RIM's own phones on the blink as outage continues -

It seems that RIM's head office in Europe is as difficult to contact as your average BlackBerry user has been over the past few days.

Amidst a crisis of epic proportions, the port of call for any update on the BlackBerry outage has resorted to playing a prerecorded message to fend off any enquiries.

Presumably RIM technicians have emptied the head office in a bid to get all hands on deck to fix the outage, as the firm desperately tries to save its reputation and has resorted to an answer machine message.

 “If you are calling for message and browsing delays we have posted a status update on our website," the message says.

“These were caused by a technical failure within RIMs infrastructure…as a result a large backlog of data was created,” it continues. Of course we knew all this, because, as the slightly exasperated message recorder tells us, we can look at the statement.

Blackberry’s public relations team also failed to respond to calls.

So how screwed is BlackBerry's network? Well, TechEye is still getting reports of users affected by the outage this morning, despite RIM's assurances.

It seems that RIM is still up to its neck in it, and without anyone left to man the phones there is little more that it can do to allay fears that the crisis is going to run over into at least the fourth day for many users.

According to software experts at CAST, the reason for the problem is down to ‘unidentified technical debt’.  While not the same as financial debt, it is likely to have the same effect on RIM. 

This basically means that a software process designed to take over when a very rare hardware failure occurred has failed to work.

Apparently such an issue would have been undetected for some time, perhaps even years. 

According to CAST, the only solution to ‘unknown unknowns’ such as this is to “find the weaknesses in your code before you get found out.”

Of course, it could well be too late for RIM now.