News

What a Girl Wants

christina aguilera blackberry

A recent top ten finalist on this year's Maxim Hot 100, Christina Aguilera shows off both her new BlackBerry and her new friend, Reg, who really does look like he is wondering how he got this close to Christina without being tackled by her bodyguards.

Pocket PC Versus BlackBerry

comparing blackberries

We came across this interesting blog post this morning. Jon Collins muses on the relative benefits of pocket pcs and BlackBerries and finally comes down on the side the Berry

“Certain events can cause the need for a quick decision: it is strange how a single incident can completely upturn one’s perspective on things. It all started quite innocuously, as I was looking into changing mobile service providers. On offer was a Blackberry as part of a very attractive deal – even more attractive given that I could still use the new SIM in my existing, unlocked PPC device. Furthermore the Blackberry on offer was the 6800 – that’s the one which comes with all the bells and whistles such as an MP3 player – this appealed greatly to my inner magpie. As I saw it, this scenario offered the best of both worlds, enabling me to continue my “evaluation” indefinitely and get a sexy new device in the bargain.” Read the rest of the post here.

Stones Getting No Satisfaction From RIM

blackberry Stones

Research in Motion is under somebody's thumb and can’t get a break. The maker of our beloved BlackBerry is now getting hauled into court by The Rolling Stones of all people.

Mick, Keith, Ron and Charlie were allegedly signed to promote a special version on the BlackBerry but the deal was never followed through. Presumably it was a BlackBerry with a big tongue and lips on it with an extra big screen for septuagenarians with failing eye sight.

After paying an initial licence fee in full, RIM chose not to produce the device, and the Stones’ agents are now seeking $5-million (U.S.) in damages for not following through on the campaign. Of course this is all small change to both RIM who forked over $612.5-million to settle a patent infringement suit last year and just a percentage of the Stones’ annual $60 million income.

According to a story in the Globe and Mail “In this era of celebrity promotions, officials at RIM have always preferred to let their wireless technology speak for itself. The company has for some time hinted at deals in the works with the entertainment industry, but for now is letting its two co-chief executive officers be the face of RIM.”

Frankly, the Stones are an old choice to promote the BlackBerry, as the telephone still came in two parts when the Rolling Stones first hit it big.

Best of WES 2007 - Yahoo! Go

And the winner of the CrackBerry.com BEST of WES 2007 "It's About Crack'n Time Award"  is.... the envelope please ....

Yahoo! Go

That's right. When I walked away from the Yahoo booth at WES 2007 I was from then on a changed man. For some people, this award might come as a bit of a shock, as it's old news - Yahoo! Go with integrated services for BlackBerry became available over a year ago. So maybe that means it should have been Best of WES 2006, but I wasn't there, so 2007 it is!

Yahoo! Go - Best of WES 2007 If you have never seen this application before, I challenge you to download it and give it a go. I think you will agree with me that Yahoo! Go sets a new benchmark for Mobile Applications. From my experience I've always considered WAP sites and Berry Applications to be a compromise in terms of looks and functionality when compared to their desktop counterparts.

Yahoo! Go sacrifices nothing. The mobile app/site brings great looks, combined with all of the content and services that Yahoo's web site offers. It's fast, as well as easy to navigate and use (my only complaint - trackwheel users will have to hold down the Alt Key to move from the Menu Carousel to the Main Content Area. Trackball users it's all good).

Check out the online demo here (it doesn't use a berry but we'll forgive them for it), and when you're ready to download it on to your blackberry point your mobile browser to http://m.yahoo.com.

Function over Fashion, or Fashion over Function. When it comes to Apps for your BlackBerry you can't have both. That's what I always thought. And I was wrong. Yahoo Go! proved you can have your cake and eat it too.  Congrats!!

Job Flash - J2ME/BlackBerry Developer @ bitHeads, inc.

bitHeads Job Posting** Job Flash **

bitHeads, based out of Ottawa, Canada, is seeking a Senior J2ME/BlackBerry Developer for an approximately 2 month term.

Click Here for More Details on this Position... 

The United Colors of BlackBerry

color pearls

The Boy Genius Report clearly has someone on the inside these days as his latest report indicates that the new consumer friendly BlackBerry might be replacing the Pearl as early as September of this year.

The BlackBerry 8120 will have five new color choices(black, red, blue, titanium and gold), a two megapixel camera, GPS, and WiFi. TBG didn’t have confirmation on a US carrier but was betting it would be T-Mobile.

He also reports that Rogers in Canada will be launching the updated BlackBerry in September, with an un-named US carrier getting a “one week jumpstart.” As usual.

Chalk Releases New Training Software For BlackBerry

chalk banner

Chalk Media Corp. today announced that it has developed a mobile version of its 'Chalkboard' online training software to work on the BlackBerry. This software enables the rapid creation of media-rich and enterprise-controlled mobile content that can be pushed securely to wireless handheld devices and tracked.

Chalk showed off its new mobile software at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium in Orlando and apparently had a positive reaction.

“We have had a lot of interest in our new software from Fortune 1000 companies and government agencies attending the Wireless Enterprise Symposium,” said Stewart Walchli, President and CEO of Chalk. “The software works with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and allows corporations, government agencies and other organizations worldwide to prepare a full array of content and to deliver that content to users on their BlackBerry. Video, audio, animation, text and graphics can be pushed to the user in a highly secure environment, and the software tracks the viewing of the content by each recipient and reports the details back through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.”

Chalk’s online training software and content help organizations train their employees, business partners and customers. Read the full release here.

Additional information is also available at www.chalk.com.

CrackBerry.com Awards - the Best of WES 2007

CrackBerry.com's BEST OF WES 2007 awards are coming!

That's right! Starting tomorrow we will start the CrackBerry.com BEST OF WES 2007 Awards Show. A new "Crackie" winner will be announced every day or two or three (until we run out of Crackie's to give!). And in true CrackBerry.com style, the award names will be a bit whacky, and the information 100% good. You'll want to spread the word and check in with us each day. 

The first Crackie to be announced? I call it the It's About Crack'n Time award (others might call it the Best in Show award). Either way, it's going to the application that has set a new standard for how blackberry applications should look and act. For me personally, every app I install onto my Berry will now be compared to the winner of this Crackie.  Stay Tuned...

CrackBerry.com BEST OF WES 2007

CrackBerry Addiction India Style

blackberry india

It seems CrackBerry addiction is a worldwide phenomenon. Just read this article, "Oh BlackBerry, I pray to thee" from the India Wall Street Journal.

In India, where a lot of executives communicate with business associates in North America, it means either sitting up all night answering e-mails or finding a way to put the BlackBerry away for the night. As a result, Indian BlackBerry users are trying to find ways of balancing their lives.

A BlackBerry user for 18 months, among India’s early converts, B.A.N. Sharma, vice-president of an information services company in Chennai, details how he went through a BlackBerry “life cycle” -- initially quite attached and obsessed—then resentful. Finally, he learned how to use the BlackBerry as a tool to better balance work and family, instead of intruding on them.

The author of the article also interviewed our very own Kevin Michaluk at the WES Conference and took some sage advice from North America back to the subcontinent on how to balance life and business. We are not sure if he is taking it though.

BlackBerry Shutdown "Will Never Happen Again"

jim balsillie at WES Research in Motion co-CEO Jim Balsillie said  the sort of problem that led to the BlackBerry shutdown last month “will never happen again.” Balsillie offered up the promise in a rare interview that will appear in eWeek this week.

Balsillie called the event that shut down e-mail for BlackBerries in the United States last month “a process thing.” 

The RIM VIP explained the outage was the result of an unlikely string of events – the failure of a minor software upgrade to a caching subsystem was followed by the failure of the failover system resulting in a subsequent overloading of a second system. “It was a process error that we had that's been fixed. It shouldn't have happened, and it won't happen again,” Balsillie said. “It wasn't a corruption of any form of the infrastructure, and that's very important.”

Balsillie said the company is "fault tolerating" the system. “We're clearly putting a lot more fault tolerance into the system, a lot more capacity.” Added Balsillie. “We're having domain failover architectures; we're having business continuity solutions experts, so from that component piece of the infrastructure, that's not going to happen again.”

Balsillie refreshingly admitted that he was taking the issue very seriously and that the outage affected a lot more than people’s e-mail for a couple of hours. The U.S. government is RIM's biggest customer, and with BlackBerry devices used across by everyone from intelligence agencies to the military to law enforcement it is critical the system can be relied on.

BlackBerry Curve Video Review

Our friends over at Shiny Shiny put together a nice video overview/review of the BlackBerry Curve.  The device reviewed is a pre-production BlackBerry Curve, so be sure to also check out our CrackBerry.com member review of one of the first consumer-purchased BlackBerry Curves.

David Spade faces a BlackBerry Intervention

So this is what happens when your BlackBerry Abuse really becomes a problem?! 

Washington State Bans Driving While Texting (D.W.T.)

Driving While Texting Banned in Washington StateYesterday, Governor Christine Gregoire of Washington State signed into law a ban on 'D.W.T.', or 'Driving While Texting'. The law applies to all mobile devices, including the BlackBerry.

Says Governor Gregoire: "Would you read a book or newspaper while you were driving? No!... Then why would you text while driving?"

Other states have already banned talking on cellphones behind the wheel, unless a headset is used. The new 'D.W.T.' law would be the next logical step.

The fine for getting caught 'D.W.T.' is $101. Not very much for the high-powered business exec to shell out. In fact I would assume they would file it under 'the cost of doing business'. However it IS a start. 

This new law will surely make roads and driving conditions in Washington State safer for all. Take note other US states and Canadian Provinces... This law seems to make sense to me for the safety of all.

CrackBerry.com hits Fox News Atlanta!

CrackBerry.com on Fox 5 News Atlanta

What a week for CrackBerry.com! While I have been at WES in Orlando meeting tons of great people and spreading the CrackBerry.com word (I have sooo many good stories and posts to make over the next month from WES), another loyal member of CrackBerry.com has been even HARDER at work making CrackBerry.com known to the world!

A HUGE thanks and congrats goes out to our CrackBerry Forums moderator Navilyn, who represented CrackBerry.com on a Fox 5 Atlanta piece called "For Gadget Addicts, Turning Tech Toys Off May be Hard to Do."

Click here to Watch the Video!  

WES 2007 - RIM Announces BlackBerry PBX Functionality

berry pdx

Another big announcement from WES has Research in Motion showing off its BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS), which promises to make the BlackBerry an extension of an enterprise's PBX system.

RIM announced at a Tuesday session at the Orlando symposium that the MVS “would enable access to PBX functionality through a new intuitive menu interface.” It was also allow users to have one "Reach Me Anywhere" phone number.

Desk phone functions such as transfer, park and extension dialing will also be made possible through the system.

The system integrates the MVS client itself, MVS connectors (a part of BlackBerry Enterprise Server) and the Ascendent Voice Mobility Suite. RIM said that routing calls through a corporate PBX allows logging or recording for compliance purposes.

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset Review Teaser

Jawbone Bluetooth HeadsetWhen the JawBone first arrived, the first thing I noticed after I got it out of the box... was, well... the box!

It is beautifully packaged. The actual device itself propped up on a pedestal. The rest of the accessories and instructions stored down below.

The colors and design of the package, and indeed the whole product is quite nice. It's a great design to look at, and I give that 2 thumbs up.

The Jawbone comes with 4 extra earpieces, AND 4 extra ear inserts. This is critical in ensuring a proper fit.

I must admit it took me a good 5 to 10 minutes to get a proper fit. You'll need to try out many combinations of earpieces and earbuds before you get one that fits just right. At least I did. But once it fit nicely it was quite comfortable.

The sound quality is quite clear. Maybe because I'm one of those blackberry users that is not used to wearing an earpiece (I'm a big fan of speakerphone), having a speaker right inside my ear was quite different, but nice. No problems with sound quality, or with the person on the other end hearing me properly. The device works as well as it looks.

Rogers Releases Red Pearl

rogers red pearl

Rogers were pretty sneaky with the release of the Red Pearl today. The announcement popped up on their website with little fanfare.

So, for all those people who are eager for a red smartphone, now is your chance.

Cost is $249.99 but you’ll have to agree to a three year contract for that. And that is Canadian dollars too.

WES 2007 - Bright Future For BlackBerry

orlando florida

WES 2007 in Orlando, Florida is attracting journalists from around the world and many are being exposed to the rapid development of the BlackBerry and the whole future of mobile, wireless communication.

An article from the Times of India titled Blackberry Turned Enterprise Wonder is a well written piece that highlights where the BlackBerry will be going in the next few years. It effectively encapsulates what is going on with the devices and where it might be taking us.

As Neeraj Saxena describes, life for BlackBerry users “has since moved from carrying a fancy email device to carrying a virtual platform that today supports most enterprise applications, and will soon support just about all. Add voice convergence between fixed-mobile networks to that and one can see how the corporate world would soon be moving fast towards desktop freedom.”

WES Diary # 3 - Slow Start to the Morning

  WES Hard Rock Cafe party

Wednesday Morning, WES has already begun for the day, and I'm an hour behind schedule on making my way out of the hotel room and back to the conference. Why the slow start? Free booze at last night's WES party which took place at the Hard Rock Cafe. I think RIM actually discovered the cure for CrackBerry Addiction - free booze! During the day there were 3,000 of us walking around with our heads down reading our berries - at night, the chins were up while the drinks went down!

WES has been a solid event for me so far. Coming out here I was thinking about doing minute by minute blog posts on the event, but decided the better use of my time was to get to know as many people in the CrackBerry world as possible. And I am succeeding at that! At the Solutions Showcase I spoke to a lot of software vendors who are working on some cooool stuff (more to speak to yet today), so there will be a lot of indepth reviews coming in the weeks ahead.

Some of the apps that caught my attention (click the links for more info):

Some observations from the event:

  • Not many laptops in the building at all. Normally at a tech conference every single person would have a laptop and would be fighting over outlets. Goes to show that the BlackBerry of today is replacing the need for a laptop.
  • Everybody has the same ringtone!
  • The CrackBerry.com t-shirts are a huge success!!! Everybody wants one. Going to have to start up the shirt press when I get home.

That's all for now folks.  I have 12 hours of fun ahead of me!

WES 2007 - A New Pearl In The Works?

blackberry pearlThe WES show is usually a good place to pick up rumors on the next generation of RIM devices. The latest rumor doing the rounds at WES and on BlackBerry Cool et al turns out to be less a ‘new’ device than it is an ‘improved’ device.

The Pearl, that beautiful piece of consumer-friendly hardware, is undergoing an upgrade. The BlackBerry 8300 has more bells and whistles so it seems that the next generation of Pearl will incorporate some of the new toys found in RIM’s latest business model.

The next Pearl will perhaps feature a Global Positioning System. That’s a great little toy for surveyors and hikers, but the general public might balk at paying data fees for something they will rarely use.

According to the rumors, RIM is listening to its customers and the GPS may be taken off the table for the new Pearl device. RIM appears to be leaning toward removing gadgets that people rarely use and instead improving the popular multimedia features that will pit it directly in competition with the likes of the iPhone.

The new Pearl will also be a 9xxx device, probably 9100. As a result the new Pearl will be significantly thinner than the current model and there will also be a resolution upgrade to the screen. That will aid in the delivery of enhanced multimedia capabilities.

No date for launch yet although reports are that this year will be optimistic.

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