Sidekick's lost data gone for good


( -- Sidekick users have been without some of their services for days, and have just been told by the company, T-Mobile, that for some users their data may be lost forever due to a server error at Microsoft subsidiary, Danger.

T-Mobile has published an apology to affected users for what is turning out to be one of the most spectacular failures in cloud computing. The massive data loss also suggests entrusting personal data to the cloud may not be as safe as users have been led to believe. The loss of services and data was caused by a disruption to services, but details are sketchy.

The problems began last week with a massive outage at Danger. Many Sidekick users lost access to their key data, because almost all the data is stored in the cloud, with no copy on the device itself. On Saturday, admitted that any data it had not yet recovered is almost certainly permanently lost.

has offered to compensate affected users with a free month of services, but neither T-Mobile, nor Microsoft have revealed how many users have been affected.

Users who have lost their data would need to rebuild it themselves, but many have not backed up their data since they believed it was safe. Data affected includes contact lists, calendar details, personal information and photographs.

T-Mobile is warning users not to power off their Sidekick device, to reset it, or to remove the battery or allow the battery to go flat. If they do, they will lose any remaining they currently have in their device, since the data that was backed up on the Danger servers has been lost.

Another update from T-Mobile and Microsoft on the current state of the repairs is expected to be issued today.

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