There are some unhappy seamen in the U.S. today, now that the Navy has locked down their BlackBerrys to some pretty rigorous standards. PIN-to-PIN messaging, GPS, the application loader and third-party program installations have all been restricted, and as usual users will have to cycle through alphanumeric passwords every 3 months. On top of that, after 5 unsuccessful log-ins the device gets locked down and local data erased. For extra security, BlackBerrys’ radio antennae will become deactivated whenever they’re hooked up to a desktop. To be fair, these aren’t incredibly tough standards to work with, especially for a military organization. It does, however, give corporate IT admins something to wave when their BlackBerry users complain about existing restrictions.
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The second round of Opera Mini 4’s beta has finished, and now we’re on to number three. The biggest feature of this release is bookmark syncing with your desktop browser using Opera Link. Although you have to use the Opera desktop browser in order to populate Link, once everything is uploaded, you can access your saved bookmarks from their web site. It’s a pretty cool feature, and you can get something similar on Firefox (minus mobile syncing) with this little add-on.
Josep pointed us to a recent announcement from Double-Take, whose software offers failsafe security to BES servers. Their solution continually backs up your BES, ensuring data retention in the face of outages and other problems. These guys have worked on similar software for Exchange, SQL, and Lotus Notes servers, so they definitely know the drill when it comes to data security. If this sounds like something your enterprise could use, you can find more information over here.
We’ve had a blast of new BlackBerry software this week, like Facebook, Gtalk, and a slightly glitchy Yahoo! messenger client. RIM has clearly taken the CTIA opportunity this year to reach out to the socialite in BlackBerry users, furthering their consumer push. On top of that, the BlackBerry 8130 is just around the corner, which will continue to help bring BlackBerry out of the office and into the streets. If the Facebook announcement has proven anything, it’s that hardware is only as good as the software it runs, so this week we’re asking you, fine readers: what will be the next killer consumer app for BlackBerry? We aren’t talking office productivity here, just sheer frivolity. Was Facebook the right direction? Maybe themes need a kick in the pants to get something other than Zen and Zen Today variants? Maybe more photo sharing stuff like iTTOMP? The comment which pitches the best consumer-app-to-be for BlackBerry will get a copy of Magmic’s two latest games, White House Rumble and Miner 2049er Gold Rush.
We just got word from our buddies at Magmic that two new titles are on their shelves, including the presidential boxing game White House Rumble and the puzzler Miner 2049er Gold Rush. We looked at Magmic’s first go at revitalizing the Miner 2049er franchise, and it’s great to see them still running with it. Hopefully we can count on seeing more Bounty Bob on BlackBerry games – if the titles keep coming, maybe we’ll have a new Mario for mobile. As for White House Rumble, we’re sure there’s more than a few of our southerly neighbours who would like to take a swing at Bush, so here’s your chance!
GMail is now supporting IMAP synchronization, letting you keep e-mails across desktop, webtop, and handheld all in line. For BES customers this might not be a huge deal, but as a BIS user, keeping your e-mails properly read/unread across clients is a bit of a luxury feature. BlackBerrys these days come bundled with a GMail reader, so if Google is your one and only love, you’re probably just as well-off using that to view your e-mail since it syncs up fine too. What’s more likely is that GMail is a supplemental address which will now sync properly while being fed to the default BlackBerry e-mail area along with the rest of your messages. For small-time enterprise folks who are packing Google Apps for their own domain name but are running on BIS, solid syncing will let them play almost like the big boys on BES.