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

Nokia Poll: Qwerty (and, by extension, BlackBerry) is King.

Disclaimer: as far as I can tell, this poll is neither scientific nor unbiased. It is likely that only Nokia phone users/lovers took this poll, and I haven't found any information about how many people from how many countries took it. That being said...

Earlier today on CrackBerry I read that a poll had been conducted that asked smartphone users what type of keyboard they prefer. I found the poll and read what I could about it; it seems that it was conducted informally by Nokia, and although I was hesitant at first to post about it on OSBB, I eventually decided that any mobile survey that shows that a key BlackBerry feature is the worldwide preference.

One of the main reasons I love my BlackBerry is because of the keyboard. Heck, the keyboard was pretty much THE reason I got a BlackBerry in the first place, back before I even knew what a smartphone was and I picked up an 8330 0n the cheap (IMO, 8330 keyboard is still the best to date). And even through my adventures  with Android tablets and iPod touches, even now with my PlayBook, I pull out my BlackBerry phone when I need to compose or respond to an email.

As the figure above demonstrates, it would appear that most of the world agrees with me. Qwerty keyboards, according to the Nokia poll, are more popular than any other  type of input.

People in the US do seem to disagree with the rest of the world; in the US, the following results were obtained:

  • Touchscreen: 47.22%
  • Qwerty keyboard: 33.33%
  • Voice command: 12.5%
  • Number keypad: 6.94%

That being said, could it not be that there simply isn't a well advertised qwerty keyboard phone within the US to compete with the slew of iOS and Android touchscreen phones? Personally I believe that to be the case.

So RIM, make sure that BB10 Keyboard knocks everyone's socks off!

Source: http://conversations.nokia.com/2012/08/10/qwerty-keyboard-wins-the-battle-of-the-input-methods/

Introducing the OSBBx bbUI.js Contest

Attention BlackBerry developers!

Have you made any new apps lately, or recently gotten started on a new project?
Have you ever built an Open Source app, or wanted to, but just didn't know where to start?
Have you ever tried building an app using RIM's BBUI.js framework for WebWorks based apps?
Do you want the chance to win cool prizes, like a PlayBook, gift cards, or other cool swag, just for doing
what you already do?

If your answer to any of those questions is yes, then keep reading!

You might have heard of OSBBx, the new developer arm of OpenSourceBB. If you haven't, you should check it out at http://x.opensourcebb.com/. OSBBx represents a new paradigm; taking advantage of RIM's new dedication to open communication between RIM and devs, OSBBx is an effort to create a developer community with close ties to multiple RIM employees and departments, dedicated to providing developers with samples, tutorials, discussion forums, and other helpful information -- all aimed to help developers create better BlackBerry apps.

As one of the first steps towards growing OSBBx, we're introducing the OSBBx bbUI.js Contest.

The official rules and information will be forthcoming soon, but for now, here's a quick rundown of how things will work:

1. Build an awesome app using bbUI.js, RIM's Javascript framework (bbUI.js can be found in Github at https://github.com/blackberry/bbUI.js).

2. Enter your app in the OSBB bbUI.js Contest, which opens on September 1st.

3. Win cool swag!

Yes, it really is that simple. The contest will open on September 1, 2012; prizes and official rules will be announced before then. App submissions will be accepted through September, and winners will be contacted shortly thereafter. Although this contest is not sponsored by Research In Motion, RIM has donated a BlackBerry PlayBook and RIM personnel will assist OSBBx in judging app submissions. Other contest sponsors have already pledged several hundred dollars worth of other prizes and swag as well.

So get started on some truly awesome bbUI.js apps, keep your eye on OSBBx, and get ready to win!

  • Published in News

Future BlackBerrys to feature Thermal Imaging?

THERMOGRAPHIC AUGMENTED REALITY DISPLAY IN AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE
US PATENT APPLICATION NUMBER 13/007,763

ABSTRACT
An electronic device is configured to capture thermal information of objects and subjects in real-time utilizing a camera or infrared sensors or utilizing a camera and infrared sensors. The electronic device comprises a display which can depict thermal or temperature information regarding objects or subjects overlaid or layered on image data of objects or subjects. Displayed temperature or thermal information can include numeric information corresponding to discrete or bounded or partially bounded areas of objects or subjects. Thermal information or temperature information can be combined with augmented-reality applications in an electronic device and shared with other electronic devices via one or more networks.

This morning, a good friend of mine from CrackBerry sent me a link to an article about a recent patent that even Q would be proud of. RIM applied for a patent titled "Thermographic Augmented Reality Display In An Electronic Device," application number 13/007763 (if you'd like to read the original article I read about this, you can here). When I first heard about it, I assumed that the patent would be in relation to RIM's QNX automotive development; for example, to detect if any deer or beavers were in the road ahead. After looking at the patent and reading some other information about it, I quickly realized that this was not the case. RIM filed a patent for a Smartphone that would detect heat levels, and then use augmented reality to overlay heat information onto the image displayed by your smartphone camera. According to the patent, the thermal imaging would be capable of displaying either temperatures or heat gradients.

I'm not entirely sure what practical application a camera like this could have, other than for James Bond (perhaps in detecting fevers or other medical uses). I did find it amusing that the phone pictured appeared to be a Storm2, but as the drawings are at least 18 months old I suppose that shouldn't come as a surprise.

Regardless, this is a super cool patent (in my opinion). If you'd like to see the patent in full, you can check it out at the US Patent Office Website. Keep in mind that just because a patent has been applied for doesn't mean that it will ever be available in a consumer product, or even be approved by the patent office or FCC.

Addendum: Some Legal Analysis

Originally I did not intend to include this in the OpenSourceBB blog, but after discussing it with other OSBB Team members I decided a short blurb might be of interest to some of our readers.

When I began reading about this patent and what it could do, I recalled a case that we discussed in a Criminal Law class which I took Fall Semester of 2011. The topic at that time was the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution, which was focused on what constitutes an unlawful search. The case which was being discussed (and one which this patent and any products which use the technology it describes will, if ever created, have an immense bearing on) is Kyllo v. United States, 533 U.S. 27. I don't expect anyone to know of the top of their heads what Kyllo is about, so I'll give a brief, very informal summary:

Kyllo was growing pot in his house, and the Police suspected he was. For those of you unfamilliar with growing any sort of plant, there's a need for heat and light in order for the plants to grow. Marijuana growth generally involves heat lamps, which, as the name implies, put off a lot of heat. So police officers got some thermal imaging devices, and at 3am, when the home would generally be fairly cool, took several measurements of the temperatures emanating from the home.

Now I can't make head or tails of this low resolution image that I have of the thermal imaging (obviously, the police were not using state of the art BlackBerry Thermal Cameras), but someone could interpret it well enough to claim that there was a lot more heat than would normally be expected emenating from the area above Kyllo's garage. Using this evidence, the police got a warrant to search Kyllo's home and, surprise surprise, found a bunch of pot there.

Kyllo's case went up to the Supreme Court on the issue of whether or not police could use a thermal imaging device without a warrant; Kyllo claimed it was a search, and violated the Constitution. The prosecution, naturally, argued that it was not. The Supreme Court found that it was indeed an impermissible search (which is why you don't see cops driving around with thermal imaging devices). However, the reason why it was considered a search was not based on any sort of invasion of privacy argument. According to the court,

Where, as here, the Government uses a device that is not in general public use, to explore details of the home that would previously have been unknowable without physical intrusion, the surveillance is a “search” and is presumptively unreasonable without a warrant. - Justice Scalia

 That is, police couldn't use a thermal imaging device without a warrant because thermal imaging devices weren't generally available to the public. So if thermal imaging devices ARE generally available, does that mean that police can ride around scanning everyone's homes for out of the ordinary heat and get a warrant to search it as a result?

I'm not on the Supreme Court (or even an attorney), but I would assume that the answer, based on Kyllo, is yes. So if Thermal Imaging BlackBerrys are released, make sure to heavily insulate any area of your home where you intend to have a shrubbery.

  • Published in News

Photos of BB10 Dev Alpha OS 10.0.6.386

By now you already probably know that an update for the BB10 Dev Alpha dropped.

This is just a short post to show some screenshots of the update; most are of the new initial setup, as other than that the OS has not changed much in appearance.

[gallery]

  • Published in News

How to Run #BB10 on your BlackBerry #PlayBook

EDIT/ WARNING  - THIS HAS NOT BEEN TRIED WITH THE OFFICIAL BLACKBERRY 10 OS, AND DOES NOT WORK WITH THE MOST RECENT DEVELOPER ALPHA OSES!

We know that BlackBerry10 will eventually be coming to the PlayBook. If you need further proof of that, you can install BlackBerry 10 onto your PlayBook right now.

A few days ago, OSBB reported that RIM had finally pushed out a BlackBerry 10 reload image for the Developer Alpha Devices. Well, just as with PlayBook OSes, it was possible to extract the Developer Alpha OS.

OpenSourceBB readers probably remember Dingleberry, a tool which was used to obtain root access during the 2.0 Beta. While rooting is no longer viable, Dingleberry also has a feature that allows you to update/downgrade the OS on your PlayBook. This update feature, in conjuncture with the BB10 Developer Alpha OS, can be used to run BlackBerry 10 on your PlayBook.

Before beginning, let me say that doing this probably voids your PlayBook Warrenty. Further, it could potentially ruin your PlayBook, your computer, and numerous small animals which might be in the vicinity. While this process has not resulted in any problems on my personal PlayBook, that doesn't mean it can't cause problems for you. I and OSBB assume no responsibility for your actions (unless you win a crapload of money, in which case I claim full responsibility and request a large portion of the winnings).

With that out of the way, here's how to install BB10 on your PlayBook:

0. Ebable Developer mode and wifi file sharing on your PlayBook. Also, make sure that your PlayBook is charged to at least 25%.

1. Download Dingleberry. It is still available from http://dingleberry.it/

2. Download the BB1o Developer Alpha OS. You can choose either of these versions:

10.0.4.197: http://www.filefactory.com/file/3ll7369t3qtj/n/10.0.4.197.zip

10.0.6.386: Has not been confirmed to work, but can be downloaded from: http://www.filefactory.com/file/1gw5vcwv0a9r/n/10.0.6.386.zip

3. Open the zip file and extract the qcfm.image.com.qnx.coreos.qcfm.os.sdk.desktop.xxxxxxxxxxxx.signed.bar (the other bar seems to be a wireless radio that is not compatible with the PlayBook). The bar you want is the larger of the two.

4. Place the qcfm.image.com.qnx.coreos.qcfm.os.sdk.desktop.BB10_0_04.197.196525.signed.bar in the \Firmware\Custom folder of the Dingleberry folder. If this directory does not exist, create it.

5. Run Dingleberry and select Firmware. Select custom, and click update. Your firmware should update.

Note that the update may fail a few times, but it will eventually load, and you'll be running BB10 on your PlayBook.

Now, the current version of BB10 is very crippled. It lacks many features that will be contained in BB10. App World doesn't work, nor does Docs To Go, and many other apps. To be honest, at this point there's no practical reason to install BB10 on your PlayBook... other than to have BB10 on your PlayBook.

That being said, RIM should be pushing out an update to the Dev Alpha this week RIM JUST pushed out an update to the BB10 Dev Alpha. Hopefully this procedure will work with that OS as well (the OSBB Team will make sure to make that OS available if possible) and we might be running a fully featured BB10 on our PlayBooks!

To return to OS 2.0.1 or OS 2.1, you can just load the QCFM from either of those OSes, or do a security wipe (I prefer just using Dingleberry to downgrade to 2.1, because that doesn't require reinstalling all your apps).

  • Published in News

Need to restore your Developer Alpha OS? You can now with Desktop Manager.

Earlier this week we mentioned that Wayne from the BlackBerry Beta Zone was going to get an update to the Developer Alpha pushed out.

Well the update isn't out yet, but it looks like RIM has finally managed to get the update OS feature working for the Dev Alpha; if you've bricked (or lost the Camera from running a security wipe) you can now reinstall 10.0.4.187 (which might be a downgrade if you were on 10.0.4.197, but an upgrade from a bricked device) using Desktop Manager.

I believe you'll need to be running the Beta version of Desktop Manager for this to work, which you can get from https://beta.webapps.blackberry.com/betas/view/953

We're still hoping for an update sometime this week!

If you want to read the discussion in the Beta Zone, you can check it out at https://beta.webapps.blackberry.com/threads/view/10839.

Stay tuned folks, hopefully we'll have more cool stuff in the wake of this release.

Dev Alpha Device to get update next week.

Good news Devolpers! Wayne over in the BlackBerry Beta Zone forums just let us know that an update for the BB10 Developer Alpha devices should be available next week. Wayne said:

The good news is that the new Desktop Software 7.1 build should be ready anytime now and developers have implemented fixtures to the software loading on your Alpha devices.

The bad news is the new Alpha build for your devices won't be ready till next week (it is handled by another team) so in the meantime it will still say "no updates available".

I'll keep everyone posted on the progress here so if you know anyone thats lost wondering why their Alpha devices don't work please point them to this thread. Thanks!

You can read the full discussion here: https://beta.webapps.blackberry.com/threads/view/10839?pg=0

Internal builds of BB10 are up around 10.0.6, according to some RIM employees, and are rumored to have a lot of features working that aren't currently available for the Dev Alpha (BBM maybe?). Hopefully this update will bring some enhanced functionality to the Dev Alpha.

Keep your eyes peeled for the release to drop; in the meantime, also download the new BlackBerry Desktop Software from the Beta Zone, which apparently has some cool new features, like add pictures/music by dragging your media into BlackBerry Desktop. According to the Beta Zone:

With BlackBerry Desktop Software 7.1, you can:

- Add a BlackBerry PlayBook tablet that has BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0.1 or later installed on it

- Sync your music by individual songs or by collections of music, including albums

- Sync all of your configured data at one time by toggling the sync button in a synchronization screen and selecting sync all

- Drag and drop picture and video folders from your computer into the BlackBerry Desktop Software to sync with your smartphone or tablet

- Learn about Music, Pictures, and Videos before configuring the features

  • Published in News

Brine - an iOS emulator for PlayBook (not yet available).

This morning a youtube link was floating around on Twitter showing several popular iOS games playing on the BlackBerry PlayBook. Personally, I was a bit skeptical at first, but it seem fairly likely that this video might actually be legit, and is being called Brine by its developer.

Apparently the developer (Bubble Wrap on Twitter) has created an iOS emulator (check his other YouTube video at the end of this post to see it running in Windows) and ported it to the PlayBook.

Sacha (one of the key minds behind Dingleberry, who has also developed/ported several Qt apps for PlayBook) confirmed that the developer behind the Brine project contacted him about it last year. For those of you more technically inclined, iOS apps are mostly compatible with the PlayBook, except for several libraries which are called on by iOS apps that are not in the PlayBook system. Brine works by wrapping these  missing iOS libraries into the app, and therefore allowing iOS apps to be played. Sacha also mentioned that Chris Wade (one of the other minds behind Dingleberry) has been working to port his own iOS emulator, iEmu, to the PlayBook.

When will this be available? I'm wondering the same thing myself. Personally I won't be holding my breath, given Apple's willingness to (ab)use the legal system to prevent competition, for the developer to make this app public. Businesscat2000 on CrackBerry, who first posted the video and says he is the developer, stated that

I would like to release to the public, but not sure if I will be able to.

So there you have it folks. It's certainly possible, and if OpenSourceBB (or OSBBx) manages to get their hands on this we'll certainly post more videos and pics, and maybe even try to get a public leak out ;)

As promised, here's the other video:

Read more about this on the CrackBerry Forums at http://forums.crackberry.com/news-rumors-f40/real-fake-ios-apps-running-playbook-729197/ and http://forums.crackberry.com/playbook-apps-games-f243/ios-apps-running-playbook-video-729195/.

  • Published in News

PBOS 2.1 available for download for Devs (and you)

Today RIM made PlayBook OS 2.1 available for Developers to download. Unlike the 2.0 beta downloads, 2.1 is fully featured.

You can head on over to https://developer.blackberry.com/devzone/register to register, or if you want the .bars for sideloading you can download them from http://jumbofiles.com/oshma1fjbdux courtesy of OSBB. Due to popular request, a version without some of the larger bars (still includes email, contacts, etc) can be downloaded from here: http://www.4shared.com/zip/3S3vTzNf/210560.html

Why would you want the .bars for sideloading you ask? I don't know why, but I've heard rumors that the Email app looks awesome on the BB10 Developer Alpha device.

  • Published in News

RIM updating App World Developer Portal in preparation for BB10

I submitted a new PlayBook app to App World earlier today, and I noticed that RIM made a small change in preperation for BlackBerry 10. This Dropdown menu formerly let you choose between OS4, OS5, OS6, OS7, or TabletOS. As you can see, it now lists BBOS and QNX.

While little things like this aren't unexpected, but it's good to see these little signs of RIM moving along towards a BB10 release. Hopefully BB10 BlackBerrys will popup in the list of devices you can submit an app for soon!

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