Let's talk the Cloud a little more, shall we?
To recap: A large number of Sidekick users learned that their data — e-mail, contacts, calendar, etc. — had gone up in smoke, on the server side. The Sidekick ecosystem once was run by Danger, which is now owned by Microsoft, which has taken responsibility for the outage and/or data loss. T-Mobile's sending $100 "customer appreciate cards" for the trouble, if you permanently lost data.
So, let's ask the obvious: This has been a high-profile outage and data loss. And as often is case after an event such as this, we'll see alot of "Is the Cloud safe?" headlines. Oh, and lawsuits. Our take? The Cloud is a service, and an important one. But reliability and redundancy go hand-in-hand. Any service that puts all its eggs in one basket is just asking for trouble. And we're not even getting into the reported trouble surrounding Project Pink, and more recent claims that the Sidekick snafu was sabotage. Unsubstantiated at best, though certainly not out of the realm of possibility.
For most services — Gmail, Exchange, whatever — it's pretty simple to export your contacts and the like and back them up elsewhere. jkOnTheRun offers a few tips on backing up your Gmail e-mails themselves. Have other tips? Let us know in the comments.