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Archive for August, 2011

BlackBerry Torch 9850/60 has Adreno 205 GPU

August 24, 2011 Comments off

That’s right.

BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon™ MDP MSM8655

For all those nay-sayers that think the BlackBerry is “still dated” or has not evolved, here is the proof right on the product page:

BlackBerry Torch 9850

A screenshot to whet the appetite.

9860 features Adreno 225 GPU. Well Done RIM Engineering Team - Bravo!

Something great is happening at RIM … they’ve let those that have no faith in the company go – internally and let the real die-hards finally design, build, and craft a super performer for the modern BB user.

Those of you that are NOT aware of the competitive prowess of this cpu+gpu combination … take a look at the reviews of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. Although this incredible smartphone did NOT possess the power of a dual-core cpu – like the Motorola Atrix, and other HTC, Samsung and LG devices that quickly followed its early April debut – this performed just about all tasks equally well and at many times better. Why?! Because their engineers granted this light, sleek, sexy device efficient API code use to use features offered and available by the core Android OS. It’s UI doesn’t plant its dirty hooks into the core of the OS.

Now if you think of efficient code – from the radio stack to the GUI – imagine an efficient, powerful, and yet augmentable code base in the OS that is meant to be extensible from the ground up … deeps hooks are welcome yet not required. Look at WikiTude application which runs better, offers more features, and is better integrated for a completely immersive end user experience … THEN you’ll understand whats at the heart of the Torch 9850/9860 and why it deserves the Torch name … not something we all are happy to forget about.

It’ll take some very brave early adopters making some Bold moves – pun intended – to try out this Torch … but with virtual-keyboard shortcuts that are right at home on the BlackBerry OS … they’ll come away pleasantly surprised with a multimedia powerhouse with efficient tools to get the work day done, and ready to play right after. This can be your BMW motocross – in elegant street briefcase attachment ready to be shunned for Dakar rallying or the Suzuki GSX-R ready to tear it up after business hours.

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Canada’s Future NFC Mainstream

August 22, 2011 5 comments

MasterCard spearheaded the move to contactless-card payment in the U.S. with its PayPass technology. PayPass has been instrumental in getting some large U.S. chains to accept contactless payment—in large part by subsidizing their terminals.

MasterCard was experimenting with contactless-mobile payment, launching probably the first trial in the U.S. in 2003, in Irving, Texas, which was little more than PayPass cards glued to the back of some Nokia phones.

Visa was the big player in Europe back in September 2007 with Barclaycard, yet in Spring of 2009, Barclaycard decided to go with MasterCard’s PayPass, not Visa payWave, working wiht Orange UK.

Places you can see MasterCard’s PayPass (NFC):

McDonald’s
7-Eleven
JPMorgan Chase issued in 2005
Carrefour Group & Auchan Group – France
Lufthansa’s Miles & More – Germany.
Home Depot
BestBuy
CVS Pharmacy
Hess
Sports Authority

MasterCard’s smaller market share shows its weakness in Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia vs Visa. MasterCard has a 3000 phone trial in Banglore, India with Citibank.

Yet, despite its years of promoting PayPass, MasterCard still has not released transaction figures for contactless payment in the U.S. or elsewhere and does not break out figures for PayPass cards and merchant locations by country or region.

source: http://www.nfctimes.com/company/mastercard-worldwide

Banks Supporting the Digital Wallet Include:

Barclaycard US
BB&T Corporation
Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU)
ICBA Bancard
First Financial Bank of Ohio
Nordstrom fsb
Pentagon Federal Credit Union
PNC Bank
PSCU Financial Services
Regions Bank
Royal Bank of Canada
Scotiabank
TD Bank Group (US and Canada)
US Bank

Key :

MasterCard Worldwide Cards POS Volume 2009* POS Volume 2008* Cards 2009**
Asia-Pacific, ME, Africa 326 287 268
Canada 82 88 47
Europe 543 573 200
Latin America 98 96 123
U.S. 804 856 328
Worldwide 1,852 1,900 966
 

Visa Inc.

POS Volume* Change Cards** Change
Asia-Pacific 636 2.7% 512 8.5%
Canada 155 -10.2% 31 0
CEMEA 78 12.3% 184 9.5%
Latin America 189 4.3% 344 4.9%
U.S. 1,621 0.5% 661 3%
Total–Visa Inc. 2,680 0.9% 1,732 5.5%

 

Full Press Release from Visa

Visa Unveils Next Generation Electronic Payments and Services

North American Launch of New Digital Wallet with “Click-to-Buy” Functionality

Scheduled for Fall 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, May 11 /CNW/ – Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), a global leader in electronic payments, today announced the next generation of payments solutions that will replicate the ease, reliability and security of Visa point-of-sale payments within traditional and digital eCommerce, mobile commerce and burgeoning social networking commerce environments. New offerings are expected to include a secure cross-channel digital wallet and a range of customized mobile payments services that address the specific requirements of geographic markets around the world.

“Our new solutions deliver greater consumer choice, convenience and control while helping our clients grow their businesses. By helping to reduce abandoned online shopping carts and bringing new account holders into the Visa network, we create a win-win-win for merchants, consumers and financial institutions,” noted Joseph W. Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Visa Inc. “In addition, we believe Visa’s new payments products and services will help expand financial inclusion to the billions of mobile subscribers today who currently lack access to traditional financial services.”

Simplifying Commerce in Complex Economies

In certain countries with established electronic payments infrastructures, expansive Internet usage and broad mobile network penetration, Visa will be introducing a digital wallet and services platform. The digital wallet will store Visa and non-Visa payments accounts, support NFC payments through the innovative Visa payWave application and deliver a wide range of transaction services to accommodate multiple commerce scenarios—including eCommerce, mobile commerce, micropayments, social networks and person-to-person payments.

Visa is working with leading payments card issuers, community banks, credit unions, acquirers, payments processors and merchants to launch the digital wallet.  Among the financial institutions and organizations supporting Visa’s wallet strategy are:

  • Barclaycard US
  • BB&T Corporation
  • Card Services for Credit Unions (CSCU)
  • ICBA Bancard
  • First Financial Bank of Ohio
  • Nordstrom fsb
  • Pentagon Federal Credit Union
  • PNC Bank
  • PSCU Financial Services
  • Regions Bank
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scotiabank
  • TD Bank Group (US and Canada)
  • US Bank

Visa expects to launch the digital wallet in the U.S. and Canada in fall 2011.

Key features of the wallet are expected to include:

  • Click-to-buy: Shop conveniently and securely by simply entering an email address, alias or online ID and password, instead of a billing address, account number and expiration date. In addition, Visa is exploring dynamic authentication technologies that will bring added layers of security to online purchases.
  • Cross-channel payments solution: The wallet consolidates multiple Visa and non-Visa payments accounts and can be used in mobile, eCommerce, social network and retail point-of-sale environments.
  • Preference management: A menu that enables consumers to set preferences for how their wallet will work, allowing them to customize and control the features of their personal wallet from privacy settings to designating which account will be accessed based on merchant type or purchase amount.
  • Merchant offers: A service that allows consumers to personalize their shopping experience by opting-in to receive money-saving discounts or promotions from participating merchants.

“The widespread adoption of Internet and mobile technology is changing the way people connect and transact across the globe, so we’re focused on delivering locally-tailored payments products and services,”  said Saunders. “We are introducing new solutions for eCommerce and mobile devices that provide the same ‘Visa-quality’ experience—convenience, reliability and security—people enjoy when using their Visa cards at a retail location. In doing so, we are accelerating the global shift to digital payments by harnessing our brand, products, network and 50-plus years of payments experience.”

Mobilizing Payments in Emerging Economies

In certain emerging geographic markets with significant mobile penetration, Visa will work with financial institutions and mobile-network operators to provide consumers with a secure, reliable and globally accepted form of payment and the ability to transfer and receive funds, manage financial accounts or top-up wireless air time using their mobile handset. The wide range of features and functions being developed for the digital wallet will allow Visa to pursue a number of strategies to tailor or bundle services to local needs.

  • In countries like India and Russia, where card issuance and mobile subscriptions are high, but card usage is relatively low, Visa will help drive account activation and usage by working with financial institutions and mobile operators to link existing card portfolios with mobile devices to give handsets payments functionality.
  • In countries within Africa and the Middle East where mobile device usage is high and traditional electronic payments infrastructure is less developed, Visa will work with mobile network operators to link new virtual mobile prepaid Visa accounts to mobile phone numbers to enable cash-in, cash-out, personal payments and mobile payments —including bill payments and wireless airtime top-up. Visa also intends to connect existing “closed loop” mobile money services that today provide basic mobile banking and payments services to unbanked and under-banked consumers to its global, open loop network—VisaNet. The integration will open closed loop systems, and provide consumers and merchants with unprecedented scale, functionality and acceptance beyond their existing local geographic footprints.

Across all emerging geographic markets, Visa’s sophisticated payments technology and significant work in establishing global payments standards will aid in navigating the complexity of the myriad of network operators, handset models and operating systems in use globally, helping to enable millions of new and existing Visa account holders to simply use mobile technology for payments services.

WOW – are you ready?!

Just think about this segment of the above press release ‘In addition, we believe Visa’s new payments products and services will help expand financial inclusion to the billions of mobile subscribers today who currently lack access to traditional financial services‘. If you can imagine consumers travelling in Canada with now real brick & mortar bank accounts yet something with real credit then your small business can bloom with payments from multiple vendors or clients no matter where you do business. One tap gives you Payments for products & services rendered with a real contact card right on your phone – through the providers network (roaming or home/local provider) and you’re PAID In FULL.

 

What’s in your phone?!”

VS Pharmacy
Hess
Sports Authority

Categories: Uncategorized

BB7 Apps I need for BB Bliss

August 20, 2011 3 comments

I cannot recall where I’ve mentioned this before but I’m a bit miffed, along with many a BB user. This is NOT just a personal opinion of mine, nor many in the consumer ecosystem for BlackBerry users upgrading to BB7 devices but also from a support solution which will occur for corporations having IT reps upgrading as well.

BB - Bold 9900 RIM

^ a seriously incredible piece of kit: Professional prowess, refined and fast UI, esthetic hardware design – something Apple would be proud of, and forward thinking in terms of technological implimentation: NFC.

Unfortunately in order for me, other consumers, and especially business users that rely on their BlackBerry device there are a horde of critical applications that MUST be ready & updated to support BB7 devices. Here is my personal preference list:

RIM – apps created/supported by RIM themselves:

  • BlackBerry Protect (Common RIM this should’ve been updated along with FaceBook, BBM, and Mobile Conferencing!!)
  • Blackberry Traffic
  • BlackBerry Travel* (updated this past week)
  • BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing*
  • BlackBerry Enterprise Activation* (this is the BESX application, its been recently updated for BB7 devices, has BESX yet?!)

 

Consumer – focused apps:

  • Advanced Call Manager*
  • AppLock (thank you!)
  • BeamExplorer File Manager
  • CallBlocker Pro
  • Daily Horoscope*
  • Dictionary & Thesaurus
  • Endomondo Sports*
  • FourSquare
  • Flixter*
  • Kobo
  • myTasks (I love this app! So much that I directly emailed Greg begging for support, incentive to integrate BBM API for $)
  • Navita Translator* (thank heavens! incredible for my daily uses)
  • Poynt*
  • WeatherEye
  • WikiTude* (simply incredible – Like Poynt, an amazingly built, useful app that is worlds better on BB vs the competitions platforms)
  • WordPress*

 

Financial:

  • Bloomberg Mobile / Bloomberg Professional
  • Thomson Reuters Pro
  • Blue (by CPCWireless)*
  • TD(Canada)* – (includes CanadaTrust/TD Waterhouse/Insurance/Branch Locator, just in time to switch with their offer)
  • mySun Life
  • Y!Finance

 

Corporate – focused applications (beside financial/RIM created apps above):

  • WebEx Meeting Center
  • Dragon for E-Mail (pretty sad since RIM has a close business relationship with Nuance Communications Inc)
  • Wifi File Transfer
  • UPS Mobile
  • Citrix Receiver (Consider HP’s PC business announcement = cloud boys & girls: this app will be critical to true road warriors)
  • CENTURY 21 Real Estate Mobile Search*
  • Book Keeper (Freshbooks.com compatible billable tracker).
  • ReportAway! * (another FreshBooks.com compatible billable tracker, powerful & expensive yet powerful: updated for BB7)
  • Mobility for SAP* (just recently updated)
  • Rove Mobile Admin Client* (No way a platinum partner would lack on this!)
  • LinkedIN
  • Salesforce Mobile

 

Notable mentions:

Billable Hours, My Time Tracker, TrackMyTime (PB only), and BizTrackIt (too expensive). 

Cisco WebEx

myTasks1

 

Citrix Receiver

Wikitude

myTasks4

Of all the applications I’ve mentioned above those with the asterisks (*) have been updated to support BB7 based devices. Thank you to all those development teams/developers that put in the extra hours, days, or weeks/months in preparation for bringing these to market. I’ve tried to understand java coding and without a CompSci background its not easy, so again THANK you for your hard work and dedication to this well loved platform!! This means to all you users out there … it doesn’t take much to show your gratitude, do without Starbucks coffee for 2 days & donate to the single 1-person developer out there for their hard work. I have countless times, even for themes.

I, personally find it inexcusable that RIM’s own dedicated applications are NOT all updated prior to BB7 devices launch, they know the best of anyone the exact date of the launch and the importance of having a platform ready with their 1-person applications. It’s possible that resources where slim and working on other projects, but again that’s internal planning and still no excuse. Most BB users require these applications and many more – its about time RIM fully invest in their ecosystem & the ppl that love and use it!

RIM’s own Co-CEO’s, CIO, and other top brass SHOULD be rolling out in the company limo to personally deliver a BB7 device (Bold 9900/Torch 9810/Torch 9850/9860) and a PlayBook (16GB) to those developers (Individual or small business team; emphasis on the Individual) that deliver a working BB7 application. It should not have to be the best voted either. This would enrich their development experience, create nirvana and entice existing/potential/lost BB users to this evolutionary step – involve big press as well (BNN, CNBC, CBS, BlackBerryCool, CrackBerry, etc). Nokia used to do this with S60 Symbian, and it was QUITE successful yet only loaned devices and this worked VERY well for them for almost 12yrs.

My Bold 9900 has been carefully waiting in the box for 2 main reasons – applications supporting BB7 listed above, and disputing charges on my carrier and heavily contemplating switching (alternative plans have halted carrier exodus at the moment).

Run your choice of BB7 applications and storm your stopping grounds with a refined BB experience.

RIM BlackBerry App World 3.0 Coming – Too Soon?!

August 18, 2011 Comments off

Do we all really NEED an App World upgrade? Seriously …

The current App World works:

on All BlackBerry OS versions and device models,

On the PlayBook,

Supports carrier billing where offered across RIM’s entire product range,

Allows for Add supported apps,

Allows for application download history in the mobile sense – a first for ANY platform.

No restrictions on migrating your app on the current device you own and are currently running.

So tell me WHY we as blackberry device users really NEED another upgrade in the App World? Seriously we now have BB7 deployed on 3 devices soon to ALL be available on 225 carriers YET we cannot redownload current apps, even some great FREE apps, to an incredible BB7 upgraded hardware! It’s a bit annoying that we’re going to go through a complex change on a component platform upgrade to find out so many applications do NOT work.

This is a BlackBerry, used by corporate users and many in the financial institutional market place YET Bloomberg, Reuters Pro, and a few other “staple” applications that are critical to this platform just have not been upgraded yet. Its as if almost the mighty faithful developers have completely abandoned the BlackBerry  – or – RIM deployed BB7 just too quickly for developers to have time to run simulators to test on.

RIM this is part of your issues that I HOPE you learn from in hindsight. You’re selling a platform on the decline on the consumer market and even slightly in the corporate space. The Bold 9900 IS a WINNER for you but you’re going to BLOW IT by NOT working with developers to quickly update their apps for this take away winner. I myself have both the iPhone 4 and the Bold 9900 currently and although its killing me to consider getting rid of the 9900 (I know my employer will have one ready for me soon enough) I’m not as over-joyed as I could be and want to be. All because this unit appeals to the existing target audience, its imparative that applications are updated to have them feel their patronage is rewarded.

Currently the Bold 9900 is like the BEST present a kid was hoping for under the Christmas tree, yet your parents could not remember to include the batteries, thus you’re stuck to manually enjoy its basics: no special features included. Common RIM we need our apps to work. I cannot BELIEVE after 2yrs of watching Apple and now even Android do so well with application support with each OS upgrade its about time RIM learned this valuable lesson; maybe they would by NOT firing 2000 hard working individuals. Redundancy is the opportunity to retune & restructure for strength and deployment.

Categories: Uncategorized

Google to purchase Motorola Mobility – $12Billion

August 15, 2011 1 comment

this is supposed to be already approved by members of the board by both parties. regulatory approval is pending along with shareholders approval.

This is a VERY interesting play by Google considering a high profile blog post by David Drummond, Google’s SVP and Chief Legal Officer on August 4th 2011.

A hostile, organized campaign” against Android on the part of Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and others, his original blog update with a response to what he calls Microsoft’s “false gotcha.”

Microsoft brought up the fact that it had offered Google the opportunity to bid jointly with it on the Novell patents, and that Google turned it down. According to Drummond, however, such a joint acquisition would have “eliminated any protection these patents could offer to Android against attacks from Microsoft and its bidding partners,” and that it “didn’t fall for it.” He further goes on to note that the Justice Department’s eventual intervention in the acquisition — which required the winning group to provide a license to the open source community — only backed up Google’s case, and reaffirmed its original point that its “competitors are waging a patent war on Android and working together to keep us from getting patents that would help balance the scales.”

Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers.”

We recently explained how companies including Microsoft and Apple are banding together in anti-competitive patent attacks on Android. The U.S. Department of Justice had to intervene in the results of one recent patent auction to “protect competition and innovation in the open source software community” and it is currently looking into the results of the Nortel auction. Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.

We’ll see how Google continues to manage Motorola Mobility, how the top brass and board changes and how this kind of “favoritism” affects other Android licensees, or how it benefits them.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bold 9900 – QNX Hold outs?

August 14, 2011 1 comment

Some thoughts about the early reviews of the Bold 9900.

“The 9900 is the next BlackBerry, but how long will this unit be relevant? My fears are that many developers simply won’t develop for the OS7 platform when RIM’s new QNX platform is on the horizon. As a Developer would you code your app for OS7 when QNX is approximately 6 months to 1-year out? With the Rumored QNX Colt coming first quarter of 2012 we’re not that far off.”

I believe that developers WILL code/re-code their applications for the BB7. The reasoning is this is the TRUE Bold … there are no gaurantees that the BB Colt rumoured, yes rumoured, for Q1 2012 will NOT be in this form-factor. Should you think about the QNX-based PlayBook, and add Mr. Lazaridis’ comments that “If you look at half the PlayBook, that is QNX for the smartphone platform”, you’ll see that this form-factor will NOT be the first implementation for QNX based BlackBerry. In my mind the TrackPad would fade away with hot-capacitive edges with the touch screen becoming the main roll – only the Call/End buttons would remain – to weigh the importance of assurance that THESE are paramount to avoid software issues.

Battery Life:

The Bold 9900 has a 1230mAh battery, a whole 270mAh less than what the 9780/9700/9000 all share. Those of you that stocked on spare battery’s for these models and are dead-set on upgrading to the 9900 must be feeling a bit of neglect from RIM. All manufacturers do this so don’t feel left out. To my recollection ONLY Nokia’s E71/E72/E6/N97 all share the same battery and no other manufacturer has done this beyond 2 models.

If battery life is a concern – and will be for those getting massive emails (200-300/day in business hours) in the office over WLAN to avoid carrier charges – you’ll need to turn off Bluetooth and NFC.

NFC:

I’m not sure that Visa in Canada fully supports this yet, MasterCard is the leader in NFC or tap-paying in North America and Western Europe. I still hope that RIM will make a HUGE leap forward working with MasterCard, Visa, American Express, TTC and other Canadian/USA/European Transit commissions, Esso Ltd, Texaco, Airports and airlines like Air Canada, American Airlines, WestJet, etc etc to push for wallet-less and credit based marketplace. RIM should be pushing for this kind of implementation, this not only can increase sales in both the consumer and business market but also their brand.

First we’ll see business cards featuring NFC … small, and 1 person business will only need to purchase a small handful of business cards and usually keep 1 on hand just for that simple “tap” for business contact information to be transferred on Bold 9900, Nokia C7, and Nexus S.

The BlackBerry Riot – REALLY!?!

August 14, 2011 Comments off

OK … basic post here, more on the level of a rant.

What a JOKE!

YES – 37% of teenagers in Britain use the BlackBerry smartphone platform! Did anyone think to research recent quarterly results to show of those is mostly FEMALE tweens using the BlackBerry platform 16-25yrs of age whereas men in the same range predominantly use the iPhone or Android?

Where does the British goverment get off on thinking its BlackBerry is the root cause? That everyone on CCT is a teenager? Heck I’m over 30yrs old and I’ll bet ANYONE in public if they saw me in jeans and a hoody (with a cap), or even in dress close would think I’M a TEEN; and I’m a father of 2 of them.

SMS/MMS is the largest form of communication worldwide of any text based communication on a mobile device; last time I checked its not limited to BlackBerry’s. Yes the tarrifs on the price plans in Europe charge for SMS  … however there are data plans and AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger and ICQ are still quite common in Europe – ANY platform can use those … and since both Android and iOS have a larger marketshare in that region would it not be prudent to look at those?

What about web-based email being used as communication. Yes its  tragedy of what is going on there – yet I’m unsure whom at RIM made the decision to aid ~ without looking at the legal ramifications of what that Government is getting themselves into (not to mention RIM’s carrier partners) before doing so.

Criminals should not be protected from their actions – yet THEY DO have rights! Its what separates a modern society, an elected government from the common mob. From the looks of it, it would seem quite a lot of citizens in those hoods affected are at fault.

In the end its all citizens who’ll be paying for this madness: the all mighty TAX!

Peace.

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