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Airtel & RIM bring the BlackBerry 8800 to India

blackberry 800 from airtelThe BlackBerry 8800 is making its way around the world in near record time. Airtel and RIM this week announced the introduction of the the BlackBerry 8800 to India.

"We are very excited to bring the innovative and feature-rich BlackBerry 8800 to India for our high-end customers,” said Sanjay Kapoor, President, Mobile Services, Bharti Airtel.

“They will get an opportunity to experience a world-class product which is elegant, stylish and equipped to deliver a power packed performance. This exceptional device reinforces our commitment to bringing the latest and best communication experience for Airtel’s business customers.”

"The new BlackBerry 8800 is as stylish as it is powerful," said Norm Lo, vice-president of RIM's Asia-Pacific operations. "It is the ideal mobile communications tool for India’s dynamic business environment and we are very pleased to introduce this impressive smartphone together with Airtel."

Read the full press release here.

Learn more about the BlackBerry 8800 from Airtel here.  

Is Palm Deal Done?

palm logoPalm was a pioneer. I think most of us heard the phrase 'Palm Pilot' long before we heard 'BlackBerry.' But the company that led the way in creating the smart phone, and the maker of the Treo, might not exist as an independent company for much longer if persistent rumors turn out to be true.

Palm, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, has been the subject of takeover rumors for more than a month. Texas Pacific, Nokia, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola are all reported to be interested suitors.

Palm isn't doing too badly in terms of revenue. Palm reported revenue of $410 million in the reporting quarter that just ended, up from $389 million in same quarter in 2006. And this despite some delays in getting their new model out. In 2006, Palm shipped 2.4 million devices, a 20 percent increase over 2005.

But the smart phone business is a fast moving one. Where RIM and Nokia, for example, are bringing out multiple devices this year, Palm hasn't kept up and their devices are looking distinctly clunky and thick. The Palm hasn't altered substantially since the introduction of the Treo 600 back in 2003. And while sales are up, those 2.4 million units only represented three percent of the 74 million smart phone units sold in 2006.

But this is nothing new. People have been saying these things for a year. Why the sudden interest?

Firstly there is a belief that the costs with introducing new operating systems and introducing a radical new design will have to be addressed in the next six months. Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that Palm had retained the Morgan Stanley company to shop the company around to potential buyers.

Yesterday, Palm released their quarterly results, which showed that while revenues were up there was a drop in profits for this quarter, but all questions were about the takeover. "As you can imagine, there's a lot of rumors and speculation out there and we're not going to comment on that stuff," said Palm Chief Financial Officer Andrew Brown.

Palm's stocks had been going up in response to all the trade rumours. But yesterday, when news began to float around that Motorola and Palm would not announce a deal, Palm's stocks took a nose dive. It remains to be seen if a deal can be reached or if another company is going to step into the breach.

What this means for BlackBerry and RIM is unclear. One less player in the field would be viewed as a good thing, but with Palm dropping to just three percent of the market, it is increasingly seen as a minor player in the smart phone industry.

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Beware the BlackBerry Addict in the Office?!

beware of blackberry addictThe Nanaimo Daily News published a short blackberry piece in their local paper this morning that I thought made an interesting point - basically that Loose Lips Sink Ships and BlackBerry Addicts have the Loosest Lips of them all. Here are some of the bits by Howard Levitt:

... Employees are using PDAs while driving, walking on the street, at restaurants, bars, and even at the gym. Many employees feel be-holden to respond immediately to the beep of a pending message. Hence, the reference to "Crackberrys." Common sense seldom prevails. Often, they don't know who is listening or peering over their shoulders.

While employees may be blithe, employers should be concerned because they ultimately are the ones responsible for employees' actions.

Any information leaks could expose employers to liability for a multitude of infractions. Betraying a client's confidentiality, violating privacy rights, even damaging misstatements or defamation could result from a PDA "slip." And it won't be long before employers are making large payouts as result of these "indiscretions."

It also won't be long before the first $1-million damage award against an employer from a driver or pedestrian injured by an e-mailing employee...

So what you do think? Are you a loose talking blackberry user? Do you check to see who's listening in nearby before you "slip" and blab away about confidential information on your berry? Do you think this is really a problem or overblown?

CrackBerry.com - Tag Line Call for Help!

Help!Having launched less than a month ago, CrackBerry.com is by all means still a very new site. We've made a great start - thousands of visitors are coming to the site each day, registered membership is steadily climbing, repeat visitors are high, response from the blackberry community has been overwhelmingly postive and word is spreading worldwide. It's just a function of time before every CrackBerry user out there knows there is a kick-butt dot.com associated with the name.

When we launched the site, we needed a tagline to go with the domain.  Our initial tag line was CrackBerry.com - the #1 site for BlackBerry Users & Abusers. We thought it was clever and funny and great to launch with. But since our goal is to really turn CrackBerry.com over to the BlackBerry-using community, we want to get your thoughts on what our tag line should be.

Here's some potential ideas:

CrackBerry.com - Uniting BlackBerry Users Worldwide

CrackBerry.com - the #1 site for BlackBerry Users (& Abusers!)

CrackBerry.com - Helping the BlackBerry Community One User at a Time 

What Should Go here?

The Next Step:

Post your thoughts/suggestions in the Comments to this Blog Post (you must be a registered member or logged in to do so). Once we have 5 - 10 good ideas, we'll set up a poll for everyone to vote on, selecting the ultimate winner. Maybe the current tag line will be voted in for the long haul, or maybe it will be something new - it's up to YOU!

Managers Can Help With BlackBerry Addiction

Blackberry airportWe at CrackBerry.com have a BlackBerry addiction problem and we are OK with that. It’s kind of our job. But what if you are an employer and your entire staff is addicted? What if your team’s productivity is being negatively impacted by overuse of personal devices, excessive e-mail checking and time wasting messaging? Then you have a problem.

It is not just a time management issue either. Workers are now reporting increased stress levels linked to being available 24/7 on their BlackBerries.

A recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management examined BlackBerry use and corporate behavior associated with the devices.

According to the study, BlackBerry addiction is a tangible thing, 90 percent of respondents at one company studied said they felt “some degree of compulsion” in their BlackBerry use. They admitted they checked their messages often at work. However, even though these employees were not required to be on call, those people in the study also said they felt the need to often check their messages on evenings and weekends, at church, at the gym, while travelling, at the airport prior to and after flying, and at social gatherings.

The MIT study concluded that this problem often begins at the top. Senior employees often establish a pattern of use that their subordinates adopt. If a manager sets the tone by always being available in their BlackBerry, junior employees will follow their lead and conclude that continual connection is expected even though it may be expressed explicitly otherwise..

It is up to companies to help their employees control their BlackBerry use, concludes the study. Those explicit instructions about not being on call must be made clear and senior management must set the example. Training should be instituted that that enables people to learn how to batch and queue their messages so they can view and reply to e-mails when it is more convenient. One tip is to use header codes when sending e-mails – “urgent” or “no response needed.”

Some companies are now prohibiting BlackBerry use during meetings and have even gone so far as to ask their employees to leave their BlackBerrys in a box outside the meeting room. Some companies have found that cold turkey is hard on employees and have had to schedule breaks to allow people to check e-mails.

So I Forgot my BlackBerry at Home...

Never Forget Your BlackBerry at Home!Made my way to the office this morning, and it wasn't until I walked into the office that I realized... I forgot my BlackBerry at home! My colleagues here at CrackBerry.com immediately started laughing and pointing their fingers at me (ok, they didn't really do that) but they did realize that this was a perfect situation to analyze my CrackBerry 'withdrawal'. Can I survive without it? Am I going to be ok? Or should I take the half-hour drive home to go pick it up?

Throughout the day today I am going to update this post to let you know how I'm doing. At the moment I feel fine, but it is still early!

'Berryless' Breakdown by the Hour:

9:00 AM: Realized I'm 'Berryless' for the day. Feeling ok. We'll see how things go.

9:30 AM: Had an urge to type a random email into my BlackBerry. No particular reason. Felt strange.

11:00 AM: Feelin' ok! No symptoms yet but I am getting hungry for lunch. Maybe I should pop home and pick it up? Nah... 

1:00 PM: Eating a late lunch. Kind of feel the urge to check if I have any email or messages but will fight it. Go home to pick up the 'berry? Nah... I can do this!

3:00 PM: Suprizingly not feeling any withdrawal symptoms. I thik I'm going to make it.

3:30 PM: Reached for my berry and it wasn't there. Force of habit... I'll shake it off.

4:20 PM: It's that time... and I made it :)

How would YOU do??? Talk about it in the CrackBerry Rehab Forum.

Dont Get Caught DWT - Driving While Texting

texting while drivingWe have heard of DWI (driving while intoxicated) but legislators are now trying to make DWT (driving while texting) an offence. This is of special interest to BlackBerry users who are being singled out by both legislatures and insurance companies as especially bad examples of the new and dangerous trend.

To most people it would make sense. Trying to type on the small keypad of a phone or BlackBerry while operating a vehicle sounds stupid and dangerous, but with more and more people relying on their PDAs and smartphones, the incidents of collisions and deaths as a result of this are on the increase.

A new survey by the Liberty Mutual Insurance company, 37 percent of American teens surveyed said they found text messaging to be extremely or very distracting while driving. Another study conducted by Nationwide Mutual Insurance found that 19 percent of all drivers text message behind the wheel and that percentage goes up to 37 percent for younger drivers.

On a recent report on CBS television, a reporter showed how easy it is to become distracted while attempting to text on her BlackBerry. Luckily her resulting “accident” was in a simulator but, as was detailed in the report, there are plenty of examples of real tragedies.

In Tennessee in 2005, a man died when he drove off the road and down and embankment while texting. The CBS report detailed an accident in Colorado where a teenager struck and killed a bicyclist while texting a friend. The teen served 10 days in jail. The US federal government has estimated that as many as 30 percent of all crashes in the United States involve driver distraction.

According to the Wall Street Journal, 38 states are now in the process of passing laws banning the use of cell phones. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and California already have laws in place. The District of Columbia does too and also fines motorists for any distractions including putting on makeup while driving or reading e-mails behind the wheel. In other states bills are pending. In both Arizona and Oregon, new laws would allow for heavy -- up to $720 -- for any driver caught texting while driving.

The insurance industry is getting ahead of the curve on the issue and isn’t waiting for legislation. Allstate has released a series of TV commercials in which a businessman is shown holding a BlackBerry and while balancing the business section of a newspaper on the steering wheel while weaving through traffic. It warns of the dangers posed by too many distractions behind the wheel.

Remarkably, lobbyists for the wireless industry are working hard to oppose any legislation that would limit cell phone and PDA use in cars, saying education is better than more restrictions. They also point to the issue of enforceability. If you were facing a $750 fine if you crashed your car while texting would you own up to that? Few would.

Enforceability aside it seems that legislation will be here sooner rather than later so us CrackBerry users had better get used to it.

 

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RIM in Release Mode

blackberry 8800 I think I have suitably recovered from my green beer induced haze and recovered my BlackBerry from the bottom of the spittoon at the local Irish pub. Durable little puppies those CrackBerries.

The BoyGeniusReport is claiming this morning the new BlackBerry 8300 (right) is due to be released by AT&T in just three to four weeks. This is following fast on the heels of the newly released 8800. But with the market turning over so quickly it seems Research In Motion do not want to get caught napping when it comes to the consumer mobile market and really wants to be in a strong position once that Apple iPhone is launched sometime this summer.

One caveat about the launch date, however, is that the second version of the 8800, the 8820, hasn’t been launched by T-Mobile yet and if RIM does not want to trip over itself with roll-outs then all the talk of 8300 releases is a little premature.

It should also be noted that the 8800 has still not even been released by Rogers in Canada yet. Word from their stores this morning is it will be about two weeks before they are in and for sale in Canada.

Paris, Nikki and Pearl! - What A Great Combo!

The Hilton sisters out on the town with Blackberries close by. 

Paris called me that night to invite me out with them, here is what was said:

Paris:  Hey, Jack O' Boy, you like wanna hook up with me and Nikki later?

Jack:  Hmmm, whatcha gonna be doin?

Paris:  First we are going to catch a drink at the terrace, then maybe go clubbin.  I talked to Lindsey earlier and I was all like...  You just gotta meet Jack from Crackberry.com.  That site is hot!  And so is he!

Jack:   Wow, cool 'Ris (I call her 'Ris sometimes... It's a thing we got together, ya know) thanks, but it sounds kind of boring.

Paris:  As if, old man...

Jack:   Don't hate the player Paris, hate the game!

Paris:  laterz.

Jack:  Peace out.

Paris and Nikki Hilton

Tori, Is That A Crackberry Underneath That Sandwich?

Yes we know that actress Tori Spelling just gave birth to her new son, Liam, last Tuesday, so all those whole wheat sandwiches paid off! Here we see the happy thespian getting ready to eat for two with her Pearl in hand. 

When asked about her Blackberry she admitted, "My Blackberry never leaves my hands.

Obviously she wasn't kidding. 

Tori's Blackberry Pearl

Barack Loses The CrackBerry Primary

Crackberry Obama

US Presidential hopeful Barack Obama loses the annual Washington BlackBerry Quick Draw Contest to fellow Democrat Ken Salazer of Colorado. Said Obama after the defeat "I think my holster was a little too much to the left, although not as far left as Hilary's!"

Vice President and a past winner, Dick Cheney was banned this year after hitting fellow Republican Chuck Hagel in the face with his BlackBerry last year. 

A Good Looking Swiss

zenum opusWe at CrackBerry love our BlackBerries and there is nothing better. We love all the features etc and are addicted to the functions. So, we are wed to our devices. But a man can look can't he?

So, when this little device showed up our eyes wandered for a little bit. It might not be the BlackBerry but it is one sexy looking device.

Meet the "Opus Operis" from the Swiss company Zenum. It is a pocket PC that works on the Windows Mobile 5 platform, although that might be upgraded to version 6 by the time it is rolled out sometime this spring. No news on whether this will be available in North America.

But at least we gaze upon its picture.

The Opus has a QWERTY keyboard includes 128MB ROM, 64MB RAM, a two megapixel camera, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth 1.2, and a tri-band GSM radio.

Probably the best looking thing to come out of Switzerland since Martina Hingis.

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"Crackberry Thumb" Sufferers You Have Hope

Ouch, my thumb hurts!If you are like me and most crackberry addicts, you probably suffer from the physical condition known as "Crackberry Thumb" or "Crackberryitus".

We crackberry addicts have had to silence our cries, swallow our pride and suck up the agonizing pain we feel in our thumbs.

Until now...

Graceful Services, a premier day spa located in New York City, is now offering relief for us poor crackberry users. Along with a wonderful massage of the body, mind and soul, they offer an exclusive "Blackberry Finger Massage" for only $60 per hour. As a complement to this they also offer "Cell Phone Face" head rub for an additional $80 per hour.

CBS NY has a nice little video documenting the new services.

Thank you Graceful Services for your gift of hope for the millions of crackberry thumb sufferers in the world!

I wonder how many more day spas that offer treatment for "Crackberry Thumb" will begin to spring up all over the globe? 

NewsGator Go! for BlackBerry released

blackberry  newsgatorSome people love RSS feeds, others don’t. Some people want a need to have up to the minute news from a variety of sources, while others find it too much information to manage. But if you are one of the former then managing you feeds is now becoming much easier. And now you can successfully manage those feeds on your BlackBerry.

The team from NewsGator has released NewsGator Go! for BlackBerry this week. NewsGator go is application that allows you to easily organize your RSS feeds. So, now you can follow the latest news and not suffer from information overload.

You can visit the NewsGator site for a free demo version. The full version is $29.99.

Thankfully, the application works on BlackBerry OS 4.0 and is compatible with Blackberry models in the following series  -- 7100, 7200, 7500, 8100 (Pearl), 8700, 8800.

The application has a number of cool features including Intelligent Mobile Optimization, which allows you to manage anywhere from five to 500 feeds. Optimized for the BlackBerry, everything can be managed through the track wheel allowing for easy one-hand operation. Articles are also formatted for mobile services making them easier to read.

With the NewsGator Go, you can clip and save posts, mark as read and forward interesting posts to other readers. Or you can just manage the posts so that you can discard unwanted posts and save others for later viewing.

For more information on the application visit the NewsGator site.

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CrackBerry.com on TV!

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

CTV 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! 

ComputerWorld 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! 

Blackberry Browser Client-Side Denial of Service Vulnerability

Dont Cry For Me My Crackberry!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.

Canadians join 21st Century

canadian beaverCongratulations 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.

Justice League lookout! Here comes the Crack League!

the crackberry leagueIt 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!!!!!!

Knowing Your 8800 From Your 8820?!

blackberry 8800 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.

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

Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction and Win! 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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