From the Editor's Desk: Unicorns and Jaguars

Oh dear lord...
By Kevin Michaluk on 22 Jul 2012 12:29 pm EDT

We're talking animals in this week's From the Editor's Desk. Unicorns and Jaguars. You can blame my dear pal and fellow Editor in Chief of our sibling site Android Central, Phil Nickinson, for the photoshop job above. Yes, that's me... riding a unicorn... with a HTC One X strapped to my head via a GoJo. Creepy.  

While the unicorn doesn't have a name yet, the jaguar we're going to talk about this week does. It goes by the name of Vic Alboini.


There *is* an explanation to the picture at the top of this post, which you'll have to watch the video below to fully understand its genesis. In this week's Monday Brief all of the Mobile Nations EiCs spoke about their biggest news stories of the year. Good times. On the BlackBerry side of things I picked RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins and the exit of RIM's longtime CoCEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.

I've always loved the Lloyd Android mascot that Android Central has (you can even buy him on a t-shirt now). Maybe it's time CrackBerry get its own mascot. Not sure if a Unicorn would work though... though we've been waiting so long for BlackBerry 10 already that maybe a Unicorn is kinda fittting. Lol. What do you think? Do Unicorns and BlackBerrys go together? I'm thinking not based on the photo below... if you have better ideas for a CrackBerry mascot, toss them in the comments to this post.

Unicorns and BlackBerrys

In the next Monday Brief we'll be making our predictions about what will be the biggest story for our platform over the course of the next 12 months - you won't want to miss that either!


Vic Albioni and CrackBerry Kevin
Vic Alboini the Jaguar (left) taking an earful from CrackBerry Kevin after RIM's AGM

The only person giving more interviews to the media at RIM's Annual General Meeting of Shareholders this year than me was "activist shareholder" Vic Alboini of Jaguar Capital. When I give interviews to the media I typically gear my message on behalf of the of the BlackBerry user community - the owners and fans of BlackBerry. I'm often critical of RIM and don't sugarcoat the facts, but my message is always positive in that I only want to see RIM get better and succeed for the long haul.

Vic takes to the media with his message on the premise of being in the best interests of RIM's shareholders, which he often says he has the support of 8% or more of. RIM's stock has taken a beating over the past 18 months, so I understand there are a lot of angry shareholders out there and there will be a lot of agreement between shareholders and the things Vic tells the media.

That said, in observing Vic in action at the AGM and listening to what he does say to the media (and how he says it), I couldn't help but think that his approach is having the opposite effect. Between what he says and how it gets reported, his actions are actually damaging to RIM and shareholder value.

Since returning home from the AGM, Chris Umiastowski and myself have been doing a lot of research on this and are putting together a longer article that should be hitting the CrackBerry homepage this week. Though my initial instinct was to come out against Vic with CrackBerry guns a blazing, I decided we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard of journalism and write a productive piece and thus I reached out to Vic to hear his side of things. This Wednesday I spoke to Vic over the phone. Over the course of an 80 minute interview I gained a much better understanding of what's making Vic tick.

I don't want to give it all up here so will leave you in suspense... but you'll want to keep it locked to CrackBerry this week. This is CrackBerry journalism you won't want to miss.

And More!

Unicorns and Jaguars aside....

More Video Commentary on the Way - If you missed last week's from the Editor's Desk, check out the video above. Instead of writing I just spoke to the camera. No script. No editing. One take, Done. I received a lot of great feedback on that format, so will do more of that on the site going ahead. One person told me it was very Rex Murphy like (he's a well-known Canadian political / social commentator). I didn't overthink it before recording last week. I just sat in front of the camera and hit record and said what was on my mind openly and honestly. Reflecting on it though, I can see why this kind of commentary in a video format is so highly regarded. It's impossible to fake. You have to know your stuff and you have to be able to express it on the fly. It's the true test for any tech blogger.

Kisses for Keian - One of our longtime contributors, Ryan Blundell, let us know that his son Keian was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. Our hearts go out to Keian, Ryan and his family. If you missed our post early this week on it, please read Kisses for Keian

Happier CrackBerry Forums - I made a few subtle changes to the CrackBerry forums this week which I think are for the better. Check out this announcement and this announcement for the details. CrackBerry's forums have been a little crazier than normal lately (and understandably so... waiting until 2013 for BB10 is hard!) so these changes should help keep the focus on BlackBerry and the good in the meantime. 

The Mobile Nations World Tour Continues - I took a break from my stop on Android so I could rock a BlackBerry Torch on my annual trip to Waterloo and BlackBerry HQ. I felt so home being on BlackBerry again I didn't want to switch back. Friday night I finally went back to the HTC One X. I have a couple more articles to get up on Android Central and then will do a final Kevin's take on Android story / podcast. That'll all happen over the next couple of weeks, then I think I'm going to be giving a Lumia 900 a try. 

Visitors This Week - I have some guests coming to Winnipeg this week. Phil Nickinson, Rene Ritchie and Daniel Rubino will be hitting the Peg! You're likely familiar with the names, but if not, they are the Editor in Chiefs of Android Central, iMore and WPCentral. On the agenda? I could say we're making plans for world domination, but I think our Mobile Nations sites are already doing just that. So let's just say we'll be talking about how we can continue to do what we do, even better. And I'm sure we'll also be drinking. Afterall, it is summer. All work, no play, makes for a boring tech site. Maybe we'll fire up a couple of video cameras and record a podcast. That'll be fun!

Until next week.... keep your thumbs on your BlackBerry and reach for the stars! (god that was lame. I'll try better for next week... promise. Lol).

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Unicorns and Jaguars


Yea Kevin, I don't know which item from the picture I was distracted by more, the GoJo or the unicorn. LOL

I also witnessed Vic at the AGM, and I have been following Vic and Jaguar Financial for many years. As I used to be a shareholder of Hudbay Minerals, and Vic did an outstanding job with convincing the board of directors to make drastic decisions and changes.

As for RIM, Vic made some fantastic points. First of all, how can we sit there and allow directors to be voted in with up to 30% of votes withheld for some directors?

Nearly half of the current board of directors at RIM have been on the board during the complacency that occurred at RIM in the last many years. Shareholders have witnessed the stock drastically decline due to this complacency. And especially one of these directors was on the board during the options back-dating scandal. I've been in the Derivatives business for five years now, and I can tell you that it is a shame what RIM did when they back dated their options for their executives. And this director continues to be voted into the board year after year. Disgusting I tell you!

I have lived in Kitchener-Waterloo for almost 20 years, and I want RIM to succeed as much (maybe even more) as you do Kevin. But the governance of their board of directors is quite concerning.

So I showed my eight year daughter this picture and she said "Awesome, a guy riding a unicorn in the sky!" Then paused and said..."Wait a minute, is that Crackberry Kevin??" Hilarious.

+1 I have been a fan of the phoenix since B4 Fawkes (Harry Potter) It's also the name of my computer....named after a lightning strike melted almost everything thing in it & I had to rebuild the entire thing, basically only keeping the case.

I'm liking this idea. :)
Flying out of flames like a bat out of hell! "Torching" the competition.
* BlackBerry by choice *

I'm looking forward to reading your report about your discussion with V.A. Hopefully between now and BB10 launch he'll concentrate on getting his own business out of the hole.
Unicorns are fantasy. How about a raging bull (like the one for the stock market). Let's be bullish.

I think the important thing here is that no Unicorns were harmed during the making of this blog...

We don't know since we haven't seen the article, but since you are teasing this interview, I will say that if your idea of fair and good journalism is to give Vic AlBOOBY even MORE media exposure and not hear from any of RIM's board members than you're fooling yourself Kevin, as much as I admire you. Hearing his side of the story and not the board's story is not fair in the least. Vic is a sleeze and so his his company Jaguar. If you did your research than you should know this. He doesn't disclose his investment in RIM because it is ridiculously SMALL. He has manipulated the media to think he represents a sizeable share of RIM investors when he DOES NOT. Again, we haven't seen your article, but from what you are saying, it seems like Vic did a nice con job on you like he did the mainstream media. Here I was all excited because I finally thought Crackberry Kevin was finally going to expose this scumbag, and instead it seems like you gave him exactly what he wanted. More media exposure and your consensus. I REALLY hope I am wrong Kevin.

That's good to hear. I appreciate the time and professionalism the CrackBerry team puts into its reporting and that's one reason why I keep coming back here :) Keep up the good work.

Best to get a guy's name spelled right before taking him on. Alboini, not Albioni.
Looking forward to that article!

I look at that pic and all that pops in my head is the Old Spice commercial from a few years back....."I'm on a horse!"

This is an Accounting and Finance student here. Can't wait to hear from you and Chris on that article about Albioni!

Enjoyed reading your article, Kevin.

My Avatar is a Jaguar. Have always loved Cats, especially the 'Big Jungle Cats.' There is something very mysterious about them. But I digress.

Q1 can't come fast enough for me. Am hoping BB10 lives up to all the hype.


You would have a better chance of seeing an actual unicorn than seeing someone with a gojo. What a monstrosity. The pic is hilarious Kev.

Kevin. Think Phil has been pulling your leg with the unicorn avatar above. The unicorn is the official logo of android kang which is a rom based on Android Open Source Project .

We would never live it down having a unicorn as a mascot. We get enough hate on bb as it is lol

A phoenix, raised from the ashes as everybody expect RIM to raise when BB10 hits the market. But please to the artist, make it an elegant and cute one.

Will the other main guys from the other sites be doing a change up on their devices too? I would love to see this.

Jaguar is a mickey mouse outfit and they don't even have a significant holdings in RIM. For twelve months this person at Jaguar has been interviewed by media as though he had something to contribute, most disappointing has been BNN who has given this person way too much air just to continue with the doom and gloom reporting on RIM. Kevin you should have popped him one.

Yeah Kevin! I love that you keep us updated with this ongoing story. Can't wait to hear the interview with Alboini. It's always interesting to hear the other side of the story whether you agree with them or not. I do think Jaguar should just sell their stake if they don't like how RIM is being run, it's not like anyone forced them to buy RIM stock.

Hey Kevin,

What about a PANTHER as the mascot for CrackBerry. The Panther is a gorgeous Black jungle cat with golden eyes. It is magestic in appearance which I think would be appropriate to represent BlackBerry/CrackBerry.


RIM should stop giving Jag and it's other investors something other then bad news.
That would stop their whinning.

Its not like all this "bad stuff" happened in the past 6 months. This has been going on for
almost three years now.

So who is to blame?


Usually when an established brand goes about getting a mascot, its a failed concept. No need for fruit or animals the phone will. Sell itself