US Army ends BlackBerry Monopoly

sabIn what may be the biggest fallout from last year’s patent infringement lawsuit against RIM, the United States Army has opted to break the monopoly BlackBerry has had with army wireless e-mail communication.

Until recently, US Army employees accessing sensitive e-mail messages on the Global Information Grid had to use BlackBerries. The Research in Motion devices were the only ones approved for use. But that is changing and it is not good news for RIM.

In February, the US Army approved Sensa secure mobile e-mail from Apriva/Appsware Wireless, for use with sensitive-but-unclassified and for-official-use-only e-mail. That approval makes available a host of personal digital assistants from multiple carriers running the Microsoft Windows Mobile operating system.

US soldiers now have a choice.

Officially the Army sees competition as a good thing. Lt. Col. C.J. Wallington, the Army’s advanced technologies director at Fort Belvoir, said “When you get different products you increase your security posture, you lower your costs and you increase your feature choices.” More disturbingly for RIM the Colonel went on to add “RIM is a good product, but they became a little complacent and didn’t address the Army’s needs.”

The threat of a BlackBerry shutdown because of the lawsuit is an example of the need for a variety of platforms for messaging and e-mail, Wallington said.

Richard Spinella, Apriva’s vice president of government solutions said “We had the luxury of building a product from the ground up to meet the needs of the federal government.”

The company plans to sell in the private sector as well, but it is being launched in the government market first because it was designed to meet its needs.

One reason for the lack of variety on the Army’s list of approved Two-way Wireless E-mail Devices was that there was no formal process for adding products. Appriva was forced to do the testing themselves and then lobby for approval. Now there is a process in place, watch for new wireless platforms getting in on the lucrative contract.

CrackBerry WAP Forums Go Live!

CrackBerry WAP Forums

Attention all CrackBerry Forum Addicts! We have some great news for you!

We're proud to announce the launch of the new WAP version of our ever-popular forums. You can check them out here: CrackBerry WAP Forums

What does this mean for you? It means you can now access and chat in our forums wherever you (and your CrackBerry) are!

Punch up the WAP version in your 'Berry ( and let me know what you think. Also, if you notice any 'bugs' please contact me as well...Sometimes these things pop up out of nowhere! You can contact me directly at  james AT CrackBerry dot com. Your feedback is always welcome.


Banks in the Middle East Love Their BlackBerries

Abu Dhabi Commercial BankAbu Dhabi Commercial Bank is taking full advantage of the power of the BlackBerry. Top executives over there have recently started using the devices with great success.

Seems to me like more and more large businesses/banks/corporations are going mobile (if they haven't already)...The defining line between home and office will continue to get blurred as people become less attached to the office because of mobile technology.

Access to phone, email and internet from anywhere is a wonderful thing, but what are the consequences? Is it effecting your life in a postive or negative way?

Chat about it here in the forums


Click here to read an article on Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

White Pearl Now Available in UK

white pearl Today, T-Mobile UK has released the White BlackBerry Pearl for its UK customers.

T-Mobile hopes the fashion-friendly version will be hit with savvy mobile consumers. The exclusive deal for the mobile operator brings a stylish makeover to the push-email friendly Pearl 8100. The white version of the Pearl has been available for a couple of months for T-Mobile subscribers in North America.

The new phrase in the UK is “candybar phone” and the Pearl fits that description to a tee. With a Qwerty-keyboard style keypad arrangement (with two letters per button), the 8100 uses RIM's SureType predictive typing technology for easy messaging. It also included such consumer friendly features as a 1.3-megapixel camera, onboard MP3 player and a web browser.

T-Mobile is offering the white BlackBerry Pearl as one of its “web'n'walk” range of mobile internet-ready handsets. Check out the T-Mobile website for full pricing details.

Remote File Access For The BlackBerry

blackberry remoteOne of the problems related to handheld mobile devices is access to files and documents. Normally, to save certain files on your BlackBerry you have to send yourself an e-mail attachment.

But help is at hand. Today, Ottawa-based WICKSoft  announced a remote file access, document viewing, and e-mail attachment solution for the BlackBerry .

WICKSoft’s PocketVPN is the first mobile-enterprise remote file access solution that allows BlackBerry users to remotely access files and folders located in their office.

According to WICKSoft CEO, Will Hickie, “with PocketVPN you can leave your files where they belong-- in the office. PocketVPN lets you send and manage your files from just about anywhere. You always get access to the most up-to-date information too, because you’re not duplicating files anymore.”

Apparently, the application in more than just file access. PocketVPN can convert documents into a mobile format in real time. Just click View, and seconds later you’re reading the document. It also lets you attach files to e-mail messages, and manage them in the same way you would as if you were in your office.

For further information, contact WICKSoft at (613) 882-2809, or [email protected] Product details also available online at

Strange News

 large blackberry

This week saw the opening of the ZeGiganticElectonicaDevisenExposition in Dusseldorff Germany at the swanky new UberExibitionHalleundStadiumArenaPlatz.

On hand were all the new shiny devices from the likes of RIM, Palm and Nokia as you'd expect. But an interesting side booth featured historic electronic devices from the former East Germany.

Apparently, before the Berlin Wall came down, East German scientists were working on their own version of the BlackBerry. Called the SchwartzCherry, it looked remarkably similar to the fledgling Canadian device, but a error in the espionage pictures led to a small mistake in the manufacturing of the East German model.

LEGO My Blackberry

BB 950 FrontIf you have been addicted to Crackberry as long as I have, you will remember using the classic 950 model back at the turn of the century. 

Back then, Blackberries were more like glorified pagers then the hi-tech multimedia devices they are today. 

I remember the first one I had.  I had it set to the "da da di di da da di <bzz> <bzz>" tone and vibrate notification when I received a new message.  I think it was called "1812 Overture ".  It was wicked cool.  We would sit around the server room and send messages back and forth to each other just to hear that vibrating little gadget known as the RIM Blackberry.  Ah the memories... 

Who is Mobilizing with BlackBerry? Free Video Case Study

Who is Mobilizing with BlackBerry?Something free to get your Friday started right... in its partnership with TradePub is pleased to offer a Free Video Case Study entitled "Who is Mobilizing with BlackBerry?".

This short video highlights BlackBerry customers in government and SMB using the wireless capabilities of BlackBerry for more than just email applications (and no, they are not using it to play in online poker tournaments!). In this video you will see how "mobility" is being redefined by BlackBerry, including:

  • Where the BlackBerry solution is being used
  • Types of BlackBerry device users
  • Types of applications being used
  • Size of deployments

If you have BlackBerries in your organization you will want to watch this video. You might just unlock some ideas to take things to the next level!

Watch the Video Here!

Image Courtesy of I just started playing with a Nintendo Wii this week. The addiction is already starting - between CrackBerry Addiction and Wii Addiction I'm in serious trouble! Be sure to have a Great Wiikend!

RIM Dominating the Handheld Market

RIM Revenues in Motion

Check out this groovy little chart we found recently. It clearly shows the dominance of RIM in today's current handheld market.

Are there going to be any contenders to the throne in the coming year? Apple with its iPhone? Nokia with the new N800 and E62 models?

Time will tell. But so far, all signs appear to be pointing in RIM's direction.

In the next year or two, we predict that RIM will take over for the Government of Canada to join forces with Google (who will take over in the United States).

Canada and the US will no longer exist...Instead most of North America will simply be known as "GoogleBerry".

Makes perfect sense to me :)

Could A CrackBerry Addiction Bring Down Karl Rove?

karl rove blackberry

Addiction had its costs and we are about to find out how much is going to cost White House puppeteer, advisor and all around dark force Karl Rove.

The Democrat-led United States Congress is currently investigating shenanigans at the Bush White House. Democrats claim a number of US attorneys were fired for political reasons and have demanded the White House turn over their e-mails regarding the matter, which have to be kept on file and are subject to oversight by the Congress.

However, it turns out White House staffers may have been deliberately using Republican National Committee(RNC) e-mail accounts to avoid congressional scrutiny. E-mails already examined suggest that White House officials were made aware of the need to avoid the White House e-mail system when discussing certain issues.

Now that this has come to light, surprise, surprise, the RNC announced that it had lost most of those e-mails. And many of them come from senior Bush advisor and architect of his contentious election victories, Karl Rove (pictured above center).

How does that relate to BlackBerries? Well, according to Washington blogger TPMuckracker, Rove is a major league CrackBerry addict. According to an insider who writes for the blog, Karl Rove is “surgically attached to his Blackberry.”

Furthermore, Rove who dodged indictment last year in the Scooter Libby case, is so addicted that "When he's not on the phone, he's tapping e-mail messages into his handheld Blackberry, staying in the loop, even when he's out of the office.” Rove had one of the first e-mail programs available and one of the first BlackBerries. The insider goes on by revealing that Rove “used the Blackberry in the Eisenhower building while sharing discreet chuckles with Andrew Card and Condoleezza Rice, and in a domestic policy meeting in the Roosevelt Room. He's been known to use it in bed, while driving and when quail hunting down in South Texas...tapping away...during the shoot. In fact, he even uses it to e-mail colleagues in the same room.” So your basic CrackBerry addict then.

Now all those e-mails are missing. But as the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senator Partick Leahy pointed out yesterday “You can't erase e-mails, not today. They've gone through too many servers. Those e-mails are there -- they (the White House) just don't want to produce them. It's like the infamous 18-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes.”

8800 Gets Glowing Review in Asia

blackberry 8800

I came across this excellent story on the new BlackBerry 8800. The BlackBerry 8800 device is making its appearance around the world and this online overview is from Singapore. South East Asia is proving to be a strong market for the BlackBerry and it seems the 8800 will be a hit if this review is anything to go by.

The author, Francis Yeo, says “although the Blackberry 8800 doesn’t carry fancy HSDPA or wireless capabilities, it won’t fail to please corporate types and Blackberry fans alike with a useful GPS receiver and multimedia zing added to the proven Blackberry recipe. Certain minor things like its slippery keys and inaccessible miniSD slot do cast a shadow on its brilliance but not to the extent you'll want to give the phone a miss.”

For the full review, visit the site here.

Only Bet What You Can Afford To Lose

RIM Rollercoaster RideDid I speak too soon?

RIM stock is taking a hit today.

Gotta love the stock market. Knee-jerk reactions to news...Hop on and ride the Roller-Coaster...Woohoo!

Click here to read the latest...

RIM Stock Coming up Rosy: 10 Things Stockholders Should Buy Right Now

Why Not Buy an Interactive R2-D2?With Research In Motion's stock looking good as ever, I thought this might be a good opportunity to lend my 2 cents to RIM stockholders.

Why not sell and treat yourself to something nice? C'mon... Treat yourself!

If this sounds like fun, here is a list of 10 practical things I think you should purchase:

10. The Talking Beer Glass - With your stock cashed in and money coming out your ears, shouldn't you have a beer mug that tells you when you need a refill?

9. A New Coffee Mug - Nothing starts the day better than a strong cup of coffee in a brand new Mug.

8. A New Jacket - Why not put yourself in something that can hold multiple BlackBerry's?

7. An Interactive R2-D2 - Every office needs one of these. He'll even hold your coffee (or beer)

6. An Autographed Picture of your Favorite Celebrity - Looks great on your desk, mantle or bedroom!

5. Tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show - Go and visit the show live in Chicago. Why not? Chances are you'll get something for free while you're there. A bike, or a book perhaps?

4. A Natural Cotton Velour Robe - Why not slip into one of these? Looks comfy, and look at how happy they are.

3. A Personalized Piggy Bank - Stash all that extra cash somewhere safe.

2. A New Tuxedo - For those formal gala's you will no doubt be attending.

1. The Enzo Ferrari - Get around town in style. 

Good Day at RIM

stock market

As we reported earlier in the week, things are looking rosy over at Research In Motion headquarters. The BlackBerry maker reported a significantly higher fourth-quarter profit on Wednesday.

If there is a dark cloud in Waterloo this morning, it is over news that the informal inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into RIM stock-option grants, which led to an earning restatement earlier in the year, has been upgraded to a formal investigation.

Yesterday, RIM announced earnings of $187.9 million, or 99 cents a share, in the three months ended March 3. That was way up from the same period last year when the company earned a profit of just $18.4 million, or 10 cents a share.

RIM’s announcement was made after the markets closed and the stock was at $146 on the NASDAQ and $166 on the TSE at closing.

The company’s solid results should keep investors and stockholders happy. The investigation may have a negative effect at some point, but currently it is not bringing the company down. Analysts generally concluded that the $250 million restatement  was disruptive but would not affect the general performance of the company.

RIM is entering 2008 with even larger projected earnings."We are entering fiscal 2008 with very healthy subscriber growth momentum, a strong slate of products and services, exceptional partnerships and a growing market leadership position," Rim Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a statement Wednesday.

The company claimed it had added more than a million BlackBerry subscribers in the quarter and now has 8 million potential CrackBerry addicts worldwide.

In the next quarter, RIM expects revenue of $1.025 billion to $1.075 billion and the addition of between 1.125 million and 1.15 million subscribers.

Canadian Rates a Travesty?

travesty chart

Sometimes it sucks to be a Canadian. Really. Crappy weather for half the year and only three Canadian teams made the NHL playoffs. And to make matters worse we reportedly get to pay more, way more, to our BlackBerry carriers.

According to Thomas Purves at his blog, Canada is worse than many third world countries when it comes to the cost of mobile data access. As you can see from the chart, the cost of transferring just 500MB is ridiculously expensive in Canada. It's even cheaper in Rwanda than in the home of the BlackBerry.

500MB is about 100 minutes of usage at a Canadian Carrier’s maximum advertised download speed of 700kB/s.

"500MB is not a lot of data in the grand scheme of things, a few GB could make a better example but in that case the red bars would be completely off the charts," says Purves.

This is already generating a lot of chatter from Canadian Blackberry users and seems like another example of how Canada conspires to make itself less attractive to investment.

Palm Pins Hopes on New Wave

palm treoEither the good folks over at Palm are putting a good spin on their current situation and trying to beautify themselves for potential suitors, or they really don't care about all the takeover talk that has been going on for months.

Today, Palm said growth in sales of their Treo devices in Europe and Asia has given the company hope it can remain viable and ride the new wave of mobile smartphone expansion it sees coming in 2009. Palm executives cited research that suggests the annual market for smartphones will grow to $36 billion by 2009.

"We think there is a big wave coming in this whole mobile computing revolution, which is becoming a bigger part of the overall mobile phone business. We have an enormous opportunity going forward," Palm CEO Ed Colligan said at an investors meeting on Tuesday. "You can expect us to do business development around the world."

Details on how Palm might ride this wave was not forthcoming.

He also refused to talk about takeover speculation. Motorola, Dell, HP and Nokia have all been touted as potential buyers. That speculation boosted Palm's stocks by more than 20 percent, but since takeover talk has cooled over the last month, those stock prices have slipped back 13 points.

Palm's Treo is in direct competition with RIM's BlackBerry and, so far, the Berry is winning the day. Both companies are also trying to hold off Nokia and Motorola as they try and muscle into the consumer smartphone market. Apple Inc.'s iPhone is also due out in a few months.

Palm hopes that business users stay away from the entertainment oriented iPhone and that the business market for both Treo and Berry continue its vigorous growth.


New APIs Added for Java-Based Developers

java map

Research In Motion (RIM) is becoming proactive when it comes to letting developers create applications for its BlackBerry device. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, RIM has recognized the need to expand the capabilities of the BlackBerry device beyond the usual push e-mail, messaging and phone functions.

RIM is hoping that by adding APIs (application programming interfaces) to the BlackBerry Java Development Environment, it will encourage the development of third-party applications for the Berry. These new APIs will encourage developers to access additional functions on the smartphones, including audio, messaging and mapping, in order to build social networking, location-based, multimedia and other forms of applications.

Developers can now insert custom made audio and video content into applications and use the BlackBerry media player. The new APIs support a variety of audio file formats including MP3, WAV, Windows Media Audio and Advanced Audio Coding.

With new consumer-oriented BlackBerries being released this year featuring an in-built camera, a new camera API will give developers the opportunity to build applications that can access pictures taken with the camera as well as applications that can receive notification when photos are taken.

In another example, developers can create custom mapping and location applications by using new APIs that provide access to information from a local GPS device and BlackBerry Maps.

RIM is also working on releasing additional APIs, including support for 3D graphics, MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) and SMS (Short Message Service).

According to a statement from RIM, “The BlackBerry Java Development Environment (JDE) includes APIs that enable integration with BlackBerry phones and applications. Today, more than 125,000 developers have downloaded the BlackBerry JDE and around 500 software organizations participate in the BlackBerry ISV Alliance, a program that supports software developers.”

BlackBerry Interview Seemed Like Good Idea

lohan blackberryFile this under “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

For their latest issue, GQ magazine thought it was being 'leading edge' when it decided to interview a celebrity entirely on their BlackBerry via text messaging. Writer Marshall Sella explains the reason for trying this method of interview was because “that's how the kids are communicating these days.”

That phrase right there should have been a tip-off that this idea was not going to go well. The second tip-off should have been the subject – noted BlackBerry user and rehab denizen Lindsay Lohan, or as Sella calls her “an icon of her generation.”

For the “Love, Sex and Madness” special issue of the magazine, GQ conducted the interview with Lohan entirely by text and the results are, predictably, not pretty.

For example, after being asked what she is wearing these days ( sorry “who” she is wearing these days), we get this piece of wit and wisdom from Lohan. “Here now wearing marc jacobs pumps and a kate and kass dress, vintage chanel messenger and topshop tights and peace sign earrings from kaviar and kind,”

Sella then asks if Lohan plays poker online. “Weird! I just e-mailed my friend sara pantera saying I'm going to start playing poker again! I bought two puppies today! Sober impulse buying of companions who will help me stay home etc.” comes the Molly Bloom-like reply.

Sella indicates he likes dogs too but how does the actress and Robert Altman biographer feel about cats? “Cats scare me…I just think of bad luck from black ones like I had in Just My Luck! I need a boyfriend. Geez.”

If this was an ad for texting, BlackBerries or youth today, it fails badly.

When they finally get to the fact that Lohan is an actress and currently working, Lohan signs off with “Gotta think sex scene today.”

"Best message ever," Sella replies. Creepy.

As an experiment, it is a hideous failure. Maybe a better subject might have held out hope for a different result, but then GQ would not have had a reason to run all of those pictures of a scantily clad Lohan. I wonder if there is a WAP version of this article?

Former Morgan Stanley Exec Sells BlackBerry on eBay

Morgan Stanley Exec Sells BlackBerry on eBayImagine this. You're former executive with Morgan Stanley (lets say for arguments' sake, you were the vice president of mergers and acquisitions).

You are no longer with the company, but need to get rid of the BlackBerry you had been using.

Sell it on eBay right? Sure why not!

But before you do you'll wipe all sensitive data off the device right? Wipe it clean so that the new user can start fresh?

Wrong. Click here to read the rest of this amazing story.


AIM and ICQ Now Available on BlackBerry

icq logoResearch In Motion announced today that both AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ Messenger services are now available for the BlackBerry. Yahoo, MSN and Google messenger services have been available for some time, so it is nice to see the BlackBerry expanding its offerings.

Both programs can be downloaded from the BlackBerry site. AIM is available here. ICQ can be downloaded here. Both are free to download but usage fees might be applied by your carrier.

According to the guys over at BlackBerry Cool there are a couple of glitches in downloading the two programs, so you may want to hold off for a day or two until those issues are resolved.