RIM Hit With Class Action Lawsuits

One filed in Canada, the other in the US

2 min read
RIM Hit With Class Action Lawsuits

Reuters is reporting today that BlackBerry maker Research-in-Motion was hit with two class action lawsuits yesterday, one filed in Quebec and the other in California, in the wake of the several days of outages that plagued the company earlier this month.

According to Reuters, the lawsuit filed in Canada is on behalf of all current Canadian BlackBerry owners and it seeks RIM "to compensate BlackBerry users with refunds for loss of service."

The lawsuit filed in California, Reuters says, "accuses Research in Motion of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment." The lawsuit is asking for unspecified cash compensation for the outage.

RIM isn't commenting on the lawsuits as of yet. RIM has apologized to BlackBerry customers for the outage, and is offering "... a selection of premium apps worth a total value of more than US $100 ... " to customers until the end of the year. RIM’s enterprise customers are being offered one month of free technical support as well. To some, the compensation offered seems under-whelming.

I wonder if you download the free apps but you also join a class action lawsuit, do you undermine your legal claim for additional compensation?

In other RIM news, the company announced it's going to be delaying the launch of an upgraded operating system to its (disappointing) PlayBook tablet until February 2012. This is now the fourth time upgrades to the OS has been delayed. As noted by this story from the AP, the company:

"... had announced earlier this fall the updated operating system would be available in October with features that include the ability for BlackBerry users to automatically access their email, contacts and calendar on the PlayBook, a function it doesn't currently have. When RIM launched the PlayBook in April it said would add the features within 60 days, but later pushed that back to the summer and then to October."

The news helped send RIM's stock price down about 6% yesterday. It has recovered slightly today.


Photo: iStockphoto

The Conversation (0)

Metamaterials Could Solve One of 6G’s Big Problems

There’s plenty of bandwidth available if we use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces

12 min read
An illustration depicting cellphone users at street level in a city, with wireless signals reaching them via reflecting surfaces.

Ground level in a typical urban canyon, shielded by tall buildings, will be inaccessible to some 6G frequencies. Deft placement of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces [yellow] will enable the signals to pervade these areas.

Chris Philpot

For all the tumultuous revolution in wireless technology over the past several decades, there have been a couple of constants. One is the overcrowding of radio bands, and the other is the move to escape that congestion by exploiting higher and higher frequencies. And today, as engineers roll out 5G and plan for 6G wireless, they find themselves at a crossroads: After years of designing superefficient transmitters and receivers, and of compensating for the signal losses at the end points of a radio channel, they’re beginning to realize that they are approaching the practical limits of transmitter and receiver efficiency. From now on, to get high performance as we go to higher frequencies, we will need to engineer the wireless channel itself. But how can we possibly engineer and control a wireless environment, which is determined by a host of factors, many of them random and therefore unpredictable?

Perhaps the most promising solution, right now, is to use reconfigurable intelligent surfaces. These are planar structures typically ranging in size from about 100 square centimeters to about 5 square meters or more, depending on the frequency and other factors. These surfaces use advanced substances called metamaterials to reflect and refract electromagnetic waves. Thin two-dimensional metamaterials, known as metasurfaces, can be designed to sense the local electromagnetic environment and tune the wave’s key properties, such as its amplitude, phase, and polarization, as the wave is reflected or refracted by the surface. So as the waves fall on such a surface, it can alter the incident waves’ direction so as to strengthen the channel. In fact, these metasurfaces can be programmed to make these changes dynamically, reconfiguring the signal in real time in response to changes in the wireless channel. Think of reconfigurable intelligent surfaces as the next evolution of the repeater concept.

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