Research in Motion Introduces BlackBerry OS 6

BlackBerry smartphone maker, Research in Motion, has unveiled the next version of their BlackBerry operating system.

Waterloo, ON – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced BlackBerry® 6, a new operating system for BlackBerry® smartphones that retains the trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with a touch screen and trackpad, expanded messaging capabilities that simplify managing social media and RSS feeds, an advanced multimedia experience that rivals the best in the industry, a convenient new Universal Search tool, and a new and efficient WebKit-based browser that renders web pages quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience.

“BlackBerry 6 is the outcome of RIM’s ongoing passion to deliver a powerful, simplified and optimized user experience for both touch screen and keyboard fans,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-ceo, Research In Motion.  “Following extensive research and development to address consumer needs and wants, we are delivering a communications, browsing and multimedia experience that we think users will love, and we are thrilled to debut BlackBerry 6 on the amazing new BlackBerry Torch smartphone.”

In today’s press release, RIM talked up four marquee features:

  • Visual, Fluid Interface
  • Fast Rich Web Browsing
  • Social Feeds and Text Messaging
  • Engaging Multimedia Experience

RIM will be working with their carrier partners to develop upgrades for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the BlackBerry Pearl 3G.  If you are a new BlackBerry Storm2 owner like me, or you have a BlackBerry Storm, it looks like we are going to be out of luck.  RIM stayed quite on upgrades for us.  The new BlackBerry Torch 9800, announced today, will ship with BlackBerry OS 6 pre-installed.

You can read the full press release on the RIM website.

Safari Jailbreak Can Compromise Your iOS Device

Remember that jailbreaking website I told you about yesterday?  Seems like it might not be a great idea after all.  Turns out the browser exploit that the jailbreakers are using opens the iDevice up to attack from “bad guys” too.

“Sean Sullivan, security advisor with F-Secure Corporation, revealed on Tuesday the technical details of the jailbreak process, which is done entirely in the Mobile Safari browser. The jailbreakme.com site includes 20 separate PDFs for different combinations of hardware and firmware.”

“While the jailbreakme.com URL itself is not intended for malicious purposes, the PDF exploit it uses could be utilized by hackers to more nefarious ends. Miller said that with this method, a hacker does not need physical access to an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad — they just simply need to have the user visit a vulnerable website.”

The bottom line here?  Think twice before you jailbreak your brand new iPhone 4 or other iDevice boys and girls.

[Via AppleInsider.com…]

Connecticut AG Probing Apple, Amazon on EBook Agreements

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating agreements between the country’s largest e-book publishers and two of the largest sellers — Amazon.com, Inc. and Apple, Inc. — that may block competitors from offering cheaper e-book prices.

Both Amazon and Apple have reached agreements with the largest e-book publishers that ensure both will receive the best prices for e-books over any competitors — contract provisions known as “most favored nation” (MFN) clauses.

In letters to Amazon.Com and Apple, Blumenthal is calling on the companies to meet with his office to address these concerns. Publishers that have reached such agreements with Amazon and Apple include Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin.

These agreements appear to deter certain publishers from offering discounts to Amazon and Apple’s competitors — because they must offer the same to Amazon and Apple. This restriction blocks cheaper and competitive prices for consumers.

After a preliminary review, Blumenthal’s office has already found that e-book prices offered by Amazon, Apple, Borders and Barnes & Noble for several New York Times Bestseller books were identical among all four sellers.

“These agreements among publishers, Amazon and Apple appear to have already resulted in uniform prices for many of the most popular e-books — potentially depriving consumers of competitive prices,” Blumenthal said. “The e-book market is set to explode — with analysts predicting that e-book readers will be among the holiday season’s biggest electronic gifts — warranting prompt review of the potential anti-consumer impacts.

“Amazon and Apple combined will likely command the greatest share of the retail e-book market, allowing their most-favored-nation clauses to effectively set the floor prices for the most popular e-books. Such agreements — especially when offered to two of the largest e-book retail competitors in the United States — threaten to encourage coordinated pricing and discourage discounting.”

You can read and download a PDF copy of Mr. Blumentha’s letter to Apple and Amazon on the CT.gov website.  A copy of today’s press release is also available online.

RIM: We Won’t Turn Over Your Data Because We Can’t Access It

BlackBerry device maker Research In Motion (RIM) issued a statement today regarding the security of customer data that is stored on their servers and that traverses their systems.

In an online article appearing on the Wall Street Journal website, Phred Dvorak writes:

“RIM said the BlackBerry network was set up so that “no one, including RIM, could access” customer data, which is encrypted from the time it leaves the device. It added that RIM would “simply be unable to accommodate any request” for a key to decrypt the data, since the company doesn’t have the key.

The BlackBerry network is designed “to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances,” RIM’s statement said. Moreover, the location of BlackBerry’s servers doesn’t matter, the company said, because the data on them can’t be deciphered without a decryption key.  “RIM assures customers that it will not compromise the integrity and security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution,” the statement said.”

While I like to think that my data that passes between my BlackBerry Storm2 and RIM’s network operations center, or NOC, is secured, even from RIM, in today’s day and age, I’m still a little bit skeptical that if the US or Canadian governments came knocking on RIM’s dock that they won’t eventually turn over the data.  For how, RIM is taking the moral high ground and is backing their customer base.  Good for you, RIM!

iPhone Jailbreak Available for the Masses

Over the weekend, the iPhone Dev Team has posted a website that exploits a vulnerability in the Safari browser that allows you to jailbreak your iPhone 4.

To jailbreak your iPhone 4 or iOS 4 device, head over to the website jailbreakme.com.  Once jail broken, you will be able to run all the unauthorized applications that Apple doesn’t want you running.

Jailbreak your iPhone 4 or other iOS 4 device at your own risk.

[Via GadgetsOnTheGo.net…]

Android 2.2 for Moto Droid Rolling Out As Early As Tomorrow [Updated]

A number of tech blogs were abuzz this weekend with reports that Verizon Wireless could begin pushing out Google Android 2.2 “FroYo” updates as early as tomorrow.

The 2.2 update, like many recent over-the-air updates on other platforms, is likely to be a phased deployment, meaning that it may take as long as 2 weeks before your phone receives the upgrade is available notice.

I haven’t seen any of the Motorola Droids that I support pop-up the upgrade available notice yet.  When the upgrade becomes available for your phone, a notice similar to the following will appear.

“FroYo” for those not in the know, stands for “Frozen Yogurt.”  Google’s other Android updates have been code named “Donut”, “Cupcake”, and “Eclair.”  At least their updates are getting healthier.

Update:
You can download the official Verizon Wireless Motorola Droid 2.2. update release notes from Verizon as a PDF file.

[Via Droid-Life.com…]

Who Will Lead Apple After Jobs?

Elecronista the gadgets for geeks blog has an interesting article posted called, “What will it take to carry Apple’s torch after Jobs?”

“For years, there has been speculation over CEO Steve Jobs’ health. Is he fully capable of running his company? Over the past year, Jobs has made it clear that he is now healthy and he is firmly at the helm. But what will happen when it’s time to retire and leave Apple in the hands of someone else?

Whoever takes over Apple, whether it’s Tim Cook or someone else, will find themselves in an unenviable position. They will be forced to fill the shoes of arguably the best — or certainly the most in-control — CEO the technology industry has ever seen. And everyone, including investors, customers, and other stakeholders will be skeptical of that person’s ability to run Apple the way Jobs would have.”

You can read the rest of Don Reisinger’s very well written editorial on Electronista.com.

[Via Electronista.com…]