Shane Cridlebaugh

Shane Cridlebaugh

Co-founder and legal nay-sayer of OSBB. Owner of SCrApps Application Development, WebWorks aficionado, Open Source contributor. SCrid2000 on most blogs. I build awesome BlackBerry apps when I'm not doing legal work or spending time with my wife and two boys.


Follow me on Twitter - @GShaneC

Check out my apps in BlackBerry World

Website URL: http://SCrApps.org
  • Published in News

Want System PlayBook apps on your Dev Alpha? OSBB's got you covered!

(Yes, this is a screenshot of my Dev Alpha)

This post is probably not of interest to anyone who doesn't have a Dev Alpha. To make things easier, I'll start with the download link: http://www.4shared.com/zip/JCrkKCn0/Apps_for_the_Dev_Alpha.html

Once you've started downloading, you can read a quick run through on what works and what doesn't.

If you got a Developer BB10 Alpha, you've undoubtedly noticed by now that there aren't exactly a lot of apps on it. Which is a disappointment, because the device really is amazing (especially considering that it's an alpha device). And like always, just because RIM didn't make everything easy for us doesn't mean that something can't be done!
Shortly after receiving the Dev Alpha I (and others) sideloaded several .bars onto it, which were built for the PlayBook. Much to my astonishment (and delight) many of the system apps for the PlayBook, as well as many other apps and games made for the PlayBook, worked quite well.

I found the following PlayBook system apps to work on the Dev Alpha:

Facebook
Kobo
Press Reader (PRPlaybook)
Slacker
Music (airtunes)
App World (Installs and runs over WiFi but DOES NOT let you download apps!)
Bing Maps (only launches Bing Maps in browser)
Calculator
Calendar
Clock
Contacts
Messages
Pictures
Shutdown button (from PB OS1)
Accessory Store (weblauncher)
GMail (weblauncher)
Twitter (weblauncher; Android one works very well)
Video Player
Voice Recorder
Weather (doesn't fit the screen well at all)
Youtube
Zinio

Keep in mind that some of these apps won't look quite right, but they all work. Unfortunately Docs To Go, Bridge, and several other apps do NOT work, but you can download all the .bars listed above from http://www.4shared.com/zip/JCrkKCn0/Apps_for_the_Dev_Alpha.html.

If you want to use your Dev Alpha for Twitter or sending SMS messages, you can use the android Twitter app for Twitter and the android Google Voice app for SMS.

I also recommend loading localbar2 (http://yohan.es/playbook/localbar2/) on your Dev Alpha; the UI is a little off but it works, and that's what matters.

So if you've got a Dev Alpha, go ahead and unlock some of it's potential, and also build us some awesome BB10 apps!

Manage your Playbook Apps Easily with Playbook App Manager!

I saw this on Twitter this morning, and after checking it out I thought it was pretty cool! Not only does it let you see all the installed apps on your PlayBook or your Dev Alpha device, it also lets you uninstall or force close (terminate) them, or install additional .bar files!

It looks like someone made a browser extension for both Chrome and Firefox that allows you to view the installed apps on your PlayBook or Dev Alpha, uninstall them (won't work for required system apps) or to sideload new ones! Check out the dev's instructions and download the extensions from http://gridbook.org/pb-app-mgr/.

After installing, you can easily connect to your PlayBook or Dev Alpha device by entering https://169.254.0.1/ into the url bar over USB, or by using your IP address.

I personally used it to remove the extra language files and the Desktop Software drivers (don't need them anyway right?) and it worked perfectly.

So far this is the easiest way I've found to manage whats on your PlayBook, so it's worth checking out.

  • Published in News

BB10 Developer Alpha Unboxing Video!

Disclaimer: remember that this is NOT a BB10 device, it is a developer alpha. The hardware and software are not what will be released officially by RIM later this year.

I want to get this up quick for everyone, so not much is going into the blog post. As the title states, this is an unboxing video for the BlackBerry 10 Developer Alpha.

We went into a decent bit of detail with it, not too much, and showed off the OS a little bit (the OS is remarkably similar to the PlayBook OS). We did an HTML5 test, ran the camera app (which sadly seems to not be the BB10 camera we saw demoed by Heins) and... well, you'll just have to watch the videos!

These were all filmed on my 9650, so the quality isn't the greatest, but here you go!

First, a short video I shot while waiting outside the doors to get in to get the device:

In this video I actually get the device, unbox it, and boot it up. The initial bootup takes a ridiculously long time, no actual OS information in this video:

The device froze, so I had to reboot it. I took that time to see what else was in the box.

Once setup was complete we did an HTML5 test and show the OS off a little bit:

Once last video to wrap up a question left from the previous video:

So that's it for now! Hope you enjoyed the videos, and we're going to see what we can do to get more features working on these phones for the devs lucky enough to have one.

  • Published in News

#BB10Jam Tuesday Morning Summary - with Video!

General Session

So by now you've probably heard all the news about BlackBerry World/BlackBerry 10 Jam.

The morning General Session was totally awesome. Some of the new features of BB10 were demoed, and let me say I'm totally excited for some of the new features, and it seems like RIM is really turning up the innovation that they've been so often accused  of lacking by the popular media. Personally, the fully integrated message inbox is one of my favorite features. That and the amazing physical keyboard are the two biggest things that prevent me from having even seriously considering switching to a different platform, and it's awesome to see RIM continuing to expand and evolve the inbox.

Another truly amazing feature, one that I would never have thought of. The BB10 camera has a feature that let's you essentially transport sections of the picture back in time, to get rid of problems coming from people blinking and other picture problems. Truly revolutionary.

That's all I have on the General Session, but JD wrote up an excellent article on it you can check out at here.

 

BB10 Developer Session

Saunders kicked off the BB10 developer session with some quick Mythbusting.

Myth #1: it's hard to develop for BlackBerry.

My favorite bit here was when Heins said you don't have to be like Android developers trying to eek out a living on Ads. BlackBerry has a ton of development platforms; HTML5, Air, C++, Android, QT, and others.

Myth #2: Developers are leaving BlackBerry.

BlackBerry has actually had faster developer growth than any other platform. RIM gave away over 20,000 PlayBook to developers last year. In total, as of April 30th BBOS and TabletOS have 99,500 applications in The BlackBerry App World.

SAP demoed a map app they made that they've ported to BlackBerry 10. I was able to get a pic of it, but it was super blurry so it got deleted. Sorry. Using WebWorks, they had it running on BlackBerry 10 within 2 days.

Saunders announced the release of the BB10 developer toolkits, which in and of itself isn't all that interesting to most nondevelopers, but it means that upon release there should be plenty of BB10 apps upon release of BlackBerry10.

Saunders also announced that Developer support would go on the road in the future, allowing people who can't make it to major events like BB10 Jam or BBW will still be able to still meet with RIM.

One other cool announcement is that there will be making strides to help App World to avoid becoming the App "cesspool" that Google Play has become. Part of that is a certification process. RIM is so confident in this certification process that they are guaranteeing that every certified app will make $10,000 in the first year of BB10. If a certified app does not, RIM will personally pay the developer to make up the difference. That right there is confidence in a platform!

RIM had some former TAT employees (TAT was acquired by RIM) present some Cascades code that is already available opensource for developers. You can watch an awful looking and grainy video of a short segment of it that I filmed on my PlayBook:

Here's a brief view of a weather app that uses Cascades:

Using the provided Cascades sample, this weather app was made in just a week.

Wikitude came up and showed off some of the awesome Augmented Reality features they'll have in BB10! It looks like AR games will soon be possible for BlackBerry developers. Check out another grainy video, featuring Wikitude's BB10 app:

Magmic demoed there new Texas Holdem King Live game, which will run on BB10, PlayBook, and older OS5+ BlackBerrys. Video:

Last, we were shown some cool stuff by Marmalade. Here's a short video of Back Breaker running on a Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha:

Other than that, there was some talk about the SDKs and developer tools, but not much of general interest. As a summary, expect some awesome apps from BlackBerry devs to be immediately available on the launch of BB10!

And some more grainy pics:

So that's it for now, but as more things come up in BB10 Developer Jam that are interest to you as a reader, expect to see it posted here on OSBB!

  • Published in News

How to Unlock your Playbook EScreen

Just a heads up before I get into this: At the time of this posting, doing this is UTTERLY WORTHLESS. There is no functionality AT ALL in the Playbook EScreen, at least not yet.

You may or may not be familiar with unlocking the escreen on BlackBerry Smartphones. This gives you access to a lot of information and some functions which are not generally available for your BlackBerry smartphone. For more information about the BlackBerry EScreen, read my tutorial here: http://opensourcebb.com/forums/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=27

RIM has included the escreen on the Playbook as well; getting to it is more difficult, and it doesn't appear to have any features yet, but it's there and if you feel like a moment of sheer geekiness you can unlock it.

First, we need to access the Help Me Screen. On your BlackBerry phone getting there is easy: you just need to hold alt + right shift + h. On the Playbook, it's a little more difficult. OK, actually without a third party app, it's impossible. But there's two different apps that will let you access the help screen. Note that you'll need to sideload these apps to use them.

The first app is called URI and is by xsacha, who you may be familiar with as one of the creators of Dingleberry. You can download uri from http://www.mediafire.com/?itoz5hv20zo54vo.

In my opinion, URI is worth having for any Playbook geek; not only does it let you access the Help Me Screen, it lets you launch any URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). It also contains a game! There's a list of URI's at https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/native/reference/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/topic/navigator_invoke.html, I'll list them at the end of this post.

If you opt to use URI, you just type  escreen:// in the box in the center of the screen and hit enter. It'll open the Help Me screen right up.

If that seems too complex for you, you can also load an app called EScreen Launcher by peter9477 of CrackBerry. This one just opens the Help Me screen, no typing needed. You can download it from http://nanonet.ca/downloads/escreen.bar.

Yay, you've got the Help Me screen open. It looks pretty unfinished, but that shouldn't surprise anyone; after all, RIM really doesn't intend for us to see this, much less the escreen behind it.

Now that we've got the Help Me screen open, if you want to unlock it you need a code. There's several ways for you to get the code. First, and probably easiest, you can visit http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9610464/HelpScreen.html from your browser. Or, if you'd like an app for it, you can download and sideload an escreen key generator from http://scrapps.tk/blackberry/apps/playbook/eScreenUnlocker.bar. Yes, I realize that app says that it doesn't generate a code for your PlayBook; I thought that was the case when I made it, but I was apparently wrong.

Enter your device information EXACTLY as it shows in the Help Me screen into the escreen key generator. Because the Help Me screen is actually more useful than the escreen on the PlayBook, I recommend you only set it for one day. When your code is generated, swipe up from the bottom left corner of your PlayBook to launch the keyboard. Enter the generated code into your PlayBook Help Me screen. Do not capitalize the letters. When you finish typing it, the EScreen should launch!

Yay, your EScreen is unlocked! Now, like I said at the beginning, doing this is absolutely worthless. The menus are all empty, and trying to launch anything gives you an error. I suppose it's possible we're not doing something right though, so if you find anything different let us know!

And, as promised, here's a list of working URI's that can be launched from xsacha's URI app:

Unlisted:
android://
escreen://

From https://bdsc.webapps.blackberry.com/native/reference/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/com.qnx.doc.bps.lib_ref/topic/navigator_invoke.html
appworld://myworld
appworld://content/12345
appworld://content=12345
http://URL
https://URL
camera://photo
camera://video
calendar://
calendar://showEvent?accountId=account_ID &eventId=event_ID
calendar://editEvent?accountId=account_ID &eventId=event_ID
calendar://newEvent?accountId=account_ID &dateStart=YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS &dateEnd=YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS &attd=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &subj=subject &loc=location &body=body_of_message
maps://?where1=address
maps://?style=style
maps://?where1=waterloo ontario&style=h
messages://
messages://newMessage?accountId=account_ID &to=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &cc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &bcc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &body=body_of_message &subject=subject_of_message
messages://showAccount?accountId=account_ID
messages://showMessage?accountId=account_ID &conversationId=conversation_ID &messageId=message_ID
mailto:comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses ?to=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &cc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &bcc=comma_delimited_list_of_email_addresses &body=body_of_message &subject=subject_of_message
music://albums
music://albums/album?id=album_id
music://albums/album?id=album_ID &play=file_ID
music://artists
music://artists/artist?id=artist_ID
music://artists/artist?id=artist_ID &play=file_ID
music://genres
music://genres/genre?id=genre_ID
music://genres/genre?id=genre_ID &play=file_ID
music://playlists
music://playlists/playlist?id=playlist_ID
music://playlists/playlist?id=playlist_ID &play=file_ID
music://songs
music://songs?play=file_ID
file_URL
photos://
photos://file_URL
photos://album_name
videos://recorded
videos://file_URL
musicstore://search=album_search_string
musicstore://search/song=song_search_string
musicstore://search/artist=artist_search_string
settings://about
settings://airplane
settings://enterprise
settings://wifi
settings://softwareupdate
settings://bluetooth
settings://bb_bridge
settings://internettethering
settings://screen
settings://hdmi
settings://sounds
settings://general
settings://storagesharing
settings://security
settings://language
settings://keyboard
settings://date_time
settings://pim
settings://pim/listAccounts
settings://pim/defaultAccounts
settings://pim/createAccount
settings://pim/showAccount?id=account_ID
vchat://URI?camera=camera_param &displayname=displayname_param &callingApplication=callingApplication_param

  • Published in News

PlayBook Users: App World Not Supported? Change your language!

Several people have reported today that they've been getting this error when they open App World on their BlackBerry PlayBook; as these complaints seem to be coming from the United States and the UK (which are most definitely supported countries) there seems to be some problem with RIM's servers.

Well not to fear, if you're encountering this the solution is fairly simple (although it may make your PlayBook seem a bit foreign to you *bad joke*). If you're having this issue, just open your device settings and change your language to something other than English, wait 30 seconds or so, and open App World again. French is what worked for me, other OSBB members reported that Deustch is what worked for them.

It's not the ideal solution, as the only French I speak is what I learned from Pepe Le Pew as a young child, but App World is pretty good about letting you know what's going on with the pictures, and a lot of app descriptions are still in English.

Thanks to @Brian_Enders for the tip!

  • Published in News

Playbook OS 2.0.1.326 showing up for some, includes Netflix!! (April Fools Joke)

Better put this notification here: This was an April Fools joke. I'll leave the .bar links up for a little while though, anyone who wants to send someone a Netflix app that seems like it's gonna work for about 15 seconds can probably use it for some fun.

Some people have reported that Playbook OS 2.0.1.326 is showing up for them in Desktop Manager! It isn't showing up for me, but one of our tipsters extracted most the .bars from the Temporary directory and sent it to us!

Download the 2.0.1.326 .bars from: http://www.4shared.com/zip/ho-2vqSX/201326.html

If you just want the Netflix.bar and not the other files, I uploaded it separately here:

http://www.4shared.com/file/3Ic-naUV/Netflix.html

I'll post later about how the updates work, especially Netflix! Just wanted to throw up a quick blog post to let everyone know and share the download link for people who, like me, don't have an update showing up yet!

These bars can be sideloaded using any standard sideloading tool. I've loaded the Android App Player and Netflix so far, they work and a ten second look over suggests they're running great!

Update: it looks like when you sideload the .bars they don't overwrite the existing apps, but rather create new icons which show up at the bottom of your app list like any other sideloaded .bar.

Create a Custom Home Page for your Playbook Browser!

Last night I discovered something that quite a few people knew about, but I hadn't heard of and that I think is totally awesome: you can use the Playbook browser to look through the filesystem of your Playbook by entering the URL "File:"

I got bored of that a bit quickly, because you can't really do much in the filesystem without root access, which we don't have anymore. But I did realize that you could use this feature to set a custom homescreen for your BlackBerry Playbook!

So this morning I did some quick html coding and made myself a custom homescreen. And, as is my custom, I decided I'd share it with the OSBB community :)

As you can see in the picture above, there are a total of 16 shortcuts, that take you to:

BlackBerry.com
The OpenSourceBB Blog
The CrackBerry Blog
The BerryReview Blog
Google Search
Yahoo Search
Amazon
eBay
Twitter
Facebook
LinkedIn
Youtube
FoxNews or CNN News (depending on the version you choose)
Wikipedia
IMDB
And the Bridge launchpad

Installation instructions:

First, download either the FoxNews or CNN version (this is the only difference between the two) to your desktop.

Fox News Version

CNN Version

Then follow these instructions:

1. Extract the "browser" folder from your Browser.zip/
2. Place the "browser" folder into the "misc" folder of your Playbook filesyestem.
3. Open your browser and open settings
4. Under the General tab, change the "For a New Page Show" option to "My Home Page."
5. For the Home Page option, enter: file:///accounts/1000/shared/misc/browser/index.html
(Make sure you have three /s after file: as shown above).
6. That's it! You now have a custom home page!

Feel free to modify index.html using any text editor to change the urls and the icons used! A Paypal donation button is included, but can be easily removed by editing the index.html.

After talking about this with the rest of the OSBB team, I was informed that there's also an app that will do this in BlackBerry App World, which you can check out at http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/97907/.

  • Published in News

Via Seeking Alpha - "Is There Asymmetrical Coverage Of Research In Motion In The Media?"

Normally I don't repost stories from other NetBlogs; I'm of the opinion that doing so doesn't really add to the total collective of knowledge of the online community. However, every once in a while I'll run into an article that's beyond excellent. This article from Seeking Alpha was one of those articles. And seeing as how I'm super busy prepping for finals, I figured it wouldn't hurt for me to share it here.

The article, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, is "Is There Asymmetrical Coverage Of Research In Motion In The Media?" Most BlackBerry fans feel that there is, and this article goes over that.

I'll quit boring you and let you get to the article (the original of which can be read  here):

A group of psychologists conducted an experiment on a normal, healthy man. Let's call him John. On the day of the experiment, as soon as John got up in the morning, his wife suggested that he looked sick, even though there was nothing wrong with him. His kids, co-workers and friends that he came in contact with that day said the same thing. Of course, the scientists controlled who the subject came in contact with that day and coached them. John had started the day in good health but by bedtime he was really a little sick. Such is the power of constant bombardment of suggestions; direct and subliminal.

Now imagine if instead of casual suggestions by family members and friends; he was subjected to more forceful statements by doctors and other experts. Our subconscious mind plays a far more important role than our conscious mind.

Research in Motion (RIMM) has been facing major challenges for the last few years. RIMM botched up new product introductions, underestimated the importance of "apps", did a terrible marketing job, misguided Wall Street analysts and made a few other blunders.

Ms. Barbara Stymiest, the new Chairperson of the Board said she will be making a major overhaul, but so far nothing has been done. This is an example of another problem at RIMM: at times it moves too slowly. The two ex-CEOs -- Mr. Mike Lazaridis and Mr. Jim Balsillie -- pioneered a new industry and took their company from a start-up to $20 billion in annual sales in just a few years, a heroic achievement by any measure. However, they missed the seismic shifts in consumer tastes and preferences.

In my humble opinion, these two gentlemen instead of being paranoid (there is an excellent book, Only The Paranoid Survive, on this subject by the great visionary Andy Grove:), became over-confident, complacent and arrogant. I think RIMM's early successes resulted in hubris spreading to the top ranks at RIMM. They mocked and ridiculed Apple (AAPL) while Apple and that great magician, the late Steve Jobs ate RIMM's lunch. They also missed the threat from Android. Today, Apple is almost 100 times more valuable than RIMM. I believe if these two gentlemen had been focused and grounded, it would have been RIMM, not Apple, on the conference call discussing what to do with $100 billion in cash. Who knows, one day it still might.

Despite their more recent shortcomings, these two gentlemen built a formidable company that has a very strong foundation, owns some of the best technologies in mobile communications and has a solid business. RIMM's customer base, international presence and partnerships with carriers all over the world are also very impressive. Oh, one more thing. RIMM also has the best security, a feature that will become even more important over time. However, if someone were to follow RIMM only in the US media; he would wrongly conclude that RIMM is a dead, or an almost dead, company. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Despite losing market share in the US, RIMM has a strong, clean balance sheet and is cash-rich. RIMM generates a very healthy cash-flow and commands an important market position in international markets, especially in emerging markets where the growth in adoption of smart-phones will be much higher than in the United States.

RIMM also has an enviable base in large and mid-size corporations, as well as the public sector in North America. Subscribers that pay a recurring monthly subscription fee to RIMM for its BBM/BIS/BES services have been steadily increasing.

RIMM also owns patents that are very valuable. RIMM's proprietary secure network (deeply entrenched in most major companies' back-end systems) is envied by other providers. The BBM service provided by RIMM, using its own proprietary network, is popular all over the world. RIMM has, as of end of last quarter, 75 million subscribers that are expected to increase to 100 million in short order as the company expands in ChinaIndia, Indonesia and a number of other countries. This particular part of the business can also be viewed as a social network in a hardware box. Each subscriber has a unique pin that is associated with his or her phone. There may be possibilities to further leverage this unique asset.

RIMM has been caught in a vicious negative cycle. Only the negatives are highlighted in the media while just a passing reference, if any, is made to the positives. The negative articles in the media turn off consumers and the app developers. This has a negative influence on the businesses. For example, there are no CNN and New York Times apps for Blackberries and no Skype app on Playbook. This further turns off more consumers. The problem (among so many others) is that RIMM management does not have an effective media strategy. RIMM is probably the most trashed company today. Never before a company with such solid financials and profitable business has been so badly beaten up and declared almost bankrupt by so many in the US media.

Here are a couple of examples of the negative bias in the US media:

A $34 billion American company, Haliburton (HAL) says it is switching to iPhone and this news is given wide coverage in the media. Haliburton is switching only 4,500 employees from a Blackberry phone to an iPhone over the "next two years". Is this really that big news? No. But it gets 24/7 coverage, with articles repeated over and over for days quoting this "news". Yes, it is evident that enterprise customers will switch from RIMM (who said RIMM will own 100% of the enterprise market forever!) but the Haliburton "story" is quoted day in and day out in the US media. Motley Fool sensationalized the above Haliburton story in an article without any of the real facts or data; just embellished perception trying to make something sound much larger than it is.

A major insurance company in Britain, Aviva, with $90 billion in annual revenues and 46,000 employees is not only enhancing and upgrading its Blackberry products but will be using the PlayBook. However, there was hardly any mention of this in the US media. The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal did not report on this story but jumped on the Haliburton story? Why there was hardly any coverage of RIMM being aninnovative leader or RIMM launching its services in China?

"Reporting", at another website that covered the launch of RIMM services in China, gives more importance to some random checks by an analyst talking to sales associates in a few stores in the US than to the fact that RIMM's service is being launched by China Unicom (CHU) in the biggest mobile market in the world. This "report" says that the analyst at MKM Partners expects the stock to "trade down toward $10″ this year, but that his $15 target is already fairly "conservative". What does that mean? The analyst further says that he lowered his estimates and now expects RIMM to earn $2.92 this year (implying a PE of little more than 3 for a debt free company with a book value of $23 at the end of 2013). The book value of RIMM goes up to $23 factoring in current book value plus last quarter's earnings plus lowered earnings estimated for this year.Articles questioning whether President Obama will switch from Blackberry are just malicious attempts to damage RIMM and Blackberry. Anyone can conjecture anything. In the last few weeks, on the eve of RIMM's fourth quarter earnings call, a number of analysts have predicted that RIMM will miss its own forecast and will have a bad quarter. So far, RIMM has not announced any warnings about its last quarter.

Even Forbes finally conceded that RIMM is a company that people love to hate. Another media outlet recently covered the introduction of integrated keyboard by RIMM for its Playbook. Please take a look at the comments below the article where it is evident that finally people are getting disgusted with all the vicious and unfair trashing of RIMM. The short sellers and other vested interests saw a chink in RIMM's armor and made a full frontal assault. They don't even hide the fact that they are being biased.

Why so many people want RIMM to fail is beyond me. If you do not like the product, do not buy it. If you think the stock is over-valued, short it or buy puts or don't do anything. But why this talk that "RIMM will go bankrupt" and "RIMM should close its door and distribute the cash" incessantly as if RIMM did something horrible to them? A report on Forbes is downright vicious towards RIMM. The author seems to have a personal vendetta against RIMM and uses his blog on the Forbes platform to trash RIMM. This same author has been writing trash about RIMM that makes you wonder his motivations. There are other "reporters", bloggers and "journalists" who constantly trash RIMM all over the media and seem dedicated to destroying RIMM.

I have the greatest admiration for Apple as a company and think highly of its products. Apple's management is one of the best. A company of that size will naturally have some problems. Did the bloggers at Barron's, Forbes, Minyanville, AllthingsD or anchors at CNBC and so many other "news" outlets report extensively about Apple's problems with theChinese workers dying or being abused at factories making Apple products, or Apple being sued for "Siri" not living up to the representations Apple made when it sold the iPhone 4S? Why these outlets are relatively silent on privacy issues with iTunes and apps on Apple's devices? What if Blackberry had such privacy issues? These same people who are now subliminally encouraging US consumers to go buy that latest iPad (or do marketing for Apple) would have filled the media with so much hate against RIMM and asked for immediate demise of RIMM as they did when RIMM suffered an outage in 2011. I repeat; if there was a correction in Apple's stock price, I would buy Apple stock. Apple is a terrific company and is very well run. In fact, if I were RIMM's CEO, I would hire senior members of the marketing team and other executives at Apple (if they can be persuaded), no matter what the cost is.

Nobody believes that RIMM will keep the market share it enjoyed 5 years ago (the market has grown exponentially) or else RIMM would be a $500 stock. Apple's equity valuation is $550 billion while RIMM commands slightly over 1% of Apple's valuation. Is RIMM worth only 1% of what Apple is worth? If the market gives RIMM a valuation of just 6% of Apple's valuation, RIMM would be more than a $60 stock.

Now look at some of the investors who are putting new money in RIMM:

  1. Prem Watsa
  2. Lazlo Birinyi
  3. Leon Cooperman
  4. David Einhorn
  5. Mike Lazaridis (ex CEO who already owns more than 5% of the company)

Each of these investors has made more money than all the naysayers combined. By naysayers, I mean those who are writing articles all over the US media how RIMM is dying. Do these naysayers understand the strengths of RIMM and the probability that the new BB10 phones may be a competitive product? Or do they understand how RIMM will leverage other QNX powered devices to sell more phones and tablets?

Those who are determined to destroy RIMM are taking one good viable option (mobile communications platform) away from the consumers. RIMM's board and management should immediately embark on a strategy to stop this negative bias in the US media so when BB10 is released, RIMM's image has not been further tarnished by the media. RIMM should also allay all those fears of existential threats by arranging a multi-billion dollar credit line (arranged or supported by the Canadian government or financial institutions connected with RIMM). Every day that RIMM management and board ignore these vicious attacks, RIMM loses its brand value in the hearts and minds of consumers. Better yet RIMM should do the following; as I pointed out in a previous article:

  1. Current Shares O/S approx. = 500 million (assuming some buy-back in Q4).
  2. Tender offer for 200 million at $20 a share = $4 billion.
  3. Shorts disappear, bashers who are out to destroy RIMM will move to greener pastures when they see RIMM finally striking back. They have to cover in addition I will have a bid at $20 for probably more shares than available at $20. RIMM has created a floor now.
  4. Negative coverage is reduced or reversed now. Perception of reality is changed. RIMM starts reversing the damage done in the minds of retail and business customers (current and potential), app developers, employees that I want to hire and talented employees that I want to keep and other partners. Now everyone knows RIMM is here to stay so all that rubbish talk of existential threats is out the window.
  5. RIMM can easily post $3 billion in profits in a year or two, EPS $10 (only 300 million shares outstanding)
  6. If a PE of 10-12 is accorded to RIMM, stock price of RIMM will be at $100-120.
  7. Pay off debt of $4 billion with cash flow or a secondary at $100 or more.
  8. Grow RIM and be a significant player in the mobile space. There is enough room for all four of us (Apple, Android, Microsoft and RIMM). This will be a $500 billion market. (There are estimates that the mobile communications/computing industry will be a trillion dollar industry by 2015.)

RIMM should also come clean and either deny or confirm if there was any preliminary interest by potential suitors in the last 24 months. There are several reports that Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT) were interested in buying RIMM in the summer of 2011 when RIMM was in the $30 range (with a premium, we could be looking at $45-$55 if these reports are true) but now the stock trades at $14.

I sense that an increasing number of people are realizing that what has happened to RIMM is not good in the long term for the mobile industry and for markets in general. RIMM is the only "small guy" in the mobile platform industry; the other three companies, Google (GOOG), Apple and Microsoft are much bigger. RIMM's market cap is $7B; Google $200B; Microsoft $250B and Apple $550B.

The mobile industry, experts say, will be around $1 trillion in a few years. All four companies will play an important role as this industry innovates while consumers and businesses benefit from these new tools. I do not believe that the carriers, businesses and consumers would want RIM to wind down its platform and go away. Lazlo Birinyi said RIMM maybe the Apple of this decade. It's a "maybe", I agree. But even if RIMM were to be just one fifth of Apple; RIMM's valuation will increase to $100B or $200 per share. That's fine with me too.

Why there is so much hatred for RIMM? What do you think? I welcome your thoughts below.

Disclosure: I am long RIMM.

/End Quote

I personally totally agree with the article; if you agree or disagree, sound off in the comments!

How to Use a Proxy on your Playbook

These instructions, complete with professional grade photography, will show you how to use your Playbook WiFi via a proxy. A Proxy acts as a mask for your internet device; internet sites you visit will detect your location as the proxy location. Using a country for another country will enable you to view content which might not be available in your own country. There's also a little something of App World charging different prices for apps in different countries, which could potentially be impacted by a proxy. 

I wrote these instructions for inclusion with my Tablet TV app, which is still pending approval in App World. I felt the information could be valuable to the BlackBerry community, so I've updated it a bit to make it more universally applicable and I'm posting it here. Before getting to the instructions, a very important disclaimer.

WARNING! Any information you enter into a Proxy might be accessible to the proxy owner! NEVER input ANY important personal information when using a proxy! OpenSourceBB and the Author of this article are NOT in ANY way, shape, or form responsible for anything that happens to you or your information as a result of your use of a proxy (up to and including spontaneous combustion and/or cranial implosion).

Please check all applicable laws before using a proxy with your Playbook.

All that being out of the way, let's get to the instructions :)

First you need to get a proxy url and port. Proxies can be obtained online; just google Proxy IP and you will get many results. The IP will be a 4-part number, something like 168.254.0.1, and the port will be a number like 80. 

Open the settings by clicking the settings icon in the top right hand corner of your BlackBerry Playbook. Open the WiFi tab (1 in the picture), go to saved networks (2 in the picture), and click on the WiFi network you're connected to or that you want to use for proxy access (3 in the picture).

 Scroll down to the four check boxes. Check the one that says "Use HTTP Proxy" - several new lines will appear (1 in the picture). Enter your Proxy IP and port (2 and 3 in the picture). For this example, I'm using an IP Address from Hungary, 178.48.2.237, and port 80. You probably don't need a user name or password unless one was listed where you got your proxy from. After you enter your information, click "Save and Connect" (4 in the picture).

That should be all you need to do! To make sure it's all set up right, visit an IP lookup site such as WhatIsMyIPAddress.com (shown below) and it should show the location and IP of the proxy you're using.

When you're done using a proxy, you should turn the proxy back off to return your WiFi location to normal. After all, when you use a proxy all your traffic goes through the proxy site, and you certainly wouldn't want to do any online banking or anything like that (at least, I wouldn't). Switching back is easy, just repeat step one to get back into the settings for your WiFi network and uncheck the proxy box so it looks like the picture below.

That's it! So now you know how to setup a proxy if you ever need to. Happy Playbooking :)

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