News

CrackBerry.com on TV!

Yesterday was a big day for CrackBerry.com in the media! 

A quick shout out and thanks to news reporter Jon Hendricks of CTV who stopped by our office to do a piece on CrackBerry.com. He was in the office for about an hour interviewing and getting clips of the Crack Team at work. The segment aired on the evening news and was awesome! 

Much thanks also to Heather Haverstein of ComputerWorld. I spoke to her earlier this week about the Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction and Win Contest, and she announced it yesterday to the ComputerWorld community. Heather said their readers responded really well to the first piece they ran about CrackBerry.com.

Thanks Jon and Heather for the help in spreading the CrackBerry.com word! 

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Blackberry Browser Client-Side Denial of Service Vulnerability

A security advisory was released earlier this evening which alerted to a new Blackberry browser client-side denial of service vulnerability that effects various blackberry devices with the BlackBerry Device Software version 4.2 and prior.

This DoS is the result of the way the Blackberry browser handles certain excessively long URLs that can cause the device to slow down and possibly come to a screeching halt.  This can only happen if you click on a link that has been crafted to exploit this vulnerability.  If you have been effected a simple reset of the device (remove battery and reinsert) should get you back up and crackberrying once again!

Although the risk is relatively low you should probably upgrade to 4.2 Service Pack 1 if it is available from your carrier for your device. 

Check out Blackberry Downloads for the latest software downloads that are available for your crackberry.  If you are using your company's crackberry you may want to give a heads up to your crackberry administrator.  While you are at it, be sure to mention crackberry.com!

This security vulnerability was first posted at FrSIRT

If you are still waiting for an update from your carrier, you should at least be careful when following links that are within an e-mail message or on a website you do not trust.

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Canadians join 21st Century

Congratulations Canadians! Today, you join the rest of the world and enjoy the benefits of portable cell phone numbers. Yep, you will be able to give your provider the boot if you wish and still keep your number. And this applies to BlackBerries too.

On March 14, Canadian providers finally flip over to Wireless Network Portablity (WNP). And Canadians will have the opportunity to switch those numbers between cell and traditional land locked lines too. Canada will be the second country in the world to introduce number portability across both wireless and wired services. The first was the United States.

It is estimated that 70 percent of Canada’s 18 million cell phones will be immediately able to switch carriers. However, there remain some concerns about the abilities of different providers to serve those numbers on existing sets. Rogers network for example operates on the GSM wireless standard while Bell and Telus operate on a different standard known as CDMA. That means that people who, for example, want to switch to Rogers from Fido might have to buy new handsets.

This service has been available just about everywhere else in the developed world for some time but Canadian suppliers resisted. It wasn’t until companies such as the UKs Virgin Mobile started demanding the change that government regulators got on board and effectively ended the enforced loyalty.

It is unlikely that Canadians will change en-masse today, but it does give Canadian consumers more options and they can change providers where contracts come up and not lose their numbers as happened in the past. That can only be good for the consumer and the service providers will have to be more creative and more customer service oriented if they want to keep their clients.

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Justice League lookout! Here comes the Crack League!

It looks like the Crack Team is growing in size and super hero abilities... 

In the Blogs, Jack Benney is going to be contributing to the site a few times a week. Jack brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the team from the IT/blackberry admin fields. Jack had to go through a myriad of grueling tests in order to make the cut, and he passed them all with flying colors (he did have a close call climbing down from the top of mount everest...but at least he made it to the top which is what matters!). 

In the Forums, we have added some Moderator Muscle:
- CrackBerry Communities is moderated by Liv
- CrackBerry Discussion Groups is moderated by audit01 and kasperapd
- RIM/BlackBerry Discussion is moderated by fatreg and tmag2005
- Media Corner is modered by blackberrythemecentral and crystalized
- Berry Free Zone is moderated by navilyn

and of course the founding members of the Crack Team will still be taking care of their blogging and moderating duties as well.

Welcome Aboard Guys & Gals!!!!!!

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Knowing Your 8800 From Your 8820?!

RIM have a bit of habit of giving their devices very similar sounding numbered names. We at CrackBerry.com try to keep up and pretty well know our 8800 from our 8820 but to the rest of the world it can be confusing.

RIM have tried to keep their business oriented devices in one category and their consumer oriented in another but the numbering is confusing to everyone. For example, there are three versions of the proposed 8300 line -- 8300 (which has GPS but no camera), 8320 (which has no camera but WiFi and GPS), and 83XX (will have camera, wi-fi and GPS). Word is that their code names are Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. We kid you not. We assume the 8800 and the yet to be released 8820 and 88XX will follow the same system.

Thankfully, the Boy Genius has given us a list of the latest RIM offerings and the things that differentiate each device offering.

For the full list of the various devices read the full article here.

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Need a Vacation from your BlackBerry? Here's Your Chance!

CrackBerry.com is giving blackberry users the chance to win a CrackBerry Rehab vacation and lots of other great prizes in the Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction & Win Giveaway!

Free to Enter. Lots of Chances to Win. No Strings Attached.

Click Here for Full Contest Details... 

First time to CrackBerry.com? Click here for the Hello & Grand Tour...

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RIM and AT&T announce RED BlackBerry Pearl

Last week rumors emerged that a new BlackBerry Pearl would soon be released. Today, those rumors were confirmed with an annoucement by RIM & AT&T that a new red hot BlackBerry Pearl will soon be hitting the market.

"The BlackBerry Pearl is a powerful and feature-rich phone and yet it is also amazingly small, elegant and easy-to-use," said Mike Woodward, executive director, mobile professional solutions, for AT&T. "Now the red BlackBerry Pearl provides our customers with another stunning choice for staying connected in their business and personal lives."

"The BlackBerry Pearl is a big hit with users because it looks as great as it performs," said Mark Guibert, vice president, corporate marketing, for Research In Motion. "We look forward to fueling the momentum of the BlackBerry Pearl in the market with the addition of another eye-catching color and finish."

If only they would put a prancing horse on it and use Ferrari's shade of red, this Formula 1 fan and BlackBerry abuser would be in Heaven!

Read the Full Press Release Here...

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CrackBerry Gadgets

So I'm eating my healthy chunky soup meal of champions in the office on my lunch hour, reading an old issue of Popular Science (Yes, I'm a Geek) when I stumbled upon something cool that caught my eye. You can actually build your own USB device charger for less than $15. Better yet, how about it be in a snazzy looking Altoids Gum Tin package.

That’s right, over at The Original Electroids Co, you can pick up your very own Altoids Tin can USB charging kit, which can be used to charge any USB device using your regular inexpensive 9Volt battery. Popular Science claims a single 9Volt has the ability to charge most devices two or three times.

There is a guide on Instructables on how to make your own at home, although I admit it’s not as sleek as an Atloids Can. Great gadget to have on you if your CrackBerry battery is ever running low, and you have some important calls to make.

Stay tuned, I'm going to build my own CrackBerry.com USB Charger.

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Lazaridis, Balsillie Make Forbes Billionaire List

Last week we at CrackBerry reported the accounting woes of RIM and how Jim Balsillie stepped down as Chairman (he remains co-CEO). But we are thinking he probably isn’t losing a lot of sleep. On Friday, Forbes Magazine published their annual list of the world’s richest people and guess who showed up?

The founders of Research In Motion, and the creators of the BlackBerry, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie made the Forbes billionaire list for the first time. Lazaridis, was tied for No. 583 on the worldwide rankings, with an estimated net worth of $1.7-billion.

Balsillie, however, was way behind and was logged in at the pitiful ranking of 618 and an estimated wealth of a paltry $1.6-billion.

Forbes has Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with a $56-billion bank account, as the world richest man with investment guru Warren Buffett second. These two are good friends and have pledged to give away large parts of their fortunes through their foundations to various cause. My address is…

It is good to see the guys doing so well and with the BlackBerry poised to take advantage of the growing PDA market we can only see them shooting up the list.

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RIM's Kavelman Challenges Buble to Karaoke Sing-Off

Although Buble undoubtedly thrashed Kavelman with his rendition of 'summer wind' at a local karaoke bar in Waterloo, Kavelman was happy with his performance. "I gave it all I had, but in the end, Michael was just too much for me."


In the coming months, Kavelman plans to challenge world competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi to a duel with poutine as the food of choice.

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One Berry. One Britney. One Beer.

Britney gives us a visual checklist of all those things a superstar needs when in rehab. Here, Britney checks herself out for the third time in as many weeks with the things she holds dear.

1. Journal in which to write 12 step progress and meaningful lyrics. Check.

2. Wedding Ring. Cus you love K-Fed so much n’all. Check

3. Cheap lighter. To see in the dark and not to light up. Check.

4. Paris Hilton’s dog. Hey how’d that get here? Check.

5. Really bad wig. But, we liked the cue ball look. Check.

6. BlackBerry. The best device in the world and the only way to communicate with children’s father, lawyer, agent, dealer, manager and Paris. Check.

So we are all set, y’all.

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CrackBerry On The Radio

A big thanks to the everyone at the Morning Edition of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio. This morning, yours truly " a true CrackBerry head" was interviewed about CrackBerry.com and we got to talk about the tremendous response we have been getting as well as some of the features of the site and the nature of crackberry addiction.

So thanks to Terry McLeod and the producers (Leighton and Bertram) for having us on. And thanks to everyone who tried to fire up my Berry while on air.

But here is one thing we found out this morning…Berries don't work in radio studios. As soon as I stepped out of the booth my BlackBerry went nuts. Now, to reply to all those who buzzed me…

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You Know you Have too Much Money When...

Russia has its fair share of gazillionaires these days. And their tastes run from cool, European sophistication to the type of style sense that would make even the worst subject of “Cribs” throw up. We at CrackBerry.com think the phone just slides into the sophisticated camp, but the box is definitely in the later. Nokia introduced the 8800 Sirocco Edition recently but has now upped the ante with the lavish Monaco Edition.

Nokia says it will come “in various colors and designs, all variants are crafted with jewelry and have their own design.” So if you own half the oil reserves in the world and want to show off, why not buy Svetlana one of these little puppies.

Russian vendor ISSE plans to begin selling the Monaco Edition 8800 soon and the rest of the world can start saving up shortly thereafter.

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What is Better than a CrackBerry? Two CrackBerries

Jamie Foxx can seem to do no wrong these days. From an Oscar winning turn in "Ray," overshadowing Tom Cruise in "Collateral" and last year holding his own among the outstanding ladies of "Dreamgirls," the actor is on top of his game. He is so in demand he actually needs two CrackBerries to keep up with the offers.

Here he is at the wrap-party for the new movie "Unpredictable" filming in Toronto sporting both a Pearl and an 8700. Maybe one is for business one for pleasure.

Ah to be rich, handsome, famous and that CrackBerry addicted.

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RIM Fallout Continues

The fall out from the big accounting mess announced on Monday by Research In Motion continues.

RIM, makers of the BlackBerry released the results of a seven-month internal review on Monday, saying it identified hundreds of options granted to employees between 2002 and 2006 that were issued with “incorrect measurement dates” Employees were given the right to acquire as many as 4.6 million shares.

That news didn’t have an impact on the company stocks on the stock market and most analysts say this option issue is a common problem for companies that are growing so quickly. By identifying the problem and correcting the mistake now the company is hoping to head off even bigger problems down the road. It did mean that RIM’s Chairman Jim Balsillie resigned, although he remains co-CEO.

But the biggest hit might come to the hundreds of employees of the Waterloo, Ontario based company who may be required to refile income tax statements and take a one time tax hit for all the gains these stock options might have made over the years. Those tax bills might also include penalties and interest on the money.

Usually, gains on options are taxed at a preferential rate in Canada, but the RIM options apparently had some value already when they were granted which opens up any profits to regular income tax rates. Which if you live in Canada is quite the hit to the cup. Employees could be on the hook for increases in share prices from .50 to $80 per share.

In the US there has been some sympathy for employees caught in these accounting screw ups and lower tax rates can be granted in some circumstances. Revenue Canada hasn’t issued a similar ruling.

So, I think there are going to be some very cranky employees at RIM this week.

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The Hottest Phones for Linux Fanatics

Looking for a new cellphone? Are you Linux Fanatic? Well then, this may be of interest too you. Ministry of Tech had a neat piece on 'The 5 Hottest Phones for Linux Fanatics'.

I gotta say, some of these do look pretty cool. The Grundig B700 has a nice stylish blackberry look, but has a built in 2 Mega Pixel digital camera, as well as mp3 and fm radio playback.

Some nice looking devices. Check 'em out.

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CrackBerry.com on Manitoba's SuperStation CJOB

Thanks to Richard Cloutier over at CJOB for having me on his radio show this morning.  We had a grand ole time talking about CrackBerry.com.  If you head over to the CJOB.com Audio Vault , you can listen to the show.

Choose the March 7th, 10am segment.  The CrackBerry.com piece is about 5 minutes in length, and starts 35:15 into the live replay feed.

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New Red Pearl Expected

The latest rumors making the rounds are on the release of a new red BlackBerry in the very near future. Well, we have a blue, white, black and silver BlackBerry already so why not red. Personally, I am holding out for the champagne colored one. Pretentious? Moi?

Apparently, employees at Cingular have noticed a sales item on their new price lists indicating the price of a new Red 8100 Pearl Blackberry.

Although it looks like the color scheme was dreamed up by the European Vodaphone people.

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Is Your Berry Ready For Daylight Savings Time?

This year, the powers that be have decided to change the onset of Daylight Savings Time in North America. And the potential problems for computers and smartphones such as the BlackBerry have some people warning about a mini Y2K problem.

Fool me once etc…so we are not worrying too much about the end of the world and 747s dropping out of the sky. However, if you own an earlier version BlackBerry you may have to do something to adjust you device to accommodate the time change.

You may need to install a software patch to your BlackBerry in order for it to correctly display time and calendar events. If your organization is using BlackBerry Enterprise Server, your IT department may already be planning to update your BlackBerry remotely. If you haven’t heard from your IT department check with them to see if there is a plan in place.

For those of us without IT departments, we may to have to install a patch but it is a pretty easy task. Daylight Saving Time (DST) will now begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November in North America. The result is three weeks of additional daylight saving time in the Spring, and one week in the Fall.

The changes come as part of the US Energy Policy Act of 2005. Both the US and Canada will be implementing the new DST changes this year. This means BlackBerry users in the US and Canada will need to install a software patch to their BlackBerry in order for it to recognize the new Daylight Saving Time changes.

If you don’t get the patch your Berry will will display the incorrect time for certain time periods during the year. This means any appointments (and their reminders) will appear one hour late.

Fixing the problem

First you must check your BlackBerry to confirm which version of the software you are using. To do this, open “Settings” then "Options" and then "About." The third line in the information screen, will tell you what device you have… something like “ v4.1.0.21 (Platform 2.0.0.40)”.

If the software version displayed is v4.1.0.375, v4.1.0.377, or v4.1.0.378, your BlackBerry already has the updated DST information and you do not need to install a software patch.

If the software version displayed is v4.0.0.x or earlier, you will need to update the DST information on your BlackBerry by installing a software patch. Installing the patch? If your organization is running BlackBerry Enterprise Server, your IT Administrator may be able to administer the patch to your smartphone remotely. Check with your IT department for more information.

BlackBerry users can install the software patch in one of two ways:

Via USB Connection

On your laptop or PC, visit www.blackberry.com/dst2007

To apply the patch, plug in your BlackBerry. The system will automatically identify the BlackBerry and apply the right patch file (.cod file) immediately.

From your BlackBerry Browser,

Got to www.blackberry.com/dst2007 and download the “Patch Manager” application. Patch Manager will determine the appropriate patch required given the target BlackBerry (if required), and automatically retrieve and install the right patch file (.cod file) immediately.

You may be prompted to reset your BlackBerry.

It really is quite easy and painless so get to it before this Sunday, we’d hate you to be late for an important meeting. For more information please visit www.blackberry.com/select/dst2007 .

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