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Yes, my friends, November 4th marks one year since it was announced that John Chen would be taking over as CEO of BlackBerry and what a year it’s been.

So, to celebrate, we’ve managed to grab for you THE most sought after device on the market right now – a beautiful unlocked Passport (which means it will work pretty much anywhere) for you to win – right here.

To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this article, it’s as simple as that and we’ll announce the winner (who will be chosen at random) on the anniversary of John’s appointment. Seems rather fitting, don’t you think?

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JohnChen-on-CNN

Earlier this week, BlackBerry CEO John Chen sat down for a one-on-one interview with Kristie Lu Stout from CNN.  This interview focused mainly on his turnaround strategy and his plans to achieve growth and increase market-share.  He did mention that on BlackBerry’s road-map, the Internet of Things, the development of technology and enhanced security from its patent portfolio would play a big part in generating additional value for its shareholders.  He also reiterated that BlackBerry intended to maintain the device making part of the company as it was a critical component of its secure end-to-end enterprise solution that it provides.

The interview is available on CNN’s website at the following link below:

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Hard working BBM peeps!

Hard working BBM peeps!

As the next version of BBM for Windows Phone approaches the Microsoft App Store, the employees at BlackBerry are working at a feverish rate to get the best experience to its users.

Behold version 120.0.0.9!

This version, “offers fixes for slow initial launch time on fresh install.” They also go on to say that, “this a process that is CRITICAL for providing a great first experience for new BBM users on Windows Phone.”

All good stuff.

If you are a beta tester for BBM for Windows Phone, then check your email and let us know what you think of the newest version.

Drool level, 1000

Drool level, 1000

Owning a BlackBerry Passport this early from launch date has its ups and downs.

The ups: Its the best phone on the market, its beautiful to look at, its orgasmic to hold, you can make fun of your other friends that want one, but haven’t had the chance to get one yet, etc.

The downs: Official OEM accessories are hard to come by. The black hard shell case for the passport has been out of stock for like…forever and the leather flip cases are still in “pre-order” status as of this post.

So what’s an accessories junkie to do? Buy knock offs!

That’s what I did.

A lot of warning flags were going off in my head when it came to this purchase. How long the delivery process might take, the quality of the product, the product actually fitting my Passport, it being Chinese, etc. But for $9.90 American, it was a leap of faith I was willing to take.

So lets get down to it and crack this nut open.

Lets start off with the price. like I said a second ago, its only $9.90 American and like $400 Canadian (joking) and it comes in three color options, red, black and brown. The description says, “BlackBerry Passport 4.5inch Sleeve Pouch protect bag slim and light, perfect fit,” and all of that is true. Its light, like super light. It has a great fit, when the phone is in the pouch, there isn’t any ugly over hang at the opening and the phone doesn’t feel like its going to slip out of the pouch also, its snug.

Great fit.

Great fit.

I’m not a leather expert by any means, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was in fact real leather. Maybe low grade leather, but leather nevertheless. The stitching on this pouch is really nice! It has nice, thick string, with no loose parts or missed stitches. I have to say, very surprised about the stitching. The pouch has a clean look with one BlackBerry logo on the bottom right. A nice touch.

LOVE that logo!

LOVE that logo!

So my fears… the quality of the product: good to great! The product actually fitting my Passport: very snug and well done. What about that problematic delivery time from China? I ordered it on the 13th of October and got it today, the 24th of October; 11 days! That’s really good considering they warned me that it could take all the way until November 4th.

So check, check, check… all good! Some things I ask people when it comes to particular purchases. How was the experience and would you do it again?

The experience was great and yes, yes I would buy it again. Its not a built by Blackberry pouch; it doesn’t have a cut out for the LED light, it doesn’t have a magnet to turn the phone on and off, but for $10…I don’t expect it to.

If you want to pick one up yourself, just check out the link to the Ebay page that I provided, and also scroll down for more pictures of my Passport and pouch.

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Sneaky

Shhh. Don’t tell Brad….

I am relentlessly trolling UTB Blogs and pushing my agenda and spreading my propaganda. I won’t stop until everyone sees that the “old” BB10 devices are still good!

Today I received an awesome, “new” accessory in the mail; the BBRY Charger Bundle for the Z10. This is my second one and I am very pleased with myself. I got it on Amazon for $9.99!!! So at any moment, I am 5 minutes away from having a fresh, 100% charged battery in my phone, and if I’m away from a power outlet for a while, now I have a second in backup. Do you realize how awesome this is? I use my phone with complete impunity. I simply do not care how many videos I watch or messages I send or calls I have because I know the chances are almost zero that I will not have a fresh battery.

2 Charger Bundles

That’s at least 60 minutes worth of battery! LOL. More than that.

I think these charger bundles are a genius idea and I love replaceable batteries. I know BBRY seems to have decided that batteries will not be replaceable going forward, and I know they have their reasons, although I cannot remember what they are, but I still love being able to manage my power this way. I have a Q10 that I swap my SIM in and out of and I have a charger bundle for that device as well. I don’t think I need a second backup there, but if I ever see one for $10 you can bet I’ll be all over it. These little bundles are so convenient, you can carry them in your pocket. As I type this up, I have one charging off the USB port of my PC.

So for any of you who are still rockin’ the Z10, check out the Amazon deal on this accessory. It’s a great time and aggravation saver. There’s never a need to have a cord hanging from your device while you’re using it and you can be really reckless with your battery.

Party

The “old” devices are still good!

And until the UTB illuminati silence my voice, I will continue to cheer for the “old” devices!!! (Or until I get a Classic or Passport.) :)

8831-apple-pay

Apple once again proves itself with Apple Pay. CNet reports:

Specifically, Bank of America customers have complained about being charged twice for the same purchase. The issue is with a small number of Bank of America card transactions, according to a person familiar with the matter, and is not the fault of Apple‘s technology. The glitch is tied to technology used by Bank of America, and the problem is expected to be resolved Wednesday.

I must admit I snickered when I read that. After all, it was only Sunday I wrote:

If Apple Pay fails, if something happens to people’s transactions, or even worse, their personal financial information, it will be the fault of those retailer’s terminals, which haven’t had issue yet! But, it won’t be Apple’s fault. Media will see to that.

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turning-point

www.levelupliving.com

 

It wasn’t long ago that any positive talk about BlackBerry was met with harsh criticism and sometimes even ridicule.  Everyone and their dog declared the company dead and would take every opportunity to make it known to anyone who would listen, whether they had a platform to do so or whether they were at a backyard family BBQ.  It truly became an obsession.  It’s almost as though these people had a horse in the race?  Hmm, I wonder why that is?  But that was then and this is now.

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Rant

This is a rant.

I work for a regional investment consulting firm with over 8 billion dollars in assets under advisement, over 90 institutional clients, and 35 employees. I am the director of business development there and our firm recently selected a new I.T. vendor to help us with some hosted applications, a file server, some network printing, and the like. (For anyone who thinks my job sounds cool, please PM me and I will relieve you of that mistaken idea.)

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SIZEMATTERS

It appears that Jonathan Kay at the National Review has passed judgement for you ladies on what your opinion should be of the Passport. I think he has declared it to be too big for you.
My reaction is that he may be making a few generalizations about the “fairer” gender.

Jonathan Kay: Why I ditched my iPhone for Blackberry’s massive new Passport

My iPhone often ended up in a shirt pocket. But that feels awkward with the Passport. In fact, there are a few shirts I own that actually do not permit this without busting the pocket stitching. When I asked my wife to try it with some of her blouses, she couldn’t get the Passport to fit in any of them. Even in my pants, the Passport was an awkward fit. It really only makes sense in a jacket, briefcase or purse. So to state the obvious: This business-oriented phone is hardly the ideal phone for, say, the beach or hiking trail.

This may explain the intensely gendered response I got to my Passport when I was seen using it in public places like Starbucks, McDonalds, Taco Del Mar or office-building elevators. Over the last month, numerous strangers have approached me to ask about the device. They are always men. Many of the women I’ve shown the Passport to — including female colleagues, my wife and her friends — seem vaguely horrified by the thing. Even with two hands, one told me, the Passport feels like something that fell off the bottom of an old fridge. I assure them that they’d get used to it in a few days, if they give it a chance. But the starkly boxy aesthetics scare them off.

(Apparently, this is not a universal response, however: Since the original version of this review went online, several writers have told me that their female friends are indeed interested in the Passport. One woman even reportedly called it “sexy.”)

My first thought was… how many women actually attempt to carry a phone in their blouse? Never seen an iPhone hanging out there. Somehow, I can’t see blaming the Passport for this…

So I’m curious, is there any truth in this ladies? What are your thoughts/experience with the Passport form factor as a daily digital companion?
Practical or not? Is the form factor a deal breaker, or if the Passport is not for you, what is?

Tell us what you think. Does size matter?

Discuss in the comments or IN OUR FORUM:

….and here’s my beauty tip… A big phone will make your butt look smaller ;)

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