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Obama To Get Secure BlackBerry 8830

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the what-about-back-worn-radio-controller-devices dept.

Communications 191

CWmike writes "President Barack Obama is set to receive a high-security BlackBerry 8830 soon, The Washington Times reported today. The device is said to be in the final stages of development at the National Security Agency, which will check that its encryption software meets federal standards. It might not be ready for months. It was reported that Obama will be able to send text and e-mail messages and make phone calls on the device, but only to those with the secure software loaded on their own devices. The list includes First Lady Michelle Obama and top aides. The security software is made by Genesis Key, whose CEO, Steven Garrett, is quoted as saying: 'We're going to put his BlackBerry back in his hand.' The Sectera Edge was pegged in January by analysts as the top device choice because of its reputation for secure data communications when used by other federal workers. And there are many reasons why Obama might have been told 'no' on his BlackBerry. But Obama may wish he had chosen a Sectera if BlackBerry has more outage problems like its latest last week, which meant no mobile e-mail for hours across the US."

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Racism is Rampant... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700087)

So....he needs a BLACKberry?
Only a BLACKberry is good enough?
He can't use an iPhone?
Is it because they also come in white?

So many questions, so few goatse rick rolls....

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700177)

The question I have for Obama is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single fat colored mammy sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check?

And as far as BlackBerries go, I'm sure B. Hussein Obama doesn't give a rat's ass. For my part, I give the BlackBerry 8830 two thumbs up.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700225)

Both actually, the single fat coloured mammy sitting at home and so forth is spending part of her welfare check to be one of your clients/customers, and that thanks to her money she's spending at your business that you can thrive and pay your 14 employees.

Now of course you probably stimulate more than she does, because if you're as successful as you make yourself sound, you have more money to spend, and therefore stimulate more. But the welfare check is stimulus money in that that's what allow people on welfare to keep on stimulating. It's the basics of economy really, it astounds me that the boss of such a flourish business such as you are would ignore that.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (3, Insightful)

yada21 (1042762) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700293)

But does it stimulate the economy more than it would have done if it had been left in the original taxpayer pocket?

It's the broken window fallacy.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0, Offtopic)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700369)

No it's not, although lots of people mistakenly think it is. The ramifications/implications of those things are pretty deep, even deeper than in the broken window fallacy, but in the case of a welfare mom with 4 kids, the main difference is that by giving her more money she'll give better food, a better health but more importantly a better education to her 4 children, the difference being ultimately that these children will grow up to be more qualified and thus produce more value/wealth, but also move up in social classes.

But to answer your original question, there's probably not much of a difference, although you might assume that the welfare mom being poorer than the original average taxpayers, she might spend that same money more fully and more quickly, thus stimulating faster. Although if you look at it closer, there may be a reason or two why the opposite would happen, but regardless I think the difference in "stimulus" would be quite marginal.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700415)

Hah, such naivete. Giving welfare mom more money does not necessarily mean a better life for her bastard offspring. It means she can get a new TV, dvd player or drugs...

Just look at how the welfare system is abused in NY State. The more offspring you have, the more money you make. Then the state pays for your children to have healthcare and you get WIC and you get a free house...

It sure pays to be a unemployed mooch around here.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700487)

Hah, such naivete. Giving welfare mom more money does not necessarily mean a better life for her bastard offspring. It means she can get a new TV, dvd player or drugs...

Just look at how the welfare system is abused in NY State. The more offspring you have, the more money you make. Then the state pays for your children to have healthcare and you get WIC and you get a free house...

It sure pays to be a unemployed mooch around here.

Do you have evidence, or just a caricature of a welfare queen that was painted for you by Rush Limbaugh?

Re:Racism is Rampant... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700551)

Come to rochester and look around. The welfare queen isn't a figment of Rush Limbaugh but an truly large problem that NY State faces...

Re:Racism is Rampant... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700623)

Attempting to dispel an uncomfortable truth by linking the description to an ultraconservative loudmouth does not make it go away.

As a matter of fact, (and it pisses me off to no end) my husband has a couple of nieces who, other than ethnicity, fit this stereotype as if it were tailor-made.

I realize that you don't want to admit that this happens, but maybe you should take a closer look at the world around you.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700795)

Attempting to dispel an uncomfortable truth by linking the description to an ultraconservative loudmouth does not make it go away.

As a matter of fact, (and it pisses me off to no end) my husband has a couple of nieces who, other than ethnicity, fit this stereotype as if it were tailor-made.

I realize that you don't want to admit that this happens, but maybe you should take a closer look at the world around you.

All I asked for was evidence. The plural of anecdote is not data.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700899)

Would you like my husband's niece's names and addresses? Maybe you could marry one of them and get them off the government tit?

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700979)

Go take a drive through Bossier City Louisiana. I am sure is plenty of data/evidence there.....

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700839)

Actually it really became popular with Ronald Reagan and his Cadillac-driving welfare queens [wikipedia.org]

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1, Offtopic)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701119)

Hah, such naivete. Giving welfare mom more money does not necessarily mean a better life for her bastard offspring. It means she can get a new TV, dvd player or drugs...

Your cynicism blinds you to the greater issue here - that giving welfare mom more money for sitting on her ass doing nothing is teaching her kids to do the same.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700485)

she might spend that same money more fully and more quickly, thus stimulating faster.

It's not the spending that stimulates, but making money by creating something of value. The money exchange is just an arbitrary measure of that value.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700881)

Spending doesn't stimulate, really? So what if everybody stops spending? The whole economy dies. Money is economy's blood, and spending is the heart that pumps it. The only way you can say that "spending doesn't stimulate" is if you take spending entirely as granted.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700583)

but in the case of a welfare mom with 4 kids, the main difference is that by giving her more money she'll give better food, a better health but more importantly a better education to her 4 children, the difference being ultimately that these children will grow up to be more qualified and thus produce more value/wealth, but also move up in social classes.

What the heck are you basing this on? It's been my experience that welfare moms beget welfare children. And no, I'm not just parroting Rush Limbuagh. I've spent the last five years working for an agency in the human services field and my SO is a social worker with 13 years of experience. I've yet to see welfare moms produce anything other than welfare children. The welfare system in my experience creates a cycle of dependency that few people are able (or willing) to break out of.

Re:Racism is Rampant... in my nose (4, Insightful)

Panaflex (13191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701391)

Give this man a point.

Moreover - blame politicians for ENGINEERING a political class totally dependent on his hand. It's brilliant - voters who depend on government assistance have practically no choice but to vote for the guy. And yes - I'm looking at republicans AND democrats.

Can anyone explain how congress can get a measly 13% approval rating and still re-elect over 90% of it's members in the same month?

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700565)

I'm not sure it's the broken window fallacy at all. The broken window fallacy requires that value be destroyed from the system in order to 'generate' value (which tends to lead to a total loss of value).

However, in the case of this taxation, what value is being destroyed?

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

thousandinone (918319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700715)

The value being destroyed is the cost overhead involved in the system. Do you honestly believe that 100% of the amount deducted from your paycheck, ostensibly for social security, is doled out to those collecting social security at a 1:1 ratio? No, there are other fees and costs associated with these systems as well.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700803)

And where does that money go? Pays people's salary.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701419)

And where does that money go? Pays people's salary.

If you're using the money on nonproductive stuff, then yes, you're "destroying" value.

You might quibble about whether the welfare mom's children will go on to create value - the (admittedly heartless) question is whether the future value will be a better investment that whatever value the taxpayer would have created (or would have been motivated to create, or a motivation to create or whatever).

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

mondegreen (1538879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700827)

I'm not sure it's the broken window fallacy at all. The broken window fallacy requires that value be destroyed from the system in order to 'generate' value (which tends to lead to a total loss of value).

However, in the case of this taxation, what value is being destroyed?

The value of the worker's time and effort. Each day individuals trade heartbeats (in the form of work) for rewards (in the form of currency). By seizing and redistributing those rewards, the government devalues the individual's effort.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701349)

But does it stimulate the economy more than it would have done if it had been left in the original taxpayer pocket?

The short answer is "yes".

When a dollar is spent, there is a multiplier effect. Money that gets into the hands of the lower income levels actually has the highest multiplier effect.

Did you know that the government spending that has the highest multiplier effect is an extension on unemployment benefits, at 1.83?

Government spending on subsidies to oil companies: less than 1

The multiplier effect only applies to our domestic economy. That's why corporate welfare has such a low multiplier, because so much of it leaves the country.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700573)

In order to stimulate the economy, we need more successful Slashdot trolls like GP to thrive and generate angry responses.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700597)

Wrong. The colored mom destroys wealth while AC creates it.

Reminds me of Keynes's idea of making everyone wealthy by digging holes in the ground and filling them back in. Keynes is bankrupt for like 30 years already, still some buy into his snake oil "stimulation".

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700927)

What does she destroy it? By the way iirc that's not Keynes' idea but Napoleon Bonaparte's, and Keynesian economics are making a huge comeback [wikipedia.org] since deregulation has proven to be madness.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700935)

*How does she destroy it

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700633)

But the welfare check is stimulus money in that that's what allow people on welfare to keep on stimulating. It's the basics of economy really, it astounds me that the boss of such a flourish business such as you are would ignore that.

For there to be welfare money the government must either collect it in taxes, loan money or print money and all three weaken the economy. There might be other good reasons for doing it but taking the money from one that wants to buy a 100$ champagne bottle and redistribute it as welfare to buy 100$ of bread and milk isn't stimulating the economy. In fact, due to the overhead of the system it's probably less than 100$ coming out the other side with no tangible value produced. The reason for welfare is much more that poor and desperate people tend to become a problem all by themselves and cutting them a check keeps those that want to be honest on the honest side. The rest would wouldn't be any less of a problem without welfare, quite the opposite.

Stimulating the Economy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700569)

Actually, the welfare mother does more stimulating than you do. You provide money to only 14 people and hoard the rest for yourself. Whereas SHE spends her welfare check with her meth dealer, her kids, the guy who robs her house, etc. The meth dealer alone can redistribute wealth to hundreds of people in the absence of police oppression. You can be guaranteed that any money that welfare momma gets is not going to be hers very long. It all goes to the community, one way or another.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700289)

So....he needs a BLACKberry?

From the sounds of this, he could use any device that supports public key crypto for messages.

Re:Racism is Rampant... (1)

samcan (1349105) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701057)

Mr Obama used a BlackBerry during the campaign---I assume thus that he chose to use a BlackBerry.

Also, you know there is a berry called a blackberry right? And blueberries (Celts)?

first obama! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700097)

just took a shit.

If they can do it for him (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700105)

I am in line waiting for similar software to drive any portable device for communication I want to use.

So in other words, how long before laws are drafted keeping the good stuff out of our hands under the guise of it only aids criminals? I can see it all now, a new email bill of rights that somehow strips me of the ones I need or have.

I like the idea of the President having access to good, safe, and reliable, technology like this. I just hope that trickle down occurs.

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700149)

So in other words, how long before laws are drafted keeping the good stuff out of our hands under the guise of it only aids criminals?

They tried that [wikipedia.org] back in the 90s and it didn't go so well. There's nothing stopping you from using encryption on your cellular phone as it stands now. Back when I was in GSM land I was kind of hoping to get my hands on an OpenMoko and design an encryption system for SMS. It wouldn't be that hard to implement for secure text messaging. Voice may be harder but should still be doable by someone with the right skill set.

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700213)

Back when I was in GSM land I was kind of hoping to get my hands on an OpenMoko and design an encryption system for SMS. It wouldn't be that hard to implement for secure text messaging. Voice may be harder but should still be doable by someone with the right skill set.

What's wrong with encrypted VOIP and email? Tried, tested, and the provider can't fuck it up for you.

Re:If they can do it for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700533)

QoS

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700389)

If you encrypt SMS the message will simply be too long. Email on the other hand does not suffer from such limitations.

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700549)

If you encrypt SMS the message will simply be too long. Email on the other hand does not suffer from such limitations.

To encrypt you need to compress. The encrypted message could easily be smaller than the plain text.

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700167)

I am in line waiting for similar software to drive any portable device for communication I want to use.

What are you talking about?

We already have something like that [wikipedia.org] . It won't run on devices with hardwired OSes of course, but nothing else will, either. Did I miss your point?

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700239)

You can already get this stuff. Speakeasy (Sold by Telecom - now Telstra) is a nice little encryption box for your normal POTS system. If you are using Symbian there are a few applications around already that will encrypt your voice. Or you could just use VOIP and your own SIP server or something.

Re:If they can do it for him (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700373)

I just hope that trickle down occurs.

It had better, as we are paying for it.

Re:If they can do it for him (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701069)

You can have it now:

http://www.cellcrypt.com/ [cellcrypt.com]

CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700113)

I've been successfully resisting efforts by my boss to give me a Blackberry for the last two years. I've seen what it does to co-workers and friends who have them and have no desire to spend half of my next vacation (or weekend or day off) responding to e-mails that could wait. If it's really important they'll call me. If it's not then I guess they can figure it out on their own. I know that some people find them useful but I don't count myself as being one of them.

As an aside, TFA says that the NSA is reviewing the security software. I wonder if they got access to the rest of the source-code and reviewed all of the other software? What does full time encryption do to the battery life and response time of the blackberry? I also wonder if the same restrictions that apply to other Federal workers regarding electronic devices will apply to his Blackberry? Will it be clipped to his waist when he's in the situation room [wikipedia.org] dealing with the next international crisis? Or will he have to keep it out of secured areas?

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700281)

Someone wants to give you free stuff and you refuse because you're too big a pussy to set the simple boundary of not working on vacation.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700523)

He didn't just say "vacation", he said "vacation (or weekend or day off)". Employers give out Blackberrys so they can contact people when they are not at work. If you tell them (as I did) that it will always be off outside of work hours, they won't give you one.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700911)

Employers give out Blackberrys so they can contact people when they are not at work. If you tell them (as I did) that it will always be off outside of work hours, they won't give you one.

The thing is, it doesn't bother me being contacted when I'm not at work if the situation warrants it. With e-mail though it's been my experience that the situation rarely warrants it. People use e-mail for all manner of stupid questions that either aren't that important or that they could answer themselves if they used the time it took to write the e-mail to research the problem on their own.

If it's important enough to warrant bothering me when I'm out of the office then it's important enough for a phone call. If it's not that important then it can wait until next Monday at 8:30am, can't it?

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (2, Insightful)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701341)

I agree with the others here. (sorry, bud).

The boundary that you are on vacation, or 'not on-call', or even simply not required to respond to e-mails for, as you put it, if the situation warrants it, is just too simple to fix. I'm sure they send e-mails now, that you don't respond to (because your present mobile solution doesn't offer it), unless you spend your days off surfing your mail and responding.

full disclosure: I have a blackberry 8830, and I am one of two admins (and we are the only 2 with UNIX responsibilities) managing 200+ servers in multiple datacenters. We own the environments from rack, power, cabling to consoles, hardware, OS, uptime, performance and capacity planning. We also own the SANs, and the backup strategy.

I get e-mails all freaking day/night long, but if I'm on vacation (like today) I am not required to respond, unless I want to. If a production issue pops up, I am still not expected to respond, or jump in, again, unless I want to. If it's really bad, someone will call me, and I will still not be required to respond. There are times that I just can't pitch in, but I often do for that really important stuff. If it my week on call, I understand thats a 24x7 responsibility, but the escalation process specifically requires that the issue is a production class service or system.

I understand that many admins are the only admin, but that shouldn't stop a proper classification of systems/services into categories of 'what can wait', and 'what needs immediate attention'. Set some reasonable boundaries, and the blackberry will actually make it easier to do your job.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700359)

Not just any BB; a sectera. I work for L-3 and just have the 8830 world edition. I wish they would issue me a sectera. As often as I'm running through airports, racing other people in a game I call "the AC outlet musical chair game", and frequently playing BlackBerry bowling as it slips from my hand along the floor, this sturdy hunk of IC heaven would really come in handy for me. If the shelf life of my 8830 battery holds any predictive value as it applies to the sectera and that encryption, the next time you're at an airport crapper and the lights dim for a bit, don't fret, that's just me with my new sectera at one of those musical chairs plugging in.

\\//_

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700403)

I have a cousin who is addicted to his CrackBerry. His wife gave him an ultimatum: "Either you take THAT or ME on our next vacation. Not both."

As an aside, TFA says that the NSA is reviewing the security software. I wonder if they got access to the rest of the source-code and reviewed all of the other software?

I wonder if the NSA has the opportunity to build in back doors, so that they can snoop on the President's communication?

56 bit encryption, indeed.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700867)

I have a cousin who is addicted to his CrackBerry. His wife gave him an ultimatum: "Either you take THAT or ME on our next vacation. Not both."

The other option is to get a blackberry for the wife.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700425)

I had a Blackberry Storm foisted upon me (something about making the numbers up to get the next data bundle). But from the outset I made it very clear that outside of working hours the notification options will be set to Phone Calls Only (i.e. no tones or vibrate on texts and e-mails) and Iâ(TM)ll check e-mails at my leisure.

Without being to hostile or overzealous I find myself constantly having to remind people that e-mail is an asynchronous communications medium.

And as for the Storm - nice screen good for reading e-mails, business iPhone competitor it is not and so damn unresponsive at timesâ¦grrrrr. Iâ(TM)m glad I didnâ(TM)t pay for it, not checked if there are firmware updates but in its current form I wouldn't recommend it.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700963)

But from the outset I made it very clear that outside of working hours the notification options will be set to Phone Calls Only (i.e. no tones or vibrate on texts and e-mails)

I thought about that but I'd have two problems with that:

1) My network monitoring setup sends me SMS'es if it detects problems. Silencing these notifications would defeat the purpose of having them.
2) It would destroy the utility of SMS for personal reasons. I don't want to carry separate phones for work and personal (I've already got enough crap hooked to my belt without adding a second phone) so I'd have to give up on SMS from my friends or deal with notifications for stuff that I don't care about.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701371)

You can create custom profiles that still notify on SMS, but stay silent for e-mails. Or you could edit one of the built in profiles.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

jimmyfrank (1106681) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700469)

You've seen what the device does to people or what people do to themselves? The device has a power button, don't be weak and turn it off.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700981)

The device has a power button, don't be weak and turn it off.

That kind of defeats the point of having a cell phone, doesn't it? My cell phone is my only phone. I don't feel like I should have to cut off all of my friends just to avoid stupidity from the office, nor do I want to carry separate devices for work and pleasure.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (2, Insightful)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701339)

People will go to ridiculous lengths to avoid taking personal responsibility anymore it seems.

Of course it can't be the stupid person's fault..it has to be that evil Blackberry possessing their soul.

And turn it off? Ohhh, no! can't do that..might miss an important viagra email...from a Nigerian Prince!

At an earlier job, one of these obnoxious devices was foisted on me. It never made sense to me, as nothing in my job was 'time critical', but 'everybody is going to this' was the reason. I tried warning them it would not work with me...

So, when I got to work and after parking, I would turn it on as I entered the building, and when I left the building at the end of the day it would get turned off.
Discussions with management usually turned silly:

Boss: 'I tried calling your blackberry last night and all this morning! Where have you been?'
Me: 'Last night I was home, and this morning at my desk, right next to my office phone, working.'
Boss: 'Then why didn't you answer?'
Me: 'My office phone never rang.'
Boss: 'But I was calling your blackberry!'
Me: 'Well, it was turned off.'
Boss: '??!!?? Why?'
Me: 'Because I have a working office phone right next to me, did not need the blackberry on.'
Boss: 'What about last night?'
Me: 'What about it? I was off work at home. I have a phone there also.'
Boss:'?????'
Me: 'You only get me for the hours you pay me for.'
Boss: 'But but, it's a Blackberry!1'
Me: 'Yeah, so?'
Boss:'??????"*blank stare*

Some people just don't get it, no matter how often they get hit with a clue-stick. That crap went on weekly, until I moved on to a better job...with no Blackberry.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700627)

They are a nice device for personal use. I'd never get one for work, though, as it is then expected you are checking the thing all the time. No thanks. Like you said, the culture around those things is wrong, and if it's important, they should call you.

Re:CrackBerry: Just say no ;) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700773)

As an aside, TFA says that the NSA is reviewing the security software. I wonder if they got access to the rest of the source-code and reviewed all of the other software?

I'm sure they did. The blackberry platform has been audited from end-to-end by many, including the governments of Canada, UK, USA, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, along with non-governmental organizations:

http://na.blackberry.com/eng/ataglance/security/certifications.jsp [blackberry.com]

More outage problems? (2, Insightful)

homey of my owney (975234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700117)

Hey, I got an idea. Lets give one to every member of Congress!

Re:More outage problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700291)

It seems a mod of troll lacks any significant sense of humor. It appear to be a joke.

6821 years? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700125)

From the title I thought it would take 6821 years to develop a secure BlackBerry.

Will all those that he texts with (0, Redundant)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700135)

also get secure Blackberries?

(I assume his immediate family will, as well as WH coworkers, but friends and so on?)

Re:Will all those that he texts with (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700333)

I know reading the article is hard, but not even the summary?

Re:Will all those that he texts with (4, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700589)

Summary? I don't even read the titles.

Re:Will all those that he texts with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700385)

FFS Did you not even read the summary?

It was reported that Obama will be able to send text and e-mail messages and make phone calls on the device, but only to those with the secure software loaded on their own devices.

Barackberry (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700153)

Hey, its part of what endeared him to me, not just for the tech side of it, but the fact that he likes to stay connected and on top of things.

Blackberry for elites (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700199)

I'm glad that Sectera Edge is making an appropriate device for our leader. It's important that he have a convenient device, it is approprate that the taxpayers pay for it. Obama will make better use of this device with the money spent. What's the alternative, subsidizing more baby formula for clown-car-vagina-women in the South? At least this way, the new security will rub off on the rest of us, eventually. But let's not push it, our leader knows better than we do when we'll be able to handle it.

A poem written by the parent poster (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700227)

COON, COON ...
Black Baboon ...
Brutal, worthless
thieving GOON...
Often High, Thrives in Jail
His welfare check
is in the mail ...
Some 40 offspring have been had,
Not one will ever
call him dad ...
And yet he hollers day and night:
  "i blames de white man
        fo my plight,
    it's him spreads trash
        all round my shack...
    it's him what makes me
        smoke dis crack,
    he push my kind
        to burn and loot,
    an sends de po-lice
        dat we shoot ...
    but ince by ince we takin' hold
    like when the white bread starts to mold...
    i'll overrun
        yo home and soon...
DEY BE ONLY FIT FO DE BLACKASSED COON"

How can you tell the president "No blackberry" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700201)

What I don't understand is how anyone can tell the president "No, you can't have a blackberry"
He's at the top... everybody else is below him and reports to him. What are they going to do if he says no, fire him? No... if anything Obama will launch a nuke up the backside of anyone who tells him that he can't carry a blackberry.

Re:How can you tell the president "No blackberry" (0, Troll)

strikeleader (937501) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700253)

We all should be able to tell that arrogant ass No! He is not at the top, "We the People" are and he is suppose to answer to us.
Enough of the love fest already.

Re:How can you tell the president "No blackberry" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700271)

Yeah! We need to put those niggers back in their place - the cotton fields where they belong! Such an arrogant-ass nigger to suggest otherwise.

Re:How can you tell the president "No blackberry" (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700393)

He's at the top... everybody else is below him and reports to him. What are they going to do if he says no, fire him?

The whole point of three way checks and balances in US politics is that *no one* is at the top. The other two branches explicitly do not report to the president, and ideally, he reports to the people and the Constitution. How well this works in practice has been the subject of occasional debate.

So yes, please fire him if you find he's not living up to expectations in a few years. Call your congresscritter about firing him sooner if it becomes dire. I suggest coming up with a better issue than this one, though.

Usefulness limited? (2, Interesting)

worip (1463581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700209)

but only to those with the secure software loaded on their own devices

How useful is the phone then really, if you can not even call the dry cleaners down the street? Or maybe Obama only communicates with 5 or so people?

Re:Usefulness limited? (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700647)

President Obama previously used a BlackBerry to help him manage his campaign organization, which was effectively a successful $800 million corporation. Unless you're Rush Limbaugh you would want him to manage the Federal Executive branch at least as well.

Re:Usefulness limited? (1)

Sun.Jedi (1280674) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701435)

Unless you're Rush Limbaugh you would want him to manage the Federal Executive branch at least as well.

I'm not Rush Limbaugh.

I hope Obama fails with a nice new 8830 secure Blackberry. The sooner the failure, the sooner a replacement.

Does Obama run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700219)

I'm trying to imagine a beowulf cluster of Obamas

Um, last year (4, Insightful)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700251)

The BlackBerry network does have outages from time to time. But the linked article is from April 18, 2007!

Re:Um, 2 years ago (0, Troll)

toetagger (642315) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700455)

The BlackBerry network does have outages from time to time. But the linked article is from April 18, 2007!

Last time I checked, it was 2009...

Re:Um, 2 years ago (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700521)

No no, his post was from last year, referring to the year before that.

Outage (3, Funny)

AmigaAvenger (210519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700327)

Outage last week? Wow, what happened to ever checking the dates, yes, April 17th, of 2007!!! REALLY old news... I've got a crackberry, had one for forever, now have a non-presidential edition 8830. I would never give it up, in fact, I probably would give up a firstborn for it.

Re:Outage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27701189)

The other bit is that this should only have affected people using their service. I'm sure that Obama's going to be using BES and not BIS.

Uh oh (3, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700337)

When I hear that the President of my country, the commander in chief of its armed forces, is getting a "high security" blackberry which is being developed by our National Security Agency, all I can think of to say is 2 words..........

Uh oh.

Re:Uh oh (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701455)

What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

Well, unlike in the recent past, at least this way there will be back ups of Presidential e-mails available from the NSA when Congress or the DOJ ask for them....

Who cares about a Blackberry outage? (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700477)

"...if BlackBerry has more outage problems like its latest last week, which meant no mobile e-mail for hours across the US."

Boy, anyone remember back in the day when Presidents used to get their information from Generals and top aides holding very flat pieces of compressed wood called paper?

Point here is if ANYONE could get away with a Blackberry outage for "hours across the US", it SHOULD be that man.

What's the big deal? (5, Interesting)

mraudigy (1193551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700513)

I mean, its really cool that the president will get back his Blackberry back and seems to embrace technology to some degree, but the DoD and the US Army have been issuing secure Blackberry's "encrypted to federal standards" for quite some time now.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700717)

Difference is the President's BB is required to be used in a fashion to adhere to the Presidential Records Act.

Can the iPhone be made as secure? (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700639)

I'm not trolling, just asking an honest question because I'm genuinely curious.

If Obama were to choose an iPhone, could it be made as secure as the solution implemented for his Blackberry?

As far as I know, the iPhone doesn't yet match the Blackberry in security and enterprise users, even though some Fortune 500 companies have started using it.

Why does it need to be secure? (5, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700667)

Every communication will be something like this:

Advisor: Mr. President, there's a prob with X, WTF shuld we do?
President Obama: LOL! Throw money at it.
Advisor: Good call, Mr. President. Culd u b more specific?
President Obama: *sighs* Create a new "Czar of X" over the new "Bureau of X", silly.
Advisor: OMFG, BHO ROCKS!

Re:Why does it need to be secure? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700719)

Vice-President Biden : the game, you just lost it. rofl

Re:Why does it need to be secure? (1)

SrWebDeveloper (1419361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701153)

Mr. President, it's the red button on the left side of the suitcase. No, the left, move the cuffs out of the way, please. [10 seconds go by] Sir, you're other left. Now insert and turn the key at the same time and press that... yes, that key... now turn it...the other way, sir... and at the same time... the SAME, meaning you need both hands, sir. [10 minutes of silence] Sir, target destroyed. Thank you for calling the Defense Departments Help Desk. You call has been logged as ticket number 198324344334-E and have a nice day.

Defense Contractors Already Have These... (1)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700689)

Some defense contractors already offer special encrypted Blackberry phones for their employees. How is this device so different? Just a different set of proprietary encryption software?

That's good. We were worried up here. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700865)

It was starting to look like the USA may have to send their army up to Waterloo to secure their strategic Blackberry reserves.

It will be interesting to watch Metcalfe's Law in (1)

jra (5600) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700877)

That's the one that says that the utility of a network is proportional to the square of the number of things (devices, people, services) connected to it.

I suspect that President Obama (isn't it interesting how many people seem to be avoiding using that 2 word phrase in writing about him?) is about to discover that the useful thing about a BlackBerry isn't the *device*, it's the *people at the other end*.

Whom he won't have.

Open Wireless Network Access (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700887)

If wireless networks were required to allow anyone with a contract to access them whenever physically possible, the way the wired telephone/Internet networks are, then one network going down wouldn't disconnect all devices from the overall network. Instead, the US locks each device to a network, then charges roaming fees if connection can be made at all when there's another network's signal.

It's long past time to let any device connect to any wireless network with usable signal, with seamless handoff of voice and data streams when the network is "hopped". Wireless carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile would hate to lose the roaming money from the lockout, but we need open access to treat the wireless networks like the Internet, with all the growth that comes from it.

But what about privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27700891)

If he lets the NSA load stuff on his Blackberry, what about privacy? Won't the NSA be able to record all his conversations?

Obama to get bugged BlackBerry (1)

viralMeme (1461143) | more than 5 years ago | (#27700915)

"The device is said to be in the final stages of development at the National Security Agency, which will check that its encryption software meets federal standards. It might not be ready for months"

Really, I would have thought it would be less secure [schneier.com] after the spooks got their hands on it. As such I have corrected the title.

iPhone vs. Crackberry - an issue of encryption (2, Informative)

SrWebDeveloper (1419361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701055)

I'm anxious to see when Apple will implement both data and transmission mandatory encryption on the iPhone for government and medical use. I attended an "iPhone and Government" meeting at one of Apples facilities in Reston, Va. the other day, with corporate representatives on hand to listen to the feedback of various agency IT/CIO folks and the concensus was Apple is working the DHS, OMB and other agencies to determine how Apple will pursue this. Being the iPhone was introduced only 20 some months ago, and version 3.0 of their OS is due later this year, their growth has been phenomenal, and finally they are devoting resources to the very vocal government sector who has hounded Apple to fully encrypt with sensible remote management and rollout.

For those not aware, the iPhone accounts for 60% of all combined wireless web traffic, offers Wi-Fi support in addition to 3G, and there are over 30,000 apps developed by 50,000 registered app developers. All apps reside in a sandbox, i.e. each has its own keychain of data and content and each requires a signed Apple security certificate authority to even run on the iPhone.

Many enterprise level apps already use proprietary encryption of data and transmission, password authentication and offer remote wipe, but we in the government await complete standardization of those (i.e. FDCC) as well as a vetted C&A process to ensure data integrity and performance.

It's just a matter of time, according to Apple, that Obama and the White House IT Dept. might consider trading in his Crackberry for the much more powerful and user friendly iPhone.

What is Obama trying to hide? (0)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701205)

Sure, on the surface, this seems like a good idea. Bring the president into the 21st century with an encrypted device for communication. The problem? EVERYTHING the president does is recorded and aside from classified/top secret stuff, supposed to be available for the public record. Obama gets around this by using this encrypted device. Who's he calling, or texting on his blackberry? We'll never know. Truth is, he's the PRESIDENT, he has hundreds of people constantly following him around, assisting him. He does not need a blackberry.

Its African-AmericanBerry8830... (1)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27701293)

You insensitive clods!
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