Kamis, 02 Februari 2012

BerryReview.com Giving Back to the BlackBerry Community

BerryReview.com Giving Back to the BlackBerry Community

Will RIM’s New CEO, Thorsten Heins, Headline DevCon Europe Next Week?

Posted: 02 Feb 2012 02:24 AM PST

Thorsten Heins RIM

We have heard from multiple sources that RIM's new CEO is trying to make the keynote for BlackBerry DevCon Europe next week. I have been hearing reports that it is not 100% confirmed that Thorsten Heins will be in Amsterdam for the event. I am really hoping he does even though I won't be at the event. It will be Heins first chance to present himself as the new CEO until RIM's next event in May for BlackBerry World.

What do you think? Anything specific you want to hear Heins announce at DevCon next week? The event is sold out so he should have a packed audience if he makes it!

Thanks Ben for reminding me about this!

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Posted by Ronen Halevy for ©BerryReview, February 2, 2012, 5:24 am. | Will RIM’s New CEO, Thorsten Heins, Headline DevCon Europe Next Week? | Leave a comment |

"Syz: EG" Multi-Touch Tactical Space Shooter for the BlackBerry PlayBook

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 12:31 PM PST

SyzEG SyzEG2

"Syz: EG" is a slick game developed by TeamKrinoid using the Marmalade SDK that they have ported to the BlackBerry PlayBook recently. It has a really cool use of multi touch with each hand doing something different. You control where you are aiming your weapon with one finger while dodging enemy weapons with your other finger. This also means that the controls are not on screen blocking the gameplay. Syz also throws in some fun with different abilities and perspectives along with voiced dialogue.

Check out this demo of the game on the iPad to see what I mean:

Desktop Video Link | Mobile Video Link

You can find Syz: EG in App World for $2.99

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 3:31 pm. | "Syz: EG" Multi-Touch Tactical Space Shooter for the BlackBerry PlayBook | 2 comments |

RIM Shares Two More Commercials from their Be Bold Campaign

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 10:09 AM PST


We know that RIM is making a big push in the US with a new Be Bold campaign and we are seeing more of it every day. Adam @CrackBerry noticed that RIM has posted up two more short ad clips of their Be Bold campaign on their YouTube channel today. These new ones stick with the Be Bold concept but have fun taglines like "I need tools, not toys" and "I am about action, not distraction" that play to RIM's communication powerhouse strengths.

Check them out below and let us know what you think! Better yet let us know if you see them airing!

Desktop Video Link | Mobile Video Link

And the second one

Desktop Video Link | Mobile Video Link

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 1:09 pm. | RIM Shares Two More Commercials from their Be Bold Campaign | 9 comments |

BBM Social Platform SDK v1.3 for Java Released to Developers

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 08:55 AM PST

BBM SDK Update

Its nice to seem RIM is steadily improving the BBM Social Platform SDK which was released officially in June of last year. They just announced v1.3 for Java developers which adds a key ingredient of allowing applications to determine how they were invoked from within BBM. In other words now devs can see if users are coming from personal messages, chat bubble, or profile box clicks. That way they can improve how they use the BBM SDK.

Other updates include:

  • Users can manage their settings in order to "Allow [app name] to connect you with other app users". With this feature, the user has the ability to prevent dialog boxes from prompting when making/requesting to join public connections.
  • Users can easily enable the Profile Box by clicking the checkmark "Post recent activities to BBM Profile" when the app initially connects to BBM.
  • The character limit for setting personal messages within the user profile has now been increased to 160.

I am really hoping RIM starts throwing in some serious new features into the BBM SDK for developers though these improvements are welcome. I am more looking for them to streamline the setup for end users and provide easier discoverability and a broader API. Devs can check out their announcement of the update here or download it here.

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 11:55 am. | BBM Social Platform SDK v1.3 for Java Released to Developers | One comment |

Skype on BlackBerry PlayBook Petition Email Campaign is Today!

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 08:29 AM PST


We told you last week that there was a petition going by a group of BlackBerry PlayBook owners to email Skype's executive team to get Skype released for the PlayBook. Well today is the day that they have chose to email Neil Stevens and Tony Bates with the subject line "Skype for the BlackBerry Playbook."

You can join their appeal with the information posted by the petitioners on CrackBerry forums along with both Facebook and Twitter petitions. Who knows it might just work!

They are asking you to email 

They even created a form letter for you to modify:

To whom it may concern,

I am emailing you today for one simple reason, I, and many others, want a Skype app for the Blackberry Playbook.

We understand that when you develop an app, you want to be sure it will succeed, and we respect that, but we believe a Skype app for the Blackberry Playbook would succeed. First of all, while Skype may be waiting for Playbook sales to increase before developing an app, I know for a fact that a lot of people are put off by the fact that the Playbook doesn’t have Skype, and possibly even avoid buying a Playbook because of it. Essentially, your app could generate more business for the Playbook, which would in turn generate more business for said app. Also, with the Playbooks two cameras, 1080p video, and stereo microphones, Skype could be a better experience on the Blackberry Playbook than most laptops, and certainly the iPad or Android tablets. Additionally, with the Blackberry Playbook’s OS 2.0 update coming in February, critics and fans alike are anticipating a truly great operatingsystem for the tablet, and a large increase in sales. There are so many reasons Skype would be successful for the Blackberry Playbook, and so many reasons you should develop it. The biggest reason? We want it, not to sound demanding, but this is what the consumer wants.

Another thing which should be taken into account, is that with RIM’s plans for BlackBerry Playbook OS and BlackBerry OS 10 to eventually merge, Playbook OS 2.0 apps and BlackBerry OS 10 apps are very compatible, that is, an app designed for BlackBerry Playbook OS 2.0 would need only very minor tweaking, and it would be capable of running on BlackBerry phones which use OS 10. There you have it, with the development of only one app, Skype could be supported on the BlackBerry Playbook, as well as BlackBerry OS 10 phones, and this would be big news. With newer BlackBerry phones, and the BlackBerry Playbook instantly supported, Skype would have a massive new market of consumers, and BlackBerry users, and especially potential users, would be much more likely to invest in such devices, leading to higher sales for RIM, and for Skype. Skype for the Playbook WILL increase sales for both companies. Skype is something millions of people use, and it should be available to millions more, especially with the way Skype is all about supporting any and all platforms.

I don’t have to tell you why Skype is so great, it brings people together across the world, and it provides great work opportunities for companies that frequently use telecommuting. From soldiers speaking with their kids across the ocean, but face to face, to companies working out mergers, to kids in their basements talking about video games; Skype brings people together, and keeps the world interconnected in a way that no other VoIP or Video Chatting software even remotely rivals. We want Skype for the Blackberry Playbook, and we think you should want it too. Thank you for your time.


The Consumer

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 11:29 am. | Skype on BlackBerry PlayBook Petition Email Campaign is Today! | 7 comments |

RIM’s New Board Chairman, Barbara Stymiest, Interviewed Again

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 08:19 AM PST


We have not heard much from Barbara Stymiest since her initial appointment as independent chairman of the RIM board on January 22nd. She gave a few statements then essentially endorsing Thorsten Heins and saying that Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were actually the ones who put forward Heins as the succession plans years ago. The Financial Post has caught up with her in her home for an interview on how things have been going for the last week. Stymiest does a great job of staying on message and I think you can boil it all down to one statement she made:

"Driving change in an organization means a high-performing board and a high-quality management team," Stymiest, 55, said Monday in the wood-paneled dining room of her Toronto home. "You get those two right and you can drive change quickly and effectively."

I agree with her that RIM has some great talent and potential that demands an adept management and board touch to be reborn again. There are still some investors saying that Stymiest is not strong enough and didn't make enough change but I think they are missing one key point. There is finally one CEO and one board chairman where the "Buck Stops." As long as those two positions are providing a clear message to their execs we can hopefully see that translate into actions ASAP.

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 11:19 am. | RIM’s New Board Chairman, Barbara Stymiest, Interviewed Again | Leave a comment |

Good old tech: Bowers and Wilkins P5 Mobile HiFi Stereo Headphones

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 07:30 AM PST

Patience is a virtue, a virtue that can get you the latest and greatest tech for bargain prices. In this column we identify some great old but relevant tech. 

Why we like it: Way back in 2010 we covered the release of the Bowers & Wilkins P5 mobile HiFi headphones. Although Ronen and I only had a few minutes with the P5s, we were both impressed with the sound, feel, and noise isolation. Bowers & Wilkins sent over the P5 headphones so we could put it through some real world tests. After a few months out and about around New York City, I like the P5s just as much as the first day I tried them.

  • Sound: The quality and range of sound are fantastic, but the most notable quality of the sound was that it felt large. Unlike other headphones that I have tried that aggressively push the sound out, the P5s made me feel like I was in a room all-alone with the music.
  • Sound isolation: The B&W P5s block out sound using a soft padded leather cushion on each headphone. Each leather cushion feels like a memory foam pillow, melting into the crevices of the ear to seal every possible route of sound leakage.  I tested the P5s in the New York city subway, and it was like I was all alone in a sea full off people. While other headphones use active noise canceling–modifying the sound signal to account for outside noises–the P5s don’t mess with the sound, leaving the sound blocking to the leather.
  • Luxury feel: Everything about the P5′s construction is high-quality. The leather that covers the top of the headband and the headphones feels smooth to the touch. The padding on the top of the headband and the headphones eases pressure while wearing the P5s. Even the audio cable is a matte black rubber, with a microphone and music controls (pause/play and volume).
  • Consistent design: The combination of the black leather with the brushed and shiny metals gives the P5s a classy look. But the design extends to the smaller details. For example, the telescoping mechanism for the headohones uses a black rope-like audio cable and two shiny black metal structural supports.


Why to buy it now: When released, the B&W P5s were priced at $600. But the price has come down significantly, even though B&W have not released a new over-the-ear headphone since. You can pick up a pair on Amazon.com for $289.

Update: The $600 price tag that we were given a few years back is apparently inaccurate. B&W confirmed that the MSRP was $299.95


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Posted by David for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 10:30 am. | Good old tech: Bowers and Wilkins P5 Mobile HiFi Stereo Headphones | Leave a comment |

Ringtones & BlackBerry 7 Themes Also Make Their Way Into App World

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 06:43 AM PST

App World Ringtones

We told you yesterday that RIM was changing things up by starting to offer Adult and Mature rated apps in App World. Now Michelle @CrackBerry noticed that RIM has also added in a new Ringtones category which seems to offer ringtones from a company called Spintones. There are also new themes available through App World for BlackBerry 7 device support which fits in with RIM's recent endorsement of using Theme Builder 6 to hack themes for BlackBerry 7 until Theme Builder 7 is released.

You can find the new Ringtones in the Ringtones category in App World and find themes in the regular Theme category from your device.

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 9:43 am. | Ringtones & BlackBerry 7 Themes Also Make Their Way Into App World | One comment |

BlackBerry OS 7 & 7.1 Smartphones Certified for U.S. and Canadian Governments

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 06:34 AM PST

BlackBerry 7 Family Part 2

RIM just announced today that they have achieved FIPS 140-2 Certification for both BlackBerry OS 7 and OS 7.1. That includes the BlackBerry Bold 9900, 9930 and 9790, BlackBerry Torch 9850, 9860 and 9810, and BlackBerry Curve 9350, 9360, 9370 and 9380. They received this certification from both the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC).

Good news for RIM though it was more or less a forgone conclusion that they would receive certification for the encryption. Check out the press release below or more details at us.blackberry.com/ataglance/security

BlackBerry 7 Smartphones Certified for U.S. and Canadian Governments

BlackBerry 7 and 7.1 OS Achieve FIPS 140-2 Certification

WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Feb. 1, 2012) – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced that BlackBerry(R) smartphones running on the powerful new BlackBerry(R) 7 and BlackBerry(R) 7.1 Operating Systems (OS) have been awarded FIPS 140-2 certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 is recognized by the U.S. and Canadian governments and is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA).
All BlackBerry smartphones running BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 benefit from this certification, including the BlackBerry(R) Bold(TM) 9900, 9930 and 9790, BlackBerry(R) Torch(TM) 9850, 9860 and 9810, and BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) 9350, 9360, 9370 and 9380.
"The FIPS 140-2 certification for BlackBerry 7.0 and 7.1 illustrates RIM’s continuing commitment to providing industry-leading, secure, mobile computing platforms for our customers," said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. "With all of the latest BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook tablet certified under the FIPS program, government and security-conscious customers can deploy our entire range of products with confidence."
In addition to FIPS 140-2 certification, the BlackBerry 7 OS has received Common Criteria EAL4+ certification (see announcement – November 14, 2011). The BlackBerry(R) PlayBook(TM) tablet has also received FIPS 140-2 validation (see announcement – July 21, 2011).
For more information, visit http://us.blackberry.com/ataglance/security.

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 9:34 am. | BlackBerry OS 7 & 7.1 Smartphones Certified for U.S. and Canadian Governments | One comment |

Review: Seidio ACTIVE case and Seidio Desktop Cradle

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 06:29 AM PST

Last week I got a pleasant present from Seidio, It was their ACTIVE case and Desktop Cradle for the 99xx.  Both of the products are new for the 99xx from Seidio, are geared toward the everyday user.

Let's start with the Desktop Cradle.  It is a stand alone cradle that can be used with one of their cases or external batteries.  This is a huge plus, because a lot of other cradles do not offer the compatibility, with either a case or extended battery.  It also just plugs right in to your existing charge or usb cable you would use.  A little light on the back lets you know it's plugged in, which I found to be a bit of annoyance when using it at my bedside, but on my desk was not an issue.  It is a good weight and size, the density of the cradle and as well as the 2 non slip pads on the bottom make it very stable.  If you drop your phone in from around an inch up, it lands perfectly and starts charging. It also comes with an insert plate to use without a case on your device, which is removable for when using the cradle with a supported case.  Such as the Seidio ACTIVE case.

The Seidio ACTIVE case is a great 2 piece case, which offers everyday protection for normal wear and tear.  It has a soft rubber bumper that slips on to the device, and then a hard plastic body guard that clips on to the device securing it all in place. This adds a bit of shock protection if dropped or slips out of your hands.  I do not recommend dropping it, but mine has slipped out of my hand while removing it from my pocket a couple of times, and the phone has survived quite nicely.

The case protects the device quite nicely, the case is snug, and doesn't fall off.  The overall physical aspect does not make the phone feel bulky, and maintains the sleek profile of the phone.  The rubber gives it a very nice soft grip, when you're holding the device, even loosely, it feels snug and secure.  The one benefit is that the volume, convenience, and lock button work perfect with the case on, unlike others were you almost have to wiggle it to get the button to work.

There are a few things I would improve on,  I would want the case to have port covers, even though it does offer good protection, it leaves the ports open for dust and lint when used in a pocket.  I would have also liked to see a camera cover; with that being one of the only openings on the back I found dust also liked the gather on the lens.  I had to clean it a few times before using it, but it was not a major hindrance as I often check the lens with or without a case on.  The last thing is not something I would change on the case, but include in the packaging. I would put in a screen protector, it isn't a must have, but something I look for.  Now when ordering from Seidio you can always add one of their high quality screen protectors to your purchase. As well as an optional holster, I think it was smart to leave the holster out of the equation, because a lot of people are buying this case to be used in their pocket or purse.

Overall Seidio has done a great job. The week and a half I have been using a case it has been great.  And the desktop cradle also works well and it has become a new fixture on my desk.  You can get your own ACTIVE case or Desktop Cradle directly from Seidio.  The ACTIVE case comes in 4 colours as well.  If you are looking at getting the optional holster, grab the combo and save your self some money as well. Please note with the cradle, that it does not include the power/usb cable, but they can optionally be included in your purchase.  Check out more great products from Seidio as well as the ACTIVE case and Desktop Cradle by visiting them at their website.

Here are some more pictures:


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Posted by Fubaz for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 9:29 am. | Review: Seidio ACTIVE case and Seidio Desktop Cradle | Leave a comment |

BlackBerry Branding Gone From TIFF Lightbox In Toronto

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 05:55 AM PST

BlackBerry lounge twitter foursquare @emanintdot 2012-01

Since TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival) opened up their Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto during September 2010 one of the main aspects of the building was their BlackBerry Lounge. This was a spot on the second floor where people could grab a drink while they waited for a movie or just after work and relax. One of the great things about it was you had the ability to charge your micro and miniUSB devices at the convenient and numerous plugs.

It seems though that as of very recently (and just noticed today), this reality is no more. @emanintdot on Twitter checked in to Foursquare a couple of days ago and noticed “Hmm no more @Blackberry chargers…”. At first he thought it was just due to an early spring cleaning or something of the like until he noticed the lack of BlackBerry branding in the Lounge which had formerly been there.

BlackBerry-Lounge-TIFF-Lightbox-Toronto 2010-09 via blog.tofilmfest.ca

BlackBerry Lounge in the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto when it opened in September 2010. (via via http://blog.tofilmfest.ca/)

The above picture was taken in September 2010 when the TIFF Bell Lightbox opened and you can see on the right hand side of the picture along the marble bar the micro and minUSB charging cables which were available for all to use – and came quite a bit in handy! – and on the far wall are the words “BlackBerry Lounge” along with the BlackBerry logo. Fast forward to today when @emanintdot stopped in and both of those are gone (as you can see below).

BlackBerry-Lounge-TIFF-Lightbox-Toronto 2012-01 via @emanintdot resize

BlackBerry Lounge in the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, January 2012, without any more BlackBerry branding or charging cables. (via @emanintdot)

We have just reached out to BlackBerry and TIFF to find out what happened to this long time sponsorship which suddenly ended and when we hear anything we will let you know what brought about these changes and why. Of course, it could be nothing other than a decision to spend marketing/sponsorship dollars elsewhere but it does seem sudden given BlackBerry being a big sponsor of TIFF for years and the BlackBerry Lounge being called the BlackBerry Lounge since the day the Lightbox opened in September 2010. As well, from what I have been told, BlackBerry has always been a big sponsor of TIFF itself so much so that the only app released for TIFF each year is one for BlackBerry devices. I wonder what the situation will be with the 2012 festival.

TIFF Bell Lightbox Partner Signage 2012.01.24

TIFF Bell Lightbox Partner Signage 2012.01.24 BlackBerry is still listed.

I went to the TIFF Bell Lightbox myself the other day to look into the situation some more and spoke to some of the employees there as well as took some pictures (although not as many as I would have liked but more on that later).

My first stop was the Lounge formerly known as the BlackBerry Lounge. I spoke to some people working there and they told me that RIM itself had sent people to take down the signage and it hadn’t been taken down by TIFF employees. As well, this had happened “before Christmas?” or “Definitely around the holiday season.” Obviously this isn’t something that was that important to the employees that they had noted it but I am guessing holiday season is also pretty busy in there. Currently, I was told, the naming rights for the Lounge are up for auction after RIM pulled out of their 4 year contract of which they had just completed Year One. Finally, as evideced by the above picture RIM remains still a TIFF sponsor just not a sponsor of the Lounge.

TIFF Bell Lightbox Floor Directory 2012.01.24

TIFF Bell Lightbox Floor Directory 2012.01.24 still has BlackBerry Lounge reference.

I then went downstairs thinking I had gotten what I’d come for but then I noticed a sign by the elevator which listed what was on each floor of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Thinking I should check whether or not there was the same reference to the BlackBerry Lounge as I saw on the 2nd Floor Directory pictured above, I went over and noticed a reference to a “BlackBerry Lab” on the 4th Floor so I decided to head up there.

TIFF Bell Lightbox Elevator sign 2012.01.24

I spoke to a receptionist on the 4th Floor and she told me that the ”BlackBerry Lab” was a board room for meetings in Toronto and wasn’t really a ‘lab.’ She started looking at me funny when I asked some more questions and I told her I had a very specific reason for asking about it – this article and this blog. She all of a sudden started being very quiet and handed me a card telling me to get in touch with the PR Department (which I had already done but nobody eve returned my call). The BlackBerry Lab was now an empty room and when I went to go take a picture of it she got very angry at me and started scolding me telling me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the empty room without contacting and getting approval from the PR office first. I promptly left after that scolding not bothering to tell her of all the pictures I had already taken and others which were already all over the Internet.

I wonder if all of this has anything to do with RIM’s new CEO, Thorsten Heins, and their search for a new CMO. I know their plans include a need to double down on consumers with marketing targeted towards them but don’t know what this shift means. Maybe they didn’t think enough average consumers were attending TIFF and seeing movies at the Lightbox in downtown Toronto? Maybe it’s just a cost saving measure while they figure out where they’re going to put their 100 million in ad dollars this quarter or their just waiting for that new CMO to make such decisions. Only time will tell.

BlackBerry Lounge 2010 image with BlackBerry branding via http://blog.tofilmfest.ca/.

BlackBerry Lounge 2012 image without BlackBerry branding via @emanintdot http://emanintdot.blogspot.com/.

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Posted by Dan Levy for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 8:55 am. | BlackBerry Branding Gone From TIFF Lightbox In Toronto | 8 comments |

What is RIM Doing with their JayCut & NewBay Acquisitions?

Posted: 01 Feb 2012 04:54 AM PST

 NewBay Logo JayCut Logo

We are already starting to see the fruits of RIM's recent acquisitions such as ScoreLoop social gaming being added to the PlayBook NDK and The Astonishing Tribe's UI elements and upcoming Cascades framework. There are two acquisitions that RIM made in 2011 that have me really wondering what RIM is up to. Those acquisitions are JayCut in July of 2011 and NewBay in October of 2011. Both of these companies were players in the cloud based services category and RIM has been dropping hints that we will be seeing more results from those acquisitions in the future. The question is what will it be?

JayCut, which is based in Sweden, runs an online video editor that they licensed to third parties. We know that RIM is bringing more focus to the media capabilities of BlackBerry with the PlayBook and upcoming BB10 but will JayCut bring something as simple as adding video editing capabilities to the PlayBook? This sort of fits hand in hand with RIM's other media acquisition of NewBay, which hails from Ireland, offers cloud based digital services with a focus on their LifeCache platform. NewBay whitelabeled this system to allow operators and manufacturers to deliver content across multiple devices from their "content cloud."

The NewBay acquisition could have to do with RIM's upcoming video store but it seems like there is more brewing than that. Anybody else thinking there must be more to the story for RIM to be reaching out to Sweden and Ireland for talent? I have been hearing some rumors but nothing substantial yet. I thought I would throw the idea out there and see what our readers can dream up!

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Posted by the BerryReview Team for ©BerryReview, February 1, 2012, 7:54 am. | What is RIM Doing with their JayCut & NewBay Acquisitions? | 3 comments |

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