March 8, 2005 5:00 PM PST

Danger expects Sidekick outage to end soon

Sidekick users frustrated by intermittent outages in the device's data services should not have to wait much longer before the problems are fixed, the company that maintains the service said on Tuesday.

The provider acknowledged the issues in a statement sent to CNET News.com, stressing that the problems have been largely resolved.

"Danger and T-Mobile regret any inconveniences experienced by Sidekick customers as a result of an identified technical issue that has been limiting customer access to data services since Sunday, March 6," the companies stated in an e-mail statement sent by a Danger representative. "Danger engineers have put fixes in place, and expect data performance to improve throughout the day on March 8, and full service to be restored by tomorrow morning, March 9."

The outages are the latest issues plaguing the mobile phone and Internet services provided by Danger and T-Mobile. Both companies have come under scrutiny as the means by which online thieves managed to steal the addresses, e-mail messages and images from the Sidekick of celebrity heiress Paris Hilton, an incident that came to light last month.

The recent appearance on the Internet of a private sex video of Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst and an ex-girlfriend--allegedly stolen from Durst's PC--has also been linked to the same group of thieves.

The outage drove frustrated users to Danger's Hiptop.com forum and caused at least one longtime user to reevaluate the service. Web programmer Dayne Kaufman said that he had been a Sidekick user for many years, but after more than 60 hours of downtime in the past five days, he said he doesn't believe he can rely on the service for business-related communications.

"Ever since the new year, service has been very spotty," he said. "I don't think I will be able to rely on my T-Mail account (Sidekick's e-mail) anymore."

Despite that, Kaufman said he would continue to use his Sidekick, which remains his favorite gadget.

"However, I don't see how any outage affecting this many people can last for days," he said. "Hours, yes. Half a day, maybe. Three days? I don't think so."

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