I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about RIM/Blackberry

Sometimes I have had not nice things to say about RIM and their Blackberry products. After seeing this video, I’ve decided to take it all back. Why should any company spend time developing a mobile operating system when instead they can create an incredibly high-production music video, singing about their developer support to the tune of an REO Speedwagon song? 

Your move, Tim Cook.  - Matt

HP: Tech turkey of the year


Photo: Sideshow Bruce, Flikr

It was close. Sony was hacked just about every day for a month. BlackBerry suffered PlayBook tablet apathy and its longest-ever outage. Netflix’s Qwikster debacle sent its stock tumbling by more than 75% since the summer.

But my tech turkey of the year is Hewlett-Packard. Or, more specifically, HP’s board of directors.

The company’s board continued a decade of — well, incompetence is a strong word, so let’s say dysfunction — by backing its CEO Leo Apotheker’s plan to get out of the PC business. It also killed off the TouchPad tablet that had come out just a few weeks earlier after hyping it for the better part of the year.

After slashing TouchPad’s price to $99, HP sold out its stock in days. Oops! Turns out HP may have had a product people wanted after all — hang onto that thought.

A month later, HP’s board decided it had enough of Apotheker and fired him. Fair enough, HP lowered its business outlook this year more times than Netflix changed its mind on its DVD business. Of course, executing on a strategy to convert a hardware company into a software company, when software made up 2% of sales, wasn’t exactly a cake walk.


In October, HP said it was going to hang onto its PC division after all. Oops! Just kidding, PCs are actually pretty nifty machines.

It’s as if HP saw Netflix, Sony and Research In Motion and said, “Hey, good idea! Let’s do a double-reverse-course on our premiere product, anger and confuse the hell out of all of our customers and release a tablet at a price point where no one would consider buying it.”

If that’s not enough for tech turkey of the year, I’m not sure what is. -David

Try THAT on an iPhone

I finally cracked and swapped my BlackBerry for an iPhone, but every time I type an e-mail I miss the crackberry keyboard. There’s a reason “BlackBerry thumb" entered the corporate lexicon; it’s easy to bang out a word storm on those things.

Here’s a dazzling feat of BlackBerrying: When Europe’s markets melted down this morning, CNNMoney’s markets editor Catherine Tymkiw pinged one of her regular contributors, Douglas Elliott, and asked if he wanted to weigh in. He promptly knocked out a 500-word commentary. Which he wrote entirely on his BlackBerry. On a train. Catherine debated making the dateline “EUROPE, ON A TRAIN,” but sadly AP Style Guide lacks an entry for such things. 

As markets reporter Hibah Yousuf pointed out: “and it’s about Europe derailing!” Ba-dum ching. -Stacy

'Best BlackBerry of the year?' Well, yes, if it's the only one…


Photo: Courtesy, Research In Motion

In this tweet today, Research In Motion quoted a CNET review, which claims the just-released Bold 9930 is the “the best BlackBerry of the year.”

Well, that’s objectively true: The BlackBerry Bold 9930 is the only BlackBerry that RIM has released this year. (The Torch 9850 is coming out next week.)

So, congrats, RIM … sort of? -David

Earlier this month, RIM competitors Apple and Palm unveiled the new, and widely anticipated iPhone and Pre smartphones. After the touch screen BlackBerry Storm received largely negative reviews in November, 2008, RIM is expected to unveil a touch screen BlackBerry with a physical keyboard, much like the Pre, in the coming months.
From the last time I wrote about RIM earnings, which was June 18, 2009. Remember when the Pre was “widely anticipated?” And when people were excited about the prospect of the Torch? Oops! -David

Even RIM doesn’t want their tablet

Photo by CNNMoney

One of the perks of being a tech journalist are all the new toys we get to try out — companies generally send us products for a week or two, and after trying them out they’re sent back to the company (it keeps us honest).

Except for this PlayBook. It was given to us for Julianne to review, and every time we contact RIM asking where to send it back to we don’t get a response. I’ve been keeping it in a drawer at my desk, pulling it out only when sub-standard products are released and I can say “But at least it’s not as bad as the PlayBook!” It is the herpes of tablets - once you have it, you can’t get rid of it. And unlike herpes, even the person who gave it to you doesn’t want to see you again.

RIM, I beg of you, please take this back. Seriously. At least so I can stop coming up with bad herpes jokes. - Matt

Update: Our pleas were heard! A RIMM rep emailed us with an address so we can send the PlayBook back from whence it came.

Here’s Julianne’s review:

IOS 5? Please, my [insert device here] has done that for years


Photo taken by me at Google I/O 2011

Apple reinvented the smartphone in 2007, but it has been playing catch up for the past couple years.

Here’s a sampling of announcements that Steve Jobs & Co. made today that already existed on other devices:

Camera button on launch screen: Windows Phone devices do Apple one better: They can take photos from sleep mode just by hitting the camera button.

Notifications: Apple now lets iOS users swipe down to get notifications. Android has had that feature since 2007.

iMessage: I guess Apple couldn’t get RIM to give them the rights to iBBM.

OTA updates: Come on, even WebOS has that.

iCloud: Have a new Android? Sign into Google, and all your contacts, e-mails and settings are waiting for you, including Wi-Fi network passwords.

Twitter integration: I was frankly surprised that didn’t already exist on the iPhone, since you can do that on a BlackBerry, Windows Phone and Android.

And I get accused of being an Apple fanboy. -David