they’ll be selling the Sidekick 4G on April 20th. That means current Sidekick users won’t have to use a temporary phone after the May 31st shut off of the existing Sidekick service. You’ll be able to jump directly to the new Sidekick!
Archive for the 'Rumors' Category
TmoNews is reporting that the Sidekick 4G will be made by Samsung. It was reported by two separate sources, but just for safety’s sake consider it still a rumor until FCC filings or official announcements drop. Personally I was hoping for Sharp, but I’m glad it’s not HTC.
I really think the form factor of the Sidekick 4G will be what makes or breaks it. So many people stuck with the device over the years as the OS became more and more outdated only because of the awesome keyboard and screen. Here’s hoping that T-Mobile/Samsung can
There’s some question about the legitimacy of these new “Sidekicks” that are being sold as the MobiFlip. According to appletech, a long time moderator on the official forums, they might not be all they’re cracked up to be! He says:
I wouldn’t be surprised if this phone disappears off the market soon because I don’t think they have any service agreements with Danger/MS to distribute their software.
They also more than likely purchased a bulk supply of refurb devices and some how modified the OS to add the Opera browser, something else that probably violates Danger/MS terms.
We know nothing about this device, if it’s locked, how they are even getting data services, etc…
So I wouldn’t be telling people it will work with whatever carrier they want.
People are reporting in the forums that the devices are working and even have data service. Rather than using the built in web browser that would proxy through the Danger servers, they’re running Opera Mini. Perhaps someone has finally unlocked the Sidekick’s data for use on any network? Whether or not they have the blessing of T-Mobile/Microsoft/etc is unknown.
It ain’t easy… being Pink. Techeye is reporting that Microsoft’s Project Pink phones are going to be delayed until sometime in April. The reason for the delay? “issues with the European models and roll out,” but that’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the phones which are already done and ready. There’s just some stuff to work out with carriers.
It’s looking like they’ll be available on Verizon here in the states and Vodafone in the UK. Originally there was talk about unveiling the Pink phones (Turtle and Pure) at CeBIT but now it’s looking like Microsoft is going to throw their own events to herald the arrival of the Pink phones and they’re willing to shell out big bucks to make sure it’s something significant..
Has the day finally come? T-Mobile appears to have pulled all of the Sidekick models from their site except for the Sidekick LX 2009 Carbon. And even the Sidekick LX 2009 Carbon is listed as “Temporarily Out of Stock”. Is this just a hiccup on T-Mobile’s site or does this mean the end of the Sidekick?
If you’re still dying for a Sidekick, there are other places to get them.
UPDATE: Confirmed via our sources that at least the Sidekick 2008 is discontinued.
UPDATE #2: The Sidekick LX 2009 Carbon has returned to T-Mobile’s site. More info on T-Mo’s forums.
UPDATE #3: It’s official, the 2008 and the LX 09 Orchid are gone according to an official post on the T-Mobile Forums
There are a number of tweets on Twitter over the past few months that specify the client as “Danger” and have a mysterious hashtag of #tmdp or #tmd. The posts started showing up with the #tmd tag but later change to the #tmdp tag.
Many of the tweets have “from Danger” listed as the client, which Twitter links to Microsoft. Usually tweets sent from the Sidekick say “from Sidekick” so this seems to indicate that this could be a new Twitter client from Danger. Whether this Twitter client means a new device, new operating system, the continuation of Project Pink, etc is anyone’s guess at this point.
Here’s some of the interesting tweets:
@JohnMatherly: Thanks to Roz for a #tmdp breakfast in Palo Alto
11:56 AM Dec 7th, 2009 from Danger
@JohnMatherly: We’re counting on ProdUS to be #tmdp
4:52 PM Jan 19th from Danger
@darylw: #tmdp Welcome new team members….we are excited to have you join us.
1:38 PM Dec 16th, 2009 from Danger.
@darylw: #tmdp wish i saw more posts from team members on twitter.com that says posted “n hours ago from Danger”
11:55 PM Nov 18th, 2009 from web
@pbernard: i think twitterfall is working #tmdp
4:22 PM Nov 4th, 2009 from DestroyTwitter
@pbernard: digging xbox twitter #tmd
8:44 PM Sep 24th, 2009 from Xbox LIVE
@pbernard: and we have PINK DONUTS for strat review #tmd
7:41 AM Sep 15th, 2009 from DestroyTwitter
@pbernard: #tmd ta-da.
1:42 PM Aug 27th, 2009 from DestroyTwitter
@terminal4: wow. it’s like stuff is kinda workin #tmdp
10:04 PM Dec 9th, 2009 from Danger.
@JRayZor: This is harder to use than binary mode ftp #tmd
12:08 AM Sep 4th, 2009 from web
@cpicoto: 2311 CD INT – Palo Alto, CA
11:46 AM Nov 11th, 2009 from Danger
@danblack: the #tmdp can fix itself sometimes.
11:37 AM Nov 20th, 2009 from Danger
@danblack: The #tmd is tasty today
3:44 PM Oct 15th, 2009 from Danger
@XuNami: Fun bug bash today. I’m so glad it came together #tmdp
7:45 PM Jan 8th from Danger.
Chris Pirich is one of those tweeting with the #tmdp hashtag and a “from Danger” client. Chris is the head of engineering for Pink.
Other Microsoft people in on the Twitter fun include:
- Pete Bernard: “involved in a number of initiatives regarding mobile and embedded devices.”
- Daryl Welsh: Director of Test – Premium Mobile Experiences at Microsoft
- Andrew Clinick: Group Program Manager at Microsoft
- Carlos Picoto: Director of Program Management at Microsoft
- Dan Black: is/was the Lead Developer Relation Manager for Xbox
- Namrata Bachwani: Release Manager at Microsoft
- Chris Sorensen: Senior Manager, Community and Social Media at Microsoft
- It seems like a lot of XBox people are now part of the mobile experience team. This may be the one thing that bodes well for Pink.
- #TMD is happening at Microsoft Studio G in Redmond.
- There are a lot of references to 4 digit numbers in #tmdp tweets. Could these be build numbers for an OS or firmware?
- @DarylW made a #tmd list
What do you guys think? What could TMDP stand for? Have you found any interesting tweets with this hash tag?
Want more geeky details on what happened at Microsoft/Danger? The short of it is that the SAN took a nose-dive and took out the drives that could have repaired the data with it. A total of 800TB of data was lost. There was an off-site tape backup, a reasonable backup measure, but with the way the SAN died the entire RAID array needed rebuilding and 800TB of data is a lot of data to rebuild. There are more details on server moves in the info below.
The following is reportedly from “someone close to the action”:
“Here’s the actual scoop, from someone involved in the recovery:
Danger, purchased by Microsoft, was moved into a Verizon Business datacenter in Kent, WA a short while ago. While this had to do with the MS assimilation, it was done as a one for one move from Danger to a DC that MS uses heavily. (MS didn’t re-write, port, migrate to winblows, etc.) The backend service uses a variety of hardware, load balancers, firewalls, web and application servers, and an EMC SAN (Storage Area Network, think huge drive array connected with fiber.)
Well last Tuesday, the EMC SAN took a dump on itself. What I mean by that is the backplane let the magic blue smoke out. While usually in the heavy iron class of datacenter products like an EMC SAN this means you fail over to the redundant backplane and life continues on. Not this time folks. In the process of dying, it took out the parity drives. What does that mean? It means the fancy RAID lost it’s ability to actually be a RAID. How much data got eaten by this mega-oops? 800TB. Why wasn’t it backed up? It was, to offsite tape, like it’s supposed to. But when the array is toast, can’t just start copying shit back.
Apparently EMC has been on site since Tuesday, but didn’t actually inform Danger/MS that their data is in the crapper until Friday afternoon. On top of that, EMC has done nothing to bring in replacement equipment between Tuesday and Friday. (In the Enterprise support world, that’s fucking retarded, multi-million dollar support contracts are that expensive for a reason.)
So what’s being done? Well the good news is that the complex was slated to be migrated into the Verizon Business cloud services (not MS’s cloud per se, but it’s MS’s effort.) And as a part of that migration a newer shinier SAN array was in process of being implemented. But space isn’t ready for it on the datacenter floor, and you can’t just toss the EMC raid and place this one in it’s place, it’s a different vendor and is 2 racks instead of one. This means it’s being shoehorned into a different part of the datacenter than was originally planned, one that doesn’t have the necessary 3 phase power installed. So there’s a bit of work to be done. Not to mention the restoral of 800TB of backup data from offsite tape.
Time to restoral? Looking like Wednesday at the earliest with techs working all weekend.”
Sounds like they know what they’re talking about, but since we haven’t been able to confirm this directly ourselves, we’re keeping it labeled as a rumor.
UPDATE (2009-10-15 01:02 PST): We’ve confirmed that Danger does indeed have servers in a Verizon Business Data Center, however it appears to be one in California, NOT Kent, WA. If you want to confirm, do a traceroute on one of Danger’s web proxies and you’ll find it ends up at danger-gw.customer.alter.net (220.127.116.11), an IP owned by Verizon (MCI) that appears to be around the San Jose/Santa Clara area. It’s possible (although unlikely) that the web proxy servers are kept separate from the user data servers though.
The plot thickens. There’s an extensive article over on AppleInsider that lays out more details regarding the possibles motivations responsible for the Danger Disaster at Microsoft. There are two theories: dogfooding and sabotage.
Dogfooding is a reference to the term “eating one’s own dogfood” or replacing competitor’s technology with your own for internal uses. AppleInsider’s insider source says
Danger’s Sidekick data center had “been running on autopilot for some time, so I don’t understand why they would be spending any time upgrading stuff unless there was a hardware failure of some kind,” wrote the insider. Given Microsoft’s penchant for “for running the latest and greatest,” however, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they found out that [storage vendor] EMC had some new SAN firmware and they just had to put it on the main production servers right away.”
But as the article points out, what could have been the motivation for Microsoft to change technologies when they were already scuttling the Danger product in the attempts to save the Pink Project? Microsoft was only running things as they were bound by contract with T-Mobile. The article goes on to say:
Instead, the fact that no data could be recovered after the problem erupted at the beginning of October suggests that the outage and the inability to recover any backups were the result of intentional sabotage by a disgruntled employee. In any other circumstance, Microsoft or T-Mobile would likely have come forward with an explanation of the mitigating circumstances, blaming bad hardware, a power failure, or some freak accident.
An act of sabotage “would explain why neither party is releasing any more details: for legal reasons dealing with the ongoing investigation to find the culprit(s),” one of the sources said. Due to the way Sidekick clients interact with the service, any normal failure should have resulted in only a brief outage until a replacement server could be brought up.
So, was it sabotage? I’ve been saying all along that the level of this screw up is so high you start to think that someone has to be intentionally screwing up this much. Whether that’s actually sabotage or just Microsoft’s apathy and ineptitude is unknown at this point.
On top of all this, AppleInsider points out the obvious: T-Mobile must be irate with Microsoft right about now. Surely in their contract there was a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that dictated a certain level of uptime. And with almost two weeks of outage plus an enormous loss of data this “is the worst possible violation of the SLA conceivable”. I’m just waiting for the lawsuits between T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger to start.
We’re still waiting for the official word from Microsoft/Danger that they promised us “on Monday”, but we’re hearing a few people report that they magically got their data back. Posts over on the official T-Mobile forum (and an uncensorable thread started on the new skfail.com) are giving us some hope that maybe all this data isn’t truly lost.
I was just on my phone and when I got off my phone all my contacts returned. I do not know if this will last for long but the site of my contacts returning is encouraging.
The same thing happened to me…I shut my phone off several times without removing the battery…voile’! My contacts returned!
Got my contacts back too! My phone froze up on me and since I have already lost everything anyways, I just took the battery out and put it back in. Once my phone was on about 5 minutes later I checked my address book for some reason and they were all there. I saved all my contacts to my simcard.
Anyone else out there have any luck?
Another tip that is being reported on poweredbydanger.com that is unofficial, not 100% tested, try at your own risk, might just work, etc. is if you have an old device that has your contacts and info you might be able to do a reverse sync (i.e. device to server). Make sure your old device is turned off, plug it into the wall, remove the battery, insert your SIM, replace the battery, power up, and cross your fingers. With any luck it’ll update Danger’s servers with this info, and then you can switch back to your newer Sidekick which will pull it back down. This is at your own risk and should only be tried after you’ve backed up all the contents on that old device. If you do try this, let us know if it works for you.
We’re hearing a number of reports from people that T-Mobile is shouldering the brunt of this disaster (which is truly Microsoft’s fault) by letting customers upgrade to new phones. The reports in our comments are mixed, but it seems like some people are getting a new G1 or a new MyTouch 3G and are paying a discounted rate
or even getting it free. What’s more important is that we’re hearing many of these customers are being given the data plan at the $19.99 rate many of us are grandfathered in for with the Sidekick. There are also reports that people are being let out of their contract if they have a Sidekick, but we’re also hearing that they may not be allowed to do that anymore. I guess it depends on who you talk to and when as I’m sure things at T-Mobile are changing rapidly.
I’m holding out hope, but if you’re calling T-Mobile to switch, let us know your experience!
UPDATE: “Free” seems to be more of a rumor than truth. It looks like the norm for most people is that they are getting to upgrade to a phone at the upgrade price you see on T-Mobile.com ($129.99 for a G1, $149.99 for a MyTouch, etc). You’ll probably be required to sign a contract, but should be able to keep the $19.99 data plan. This is even for people that had just renewed their contract with a purchase of the Sidekick LX 2009. Not sure if people out of contract are getting any special treatment on top of this to keep them as a T-Mobile customer.