Cellphones

BlackBerry service crash affects BBM messaging for millions

BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been experiencing problems with emails and messaging due to a power outage in Slough, UK. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Tens of millions of BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been unable to receive or send emails and messages through their phones, following an outage at the server systems of parent company Research In Motion (RIM) in Slough, Berkshire.

The outage, which occurred at about 11am BST on Monday, was still affecting users more than four hours later with no time given for when it was expected to be resolved.

The company released a brief acknowledgement of the problem at 3.30pm, saying: “We are working to resolve an issue currently impacting some BlackBerry subscribers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. We’re investigating, and we apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused while this is resolved.

BlackBerry systems receive and send emails and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) communications via encrypted connections to RIM servers located around the world. The systems are particularly popular in a number of Middle East countries where they allow secure communication that the government cannot tap. RIM has come into conflict with a number of governments around the world, which have demanded oversight of email and BBM messages.

The failure will be a huge embarrassment for the company, which has been successful in building up its user base in the so-called “EMEA” (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region even while it has been losing users in North America.

At the end of August, RIM claimed that it had more than 70 million subscribers around the world. In July it claimed to have added 1 million subscribers in the EMEA region in less than three weeks. It would certainly have more than 10 million users in the total region.

The cause of the outage is not known, but one former RIM employee has told the Guardian that RIM has been ignoring problems with its server architecture that could prove its downfall for years. “They didn’t start looking at scalability until about 2007, when they had around 8m active devices,” the former employee said: “The attitude was, ‘We’re going to grow and grow but making sure our infrastructure can support it isn’t a priority.’ They have their own clunky infrastructure to do something that you don’t really need a clunky infrastructure to do anymore.”

The dramatic growth in the number of subscribers worldwide – nearly tenfold since 2007 – will have put serious strain on RIM’s servers if such scalability has not been addressed urgently.

Redsn0w 0.9.8b5 Released To Jailbreak iOS 5 Beta 5 On iPhone 4, 3GS, iPad, iPod touch

Late last week, iOS 5 Beta 5 was seeded to eager Apple developers, As always, many are asked the million-dollar question: can it be jailbroken? As with all previous builds, the answer is yes, with the latest version of Redsn0w which was just released, as long as you don’t mind plugging your device into your computer every time you power it on.

“redsn0w has been updated to 0.9.8b5, adding support for Apple’s new iOS5 beta5 (point it directly at the beta5 IPSW). Please use this only if you’re a jailbreak app developer with a legit Apple dev account, and remember it’s a tethered jailbreak for now!”

iOS5 - Apple iOS

Redsn0w is able to apply a standard tethered jailbreak on almost any iOS device, except for the iPad 2. Since this is an experimental build of iOS 5, iOS jailbreakers will likely be reluctant to disclose vulnerabilities for it yet, making an untethered jailbreak highly unlikely at this point, meaning that the jailbroken device will have to be plugged into a computer running Redsn0w every time it’s powered on, or else it won’t boot into a jailbroken state and won’t be able to run unofficial apps or tweaks.

Redsn0w is incredibly easy to use considering that all the instructions are presented in a relatively well-built user interface. In order to jailbreak your device using Redsn0w, all you’ll need is a copy of the iOS 5 Beta 5 firmware file and iTunes 10.5 Beta 5, which can be both obtained from Apple’s developer website. Some addition iOS skills are recommended, such as switching your device into DFU mode and restoring it with iTunes in case the process somehow fails. You can read our full guide on how to perform this jailbreak here.

It should be noted however that if you jailbreak your device on iOS 5, you wont get future OTA updates from Apple, until and unless you restore your iOS to stock state.

iOS 5 is the upcoming major release of operating system that runs on iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. First unveiled at this year’s WWDC, after months of rumors and speculation, iOS 5 includes several new features that had long been wished for by iOS fans. Among those, there’s a new notification system known as Notification Center which unobtrusively queues up all the notifications issued by apps and services; enhancements to Mobile Safari, especially the iPad version; Newsstand, a special folder on the iOS Home Screen that organizes all magazine apps; and system-wide Twitter integration.

It’s important to stress once again that it’s currently impossible to jailbreak iPad 2(s) on anything above iOS 4.3.3. Redsn0w only works with any iPod touch, iPhone and the first-generation iPad.

>> Redsn0w 0.9.8b5 for Windows OS
>> Redsn0w 0.9.8b5 for Mac OS

[LIVE] Theft knocks out O2 coverage in parts of South East (Updated!)

is racing to restore mobile coverage in parts of London, Kent and East Sussex, after theft and vandalism hit an East London operations site.

The mobile network operator put up a service message at 12:50am on Tuesday, reading: “We’ve got a problem that means you can’t make calls, use the internet, or send/get texts and emails in parts of East London, North London, east Sussex and Kent.” The message was still up around 12 hours later, at the time of writing.

We continue working hard to address the issue affecting services in parts of North and East London, Kent and East Sussex,” O2 said in a statement shortly after midday. “This was caused by theft and vandalism at one of our operations sites in East London. We sincerely apologise to affected customers and will update progress regularly.

The mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Giffgaff, which uses O2’s network to provide its services, has maps on its forum detailing the extent of the 2G and 3G outages.

Keep an eye on http://status.o2.co.uk, Iif you’ve been affected by this – o2 have added some frequently asked questions on our blog and hope to get this fixed as soon as possible. (blog post)

Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 16:24:49 BST – There is reports that o2 is working again (as of texts & calls) in Sittingbourne Kent area. (ME10)

Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 16:42:04 BST – Another report that you might have to restart your Phone/Device for it to start working again! (thanks to Steff Duchesne for this update!)

Update: Tuesday, 17 May 2011, 17:30:24 BST – o2: “We’ve been restoring service to the affected areas and from 16:30 onwards people have started to be able to use their phones again, although there are still some pockets of no coverage remaining. We are carefully monitoring this throughout the night.”

BlackBerry Bold Touch makes brief appearance on RIM’s website

BlackBerry Bold Touch.

As you may have have been able to discern from the multitude of leaks that have surfaced over the past few months, RIM is apparently getting set to debut a new touchscreen-equipped BlackBerry Bold at BlackBerry World next week. While still not completely official, that’s now been all but confirmed by RIM itself, which briefly featured the teaser pictured above on its website before pulling it for reasons unknown. As you can see, RIM apparently couldn’t help itself and promised that it will be a “bold step ahead,” and it appears that the phone is unsurprisingly running BlackBerry 7, which until recently was better known as OS 6.1. Of course, that’s hardly the only news we’re expecting to hear at BlackBerry World, and you can be sure we’ll be there to brave the puns and bring it all to you.

source; CrackBerry

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