Blackberry World

Tue, 11 October 2011

Oh lordy lordy, what am they gonna do???

Two articles have appeared on the BBC News website about Blackberry's services going down! (this is the second one).

Not only is this world shattering enough to be on the BBC news site, but businesses (including the one I work for) are sending out emails about it to warn people that it was having problems!

It's like the world is coming to an end! Blackberry goes down and suddenly no-one knows how they will cope, businesses think they are going to go bust and the four horsemen are reputedly saddling up!

Get a grip! Why on earth are people RELYING on this Blackberry stuff so much? It's nothing but another mobile phone communication thing - TXT+ with added email sprinkles! Any mobile phone with a web browser can check email!

But the main outcry is that BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) is down! Oh NO!! What will the kiddies do without being able to message their friends?? Wait a minute. Isn't the BlackBerry a smartPHONE? Messenger no workee? Go into your contacts list, highlight your "buddy" and click the green phone icon button! That makes what us ageing luddites call a "telephone call" which actually lets you speak in REALTIME to your friends! Like with voices and everything!

Hee hee hee. The BBC article was comedic enough to state, in all seriousness, "The "issues" left many Blackberry owners only able to text and make calls." AAAAAAAAARGH! THE HUMANITY OF IT ALL!!! A PHONE THAT CAN ONLY MAKE PHONE CALLS!!! IT'S LIKE THE DARK AGES ALL OVER AGAIN!!!


As an IT literate bloke (only 0.13% of the British population can claim to be in that category) I get more and more incredulous at the lack of progress the general public as a group seem to make in their understanding of technology. Blackberry's communications network is routed through a single location. A server in Slough. If that server goes down, the communication stops. Serious lack of redundancy there, possibly, but that's another story. This is the system that the nation seems to be RELYING ON to make conversation these days. A single company with a singe server. Phone calls can be made via nearly 10 mobile providers and at least 3 land line providers, using technology marketed by dozens of companies. But business and communities are apparently putting all their eggs into BlackBerry's basket!


The BBC news article's last comment made me both laugh and lament at the same time, and it was disconcertingly close to being a Register-type statement, made mode laughable by the fact that the BBC reported was SERIOUS:

"Others lamented the loss of the free BBM network saying they did not know what to do without it."

Ladies and gentlemen, this is our society. Maybe the world ending in 2012 is a good thing. Our race is screwed. The world could boil to dust and the only thing society would notice is a drop in signal (and of course would respond with a snotty email to the BBC).

There was a Family Guy episode a number of years ago that was about what happened when Megan crashed the car into the town's TV transmitter. Everyone walked outside, blinking in the first non-50Hz light they had seen for many a year. Replace the TV with the mobile phone and that's where we're going.

This Blackberry thing is another symptom of what I see when I watch my son these days.  Since I gave him my old phone every time I see him he has his face turned down to the tiny screen. Occasionally he looks up to tell us he's just watched something on YouTube. Occasionally he'll laugh at something on Facebook. Other than that it's just a matter of dusting him down now and again. I hooked up his catheter to the intravenous drip to save time. I haven't noticed any difference, really as long as I put some salt in it now and again...

Television used to be my number one hate. Now it's the overuse of smartphones. I like the phones themselves and the power they have, but people seem to lose all sense of perspective with them. It's worrying...

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