cool hand luke To quote that famous line from the movie Cool Hand Luke “what we got here is a failure to communicate.”

Research In Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie was in a testy mood when he was interviewed by The Canadian Press agency on Friday. He flat out rejected any criticism that the BlackBerry maker left its customers in the dark after a major failure of a software component left BlackBerry users without service for half a day.

Balsillie is quoted as saying he believes the company handled the situation the right way by first attacking the network failure and providing explanations later.

Apparently RIM is unable to walk and chew gum at the same time.

BlackBerry users, techies and some providers were more than a little grouchy after their concerns about the shutdown were met with silence from RIM HQ in Waterloo, Ontario.

"In a sense people say ‘How come you didn’t communicate?’ I turn it around and say ‘Other than communicate what’s self-evident, you’d better have something that’s substantial to communicate,’" Balsillie said in the interview.

It wasn't until late Thursday night that RIM issued any kind of statement on why their system went down Between an initial terse 56-word comment on Tuesday and the second media release late Thursday there was 36 hours of non-communication.

RIM's consumer website still hasn’t even mentioned the outage although it did manage to find time to up date new phone offerings in the US.

Balsillie went on to say that the public relations nightmare surrounding the technical problems was “a bit of a damned if you do, damned if you don't'” situation.

And just what would have been damning about saying “Hey guys the fault’s at our end…don’t spend the next three hours rebooting your Berry”?