One of the big stories in Canada this week (besides the Olympics which will be held in Vancouver in 2010) are the legal problems of Research in Motion, the Canadian company famous for the Blackberry. Many of my lawyer/banker friends have these devices which they religiously check every time they get the comforting buzz of new email. There is a chance Blackberry users in the US may have their service cut off as early as Friday after a judicial hearing on a patent dispute.
Most academics have avoided the Blackberry craze but still the company plays an important role in computer science. Research in Motion executives have been heavy funders of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Institute for Quantum Computing which have made Waterloo a major center of quantum computation. The IQC employs a large number of computer scientists in quantum computing such as fellow blogger Scott Aaronson.
So when you ride on the bus and hear your neighbor's Blackberry buzz, remember it's buzzing for science.