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RIM Crippling BlackBerry Bluetooth Speed?

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-so-fast-guv'nor dept.

96

Alex King writes " I organized a bounty for the creation of a 'BlackBerry as a modem' solution for Mac OS X earlier this year. The resulting product — Pulse, from Brain Murmurs — allows you to use your BlackBerry as a standard Bluetooth modem. It works great on both Windows and Mac. Current problem: The Pulse solution doesn't run as fast as it used to. Brain Murmurs did a bunch of testing and working with their users and found the problem: RIM has crippled the Bluetooth speeds in recent OS upgrades. Is this a 'mistake' on RIM's side that will be fixed? Or did they do this on purpose for some reason?"

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Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218806)

Maybe the author of the blog should have considered asking RIM what the problem is?

I guess the point of the blog (and the trollish /. headline) is to generate plenty of hits to a page which extolls the virtues of the software & software house in question.

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (1)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218946)

Maybe the author of the blog should have considered asking RIM what the problem is?

I agree.

I don't see how anyone here on Slashdot, short of being an employee of RIM, will be able to answer your question without pulling wild speculation out of their ass.

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (4, Funny)

nonlnear (893672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218986)

...without pulling wild speculation out of their ass.
But isn't that what Slashdot is all about? Well, that and goatse

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17220028)

I was always wondering what was being pulled out of there. Thanks!

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (3, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220470)

...without pulling wild speculation out of their ass.

  But isn't that what Slashdot is all about? Well, that and goatse


Goatse is how the wild speculation gets in our asses to begin with.

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (2, Funny)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224344)

Goatse is how the wild speculation gets in our asses to begin with.
It also allows for much wilder speculation than average.

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (3, Funny)

mfh (56) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219098)

I don't see how anyone here on Slashdot, short of being an employee of RIM, will be able to answer your question without pulling wild speculation out of their ass.

I don't work at RIM but I can tell you from the vast depths of my own experience as a coder -- if some code has changed, it was probably intentional. Coders are lazy (therefore opposed to making unplanned deliberate changes) and we also have the cushiest jobs in the universe (apart from Wil Wheaton's sideline gig at SG [suicidegirls.com] -- the lucky bastard!!!). Although, I'm sure equal emphasis could be placed on our heavy reliance on World of Warcraft, to the point where we might accidentally slip a few decimals on boring RL stuff while browsing AH for deals that can dance.

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (0, Flamebait)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219414)

I wonder how many could pull out a speculum (I learned in the 7th grade in Texas in Sex Ed class in 1980 what a speculum was... I think not many states at that time exposed kids to speculums, IUDs, and condoms....) OR a frackin' LASER BEAM out....

I bet some of the Japan Slashdot stuff, if translated to eigo-wa, would be esoteric, but interesting. Hey, Slash, how's about it? I'm a Japanophile with very inferior Nihongo skills. But, I'd LOVE to read the local J-Slash pages. That might be more fruitful for some of us than using Bablefish, or reading trollish articles...

(ducking, as red laser beam sweeps overhead, dancing about my room... "yee--yoong, yooong", threatening retina-detaching maneuvers on my part...)

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (2, Funny)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219092)

I think he's actually look to get employment with RIM. You know. A position at RIM. A career with RIM. In other words

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219488)

Nudge nudge, know what I mean, say no more? eh?

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219558)

So... He's taking a RIM shot?

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (2, Funny)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221156)

Actually, I think he was trying to get was a RIM job.

Too easy (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224352)

No good joke goes unsaid.

obligatory (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221826)

ba-dum tishhhh

Why not open source the software? (4, Interesting)

crazyray (776321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219356)

Dear AlexKing, Instead of accusing RIM of disabling your "bountied" software, why don't you open source it so that we can all look for bugs in the implementation? After all, when the bounty was offered no one told any of the contributors that this would be for a commercial, closed source product, and many of us who contributed to the project are angry and disappointed that it was hijacked for a proprietary, closed project. Open it up!!!

Re:Why not open source the software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219772)

He didn't write the software, dick nozzle. He merely offered the money for someone to write a way to use the Blackberry as a tethered Bluetooth modem - which the programmer(s) with Brain Murmurs did. The resulting software could be closed source as long as the people who contributed financially to the bounty got the software for free.

Not everyone can give everything away for free, and if you want it so goddamn bad - why not get the Blackberry development kit, and write something for your own use, and be a good sport about it - and give it away like you suggest. After all, can't have you eating someone else's dog food

Re:Why not open source the software? (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220024)

These people gave someone their time and effort for free without getting the assurances that their work would be used in the manner that they feel it should be?

Sounds to me like these people were gullible and/or stupid and are blaming someone else for being so utterly naive as to automatically assume that any project with volunteer contributors is open-source.

Re:Why not open source the software? (3, Informative)

mumkin (28230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220620)

Alex King doesn't own the software... he organized the bounty to encourage someone else to undertake it.

It was a pretty small bounty -- $675 -- and I think he lays out his reasoning quite cogently in this blog post [alexking.org] .

If you dont want the ArrogantMurmur... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#17231418)

Swap for an 8100 and use this script.
Script for the 8100 [fibble.org]

If you're stuck with an 8700 and in legal reach of this guy, read on.

It might be more than just a pppd that is aware to bluetooth connections, but that'd be the general direction to look when cutting this guy at the pass. Dont worry, he'll be humbled when there's someone that does it without the Ivory Tower mindset. There was some talk about porting existing stuff from some linux app to OS X, IIRC.

As for the other posts before me in this thread, Alexking (and ArrogantMurmur) just justifying (their personal) arrogance and elitism, crazyray. Why it happens on this platform a lot more is an exercise to the reader.

Having worked on a BT product I agree (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219396)

Before looking for a communist under every bush, consider that there are quite a few things to get right to get BT working. A BT driver depends on other drivers (eg often serial drivers) and slight changes in the realtime behaviour of drivers can cause link errors which cause corruptions and retires etc and ultimately reduce BT throughput. Extra interrupts etc in the system can easily cause BT errors.

Re:Having worked on a BT product I agree (4, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220436)

That would have been the case with any BT driver and any BT product but crackberry. The crackberry is usually placed by operators on all-you-can-eat plans which presume only mail access to the crackberry server. The crackberry server eats surprisingly (actually the best word is phenomanally) little bandwidth. 1Kbit average per 20 users is normal. As a result the operators can afford all-you-can-eat without a problem. The moment the users start actively using it for data these assumptions go out of the window.

So, I would not be surprised if the operators demanded the feature and the feature got rolled out quietly. In other words, I would not be surprised if there is a communist hidden in the Bush.

Re:Having worked on a BT product I agree (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221530)

looking for a communist under every bush

Can't we have a single discussion on /. without politics?

Re:Having worked on a BT product I agree (1)

Mike89 (1006497) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221646)

Can't we have a single discussion on /. without politics?
Be quiet, post nazi!

Re:Perhaps ask RIM what the problem is? (1)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220336)

Maybe the author of the blog should have considered asking RIM what the problem is?


Why? So they can get a form response telling them to reinstall their drivers and upgrade to the latest firmware (even though that caused the problem).

Have you ever tried to get through a support channel to tell a vendor about an actual flaw in their product? Most of the time, the first tier support guys don't listen to you at all and try to get rid of you as quickly as possible. If you do get someone who has any skill or knowledge they will give you a good suggestion, then you hang up, try it, it doesn't work, and you are back to square one. It's maddening.

This is a problem for... (5, Funny)

MrNonchalant (767683) | more than 7 years ago | (#17218882)

We here at Slashdot will rationally analyze all the nuances of your question before replying with a well-researched and neutral opinion. You just wait.

Slow Down Cuntboy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218934)

I organized a bukkake for Amanda Congdon but she won't return my calls. Is she doing this on purpose?

Re:Slow Down Cuntboy! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17218978)

Well I don't know you but...yes.

Other Bluetooth speed anomalies. (2, Interesting)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219010)

I've got a Samsung Blackjack with Cingular HSDPA. On the phone itself or via USB, I can pull 700kbit/sec down on a bandwidth test.

Yet over Bluetooth network access profile, I can only get around 300kbit/sec. Both devices are Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, and I'm using the Widcomm Bluetooth stack that came with the laptop. The network devices claims a connection at 700kbit/sec, and the theoretical maximum of 2.0+EDR is 2.1MBit/sec IIRC.

Any ideas?

Re:Other Bluetooth speed anomalies. (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221118)

Look around. Maybe someone is invading your Bluetooth personal space?

"Back off buddy! This bandwidth ain't big enough for the both of us!"

Re:Other Bluetooth speed anomalies. (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224484)

Any ideas?

What BT speeds can you get with other devices similarly situated?

Re:Other Bluetooth speed anomalies. (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17229614)

Well, my friend has a Cingular 8525 (HTC TyTn) with HSDPA and gets similar results -- slower speeds on Bluetooth than via USB/the device itself.

His laptop has Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, but his phone does not have EDR (just Bluetooth 2.0). Seems like my devices don't want to use EDR for some reason.

Re:Other Bluetooth speed anomalies. (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17245638)

Yes, I have an idea. Quit whining. Many of us are still stuck in 1X/RTT land and we don't want to hear about your TERRIBLE problem of only 300kbit/sec download speeds when running in BT Tethered mode. :)

So, would we call this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219016)

...a RIMjob?

How should I know? (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219022)

Is this a 'mistake' on RIM's side that will be fixed? Or did they do this on purpose for some reason?
Do you think anyone here is honestly qualified to answer this question? Or are you just spreading fud?
 

Re:How should I know? (1)

ifdef (450739) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223124)

Actually, yes, there are RIM employees who read and post to Slashdot.

Re:How should I know? (2, Funny)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223606)

yes, there are RIM employees who read and post to Slashdot.
My god man! Do you realize what you are proposing? Canadians on Slashdot ??!!?? Oh, the horror.

Re:How should I know? (1)

Howserx (955320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224678)

We infiltrated long ago. Except for inconsistencies in spelling you'd never have found out aboot us.

Re:How should I know? (1)

PinkPanther (42194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224866)

Yes, I truly wish that the U.S.ians would get with the programme.

Speed is a feature and you have to pay! (0)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219046)

In Capitalist West wireless device company cripples consumer product for profit.
In Soviet Union, CIA software cripples you!

Nice way to get you off other networks.
You want speed - only 'the' telco's network is at 200+k
You want the outside world its at 65k.
So you will stay in the sandpit.

Why on earth would RIM want you to do this? (2, Insightful)

Archeopteryx (4648) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219054)

You abuse their network with your modem software. They have a network designed for messaging, and you want to send huge files over it. I don't blame them for wanting to cripple a capability that they never wanted to sell you.

You get what you pay for. Usually.

Re:Why on earth would RIM want you to do this? (5, Insightful)

waldo2020 (592242) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219132)

RIM didn't design the cell phone network, dorkwad. RIM the other devices work over the approved and paid for data channels. If you are paying $80/mo for "unlimited data" you better damn well get what the system can handle. And FYI, CDMA and GSM systems use a time division multiplex method so it's not like a cable modem link shared with the neighbourhood; you can't choke the whole system by being a data-hog, at most you can consume your alloted time-slice.

Re:Why on earth would RIM want you to do this? (1)

muftak (636261) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221698)

With WCDMA and HSDPA, etc you can hog the whole cell site. The backhaul bandwidth is normally only 2Mbits to each sector, so one user can saturate it.

Re:Why on earth would RIM want you to do this? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221922)

CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access
GSM is derived somewhat from TDMA - Time Division Multiple Access

Even *I* know this.

Re:Why on earth would RIM want you to do this? (2, Informative)

Jimithing DMB (29796) | more than 7 years ago | (#17225002)

Wow.. this is so wrong:

RIM didn't design the cell phone network, dorkwad. RIM the other devices work over the approved and paid for data channels. If you are paying $80/mo for "unlimited data" you better damn well get what the system can handle. And FYI, CDMA and GSM systems use a time division multiplex method so it's not like a cable modem link shared with the neighbourhood; you can't choke the whole system by being a data-hog, at most you can consume your alloted time-slice.

As other replies have mentioned, CDMA stands for Code Division Multiple Access. Each packet is tagged with a small code similar to the way ethernet packets are tagged with a MAC address. GSM is a TDMA system (Time Division ...) which relies on phones transmitting in an allotted time slot (milliseconds). This could be likened to a token ring network in some ways

That is bad enough but then you go on to state that it's not like a cable modem link. Huh? It is exactly like a cable modem link. In fact, just about any network or bus, wired or wireless, uses some sort of scheme to allow for multiple transmitters. In DOCSIS you have both a MAC (code) as well as an allotted time slot. DOCSIS takes it a bit further and does ranging. Basically, it pings the node at the head end until it gets an accurate picture of how long an electrical signal takes to reach the node. This allows the cable modem to adjust its transmissions such that when it transmits in a given timeslot it won't collide with another modem's time slot due to signal delay differences. The speed of electrons is after all only so fast.

I could go on and on here by pointing out that for example a T1 line is actually 24 time divided channels or that a PCI bus works on an acquisition basis. Next time before calling the parent poster a dorkwad (what are you 11?) you might actually want to know what you are talking about.

No, fact check. (4, Interesting)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219372)

When you use a Blackberry as a GSM modem, the data never (or at least, shouldn't ever) travels over RIM's network. It's not like you're chunking a file into little pieces and attaching it to emails. It's just using the Blackberry's connection to the cellular network to transfer data.

If the cellular company didn't want you doing that, they could certainly ratelimit you, but generally most people using smartphones have an unlimited-data plan, which would let them use a PC Card-style GSM modem or other type of phone to push as many packets as they wanted. The cellular infrastructure is designed to give data service a lower priority than voice calls, and it's all designed with QoS in mind -- this isn't like your neighborhood cable modem setup. I know that T-Mobile doesn't mind if you use full-speed Internet access on your EDGE device; that's included in the $30/mo extra you pay for data access. (I assume if you were really abusive in some way, they might cut you off, but that's not the issue here.)

I think that this guy should send a polite letter to RIM asking what the deal is. I don't get if it's an all-over Blackberry issue, or a PC/Mac one, where PC users can do this modem thing at full speed, and Mac users get a reduced rate. If that's the case, then it's fairly odd. But more likely, I tend to wonder if they didn't just drop the rate on the BT connection because they never figured that anybody would be doing anything with it other than using BT headsets and syncing data with their desktop computer from time to time. Maybe the lower connection prevents packet loss in other circumstances. At any rate, it seems odd for them to crap so obviously over a feature, particularly one that some of their competitors' products offer.

IP over RF always limits bandwidth (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219064)

Haven't seen an IP over RF provider who didn't start ruthlessly choking off bandwidth to anyone who actually consumes more than a few sips of their 'high speed Internet' products. It is OK if you do a few short bursts now and again, that is the usage model they built their network around. A Blouetooth connection to a laptop implies more than that so once the network operator noticed they had users USING their network they acted quickly to fix the problem.

The crux of the problem is that no RF system that has been deployed has enough bandwidth to supply 'broadbad' like connectivity to very many people at the same time. So the early adopters get it good, tell their friends and watch it all turn to crap. Unless we see microcells on every lamppost we aren't likely to ever solve the problem either. And no amount of marketing promises can change it, you can't repeal the laws of physics.

Cable modems had exactly the same problem of a shared resource quickly becoming overused. The cable industry could solve it by breaking up their originally simplistic network into lots of small segments because they could string FIBER to backhaul all of the neighborhood networks. Unless the wireless companies want to do likewise they are never going to be a player in the broadband game as anything other than a niche product priced high (billed by the bit) enough to limit usage to the available spectrum.

Re:IP over RF always limits bandwidth (3, Insightful)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219788)

Who says it takes a malicious provider to make IP over RF suck?

I'm sitting here with my computer 20 feet from my 802.11g hub, getting an alleged 80% signal and 54mbps connection. Yet lo and behold, when I actually transfer data to my server (hooked to the hub over 100m ethernet), I get more like 10 megabits per second instead of 50. Unless there's some malicious program on the hub (!), wireless sucks compared to wired for speed.

Huh? (1)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219068)

When did RIM get bought out by Verizon?

One thing that RIM is crippling (5, Interesting)

toadlife (301863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219204)

Since the question of this story is rather pointless, I'll go slightly off topic.

One thing that RIM is "crippling" is 911 systems across the nation. My wife and I both have one of those new Blackberry 8100 Pearl smartphones. It's really nice, except for one major flaw. When the phone is locked, pressing the scroll wheel once, rolling it down and pressing it again automatically makes a call to 911 - and there is no way to turn it off. It may seem like with three actions required (press, roll, press), it wouldn't be that easy to accidentally make a call, but my two year old son disagrees. He has made at least ten 911 calls over the last week on mine and my wifes phones combined and a couple of times the calls were triggered when the phone was just sitting in my pocket.

With all of our previous phones, we would lock them and if my son picked them up it would be no big deal. Now, we are forced to either have our phones on us at all time, or put them on the top of the fridge or some other extremely inaccessible place.

I've put a request in to RIM to make it so you can disable that feature in their next software update. Hopefully they listen.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219314)

t may seem like with three actions required (press, roll, press), it wouldn't be that easy to accidentally make a call, but my two year old son disagrees. He has made at least ten 911 calls over the last week on mine and my wifes phones combined...

The solution here is to not let your 10 year old son play with your Blackberry. You don't leave your double-edged razor blades out too, do you?

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (2, Insightful)

DrKyle (818035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219580)

You can teach a TEN year old not to play with your phone, but a TWO year old isn't going to listen to your explanation about not playing with it to dial 911 by accident.

A phone is not a razor blade, grenade or flame thrower. I let my kids play with my phone (when locked), the remote, the mouse and keyboard on the computer (with Toddlerkeys [ms11.net] enabled). They see their parents hitting buttons and doing things and they want to emulate us to some extent and see what the big deal is about and their curiosity should be encouraged. The problem here is entirely with RIM, any keypress which can accidentally happen just by shoving the phone in your pocket and dial 911 is not a feature, it's a bug.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219710)

I let my kids play with my phone...

If you yourself find it hard to avoid calling 911, your 2 or 10 year old will do better? If your kidd is calling 911 5 and 10 times fiddling with your phone, they should give you a big fat ticket for letting him / her. I mean, come on.

Oh stop it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17220488)

I have kids. Certain things they can touch. Certain things they cannot. That's why we buy them clever toys.

You remind me of a co-worker who when at home always has his daughter on his lap. As we're IM's each other about work stuff, you get random bits of gibberish. It's his daughter, and he keeps her on his lap. And she likes to press buttons.

He's an idiot parent is the only thing I can gather. When working throw the kids out of the room and work. And why annoy the piss out of me just because he doesn't understand the need to isolate himself when he's working.

My kids have grown up normally and I managed to tell them "no" a lot of the time.

NOT EVERY WHIM OF YOUR CHILD MUST BE INDULGED. IT'S OKAY TO SAY "NO" TO MOST THINGS A CHILD WANTS. CHILDREN WANT EVERYTHING. YOU'RE NOT BEING A BAD PARENT WHEN YOU PUT THE PHONE UP HIGH AND SAY "SORRY BABYKINS NO CAN PLAY". AND WHEN THEY WHINE ABOUT IT YOU IGNORE IT.

Re:Oh stop it. (3, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222582)

I'm reminded of the time I saw this lady in a warehouse store give her baby in her cart her cell phone, she thought is was sooooooo cute, the baby would put it up to its ear... Than the baby threw it as hard as it could on the concrete floor...

Re:Oh stop it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17224348)

I bet your kinds aren't fucked up at all. I'm sure that they are just as happy and well-adjusted as you.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

toadlife (301863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219926)

No, but I'd be sure to leave them out if I was watching your kids.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220134)

Not that long ago, a phone was not a razor blade. There was only so much a 2 year old could do. Sure they could accidentally mash the right buttons to get 911, but it didn't happen much.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219342)

IIRC, it's actually press, roll, press, roll, press. When you select the "Emergency call" option, there's a confirmation prompt.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (-1, Troll)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220176)

With all of our previous phones, we would lock them and if my son picked them up it would be no big deal. Now, we are forced to either have our phones on us at all time, or put them on the top of the fridge or some other extremely inaccessible place.

Of course it's RIM's fault you lack the parenting skills to teach a two year old there are some things he simply does not touch.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

mumkin (28230) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220678)

...and a couple of times the calls were triggered when the phone was just sitting in my pocket.
If the damned thing's dialing 911 from within your pocket, when locked, it's a horrible design. Parenting skills have nothing to do with it.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221154)

Cue up the future story of the woman who was assaulted in the parking lot while trying to unlock her BlackBerry to call 911...

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Jerrry (43027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224646)

Cue up the future story of the woman who was assaulted in the parking lot while trying to unlock her BlackBerry to call 911...

How is having a phone, unlocked or otherwise, going to prevent an assault? Do police respond instantly in your neighborhood? They don't in mine. Five to ten minutes is about average.

The woman in the parking lot would be better served by pulling out her .38 revolver than her cell phone.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220702)

Trying to teach a two year old that there are some things he must not touch is like trying to teach a cat how to play fetch, or an RIAA exec trying to teach a hacker that there are some algorithms she must not crack.

As a slashdotter you should understand, its a common trait among geeks, that they retain some of the innate curiorisity that defines a 2 years old's life.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221312)

Dunno about other kids but my sister's son at age 2 knew not to touch my computers or my collection of D&D miniatures without asking me first for permission.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226264)

And he's got the cigarette burns to prove it!

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Xenophon Fenderson, (1469) | more than 7 years ago | (#17232988)

Asking for permission first isn't exactly what I would call a common trait amongst the hackers I know (nascent or wizened).

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

raynet (51803) | more than 7 years ago | (#17234090)

And how many 2 years old hackers do you know? I doubt that many learn to program before age of 5 or so. And to become a hacker takes probably atleast a year or two on top of that :)

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Absentminded-Artist (560582) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220892)

Marked insightful only by users without any parenting experience... Nice going turning the issue from one of poor mechanical design to that of poor parenting skills.

So stick it to the lousy parent! How dare he wish he could just leave his Blackberry on the coffee table without worrying about his two year old (they still explore the world with their mouths, btw) trying to get his hands on that nifty toy Daddy always plays with and accidentally calling 911. Daddy needs to wire that Blackberry with high voltage to show his boy who's boss. That'll teach him to be inquisitive and explore his environment ever again...

Sometimes I feel so inadequate reading slashdot comments. Apparently, I was the only child born in America to disobey my parents by watching what I wasn't supposed to watch and touch what I wasn't supposed to touch. I see the light now, however. It was all my parent's fault. Thanks, boys. You saved me $75 and an hour on the couch.

At any rate, the issue at hand here is should 911 be so easy to dial that any two year old or rambunctious shirt pocket can do it? IMO, that's a bad product design.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222868)

Marked insightful only by users without any parenting experience... Nice going turning the issue from one of poor mechanical design to that of poor parenting skills.

Funny, I'm a parent of a three-year-old and a one-year-old and I don't have this problem. Reason: when I get home, I take off my blackberry and put it in a place where they can't reach it.

I wouldn't go so far as to accuse anybody of having poor parenting skills, but seriously, it's not that hard. Just put the thing away. It's pretty standard practice to put away stuff you don't want your kids getting into. It's called "kid-proofing" and every parent has to do it to a certain extent.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224092)

Marked insightful only by users without any parenting experience... Nice going turning the issue from one of poor mechanical design to that of poor parenting skills.

I have a three year old and a one year old. My wife and I solve the problem of them dialing random numbers or misusing the phone by...not letting them play with them.

This isn't rocket science, and casting it as some sort of inevitable that kids will play with cell phones is the worst sort of lame me-no-blame cop out (and it's truly scary -- there are a lot of things that kids can misuse). Put the phone up.

I have a Nokia that has a 1-key 911, which I disabled, and a key lock. Yet there STILL is a way to call 911 with a sequence while the phone is locked. They do this, presumably (given that it would be easier to not implement that at all), in case someone is in a situation where they can't see their phone and can barely use it. You can imagine scenarios.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17223280)

... just as it is Slashdot's fault that you lack the dating skills to have a chance at having a two year old of your own so you can find out about these so-called parenting skills first hand.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (0, Troll)

trifster (307673) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221266)

sounds like an I,D ten T error to me.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17222590)

So you are the leader of "Think of the children" brigade!

Leave my Blackberry Pearl along, you bastard.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

the_wishbone (1018542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223670)

I don't know why all the replies to your post have been so pointless, talking about parenting and how it's not that easy to do...anyway, I happen to agree with you - I accidentally dialed 911 taking it out of my pocket. I have an 8700, and merely scrolling the wheel brings up the prompt...thus, "Emergency Call" is only one easy wheel click down from being in a "locked" state. To get the phone out of your pocket, obviously, you have to grab the sides, where the scroll wheel happens to be...I must have hit it and accidentally scrolled back up and hit OK on the confirmation prompt because when I looked, it was dialing 911. I think they should replace the confirmation screen with a dial pad, so you actually have to DIAL like you do on regular phones. It's too easy to move the wheel and click a couple of times and dial it accidentally...I could totally see how your kid could do it.

Re:One thing that RIM is crippling (1)

Siker (851331) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224436)

Gotta love those extremely inaccessible places. Area 51, the moon, abyssal plains, the fridge...

Serious answer: Put it in Standby (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227702)

When the phone is locked, pressing the scroll wheel once, rolling it down and pressing it again automatically makes a call to 911 - and there is no way to turn it off.

The BlackBerry 8100 "Pearl" has a standby mode. Instead of holding down "*" to look the keyboard, like you did with earlier BlackBerry models, hold down the mute button, which is a small silver button on the top of the phone. This will put the phone into Standby, which is a low-power mode where the screen is black and no buttons function on the phone, including the scroll ball. The phone will still receive calls and messages and will give notifications. To bring it back out of Standby, press the mute button again once. Problem solved.

RIM is bogus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17219248)

----Ever notice in the NFL that when a black DE or DT sacks a white quarterback they try to cripple him, end his career, take his head off. But when they sack a black qb they take it easy on him, handle him with kid gloves and even help him up after they've tackled him? ;-) Anyway getting back on topic. The reason black girls/black guys aren't as freaky as you would think is that they aren't. Hell, most black guys make love like Perry Como sings, they get in this slow groove like they're about to not expend ONE MORE OUNCE of energy then they have to. This sterotype that black people fuck like wild savages is a myth started by white plantation owners who'd hear the black woman's shrieks of extasy or possible terror as she was more or less forced to be paired with the biggest and most prolific buck the plantation owner would pair her with, in other words an arranged tryst, usually not by choice. The buck in question usually hadn't had sex in quite a long time so he was easily stimulated so it made for one wild sex scene but this was far from the norm. Although many black people are more at ease and unhibited in dancing,etc when it comes to sex most are very conservative. Ask most black guys if they eat pussy or black girls if they give head and they'll tell you 'hell no'. I've talked to many black guys who love white girls for the frequency and readiness they give oral sex to them. This could be because these woman have stronger self esteem/self image then their black female counterparts therefore they're more uninhibited in doing so, or that the black women have more self respect, but one thing to remember is all of the former terms I've described can only be truly defined by the individual thats applying them to themselves and not in a broad stroke of a stereotype. Anal sex is another taboo in culture. The reason black men rape white men in prisons is their ancient belief that they're taking the man's manhood. If they victim also believes that he ends up destroying himself. Ask any homosexual man if he's 100% man and he'll tell you yes. The act of anal sex can't take that away from him nor can a rape of a woman by a man destroy the woman unless she lets it. This is a very complicated and heavy issue which goes well beyond the scope of porn. Why do some porn actresses like Nina Hartley and Shanna McCullough love what they do and are healthier people for it? Why does an Alex Jordan kill herself after a handful of movies? Why does a Janet Jacme refuse to do a lesbian scene? Why did Careena Collins only exclusively have sex with black males? Are they better at sex or is it her belief that makes it so? Why is Lex Steele rock hard when peforming with a Jewel DeNyle but on the limp side when performing with a black starlet? Why do I think China Barbi, the half Chinese/half Jamaican porn slut is the hottest thing since sliced bread but Patrick Riley wouldn't give her the time of day? BELIEF'S. As Napoleon Hill said "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe the mind can achieve". So in other words you are what you BELIEVE!!!

Customers will have no say in this (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219386)

Even with products like the PDA cell phones with all-out broadband access competing with the blackberry, these people still don't feel they have to worry about the free market.

Which is why I decided to forego the blackberry and get a Treo.

dear alex (0, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219562)

your a dick snapper, accusing someone else of being the cause of your software not performing properly. stop trying to whore fucking page counts by whining on /.

Re:dear alex (1)

dlpasco (560798) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226474)

Actually, we checked our facts before asserting that there was anything wrong Here's the test methodology [brainmurmurs.com] we used to reach this conclusion.

Blame not on malice... (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17219614)

.... what you can blame on incompetency.

I don;t think the company delibrately did it. What do they have to gain from it?
Must have been a f*ck up somewhere in developing the stuff.

Thats just silly (2, Interesting)

pablo_max (626328) | more than 7 years ago | (#17220102)

Did anyone actually look at the feature with RIM claims on the Bluetooth PICS? I guess not. Can it be that they are supporting the faster modulation? Even if it were bluetooth 2.0, they are not required to support 4-DPQSK and 8-DPSK. Basic GMSK modulation is all that is mandatory. It's not really possible to lower the speed in the ways they suggest actually. It's clear that this person really knows nothing about Bluetooth at all. Check out the core spec at bluetooth.com

Re:Thats just silly (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17220312)

So it's not possible to comply with the spec yet have the software side of things rate-limit stuff fed to the Bluetooth stack...? Or otherwise break things on the software side to hurt performance?

Your crap about modulation modes is irrelevant; after an 'upgrade' to the blackberry software suddenly the throughput through the stack is a lot less. The fact that there are a limited quanta of symbol rates over the air does not preclude limiting application layer performance through a variety of means, intentionally or unintentionally.

Re:Thats just silly (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17224636)

It's not really possible to lower the speed in the ways they suggest actually.

It would be incredibly trivial to rate-limit Bluetooth 2.0, just as you can rate-limit any other networking stack - you just feed the packets to it more slowly.

In other news, Nextel acquitted... (4, Funny)

mtmra70 (964928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17221382)

In other news, Nextel acquitted on accusations of crippling BT data speeds. The Judge replied, "Simply, they do not offer data over BT. I could not rule them guilty over something they do not offer".

Nextel was over more than happy with this ruling and stated they will continue to not offer many other services.

Re:In other news, Nextel acquitted... (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222606)

It's funny because it's true. Sometimes I think Nextel should simply change their name to Previoustel.

...or use for example Nokia E61 that works OOTB? (1)

ximian (688884) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222604)

Over here on the other side of the Atlantic in Scandinavia, not only the hardware companies but also the telcos plug BT connections very hard as part fof their marketing. In other words it comes as no surprise that a Nokia E61 (or Sony Ericsson P990i, etc) can be used as a BT modem with the 3G network out of the box, giving excellent speeds. I do it daily travelling on business across Europe from OS X/XP/Linux laptops. The Nokia E61 (et al) also matches (and/or surpasses) the feature set of the Blackberry, including push mail, mobile Exchange sync, etc, etc. There is one thing with data speeds though that must always be remembered. Most operators still have a priority for voice built into the network. This means that every GPRS connection searches for "gaps" in the voice traffic (in Swedish they are called the direct translation of "time gaps", don't know the exact English term) to and from the particular mast you are connectiong to. And depending on how many are available at the time, your connection will be alloted X such "gaps" and the number of them determine the speed of your connection. So, if you're in a urban area at, say, lunch time there might be fewer gaps available for data, compared to a rurally situated mast at the same time. Or, later in the afternoon or if you just move a couple of blocks, getting you connected to another mast. Usually, it's even easier. If you find yourself with a less than ideal connection, you just disconnect and connect again and most of the times you then get a better allotment. A bit like getting a "better line" in the old land line voice world. And this restriction on data traffic will probably not go away until the operators see that they actually have more data then voice in their books.

In Soviet Russia (0, Redundant)

kevlarcowboy (996973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222612)

...Bluetooth transfers you !

Beaten Black and Blue (3, Funny)

Unanimous Cowturd (891079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17222846)

Slow Bluetooth on Blackberry? Who greenlighted this decision? This makes me see red. If they ever catch the yellow, lily-livered blackguard, I hope they give him a pink slip. - - Orange you glad I stopped after two lines?

Re:Beaten Black and Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17224534)

Nope, I'm green with envy

RIM cripples blog (1)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223284)

Either this guy hosts his blog on his Blackberry, or he's slashdotted.

Bluetooth (1)

tomlennon (1033406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223434)

A little bit of the point has been missed here. Sadly, Bluetooth has devolved from a wireless communication protocol to a marketing idiom by industries which are more driven to leverage the moniker than adhere to the protocol itself. Unlike IEEE's 802.11 protocols, which focus on data transfer which by nature cannot be altered, Bluetooth offers a protocol that drives a smörgåsbord of services, which were intended to be delivered as a package yet in reality are being cherry-picked to insert into devices. What really grinds my gears is not how a specific Bluetooth function performs on a device (such as the modem link), but how a device is marketed to have Bluetooth functionality, but then device-appropriate functions are disabled (such as Verizon's disabling of OBEX file transfer on cell-phones, to keep data over the profit-generating network). IMHO, if you're going to offer Bluetooth, offer the full catalog of device-specific features, not all of which are enabled on any RIM device.

see, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17223492)

mistakes are too stupid to allow you to do things,
but that was stupid, but since you know i said this, you will go do it.
tell everybody, thx. see ya niggas.

I doubt it (1)

Dr. Sp0ng (24354) | more than 7 years ago | (#17223518)

Older model BlackBerrys (i.e. pre-Pearl) do not support Bluetooth dialup networking, so anything that makes this work is a hack and should be expected to work as such.

The Pearl, however (and most likely the not-yet-released 8800) *does* support this, and it does it with the standard Bluetooth profile for doing this sort of thing - no hack required. I regularly connect my laptop through my Pearl over Bluetooth, and it works beautifully in both OS X and Windows. It's not very speedy, but I do get 10-15k/sec downloads, which is good enough for what I use it for.

RIM is getting *better* about Bluetooth crippling, not worse. But if you try to force an older model to do something it wasn't designed for, don't be surprised when it doesn't work as well as you had hoped.

Probably the telcos pressured them to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17224490)

Do this...

I'm wildly speculating about this, howver you can imagine how the telcos can influence such a 'limitation'

Heck, we'll see this with the wifi handoff being mysteriously disabled/crippled/perform crappy or just be taken out entirely.

Doesn't affect the Pearl (1)

Aquatic (35016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17227584)

...but then the Pearl has a far more capable bluetooth stack to begin with. I installed the latest T-Mobile firmware update earlier this week and have had no speed problems when using the phone as a bluetooth modem (only through OS X, as I don't have a Windows laptop).
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