Because Alicia Keys wouldn't want to lead a company called RIM

Subject: General Tech | January 30, 2013 - 01:53 PM |
Tagged: RIM, blackberry, awkward, Alicia Keys

The new Blackberry models are here, well two of them anyways, the fully touchscreen Z10 and the Q10 sporting the familiar keyboard.  Inside the Z10 is a 1.5GHz dual core SnapDragon S4 Plus, similar to the Lumina 920, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage, behind a 4.2-inch LCD at 1280 x 768 which gives it a better pixel density than the iPhone 5.  The Q10 sports the same insides but has a smaller screen to make room for the full keyboard and it has a resolution of 720 x 720.  The OS adds some interesting features and enhancements to BBM, such as video calling and Balance which separates work and personal apps and documents may allow some users with two phones to drop one in favour of the new BlackBerry.  On the other hand why you would need Instagram-like filtres for your pictures or a Storytime mode, but with around 70,000 applications not all can be winners.  You can catch Slashdot's reaction to the launch here.

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"CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry, formerly known as Research in Motion, unveiled its first Blackberry 10 smartphones today.

First up is the long-rumoured Blackberry Z10, a fully touchscreen device that clearly is meant to compete with the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3."

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Lenovo to buy RIM? That's a little hard to swallow.

Subject: General Tech | January 25, 2013 - 01:16 PM |
Tagged: RIM, Lenovo, blackberry, purchase, rumour

We are looking at all opportunities -- RIM and many others” is the actual quote from Chief Financial Officer Wong Wai Ming that spurred the speculation that Lenovo is going to buy RIM.  These rumours have spread to the point that Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has gone on record to say that any such proposal would be scrutinized by the government before it could go through.  If you look over the past five years of the Harper government and how they have treated foreign acquisition of large Canadian companies you will notice a pattern, the sale of MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates Ltd. to an American based company was blocked, sale of Potash Corp to the Australians was blocked and while Nexen was purchased by a Chinese mining firm, the current Canadian government is on record as saying no more state companies will be allowed to buy oil sands firms.

It is not just the regulatory hurdles that make this sale seem unlikely, at least in the terms pundits are currently bandying about.  Lenovo did base their current success on purchasing IBM's hardware line but it was at a time when IBM chose to move out of the hardware business; IBM did not have to sell off that successful business but instead saw an opportunity in doing so.  RIM on the other hand is in trouble and if they try to flog their hardware business off to the highest bidder they are not going to meet with the success that IBM did.  In fact, even without seeing the 10 new phones that will be arriving in the near future, it is not a stretch to theorize that they will not have the speed and attractiveness of Samsung or HTCs current or upcoming models. 

What is sexy about RIM is behind the scenes, their architecture (at least now that they've moved away from the single point of failure model) and the security features that Blackberrys on a proper BES have.  Native ActiveSync support is nice as BYOD becomes more common in the corporate world but those devices lack the security assurances that a Blackberry has, which is what makes it attractive to Governments and Security Agencies across the world in addition to corporate users.  It is also the only part of the company that IBM found interesting when the last set of RIM rumours circulated.  It is possible that the stories such as you can see at The Register have some merit, it would seem far more likely that Lenovo would be considering a purchase similar to their IBM purchase, sell and support the hardware but not the software side.

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"Lenovo CFO Wong Wai Ming says the company is actively pursuing ways to improve its position in the mobile device market, spurring speculation that the Chinese firm may be planning to cozy up with Research in Motion – or even swallow it whole."

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Source: The Register

RIM is licensing from Microsoft, not the other way 'round

Subject: General Tech | September 19, 2012 - 03:04 PM |
Tagged: RIM, blackberry, microsoft, exFAT

While the news was enough to bump RIM stocks up somewhat this morning, the deal inked between Microsoft and RIM does not have Microsoft licensing hardware or software to RIM, instead it is the other way around.  RIM is licensing the exFAT operating system for use in its phones at an undisclosed price per device.  We know that Microsoft has charged $15/device from some other mobile companies; not that they paid it that way, instead it took a court case for Microsoft to get their full price.  Where exactly RIM is going to find the resources to pay for this deal is a mystery, the already cash strapped company is currently suffering from their new OSes failure to launch on time.  At least their new phones will be using a common format for their flash storage, assuming the company lasts until the BlackBerry 10 can be marketed.  More over at The Register.

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"Shares of Research in Motion spiked briefly on Tuesday on news that the struggling smartphone maker had signed a new licensing agreement with Microsoft, but investors who hoped the deal meant Redmond would bundle BlackBerry technology with its phones were in for a disappointment."

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Source: The Register

Big Blue likes RIM's infrastructure ... the phones not so much

Subject: General Tech | August 13, 2012 - 03:53 PM |
Tagged: RIM, blackberry, IBM

One of the scariest things about the failure of RIM to recover from its attempts to move into the consumer market is the damage being done to the services they supply to businesses.  The Enterprise Services Division of RIM handles the servers which ensure secure delivery of messages over the cellular network and is one of the main reasons that RIM devices and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server are the preferred choice of many institutions.  If RIM goes down then that ability to ensure security and to remotely administrate devices will go down with them.  That is why this story on The Register will make many sysadmins very happy, not only is someone interested in purchasing that business unit, the company that is interested is IBM.  They do not have any interest in the actual BlackBerry phones, so this could mean that BES type management could be expanded to more devices and the death of RIM may not mean the death of secure delivery of business emails.  Pity about the CPP though.

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"IBM is reportedly interested in snapping up the enterprise services division of troubled BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion.

Well-placed sources whispered to Bloomberg that Big Blue could help Canadian mobile biz RIM by taking the unit off its hands, and has already made an informal approach about it."

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Source: The Register
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Subject: Mobile
Manufacturer: BlackBerry

Introduction, Design and Ergonomics

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BlackBerry is proof of the tech industry’s merciless pace of innovation. Five years ago, Research in Motion (the company responsible for BlackBerry) seemed to be on the top of the mobile world. Its phones offered unique functionality that, although sometimes replicated by competitors, was generally considered world-class. If you were interested in doing more with your phone than making calls, a BlackBerry handset was a solid choice.

Today, however, the brand is considered to be on its last legs. This perception is an exaggeration – BlackBerry devices are still popular the world over – but the company’s position has certainly been compromised by iOS and Android phones. Attempts to counter these competitors with devices like the touchscreen BlackBerry Storm haven’t gained much traction.

BlackBerry is quite late to that party, however – it took years to finally develop an iPhone/Android fighter, and even now the company seems somehow skeptical that touchscreen phones are all-that, so it’s little surprise that it’s behind the competition. Tablets, however, are a different story. Today we’re going to be looking at the BlackBerry PlayBook, which has actually joined the tablet crowd quite early. In my opinion, it’s the fourth credible tablet to hit the market, the other three being the iPad/2, the Xoom and the Galaxy Tab. Does it present something new to this small group, or does it falter like BlackBerry's touchscreen phones?

Continue reading to get our full review of the new Blackberry Playbook tablet!

Was the wait for the PlayBook worth it?

Subject: Mobile | April 19, 2011 - 03:59 PM |
Tagged: RIM, blackberry, playbook, tablet

It has been a long wait for the 7.6" by 5.1" BlackBerry PlayBook, smaller than some competitors but also lighter.  It fully supports Adobe Flash, another benefit on top of its main competitor but Wired had trouble finding any other benefits.  Check out their full review to see what they thought.

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"The BlackBerry PlayBook tablet is a good-looking piece of hardware.

Like the proto-humans in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll be eager to touch the monolithic object’s black, buttonless visage. But once you do, things get a little more complicated."

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Source: Wired