Part One of The Current
It's Thursday, October 13th.
The Canadian Union of Postal Workers is taking the Harper government to court, arguing the law that forced postal workers back to work in June is unconstitutional.
With the government and the post office involved, you can bet the case will move really sloooooooowly.
This is The Current.
BlackBerry Blackout - Fritz Nelson
On the streets of Toronto, London, Mumbai, Rome, Nairobi... you can hear the high-pitched whine of people angry with their BlackBerries. Business people in particular are furious that for days they've been unable to read email, use instant messaging or surf the 'net.
And after three days of outages that stretch from New Westminster to New Delhi to Newcastle ... some users have just about had it with Research in Motion, the BlackBerry's Canadian manufacturer. RIM's shares are down for a lot of reasons, but it could get worse for shareholders. Analysts estimate roughly half of BlackBerry's 70 million subscribers outside North America could be affected by the drop in services.
Some people are taking careful note of how a slip-up at one technology company touches so many people and businesses. RIM says the issue is linked to a "core switch failure" in the infrastructure at its Waterloo, Ontario, headquarters.
To explain what that means and just how big this problem is, we were joined by Fritz Nelson. He's the editorial director of Information Week, a publication for technical professionals. Fritz Nelson joined us from his home in Irvine, California.
BlackBerry Blackout - Aimee Morrison/Kevin Michaluk
So, imagine a network of steam locomotives and suddenly no one can remember how to boil water. The BlackBerry crash may have exposed an unhealthy dependence on one technology. Have we become too reliant?
Our next two guests have given that question a lot of thought. Aimee Morrison is an associate professor of English at the University of Waterloo. She researches and writes about digital media culture. She was in our Toronto studio. And Kevin Michaluk is the founder of Crackberry.com, a website billed for the BlackBerry user and abuser. He of course, is both. And he was in Winnipeg.
Other segments from today's show: