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RIM's New Blackberry Ditches Thumboard

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the but-that-was-the-coolest-thing-about-it dept.

Portables 161

Eric Giguere writes "Research In Motion's newest BlackBerry, the 7100t, aka 'Charm,' has a more conventional phone form factor. It does this by ditching the thumb keyboard for an extended keypad with predictive text input. It also adds Bluetooth. The changes are mostly physical, the device is still running the same basic software -- existing Java apps should run with only minor changes. More details at the BlackBerry.com website." xRelisH supplies this link to a review of the device from MSNBC.

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U.S. death toll in Iraq tops 10,000 (-1, Offtopic)

Cold Winter Days (772398) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195292)

U.S. death toll in Iraq tops 10,000

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. troops clashed with suspected Shia Muslim insurgents in the Sadr City slum Tuesday in violence that killed 351 Iraqis and 27 soldiers and helped propel the U.S. military death toll since the war began over 10,000.

The fighting in Sadr City exposed the absence of a lasting and wider truce after the end of last month's bloody battles in Najaf. U.S. forces Tuesday faced a barrage of rocket-propelled grenade attacks and improvised explosives.

Another U.S. soldier was killed elsewhere in Baghdad Tuesday, and the day's toll culminated a three-day burst of bloodshed that killed at least 163 Americans -- including 115 who were struck on Monday alone -- making it the deadliest day for U.S. forces in five months.

The grim toll of more than 10,000 U.S. war dead since the war began in March 2003 -- an Associated Press tally put the figure at 10,021 -- captured the human cost of the war for average Americans.

While there is no precise tally of Iraqi deaths since the war began, estimates have ranged as high as 100,000.

Elsewhere in Baghdad, armed men launched a daylight raid Tuesday on an Italian aid organization and took two Italian women and two Iraqi employees hostage. Dozens of foreign men have been kidnapped in Iraq in recent months -- one Italian journalist was seized last month and reportedly killed -- but kidnappings of foreign women are extremely rare. A Japanese aid worker captured in April in Fallujah was released after a week.

The Italian women kidnapped Tuesday were identified as Simona Torretta and Simona Pari, both 29, according to a spokesman for the aid organization "A Bridge To ... " The organization supplies water and medicine to Fallujah, Najaf and Baghdad.

In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi assembled an emergency meeting, his office said.

A day after a suicide bomber killed 73 U.S. Marines and 38 members of the Iraqi National Guard outside Fallujah, U.S. warplanes and tanks also fired on suspected militants in the city, considered a haven for insurgents in the Sunni Triangle north and west of Baghdad.

Ali al-Haidri, the governor of Baghdad, meanwhile, escaped unharmed when a roadside bomb exploded nearby, killing 23 people and wounding 35 of his bodyguards.

The fighting in Sadr City was an ominous sign just two weeks after the end of clashes in the Shia holy city in Najaf raised hopes of fewer bloody confrontations between U.S. troops and members of the Mahdi Army militia.

Last week, rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to stop confronting U.S. troops elsewhere, according to aides who indicated he planned to get involved in politics -- which further bolstered those hopes.

Yet Tuesday's clashes showed the persistent potential for violence between U.S. troops who maintain a formidable street presence in Baghdad and al-Sadr followers who want to limit that presence in the slum.

"Our fighters have no choice but to return fire and to face the U.S. forces and helicopters pounding our houses," Sheik Raed al-Kadhimi, an al-Sadr spokesman in Baghdad, said in a statement.

Re:U.S. death toll in Iraq tops 10,000 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195420)

Dear Retard,

Post your drivel somewhere else.

I sure there are some Chechyens (sp?) that would love to listen.

Re:U.S. death toll in Iraq tops 10,000 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195510)

Dear Shit for Brains:

country: Chechnya
people: Chechens

Guess you're not the only retard posting on slashdot.

Re:U.S. death toll in Iraq tops 10,000 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195528)

Citizens of the Independent Republic of Chechenia (not yet).

Or if you mean the politician with the cunt-licking dumb daughter: he is called Dick Cheney [whitehouse.gov] .

Dick means penis.

Re:U.S. death toll in Iraq tops 10,000 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195571)

I sure there are some Chechyens (sp?) that would love to listen.

They're called dumbasses.

GMAIL AND RALPH NADER (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195574)

If Nader grabs 5% of the vote, I will personally suckle your dongs. Also, I can't get rid of these gmail invitations. Anyone want 'em?

Poll Troll Toll (1)

PollTroll (764214) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195293)

What's better...

RIM [calcgames.org]
Blackberries [calcgames.org]
Black Berries [calcgames.org]
Thumboards [calcgames.org]
Sex with a mare [calcgames.org]

Re:Poll Troll Toll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195576)

Missing option: Hershel Schnitzel [calcgames.org]

Predictive entry sounds better than others (4, Interesting)

chrisbw (609350) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195298)

I'm really used to the current BlackBerry keyboard, but I'm really interested in seeing how they implemented their predictive text entry. I read another article this morning about it, and apparently it "learns" as you go, and dynamically adjusts its recognition list. This is much better than what my Sony-Ericsson mobile can do with SMS messages.

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (1)

D43m0n_C0d3r (317324) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195356)

How old is your SonyEricsson? All the modern ones let you add items to the dictionary, and the automatically adjust the frequency of words used in your SMS's.

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (1)

ElForesto (763160) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195422)

I use the predictive text for SMS on my Ericsson phone, and I'm always amazed at how accurate it is. I think this is a good thing for the Blackberry to reduce the size and cost of their devices and drive penetration. (Fewer keys = fewer moving parts = less breakage)

With everything that new cell phones do, though, I'm curious as to how Blackberry devices differentiate themselves. (I've never used one myself.) Mine can send and receive e-mail messages and it was a cheapo T226. Granted, it can only handle short messages and the screen isn't that large, but I imagine that's enough for most people that want e-mail on the go.

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (2, Funny)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195705)

how Blackberry devices differentiate themselves
i'm guessing they use the chain rule

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (1)

Joe5678 (135227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195811)

With everything that new cell phones do, though, I'm curious as to how Blackberry devices differentiate themselves. (I've never used one myself.) Mine can send and receive e-mail messages and it was a cheapo T226.

Blackberry devices are indented for corporate email environments. Using additional server software, they can sync with an exchange environment (at least email and calendar), among other corporate email solutions.

Good Technology does a much better job of synchronizing with exchange in my opinion, unfortunately their software doesn't work on many devices that have a full thumboard (just a treo 600 which is a really pitiful thumboard).

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (3, Funny)

foo12 (585116) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195841)

I had some bad luck with predictive entry on my T68 once. I was living in the Philippines, sharing a house with one of my coworkers. Texted him something similar to the following:

Cant find jews. Jews on table by door/tv? Plz find jews, bring to work.

jews = 5397 = keys.

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195905)

Well, my Nokia 3595 seems to like to call my friend Anne "Come"

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (2, Insightful)

nolife (233813) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195952)

I have negative thoughts about removing the the keyboard. I always thought that was a huge plus. Remember, a majority of Blackberry users are the suits who could care less about the technology and just want to do nothing more then send and recieve their corporate email and have the ability to read attachments. Many of these people can not even understand the difference between "GSM", "gprs" and the "GPRS" signals and what they are for. Any learning from the predictive input better be stored on the sim card so when they get a new BB, they do not have to start all over again. Although there will be an interest in smaller, there will always be a nice sized crowd that would rather have a largeer screen and full KB also. I turned down a 7210 which has a color screen in favor of the monochrome 6710 because it had a larger screen.

Fewer keys = fewer moving parts = less breakage
I agree in theory but the only thing I've ever seen break on any of the BB's are the thumbwheel and the screen.

I got a better idea (1)

Gentlewhisper (759800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196033)

"I'm curious as to how Blackberry devices differentiate themselves"

Yeah, they look quite ordinary too.

In fact, I think they should rename themselves "RedCherry", and come up with a revolutionary user interface that comprises only of 2 red knobs......

They can even patent it and sue all the women for infringing on their IP!

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195635)

that's not really new, that sounds just like the t9(predictive text input) I had in my benefon io.. hmm. 5 years ago? most phones have that ability to make the thing learn words(and different lists for different languages and so on).

regular thumb typing isn't THAT slow either when you're done enough of it.

(besides, if you have to switch between languages often of speak slang words and abbreviations a lot predictive text input blows, and yes checked my phone just right now and it can be taught words, but I don't use predictive input when I send sms's or browse web or irc with it)

Re:Predictive entry sounds better than others (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10196010)

I got to test one of these devices for a couple of weeks. I loved the original BlackBerry from day one but this 'new keyboard layout' just sucks; sending emails takes me longer with this keyboard. I tried to adopt the 'new technology' but in the end I didnt send any emails anymore. I used the device just for reading... and decided to swap back to the 'original BlackBerry'.

Rim? Oh god (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195302)

Goatse.cx jokes galore.

exist? (5, Insightful)

BoldAC (735721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195303)

existing Java apps should run with only minor changes

It's freaking java. Why do all of these device makers continue to change small things that make all of the previous software libraries not work!

The platform is going to do better if there is more software available.

Re:exist? (1)

PhilippeT (697931) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195411)

It's been java for a while... only the first vrs were C

Re:exist? (2, Insightful)

lseltzer (311306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195536)

You're being too soft on Java. This is inherent in the dishonesty of Java marketing. Write once run anywhere my ass.

Re:exist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195762)

You're an idiot. The device runs the same bytecode. It's just that RIM has changed their libraries. They're not standard Java libraries.

Re:exist? (2, Informative)

austad (22163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195999)

That's BS. Most midlets developed for the Nokia phones will not run on Sony-ericsson phones, and vice versa. I've tried it.

Re:exist? (0, Flamebait)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195599)

"It's freaking java. Why do all of these device makers continue to change small things that make all of the previous software libraries not work!"

Your right! All computers ever made and that ever will be made should have the same exact interface and hardware. None of this "diferent screen resolution" crap.

Re:exist? (5, Insightful)

doodlelogic (773522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195644)

Why do all of these device makers continue to change small things that make all of the previous software libraries not work!

You could also ask:

Who are device makers' principal direct customers?

How do these customers, whether retailers or network providers, afford to sell their phones at below cost price?

Can an industry sustain the sale of loss leaders if it does not lock its customers into buying aftersales upgrades, additional features and ported programs?


My ten pound phone device thingy has been pricier than even the natural sceptic that I am likes to admit.

I thought the full... (5, Insightful)

ObjectiveGiant (767054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195326)

... keyboard was what made these things so attractive. I txt on my cell phone quite frequently and I'm not crazy about T9 input. It's a bit of a pain to check behind yourself to make sure the correct word was selected. Obviously it's better than pounding one button 3x to get the right letter you want but isn't this a downgrade for this type of device?

Re:I thought the full... (1)

phaetonic (621542) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195543)

Here here. I was seriously researching the blackberry because it's full keyboard is much better to respond to an e-mail than predictive text messages, which I use now on my cell phone. My interest is lost as I do not want to buy old technology.

Re:I thought the full... (1)

Embedded2004 (789698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195821)

You do realize they do continue to make those full keypad blackberry's still?

Re:I thought the full... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195610)

Read the bloody article before passing judgement.

1. This doesn't use T9 input, it uses something more like T13 (two letters per key) which is clearly going to be way more accurate) and has a QWERTY layout not an ABC layout like most phones.

2. T9 is amazingly fast, and it would be faster if it actually auto-completed words (I mean, if you are guessing at the word already, then why not auto-complete the damn thing? Maybe it is just a problem with my old Nokia 6100) - T9 also meant the end of txt spk because it is quicker write the full word!

It might be a downgrade from having a full keyboard, but it is a phone first and foremost. Larger keys with good prediction is going to be better than tiny keys that will be mashed.

Re:I thought the full... (1)

ObjectiveGiant (767054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195864)

I did "read the bloody article" and I'm not passing any judgement.

Response to 1:
I didn't say it uses T9.(Although it might look like that was my intention.) I was trying to relate my experience with a similar system to what the article discussed. My experience with T9 have been less than steller but I use it on a device that is a phone with text messaging functionality... Not something that is meant to be used for email and the like.

Response to 2:
I agree 100% that auto-complete would be a 100% improvement in T9 mode. I hope there are some cell phone manufacturers listening.

I don't agree that blackberry devices are meant to be a phone first and foremost. I believe that the people buying these things are buying them for reasons other voice comm. Obviously people want a phone that works but there are a 1000 other products out there that offer similar (if not slightly handicapped) functionality at a highly discounted price.

I think it boils down to designers (and consumers) wanting a sexier device with better ergonomics. I think the device looks awesome but I would pass over it for the Nokia 9300 any day. Why? Because it fits the familiar phone form factor (if not a bit bulky) and its design caters to those are really serious about texting applications on a mobile device. I learned how to type with one letter per key and that's what I'm used to. (Not necessarily with my thumbs but you get the point.)

Too bad I'll probably have to pay twice as much for the Nokia...

Re:I thought the full... (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195938)

Yeah, the Nokia looks like it is using the classic Psion 5 layout, which in my opinion was the single most awesome portable computer / PDA device ever made (especially considering that was so long ago) and it had a great keyboard. Even the cut-down Revo model simply rocked.

Please, someone, make a device that merges a decent phone with the Psion layout AND keyboard (yes, the Nokia communicators do mimik the Psion layout in a non-stylish way, but not the keyboard).

The biggest problem I have with any type of predictive system is: "I'll meet you at 7.30" which always comes out "Ill meet you at " ... before you have to switch modes using the # key to type in numbers.

Predictive text (5, Insightful)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195327)

I'd be very surprised if the predictive text system works as well as the reviewer appears to indicate, unless the only words you use are common ones (or if you're willing to use up virtually all of your storage on your custom dictionary entries).

Every predictive text system I've used in the past has been slower (due to dictionary-adding, backspacing, and so on) than it would have been by using more 'traditional' input methods like thumb-texting.

Maybe it's just me, but I doubt it.

You're not using the right words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195360)

Or should I say "ur ! usn rite wrds"

Re:Predictive text (3, Interesting)

yaroslavvb (234811) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195470)

An unrelated question I was pondering -- do any thumb-texting predictive text devices use predictive method more advanced than Markov chain? (essentially just looking at list of words that start with already typed prefix) That's how it seems to work on all the cell phones I tried. There's enough research out there to make a more advanced system. For instance, a word level Markov chain that offer words that are likely to follow first. Or an approach that would allow better generalization, such as decision tree predictor.

Re:Predictive text (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195504)

I have to disagree. My Samsung's phone had excellent predictive text. My new Motorola is pretty weak though, I think it depends alot on the quality of the predictive text software. As for using common words... I never really saw my blackberry as a full email client... mostly just for getting notifications, answering simple yes/no questions and hearing about "emergencies." Point being is that I rarely sent any long detailed technical emails- most of them used only common words.

Re:Predictive text (1)

Specter (11099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195506)

Prepare to be surprised. I laid hands on a pre-production model the other day and because there are only 2 letters per key the predictive text is pretty darn good. Walt Mossberg over at WSJ says that typing URLs and email addresses can be hard and I agree the predictive text doesn't help you much there, but for the majority of the typing you'd do (responding to emails, posting on slashdot) it's pretty darn good. It's leaps and bounds better than T9.

Whoops (4, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195361)

I accidentally just dropped my BB 6280 and it broke into 12 peices! Whatever will I do? Hey boss! I have an idea for a replacement!

Get back to work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195466)

This is your boss. I have decided to give you a notepad as a replacement. No, that's not a new electronic device. A paper notebook. We figure in the future this device would be less likely to break when dropped.

The keyboard was their main feature (4, Insightful)

stripmarkup (629598) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195364)

So far, the Blackberry is the only mobile device that I've found useful for web browsing and emailing. The qwerty keyboard is the main reason, it's much better than, say, the one in the Treo 600. The new Blackberry looks like any other cellphone. I know that I'll never be able to compose email or search Google nearly as fast with the predictive input, no matter how good it might be.

Re:The keyboard was their main feature (1)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195573)

And as an added fact... I remember when I worked at RIM, Mike L. (the CEO) specifically told all of us workers that the blackberry will never be an all in one device. It will not be a phone, an mp3 player or a remote control. It will be a 2 way pager that does email, that's it, that's all.

Boy oh boy was he bad at predicting what the market demanded... I'm kinda happy I'm no longer there... their idealistic vision were trampled right around the time the bubble burst... now they no longer create innovative products, just mash things together, and have patent wars to try and make a profit every quarter... what a shame...

Re:The keyboard was their main feature (1)

dennbruce (668774) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195603)

I'm willing to give the new BB a try. I'm used to my current version, but it's a bit clumsy as a phone. GREAT for email and web browsing however! It's such a breeze to use the QWERTY keyboard

Re:The keyboard was their main feature (4, Informative)

Digital11 (152445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195755)

Then you should try the Danger Hiptop. Blackberry's email interface is better (because it handles folders, etc in a better way) but everything else about the hiptop SMOKES the Blackberry.

And on the subject of predictive text input. Screw that, I can type 50+ WPM EASILY on my Hiptop.

And cue the anti-convergence zombies.. (3, Interesting)

Jakhel (808204) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195374)

"Boo hoo, why can't I have a phone that just makes calls. I have 20 other devices that I carry on my batman like utility belt that do each_function_separately."

I personally am happy to see a phone like this hit the states. When the new ericsson phones [phonescoop.com] release we'll really see something interesting.

Re:And cue the anti-convergence zombies.. (3, Insightful)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195860)

Some of us don't feel the need to check our email whilst walking, or listen to mp3s on a phone. Some of us believe in that tireless old adage "The right tool for the right job." Still others of us don't have a lot of devices to carry...for me it's keys, ipod, wallet, phone stays in the car or on the desk or in my jacket pocket. I don't carry a palmtop because the input methods are invariably shite, don't carry a camera unless I intend to take pictures of things (and let's face it, camera phones take shitty pictures anyway, why waste the money) and I don't need retarded games or ringtones.

Am I anti-convergence? Fuck no, it's good to see people creating shitty devices that do too much, because it makes them appreciate the simple things in life. Like a phone that's just a phone, or a notebook that doesn't erase everything you're doing if your brother text messages you. Convergent devices are good things, they're just nothing I would ever want to own. I like to be able to USE the things I own.

Predictive Text =/= T9 (2, Informative)

ARRRLovin (807926) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195381)

From the looks of the 20 key keypad, it looks like it's going to use a form of predictive text that would help the "QWERTY" users more than the traditional T9 SMS user. I hope they hit the T-Mo stores soon so I can take it for a test drive.

Nokia 9300 (0, Offtopic)

mentalflossboy (811716) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195391)

Does anyone else think the Nokia 9300 pictured in the article looks sexier?

Re:Nokia 9300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195451)

It looks larger...

I don't think either of them look very "sexy". Better than most of Nokia's phones, but there are definitely better looking ones out there.

Re:Nokia 9300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195485)

more here [nokia.com]

The price (4, Insightful)

halo1982 (679554) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195401)

At $199 I would buy this phone in a second. With the current Blackberries being $349+ and being kind of awkward to dial out/talk on, this is exactly what I want. And Bluetooth is an added bonus.

Re:The price (0, Redundant)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195679)

Sure. And at $13,000 I'd buy a BMW M3 in a second. But that's not what they cost.

Am I the only one who's sick of the "I'd buy it if it were half the price / a quarter of the price / a penny per megabyte" posts? God, shit's not cheap, man -- development, design and promotion cost money, and this attitude of not-paying-a-lot-for-that-muffler is why so many companies outsource all their development and manufacturing overseas.

Get it through your thick skulls, people. Shit isn't cheap to design or to produce. It shouldn't be cheap to buy. You do not need every new gadget that comes out. This attitude is only resulting in shoddy merchandise and people like me being unable to pay $300 for a sturdy, American made cell phone with a sensitive antenna and no useless features like email or cameras or ringtones that sound like Kiss songs. If people would stop griping about price and start saving up for what they really want, we'd all have better tech and maybe even better jobs.

Re:The price (2, Informative)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195727)

Sorry to interrupt your rant, but the new Blackberry really does cost $199.

If you had bothered to read the article before cursing up a storm, you could have seen the sentences: "Now, the best part of the equation. T-Mobile, the only cellular carrier to sell the 7100t, has priced the device at a mind-boggling $199."

Re:The price (-1, Troll)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195812)

I'm not going to read the article. I don't care about cell phones...I was reading the slashdot comments to see real users' perceptions of the thumboard input system (being an HID nerd) and discovered this lovely post talking about how cheap the thing is.

Call me old fashioned, but for a device that does everything the Blackberry purports to do, $400 is not all that much. $200 is embarrassingly cheap...meaning that there has to be a catch somewhere. This thing has a very set demand, so if they're able to sell it for so little, they must have skimped in the design process somewhere. Maybe the $199 is with a nine year contract, maybe they just reused a lot of code to reduce the cost...or maybe they skimped in a lot of areas. Either way, I'm sticking with my $75 for 4 phones Verizon deal -- because even though Verizon sucks, they're still better than everybody else in my area and at least I'm not paying a lot for the shitty service.

Re:The price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195742)

Wow, you are a good American Consumer.

You actually want to get underfeatured, overpriced goods because they are made in America!

Amazing.

I mean, not only do I have a friend who has gone to an American university complain that the first year courses are more like GCSE standard (UK 15/16 year old) rather than carrying on after A-levels (17/18 year old qualifications, she was expecting that university would start at 19 year old standard, not start 3 years behind where she is!), but now this. The logical conclusion is that instead of /teaching/ you in high school, you are brainwashed to be a good consumer that will never complain and will vote pro-corporatist all the time.

Different, not worse (1)

doodlelogic (773522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196236)

I mean, not only do I have a friend who has gone to an American university complain that the first year courses are more like GCSE standard (UK 15/16 year old) rather than carrying on after A-levels (17/18 year old qualifications, she was expecting that university would start at 19 year old standard, not start 3 years behind where she is!), but now this. The logical conclusion is that instead of /teaching/ you in high school, you are brainwashed to be a good consumer that will never complain and will vote pro-corporatist all the time.

And I have friends in France, Germany and Scotland that point out that they learn much more, and earlier than we do in England. (The A level is an English/Welsh qualification, not a UK one). Baccalaureate systems encourage all academically minded students to develop a full skill set - in England we specialise at 16, in Scotland 17, in France and Germany at 19 and in the US, at graduate school. There is a necessary tension between breadth and depth of study, it is a question of where you drawn the line.

This just in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195403)

In related news, the ILF (International Leperachaun Foundation) filed suit over the anme of the new Blackberry device.

"They're always after me lucky charms!" decried Shamus O'Typalot.

Thum? (0, Redundant)

mentalflossboy (811716) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195413)

*cough cough* To 'b' or not to 'b,' there is no question.

t!acO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195418)

with the number 'doing somethinlg'

Utter genius. (4, Funny)

Moofie (22272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195423)

They have gotten rid of the second-most-odious text input method (a thumb keyboard) and gone straight to the most odious.

Re:Utter genius. (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195763)

They have gotten rid of the second-most-odious text input method (a thumb keyboard) and gone straight to the most odious.

There are far worse methods of input than a thumb keyboard... like graffiti-style handwriting recognition. Or voice recognition. Or a typical numeric cellphone keypad (which this is not).

This looks like a full keyboard with 1:1 key:letter, but it does predictive input. Not a step up, but not as bad as it could be.

Odius - Learned a word, did ya ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10196153)

Did you just learn this word ? Fag. Like you could afford a BlackBerry. Stick 2 UR SMS, fag.

You're Odius-motherfucker.

Hmm.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195442)

Over at Cell Phone Review [cellphonereview.info] (they do PDA's and other related items as well) they took a peak at this new RIM. I dont know what you might think, but I think its just the same gimmick repackaged. They do have some nice pictures there though.

Why get a Charm when an Ace is around the corner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195452)

This is a nice stab, but a keypad will never replace a keyboard.

Treo 650 (Ace) will be out within 45 days, a much anticpated follow-up to the Treo 600.

Ask any BB user or Treo user what they think, an they will tell you the keyboard is the ticket, esp. for short messages where you might not type the full word or use a lot of shorthand.

Also, not touchscreen is a real killer from a usability standpoint.

I hate my Blackberry (4, Informative)

DevilM (191311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195478)

I hate my Blackberry for the following reasons:
  • Talking on it without the earpiece sucks
  • The natural place where you hold the device is also the button to end a call
  • It is too easy to answer a call and put the person on hold
  • If I am using any PDA functionality and a call comes in my work is lost
  • Sometimes people can't hear me when I answer the phone
  • Sometimes the keyboard lock unlocks without my input
  • Deleting email on the Blackberry doesn't delete it in my mailbox
  • It has trouble telling the difference between the same number with and without a 1 (long distance)
  • It thinks all 10 digit calls nees a 1
  • The keypad letters are wrong for the number pad, which makes it highly annoying to dial a number by name (1-800-get-a-clue)
  • When adding a number to the addressbook it assumes the number is a work number
Give me time, I will think of more.

Re:I hate my Blackberry (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195527)

The natural place where you hold the device is also the button to end a call

Yeah, that has to be my biggest bane with it, I still use my Motorola to make phone calls, you'd think though that someone would have mentioned it to them, or they could have figured it out themselves with field testing it.

Re:I hate my Blackberry (2, Informative)

Net0ps (84891) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195916)

I'm not completely sold on mine either, but some quick off-the-cuff responses to (some of) your complaints:

# Talking on it without the earpiece sucks
Agreed. A good earpiece makes a big difference with it.

# The natural place where you hold the device is also the button to end a call
True, although you have to hold that button down in order to end the call. I've found a loose grip and/or moving my thumb slightly to grab the housing rather than the button works fine for me, but obviously YM she is much V.

# It is too easy to answer a call and put the person on hold
True. If I have one complaint, it's the "push-to-select" function for the wheel, which invariably causes me to roll one option up or down while pushing in.

# If I am using any PDA functionality and a call comes in my work is lost
Have you tried Alt-Esc to switch functions? Frequently it looks like it lost stuff when in fact it has just switched applications. Alt-Esc works like Alt-Tab, but not so convenient (you then have to hold Esc while scrolling the wheel with your thumb-tip to select another application to open--very annoying).

# Sometimes the keyboard lock unlocks without my input
Setting a password on the device, as annoying as it can be sometimes (employer requires it) solved this--it now won't unlock without the password, which is pretty difficult to enter by random chance.

# Deleting email on the Blackberry doesn't delete it in my mailbox
This is, I think, just a sync setting: change the sync setting on your desktop manager (if you're using a BES) and deletions on one will be reflected on the other, or so I understand. For me, this is a feature--takes me five seconds to delete stuff that I've blown off the BB, and that means when I read it on the BB and don't need it, I can delete it without worry.

Re:I hate my Blackberry (2, Funny)

mildness (579534) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196131)

How about...

  • I get work email when I am not at work

I told my PHB "No way man".

More reviews (4, Informative)

zaxios (776027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195480)

PC Mag [pcmag.com] and Forbes [forbes.com] have reviews and InfoSync [infosyncworld.com] has a detailed news article. Forbes provides some perspective to the objective of integrating personal organizer with phone. PC Mag reads a bit like a spec list. I found the MSNBC review provided already more interesting, but you can look for yourself.

Interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195483)

Over at Cell Phone Review [cellphonereview.info] (they do PDA's and other related items as well) they took a peak at this new RIM. I dont know what you might think, but I think its just the same gimmick repackaged. They do have some nice pictures there though.

More peripherals... (1)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195497)


Fun... now I have another thing to recharge/worry-about-battery life and lose!

And like all Blackberry devices... (1)

EtherAlchemist (789180) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195505)

...it's butt ugly. My thumbs are killing me just looking at that, um, key pad thing.

Re:And like all Blackberry devices... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195686)

This is actually this first one I think is good looking...

It's not a replacement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195524)

It's an addition to the Blackberry line - there wil always be heavy txtrs who want a full thumbboard, but this device will appeal to a huge market segment who didn't want that big blue/black thing sagging in their pocket.
Plus, there's finally a BB with a bright screen, alerts you can actually hear, and downloadable tones that don't resemble the sound output of a Commodore PET.

Cool!Now there are no competitors for the sidekick (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195554)

thumb keyboard is what makes the blackberry worth a damn... well at least now Danger does not have to worry about competition for the sidekick 2 having used predictive crap hole 1-9 keyboards, the blackberry and the sidekick I would have to say they rank as first by far Sidekick second Blackberry and a distant third num-pad I love de-innovation

Re:Cool!Now there are no competitors for the sidek (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195662)

This is aimed at people that want a cell phone and email second.

They still make newer blackberries with keypads. Just think of this as there second product line.

Re:Cool!Now there are no competitors for the sidek (2, Interesting)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195736)

RTFA, it doesn't use T9, it has 20 keys. Not what you are expecting. I have used a beta Sidekick II, it is pretty nice, a little cartoony though.

Re:Cool!Now there are no competitors for the sidek (1)

netsavior (627338) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195950)

20 keys for 26 letters plus symbols oh ok you are right 6 more keys makes a huge diffrernce...

Re:Cool!Now there are no competitors for the sidek (2, Insightful)

cft_128 (650084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196041)

Have you tried it? And not to be an ass, but 20 - 12 is 8, not 6. I would also have to say that having 67% more keys probably makes a large difference.

BlackBerry vs. phone and PDA (3, Insightful)

zaxios (776027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195559)

I regret reposting so soon, but I've been reading the thread and I have to ask, Does BlackBerry succeed in actually being a good phone or a good PDA? MSNBC says it has "four hours talk time and eight hours standby". With battery life like that, how can this be a useful phone? If BlackBerry has adopted a "more conventional phone form factor", what's it like to use as a PDA? Really, does integrating phone and PDA really provide a better and more convenient experience or does it just implement the worst of both worlds - a smaller screen than a straight PDA and worst battery life than a non-smart phone? Wouldn't it just be better to buy two separate devices?

Re:BlackBerry vs. phone and PDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195605)

eight days. not hours.

Re:BlackBerry vs. phone and PDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195643)

My Dad runs his own business and he uses two devices. He's got his cell phone for calls and his Blackberry for e-mail and web browsing. It is that simple. He absolutely loves his Blackberry, though. It is all part of his dream to run his business from the golf course.

Re:BlackBerry vs. phone and PDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195701)

I've been using a Sony/Ericsson P800 for a year and a half and I love the integration of phone and PDA. The battery life is very good (2 - 3 days) if you take care to turn off applications, especially camera and bluetooth heavy ones, when you are not using them. The syncing with Mac Calendar and Phonebook is excellent and I imagine it's the same with Windows. Text entry is nowhere near as nice as with SideKick or BlackBerry which I had for a month each. But the pen-based character recognition is better than Palm graffiti. I must admit: only a blackberry or SideKick is any good for true on the road handheld email, IMHO.

qwerty keyboard a myth? (1)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195588)

I'm looking at the pictures of the new blackberry and the qwerty keyboard looks like it uses 14 keys to represent chars A-Z. Is this misrepsentation by calling it a qwerty keyboard? Sure the keys are in order like a normal keyboard but without the individual keys, I think this blackberry loses its most signficant appealing feature, a keyboard.

This press release brought to you by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195590)

...Slashdot. Your source for press-releases.

Problem with predictive texting (3, Insightful)

m0RpHeus (122706) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195612)

Is when the products are used on countries where the language is not supported by the device. This is my only frustration with predictive texting on my Sony Ericsson phone. I assume the same would be true with this new Blackberry. Yes, english is just fine, but when I need to text using our native language (that is not supported) predictive texting is useless. Also, predictive text is kind of useless if you're texting a lot of techinical jargons.

Tmobile URL - (2, Informative)

Blimbo (528076) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195626)

http://www.getmoreblackberry.com/

From the web site
"Register now and you will be one of the first to know when the new BlackBerry 7100t is available for sale. Plus you'll be entered for a chance to win a Bluetooth wireless headset, the ultimate accessory for your new phone."

One word... Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195653)

Blackberry sucks. We hate them at work. We are replacing them with GoodLink ( http://www.good.com/ ) which is simply wonderful.

but... (1)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195667)

...can it run linux?

Java apps should run with only minor changes (1)

dspyder (563303) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195668)

Wasn't Java promised as a "write once, run everywhere".... it always cracks me up when I'm asked to choose which platform to donwload my Java app for.... um, Java?

--D

Re:Java apps should run with only minor changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195804)

You're an idiot. They're saying that Java applications that target the Blackberry need minor modifications because RIM has changed their libraries.

Hello world applications will obviously run unmodified, but applications that take advantage of features specific to the Blackberry might need minor modifications.

this is exactly why... (1)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195831)

...java failed miserably.

Re:Java apps should run with only minor changes (1)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195875)

I think Java VM's embedded on core devices like phones maybe a good thing for Java in serving the 'write once, run many' creedo since the problem with servers/desktops was due to poor performance a la file i/o and memory management. It was just too slow for nice big/rich UI apps--phones will be similar in performance for awhile since power requirements, heat, size+form factors, and screen sizes hinder Moore's law somewhat IMO.

Stupid blackberry web support (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195671)

I'm currently developing a web application that must work on blackberries, and I am coming to abhor them. They don't render anything except the most basic html (that is, the few blackberries that even have a browser). The browser support is absolutely atrocious. Form filling is insane, and scrolling to the next page makes no sense at all.

Re:Stupid blackberry web support (1)

meravelha (811852) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196044)

I agree, but if anyone is into writing open-source java modules for BB, lets get together!

this is goAtsex (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10195717)

wit4j process and

Predictive Text Better then Expected (2, Informative)

Embedded2004 (789698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195741)

I had the opportunity to test one of these out, what surprised me was how good the predictive text actually was. I am going to be ditching my current BB for one of these as soon as I can manage.

This is the first one I think that I actually like the look for, I just hope with that nice LCD there is some good games for it.

This is awful for a simple reason. (2, Insightful)

piecewise (169377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10195942)

One of the reasons Blackberries have become so popular is because of their professional look. Lawyers, politicians, consultants, everyone else in DC and in other parts of the country love the Blackberry. And we love keeping it on our belts as a status symbol.

This new Blackberry looks like a toy and like every other phone. There's nothing so appealing about it. I think RIM has really given up that professional tone and they'll be upsetting quite a few customers.

Re:This is awful for a simple reason. (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196078)

Why? Is the one currently on your belt going to go puff and disappear in a puff of red smoke?

missing option (2, Interesting)

austad (22163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10196049)

The thing that I find sorely missing from every "business-class" phone is the ability to use 2 SIM's in it at once. Nearly everyone has a personal phone, and nearly every company provides a phone for their employees. Who wants to carry around 2 phones? Not me. I find myself forwarding the company phone to my personal one and eating the cost of the minutes.

If it won't fit in my pocket, it's not going with me. I don't want a bat belt full of crap.

I've seen SIM adapters that allow you to put 2 SIM's in the phone, but it asks you on power-up which one you want to use. I want to be able to use both of them at once. A 2-line GSM phone. That would be killer.
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