Rock Legend, Author, Father - Duff McKagan stays a step ahead with BlackBerry

Normally, I'm not really a fan of celebrities speaking on which smartphones they use simply because there's always that lingering thought of whether or not they really use the device or if are they just doing it for the money. Plus, these days it instantly becomes a witch hunt to see if they're using the device. Folks lurk around, waiting for a Tweet or some other scenario where they catch the celeb using something else but a new post over at the Inside BlackBerry blog featuring veteran Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver bassist and downright rock legend, Duff McKagan, has to be highlighted.

As the article notes, McKagan is a very busy individual. Aside from being an author of magazine columns and New York Times best-selling books, he's also founder of a wealth management firm, member of several popular bands that continue to sell out arenas worldwide and a husband and father. To help keep it all under control, he relies on a BlackBerry. More specifically, a Porsche Design P'9983. In his latest book, How to Be a Man (and other illusions), McKagan has a whole chapter on why it lines up perfectly with his work style.

"A BlackBerry is for business. For my business, it's a place to check and respond to e-mails, post my gig dates through Twitter, and write my columns," McKagan said. "I'm a grown man now, father of two teenaged girls, a working musician, published author, who lives a clean, healthy lifestyle. People ask me how I manage all of this. I tell them there are no secrets. You wake up every morning and you have a certain amount of hours to fill with whatever you want. Use those hours, be passionate about creating things, and working with people, and creating community and you'll be amazed at what you can accomplish."

"I always loved writing, but I feel like I really started writing when I got my BlackBerry," said McKagan. "It was the first time I could take these crazy thoughts in my head and actually get them out. This little device became my journal on the road. Backstage and in hotel rooms all over the world, I typed and typed and typed."

"my Blackberry is the hub of my productivity. I have written probably 250,000 words on the BlackBerry. It's wild to think I've literally written two books with it, authored a ton of columns, and recorded vocal and guitar riffs that end up being huge parts of songs that we lay down at the studio. It keeps me organized and energized and secure that all of my information is genuinely safe and private."

McKagan also touches on security and privacy of his BlackBerry as his wealth management firm is aimed at musicians, and he often has to deal with other people's financial information. Productivity is key as well for McKagan, noting his BlackBerry is a tuned instrument for what he needs to do.

"People in my family have an iPhone. For me, it's just impossible to type on it and be fluid," said McKagan. "It's kind of like trying to play this cheap guitar and not being able the finger the thing. That's what an iPhone is to me. My BlackBerry, meanwhile, is an instrument tuned for what I need to do."

Perhaps the most interesting highlight here, and the one I relate to most and why this is an awesome article for me, comes by way of McKagan's comments on loyalty from his book.

"I stand up for my gadget and am constantly amazed by iPhone snobbery. But, really, this speaks to how we deal with loyalty. I'm a loyal motherf**ker. I know a bunch of us are. Whether it's OG punk rock or rap, Calvin Klein briefs, Pennzoil, or the girl that we love, there are men of this modern age who insist on loyalty… Loyal people grew up with a good dog. Loyal people have a mom they think is a saint. Loyal people get disappointed when others break their trust. Loyal people stay with their BlackBerry…

The BlackBerry is a rare species to spot in the wild these days, but it's out there. We BlackBerry users know who each other are, and I sense a whiff of dignified air when we cross paths. We nod knowingly. BlackBerry owners are the ones taking care of all of the real business that makes our world go around… You all wouldn't know this stuff. You're too busy posting to Instagram, while we're busy getting it done."

Duff is right and I fully suggest you read the full article on the Inside BlackBerry blog, right now if you haven't already and be sure to check out the Work Creative page BlackBerry has also put up featuring Duff.

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Top Speed Race

While there may be quite a few car racing games available in the storefront, there is always room for one more, at least in my opinion. The latest release from Thunderbull Entertainment is certainly a drag racing game filled with action, stunning visuals, and customization. As someone who spent the better part of her youth playing racing games, albeit with those clunky wheel attachments, I was not going to pass up the opportunity to try this out.

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Grab a tempered glass protector for your AT&T Passport today — only $19.95!

Made from a high grade glass with a 9H hardness rating, VITREO is shatterproof — allowing it to absorb more impact than your regular PET screen protector and prevent damage from occurring to your screen. The precise tapered edges protect the weakest points on your device to make this a reliable and more durable against cracks.

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Sprint's Family Share Pack offers 10GB of shared data on four lines for $100 per month

Sprint has announced the introduction of new family plans, aiming particularly for T-Mobile and its plans. The Sprint Family Share Pack offers four lines with unlimited talk and text, with 10GB of shared high-speed data for $100 per month.

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For the second time in the past year we recently ran a poll asking BlackBerry 10 users "How often are you using BlackBerry Blend?" For those that missed the post, the initial poll was ran back when Blend first became available. However, at that moment in time it would only run on a couple of devices. Now that all BlackBerry 10 handsets are compatible it was time to get a real reflection on how many of you are 'Blending' on a daily basis.

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Home Screen Plus - 1000 free copies available!

Home Screen Plus

If you're looking to customize your BlackBerry 10 device and extend its capabilities, then you'll certainly want to give Home Screen Plus a look. If you're not familiar with Home Screen Plus, it's an awesome device customization tool that offers a wide array of features including a built-in wallpaper changer, widgets and a SuperBar feature to display additional information below the status bar on your home screen (and on the lock screen) and much more.

A new update has now been released for all existing users with a ton of bug fixes and improvements but to help spread the reach of the app, ShaoSoft has offered up 1,000 free copies to CrackBerry readers. All you have to do is open up BlackBerry World, swipe from the top, go to Redeem and enter in code CBHSPFREE and you'll have access to one of the free copies while supplies last. If you miss out on a free copy, you can also grab Home Screen Plus for only $1.99.

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If you're a WhatsApp user who likes to check out their beta offerings, you'll want to load up the BlackBerry Beta Zone and grab the latest release. Appearing today, this release has the usual miscellaneous fixes and updates but also includes updates to how the app works with their web client as well as some improvements to their mark read and unread features. As always, they offered up the full changelog, so have a look.

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Verizon XLTE hits six new cities, including Jackson and Selma

Verizon has announced that it has expanded its XLTE service to six more cities across the U.S. Verizon has over 400 total XLTE markets, with the service providing up to double the speed of standard 4G LTE. Both the BlackBerry Classic and the Z30 are compatible with XLTE.

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'Tis the season for hot days and even hotter savings on everything BlackBerry.

Share the summer cheer this week here at ShopCrackBerry where you'll find your favorite BlackBerry accessories at an amazing 20% discount through midnight, July 31! Take a peek and you'll see sleighfuls of popular items like charging docks, cases and covers, batteries, car mounts, and plenty more for all the latest and greatest BlackBerry devices.

Once you've stuffed your cart, use the coupon code: CJ715 for an instant 20% discount on all your items. Also, don't forget that we offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50 within the continental US, as well as expedited options at reasonable rates.

Take me shopping!

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WatchDox by BlackBerry

Looking to learn more about how WatchDox works? If so, you'll want to get yourself registered for the WatchDox live product demo webcast. There are two sessions that you can attend; one begins at 10 AM EDT, and the other begins at 8 PM EDT on July 29, with each lasting approximately 45 minutes.

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Latest update to BBM for iOS brings bug fixes and improvements

Looking to keep things in line, across all the platforms the app supports, BlackBerry has now posted up a new build of BBM for iOS. Just as with the latest BlackBerry 10 and Android releases, the changelog on this one isn't exactly huge and only highlights bug fixes and improvements as the key additions. Still, it's an update, so go ahead and give it a go and let us know in the comments if it's working any better for you with this release versus how it was working before.

Download BBM for iOS

Thanks, Noah!

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Contest Reminder: Last Chance to win a BLUE BlackBerry Classic!

S'up CrackBerry Nation? Just chiming in quick with a friendly reminder that time is running out to get in for your chance to win a Beautiful BLUE BlackBerry Classic courtesy of me (try saying that sentence fast three times). I became smitten with this phone the second I laid eyes on it, so decided I'd give one away.

Entering for your chance to win is easy. You need to jump over to the video on youtube and leave a comment to the video there (be sure to subscribe to the channel while you're there so you never a miss a video or contest!). The entry deadline is Midnight Pacific time on July 31st.

We'll announce the winner here on CrackBerry, and on my twitter account and BBM channel.

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August 1 marks the 10th Anniversary of BBM

August 1 marks the 10th Anniversary of BBM

August 1, 2005. That's the day that hundreds of people started downloading BlackBerry Messenger v1.0 for the very first time as BlackBerry Principal Architect and main creator of BBM, Gary Klassen nervously sat at his desk. Originally planned for release as a part of BES 4.1, only a small number of employees were involved with the first version of BBM, which was to be called QuickMessenger until Jeremy Kettle came up with the term BBM - BlackBerry Messenger - during a meeting. A name that ultimately ended up being added to the English Collins Dictionary in 2012.

Speaking on those beginnings with the Inside BlackBerry Blog, Jonathan Nobles, the first product manager for BBM in 2005 recalled some of the early days of BBM.

"We were experimenting with various instant messaging ideas. We discovered that if we took the existing PIN to PIN solution and wrapped it in a nice GUI (Graphical user interface), we had a great product".

A highlight of the early days confirmed by BlackBerry Principal Architect and main creator of BBM, Gary Klassen, who noted.

"PIN to PIN [messaging] always had D's and R's," he said, referring to status updates showing when messages were Delivered and Read by users, "but they weren't on by default". Turning those features on in BBM created a pioneering sense of real-time presence that's now standard for many instant messaging applications.

"BBM was the first form of text communication that was instant, cross-carrier, and mobile, in a time when people were still attached to their PCs," says Klassen, who still invents things as a principal architect at BlackBerry. "With desktop IM's, you could show up as 'online', but you might not be at your computer. BBM was the first to be always with you, and you were truly always 'online'."

From there, BBM grew immensely thanks to the speed in which messages were delivered in addition to its low-bandwidth requirements. Today, new features have taken BBM to a level that was never really thought of at the time of its original development. As the Inside BlackBerry Blog notes, BBM has now become a social media platform, a medium for advertising, gaming and m-commerce, and the foundation of business-collaboration and highly-secure messaging services. Looking for some more background on BBM? Check out our video from CrackBerry Live with Gary Klassen. I think we'll have to have a contest on August 1. ;)

Background Image Via: Pootermobile

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Gartner names WatchDox by BlackBerry a visionary in Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing

BlackBerry has now announced that WatchDox by BlackBerry has been named a "Visionary" in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) for the second consecutive year.

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BerryFlow Upstream Podcast - AtHoc


Did you miss out on checking out BerryFlow Upstream live? If so, you can now watch the video or download the audio for playback. This week, we discuss the BlackBerry Security summit, BlackBerry's AtHoc acquisition, the BlackBerry 'Dallas' arrival at the FCC, new DoD approvals and much, much more.

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Pakistan government asks to stop use of BES in country

The Pakistan government has asked mobile phone operators to discontinue the use of BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) in the country by November 30. The government is citing security concerns around the enterprise services, and the decision was made following a meeting of several government departments in mid-July.

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BlackBerry App Roundup for July 24, 2015

Howdy CrackBerry nation! Hope you all are having a fantastic week. It is time once again to make sure you are all caught up with what happened since our last roundup. One of the more important events was the BlackBerry Security Summit with our own EiC there in person covering it live. Quite a bit of news came out of this event including more information on the AtHoc acqusitions and an update on the Secusmart. In other news, several Canadian carriers are rolling out the OS 10.3.2 update, Mobile Nations introduced Kicked TV which focuses on various crowdfunding projects, and there is an awesome contest whereby you can win a BlackBerry Leap and other goodies. However, make sure you follow the instructions to the letter.

Now it's time to bring you this week's picks for all your passionate BlackBerry addicts out there. You can find each app and game I've rustled up for you by clicking through the gallery below. If your favorite did not make the cut this week, remember you can help by offering your suggestions at the end.

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BlackBerry 'Dallas' arrives at the FCC

BlackBerry 'Dallas' arrives at the FCC

Following up on the news of the BlackBerry Dallas getting certified for Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, the device has now appeared at the FCC using the known model number of L6ARHR190LW / SQW100-4. As with most FCC listings, the filing doesn't offer much by way of new information but it does mean the device is progressing through all the proper channels.

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FCC approves AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV

The FCC has voted to approve AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV, just a few days after FCC chairman Tom Wheeler recommended the commission do just that. In its approval statement, however, the FCC has outlined some conditions to which AT&T had to agree in order to receive approval.

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BlackBerry extends security focus to the Internet of Things

BlackBerry is looking to make everything more secure, and the latest effort from the company may be aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT). At its recent Security Summit — which you can watch again here — the company had very little to say about hardware, and everything to say about security. On stage, there was a demonstration showing just how easily someone could hack into an IV pump in a hospital, and BlackBerry is looking to make that even safer for everyone.

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