The Mary Sue


BlackBerry’s CEO Would Totally Sell BBM for $19 Billion, Guys, If Anyone’s Into That

It's official: every single human would rather have $19 billion than BBM—in case you were wondering.

BlackBerry's totally relevant BBM messaging service went cross-platform, and sooo very many people were trying to sign up at once that they established virtual lines, which was definitely necessary. Surprisingly, BlackBerry's CEO now says he'd sell the super lucrative messaging service for the low price tag of "exactly the same as WhatsApp."

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BlackBerry Messenger Is Available for iOS and Android, but You Have to Wait Your Turn

We thought the point of the Internet was not waiting in lines.

It's a great day for BlackBerry users, as their beloved BBM proprietary messaging service has finally gone cross-platform. We tried to take the iOS and Android versions for a spin, but demand for accounts on the service is supposedly so high that there's a virtual line. Yeah, we were surprised, too.

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BlackBerry Users Will Finally Be Able to Talk With All Their Friends, BBM’s Going Cross-Platform

Personal experience may vary, but most of the BlackBerry users I know all cite BlackBerry Messenger as a defense whenever someone says anything negative about BlackBerry. They really seem to love it, but the only people who have been able to use BBM are BlackBerry owners. That's about to change. This summer BlackBerry will launch versions of BBM for iOS and Android. You finally be able to message for free with your one friend who still owns a BlackBerry.

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Demo BlackBerry 10 on Your Phone to See What Your Phone Would Be Like If It Were Worse

BlackBerry is really hoping to make it happen with the launch of the Z10 and its new BlackBerry 10 OS, and a key to that will be getting people to try it. To that end, they've launched an in-browser preview of BlackBerry 10 that you can try on your device right now by opening in your mobile browser.

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Blackberry CEO Calls iPhone Outdated, Redefining Situational Irony

Thorsten Heins, CEO of Blackberry, which was a popular business accessory back in the early 2000's, said in an interview he feels the Apple iPhone was outdated. This doesn't even count as a "pot calling the kettle black" situation. This is a whatever historically pre-dated the pot calling the kettle black, and it's awfully big talk coming from a company whose stock is trading at about three percent of Apple's.

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What’s in a Name? Research In Motion Officially Rebrands as BlackBerry

The smartphone market pretty saturated at current. Folks can agree on that, right? Between Apple and Microsoft, there's a cornucopia of devices on the market right now. So, how does a company like Research In Motion move forward in this kind of atmosphere? Well, they announce a bunch of new phones, because of course. That's all fairly boring and standard, though. What's actually interesting is that Research In Motion has decided to succumb to peer pressure: They've changed the company's name to BlackBerry.

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The BlackBerry 10 Won’t Let You Use Batman, Gandalf, Most Winnie the Pooh Characters for Your Password

i'll just leave this here

Deep within the bowels of the Internet (OK, on a popular BlackBerry site, so not really), an intrepid blogger has uncovered a list of 106 passwords banned on the upcoming BlackBerry 10. The usual culprits are there—123456, abcdef, password—alongside some more… unexpected entries. And they are:
batman canada coffee dragon eeyore falcon gandalf merlin ncc1701 piglet poohbear pookie rabbit ranger snoopy tigger wizard
What did Winnie the Pooh ever do to you, BlackBerry?! (via: ThinkGeek. Image by Olechka, via Robot Mutant) Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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National Transportation Safety Board Ditches Blackberries For iPhones, Hurtles Into 2008 Full Speed Ahead

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is the latest entity to jettison the Blackberry phones it has issued to employees for years, reminding people everywhere that RIM's increasingly maligned mobile devices are, in fact, still things that exist -- for the time being, anyway. For those of you still interested enough to be operating doomsday clocks for the company, you can safely move them a couple of minutes closer to midnight.

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RIM Releases Goofy BlackBerry Music Video, Somehow Warms the Cockles of Our Hearts

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that BlackBerry, and by extension Research In Motion, hasn't being doing so well as of late. It's not news to us, and it's not news to them. However, being a company on the decline doesn't mean you're out of business just yet. They're still flailing about, trying to garner any attention that they can. It's into this environment that they have now released a video of their leadership team, er, singing to developers. Seriously.

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RIM Loses $147,200,000 in Patent Verdict

In what continues to be a bad year, Research In Motion has now been ordered by a California jury to part with $147,200,000 due to patent litigation with Mformation Technologies. You see, back in 2008, RIM was sued by Mformation for infringing on their patent in regards to remote management systems for wireless gadgets. RIM claims that they were already using the technology when Mformation filed for the patent but it doesn't look good for the folks behind BlackBerry.

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Samsung Totally Wasn’t Involved in This Bizarre Anti-Apple Flashmob [UPDATE]

Last weekend, a group of black-clad people carrying pre-printed signs poured out of a black bus outside the Sydney Apple store. They chanted "wake up!" and shook their signs which bore the same slogan. Most assumed it was some kind of guerrilla marketing campaign, with Samsung being a likely candidate. However, the Korean electronics maker has denied any involvement.

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BlackBerry Black Out Spreads To North America

So Blackberry's have been experiencing an outage of sorts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South America for the past few days. Now, the trouble has started moving to users in the U.S. and Canada. The problems include questionable email service and no access to Internet browsing. The issues started at the beginning of this week and haven't been improving On Tuesday, RIM reported that the issue had been solved, only to report later that they were working on it. Unless solving it involves speading the issues to North American users, things aren't looking good. RIM has released a statement explain that:

The messaging and browsing delays ... were caused by a core switch failure within RIM's infrastructure. As a result, a large backlog of data was generated and we are now working to clear that backlog and restore normal service.

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BlackBerry Messenger Music Service Goes Beta

In a world were there are already many different music service options, there is now one more: BlackBerry Messenger Music. In hopes of working its way into the market (presumably), BBM Music seems to be tackling the subject from a somewhat different angle, however. BBM Music, currently in closed beta, goes for a $5 per month subscription. For that price you get to build a music profile of 50 songs, 25 of which you can swap out for new ones each month. Sound a little limiting? Well, that's because they are trying their best not to directly compete with streaming giants like Spotify.

The focus of BBM Music, it seems, will be a social one. In addition to your personal collection of songs, you can then share your collection with friends and your friends can share with you. If you find a song you like, you can then add it to your library. On top of that, you can make playlists that include your songs and the songs of your friends, and then share those. Share, share, share.

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A History of Mobile Productivity [Infographic]

This original title for this infographic was "A History of Mobile Productivity," which I think is a bit misleading since very little about modern mobile devices is productive. However, it is a remarkable look at the lengthy story of where the smartphone that you dare not be without for a few seconds came from. Surprisingly, this graphic begins its story in the mid-1970s, long before I would have assumed. Along the way are some other memorable moments, like Apple coining the phrase Personal Digital Assistant (long live the Newton) or the first BlackBerry in 2002. For the real gadgetphiles among us, it's a walk down memory lane; for everyone else, it's a rehash of things we couldn't afford for the last 30 years.

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Study Probes the Depths of Cell Phone Attachment, Proves We May Have a Problem

No sex, no shoes, no problem? Maybe if you are as attached to your cellphone as one new study would suggest. A new study, commissioned by communications company TeleNav, says that our society is obsessed with cellphones. The study sought an answer to the question: Exactly what would people give up before their cell phone? The answer is a surprising amount of life's pleasures (and essentials). The results show there are differences between the different types of smartphone and between genders, but overall, people were willing to go to great lengths to keep their phone in the palm of their hand. A third of all people surveyed were willing to give up sex for a week rather than go without their cellphone (although, 70 percent of these people were women). Another 70 percent said they would give up alcohol, 63 percent were willing to forego chocolate, and 55 percent of people were willing to go without caffeine rather than have no access to their cell phone. However, there were some limits to how far people would take their cellphone separation anxiety.

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Mobile Market Breakdown by State

Even though you may feel like everywhere you look, someone has their iPhone in a thick protective case sitting out on the table in front of them, mobile ad network Jumptap is here to tell that you that Android is winning the overall mobile market share in the U.S. The above map depicts iOS activity versus Android activity across Jumptap's network, which happens to reach 83 million mobile users.

Oddly, Android and iOS seem to be split by region, as southern and western states seem to opt for Android, whereas New England and mid-western states prefer Apple's operating system. Overall, Android has a 5 percent lead in market share over iOS, with 38 percent compared to Apple's 33 percent (as of June). Even though Android has more market share than iOS, Jumptap points out that iOS devices perform better for advertisers, with a 0.78 percent click-through rate compared to Android device's 0.47 percent. Head on past the break for some charts. You love charts, right?

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Open Letter From Employee Calls Out BlackBerry, RIM Responds

An open letter addressed to the management team at Research in Motion has surfaced online, which claims to be from an anonymous employee of the company and is highly critical of the BlackBerry maker. The BGR blog, which published the letter, says they have confirmed the identity of the author. But regardless of who wrote it, the letter is a detailed and unflinching critique of the company. In the letter, the author criticizes RIM for focusing too much on their carrier partnerships and not enough on end user experience. The unnamed author also voices concerns over how RIM operates, calling for everything from a better work place (the author compares the offices to "Soviet-era government workplaces"), to better product management, to a new CEO. The big wigs at RIM responded by posting their own letter. Theirs is mostly defensive, first calling the letter's authorship into question, and the sticking to their established patter: RIM is in transition, RIM is doing fine. They do, however, acknowledge that this is something of a pivotal moment for the company, and say they are taking those challenges seriously. They do not say they are directly addressing any of the letter's concerns. Read on below for the full text of both letters.

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RIM, Playbook Might Be in Trouble: Announces Layoffs, Dismal Numbers

In a much anticipated announcement, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion gave some grim news and cagey information about its financial situation and their new Playbook tablet. According to them, their net income for this past quarter was $695 million. This might seem like a lot, but it's pretty dismal compared to a net income of $934 million in the previous quarter, and $769 million in the same quarter last year. On top of the lousy financials, the company announced that it had shipped 13.2 million BlackBerry phones and 500,000 Playbook tablets. The fact that these are shipping and not sales numbers is particularly significant; RIM can ship as many units as it wants, but it won't matter if those tablets are sitting in packing crates or in retailer's stock rooms. The lack of sales numbers on the new Playbook tablets, which were released in April, and lower-than-average income would seem to suggest that the  Playbook is a flop.

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Mobile App Store Revenues Projected to Explode Over Next Four Years, with Apple in the Lead

If you've been following tech trends to any extent, it's probably no surprise to hear that mobile still has a lot of room to grow or that Apple, for all its foes, is poised to continue making boatloads of money for the foreseeable future. But the numbers at stake here remain striking to contemplate: According to research firm IHS, app sale revenues will grow 77.7 percent in 2011 alone, with Apple gobbling up a 76 percent share of that revenue. Of the 3.8 billion dollars in play this year, IHS predicts that Apple's App Store will take 2.9 billion, with Android Market a distant second with 425.4 million, followed by BlackBerry App World at 279.1 million and Nokia's Ovi Store at 201.5 million. Though Apple may have a commanding lead right now, IHS cautions us not to count Android out: That projected 425.4 million dollars is a 295 percent increase over the Android app market last year, and a continued growth rate that speedy could allow Android to claim a large portion of the staggering 8.3 billion dollars in play by 2014. (via Guardian)

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Microsoft Teams with RIM, Brings Bing to BlackBerry

At Research in Motion (RIM)'s BlackBerry World conference today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the beginning of a new, significant partnership between the two companies. Ballmer said that Microsoft will "invest uniquely" in forthcoming RIM devices by baking in Bing search and location functionality at the operating system level. From now on, Bing will be the default search engine in the BlackBerry web browser. Users will be able to change this setting, but Bing will likely expect to see a boost in user base from those satisfied with its performance, or just uninteresting in changing the devices settings. Additionally, Bing will be the default location app for new BlackBerries shipped to mobile carriers. This part of the deal has a major caveat, as the mobile carriers can sign separate deals with Google and supplant the Bing support.

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