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BlackBerry glitches continue for second day
by Staff Writers
Ottawa (AFP) Oct 11, 2011

BlackBerry users across much of the globe experienced outages in key functions for a second straight day Tuesday, while a Canadian merchant bank jacked up pressure for a management change.

The glitches that impaired messaging, emails and Internet browsing in Europe, the Middle East and Africa on Monday had spread to India and South America on Tuesday, Research In Motion (RIM) confirmed.

"Some users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, India, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina are experiencing messaging and browsing delays," the Canada-based company said in a statement.

"We are working to restore normal service as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."

RIM, which makes the smartphone, had announced Monday that it had fixed the problem, after users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa reported not being able to receive or send email, use instant messaging or browse the Internet -- though the problems did not appear to be the same for each user, or affect all users.

Then on Tuesday, customers began posting messages online saying BlackBerry services were down again.

In a Twitter message, RIM confirmed that "some areas have messaging delays and impaired browsing."

RIM later said its BlackBerry messaging and Internet browsing delays were caused by "a core switch failure within RIMs infrastructure" and the breakdown of backup systems.

"As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service as quickly as possible," it said a statement.

RIM has struggled this year with weaker sales of the BlackBerry smartphone against rivals like Apple's iPhone, various models from HTC, and other handsets running Google's Android software.

The company has 70 million BlackBerry subscribers worldwide.

Also Tuesday, merchant bank and activist shareholder Jaguar Financial announced that eight percent of RIM shareholders support its proposal for a shake-up in RIM's management, or a sale, merger or break-up of the company.

"There are signs of a broken organizational structure, which is highlighted by several key employee departures," Jaguar said in a statement.

"In addition, management has failed to appreciate RIM's competitive environment, which largely explains RIM's declining market presence and dramatically reduced share price. RIM has become a reactionary company trying to compete in an innovative industry."

Jaguar also accused RIM founder and co-chief executive Jim Balsillie of neglecting the company from 2006 to 2009 while he chased "his dream of buying an NHL hockey team."

"A management team not fully focused during a crucial four-year period resulted in a leaderless company, a problem that remains today," said Jaguar chief executive Vic Alboini.

"It is time for meaningful and obvious change," he added, calling for a new independent chairman and directors "with substantial technology experience" at RIM.

Shares in RIM, which have lost 58 percent of their value this year, closed up 5.1 percent at $24.41 Tuesday.

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Bangladesh launches $130 laptop for schools
Dhaka (AFP) Oct 11, 2011
Bangladesh on Tuesday unveiled a $130 locally made laptop that it hopes will help bridge the digital divide in the impoverished South Asian country. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the Doel - or magpie - laptops at a ceremony in the capital Dhaka, saying the computer, made by state-owned telecom company TSS, would help Bangladesh become a middle-income nation by 2021. "(There are ... read more

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