Articles by Jared Dipane

Verizon now beta testing its FreeBee sponsored data service

Verizon has announced that it is now ready to begin beta testing its sponsored data service, called FreeBee Data. With this service, Verizon and partners hope to drive engagement with mobile content on its network by allowing customers to access various content without it impacting their data allotment for the month.

Dept of Vet Affairs is using BlackBerry's Athoc

BlackBerry's AtHoc division has scored yet another big contract, this time with the Department of Veterans Affairs to power its crisis communications. The deal, which is valued at $20 million, will have AtHoc assist the organization for multiple-year delivery of its emergency communications through pager, phone, fax and more.

Netflix to prevent proxies and unblockers

Netflix recently became available in 130 more countries, but unfortunately not every area is able to access all of its content. While Netflix works on licensing agreements, it will begin preventing customers from using proxies and unblockers to access more content. This move may not be a popular one from the company, as people obviously will want access to as much content as possible, but it is something Netflix says is necessary for its business.

Keep charged with Kmashi's 15000mAh power bank for just $12.50 with coupon code at Amazon

Kmashi's 15000mAh power bank is on sale at Amazon with the coupon code FBDXPO7W, dropping the price to just $12.50 from its usual $20. That's right, you can save $7.50 on this battery pack to keep your favorite electronics charged by just entering a simple code at checkout. Featuring dual-USB outputs, you are able to charge more than one thing at the same time.

Good Technology continues to prove its super secure

Good Technology, which is now a division of BlackBerry, has announced that several of its apps and servers have reached the highest level of certification available. These apps are ones that the company has made available on both iOS and Android, including Good Work, Good Access, Good Connect and several others.

Save on Anker's 13000mAh power bank at Amazon

Anker is offering its 13000mAh power bank with dual-USB output for just $25 at Amazon with coupon code WRS5DIQV. That's right, you can save $8 on this large battery pack that will provide you with enough power to charge your phone, tablet or just about any other electronic.

AT&T brings back unlimited plan, for some

AT&T is once again going to offer an unlimited data plan, but only if you are also a DirecTV or U-Verse subscriber. Most U.S. carriers have moved away from offering unlimited data plans and towards data buckets for families, but AT&T is going backwards here and will begin offering the new plan, but it obviously comes with a catch. You won't be able to just sign up for AT&T or change your current plan to the new unlimited plan without subscribing to either DirecTV or U-Verse.

John Chen confirms commitment to BlackBerry 10

Following the recent reports that BlackBerry was all but abandoning BlackBerry 10, John Chen has cleared the air on the company's stance regarding the operating system. The reports claimed that BlackBerry was going all-in on Android, and was leaving behind the BlackBerry 10 platform.

DBPOWER sports armband just $3.50 at Amazon

DBPOWER is offering a 50 percent savings on its sports armband at Amazon with the coupon code D4YPGOPP, so you'll only pay $3.50. There are three different size pouches to fit your smartphone of choice in it, whether it be large or small. The pouch allows you to place your smartphone, a house key, ID and even cash if you need it inside, and then it gets strapped to your arm.

QNX showcases software platform for automated driving

QNX has been busy behind the scenes, bringing a number of big announcements to CES 2016. The latest announcement from the team is a new software platform for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving. With this platform, automotive companies will be able to build a full range of automated driving systems, from informational ADAS modules that provide 360 degree surround view of the vehicle to high-performance processors that can control decisions in a fully autonomous vehicle.

QNX announces new Acoustics Management Platform

QNX, a subsidiary of BlackBerry, has announced a new Acoustics Management Platform (AMP) which it will use to manage in-car acoustics better. Currently, modern vehicles contain multiple acoustic and audio signal-processing systems that all run at the same time, often interacting with each other. Sometimes these interactions are unpredictable, making for a not-so-great experience. QNX's AMP looks to eliminate that by offering a unified approach to managing acoustics in the car, so that all the systems can work together in harmony.

You can find the full details of this new management platform below.

Press release:

QNX Introduces Holistic Approach to Managing In-Car Acoustics

New platform offers unified management of all acoustics in the car, enabling customers to reduce the cost, complexity, and time-to-production of audio signal-processing systems

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA--(Marketwired - Jan. 6, 2016) - International CES 2016, LVCC North Hall, Booth 325 - QNX Software Systems Limited, a subsidiary of BlackBerry Limited (TSX:BB)(NASDAQ:BBRY), today announced the new QNX® Acoustics Management Platform (AMP), a comprehensive solution that allows automakers to enhance the audio and acoustic experience for drivers and passengers, while reducing system costs and complexity.

Modern vehicles contain multiple acoustic and audio signal-processing systems, all running simultaneously. These systems often interact with each other in unpredictable ways, unless great care is taken to make each subsystem aware of the others. QNX AMP eliminates this integration headache by offering a unified approach to managing acoustics in the car, allowing subsystems to work together harmoniously. To further reduce software integration efforts, QNX AMP comes pre-configured with built-in audio-signal routing.

Leveraging the power of the QNX Neutrino® Realtime OS, QNX AMP uses a new, low-latency audio architecture that delivers high-performance signal processing on general-purpose application processors - with unprecedented time resolution of as low as 1 millisecond. As a result, automakers no longer have to use proprietary digital signal processing (DSP) cores or specialized external hardware to implement compute-intensive acoustics applications.

"The QNX Acoustics Management Platform is a breakthrough in automotive software. Automakers can now design and manage the sonic experience in their cars with software that runs on a wide range of automotive application processors - saving costs and shortening time-to-production, while delivering new features and high sound quality," said John Wall, Senior Vice President and Head of QNX Software Systems.

The QNX Acoustics Management Platform integrates a comprehensive suite of acoustics modules. Modules scheduled for the initial release of the platform include:

  • QNX In-Car Communication (ICC) for easier seat-to-seat conversations - For anyone who has struggled to hold a conversation in a car at highway speeds, QNX ICC enhances the voice of the driver and relays it to loudspeakers in the back of the vehicle. Instead of shouting or having to turn around to be heard, the driver can talk normally while keeping his or her eyes on the road. QNX ICC dynamically adapts to noise conditions and adds enhancement only when needed. With QNX ICC, automakers can leverage their existing handsfree telephony microphones and infotainment loudspeakers to add a feature that consumers will immediately appreciate.
  • QNX Acoustics for Voice 3.1 - Provides a high-quality handsfree telephony experience, with support for narrow and wide-band Bluetooth® audio and for next-generation smartphone telephony, concierge voice services, and cloud-based speech recognition at up to 32 kHz sample rates. QNX Acoustics for Voice 3.1 builds on the award-winning performance of QNX acoustics technology that has shipped in over 40 million automotive systems worldwide. It also adds support for the new International Telecommunications Union (ITU) P.1140 standard for emergency calling (eCall) in automotive.
  • QNX Acoustics for Active Noise Control (ANC) - Advanced technology for reducing low-frequency engine "boom" noise inside the cabin of a vehicle. QNX Acoustics for ANC continuously monitors engine operating conditions and noise levels in the car cabin, and then generates "anti-noise" that is played out of the car's loudspeakers to cancel out the offending noise. Key advantages include an extremely small code footprint, rapid calibration, and advanced stability-control features.
  • QNX Acoustics for Engine Sound Enhancement (ESE) - A complete software solution to help automakers create or maintain signature engine sounds and enhance the appeal of their vehicles. QNX Acoustics for ESE incorporates two realtime engine sound synthesis technologies - additive synthesis and a unique granular synthesis system - that allow recordings of real vehicles to be dynamically reshaped based on live engine operating conditions. It also includes an engine sound enhancement tool that enables sound designers to define engine sound profiles and interactively audition them right on their desktops.
  • Backwards-compatible interfaces and APIs - QNX AMP extends the audio infrastructure in the QNX Neutrino OS in a backwards-compatible way, allowing existing applications for telephony, speech recognition, navigation, and media playback to run without modifications.
  • Tuning, diagnosis, and analysis - QNX AMP includes an entirely new tool that allows developers to perform realtime adjustments of all system parameters, to inject or stream signals at multiple tap-points in the system, and to view realtime spectrum and waveform displays. Availability

The QNX Acoustics Management Platform is now available for preview by automotive manufacturers and suppliers. General release is scheduled for Q3 2016.

QNX car

A new collaboration between Ford and QNX hopes to create an industry standard for integrating smartphone apps into cars. Ford has ported its open source SmartDeviceLink (SDL) technology to the QNX platform, which will let drivers use voice commands, steering-wheel buttons and other in-car controls to interact with various smartphone apps.

BlackBerry Priv security patch now available

Update: The January security patch has been fully detailed by Google. Check out everything that you need to know about the update. You can also check out BlackBerry's security bulletin on for the update as well, right here.

BlackBerry is beginning to push its monthly security update to the Priv, though at this time it is not exactly known what it addresses. According to a tweet from Michael Clewley, the update is rolling out now, and will hit phones that were bought unlocked from ShopBlackBerry and select carriers first.

BlackBerry will operate in Pakistan

BlackBerry won't be pulling out of Pakistan after all. The local government has rescinded its shutdown order and dropped its request for access to BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) email and messaging content. A new post from Marty Beard, BlackBerry's Chief Operating Officer, revealed that the two reached an agreement, and that the Pakistani government was able to accept BlackBerry's position on security.

Save up to 70 percent on select Transcend memory products

Amazon is currently hosting a deal on select Transcend storage products that can save you as much as 70% on the purchase. Whether you are looking for a microSD card or a full sized SD card, or want a solid-state drive for your computer, this deal has you covered.

Verizon

Verizon is now offering up to $650 per line to those who are looking to make the switch to its network. We've seen other carriers offer to pay your switching costs, and now those looking to jump to Verizon's network can do so without a huge financial impact.

BlackBerry's AtHoc selected by Dept of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded its deployment of BlackBerry's AtHoc, this time to the Farm Services Administration. AtHoc helps organizations ensure safe and effective communications, like alerts, messages and more, during times of emergency.

With this expansion, more than 15,000 personnel from the department will be covered for emergency communication and personnel accountability.

Save $5 on unlocking BlackBerry 10 phones

If you've got a BlackBerry 10 smartphone that you want to use on another carrier, you'll want to check out this deal from GetUnlocked. With coupon code CRACKBERRYXMAS you'll be able to save $5 on the cost of the unlocking service. To unlock your phone, all you'll need is the IMEI number, which you can find in the phone's Settings, and then a payment method.

BlackBerry Priv update pushing from AT&T

As promised, AT&T is now pushing its first update to the BlackBerry Priv, bringing along with it a number of changes. The update, which was released to unlocked phones last week, brings camera enhancements, security patches and more to the smartphone.

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