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Mr. Knowitall
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I've given up on professional money managers and taken to managing my own investments. I have some long positions but prefer scalping my favorite technology stocks! Investment History: Long $INTC, $MSFT and Selling covered calls. I like trading BlackBerry on the short, side. Here's my... More
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  • How Long Will BlackBerry's BB10 Powered Devices Have Access To The Google Play Store?

    I think this could all change with Google filing a lawsuit to block BB10 devices from accessing the Google Play store.

    I understand BlackBerry is not attempting to break Google's "Mobile Application Distribution Agreement," directly, but by authorizing--by supplying Snap et al with a runtime certificate for BB10--they are enabling and in fact encouraging gross disregard for for Google's "Mobile Application Distribution Agreement."

    To get access to key apps like the Play Store, Android device makers like Samsung Electronics Co. must sign a "Mobile Application Distribution Agreement," with Google. Full terms of the agreements haven't previously been disclosed, but two were admitted as exhibits during a 2012 patent and copyright case between Google and Oracle Corp. Harvard Business School Professor Ben Edelman recently published the documents on his blog.

    The Samsung and HTC agreements specify a dozen Google applications that must be "preinstalled" on the devices, that Google Search be set as the default search provider, and that Search and the Play Store appear "immediately adjacent" to the home screen, while other Google apps appear no more than one screen swipe away.

    So as you can see from this tiny subset of Google legal requirements to access the Google Play Store, Snap, and by implication, BlackBerry are in clear violation of Google's "Mobile Application Distribution Agreement."

    Disclosure: I am short BBRY.

    May 12 3:03 PM | Link | 12 Comments
  • BlackBerry 10.2.1 Android Runtime BES Security Flaw Discovered

    BlackBerry 10.2.1 recently began rolling out to users worldwide. The Android runtime, which allows you to install Android APKs directly, looks to have a security flaw.

    Frank Büttner from the ABS Team GmbH has found that even while having a BES policy in place to block his business contacts, his installed Android apps such as Skype and Go Launcher EX were able to pull his BES contacts.

    You can toggle the availability of this information with the "Personal Apps Access to Work Contacts" policy. There are three options for allowing apps access to your BES contact info: All, Only BlackBerry Apps, or None.

    Though, as found by Büttner, no matter what policy is set in place the Android apps still have access to the work contacts. This is interesting in itself, as Android apps are not allowed on the work-side of BlackBerry 10, only native apps.

    BlackBerry is now aware of the security flaw and has issued the following official statement to us:

    "We have investigated an issue in the Android player involving specific app permissions, which will be addressed in a forthcoming software update."

    BlackBerry will be at the mercy of the carriers to swiftly roll out an update. If you're running Android apps that gain access to your contacts, beware.

    Courtesy N4BB

    Read the full story here:

    So much for BlackBerry superior security.

    A closing thought: Wasn't there an argument a while back that said the DoD wouldn't care about Android apps on a BB10 device since they were sandboxed in the 'personal' work space?

    I would guess that at a minimum the DoD would now require disabling the whole Android runtime environment if these devices are to ever get any sort of government or military use.

    Disclosure: I am short BBRY.

    Tags: BBRY, mobile, security
    Feb 21 8:13 PM | Link | 7 Comments
  • BlackBerry Messenger And Your Privacy

    While looking into BBM security issues surrounding emulation via BlueStacks, I stumbled across this interesting passage in the BlackBerry BBM Terms of Service with regard to the data BlackBerry collects and makes available to 3rd parties.


    (a) Personal Information. Your use of the BBM Solution (or any portion thereof), including the installation and/or use of the Software, or associated Airtime Services, or the creation of a BlackBerry ID, may result in the Processing of personal information as defined under applicable law about You, or if You are a corporation or other form of legal entity, Your employees and other individuals that You authorize to use Your BBM Solution on Your behalf (collectively, "Users") by the BlackBerry Group of Companies and its service providers, Your Airtime Service Providers, and third parties with products or services used with Your BBM Solution. Depending on the Services used, personal information may include information such as name, display picture, status and personal messages, email address, telephone number, language preference, BlackBerry ID, account credentials and settings, Device information (for example, Device identifiers and Device model), country and time zone, Airtime Service Provider information, and information about the use of Your BBM Solution functionality and the Services or software and hardware utilized in conjunction with Your BBM Solution. Depending on the availability of features in the BBM Solution, address book information, Device location data, calendar, photos, reminders may be accessed by the BBM Solution and Processed by BlackBerry to provide functionality that uses this information as part of or in conjunction with the BBM Solution (for example, to allow You to send a "Recommend BBM" email or SMS to contact(s) in Your address book). You consent that the BlackBerry Group of Companies may collect such personal information from You directly, or obtain it from Airtime Service Providers or third parties with products or services used with Your BBM Solution. Where You are a corporation or other legal entity, You shall ensure that You have obtained all necessary consents and authority to agree to, and give the consents required under this Section 19 as they relate to personal information of Your Users that is collected through their use of Your BBM Solution.

    (b) Purposes. Consistent with BlackBerry's Privacy Policy, personal information may be Processed by the BlackBerry Group of Companies and their service providers for purposes related to (i) understanding and meeting Your needs and preferences and to provide You with Your BBM Solution and BlackBerry ID; (ii) developing new and enhancing existing products and services, including to communicate with You about them [read: spam]; (iii) managing and developing the BlackBerry Group of Companies' business and operations [read: whatever they want to use it for]; and (iv) meeting legal and regulatory requirements. Furthermore, BlackBerry may make available to or send to Users upgrades or updates, or notices of upgrades or updates, of the Software, or other BlackBerry products and services, Third Party Software, Third Party Content or Third Party Services and related products or services[read: more spam].

    So if you thought your personal data is absolutely secure while using BBM, think again.

    Jan 27 2:14 PM | Link | 18 Comments
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