RIM wins Visto lawsuit in UK, Feb 28

GavelVisto’s been on RIM’s back since ‘06 for patent infringement, but it looks like the legal battle’s finally drawing to a close. The U.S. Patent Office stomped out a few of their objections on RIM’s use of certain e-mail synchronization technologies in September, and that was the first sign that things were going to get wrapped up soon. Now that this UK suit has been settled in RIM’s favour, parallel litigations ina Canada, the U.S. and Italy could very well follow precedent. That’s one less thing for RIM to worry about, but there’s never a shortage of patent lawsuits flying around.

BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 18, Feb 22

Simon Sage talks with Kristin Golliher from Otterbox and Patrick Rousseau from BlackLine GPS to see what they’re up to for WES.

Special Biweekly Contest: Design a BlackBerry Skin, Feb 22

Make your best skin for the BlackBerry 8800, Pearl or Curve, and get it made by DecalGirl! Lots of other goodies for the winner, including FlipSide, skins, games and themes!

Sprint launches Simply Everything unlimited plan, Feb 28

SprintHooah, this is some plan. $99.99/month for, you guessed it, everything. “Unlimited voice, data, text, e-mail, Web-surfing, Sprint TV(SM), Sprint Music, GPS Navigation, Direct Connect(R) and Group Connect(R)” are all up for grabs. The catch? The unlimited data portion doesn’t apply to BES users, who will need to fork out at least $20 more. Boooo. Also, the plan doesn’t apply for international roaming or modem tethering, but that’s not such a huge surprise. It’s still a pretty sweet deal, especially for BIS customers. The plan will be available tomorrow, keep an eye over here for updates.

Exhibitor Spotlight: Handmark, Feb 28

Handmark logoFor our next Exhibitor Spotlight we have Handmark, makers of the Pocket Express software we reviewed last September. Pocket Express is their flagship product, allowing users to view stocks, weather, general news, sports news, and great deal more from within the application. At WES, they’ll be focusing on that and its companion Pocket Express Travel Edition, which features travel services such as up-to-date flight information from the OAG. They’ll also be showcasing content from the Extras channel of Pocket Express and other tidbits from their online web portal.

160,000 recipes at your fingertips, Feb 28

BigOven logoBerryReview posted about a site called BigOven, which allows you to search and view a database of over 160,000 recipes directly from your phone. You simply head to the mobile version of the site, enter in your search terms, and select your recipe from the returned list. It includes a big picture of the finished product and, of course, detailed ingredient lists and instructions. The search function is pretty basic, but you can use the more robust search on the main site to build a list of favorites, which you can then access from the mobile site.

Another BlackBerry-centric social networking site, Feb 28

A user on our Facebook page posted about a new BlackBerry-centric social networking site called BlackBerry Ave. The site is designed from the ground up to be viewable on mobile browers, a bit like BBMnation. BlackBerry Ave. has the usual features of a social networking site like basic demographic information and interests, but has some unique features such as the ability to upload 1000 MB worth of files to share with other users. It also allows you to list your specific BlackBerry model and PIN. Definitely worth checking out if you just can’t get enough social networking.

RIM prepping Eclipse plug-in for developers, Feb 27

RIM’s latest developer newsletter revealed that developers will be able to get a look at an Eclipse plug-in not only at EclipseCon in March, but also at WES in May. For those not down with the programming side of things, Eclipse is an open-source development framework based on Java. Preliminary looks at the beta have been less than stellar among the traditionally open-source crowd, as RIM’s setting up their app to run on Windows and many Eclipse users stick to Linux and Mac. Eclipse support would really be throwing devs a bone if RIM actually opened up a bit, but we’ll have to see what the final version of the plug-in looks like before passing judgment.

Carbon-tracking software coming to BlackBerry, Feb 27

Carbon Hero is a cool project still in development, aiming to determine what modes of transportation you’re using via GPS and calculating the associated carbon usage. Although tested with GPS on Nokia smartphones already, the final product will be using a new European positioning system called Gallileo, which claims to be accurate to under a metre. BlackBerry support is underway, but Gallileo won’t be online until 2013, so it could still be awhile until we see a release. The big thing with Carbon Hero is that it will be largely automated, with as little user input as possible and simply providing the information about how much you’re ruining the planet. Talk about low maintenance guilt-tripping.

BlackBerry sales to improve in Taiwan?, Feb 27

Taiwan’s FlagAccording to The Washington Post, BlackBerry sales in Taiwan have suffered due to language issues, but things are looking up. Phones in Taiwan currently use Pinyin, which uses Latin characters to phonetically spell out the sounds that more complicated Chinese character sets like Zhuyin represent. No support for Zhuyin has been available, leading to disappointing sales of only 3,000 to 3,500 BlackBerrys in the region. RIM is scheduled to release two phones supporting Zhuyin in the second quarter of this year, and hopes to increase sales to 11,000 or higher. Asian character support has always been a trial for the computer industry, especially for cramped phone keyboards, but things definitely been improving for BlackBerry users.

Vodafone UK launches Sat Nav on BlackBerry 8110, Feb 27

VodafoneDubbed the “first operator-branded mobile navigation service aimed at consumers in the UK“, Telmap has shipped out their navigation software to Vodafone customers in the UK packing the GPS Pearl. Sat Nav provides traffic alerts, local search, directions, and access to points of interest. This is the same kit that went along with the BlackBerry 8310 launch and just like then, a year of free service will be provided for those picking up the BlackBerry 8110 for the first time. For everyone else, it’ll cost £5 per month, with the first month on the house.

Exhibitor Spotlight: InterNoded, Feb 27

Next up in our Exhibitor Spotlight series: InterNoded. These guys offer managed services for carriers and large, medium, and small-scale businesses. Their flagship BlackBerry product, which they will be demonstrating at WES, is InterNoded Mobile Device Management. The software attempts to eliminate a lot of the mundane, repetitive work necessary to deploy and manage applications, allowing technical staff to set up rules for deployment, and delegate the rest of the workload to other staff.

Blue Systems offers financial software, Feb 27

A post on the Pinstack forums alerted us to Blue Systems, a relative newcomer to the world of financial services. Though founded in 2002, the company has only just now released Blue and Blue Mobile, their only two products, after five years of R&D. Blue Mobile, like Quotestream, allows users to track stocks, financial news, and other information directly from their phone. The software offers customizable alerts via email or instant messenger, many different chart options, and in-depth information on specific companies and stocks.

OtterBox launches Pearl 2 case, Feb 26

As hinted in our last podcast, OtterBox has released an updated version of their Pearl Defender Series case for the BlackBerry 8110, 8120 and 8130. The OtterBox 1936 accommodates the slight changes in the Pearl design, such as the camera, and it looks like it will handle the microSD memory card slot, too. Be sure to keep an eye on our accessories update in the top-right of the site, or if you’re packing an older Pearl, you can grab it over here. If you’d like to see just how well the Defender Series works, check out our review.

UK Owners Lounge launched, Feb 26

BBLogoThose in the UK now have access to their own version of the BlackBerry Owners lounge, which features a few different sections than the North American counterpart, such as “Coming Soon”, “Exclusives” and “Latest News”. The Owners Lounge is great, regardless of what side of the pond you’re on - you can find free games, discounts on accessories, more tips than you can wave a calloused thumb at. The new UK lounge can be found here, and if you’re in North America and haven’t checked it out yet, head over here.

Exhibitor Spotlight: MSC Mobility, Feb 26

For our third Exhibitor Spotlight — the first two were BlackLine GPS and OtterBox, covered in Episode 18 of our podcast — we’re taking a look at MSC Mobility. The company offers a number of solutions to give company employees access to their email, contacts, calendars, and other data while out of the office, freeing up IT staff and other personnel for more time-consuming or critical tasks. At WES, they’ll be demonstrating Forms2Mobile. Much like GeoAge’s FAST, Forms2Mobile allows companies to push out new forms to employees’ phones and have any submitted data returned to their server almost immediately. Forms2Mobile, however, is designed with non-technical users in mind and is very easy to use even for the complete layman. Check it out, and if you’re going to be exhibiting, be sure to sign up for the Best of WES Awards!

Thomson Healthcare offers charge capture solution, Feb 26

Thomson Healthcare has announced that their charge capture software, called Clinical Xpert Navigator Charge Capture, is now available for BlackBerry. Like pMDsoft’s software, Clinical Xpert Navigator allows doctors to input diagnoses and charge codes into their BlackBerry and have that information submitted to a secure web portal almost instantaneously. The latest patient information is then available to doctors, nurses, and pharmacists from a smartphone, laptop, or PDA.

SpinVox offers BlackBerry plugin, Feb 26

SpinVox is now offering a plugin for their transcription technology on BlackBerry. The service was rolled out through Rogers and other carriers last year, but was unavailable independently until now. You can pick up plans between £3.00 and £9.99 monthly, depending on how many conversions you need, which will work for voicemail, blog posts, personal memos, social networks and more. If you’re interested, you can check out the week-long trial over here. I wonder how it shapes up against SimulSays…?

New jobs on BlackBerry Jobs, Feb 25

BBCoolBlackBerry game developer Magmic has just taken advantage of our free job posting offer over on BlackBerry Jobs, listing 7 positions that they’ve got ready to fill. If any programmers are in the house, they’ve got room for J2ME, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, web and Brew developers. Be sure to keep an eye on the yellow section on the right pane for new updates, or better yet, head on over to BlackBerryJobs.com to see what other opportunities are waiting.

PatientKeeper offering BlackBerry support, Feb 25

StethoscopeWe’ve got another solution for medical professionals looking for a way to get patient information while on the move. PatientKeeper is a multi-platform system that normalizes data for easy access on whatever you’re using. As usual, BlackBerry’s the last one to the show, Palm and Windows Mobile devices having already been support for awhile now. For more information on PatientKeeper, check this out.

RIM’s stock survives multiple outages, Feb 25

Stock marketDespite all the troubles we’ve been having the last couple of weeks, RIM’s stock is looking just rosy. You’d think that all the service issues would have a bit more of an impact, but the updated Q4 forecast seems to have counterbalanced investors’ opinions more than enough. Signs are showing that iPhone hype is dying down, leaving the BlackBerry in a rather nice position. Right now, RIMM sits at $107.95.

LinkedIn going mobile, Feb 25

The popular business social network, LinkedIn, will be getting a mobile makeover in the next couple of weeks, making it accessible via BlackBerry. Some of the other big additions include additional language support and news that you can share with colleagues in your company. It wasn’t too long ago that RIM boss Jim Balsillie was giving enterprise social networks like LinkedIn and Plaxo a thumbs up, and clearly they recognize the power of the mobile world just as much.

GeoAge software available on BlackBerry, Feb 25

GeoAge has updated their Field Adapted Survey Toolkit (FAST), adding BlackBerry compatibility as well as some new features and bug fixes, reports the Jacksonville Business Journal. The software eases data collection in the field, allowing users to push forms out to PDAs or laptops and receive any data entered almost immediately. The forms can have fields for text, pictures, audio, and movies, and once the data is entered it can be synchronized to a server running Microsoft SQL Server or to GeoAge’s servers. ZDnet has a video detailing some of the features of the software, which was until this update only available for Windows Mobile.

BlackBerry Cool Podcast: Episode 18, Feb 22

BBCoolBlackBerry Cool kicks off its WES countdown with its first Exhibitor Spotlight, shining this week on BlackLine GPS and OtterBox. Of course we have all of the week’s regular news, including the BIS outage, legal hissy-fits, updates to the BlackBerry media player, and more. You can download directly from here, pick it up on iTunes, or our XML feed.

BerryBUDDY built for the Curve, Feb 22

The fine folks at innov8 have given us a sneak peek at their latest and greatest cradles, this time for the BlackBerry Curve series. Last we heard, BerryBUDDY was getting tweaked for the BlackBerry 8130, leaving only the 8800-series to get the royal treatment. I’ve still got the Pearl BerryBUDDY sitting on my desk, dutifully charging and syncing the ol’ BlackBerry 8100 in style. Keep an eye out for the Curve cradle real soon!

Audio equalizer coming to BlackBerry media player?, Feb 22

A little birdie dropped us a line today, showing off a credible screenshot of the next BlackBerry media player. As you can see, there are plenty of equalization options to make your tunes sound just right no matter what kind of music you’re listening to. No word on what version of the BlackBerry OS we’ll be seeing this on, but it wouldn’t be out of line to expect this around WES. Maybe OS 4.5?

Special Biweekly Contest: Design a BlackBerry Skin, Feb 22

After spotting the UniqueSkins site earlier this week, it made us a bit sad that DecalGirl wasn’t offering the same ability to custom-create your own BlackBerry skin. That’s when we got on the horn with ‘em and wondered what was going on. Apparently they’ve got something in the works, but until it’s all polished off, there’s an alternative for all those budding artists out there. We got a hold of DecalGirl’s templates used to create their BlackBerry 8800-series, Pearl, and Curve skins, and thought we would toss them out to you guys and see what happens. Just fill in the template with the best brushstrokes you can muster and e-mail me your designs at simon at blackberrycool.com.

What do we have as prizes for the best skin? Well, for one, $50 in hard cash. On top of that, you’ll get your skin design made and shipped to you, as well as be available on DecalGirl for all your buddies to pick up. Not enough? Okay, how about any 10 skins you like? iPod, BlackBerry, XBox, laptop, whatever you’ve got. Not enough? Fine, how about we throw in a copy of FlipSide, the premiere BlackBerry music player? Still no dice? Well, how about any 3 games or themes from BPlay? That makes one hell of a prize pack, doesn’t it? For the two runner-ups, we’ll give away a skin and two games each. We’ll run this contest for two weeks, just to make sure we get as many entries as possible, and will post the entrants to date next Friday. Crack open that Photoshop and let’s see what you’ve got!

Last week’s winner behind the jump…

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