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Bacon on BlackBerry: Tethering security, backup viewing and more

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BaconatorWe’ve got another round of questions from stumped readers for our resident BlackBerry expert, Jeff Bacon. Topics this time include the security of BlackBerry as a tethered modem, viewing the contents of backups, and how to buy a few extra precious rings before voicemail viciously snaps up your call. As ever, feel free to send us your BlackBerry questions at info at blackberrycool dot com.

Q: I get emails on my BlackBerry for two different email addresses which are mine for two companies where I work. I need to be able to reply to each email with the correct email address of the company the inquiry is directed. How do I do this or what do I need to do to make this work?

A: The BlackBerry will intelligently choose which email address to use on your replies based on which email address the email was sent to. For example, if the email address you received the email on is joe@here.com but you also get joe@there.com email on your BlackBerry, when you click ‘Reply’, the BlackBerry will use joe@here.com as the reply address. You can see this by scrolling all the way up to the top of the screen in a reply and it will say the account being used to send a reply. When creating a new email, if you scroll to the top you can change which email address of yours the recipient will see as the ‘From’ address.

Q: I have installed the Desktop Manager. Is there any way I can view, on my desktop, the contents of the desktop backup file? Do I need a program to read its contents. Or perhaps this is a meaningless question derived from a misunderstanding of the role of back up files.

BaconA: You can’t see the data inside the backup file but you can see what type of data is stored in the backup file. If you go to ‘Backup and Restore’ in the Desktop Manager, select ‘Advanced’ then choose File>Open, you can open up a backup file and see which databases (mail, address book, etc.) are saved in it.

Recent patent turns BlackBerrys into handcuffs

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Handcuffed suitcaseRussell Shaw at ZDNet, ever-watchful for patents, has dug up a pretty cool one that would let BlackBerrys issue alerts whenever a connection with another device were endangered or cut. Moreover, the non-BlackBerry device could lock up if a connection couldn’t be established. With upcoming Wi-Fi, this could be handy for making sure you stay in range, maybe with a little vibration if your connection’s getting weak. What’s most exciting about this patent from RIM is its implications for Wibree-scale operations. Let’s say your wallet, purse, keys and other daily necessities had one of these low-power, short-range chips in them, simply to make its wireless presence known. Your BlackBerry would be able to give a little buzz if you were out of range of those objects, i.e. you forgot them behind.

For the more professionally-minded, this could be a great way of ensuring secure use of tethered devices. You could ditch the handcuffs, knowing full well that whatever doohickey is in the suitcase won’t work if anyone else has it.

One more Mac tethering solution

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AppleAfter reading our post yesterday about a tethering to a Mac to a BlackBerry, Tom at Enterprise Mac has one more way of doing the job that he’s been using since May. He’s confirmed the process to work on a BlackBerry 8800 on the T-Mobile network, and we encourage any other Mac users in the house to give it a shot. It looks like it would take some work to get done, pasting scripts, and tweaking configuration, but the majority of testers claim successful tethering. Thanks to Fibble forum admin, Grant, for writing up the script!

Check it out behind the jump.

BlackBerry tethering software for Mac on the way

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AppleBGR has let us in on some upcoming BlackBerry dial-up tethering software for your Mac by the name of iMobimac Modem. No word on pricing or device compatibility yet, but after sharing an office with a Mac/BlackBerry user, I can tell you that they could use a few bones thrown their way. In fact, maybe you recall Alex King’s bounty for such a service, which was won by Pulse awhile back. I guess we’ll see how the two services stack up against one another. We’re looking at an August 1st. release date for iMobimac Modem, for any of you Apple hipsters trying to get your tether on.