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Space TV is a Built for BlackBerry app written by OSBB Code Labs and selling for $.99 in BB World. It’s about an 11 MB download and is about 37MB on my device, I assume due to all the sync’d images and content. It get’s 5 stars on 73 reviews.

If you’re a bottom line guy, here it is. I love the app even though I don’t refer to it every day. I can tell the dev is a space geek or fan and put a lot of love and hard work into the app. You get good content and brilliant pictures. The app pulls news from 9 well-respected news outlets and live video from 2 others and video and audio podcasts from many more. It’s straightforward and all the functionality works well on my Z30 and Q10. I have used the app for about a month although, not every day, it’s more of an occasional check-in for me.

I have a couple questions about this app that I need to ask the dev, but they are not huge issues, which is why I’m publishing this review anyway. I believe the dev is a UTB friend, so it shouldn’t be difficult to get answers.

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The 5 tile images rotate…

The “Launchpad:”
The launchpad (seen above) is what is presented when you open the app. There are 5 sections of the app presented in the launchpad, also available when you click the menu button on the lower left: 1) astronomy pic of the day, 2) news, 3) podcasts, 4) live video, and 5) images from the Curiosity rover on Mars. You can click on any of these sections to open it, or they are available in the menu. The 5 sections are all live tiles and have content that rotates while you look at the launchpad, which is a cool effect.

ISS and STS

Amazing! Look how small the shuttle is…

Astronomy Pic of the Day:
This is fairly straightforward and provides you with what appears to be 15 different pictures you can scroll through. Each pic is very high quality and there are options for sharing, setting as wallpaper, saving, and information. The information tab is very cool as it gives you a paragraph of information explaining what you’re looking at. This is a great feature and part of the entire experience of the app, which I would describe as being one of quality of content and passion for space. As you can see from the pic above, there is currently an awesome and highly unusual pic of the ISS (international space station) and the STS Orbiter (shuttle transportation system) docked together and orbiting earth. The information about that pic (shown below), explains why this is such an unusual picture.

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News:
There are about 9 news articles from at least 8 sources at any given time synced into the app. Some of the sources are newscientist.com, sciencedaily.com, nasa.gov, space.com, universetoday.com, spacedaily.com, astronomy.com, and phys.org. I know many but not all of these sources and to my knowledge, they are all popular, respected sources of space and science news. The news section offers options for readability mode and something called “instapaper,” which is one of the questions I have for the dev; I do not know what it means. If you are in readability mode or instapaper mode you have the option of turning readability on or off. When you turn it off, you get the actual webpage. As you scroll through the news in the app, you can see the title and the publish date. From this page you also have the option with the touch of a button to visit the dev’s BBM channel PIN C0012331C which he describes as a “…supplemental BBM channel for astronomy buffs and space enthusiasts.”

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Podcasts:
There are two main categories of podcasts: audio and video. There are about 12 video podcast feeds or sources and there appear to be 10 or more entries in each. The theme of the high quality nature of this app content continues in the podcasts, with feeds coming from several NASA options, and the Jet Propulsion Lab of the California Insitute of Technology, among others. On the audio side of the podcasts, there are currently 7 feeds, including one from Neil Degrasse Tyson, (physicist you’ve probably seen on TV before) with 10 or more entries in each. The audio podcasts have about 2 minute soundbites preloaded and include a link for listening to the entire podcast, and the video podcasts seem to last about 2 and 1/2 minutes long. I have tried all this and it works flawlessly.

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This is so cool…

Curiosity Rover Images:
This is a neat section where you can enjoy images taken by the Mars rover, Curiosity. Part of what is neat, is you have the option of enjoying images taken from 4 different cameras on Curiosity that offer different angles. As you can see from the pic above, there are three boxes detailing where the cameras are on curiosity (two of the cameras are in the top box). The images you can review are pretty otherworldly (sorry for the pun), and very interesting, but I haven’t figured out how often they change, so this is another question I have for the developer. At the time of this review, there appeared to be about 400 pictures spread evenly across the four cameras, and they are fun to look at. As I said, some of the pics are pretty surreal and very cool.

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Live Video:
There are two sections of live video or TV in the app, a NASA feed and an international space station feed. I have had the app for about a month and don’t refer to it every day, but as far as I can tell the NASA feed appears to offer more content than the ISS feed. I have tuned into a couple good programs on the NASA feed, one of which featured two astronauts floating around in the ISS that were answering questions from a live audience at an elementary school somewhere in the US; that was fun.

Active Frame:
When you leave the app open in an active frame, it offers a scrolling view of the current assortment of astronomy pics of the day.

As I indicated before, I freely recommend this app to any astronomy/space program enthusiast or even someone who likes to keep casual tabs on what’s going on. It is a very well done app that offers high quality content and was clearly written by a real space enthusiast who spent a lot of time on it getting the deets right. For 99 cents, this app is a slam dunk.

Go and check it out on BB World!!!

Ah yes, the Fappening is in full swing isn’t it. So much so that I now have to call the company in question FAPPLE.

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Yes, we’ve had a field day here at UTB with this, it’s just too ripe to pass on.

The Fappening

iPhone and Security?

Nothing is safe on your iPhone

While Apple flounder

Are the teachers of our young learning?

But it’s not just us piling it on…

CBC on the hack

Bloomberg

CTV

Politico

I could go on for days, but you get the “picture”. I hope the people who did this ugly deed get caught and punished. They’ve invaded privacy in the worst way, and I hope they pay dearly for it. Surely the victims have.

Now on to dear FAPPLE. What to do? You have this ugly, salacious, and criminal scandal to deal with on the eve of new product announcement!

Eew…

Should you do nothing? Let it dry up and blow away? Ignore it? Nah… I don’t think that’s going to work this time. At least every sentient being on this planet should not let you do that.

Should you go on the offensive and blame the user AGAIN like Antennagate? Erm… That didn’t work out too well, did it?

Or how about FIX YOUR CRAPPY ECOSYSTEM? Wait… that would mean you’d have to have security built-in from the ground up. That would mean you’d need security in your DNA.

That would mean you’d have to scrape the table clean dear FAPPLE, and start all over again from scratch! Because you can’t just bolt-on security, it must be built-in.

I don’t know what you’re going to do Timmy, but I feel a change coming. The tide is turning. The image is tarnished.

BlackBerry’s got your back, not goOGLE, and certainly not FAPPLE.

 

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So, with our celebrities (and other people too now) looking to come #BackToBlack in ever increasing numbers, which BlackBerry should they choose?

Well, inspired by 9Gags Q10 picture, we thought we’d offer them the lot, so they can see the full range, so to speak.

I suppose it will make a change from being with a manufacturer that only produces… one.

Here’s the original, the Q10:

Q10 BlackBerry Marketing

Or, if you want to #BeDifferent, the Passport:

Passport UTB

Or maybe the all touch wonder phone, the Z30:

Z30 UTB

Bit big for you? How about the Z3/Z20?

Z3 UTB

Or maybe you want the feel of the old style BlackBerry but with the latest software:

Classic UTB

Whichever one you choose, you can be assured of ONE thing at the very least.

Unlike Apple or Android your media file sharing won’t be automatically set to ON to the wonderfully hackable Cloud these people want you to use..

And your privacy and security will actually be taken seriously.

Which, as I think we are all agreed now, is pretty damn important.

So, the issue of whether you want to come #BackToBlack should be pretty much settled, whether you are a celebrity or not.

YOU DO.

So, pick any one you like!

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Good evening… morning… afternoon… what ever it is where ever you are!

I’ve had a very trying week this week, in fact a very sad week, you see I had a loss in the family, its been heartbreaking for us all but especially me and before I start my sermon I would like you, my loving clergy to take a moments silence in the memory of my beloved PlayBook.

Yes, my trusty companion finally gave up the ghost two days ago and as much as it pains me I’ve had to say goodbye to my 64gb workhorse… what to do now?

Well, I won’t be getting another tablet for a while I can tell you that…

Why?

Well, I have heard a rumor that my son’s school is going to ban iPads throughout… This is huge and if true could really hurt Apple in the cahoonies!

I have been told its down to all the security issues that seem to have plagued Apple so far this year and the Head Teacher has apparently said that he’s not sure it’s safe to be letting children into this unsafe environment, If Apple don’t know who’s looking in their iClouds how do we know who’s looking into our children’s lives?

Now as much as I don’t like Apple, what they have done with some of the kids lives with iPads is pretty good (my son goes to a special needs school) rather than each kid having a laptop and having to lump it around etc they know the apps they use and can communicate with a few taps here and there and get the help needed or a job done etc.

The thing is… What will they use now? Android they said is not reliable enough either, they can’t seem to do something with Android tablets that they can with iPads so I was told a long time ago (true? I couldn’t tell you)

What else is out there? I know the PlayBook is old hat now but if this is a tide  that’s turning against Apple then maybe someone needs to step in… I know for sure I’m going to be watching this with eyes wide open, after all, its not just one of my son’s schools that uses iPads, other schools all around the UK use them, my local hospital has them, my doctor, my son’s physio… in fact everywhere I look someone seems to be using one!

Now if the people that teach our children are learning the problems with Apple and security isn’t it about time everyone else did? Has the worm turned? Has that little bit of rotten Apple finally set about finishing off whats left until no one will even look at the fruit again?

As I find out more I will of course let you know, and obviously, if you hear the same sort of thing let me know (especially in the UK) and we cna get a bigger picture!

Until then though I would like to point out that after my Ice Bucket challenge last week the three I nominated, Jonathan (I’m too scared) Geller, Lucas (obviously a wimp) Atkins and Kevin (I’m not technically at CB anymore so will pretend I don’t know who the Reverend is on about even though Blaze has told me about it) Michaluk have not taken up their challenges!

Now I thought it would be a bit of fun and banter between us all at different BlackBerry fansites and maybe, you know, bring us a little closer together trying to do some good while having some fun (well, not Geller obviously I just wanted to see the little, (deleted by Rev for ecumenical reasons) get cold and wet!)… I certainly didn’t get myself soaked to the bone for my health!

So you three, what are your excuses? Have you got a sick note from Mummy? Have you paid your dues? Man up and let me know! @CRAPPLEBASHING

And it had better be good or I shall give you a bigger mention in next weeks sermon… and you won’t like that!

And here we are my faithful, at the end of another sermon and all I have to say now keep safe, keep secure and see you next time at the United Temple of BlackBerry.

Of course, if you are on Apple or Android the first two may cause you a problem, maybe you should come #BackToBlack?

Just a thought…

Rev Grim out!

Q10 BlackBerry Marketing

It looks like even the great Apple Marketing machine is stumped by The Fappening.

In response to events Apple took their usual approach initially and kept their mouths firmly shut. However, the sheer scale of the scandal and, I suspect, the high profile nature of those involved (and their rather large bank balances) have forced them to make a statement.

First, as the Daily Mail reported, Are your iCloud photographs STILL at risk? Apple unable to offer any assurances and then, Mobile Syrup published a rather bizarre statement from Cupertino in which, it was claimed, nothing was actually wrong at all:

We wanted to provide an update to our investigation into the theft of photos of certain celebrities. When we learned of the theft, we were outraged and immediately mobilized Apple’s engineers to discover the source. Our customers’ privacy and security are of utmost importance to us. After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet. None of the cases we have investigated has resulted from any breach in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud or Find my iPhone. We are continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved.

Which, in essence, says, yes it happened but it’s not our fault as everything was working as it should. Badly.

One of the victims, Kirsten Dunst made her feelings very plain on Twitter as to where she felt the blame lay:

kirsten dunst tweet

And who can blame her.

But, as this whole thing spirals, will BlackBerry finally get the recognition they deserve?

If people turn away from Apple, will they be coming #BackToBlack?

Well, if this carries on poor old Tim Cook and co are going to have a hard time on September 9th. And I dread to think what IBM are thinking right now, but who in mobile terms will get the benefit of the fallout?

Here’s a disturbing comment I found on one of the articles:

NikkN, Nashville, United States, 4 hours ago

My nude photos could be published online? Oh wait, I have an Android, never mind.

Yes, this person honestly believes that since they have an Android phone they are safe.

Because, as we all know, Google Drive is, er, as leaky as a sieve. So good in fact that, just to cover all bases, only yesterday Know Your Mobile provided detailed instructions on how to disable Cloud storage on Android.

Here’s how to make sure your photos and video aren’t getting put into the cloud automatically when using an Android phone or tablet

Not everyone realises their mobile devices are automatically uploading their photos and video to the cloud. A variety of female celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton have had leaked naked photos posted on the internet after a rumoured cloud hack. The person who uploaded the photos to 4Chan said they were accessed through Apple’s iCloud Photostream service.

Android has an alternative service, Google Drive, which can automatically upload your photos from a phone or tablet. It means some users don’t even know their photos and videos are getting automatically uploaded to the cloud. Here’s how to stop it working on your Android phone or tablet.

Because, as many people don’t realise, these Cloud back ups on Apple and Android are switched ON by default. You have to turn them off.

So, whilst Apple are in the firing line worried customers may dump their iPhones and head off to Androidia.

BIG MISTAKE.

So, will the ONLY company that takes personal security clean up? I certainly hope so and the picture at the top which was found by UTB Member ItzJustMeh and posted in our forums was a mock up of a BlackBerry ad found on 9GaG entitled:

If I were head of marketing at BlackBerry right now…

Well, with time until the Passport launch of 24th September you just never know.

But in the meantime it would be great to see some of those celebrities sporting their new BlackBerry’s…

BOTH FOR THEIR SAKE AND OURS.

apple theft

In the wake of the current unfolding drama that has seen intimate private photos it would seem other celebrities have rushed for cover – and who can blame them as the Daily Mail has reported a SECOND wave of photos and videos is circulating around the internet.

New wave of leaks target more celebrities as authorities prove unable to stop spread as it emerges naked photos may have been passed around online club for MONTHS

A new wave of ‘nude’ celebrity photos have been leaked online amid claims the graphic images may have been passed around an online club for months.

Indeed, the internet is awash with speculation about the source of the leak. According to one anonymous 4chan poster, the release of nude photographs of celebrities was the product of an ‘underground celeb n00d-trading ring’.
The poster claimed the ring had been in operation for months and posters would trade or sell the photos they retrieved between each other.
Another poster, who claims to have been involved, wrote on AnonIB that the hacking had been ‘several months’ in the making and the nude photos were the result of ‘several months of long and hard work by all involved.’

So, whilst we are left wondering where it will all end, there are many feeling vindicated in warnings they have been giving for ages on this subject as Reuters are reporting:

Celebrity Photo Breach Heightens Online Security Warnings

Celebrity representatives and security experts used the online posting of intimate photos of Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence and other female entertainers to sound new warnings on Tuesday about the dangers of storing data on the Internet.

Martin Garbus, a New York trial lawyer who over the years has represented actors Al Pacino, Sean Connery, Robert Redford and others, said worried clients had approached him after the apparent mass hacking over the weekend.

“Nothing is safe on the Internet, period,” he told Reuters. “Everything on your iPhone, whether it be phone calls, message texts, pictures, is all available.”

Apple Inc has said it is investigating reports that its iCloud, which stores data online rather than on a user’s device, had apparently been hacked.

“This is just one of a series of wake-up calls that people are ignoring,” said Chris Crowleigh, a cyber-security expert specializing in mobile devices at the SANS Institute.

“People just sort of implicitly accept the risk of storing their data on the cloud until they actually see something bad happen to someone they can relate to.”

Lawrence’s representative described the release of the photos as a “flagrant violation of privacy” and said the authorities have been contacted. A spokesman for the FBI said the agency is addressing the matter.

Celebrities took to Twitter to characterize the alleged hacking, purportedly targeting dozens of female actresses, models and athletes, as less of a privacy invasion than an act of sexual aggression.

“Remember, when you look at these pictures you are violating these women again and again. It’s not okay,” said actress Lena Dunham.

Garbus said he was not surprised by the hacking because he said he has seen it in the past.

“There are just so many different ways that one’s privacy can be invaded,” he added.

The point is that the longer this rumbles the greater the wake up call will be.

Remember, as we’ve been saying for a while now, it’s not JUST A PHONE.

It MATTERS.

Do yourself a favour.

Stay protected.

Buy a BlackBerry.

Verizon Rolling Out OS 10.2.1.3289 For BlackBerry Z30

Verizon Rolling Out OS 10.2.1.3289 For BlackBerry Z30

For Z30 users on the Verizon network, today is your lucky day as you’re being treated to an OS upgrade.

Verizon has begun rolling out BlackBerry10 OS 10.2.1.3289.

It appears that this update consists of general bug fixes and improvements over previous updates.

So, what are you waiting for?; swipe down for Settings > Software Updates > Check for Updates, and get your device on the latest OS version.

Source: Crackberry

Returning BlackBerry to Growth

Returning BlackBerry to Growth

In an interview with Business Line, BlackBerry CEO John Chen discusses his plan for leading BlackBerry back to growth and India’s relevance as part of the overall plan.

Some key points from the interview:

  • The restructuring process is over and BlackBerry has begun hiring in key areas.  The creation of BlackBerry Technical Solutions (BTS) will help BlackBerry create solutions to expand their end-to-end security to more end points, namely in the areas of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Turnaround risk has been mitigated through a new leadership team, clear vision, and a completed restructuring process.  The company has a strong cash and investments balance, and has seen great success in the enterprise market in India.
  • BlackBerry will continue to leverage the Foxconn partnership and the Z3 has been very well received in both Indonesia and India, as examples.
  • With respect to the BlackBerry10 OS and handsets: “BlackBerry devices are part of our unparalleled ability to provide the most secure end-to-end enterprise mobility solutions from the smartphone to the data center. We’ll continue to sell devices as long as there are customers who value them. We are a mobile solutions company that services the needs of customers looking for secure technologies that drive productivity, communications and collaboration – and the device is a critical piece of that equation.  When I look at BlackBerry 10, I don’t just look at the market share. I look at whether it provides the core capabilities that our customers have come to value – the security, of course, but also the unique interface and user experience that enables them to work faster, better and smarter.”  Once again, Chen underscores the importance of the devices and the OS and key components of a truly secure end-to-end solution.
  • In response to competition from Chinese handset manufacturers, specifically in the low cost space: “BlackBerry is a pioneer in mobility. We have always been, and continue to be focused on innovation. And you will see some of our latest innovations with our upcoming BlackBerry Passport smartphone. Frankly, we don’t see those Chinese players you mentioned as threats in our target market. We see them playing more at the low end.  And it’s important to remember that BlackBerry is more than just a smartphone manufacturer. We are a mobile solutions company that takes a broader approach to servicing the needs of customers looking for secure technologies that drive productivity, communication and collaboration.  BlackBerry has an aggressive plan to continue to lead the enterprise mobility market while also developing a broader set of tools and value-add services. We don’t see those Chinese players you mentioned as threats across our broad set of capabilities.”
  • The Indian enterprise market is a key market for BlackBerry, and as Chen describes, holds immense untapped potential for secure mobility management.  BlackBerry will be actively targeting small, medium sized and large business alike.

As we can see, BlackBerry under John Chen has a clearly articulated vision which they are executing against.   We can’t wait to see what BlackBerry unveils on September 24th.

You can read the full interview here.

Source: Business Line

As @BlackBerryDev teased it, here is something for you fine folks….

It’s coming! Save the date!

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We’ll come back with more details when we get them!

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There once was an app called Disconnect Mobile. It was a fine app. An app that gave Android users just a touch of privacy. And it seemed quite popular. Within 5 days of arriving on Google Play, it was downloaded over 5000 times. And at that magical 5 day mark, Google removed the app, because you see, Google does not want users to have privacy.

Disconnect Mobile works by preventing other apps from collecting data on users. However, it is against Google’s rules for apps that interfere with other apps. Read information from other apps? Sure. Collect information from other apps? Definitely! Collect information on the user? Of course! But the minute an app stops these things from happening, it is banned from Google Play. Well, not exactly the minute. It took 5 days. 5 days before someone noticed at Google Play that this app violated one of their rules and pulled it. Thank goodness it wasn’t malware! Think of how many users could have been affected by some nasty malware within 5 days!

We know how Google makes money off of their open source free-to-use Android operating system. They do this through the collection of information and advertising. And it appears that they have pulled this app by categorizing it as an ad blocker.

The co-founder of Disconnect Mobile stated in a blog post:

“Disconnect focuses on protecting people from invisible tracking and sources of malware, and all too often these threats come in the form of advertising.

The fact is, we are not opposed to advertising and think advertising plays a critical role in the Internet economy. But we are 100% opposed to advertising that invisibly tracks people and compromises their security.

Sounds like that would be a great app to have on Android! If Google allowed it.

While Google has not commented on the take down of the app, it was noted that the app could be obtained outside the Google Play store. Yet Android users are always quick to point out that your run in to a high risk of malware if you’re getting apps from third party app stores. Wow, it must be tough to be an android user.

source: Business Insider