Toronto Execs Consider Move to Hamilton, Then Quickly Reconsider

Hamilton a Haven for BlackBerry Execs?*Canadian Humour Alert*

The move was considered, albeit briefly.

Upon re-instatement of data service, most execs were glad they did not make the move.

'It would have been more trouble than its worth' said Tyler Hendrickson, an executive for one of the big banks in downtown T-Dot. 'Besides, the Argos can kick the Tiger-Cats A** any day of the week'.

Commenting on remarks made by Hendrickson, Ti-Cats President Scott Mitchell noted, 'We aren't going to suck as much this year. I think.' WAP Site Gets Even Better! WAP Site Images has been online now for nearly two months (seems like we have been around forever doesn't it?) and while we have accomplished a lot on our way to establishing the #1 site for BlackBerry users on the web, the Crack Team still has a lot of items left to check off on the To Do list.

But I'm happy to announce we checked one more item off the list yesterday with further improvents to the BlackBerry-friendly version of When you visit on your berry, you can now view all of the news and blog posts that are featured on the main website (in either text-only or with-image versions). 

This improvement follows last week's long-awaited addition of the WAP friendly version of the CrackBerry forums. Add these recent improvents to our existing berry-friendly store (that features tons of software downloads (with lots of free trials!)) and our massive link directory (that features hundreds of links to all the best mobile sites for viewing on your berry), and is the only url you need to remember and the first place to go when firing up your mobile browser (actually, if you just type in it should redirect you to the wap site, but incase it ever doesn't, you know the full url).

And if you don't like typing in URLS, you can download our Desktop Launcher from the wap site so you're never more than one click away from us.

Stay tuned for further Happy Gilmore said to Shooter McGavin, "We've Only Just Begun".

Breaking News For Canadians

breaking newsComing on the heels of last week’s outage across North America, it seems that Canada’s largest BlackBerry provider, Rogers, is experiencing an outage of its own.

For much of this afternoon their website has been down. Technical support is also without power and cannot deal with any problems.

Service on the actual BlackBerry is apparently unaffected, so no missed e-mails and no more anxiety for CrackBerries out there. For now at least.

One last note. Rogers might want to put the message saying their tech support is down right at the beginning of the phone filtering process instead of wasting people’s time as they press one for this, “say yes” for that ad nauseam. We’ll keep you updated on changes.

Virtual BlackBerry on Windows Mobile

RIM announced today that they will provide users of certain Windows-mobile based devices with a virtual BlackBerry experience through a new software suite. Once installed, it will support BlackBerry email, phone, calendar, address book, tasks, memos, browser, instant messaging and other applications developed for the BlackBerry platform.

Motorola Q with BlackBerry OS
BlackBerry Stylin' o the Q?

The new application will appear as an icon on the screen. Click it, and you’ll be catapulted into the BlackBerry world where you’ll see the familiar user interface of a BlackBerry smartphone. The device’s existing Windows Mobile applications are preserved, allowing the user to easily and quickly switch between the Windows Mobile applications and the BlackBerry application suite.

You’ll also start to look more attractive to your peers.

According to the RIM press release, key benefits of running the new BlackBerry application suite on a Windows Mobile-based device will include:

  • The added benefit of BlackBerry applications, such as email, phone, text messaging, browser, instant messaging and organizer with a consistent user interface and messaging experience.
  • BlackBerry “push” technology – messages and information updates can be delivered automatically to the Windows Mobile-based device, enabling users to be more responsive to colleagues, clients, friends and family.
  • Support for BlackBerry® Mobile Data System (BlackBerry MDS) allowing organizations to develop their own BlackBerry applications or deploy third-party BlackBerry applications that can run on Windows Mobile-based devices as well as BlackBerry smartphones.
  • Support for various input methods, including QWERTY keyboards, 5-way navigation, touch screen and stylus operation so users can continue to use the unique hardware features of their Windows Mobile-based device.
  • Support on BlackBerry® Internet Service, which provides push-based email from up to 10 supported email accounts (including most popular ISP accounts), attachment viewing and web browsing with optimized wireless efficiency.
  • Support on BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, which tightly integrates with Microsoft® Exchange, IBM® Lotus® Domino® or Novell® GroupWise® to provide synchronized, push-based wireless access to email and other corporate data with the industry’s most advanced security features, over-the-air IT policy enforcement capabilities and optimized wireless efficiency.

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Patent Watch: RIM aims to simplify the task-key association

RIM aims to simplify the task-key associationThis one is from our friend Russell Shaw over at zdnet. He explains in detail a new patent application RIM has submitted.

I like the looks of it. For instance, a directory system can appear on screen, and to dial a certain number, all you would have to do is hit the corresponding key on your keypad. Makes sense to me.

However there is much more to the patent than that alone. Russell breaks the patent out section by section.

If there's one thing that RIM knows... it is 'innovate or die'. If they keep on their current course RIM will stay on top of the market for years to come! 

If you want to know more on this patent...

Read the full story here.

What We Got Here Is A Failure To Communicate

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”?

Dont Spend It All In One Place

cingular All's well that ends well it seems.

You may have lost that million dollar sale because you missed an important meeting when you didn't get that important e-mail from marketing. You are in expensive divorce proceedings because your husband's apology e-mails never made it to your Berry. You spent all morning at a diner in Queens because you didn't get the e-mail from you associates relocating to the Inn On The Park.

But fear not. Compensation is on the way.

According to the Consumerist Blog, which managed to get its hands on a confidential memo, Cingular will compensate BlackBerry users who suffered as a result of this week's big BlackBerry outage. Cingular users will be compensated up to $2.50.

Yes, that is right -- two whole American dollars. As they say, don't spend it all in one shop.

Cingular users can contact Customer Service and explain their loss and, depending on their service plan, will be credited anywhere from one to two dollars.

5 Things - What I Did During the RIM Network Meltdown

5 Things I Did During the RIM Network Meltdown1. Released anger. Kicking, punching and screaming was all above board here. Nothing like a well-timed and quickly released punch to a wall to relieve the tension!

2. Fiddled with the scroll-wheel. Almost not knowing what to do, I scrolled my scroll-wheel like nobody's business. Up, down, scroll scroll scroll... No particular reason... The built up energy and frustration had to be released!

3. Looked for Help. Thank goodness we created It was the IDEAL place to go and chat with other CrackBerry addicts! Call my 'support group' if you will.

4. Prayed for a Resolution. Yes, as I sat there I kept thinking in my mind over and over again... Please let this be over... Please let this be over...

5. Asked Forgiveness for any sins I might have committed... Ok, I didn't really commit any sins... But if I did... and if YOU did... When the network went back up I hope you asked for forgiveness :)

Confessions of a Young CrackBerry Addict

BlackBerry Addicts ConfessThe following was posted in the CrackBerry Forums in the Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction thread by a young member of community. I thought it would make a nice post to get the weekend started. In fact, I think I'm going to get a new blog category created on this site called "CrackBerry Confessions" and we'll post some of the best stories we hear in the forums to it regularly.

Reasons I'm a CrackBerry
by member Businessceo1

I have a million reasons why I'm a CrackBerry, this is just a start: 

  • I was on my blackberry all through Church
  • I'm on it at work, between food orders (KFC)
  • I was Suspended from school for refusing to give it to teacher, after being caught using it during her Spanish class.
  • I fall asleep with it in my hands
    • and end up falling asleep much later because of it
  •  I find women blackberry users extremely attractive
  • I tend to have more respect for people who have blackberries
  • I'm in love with the LED light (Green or Red)
  • It has become my 7th finger, even when off
  • Longest distance without it was to the bathroom from my bedroom
  • I get mad, and ready to fight when some asks "is it a game?" or says "that thing"
  • It takes me twice as long to eat, because I won't put it down

Any of these sounds like you? I'm not 100% sure what a 7th finger is (I thought I had 10 to begin with??), but you definitely can't argue with his finding women blackberry users to be extremely attractive!! Anyways, I thought that was pretty good for a young CrackBerry Addict who still has so many years ahead of him to further fuel his BlackBerry addiction.

And speaking of BlackBerry Addictions, if you haven't registered yet for our Confess Your BlackBerry Addiction and WIN Giveaway , you had better get on it. You still have three big chances to win. May 1st we are drawing for the "Pimp my Berry" prize, which is $500 credit in the store which you can put towards software and accessories to take your Berry to the next level. And on June 1st we are having our Grand Prize Draw, the winner of which will receive $2,000 towards either "Getting Some Rehab" (a weekend vacation to getaway from your BlackBerry) or "Getting a Fix" (put that cash towards Berry stuff!).

To get in on the draw, all you have to do is become a Registered Member of Once you're a member, you can give yourself an additional chance to win by telling us your best CrackBerry Addiction story. We have a panel of judges who are going to go through the confessions on June 1st and the best Confession will get a "special" prize (trust us, it will be good!).

Have a great weekend! 

JOB FLASH: BlackBerry Engineer wanted at AeroPrise, Inc. Job PostingAeroPrise Inc., based out of Mountain View, California, is seeking a BlackBerry Engineer to join their company. AeroPrise is an emerging leader in the HOT sector of enterprise wireless. Click Here for Full Job Details.

Have a BlackBerry job to fulfill? Post it now on the Job Board

New System For Old Berries?

blackberry 7130With a new 5.0 operating system due to make its roll-out later this year, there is word that a 4.2 operating system for the 8700 and 7130 models is available at RIM. The question is will carriers provide this upgrade.

Within the concept of ever-increasing redundancy, the new models are more attractive if the old models can’t do the same things or have the same functions. Oh, you want YouTube videos for the BlackBerry? Then you might want to upgrade to the new model. Your Berry doesn’t have GPS? Lame. So why make your older BlackBerries more efficient when you can sell your customers and bigger better and shinier new one?

We’ll keep you updated on new systems if they become available.

Basketball or BlackBerry? It's a split!

Here's a picture of supermodel Jessica White sitting next to Kimora Lee Simmons, Tyra Banks and Beyonce at the Knicks game. Looks like Jessica has clearly chosen BlackBerry over Basketball. Non-Blackberry owners might hold this against her, but not CrackBerry abusers! 

Jessica White on her BlackBerry

The Aftermath of the RIM Outage

No Email!It’s been interesting to read about all the responses to the RIM outage. They range from panic for those of us cut off from our email, to relief for those of us who got a welcome respite from the normal deluge of messages.

As for me, it didn’t affect me very much because I was asleep. My BlackBerry isn’t allowed in my bedroom because my wife doesn’t like the little green light blinking in the room all night long. I’ve long since given up my perfectly reasonable assertion that you can’t see the light if you just close your eyes.

I was able to receive emails by the time I had my second cup of coffee the next morning, so no harm done. However, had I been on the road it would have been a different story. Away from my computer, my BlackBerry is a lifeline. For my various business ventures to flow smoothly, I have to be accessible most of the time. To be on the road and cut off from email for any length of time would have a serious impact on my job.

I’d like to invite you to share your stories. Was the outage a big impact for you? Or was it a relief? Did you miss an important opportunity or did you realize how important other activities can be, like being accessible to your family without that hockey puck of a keyboard to get in the way?

Let us know…

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Rough start to 2007 for Balsillie and Co.


First up was that Apple video conference showing off the wonders of the new iPhone. Then came the quarter billion dollar earnings misstatement, which has now turned into an investigation by the SEC. Then came the loss of the US Army monopoly. Next, a sharp dip in share prices following less than expected earnings figures. Finally, yesterday, a massive system failure that shut down every BlackBerry in North America for half a day.

I wouldn't want to be Jim Balsillie's cat this morning.

Research In Motion is being roundly criticized today following the massive system failure yesterday. The company’s refusal to inform users and provide carriers with any information is being seen as another black eye for the Waterloo, Ontario maker of the BlackBerry.

Certainly, people will be questioning RIMs response to the incident, which has been for the most part silent and unresponsive. The company should be congratulated on getting the problem sorted out quickly, but they might need to look at handling the PR a little better.

Surprisingly, prices for RIM stocks appear to have remained steady and appear to be holding up this morning. Investors are obviously more concerned about the company not meeting targets than there are with a backlash against the company over the outage. As of 10AM, shares were trading on the NASDAQ at $133.20 which is only down $1.17 from the previous day. However those figures are down significantly from the all time high of $148 just before the company announced its fourth quarter numbers last week, which were good but below investor expectations.

In Toronto, RIM shares were trading at C$150.21 on the TSX, about one percent down from yesterday and again down from a high of C$170 last week.

CrackBerry.Com Becomes 'Go To' Site For Information

crackberry logoNot to toot our own horn but…

Yesterday’s BlackBerry shutdown was big news everywhere. And became the “go-to” place for information.

Our own Kevin Michaluk appeared all over the net here, here, and here and was questioned why the BlackBerry maker was so reluctant to provide people with any useful information on the system crash, information that could have alleviated some anxiety. 

It’s also interesting to note how ubiquitous the word “CrackBerry" has become. In almost all of the magazines, television stations, websites and newspapers that covered the story, from Forbes to CBC to SmartDeviceCentral the little device’s nickname was used.

As we also reported, the outage also affected some of the other BlackBerry sites, but we managed to stay up and running bringing you information as it became available. Our Forums were also buzzing with info on how the system meltdown affected users here in North America.

Not related to the outage, but related to the uprising in Tech Gadget Communities and Fan Sites, was featured today in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper (the biggest paper close to RIM headquarters) as the cover story of their Tech Weekly section. A big thanks to Kelly Roesler for the help in spreading the name! The article, entitled "Ga ga over Gadgets" is a must read (the web version doesn't have the sexy Crack Team photo, but it's still pretty good!).

North America Service Update from RIM

Here's a screen capture of RIM's North America Service Update that went out to BlackBerry Customers. We used our cleverness to make sure we stay on RIM's good side - we are not republishing the announcement, we are merely linking to a picture sent to us by a member that may contain some words of interest for our loyal and growing readership. 

RIM North America Service Update
Image courtesy of

10 Things to do when the RIM Network Goes Down

RIM Network Outages Fail to Impress10. Remain calm and try to relax.

9. Speak positive affirmations to yourself, for example: 'the network will be up soon', 'everything is going to be ok', 'RIM will solve the problem shortly'

8. Exercise your thumbs. With the withdrawal could come tired and lathargic thumbs. Keep them in shape by doing simple thumb stretches and presses.

7. Turn your blackberry off and on constantly. Something might pick up. Keep trying until it works.

6. Run on the spot. It will burn off that built up anxiety and angst... Keep you relaxed and get your heart beating in a healthy way.

5. Grab a cup of coffee. Might as well pump some more caffeine into the system. Go for a dark roast with no cream or sugar. The way coffee was meant to be.

4. Pretend to yourself that your BlackBerry is actually working and continue on your day as usual.

3. Play 'Brick Breaker'.

2. Cry.

1. Pray.

Massive BlackBerry System Failure

Updated: Since approximately 7:15pm EST last night, reports have been coming in that Research in Motion is suffering a major outage all over the United States. Initial reports thought the problem was with local carriers, but as the issue has begun to unfold it is becoming clear that the problem lies within RIM's data network.

In addition to U.S. carriers, Rogers in Canada has been affected as well. In some cases users  are reporting they cannot send/receive email, access BlackBerry Enterprise Servers, or access the web or their service books. BlackBerry messaging seems to still be working, and some users seem to be exceptions to the rule with service still working (though be it slowly or erraticly). I can't even access the WAP site - what a shame!

Thanks to Harvey who got this news to me right away and is staying glued to the story over at his site with updates:

Update, 11:22 pm, EST: There are scattered reports that some users are able to receive mail.

Update, 11:44 pm, EST: Reports indicate that all users of North American based Blackberry Enterprise servers are being affected. This includes users accessing North American BES servers internationally. RIM currently has no estimate on when they will be back online.

Update 12:23 am, EST: Some users claim that email has resumed.

Update 12:48 am, EST: Users who have spoken with RIM tech support are saying that this event started at 7:15 pm, EST. A few T-Mobile users are experiencing an intermittent resumption of email.

Update 2:35 am, EST: WNBC has picked up the story. According to them, “Officials said the problem would carry into the morning. For the moment, RIM officials recommend all who depend on their blackberry as a major way of communication should make some back-up plans.”

Update 7:00 am, EST: System remains down for most users.

Update 9:41am, EST: Some users are reporting that powering the device on and off will get messages flowing. Service still out for most of the United States with sporadic exceptions.

Update 10:15am, EST: CNN Money Reports RIM's email is back up, though some users may experience a delay in receiving messages as the backlog of emails is pushed through. A statement from the RIM said: "A service interruption occurred Tuesday night that affected BlackBerry in North America. E-mail delivery was delayed or intermittent during the service interruption. Root cause is currently under review, but service for most customers was restored overnight and RIM is closely monitoring systems in order to maintain normal service levels," the statement said.

We got on the story within minutes of the issue occuring, which has now been picked up everywhere. Be sure to report your status and talk more more about the BlackBerry System Failure in the forums. Were you affected? Are you back up running yet? History is being made with this one! 

BlackBerry 9900 Rumors Begin

RIM logo Breaking news over at BoyGeniusReport. It seems rumors are starting that the BlackBerry 9900 actually exists in some form.

Tentatively due out late 2007 or early 2008, the new device will feature a screen resolution of 384×288, which will give the new device a larger viewing area and a sharper image. The device will apparently run OS 5.0.0 at the time of launch.

For more info visit The Boy Genius website here.

Are BlackBerries Making Watches Redundent?

venture watch

Are watches becoming a thing of the past? I know I have started using by BlackBerry as a mobile clock. It’s always accurate and constantly with me. I have a clock on my digital TV box, on the bottom of my computer and on my Berry. My Berry also reminds me of appointments and dates. I just don’t need a watch any more.

If I do wear one it is for show.

So, we found this cool article that says that digital watches are becoming more like jewelry than they are practical tools. According to the AP article, the way we track time is changing with the times. The article also details how watchmakers are fighting back in innovative ways and how the concept of a watch is evolving.