Monthly Archive for January, 2009Page 4 of 16

Bouygues Telecom and RIM Release the BlackBerry Curve 8900 in France

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Press Release

BlackBerry Curve 8900Bouygues Telecom and Research In Motion today launched the BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone in France. The new BlackBerry Curve 8900 has an expansive feature set that keeps users easily connected with their office, friends and family. In addition to being an exceptional phone with powerful email, messaging, organizer, web browser and multimedia applications, the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 also features built-in Wi-Fi®, GPS, a fast processor (512Mhz) and a dazzling hi-resolution display, enabling customers to remain connected, productive and entertained while on the move.

Prices start from €149 including taxes (with a minimum 12 month subscription) on a Forfait Pro or Neo.2 three-hours or more voice plan. To mark its launch, between 26 January 2009 and 22 February 2009, customers will be able to purchase the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 for €79 including taxes (sales price of €129 in store with a €50 discount).

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 is available for corporate clients from €179 excluding taxes (with a 24 month minimum subscription). Details available at http://www.enterprises.bouyguestelecom.fr. To mark its launch, between 26 January 2009 and 31 March 2009, corporate customers will be able to purchase the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 for €59 including taxes (sales price of €109 in store with a €50 discount) in conjunction with the Neo Mail Entreprises data plan.

BlackBerry Curve 8900 specifications

BlackBerry Application Storefront — Everything Developers Need to Know

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BlackBerry Developer Newsletter

When BlackBerry Cool broke the news earlier this week that RIM was accepting submissions for the BlackBerry Application Storefront, we were really excited. It was the first step towards bringing more application goodness to our BlackBerrys. But the call for submissions really generated more questions about the Storefront than it answered. Thankfully, RIM’s crack Developer Support Team (lead by Guru Mike Kirkup) ignored my recommendation to take today off, and have provided everything developers need to know about the BlackBerry Application Storefront in the latest edition of the BlackBerry Developer Newsletter.

This edition of the BlackBerry Developer Newsletter is centered upon the Open Mike with Mike Kirkup Podcast, which discusses the key aspects of the BAS from a Developer Perpspective. While I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you listen to the podcast in full — there will be a test later — I’ve co-opted CBKevin’s crib notes for those that just can’t wait.

Developers: What you need to know about the BlackBerry Application Storefront

    * The store front is OPEN to developers. You can start submitting apps now.
    * App storefront will deploy applications via its own mechanism – there will be an on device client that will allow end users to browse, buy and download apps directly. Developers just need to focus on building awesome apps!
    * Users will be able to write reviews (I’m guessing rating and other expected functions like that will be in there as well)
    * The App Store will initially be rolled out in English only to North America and UK markets. More language/geographic support coming down the road.
    * App Store will support OS version 4.2.1 software and higher on trackball and touchscreen devices (sorry trackwheel users – time to upgrade!)

Getting your apps into the app storefront:

    o 1. Signup as a Vendor
    o 2. Suitability test – RIM does an initial check to make sure your app has appropriate/suitable content and that the app meets basic quality standards
    o 3. Smoke test – RIM tests the app to make sure it meets the high quality standards that people have come to expect

But don’t think that’s all to this month’s BlackBerry Developer Newsletter. After the jump you’ll find links to key developer resources to the BlackBerry Nation will have the best software possible when the BAS launches. Don’t forget to SIGN UP FOR THE BLACKBERRY DEVELOPMENT NEWSLETTER, so you’re not the last to know about the latest in BlackBerry Development!

BlackBerry Developer Key Resource Links

Slacker for BlackBerry Hands-on Impressions

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Slacker for BlackBerry

There are times in life when you anticipate something for so long and it fails to deliver. On the other hand, there are times when things turn out to be more than you expected. I have been using Slacker.com, the personal internet radio, on my computer for the last few months, ever since the BlackBerry application was announced at CTIA this past fall. At CES, after months of anticipation, Slacker launched their BlackBerry application for devices with OS 4.3 and above (4.5+ is best). In short, it is magnificent.

Slacker for BlackBerry videos, gallery and impressions

Oh snap! VeriSign buys Certicom for C$92 million

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What a bad week for RIM. First, they’re forced to withdraw their hostile takeover bid of Certicom due to a Superior Court Order. Then, news breaks that RIM’s co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie may be dinged for up to C$100 million for a backdating scandal (it looks like Balsillie may also have to step down from the Board of Directors). To close out the week, RIM has awoken today to learn that Internet security provider VeriSign has agreed to purchase Certicom for C$2.10 a share, roughly C$92 million total. VeriSign’s offer trumps RIM’s C$1.50 a share offer – I guess Certicom was serious when they said RIM had undervalued them.

Certicom board chairman Jeffrey Chisholm said “The special committee and the board conducted a thorough process on behalf of Certicom shareholders resulting in a significant increase in value for the company and its owners. We believe this transaction also represents a very promising opportunity for our customers and employees.”

Honestly, RIM, just go back to bed. Take a waiver on the day, have a fun weekend, and come back Monday pretending this week never happened. Thanks to my boy M-Dawg for the tip!

Read full Certicom Press Release

Obama to keep his BlackBerry, gets ‘super-encryption’

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Want Obama wants, Obama gets. Scoring the first major victory of his nascent term, the White House announced today that President Barack Obama will indeed keep his BlackBerry (eat it, Sectera Edge). President Obama will use the BlackBerry to keep in touch with “senior staff and a small group of personal friends.” As we’ve mentioned previously, Obama’s decision will have significant effects on the transparency of his communications.

Gibbs said the presumption from the White House counsel’s office is that e-mails will be subject to the Presidential Records Act, the law that requires the National Archives to preserve presidential records. But he also said that some exemptions in the law allow for “strictly personal communications.” He did not say how that classification would be determined but made clear that the device could be used for both business and personal communication.

How did Obama get the deal done? By turning the NSA loose on his BlackBerry:

On Monday, a government agency said that the Obama administration — but that is probably the National Security Agency — added to a standard BlackBerry a super-encryption package…. and Obama WILL be able to use it … still for routine and personal messages.

Wait a minute… NSA… ‘super-encryption package’… Is this why RIM wanted to buy Certicom?

Thanks to @marybethlowell and @frasercole for the tip!

|via Atlantic and SacBee|

How much will Certicom failure hurt RIM?

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RIM logo While we have closely covered the back and forth between RIM and Canadian security specialist Certicom, we’ve never really taken the time to discuss why exactly RIM put forth the hostile bid after months of courting. Thankfully, James Rogers of TheStreet.com has done the work for us in a recent article:

Certicom develops a technology called Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC), which is used to secure data on a range of devices, including smartphones. The National Security Agency uses the same technique, and Certicom licenses its technology to a range of companies, including IBM, General Dynamics, Motorola and RIM.

Certicom is also openly canvassing other suitors, which could increase the pressure on RIM. Last month, for example, Certicom granted a number of un-named parties access to its ‘data room’ in an attempt to drive up its valuation. “The information provided in the data room is intended to facilitate offers reflecting the fair value of Certicom from interested parties,” it said, in a statement.

So in effect, by failing to takeover Certicom, RIM has lost out in three different ways: saving money by eliminating the ECC licensing fees, making money from licensing the technology to competitors, and extending its competitive advantage on security. The question becomes how much this failure has hurt RIM in the long run. Post a comment and let us know what you think.

|via TheStreet|