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Christina Patterson: Technology you can live without


For a while, it looked as though Betjeman's bombs had indeed dropped on Slough. Or as though there'd been an earthquake, or a hurricane, that caused the lives of millions of BlackBerry users, like the hearts of the staff at its Slough data centre, to grind to something dangerously near a halt.

It is, of course, no joke to be losing work through a technological glitch that BlackBerry's British boss calls an "issue", and no joke for all those youngsters who were, no doubt, planning a second mass assault on J D Sports. But it's still quite weird that the brief withdrawal of something that human beings have lived without for hundreds of thousands of years, for, in fact, all but the last few, should create such a massive stink. Some people, apparently, couldn't work in Starbucks! Some people even couldn't tweet! Self-immolations will surely follow.