Greg's bite: Blackberry caves in to Dubai
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Blackberry caves in to Dubai

By Greg Mills

The conflict between RIM and Dubai has been resolved -- and RIM blinked. The issue is that access to Blackberry network data within individual countries is different than other cell phone services, such as an iPhone account through AT&T.  

The authorities can go to the various cellular networks to access account information of suspected terror or crime figures, with a warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. The data resides with the cell provider on its servers. The RIM security problem has come up in India, Saudi Arabia and other countries that are beginning to monitor electronic communications on a national basis.

In some cases the cellular networks roll over and give full access to all information they have on an account, or, in the case of AT&T, they are a bit less forthcoming and demand a warrant for every bit of information they give up. Here Sprint is the easy cellular network to provide customer data, while AT&T is the most secretive with customer information. I like every bit of 
privacy I can get and that is one reason us iPhone customers, who can gripe about the network failings, should praise the efforts of  AT&T to protect our privacy.

Research In Motion (RIM) has developed a following in the business world where a leak of business information to a competitor could be devastating. RIM has all data files on its servers in Canada. They're accessed through encrypted means through the Internet -- so said data can be accessed through any cellular provider. This fundamental difference is the grist of the dispute.  

The data that flows through various cell providers is highly encrypted. That makes it harder, if not impossible, to monitor Blackberry data streams on a local basis. Presumably, RIM will not honor requests to monitor customer data easily, and a national security agency would have to go through the Canadian courts. It is likely a well heeled and savvy national security agency such as the NSA has long ago cracked the Blackberry encryption. Remember the Secret Service frowned upon Obama carrying his beloved BlackBerry for security reasons.

Dubai authorities know criminals and terrorist prefer as secure a system as possible to plan, organize and execute their attacks. The middle east is very security conscious and are much more inclined to sweep privacy issues aside to prevent attacks. 

The problem for RIM is that they can't stand the possible situation where all Blackberry phones get shut down in certain countries. This hits them with a serious dilemma, as they are just launching the new Blackberry Torch. and recent research indicates a large percentage of current RIM customers are planning to buy an iPhone or Android phone ASAP.  According to a recent
Nelson survey of current BlackBerry users, over half intend to abandon their RIM devices in favor of an iPhone or Android phone when their contracts expire. Multiply this as entire companies also dump RIM and you see the worrisome issue RIM faces. While they are the top dog in the market at this time, the writing is "on the wall" that big changes are ahead in the market. 

The RIM version of the Microsoft flop Kin might have just been launched. The Torch BlackBerry device has just been launched to the resounding boos of virtually every tech writer in the media. The problem is that there is nothing compelling about the new device. The iPhone has everything going for it RIM offers. but for a tactile keyboard and a blinking red light on the device to denote an email or text message has come in. Plus, the iPhone has so much more RIM can't provide. The market place, as RIM is finding out, has little gratitude  for yesterday's technology. Projections are grim for RIM.

Apple has adopted serious business software for iPhone, and the advanced color screen and powerful features are certainly craved by RIM users who suffer with a tiny, low res screen, slow processor and a tiny app selection. The clicking tactile keyboard, blinking red light and encrypted data stream are the only features holding them back from going to a modern touch screen device, iPhone or Android.

Apple and others are working on a merger of technologies where a touch screen and tactile, raised keyboard are one and the same. While patents have been issued, it is unknown how close such a screen is to being launched. The red light is a snap to replicate. I am used to the ding on my Apple devices as a message comes in and don't think a blinking light is that big a deal. Apple could add an LED that would blink red for an email, green for a text message and yellow for a calendar event in addition to the sound effects for next to nothing as multicolor LEDs are cheap and the power requirements are minor.

The notion of a clear tactile keyboard that overlays the touch screen is also in the works.  The keys are raised and click as you see through them to read the characters on the keyboard.  Technical issues remain on that variation of the keyboard as well. Frankly, a clicking sound using a pure touch screen approach is perhaps the best we can hope for now.

If RIM opens it's data stream to national security agencies around the world, so that they can no longer claim an edge in security,  Apple adds a cheap little blinking LED to the iPhone and some sort of small tactile keyboard emerges, RIM is toast, covered with  Apple jam, I might add.

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills.mac.)


 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

CSR Racing 2: Your guide to what's...
CSR Racing 2, or CSR2, as it likes to call itself, has finally arrived. The follow-up to the immensely popular drag racing game CSR Racing is the first release from NaturalMotion since the studio's acquisition by Zynga in early 2014. [Read more] | Read more »
Nanuleu (Games)
Nanuleu 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: Nanuleu is a strategy game where you take control of ancient magical trees that protect the land from an invading dark force. A... | Read more »
The Slaughter: Act One (Games)
The Slaughter: Act One 1.0.323 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0.323 (iTunes) Description: “The game mixes realism and surrealism to create a story that can cause just as much laughter as fear. A-” -... | Read more »
NEO TURF MASTERS (Games)
NEO TURF MASTERS 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: NEOGEO’s legendary golf game is back, in a brand-new mobile version with touch controls! NEO TURF MASTERS (also known as “BIG... | Read more »
How to send money to a friend with the F...
Facebook is already a lot of things to a lot of people. It's a social network, sure, but also a tool for catologing memories, chatting with friends, and much more. [Read more] | Read more »
Branch out into the Chinese market with...
Created a game that you’re super enthused about, only to find yourself struggling to get it the exposure that you believe it duly deserves? With the time, energy and money that goes into development, it’s only right that games should be given the... | Read more »
Pocket Arcade Story (Games)
Pocket Arcade Story 1.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.00 (iTunes) Description: Here comes a new challenger: it's the arcade simulation game you've been waiting for! Build your very own gaming... | Read more »
How to get coins faster in Rodeo Stamped...
There comes a time in a cowboy or cowgirl's life when all the riding and lassoing skills in the world aren't enough. You're going to need some cold, hard cash to keep your sky zoo expanding in Rodeo Stampede. [Read more] | Read more »
How to out-do Cam Newton in Can You Dab?
The thing about dance crazes is that you're never really sure when they've run their course. Take the Dab, for instance. Propelled by its adoption as the touchdown celebration of choice for Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, the Dab seemed... | Read more »
Artik Games releases Splashy Cats for An...
Splashy Cats had us hooked from the title alone, and when we found out the game was literally just zig-zagging one of our favourite pop-culture references, guised as a playable cat character, down a river – our appetites were whetted to say the... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

New App Reminds Us to Put Down Our Phones and...
Mode, a new smartphone app that makes us more mindful of how we use our devices, debuts in the app stores today. The Mode app tracks time spent in different modes of day-to-day life without... Read more
ZuumSpeed Personalized Speedometer + HUD For...
RMKapps has announced the release and immediate availability of ZuumSpeed 1.0, its personalized speedometer plus heads up display for iOS devices. ZuumSpeed gives users over 18 custom fonts available... Read more
Apple refurbished clearance 15-inch Retina Ma...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1609, $390 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. They have refurbished 15... Read more
9-inch 128GB Silver iPad Pro on sale for $50...
B&H Photo has the 9.7″ 128GB Silver Apple iPad Pro on sale for $699 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
Why Use Indie Opera And Vivaldi Instead Of Sa...
For many years my web browser workhorses were various permutations and spinoffs of the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox Open Source platform, and the Norwegian indie browser Opera, which I took a shine to... Read more
Western Digital Launches Worlds Fastest 256GB...
At the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai Western Digital Corporation this week introduced a new suite of 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards, which includes the new 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I... Read more
KeyCue 8.1 Integrates With Typinator To Displ...
Ergonis Software has released KeyCue 8.1, a new version of the company’s keyboard shortcut cheat sheet. KeyCue 8 introduced a new way to define a wide variety of triggers, which can be used to... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac Pros available for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
21-inch 2.8GHz iMac on sale for $1199, save $...
Amazon has the 21″ 2.8GHz iMac (model #MK442LL/A) on sale for $1199.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* iPhone 6s and New Products Tester Ne...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.