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Week in review: Data loss disasters

Microsoft grapples with a Sidekick headache, but Facebook and Apple have their own data pains. Also: Google and Intel earnings impress.

T-Mobile Sidekick LX CNET

A massive data outage for Sidekick handheld users has become a massive PR headache for Microsoft and carrier T-Mobile.

A massive data outage in Microsoft's Danger unit left many T-Mobile Sidekick users without access to their calendar, address book, and other key data. However, things got even worse as Microsoft said in a statement that data not recovered thus far may be permanently lost. Microsoft and T-Mobile have not said how many of the roughly 800,000 Sidekick customers have lost data.

T-Mobile USA has, at least temporarily, stopped selling all models of the device as the company continues to investigate the recent problems.

T-Mobile later said that it may yet be able to recover Sidekick users' information. Those who do suffer permanent data loss will get a $100 "customer appreciation card" good toward T-Mobile service or products.

Not surprisingly, a number of lawsuits have been filed, including two in federal court in Northern California that allege both negligence and false claims on the part of Microsoft and T-Mobile.
•  Sidekick's lesson: We learn by failing
•  Unanswered questions loom large in Sidekick fiasco
•  Sidekick users share their horror stories
•  Deaf users sound off on Sidekick outage
•  Microsoft: We've recovered most Sidekick data
•  With outage, Sidekick service loses its footing

Microsoft wasn't alone in suffering high-profile data headaches:

Facebook database outage cut off about 150,000

A downed Facebook database left a small but vocal percentage of its userbase without access to the social network for as long as 10 days.
•  Growth of Facebook leaves MySpace in dust

Apple acknowledges Snow Leopard data loss issue

The company says it is aware of a problem related to guest account log-ins that "occurs only in extremely rare cases," and it does not yet have a fix for it.

Google's Postini suffers prolonged e-mail delays

Service was disrupted for a better portion of a day on some of Google's Postini e-mail security service, with customers reporting significant delays in e-mail delivery.

More headlines

Google revenue, profits increase

The search giant isn't growing as strongly as it was a year ago, but it beats revenue expectations amid signs the ad economy is getting stronger, and CEO Eric Schmidt says he believes the worst is over.
•  Levinson quits Google's board
•  Business as usual in search market share

Intel earnings beat Wall Street predictions

The chipmaker's third-quarter revenue comes in at $9.4 billion, beating analysts' expectations, which hovered at just more than $9 billion.
•  Intel CEO remarks on Netbooks, Windows 7
•  Intel, AMD feud over evidence in antitrust case

Critical Windows 7 holes fixed in record Patch Tuesday

Microsoft stitches up a pair of Windows 7 holes, along with fixing up zero-day flaws in SMB and IIS offerings.
•  Adobe fixes 28 holes in Reader and Acrobat
•  Internet breaks in Sweden after DNS maintenance error

Microsoft wants multicore boost from Windows 7

The new operating system should be able to make better use of modern multicore chips--in part through changes to adapt Windows to big servers.
•  Using Windows 7 to 'Elevate Miami'
•  Microsoft taps the 'Family Guy' to sell Windows 7

Financier Soros to invest $1 billion in clean tech

George Soros will invest $1 billion on clean-energy technology, and he plans to provide $10 million a year over the next 10 years for the newly created Climate Policy Initiative.
•  Where the clean-tech jobs are

Amazon offers same-day delivery to select cities

Online retailer upgrades its shipping options in time for the holiday season, also expanding its Saturday delivery options. Pricing may benefit Prime subscribers most.
•  Samsung delivers Blockbuster, Amazon on-demand video

Also of note

•  New Wi-Fi spec challenges Bluetooth
•  Cisco to buy mobile specialist Starent for $2.9 billion
•  Steve Jobs bests Zuckerberg on teens' fave list