BlackBerry Torch 9810 Now Available At AT&T For $49.99

Earlier this month, BlackBerry announced the much-awaited Blackberry Torch 9810 smartphone. This handset is the successor of the highly popular Blackberry Torch smartphone and it runs on the new BlackBerry 7 Operating System. This handset has not yet launched in the Europe and Asia, but the folks living in the US can go ahead and get this smartphone. The Blackberry Torch 9810 is exclusively available for the AT&T customers in the US.

BlackBerry customers are passionate about their smartphones and they know to come to AT&T for the best choice,said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. From being the first carrier to offer the BlackBerry solution in 1999 to the broadest lineup of 4G-capable BlackBerry smartphones this year, we’ll continue to offer our customers the leading BlackBerry portfolio in the U.S.

blackberry torch 9810

Blackberry Torch 9810 features a 3.2 inch TFT LCD display with 640 x 480 pixels resolution, 1.2 GHz processor, BlackBerry 7 Operating System, Trackpad, Slide-out QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording, 4X digital zoom, continuous auto focus, face detection and more.

Other features include a 3.5mm stereo headset jack, Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Built-in GPS functionality, BlackBerry Maps, Built-in speakerphone, 8 GB onboard memory, microSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 768 MB RAM, 4G Connectivity, up to 54 hours music playback time, up to 7 hours video playback time, up to 6.5 hours of talk time, up to 12.8 days of standby time and a 1270 mAh lithium-ion battery.

AT&T customers can get the Blackberry Torch 9810 for just $49.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $15 monthly data plan. To buy this handset, head over to this page at AT&T online store.

Mobs and Riots – British Solution is Social Media Censorship?

ban social mediaThis year we’ve seen democracy protests in Egypt, flash mobs in Cleveland and Chicago, and most recently, rioting, looting and fires in England. What do all of these have in common? They have all been enabled to some extent by social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

What is the most natural reaction of a big government to a problem caused by social media? Naturally, they try to ban or censor it. We saw this happen in Egypt, when Mubarak shut down the internet. We’ve seen how Pakistan has shut down Facebook. It seems like more and more countries are following China’s great example for isolating people from news and social networks.

So what would you expect from the politicians of Britain? It looks like the impulse to protect people from the Internet (for their own good) isn’t absent in Britain, after the riots there. A report from EFF.org (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) provides a quote from Prime Minister Cameron which displays another misguided swipe at free speech in social media:

…when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.

video of London riots

Is this what England needs? Do they need police powers to censor social media? Of course they do, after all, it worked so well in Libya and Egypt. We’ll know more about what’s going to shake out from the rhetoric once members from social media services Facebook and Blackberry RIM meet with UK government officials on the 25th of August.

I hope that freedom wins over a restrictive political solution. As Ben Franklin once said “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.

The police need more understanding of how social media works, and not more power to stop it from working.

BlackBerry Bold 9900 Launched In India For Rs.32,490

Back in May, Research in Motion (RIM) announced its much awaited smartphone, the BlackBerry Bold 9900. This handset runs on the new BlackBerry 7 Operating System. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the company’s slimmest handset, which comes with the BlackBerry’s iconic QWERTY keyboard, 2.8 inch touchscreen display, 1.2 GHz processor, 5 megapixel camera, etc. The folks living in India can go ahead and get this handset, since the company recently launched the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in India.

We are thrilled to bring this outstanding new smartphone to the Indian market,said Frenny Bawa, Managing Director, India, RIM. We believe that customers will be extremely impressed with the exciting new features and exceptional performance delivered by the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry 7 OS.

BlackBerry Bold 9900

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 comes with the RIM’s new Liquid Graphics technology, which combines the graphics processor with the fast CPU and high resolution display to deliver a highly responsive touch interface and smooth graphics. It features a 2.8 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 640 × 480 pixels, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, Blackberry 7 OS, full QWERTY keyboard, 5 megapixel camera with HD (720p) video recording and playback,

It also comes with a 3.5 mm headset jack, 768 MB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, Voice activated search, WiFi, 3G connectivity, Bluetooth 2.1, NFC (Near Field Communication), Augmented Reality, Improved browser, BlackBerry Balance and a 1230 mAh battery.

This handset is also pre-loaded with many interesting and useful apps, including the premium version of Documents To Go, which offers powerful document editing features as well as a native PDF document viewer. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 comes with a price-tag of Rs.32,490, but you can easily get this handset for around Rs.30,999.

BlackBerry Offers to Help in Tracking Down London Rioters, Official Blog Gets Hacked in Retaliation

You are probably aware of the shameful display of hooliganism that has ravaged several British cities including London, just a year before it is due to host the Olympics. According to reports, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was the primary tool used to spread and organize the riots.

The riots started on August 6, in response to the Police shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham. A protest march by a couple of hundred people turned violent, and resorted to rioting, vandalism, and looting. Over the next few days, the disturbance spread to several other cities including Birmingham, Liverpool, and Nottingham. As mentioned earlier, the vandals, who were mostly youths, resorted to using BBM as the primary means of communication. UrbanMashup has dug up evidence that illustrates how BBM was used to spread information about areas that were being attacked and were vulnerable.

Reacting to the widespread allegations of misuse of BBM during the riots, the official BlackBerry UK Twitter account promised to co-operate with the police during the investigation. It issued the following brief statement on the aforementioned micro-blogging platform:


We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.less than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

Although RIM has declined to reveal the extent of its co-operation with the police, according to The Inquirer, The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act could be used to force Research in Motion (RIM) – the Canadian manufacturer of BlackBerry, to hand over data from its encrypted BBM network.

This announcement obviously didn’t sit well with some people. A group called Team Poison defaced the official BlackBerry blog in retaliation. Team Poison has urged RIM to not cooperate with the UK police, as it believes that handing over BBM data will lead to innocent bystanders, who were at the wrong place at the wrong time, getting implicated. It also threatened to release RIM’s UK employee database to the angry rioters, if the Canadian company didn’t back down. The offending blog post has already been removed by RIM, but a screenshot provided by an HN user is embedded below.

BlackBerry-Hacked

Look Out RIM, US Govt Testing iPad & iPhone For Security Standards

Given Apple’s recent Q2 numbers  indicating a 113% growth in iPhone sales, it’s no real surprise that people love their iOS devices. Many businesses and organizations have been slowly loosening their grip on forcing employees to use ‘sanctioned’ devices (read: BlackBerrys) in order for provisioning and providing support on their corporate network. Employees are now being allowed to put their consumer devices to business use, provided they meet certain requirements. The US government is no different.

The US Department of Commerce recently signed off on a $44,000  purchase of ‘Apple Equipment’, which consists of 55 iPad 2 tablets and 5 16GB iPhone 4s. The acquisition request was put through by the National Institute of Standards and Technology  (NIST) and was approved just a few days ago. One of the most relevant things to keep in mind, is that NIST provides mandates and standard procedures for FISMA (Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002). Among other things, FISMA governs the development, documentation and implementation of information security and information systems within government agencies. Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) are used to define standards developed by the US federal government for implementation in computer systems. This is where FIPS-140-1 and FIPS-140-2 come into play, which define a standard for cryptography modules.

As seen above, NIST has recently updated their Cryptographic Module Validation Program Process List  (PDF) to include both the iPad and iPhone FIPS cryptographic module tests. Both are in IUT (Implementation Under Testing) phase as of August 1st, 2011. This comes just after RIM announced the PlayBook to be the first FIPS-140-2 compliant tablet  for deployment within federal agencies.

Could this be an indicator that the US government is aggressively looking to bring iOS devices to their federal workforce instead of simply renewing contracts with Research in Motion for legacy BlackBerry devices? RIM has had the government supply market locked up for decades, it’s a very strict niche, but if anybody can force their way through, it’s Apple.

BlackBerry Unveils The Torch 9850/9860 Smartphone

Research In Motion (RIM) has finally unveiled the much-awaited BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 smartphone. This handset is the successor of the BlackBerry Storm 2. The Torch 9850/9860 runs on the latest BlackBerry 7 Operating System. This handset was originally called as the Storm 3, but it has been renamed to Torch 9850/9860. The BlackBerry Torch 9850 will work with the CDMA carriers and the Torch 9860 will work with GSM carriers. The BlackBerry Torch 9860 will be exclusively available to the AT&T customers in the US. Check out the complete specs below.

“BlackBerry customers are passionate about their smartphones and they know to come to AT&T for the best choice,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “From being the first carrier to offer the BlackBerry solution in 1999 to the broadest lineup of 4G-capable BlackBerry smartphones this year, we’ll continue to offer our customers the leading BlackBerry portfolio in the U.S.”

blackberry torch 9850

BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 Specifications:

  • 3.7 inch TFT LCD display
  • 800 x 480 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz Processor
  • BlackBerry 7 OS
  • Optical trackpad
  • On screen QWERTY keyboard
  • 5 megapixel camera with flash
  • 4X digital zoom
  • Continuous auto focus
  • HD (720p) video recording
  • Built-in GPS functionality
  • BlackBerry Maps
  • 768 MB RAM memory
  • 4 GB eMMC
  • microSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • Dedicated Camera and Lock Keys
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 4G Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Up to 6.8 hours Talk time
  • Up to 13.9 days Standby time
  • Up to 44 hours of Music playback
  • Up to 6.6 hours of Video playback
  • 1230 mAh lithium-ion battery

BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes with the premium version of Documents To Go, which offers powerful document editing features as well as a native PDF document viewer. The price of this handset has not been announced yet. This handset is expected to release by the end of this month.

BlackBerry Announces The New Torch 9810 Smartphone

BlackBerry recently announced the new BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphone. This handset is the successor of the highly popular Blackberry Torch smartphone. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 runs on the new BlackBerry 7 Operating System and features a 3.2 inch TFT LCD display, 1.2 GHz processor, Slide-out QWERTY keypad, 5 megapixel camera, etc. BlackBerry 7 OS comes with the WebKit browser engine which delivers browsing results that are up to 40% faster than BlackBerry 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry 5 based smartphones.

This is the largest global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history,said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO of Research In Motion. The BlackBerry solution offers a best-in-class mobile communications experience that customers love and we think they will be thrilled by the faster performance, enhanced browsing and richer multimedia delivered by these powerful new BlackBerry Bold and BlackBerry Torch smartphones.

blackberry torch 9810

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Specifications:

  • 3.2 inch TFT LCD display
  • 640 x 480 pixels resolution
  • 1.2 GHz processor
  • BlackBerry 7 OS
  • Trackpad
  • Slide-out QWERTY keypad
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • HD (720p) video recording
  • 4X digital zoom
  • Continuous auto focus
  • Face detection
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Built-in GPS functionality
  • BlackBerry Maps
  • 3.5mm stereo headset jack
  • Built-in speakerphone
  • 8 GB onboard memory
  • microSD card slot
  • 32 GB expandable memory
  • 768 MB RAM
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Up to 54 hours music playback time
  • Up to 7 hours video playback time
  • Up to 6.5 hours of Talk time
  • Up to 12.8 days of Standby time
  • 1270 mAh lithium-ion battery

BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes with pre-loaded applications and integrated functionality for increased productivity and collaboration. The price of this handset has not been announced yet. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 will be exclusively available for AT&T customers in the US. This handset is expected to release by the end of this month.

Motorola Pax: The Best Android “Blackberry” Yet

Motorola was one of the first Android adopters, and launched the first commercially successful Android device – the Motorola Droid. It also launched the first Android Honeycomb tablet – the Motorola Xoom. Unfortunately, the Xoom failed and none of Motorola’s new phones have been able to attract as many users as Samsung (with the Galaxy S and the Galaxy S 2). It has been sidelined by Samsung and HTC when it comes to Android smartphones, at least in the last couple months.

Motorola has been trying to launch a good Blackberry-ish Android smartphone with a QWERTY keypad in a candybar form factor since an year now. It first launched the Motorola Droid Pro on Verizon, and recently, the Motorola XPRT on Sprint. Both of them are promising devices, but haven’t seen a lot of sales.

Today, some images and details of a new Android QWERTY phone were leaked by the guys at ThisismyNext and Android Community. It’s codenamed the Motorola Pax, and looks similar to the Motorola XPRT.

However, it has a larger 3.5 inch display with a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. It also comes with a dual core processor, and may sport a larger battery. It will most likely run on Android 2.3.x Gingerbread. Most QWERTY candybar phones sport a smaller display. Though the Pax may be a bit bulky, having a QWERTY as well as a large display is a great combination.

Motorola Sprint Pax

No other details are out yet. We should probably see this device launched in a couple of months.

RIM to Announce New Blackberry 7 OS Devices Today

The official account of Research in Motion on Twitter, @BlackBerry, just tweeted out that RIM will be announcing some new devices running the new Blackberry 7 OS today.


You got it! New #BlackBerry devices are coming w/ our new OS, BlackBerry 7! Check back tmrw 4 deets on #BB7FanNight. ^CHless than a minute ago via CoTweet Favorite Retweet Reply

They haven’t specified which device launches they will be announcing, but we do have a rough idea of what they will announce, based on the multiple leaks and announcements in the last couple months.

If I was a betting man, my money would be on these devices being announced, along with the launch details:

  • Blackberry Bold 9900
  • Blackberry Torch 9810
  • Blackberry Touch 9860
  • Blackberry Curve 9360
  • Blackberry PlayBook 4G

Most of these devices will be launched on multiple carriers, and should be available by the end of August. Most of them have been announced already, but we should see exact release dates on various carriers today.

This will probably be the last major release of devices running the Blackberry OS. The next series of Blackberry devices will likely be powered by a QNX based OS, and will sport dual core processors. While all the devices I listed above are much better than their predeessors, they still leave a lot to be desired when compared to the current crop of Android smartphones. With the iPhone 5 launching in September, it’s only going to get tougher for RIM.

RIM Fires 2000 Employees; Stock Near 52 Week Low

RIM which has been completely blindsided by the Apple iPhone and Google’s Android in the last couple years, is in very dire straits. Its market share in the U.S. market is dropping and its stock is getting hammered every day. It’s currently near its 52 week low, at around $25.

Its dual executive arrangement isn’t working at all, and none of its recent products have managed to attract consumers. The Blackberry Playbook is officially a failure and even its lineup of new Blackberry devices doesn’t really seem impressive.

The only saving grace for RIM has been Blackberry usage in corporates, but even that has been dropping gradually.

Today, RIM announced that it would be laying off about 2000 workers, or about 11 percent of its total workforce. It has also shuffled responsibilities among a few executives and announced a few high profile departures. It commented that it would be explaining the exact reasons for the job cuts during its second quarter results on September 15.

The old guard in the smartphone industry (Nokia and RIM) is under attack by the new entrants (Apple and Android). Nokia is cozying up with Microsoft, hoping that Windows Phone 7 will be the panacea for all its problems. RIM has migrated almost all its new devices to the QNX platform, but none of those moves seem to be working so far.