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NTSB Dumps BlackBerry In Favor of iPhone 5

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the kicking-them-when-they're-down dept.

Blackberry 100

Nerval's Lobster writes "The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plans on replacing its existing stock of BlackBerry devices with Apple's iPhone 5. Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones, the government entity wrote in a Nov. 13 notice of intent, 'have been failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.' The NTSB's use of iPads means it has the operational support for iOS; consequently, the decision was made to go with Apple. 'The iPhone 5 has been determined to be the only device that meets the dual requirement of availability from the existing wireless vendor and is currently supportable by existing staff resources,' the notice added. RIM is fighting to retain the government and enterprise contracts that originally made it such a mobile powerhouse. If agencies and boards such as the NTSB begin to embrace alternative platforms, however, that could critically weaken RIM's business model just as the company attempts a comeback behind the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform."

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"These are not the droids you're looking for...." (0)

KrazyDave (2559307) | about 2 years ago | (#42058853)

'....THESE...ARE...NOT...THE.. DROIDS...WE'RE...LOOKING...FOR' Yeah, just Apple's slick marketing machine STRIKES BACK again, preying on unsuspecting, technically-challenged, government consumers by dangling their shiny, overpriced toys. (sarcasm)

Forgot their customers (4, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#42058921)

I just watched a demo of the new BB OS and it looked pretty good. I have had two concerns about their new phone the first being the touch screen for typing; with this it looks like they have a pretty innovative way of quickly typing. The second was that IT departments can and regularly cripple the phone. You have people walking around with a pretty good smartphone that was turned into a lump of crap by the IT department. No twitter, facebook, and even sometimes web surfing. So in the new OS they have created two modes of use business and personal. The guy specified that you could then cripple the business mode and free up the personal mode.

These sound great and if the screen typing works as well as the demo it could be a game ruiner for touch screen phones without it; but I doubt it. If I were a company and I invented this technology I would sell it to one of the players with real cash. Second I suspect that this personal mode itself can be turned off. There is a reason that corporate types have been given free BB phones and then they go out and buy themselves a $700 iPhone with their own money and that is that IT can ruin iPhones. This also causes corporate types to rebel against IT and simply insist that the company switch to the iPhone. It is not a matter of which is better but which can't be crippled.

So I think that the BB should have eliminated the ability of IT departments to treat their users like infants (CEOs & CFOs included) and they should have kept their awesome keyboards. Basically they should have eliminated a weakness and played on a strength. Lastly many BB users are older and all the cool whiz bang that I saw in the demo will result in the whole old dog new tricks problem.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about 2 years ago | (#42058955)

The guy specified that you could then cripple the business mode and free up the personal mode.

You can do this on both iOS and Android if you're using a decent MDM solution, which is no different from if you are using BlackBerry and BES, except you can do it today rather than at some time in the future.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#42059065)

I the above I meant to say IT Can't ruin iPhones.

Re:Forgot their customers (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059455)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

Workers seem to foget that a top priority of any IT department is to prevent unauthorised access or leaking of corporate data and not make the end use happy by giving them shinny toy X or Y, though it is nice to get some well manged and supportable hardware to the users.

Lastly, Apple probably have one of the better out of the box solutions to manage their smart phones or "cripple them'' as you like to call it.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059995)

" a top priority of any IT department is to not make the end use happy by giving them shinny toy X or Y, "

You can ensure they won't "use happy," by simply not giving them lube with those toys.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42060067)

they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

Said the guy posting on Slashdot.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062449)

they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

Said the guy posting on Slashdot.

At 5:30pm PST, 8:30pm EST, the eve before a holiday weekend...

Damn dude, WTF kind of job do YOU have with those kinds of slavery hours to think he is goofing off from doing work?!

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063723)

Look if you're going to do this, do it properly - go into his comment history and start accounting...

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42067545)

they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

Said the guy posting on Slashdot.

Not at work 24/7 :)

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

kuhnto (1904624) | about 2 years ago | (#42060537)

While I understand the need for corporate security, I find that as more and more IT rules are pushed down onto my BB, I am becoming less and less likely to keep using it. Unfortunately there are no metrics to calculate the loss of productivity and thus revenue due to employees turning in the POS, crippled BB's and returning to the real world of portable communications. What are the real costs? 1. The possibility of Data lost from my phone? 2. Me only answering emails between the hours of 8am and 5pm, 365 days a year?

Re:Forgot their customers (3, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | about 2 years ago | (#42060861)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

As the guy who eats lunch with your boss, all I can say is your attitude is poor. The company wants me to carry a phone so they can contact me in an emergency, but they don't want me to enjoy any part of the experience of having the damn thing glued to my hip? No thanks. If you give me a locked-down brick around with me, expect to find it in my desk drawer as I head home for the night.

If I have to have a leash, then it's going to be a fun leash with Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, and a decent web browser. Most IT staff seem to get that. If your company culture lets you get away with that attitude, then I think I can explain your higher than average attrition rates.

Just stop right there. You were going to say "but I'm CTO of a Fortune 500 company and we're growing like crazy LOL!" weren't you. No, you're not. You're a powertripping junior staffer at a small company. Big companies who value being able to hire and retain employees understand these kinds of basics. The others? We make fun of them here when their horror stories inevitably leak to the press.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

clifyt (11768) | about 2 years ago | (#42063043)

Back in the day, I bought the Palm phones for everyone in my office and NO ONE carried them around. They were locked down, to the bosses order, and when ever the was an emergency, no one answered. Had to call their land lines. Most of the time if we called someone out of the office, their desk would ring.

So one day I decided fuck that...my boss is clueless, so I asked everyone to bring in their phones...I had an assortment of free games and would install them on their phone. Solitare, mine sweeper (it wasn't MS but very similar), poker...and over night...people started to pull them out of their desks and carry them with them.

It is always the power hungry asshole that thinks they know more about employees than they ever do...I was in IT as I put myself through grad school in psych. One of the first things we learn in any management course (this was undergrad) is that you can expect any educated 1st worlder to work about 60% of the time. 80% for a few weeks. 100% and they will burn out. Anyone that says they are working 40 hours a week is most likely putting in 60 hours to do so. That sort of thing. Want good employees...allow a little slop. Or ignore all the social sciences that study this sort of thing, tell the world how much you know about being a boss and watch your best talent move away.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063307)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

As the guy who eats lunch with your boss, all I can say is your attitude is poor. The company wants me to carry a phone so they can contact me in an emergency, but they don't want me to enjoy any part of the experience of having the damn thing glued to my hip? No thanks. If you give me a locked-down brick around with me, expect to find it in my desk drawer as I head home for the night.

As some other guy who also has to carry a company phone so I can be reached in an emergency, I can tell you if you were issued with such a phone and you can't be reached in an emergency because you left it in the office, you better be ready to find another job.

The company issued you a phone for emergency contact, not for your enjoyment. If you don't like that, refuse to take the phone and request a transfer to another job role, or find a job elsewhere, which don't need to carry such phones.

Putting games and other entertainment in the phone encourages people to drain the battery, making the phone useless when needed, and thus defeats it purpose. I preferred my company phone locked down as much as possible, so there is no possibility of me messing it up, and thus ensure it is operational when needed. I carry my own smartphone for personal and entertainment purposes. If your job doesn't pay enough for you to get your own phone, go find another job, or stop complaining.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#42064379)

The company issued you a phone for emergency contact, not for your enjoyment. If you don't like that, refuse to take the phone and request a transfer to another job role, or find a job elsewhere, which don't need to carry such phones.

Too late, he already left, and started a company competing with you and stole most of your good talent. In two years they'll be moping the floors with you.

-=Geoskd

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42067531)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

As the guy who eats lunch with your boss, all I can say is your attitude is poor. The company wants me to carry a phone so they can contact me in an emergency, but they don't want me to enjoy any part of the experience of having the damn thing glued to my hip? No thanks.

I often spend time with my boss and my boss's boss about the different technologies we can introduce into the company, recently trying to intoduce tablets and smartphones (iPhones or androids depending on the manageability of the device) And why should the company make you enjoy the experience of carrying a phone? your paid to work. If you want a phone to enjoy yourself buy yourself one. that said most sane IT departments will allow a certain amount of free use of IT equipent to help the user better enjoy and get the most out of it.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42077315)

The sound of a complete wanker bleating...

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

SwabTheDeck (1030520) | about 2 years ago | (#42061133)

Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

Maybe because when you give your employees a bit of freedom, they don't feel like they're working under a fascist regime and are therefore happier to be at work and become more productive.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42064215)

Maybe because when you give your employees a bit of freedom, they don't feel like they're working under a fascist regime and are therefore happier to be at work and become more productive.

Ha, bloody, ha. Productive?

You know what, we've currently got issues with employees spending increasing amounts of time on their mobile phones checking out Facebook and all sorts of other crap rather than being 'productive'.
We're paying them to do a job, we're not paying them to pass inane messages betwixt themselves, SOs, family, whatever.

In the offices, that's bad enough, the final straw is that this fucking disease is spreading to the workshops, I've seen someone working a bandsaw twitch with a near perfect Pavlovian response to his wunderphone's bleep announcing a new message/whatever..he then stopped in mid-cut to check his phone.
Another character, clocked at spending 15 minutes every hour on his phone when he should have been working, and I've been told he isn't the worst offender.

Oh yes, they're more bloody productive..besides, whilst they're on the clock , a workplace is a fascist regime, we're paying them to do a specific job, what they get up to on their phones during their breaks is up to them.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 2 years ago | (#42061569)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter?

As an IT administratator it's your *job* to execute the policy of management, and if that includes Facebook and Twitter access, suck it up and do your job.

Workers seem to foget that a top priority of any IT department is to prevent unauthorised access or leaking of corporate data and not make the end use happy by giving them shinny toy X or Y

Bullshit. First, check your spelling. Second, yes, network security is *PART* of your job. The *OTHER PART* is to jump to the whims of your boss, and if your boss wants Facebook, than thatâ(TM)s your job.
Please stop being the stereotypical asshat Prima Donna admin and realize that you work for management and part of your job is customer service.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42067593)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter?

As an IT administratator it's your *job* to execute the policy of management, and if that includes Facebook and Twitter access, suck it up and do your job.

Key sentance to that was ''average worker". Some staff, as you rightly put it, need access to social ntworking sites and we help the, because you now why.. its their job to do that and we help them with their job as much as we can. The averages sales person, on the other hand, does not needs access to social networking per say and is locked down accordingly.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | about 2 years ago | (#42061593)

This is the exact attitude that causes the average employee to loath their IT department and why people outsource huge amounts of their IT in order to end-run the IT people. The top priority of IT is to provide and maintain the tools that employees need. Security should come under the guise of maintain; as in an infected computer is a poorly maintained computer. Where most IT departments have gone off the rails is that they think that they have a magical right to say no to top decision makers within a company. If the CFO says he wants to bring in his commodore 64 because he is more comfortable with some 30 year old spreadsheet program it is not the IT department's place to say no. It is their place to make it work and inform him of the costs of doing this along with better options. But not to say no. IT departments are like a utility for most companies. People don't run the company so they can use power; and the utility company can't come in and say hey, those bulbs aren't efficient enough so we are cutting you off, or we don't like those brands as we have a contract with a different supplier. They can slide a flyer in your bill suggesting their favorite bulbs and if you pay the bill that's it.

So if the company has employees wasting time crushing pigs then that is a job for their manager not the IT department.

And as for facebook and twitter; this is the 21st century; employees are expected to grow and try new things; not sit in their cubicles fuming at working at a crappy company.

YOURS is the poor attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062165)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

They also don't need a break room, don't need to be allowed to have newspapers or books at their desk (unless work related), don't need to be allowed mobile phones, shouldn't be allowed to talk to colleagues about stuff that isn't work. Social activities are right out. Discussions with family about anything including emergencies should be banned. After all they are paid to work not to talk to their family.

Then you can wonder why no one wants to work for your company, or why people are jumping off the buildings.

For people born in the last 20-30 years updating their profile is how they stay in touch with friends and family, and is the reason they're still not suicidal after workin a 10 hour day and spending 2 in transit, 5 or 6 days a week. Their ability to access Ebay means they don't have to go and physically shop as much. Their online banking means they don't take a long lunch standing in a Bank queue or paying a bill.

De-humanising your work force is not the solution. You are part of the problem. You're just too big a fool to know it. If you want to see a poor attitude, take a good look at yourself in the mirror.

Re:YOURS is the poor attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42065253)

They also don't need a break room, don't need to be allowed to have newspapers or books at their desk (unless work related), don't need to be allowed mobile phones, shouldn't be allowed to talk to colleagues about stuff that isn't work. Social activities are right out. Discussions with family about anything including emergencies should be banned. After all they are paid to work not to talk to their family.

Break rooms, as implied by the name, are there for breaks.Depends on the type of work, but I'd be comfortable requiring that employees put away their mobile phones when they're working. Books and magazines - fine, so long as they're not reading them outside of break times. Personal chatting between employees - fine, so long as it's not disrupting the work environment. i.e. distracting others, or delaying answering of phones. That's how I manage in a call centre. I've dealt with the issue of people sitting their doing SMS messages while on the phone to a customer - it doesn't work. They sound distracted, and it contributes towards an unprofessional environment. In a business where customer focus and efficiency are paramount, it's fucking stupid to allow people to sit there browsing away when they should be focussing on their customers. I'll support them with training, guidance, realistic targets and coaching towards them, and understanding when personal life intervenes. I will not captain the USS Fail and its plucky crew of Chris-Chans.

For people born in the last 20-30 years updating their profile is how they stay in touch with friends and family, and is the reason they're still not suicidal after workin a 10 hour day and spending 2 in transit, 5 or 6 days a week. Their ability to access Ebay means they don't have to go and physically shop as much. Their online banking means they don't take a long lunch standing in a Bank queue or paying a bill.

Yes, if your hiring profile is "manchild with enormous sense of self-entitlemen, over-stimulation and a breathtaking lack of personal responsibility".

People have breaks, lunches and their own personal time for keeping up with Facebook news. Preventing someone from liking the latest 9gag sourced image would not be the catalyst for the suicide of anyone but an already emotionally disturbed person (you really should reconsider that hiring profile). I'd hate to work for anyone who'd not take the same approach. How can I expect professionalism from them if they don't expect it from me?

That's based on my experience. I realise that people and jobs vary, so perhaps in some roles allowing people to check their phone whenever they wish is economical and contributing towards the goals of that team.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#42062567)

As an IT administratator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

By all means, any employer that wants to evict all elements of private life from work hours I'll happily return the favor and evict all work from private hours. Coming in Monday morning, nope I haven't even looked at my mail since Friday afternoon. Phone? Sorry, I was at my remote cabin/scuba diving/meditating the whole weekend and couldn't be reached. A previous job gave me an iPhone, it was useful and fun and not very locked down so I used it as my primary phone. The current job I heard the policy is that if anyone enters the PIN wrong three times, the whole phone is wiped - contacts, photos, music, apps, games, everything. That's why I don't even have a company phone, I use their webmail portal if I need to and otherwise they can call me on my normal phone. If they push one on me, it'll be in my pocket during work hours only. And I'd still carry my own phone...

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#42064355)

As an IT administrator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

That guy you just accused of having a poor attitude is your boss's boss. You don't have the right to tell him what he can and cant do with his corporate account. Your job Is to harden the system so that the things he feels the need to do with his equipment does not damage the company.

Too many IT people forget their place in the company. They are not corporate officers, and have no right to dictate company policies. They can make recommendations to the governing bodies, but making IT policy is *not* the IT departments mandate, enforcing it is.

Just because *you* think something is frivolous, doesn't mean that it is. Access to Pandora may not seem like a corporate necessity, but it could boost productivity [nytimes.com] . People could be using facebook and twitter in ways that are helping to improve communication within a company. Several of my co-workers spread across three states use twitter and flickr to do well what we paid a ton of many to have our sharepoint system do, only not as well. In short, if you have a productivity problem, it is a problem of local management: you're not going to fix it through draconian corporate IT policies, in fact, those corporate IT policies will likely make the problem worse not better, and can drive away otherwise qualified talent. If you treat your employees like criminals, then you will eventually get what you think you've got.

-=Geoskd

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42065635)

The big problem is in security of data. Someone else commented that he considered the automatic erasure of his company phone after three incorrect attempts at entering the password to be a bit of a downer.

Allowing the line between personal and professional to blur will lead to security issues. A company's security policies need to be as pleasant as possible while remaining effective. How about copyright issues when someone uses their personal email (or a service similar to Facebook) to store confidential information? The terms of use may allow that provider to redistribute the data, or at least allow their employees to read it. What about legal compliance issues when someone discusses a customer or business partner via an external service? What about when employees add business partners and customers to their personal Facebook accounts? Better to maintain a nice clear line of demarcation - at least where things are being put in writing. What happens when a company is legally required to surrender documentation pertaining to an investigation? What if an EU resident makes a request for the data being retained? It's a legal minefield.

Companies need to properly train their people to avoid these risks and provide them the tools they need to do their work without needing to resort to finding their own way to do things - even if it's cheaper. Sometimes restrictions are there for good reasons.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42067691)

As an IT administrator all I can say is your attitude is poor. Why does the average worker need access to facebook and twitter? they are paid to work not to slack of tweeting and updating profiles.

That guy you just accused of having a poor attitude is your boss's boss. You don't have the right to tell him what he can and cant do with his corporate account. Your job Is to harden the system so that the things he feels the need to do with his equipment does not damage the company.

Too many IT people forget their place in the company. They are not corporate officers, and have no right to dictate company policies. They can make recommendations to the governing bodies, but making IT policy is *not* the IT departments mandate, enforcing it is.

Just because *you* think something is frivolous, doesn't mean that it is. Access to Pandora may not seem like a corporate necessity, but it could boost productivity [nytimes.com] . People could be using facebook and twitter in ways that are helping to improve communication within a company. Several of my co-workers spread across three states use twitter and flickr to do well what we paid a ton of many to have our sharepoint system do, only not as well. In short, if you have a productivity problem, it is a problem of local management: you're not going to fix it through draconian corporate IT policies, in fact, those corporate IT policies will likely make the problem worse not better, and can drive away otherwise qualified talent. If you treat your employees like criminals, then you will eventually get what you think you've got.

-=Geoskd

First the directors of the company generally sets the policies and in ITs case we follow them though we help engineer the policies when technical input is required but by your own responce we do what we are told. If your working for a company that doesnt consult with IT for data security or any related IT matters then i seriously do wonder what your IT department is doing. Often the higher ups in my company will seek guidance from the IT department when thinking about shinny toy A or B because they want to follow the company policy and keep the company safe.

Not sure which bit of my statement outright banned the use of any social technology. In your stated case its obvioulsy a usefull tool but that isnt the case 100% of the time. People need the right tools to do their job and not distractions from said job which the original poster seems to think is a right of employment.

Re:Forgot their customers (1)

geoskd (321194) | about 2 years ago | (#42068909)

First the directors of the company generally sets the policies and in ITs case we follow them though we help engineer the policies when technical input is required but by your own responce we do what we are told. If your working for a company that doesnt consult with IT for data security or any related IT matters then i seriously do wonder what your IT department is doing. Often the higher ups in my company will seek guidance from the IT department when thinking about shinny toy A or B because they want to follow the company policy and keep the company safe. Not sure which bit of my statement outright banned the use of any social technology. In your stated case its obvioulsy a usefull tool but that isnt the case 100% of the time. People need the right tools to do their job and not distractions from said job which the original poster seems to think is a right of employment.

This was a well reasoned and measured answer, and I applaud your control in response to what can only be described as deliberate provocation. You are right in that management needs to consult professionals before making IT policy, as most executives are dangerously ignorant of the security concerns. In my mind there are two significant issues that revolve around the use of electronic media. The first is that of retention. Whether deliberate or not, the retention of text based communication is almost ubiquitous, and very hard to keep secret. The second is the use of e-mail and other non-voice communication for transmitting sensitive materials. Far too many executives use e-mail as a primary method of sending important documents. These documents contain important marketing and sales secrets, but will contain almost no IP, as engineers and the generators of content need revision control, and will use that as a defacto distribution tool for their work product. As a consequence, the idea that the companies intellectual property is at risk from loss by loosing phones and tablets, is stretching credibility. You could make a case that laptops could contain valuable information, but tablets and phones are almost useless for creating or manipulation creative content, and as such they are not used to store any of this information. As for the marketing and sales information, Our entire society needs to get out of the habit of treating electronic communication the same as voice communication. With live voice communication, there is almost never a permanent record, but with e-mail, instant messages, and their ilk, the data must be treated as though it is permanent. This is where the biggest risk to the company comes from, and significant effort should be put towards exposing and demonstrating the risk of using these technologies to all employees. Executives need to get out of the habit of sending anything by text communication that does not have to be sent that way. Meeting schedules are one thing, but nothing should ever be put to electronic record that would be damaging if exposed to the general public. This level of paranoia comes naturally to most of the executives that I know, but for some reason they drop their guard when communicating by e-mail and text messages.

-=Geoskd

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060117)

They will release two models early in the new year one touchscreen and one with a keyboard.

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061699)

and they should have kept their awesome keyboards

New RIM BB10 OS will come on both non-keyboard and keyboard models (official availability announcement on Jan 30, 2013).

Re:Forgot their customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42066251)

Someone in the NTSB got a large bonus check / free house / lapdance from Apple's marketing team just prior to this announcement.

Single Supplier (0, Flamebait)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#42059013)

A government agency going to a proprietary, single supplier solution where an open, multi-supplier solution is available should not be legal.

Re:Single Supplier (3, Insightful)

brucek2 (208676) | about 2 years ago | (#42059159)

Unless there's a big software development project on top of iOS involved, I don't see where the "single-supplier" risk is.

If what NTSB needs is a modern smart phone, they have multiple suppliers to choose from today, and are proving that point by potentially switching from one brand to another. Presumably all these phones can make and receive phone calls between brands; make and receive text messages, emails, etc. NTSB can mix and match between suppliers at any time unless they enter into deal terms that keep them from doing so.

Now if they've built a bunch of custom IT 'solutions' on top of the phone that prevent them from doing this, I'd argue that's an issue not in choosing a specific phone but in how they set up their workflow in the first place.

Re:Single Supplier (1)

shmlco (594907) | about 2 years ago | (#42059389)

I think I read elsewhere that this fits in with their existing infrastructure. They have a lot of iPads, apps, and they already have the back-end systems needed to manage iOS devices.

Re:Single Supplier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059647)

I think I read somewhere that it didn't, but the decision maker was getting toys from the Apple rep that was blowing him.

Re:Single Supplier (1)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#42060327)

I suppose if it starts and ends with procuring a phone then it doesn't matter what they choose providing it meets their needs. If they start developing actual native apps to run on the phone then there is serious cause for concern.

Re:Single Supplier (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42059499)

AOSP might be sort of open, but Android phones are not open

android phones are part of the OHA and Google dictates what kind of phone you can make if you're part of the Open Handset Alliance

Re:Single Supplier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059905)

A government agency going to a proprietary, single supplier solution where an open, multi-supplier solution is available should not be legal.

The American government taking business from a Canadian company and giving it to an American company seems like a decent idea.

Re:Single Supplier (1)

juniorkindergarten (662101) | about 2 years ago | (#42060851)

That american company outsources all the hardware manufacturing to a chinese company.

Re:Single Supplier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060029)

If one of the requirements was 'must work with iPad/iTunes', of course the replacement will be iPhones. It seems like some government employees just wanted a shiny new toy.

Re:Single Supplier (1)

aristotle-dude (626586) | about 2 years ago | (#42060083)

A government agency going to a proprietary, single supplier solution where an open, multi-supplier solution is available should not be legal.

Open? Multi-supplier? Android handset makers basically take Google's product, put on some crapware and call it a day. I would hardly call that diversity. Also consider that Apple tends to support their hardware longer with updates than Android makers who force you to buy a new model if you want an update to Android.

Re:Single Supplier (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | about 2 years ago | (#42060313)

Why do iOS users need to update their phone so often? Is it because Apple locked them down so hard in the first place that the only way to get those features is to update their OS?

Really? (1)

EGSonikku (519478) | about 2 years ago | (#42063217)

You're going to defend Android typically abandoning users after maybe one OS update, if that?

There are man reasons to roll out updates that have nothing to do with "iOS is locked down LoL".

API updates, security updates, new OS features. And a once a year, free update to devices up to 3 years old is being much kinder than the competition.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42064447)

So basically, most high end Android smartphones have had more updates than all i devices combined? That's good to know.

Most high-end devices survive at least 2-3 updates, with the cream-of-the-crop doing 5-6 already. (Nexus S has had 2.3, 4.0, 4.0.4, 4.1, 4.1.2 -- each major update about 4-6 months apart, not counting 2,3,4, 2.3.5, 2.3.7 one-or-two feature improvements releases instead of a big batch)

You should be criticizing them for being so slow to bring (working) features to the table -- that is, if they don't decide to arbitrarily restrict features from older devices... For Android, there's no misleading customers with "OS6.0" ... without half the major features that made it "OS6.0".

Re:Single Supplier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060467)

Butthurt much? LOLZZZZ!!!!!!
 
But... but... but... It's teh Linux!!!!!111!!!!

Re:Single Supplier (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42060745)

A government agency going to a proprietary, single supplier solution where an open, multi-supplier solution is available should not be legal.

You mean going from don't you? Unless BlackBerry is entirely open source and multivendor ... but its not, so this is really no different.

Second, there is no 'open source' Android phone. They all have plenty of proprietary technology in them, some have it in a software sense, they all have it in the hardware however.

Third, they're proving they have no problem jumping to another vendor. They can jump to another vendor later just as easy.

The idealogical solution you pretend exists does not in fact exist. Get some perspective and pull your head out of your ass. They had many vendors to choose from and did just that.

dupe! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059023)

dupe! [slashdot.org]

If it wasn't so pathetic, it would be funny.

Camera (3, Informative)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about 2 years ago | (#42059031)

If Apple, or any ANDROID manufacturer would just make a modern phone without a camera, the DoD (at the very least) would drop blackberry like a red-hot potato. RIM would be finished faster that you could turn around.

It's a shame that NOBODY in those companies has figured that out yet.

Re:Camera (1)

Zenin (266666) | about 2 years ago | (#42059649)

I can't imagine that's a serious concern.

In bulk, it would literally take 3 seconds of time on a drill press to absolutely and forever disable the camera on any smart phone without affecting anything else.

A simple jig to align the phone on the press, a depth stop set to drill through the lens and if you're really concerned the sensor chip, but no deeper. Trivial, cheap, absolute.

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42065425)

I guess that might void your warranty...

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059671)

No, they've figured it out and it's not worth their time. How many extra phones are they going to sell? Maybe in the tens of thousands range. The effort needed to change production to exclude the camera would be a hassle and you're left with a phone that you can't sell to consumers, who are likely to want a camera. So unless some agency is going to order several tens of thousands of these up front, it's not worth producing them. No one else would want them and the company would end up taking a bath on them.

Re:Camera (3, Insightful)

tilante (2547392) | about 2 years ago | (#42059699)

I think they've figured that out - they just don't care. The DoD isn't really that big.

Consider: the DoD, by their own claims, has about 3 million employees worldwide.

So far this year, Apple has sold over 120 million iPhones.

Thus, even if the DoD bought an iPhone for every one of their employees, that would only increase Apple's sales figures by 2.5%. Is that worth the expense of creating another phone model, manufacturing it, and then keeping it in manufacture?

Before you answer that, consider this: what percentage of those DoD employees actually work in a position where they're not allowed to bring in a phone with a camera? Of those in such positions, how many of them actually work in a place where that requirement is enforced? From my own experience, only the most secure facilities actually try to keep out cell phone cameras - many facilities that in theory don't allow them in do allow them in practice.

My guess would be that a high estimate would be 20% - which would then have Apple creating another model and manufacturing it for a potential 0.5% increase in sales - but that's assuming that everyone in the DoD who potentially needs such a phone gets one, and that they all get one in the course of one year. If, say, the DoD were to follow a more normal course and buy them over the course of three years or so, that comes an increase of less than 0.2%.

The simple fact is, the market that 'needs' a lack of a camera is tiny.

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059907)

If Apple, or any ANDROID manufacturer would just make a modern phone without a camera, the DoD (at the very least) would drop blackberry like a red-hot potato. RIM would be finished faster that you could turn around.

It's a shame that NOBODY in those companies has figured that out yet.

Almost. Apple/Android would probably needs to jump through some hoops to get some rudimentary Common Criteria ratings. Most of the Blackberry ecosystem (hardware and software) is rated to EAL 4 or somesuch, and is authorized to carry restricted data (but not CLASSIFIED or (TOP) SECRET).

If you truly care about data security, then really the only option is Blackberry on mobile devices.

Re:Camera (1)

s73v3r (963317) | about 2 years ago | (#42060085)

It's likely not that they haven't figured it out. It's that they know the market for that device would be extremely small and limited, and likely wouldn't be worth going after.

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060119)

If they care at the site, they just say "no phones" which means they're off and best left in your car in the parking lot. If they really care at the site they scan for cell phones and write up the contractors that forget to turn them off.

Funny thing is they don't seem to care about all the cameras in all the laptops scattered around everywhere.

Re:Camera (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060575)

You can actually disable the camera via IT Policy with BlackBerry.

http://docs.blackberry.com/en/admin/deliverables/4222/Disable_Camera_204046_11.jsp [www.blackberry.com]

I'm pretty sure DoD already knows this.

Not ruggedized. (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#42059075)

I'm surprised the NTSB wanted something as fragile as an iPhone. I would have expected them to go for something that had a ruggedized, waterproof model in the product family.

Rugged smartphones have been around for a while, but in 2012, they got bigger screens and current electronics. The Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro, the Honeywell Dolphin 70e, the rather bulky Caterpillar B10 Smartphone, and the thin Nautiz X1 all meet basic military ruggedization standards while running reasonably current Android versions.

Re:Not ruggedized. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059181)

... NTSB...

...blah blah android rubbish ... all meet basic military ruggedization standards while running OLD Android versions.

Here - fixed this for you. And here's a hint - the NTSB is not the military.

Re:Not ruggedized. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 2 years ago | (#42059357)

There's very little even the oldest Android phones cannot do. Most of the OS improvements just replace stuff that was already available through software.

Re:Not ruggedized. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42060785)

Even the newest Android devices can't seem to provide a lag free interface, that alone makes your statement silly.

Re:Not ruggedized. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059227)

Want rugged? You can drive a car over lumia 920 and it still works afterwards. Too bad it is Windows Phone which means that all life and vegetation dies out within 100 feet of the phone.
http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-920-torture-test-iii

Re:Not ruggedized. (4, Informative)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#42059469)

chances are the the NTSB uses MS Exchange and iOS has the best MS Exchange client

never used Samsung but i've used HTC and Moto and the iOS email app is better than those. and with iOS 6 there are some nice features like VIP folders

you can talk specs and rugged all you want but in usability iOS wins

Re:Not ruggedized. (1)

g00head (1433713) | about 2 years ago | (#42059629)

Touchdown gives any Adroid phone FULL Exchange functionality (GAL lookup, create meetings with attendee invites, etc.) And no BES/RiM hiccups or hurdles between Exchange and the phone.

Touchdown for iOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059859)

It's also available for iOS if they need the extra goodies.

Re:Not ruggedized. (1, Interesting)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 2 years ago | (#42060795)

That, and you can programatically set up the native iOS e-mail application vs. Android that makes you either purchase a third party app (Touchdown is especially popular, and $20) or manually configure the native e-mail app. Samsung is attempting to fix this with the enterprise initiative codenamed S.A.F.E. but unfortunately that will only fix the issue for late-model Samsung devices.

Re:Not ruggedized. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059691)

Put a decent case on it, and it's unlikely to be a problem.

Re:Not ruggedized. (1)

g00head (1433713) | about 2 years ago | (#42059729)

I'm surprised the NTSB wanted something as fragile as an iPhone. I would have expected them to go for something that had a ruggedized, waterproof model in the product family.

Rugged smartphones have been around for a while, but in 2012, they got bigger screens and current electronics. The Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro, the Honeywell Dolphin 70e, the rather bulky Caterpillar B10 Smartphone, and the thin Nautiz X1 all meet basic military ruggedization standards while running reasonably current Android versions.

The Otterbox Defender case series is practically rugged-ized, however it makes the phone the size of a small brick

So what. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059837)

Obviously not a requirement.

I would have thought that the Transportaion Safety (5, Funny)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 2 years ago | (#42059149)

Board might want/need to have phones with a reliable mapping application.

Department of Defense (4, Informative)

Dan East (318230) | about 2 years ago | (#42059163)

According to CNet, the DOD is also moving away from RIM:

To add insult to injury, the U.S. Department of Defense also announced last month that it was ending its exclusive contract with the company and opening up bidding to other device makers, including Apple and Google.

That is a *much* bigger deal, because the NTSB is actually a very small government agency (only around 400 employees). DOD could involve an order of magnitude more devices than the NTSB.

Re:Department of Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059755)

Up to four orders of magnitude more: a quick google search showed that the DOD currently employs ~801k civilians and ~776k contractors.

Re:Department of Defense (2)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#42063671)

By "moving away from RIM" I assume you mean "considering including alternatives in addition to RIM". "Announced intent" is different from "switched over".

Why I doubt it'll actually happen: Despite announcing that they were seeking this three years ago, iOS STILL lacks FIPS certification (FIPS-140-2 is a pipe dream for iOS at this point. BB10 isn't even out yet and it's already been certified).

So we'll see how this works out for iOS. It doesn't look like they can get their products certified for use in government departments. Maybe they gave up trying?

Boing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059605)

Another group on the bandwagon of passing fancy.

They traded away their one strength (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42059653)

RIM traded away it's one strength (security/encryption) when they started setting up servers in other countries and giving their governments access to their e-mail/messages. RIM was known for their security.

iPhones & Android phones do not have that same level security. So to trade away security means you traded away your major advantage that it had over it's competitors. Once you level the playing field they just could not compete with the interface and novelties of their competitors.

Re:They traded away their one strength (1)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#42063703)

Really? This nonsense again? It's like you're purposefully ignoring long-established facts.

RIM can't give the keys away for BES users because they don't have them. BlackBerry customers continue enjoy true mobile message security -- unlike users on every other business and consumer platform.

As always, if you care about security, RIM is your ONLY option. No one else even comes close.

Couple things RIM should do (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#42059673)

Find a carrier that will allow them to sell Smart Phones without a data plan required. I liked the BB flip phone, I thought it was a great idea but didn't think it was worth paying the extra money for a data plan. Lets face it, if you're going to pay $30 extra a month for data, you want a phone that will make most use of it. Alternatively, RIM could just join forced with Android and still make their uniquely designed phones around an OS with much greater support. Just my 2 cents.

Re:Couple things RIM should do (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 2 years ago | (#42061155)

I had the BB flip phone. Yea it was actually pretty cool, but I couldn't resist getting a killer deal on a GS3. The GS3 is such a blast, rooted and Cyangogen.

The figures? (1)

accessbob (962147) | about 2 years ago | (#42059689)

So what is the MTBF of a BlsckBerry v. an iPhone 5, and where do these numbers come from?

Always be suspicious when governments use statistics to justify anything.

Re:The figures? (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#42059861)

So what is the MTBF of a BlsckBerry v. an iPhone 5, and where do these numbers come from? Always be suspicious when governments use statistics to justify anything.

Blackberry phones are physically far more robust than iPhones.

If the reliability claims are not pure BS justification to get a more "shiny" phone, it's possible that the problems are with BES rather than the phone itself.

How *do* you compare server side failure rates? (1, Interesting)

accessbob (962147) | about 2 years ago | (#42059951)

BlackBerry allows fine granularity in managing devices, and covers much more than just email accounts. Is that even possible with an iPhone? Is it possible to do a like-for-like comparison?

Also, if their BES is failing, wouldn't that be the NTSB's own hardware? The BES software will be running on NTSB hardware for security reasons won't it?

It all sounds like BS by someone who wants a shiny new iPhone 5 free from the government. But that's now how government contracts are supposed to be awarded....

Re:How *do* you compare server side failure rates? (1)

narcc (412956) | about 2 years ago | (#42063973)

No, RIM offers the most comprehensive set of MDM features of any smartphone or MDM product vendor.

weak link: usb charge plug (1)

j-stroy (640921) | about 2 years ago | (#42063689)

Having seen a household of USB plugs break from the BB's mainboard, and heard more of the same, I think this company may get suckered on a real simple bit of engineering. The spring loaded hooks on the charging cable basically rip the short micro-usb plug off when removing the cable in normal use.

I was surprisingly impressed with some of the innovative and modular internal construction tho, shame they can't seem to keep their house in order.

Same thing happening at Fujitsu Australia (3, Insightful)

neilo_1701D (2765337) | about 2 years ago | (#42059849)

Just over a week ago, we all got an email from Corporate Mobility saying that the Blackberry was being phased out in favour of the iPhone 5. They started popping up around the place a few days ago. Fujitsu made some sort of arrangement with Telstra regarding data plans, too. It amazes me just how fast the stranglehold BB had has unraveled...

This makes sense (1)

GODISNOWHERE (2741453) | about 2 years ago | (#42059923)

After all, it's the NTSB. It's their job to analyze and try to prevent train wrecks.

How (4, Interesting)

prelelat (201821) | about 2 years ago | (#42060033)

Can someone explain to me how these organizations manage to manage all of these apple devices? I mean with BB enterprise you can push and pull apps, wipe the phone and all kinds of stuff remotely.

In the classroom(I do IT for schools) with a microsoft tablet I can join it to the domain and set policies. once again I can push out applications and everything like a normal windows computer. The functionality on the IT department means that they are much easier to manage in both cases. It's gotten to the point that my department will refuse to configure 100+ ipads for a school because doing things like maintaining apps is an impossible waste of time. How are these large organizations doing it? How are they managing security with encryption? Is this safe?

If you know I would like to know how because I would love to present it to the other staff.

Re:How (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060359)

Everything you listed except app deployment can be handled via Exchange ActiveSync, if you are using Exchange of course. App deployment can be handled via the iPhone Configuration Utility. And, of course, every iPhone since the 4 (and AFAIK all iPad versions) has included hardware AES-256 encryption.

Re:How (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42071453)

http://www.apple.com/iphone/business/it-center/

Apple has an MDM solution superior to anyone except, maybe, RIM. But RIM's solution requires users use BB's, the significant expense of a BES, and up charge for "enterprise" data plans from their carrier.

Re:How (4, Informative)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 2 years ago | (#42060855)

There are many solutions for it. SAP/Sybase Afaria, Fiberlink MaaS 360, Centrify, Symantec Mobile Device Management, Good Technology, and many, many others will do all of the app management/device management/whatever you need. Most of them have at least feature parity with BES and some that I've looked at go above and beyond. It all depends on what exactly your needs are. Rest assured there's a solution out there somewhere that feels custom tailored to your unique situation.

Re:How (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#42060873)

And guess what ... you can do the same thing on an iPhone. Its not 2007 anymore.

Your departments IT staff sucks ass, if that means you, sorry. You're ignorant and can't be bothered to resolve that issue with a quick couple of Google searches.

Re:How (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42065749)

hmm, amazing how brave wankers like you are behind a keyboard, safely hidden behind the web. you would not have the guts to say what you just did to the OP's face.

Re:How (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060941)

Of course you can push/pull apps, and remotely wipe iOS devices in an enterprise environment.

Re:How (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061385)

http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/

wrong idea! We just did this (sort of) (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 2 years ago | (#42060727)

We just switched off of our dozen or so blackberries at my company, almost entirely because of their terrible server software that has horrible memory leaks. We demoed an iPhone at the owner's request (ugh) and it was a disaster. Even the cell phone company mentioned that it was a terrible idea for us because it was too fragile for our workers in the field. It was also ungodly overpriced like all Apple products which is why they have absolutely no place in a business environment. We went with Android. So I guess the NTSB instead jumped out of the frying pan and into the stupid.

Re:wrong idea! We just did this (sort of) (3, Insightful)

ImprovOmega (744717) | about 2 years ago | (#42060911)

Depends on what you're using it for. Accident investigation is hardly the kind of job that requires a rugged phone. I mean, I wouldn't give an iPhone to a construction worker or to someone doing any real physically strenuous job, but accident investigation is much more about forensically analyzing a wreck, not the dangerous and rough parts during or immediately following one, such as the crash itself, first responders, search and rescue. It's incredibly important work, but it's hardly inappropriate for a "fragile" phone like the iPhone.

Re:wrong idea! We just did this (sort of) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42071501)

And it's a good thing NTSB don't need rugged phones because the iPhone has absolutely no ecosystem of accessories to include ruggedized cases, cough, Otterbox Defender cough Griffin Survivor cough Lifeproof cough iFrogz Bullfrogz cough Speck Toughskin. And those just the ones I could think of offhand. And the Aqua Tek S definitely doesn't cover the market niche that wants waterproofing battery backup and solar recharging all in one product.

Inside-out move by NTSB (1)

ElitistWhiner (79961) | about 2 years ago | (#42061267)

RIMM nor AAPL here are the story.

NTSB decided they're corporates not enterprise. Its as simple as...BBM, encryption and BES no longer serve a useful purpose to their mission.

China Human Rights Sweatshop Gay Porn Watch says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062343)

Thanks for nothing you fucking American hypocrite jerkoffs.
You just condemned dozens more Foxconn employees to death.
You American fuckers talk the talk, but can't walk the walk . What's wrong with phone booths? You fucking piece of shit! Burn in Hell!

Waste of Taxpayer Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063005)

Why would the NTSB decide to buy the iPhone 5 instead of the cheaper iPhone 4S or iPhone 4? Do they not realize there is a deficit? Don't waste taxpayer money on new toys. As a private enterprise I would not purchase iPhone 5's for my employees unless our company suddenly landed a major account which dramatically increased profits. Did the USA government win the lottery while I was away on business? The government can borrow money from China to purchase overpriced phones because of their spend it or lose it attitude. It seems when the government is spending taxpayer money all common sense flies right out the window.

ha ha behind the curve. again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42066079)

come on guys.

you used bb cos that was what "everyone was using".
now you use iphone that that is what "everyone is using".

how about showing some foresight and choosing what "everyone WILL be using".

clue: it's not win phone either lololol

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