T-Mobile loses users' data - shakes our trust in the cloud
If you're a T-Mobile Sidekick user, today is probably not a good day for you. T-Mobile has posted on their forum that they (well, actually they're blaming Microsoft and Danger) have "almost certainly" lost their users' data:
Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger's latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device - such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos - that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.
What are the implications of this for people who are relying more and more on cloud computing? On one hand, putting your data in the cloud allows you to hand off responsibility for security and backups to an entity that is probably in a better position to deal with it than you are. On the other hand, what if they fail?
The best solution is a solid combination of both. For every important piece of data that you leave on an online service, you should have an easy way to synchronize it to your local machine. If you don't, you're playing with fire.