BlackBerry awarded nearly $815M in arbitration against Qualcomm

BlackBerry today has announced a binding interim arbitration decision awarding BlackBerry $814,868,350.00 in royalty overpayments made to Qualcomm Incorporated. As noted, hearings were held in San Diego, California from February 27, 2017 to March 3, 2017 under Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services rules.

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Hello CrackBerry Nation!

When I initially brought CrackBerry Kevin out of retirement for the month of February to celebrate 10 Years of CrackBerry, I wasn't expecting to have nearly as much fun as I've been having. I also had no expectations that the festivities would continue beyond February and the end of Mobile World Congress.

Following my hosting duties at the BlackBerry KEYone launch event, the fine folks at BlackBerry Mobile let me leave Barcelona with a couple of KEYone engineering samples so I could show them off to other BlackBerry fans itching to get a first look at the KEYone. I did just that in March by hosting a handful of awesome CrackBerry meetups in cities like Toronto, Winnipeg, Miami and New York.

Now here we are, it's April and as we get closer to the rollout of the KEYone I'm happy to say the fun isn't stopping anytime soon.

Listen up for a few announcements that I hope you will all appreciate:

1. BlackBerry Mobile is sponsoring the CrackBerry website for 2017!

BlackBerry Mobile made the unveiling of the KEYone truly memorable by financially supporting us to bring 10 CrackBerry members to Barcelona to attend the event in person.

I'm happy to say that we've now entered into an advertising partnership with BlackBerry Mobile that will be kicking off soon. This means you can expect to see tasteful, fast-loading ads for the KEYone running on the CrackBerry website. It also means we'll continue to keep turned off all the slow-loading, junky units that I know so many of you dislike but have helped pay the bills to keep this site going.

The BIG benefit of this advertising relationship FOR YOU is that it's going to allow me to take the CrackBerry experience to the next level. I'm loving the KEYone and am all-in on doing what I personally can to get BlackBerry Smartphones back on the map again, so you can expect the proceeds to get invested into making CrackBerry extra awesome. More giveaways, more content and even a revamped site design and app are in the works. It also means I can dedicate more of my time to activities like hosting CrackBerry meetups!

If you're wondering whether anything will change content-wise around here because of CrackBerry receiving advertising dollars, the answer is, not really. You can expect the same CrackBerry Kevin as always, along with the same 'ole Bla1ze. More on us remaining objective below. I'm also looking to grow the editorial team and add some new personalities into the CrackBerry mix. One name you won't see though on CrackBerry anymore is James Nieves, because…

2. James Nieves is leaving CrackBerry and will be supporting BlackBerry Mobile!

James only recently started contributing to CrackBerry, but many of you in the BlackBerry community know him from his years running BerryFlow. James has always been an extremely passionate BlackBerry fan and supporter and is now going to level up by supporting BlackBerry Mobile behind the scenes on their social game.

It's a little bittersweet as James was a fantastic addition to CrackBerry, but overall I think this is just a simply fantastic move for both James and BlackBerry Mobile that will ultimately help benefit all of us BlackBerry users. For James it's his dream gig, for BlackBerry Mobile it's pure win as they gain an individual truly passionate for the brand who understands the needs of their long-term users, and for all of us I think we can agree it's just awesome to see. All the best to James and I know he'll do great things and make us proud.

3. Dark Theme and More Coming to CrackBerry!

The last major update we made to the CrackBerry website was rolled out when BlackBerry 10 was getting ready to launch. The KEYone marks a new era for BlackBerry so we're going to mark the occasion with a BIG update to CrackBerry to match. And yes, CrackBerry is finally getting a dark theme. Having seen all of the designs, all I can say is IT LOOKS SOOOO NICE. We also have a big update to our CrackBerry Android app in the works.

Screw The Good 'Ole Days; Let's Make the New Days Even Better!

I hope you read the words above and felt the same level of excitement as I have right now. When I came out of retirement in February it was with the aim of bringing back the "good 'ole days of BlackBerry" on CrackBerry. Reflecting on the past two months and thinking ahead on what we have planned, I had the realization it's time to quit trying to re-live the past and instead focus on creating a new era of BlackBerry awesome. Per the announcements above, I truly believe we can rebuild this community and make it better than ever.

On Disclaimers and Remaining Objective - Over our 10 Years of CrackBerry we have had many advertising sponsorships, including occasional campaigns with BlackBerry. Per disclosure rules, any content that is specifically sponsored always gets labeled as such. Since this new BlackBerry Mobile sponsorship is a broad advertising sponsorship, we'll be baking in a note at the at the top of the site (i.e. 10 Years of CrackBerry brought to you by BlackBerry Mobile) and we've updated our site footer as well with the following verbiage:

You could call us biased, and you wouldn't be wrong, because at CrackBerry we love BlackBerry and think you should own a BlackBerry Smartphone! We also work as a community support and marketing partner with BlackBerry and BlackBerry Mobile. Our immense passion and knowledge of BlackBerry by our editors and community members make this the best resource for BlackBerry you'll find anywhere!

As part of this disclosure, for personalities like CrackBerry Kevin and Bla1ze on Twitter or Instagram, you may occasionally see us add additional disclosures like #sponsored or #ad on posts related to BlackBerry Mobile product sales. Our social content is always our own, but we just want to be frank and make it obvious with our readers that we're effectively paid supporters of BlackBerry Mobile due to their advertising on CrackBerry.

As for our ability to remain objective during periods of sponsorship, I'll copy and paste in part of a reply I left in the CrackBerry forums the other week on this topic:

When I launched CrackBerry, it was biased by definition and by design. I mean, the site is dedicated to BlackBerry. We're a pro-BlackBerry type of site, even when we haven't always been happy or agreed with everything the company has done over the years (I like to think of us as the coach on the sidelines cheering on their team to win even when yelling at the players). CrackBerry definitely is not and has never claimed to be a journalist-run organization. This is a community by BlackBerry users and fans, for BlackBerry users and fans, that aims to set out to help all BlackBerry users... and we've always felt the world would be a better place if everybody used a BlackBerry so we always put a lot of effort and have a lot of fun covering the newest devices. I think we're always pretty damn objective though as we're more passionate and knowledgeable about this stuff than anybody else out there writing or talking about it.

CrackBerry runs independent of BlackBerry, but over the years there have been times when we work more closely together, whether on marketing initiatives or advertising campaigns or support initiatives. If a content piece or initiative is specifically sponsored, we disclose that. Back in 2013 for example we ran the big BlackBerry-sponsored Talk Mobile campaigns, and at times you'll see advertising running on the site for BlackBerry. We've always had a good working relationship over the years.

If you have any questions based on all that, I'll linger around the comments for a bit so I can answer them.

It's been an exciting start to 2017 and the best is yet to come. I hope you join us for the ride and spread the word that it's time to buy BlackBerry Smartphone again!

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CrackBerry Podcast - Leadership and Privacy

CrackBerry Podcast - Leadership and Privacy

Looking to get caught up on the latest BlackBerry news? Make sure you check out the latest episode of the CrackBerry Podcast!

If you missed out on tuning into the CrackBerry podcast live on Sunday, you can now go ahead and check out the video or grab the audio. This week on tap for myself and Simon Sage was the news of John Chen being named Executive of the Year, what makes the BlackBerry KEYone keyboard the smartest smartphone keyboard. Plus, we dig into BlackBerry's stance on privacy in light of new FCC legislation. We kept things brief, so it's an easy listen. No Kevin rants, which, could be a plus or a minus depending on how you look at it. ;)

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On-demand viewing enabled for BlackBerry Webinars

On-demand viewing enabled for BlackBerry Webinars

BlackBerry has recently opened up Webcast Central for on-demand viewing. Webcast Central is an archive of different informational webinars that BlackBerry hosts regularly. This web spot also hosts upcoming webinars so you can check it out to know what's coming next.

Right now there are about 20 webinars you can go through and watch if you want to level up your enterprise know-how and learn more about BlackBerry Enterprise solutions.

The resource is for those who want to find out more about the products and services BlackBerry offers. They cover a range of topics from AtHoc product demos to details on Samsung Knox integration with BlackBerry UEM.

BlackBerry Webcast Central

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Here's how you can become an ethical hacker

Here's how you can become an ethical hacker

As the cyber world grows, so does the requirement for security personnel. One of the best ways to test security is to breach it — it's often hard to find a hole until something passes through it. The people who do this type of work are known as ethical hackers, and they are in high demand. Companies would rather have someone on their side breaching their security, rather than someone unknown or hostile. Maybe you've always fancied yourself a tech guru, or maybe you're just starting out. Either way, you're probably wondering how to get started down the path of cyber security.

Save big on this new skill Learn More

Right now, CrackBerry Offers has a fantastic deal on lifetime access to nearly 90 courses and 16 hours of information to get you ready. This package ultimately delivers [training you'll need to fast track your career](https://digitaloffers.crackberry.com/sales/become-an-ethical-hacker-bonus-bundle?utm_source=crackberry.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=become-an-ethical-hacker-bonus-bundle_041117&utm_term=scsf-228302. The best part? It's going to set you back only $49 rather than the regular $700. No, that's not a typo; that's a 92% discount.

Being at the cutting edge of progress is never a bad idea, especially when it comes to your career. As job availability decreases and automation ramps up, individuals with specialized careers will be patting themselves on the back. One thing that doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon is the need for tech security, so why not get started on this course today? Some of the highlights include:

  • Access 89 lectures & 16 hours of content 24/7
  • Understand how to bypass different security layers after getting proper approval
  • Learn how to compromise computers, crack passwords, crash systems & compromise applications
  • Run a buffer overflow from scratch
  • Stride towards a career in this fast-growing IT profession

Become an ethical hacker now! Learn More

Sick of your dead-end job? Want to make a ton of money and help a lot of people stay safe? Get in at the ground level and make the tech industry work for you, not against you. This is a lot of education for a very low price — check it out today before the offer ends.

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Many SanDisk microSD cards, SSDs and flash drives are at all-time lows today

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with great savings on a variety of SanDisk memory products.

Amazon's one-day sale scores up to 35% off a variety of SanDisk's memory products ranging from high capacity microSD cards to portable Solid State Drives. SanDisk has been in the business for a long time and many people use its products daily and speak quite highly of them.

Whether you are looking to add some extra storage to your phone or camera, or are in the market for a new solid-state drive for your computer, you won't want to miss these discounts. Some of the items on sale include:

microSD cards

Flash Drives

Solid State Drives

There are a few other products not listed here that are also included in this deal. For a full list of the items be sure to hit the link below. Remember, these prices are only good for today, April 11, while supplies last so don't miss out!

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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Protect your BlackBerry Classic with this slim case for $20 today

Looking for a case to protect your BlackBerry Classic that isn't super bulky? If so, Seidio's Surface case may be one of the best options out there, and today you can grab one for $20.

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Here are the winners for our BBM Enterprise lifetime subscription giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the competition to win a BBM Enterprise license for life.

I have sincerely enjoyed reading the entries and seeing the support and understanding #TeamCrackBerry has for BlackBerry's new strategy.

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Save on Bluetooth headphones, charging accessories and more with Anker's Easter Sale

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with some great deals on Anker accessories!

Anker, one of our favorite accessory makers, is currently discounting a bunch of its accessories ahead of Easter. Whether you are looking for some new headphones or a wireless charger, there is a solid variety of discounts here. These discounts are 15% or more off the regular price of the items, so you'll want to look through them and see what you need for yourself or as a gift for someone else.

The best deals include:

These deals are set to run from now through April 17, while supply lasts. To be sure you don't miss out on the lower prices, be sure to grab what you are interested in now!

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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BlackBerry earns 5-Star rating in CRN's 2017 Partner Program Guide

Although BlackBerry is no stranger to winning awards and certifications for their services, it never hurts to add even more. This time around, as noted by Richard McLeod, Global Vice-President of Enterprise Software Channels at BlackBerry, via the Inside BlackBerry blog, BlackBerry has now earned a 5-Star rating in CRN's 2017 Partner Program Guide for their BlackBerry Solutions Provider Program.

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Listen to your favorite tunes in the shower or by the pool with this $10 Bluetooth speaker

Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time with a great deal on a waterproof Bluetooth speaker.

I don't know about you, but I like to listen to music everywhere. In my office, the car, by the pool and even the shower. Right now you can pick up this waterproof Bluetooth speaker from VicTsing for just $9.99 with coupon code LV5Z4QLT, which is a savings of $9 from its regular price. The speaker has a small footprint so it doesn't take up much space, but is designed to still be loud enough to hear over the running water or when using it outside. Battery life won't be much of a concern with this one as it's rated for around 7 hours of playback with the volume at 70%.

The hexagonal shape allows the speaker to be a bit more durable and robust, and it can balance on each side so you can set it down anywhere without worrying. Odds are this deal won't stick around too long, so be sure to grab one now!

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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The smartest smartphone KEYboard

The smartest smartphone KEYboard

I was tight on studio time this week but found a few minutes to fire things up for another CBK video. You don't call a phone KEYone without a big part of the story being about the KEYboard, so in this video I dive into what makes it so damn smart.

A few weeks ago on Valentine's Day I posted a gush fest video about why physical keyboards still rock and will have a place in the smartphone world for years to come despite the majority of devices these days being touchscreen slabs. If you missed that video, you can watch it here.

In this video I followed up with another video about the BlackBerry KEYone's KEYboard and what makes it so fantastically smart. Of course, if you're reading this on CrackBerry you're likely already up to speed with the KEYboard's awesomeness. Like many keyboard smartphones before it, you can program shortcuts which make the phone more immediately useful every time you pick it up (short press & long press options make these shortcuts even smarter). And like some newer BlackBerry keyboard models, you can also swipe on the keyboard like a trackpad. The KEYone goes a step further adding a fingerprint sensor to the spacebar, which still boggles my mind every time I use it (basically magic!).

I hope you enjoy the video! It's meant to be fun and entertaining and a little informative - we'll definitely do deeper dives into the KEYone's keyboard in the weeks ahead! If you do enjoy the video, I really do appreciate any Shares and Thumbs Ups you can give to the video on YouTube (that'll help re-kickstart our channel a bit), and if you're not subscribed then PLEASE SUBSCRIBE! The more people who watch them the more we'll make! Be sure to turn on notifications so you don't miss any!

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John Chen: 'We make it our business not to know your business'

In the United States, new legislation signed Monday night means that soon internet service providers (ISPs) will be able to legally monitor your online activity. Previously these providers had to get customer permission in advance through an opt-in process. The new FCC internet privacy rules have some concerned as customer information under the previous administration had stricter regulations.

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BlackBerry begins rollout of April Android security update

Keeping in line with their monthly security update schedule, the BlackBerry Security Incident Response Team on Twitter has now let it be known that BlackBerry has begun their rollout of the April Android update. Once downloaded and installed, you should see your security patch level set as April 1, 2017, or later.

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Learn the ins and outs of Excel for $39

Learn the ins and outs of Excel for $39

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used programs in business. It helps companies take care of their books, pay employees, build plans, and much, much more. You can probably get the very basics of Excel, but if you're looking into a job where proficiency is a big asset and/or required, chances are you'll need a little more help.

Master Excel for $39 Learn more

There are many courses that teach you how to use Excel — you can likely take many at local schools and colleges — but these courses can be quite costly, and then there's the fact that you have to leave home and learn on someone else's time.

eLearnExcel Microsoft Excel School is perfect if you want to learn all there is to know about Excel, on your own time. By enrolling in the school, you'll receive a lifetime subscription to eight complete courses, so you can learn at your leisure and refer back to the material when you need a little help. These courses are usually $999 altogether, but through CrackBerry Digital Offers, you'll pay just $39. That's a savings of 96%.

Master Excel for $39 Learn more

If you're looking to delve into the business world in any capacity, it's a great idea to brush up on your Excel knowledge. If you want to truly excel (see what I did there?) in the business world, then it's a great idea to know Microsoft Excel like the back of your hand. Just don't go spending $1000 on courses when you can spend just $39 for a lifetime subscription to Excel School at CrackBerry Digital Offers.

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John Chen named Executive of the Year by Ascend Canada

John Chen named Executive of the Year by Ascend Canada

Ascend Canada has announced the recipients for their 4th Annual Ascend Canada Leadership Awards. Among the five individuals recognized at the gala celebrations on April 4th, was BlackBerry CEO John Chen who took home the award for Executive of the Year.

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BlackBerry Secure webinar taking place on April 6

BlackBerry Secure webinar taking place on April 6

Find out how BlackBerry is securing the connected world in a new webinar that airs tomorrow afternoon. The showcase will feature David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer at BlackBerry. Kleidermacher will be joined by Alex Manea and Jonathan Jackson to discuss BlackBerry Secure and what this terminology means as BlackBerry advances BlackBerry UEM (Unified endpoint management) formerly known as BES. The dialog will include strategies around collaboration and boosting mobile productivity.

BlackBerry will elaborate on the end-to-end nature of their security implementation and discuss the rich developer platforms and secure communication tools that can help elevate your business to embrace the Enterprise of Things.

The Internet of Things is transforming how we live and work. With more connected things, comes more potential vulnerabilities. BlackBerry is uniquely qualified to address this emerging market need – we secure, manage and connect the Enterprise of Things via BlackBerry Secure. Being BlackBerry Secure means enterprise-wide solutions that recognizes vulnerability wherever it lies.

Join our webinar hosted by David Kleidermacher, Chief Security Officer at BlackBerry, to find out how BlackBerry is securely connecting the world through:

  • Comprehensive unified endpoint management with industry-leading security
  • Best-in-class secure mobile productivity and collaboration for improved operations
  • Rich development platform for enhanced custom/partner app enablement
  • Secure communications infrastructure for complete end-to-end protection
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    What happens when BlackBerry gobbles up your startup?

    What happens when BlackBerry gobbles up your startup?

    You work at a startup, then out of nowhere 'BlackBerry' of all companies swoops in and buys you up for $59 million in cash. You're now an enterprise developer, and your work culture has entirely shifted. But what happens next?

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    Anonymously surf the web across all your devices for only $60

    Privacy is everything nowadays. It's hotly debated online, in political forums, and huge corporations are regularly selling our information so that other corporations can, in turn, make money off of us as well. A lot of folks are OK with that and view it as "just the way the world works" and other folks are tinfoil and don't even have a landline telephone. But you don't have to belong to either extreme camp — you can meet privacy and online freedom right in the middle.

    Subscribe to Private Internet Access for $60 Learn more

    What you need is a VPN or "virtual private network". A VPN helps you browse the web anonymously by masking your online identity, thus preventing data mining, blocking ads and malware, cloaks your IP address, and more. In an age where identity theft, cloud leaks, and more are made easier thanks to the internet, you can protect yourself and feel at ease online.

    The Private Internet Access VPN allows you to use up to five devices at once without limiting bandwidth so that you and the rest of your family can browse the internet in anonymity. This type of service is usually $166 for a two-year subscription, but through Android Central Digital Offers, you can subscribe for $59.95, a savings of 63%. This VPN is perfect if you worry about your online privacy or if you like to view content from all over the world, since it bypasses censorship filters, freeing you from geographic filters. And, if the VPN connection is unexpectedly terminated, you can flip off your internet connection with a killswitch, so that you're not left open to any type of online attack.

    Subscribe to Private Internet Access for $60 Learn more

    If you hate online ads and you prefer your online identity and personal information to remain a secret, then a VPN is just what you need. Viewing unrestricted content from around the world is a bonus! You could end up spending hundreds on a VPN, especially if you're signing up for a multi-year period, but at Android Central Digital Offers, you can subscribe to Private Internet Access for only $59.95 and browse safely, securely, and most importantly: anonymously.

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    To be honest, CrackBerrians are like... umm.. the COOLEST Complainers [Podcast]

    Following BlackBerry's Q4 2017 Earnings Report and Conference Call, we fired up the CrackBerry Podcast machine to discuss all of the BlackBerry news that was, including the KEYone elephant in the room.

    Buckle up, it's time for another CrackBerry Podcast! Going into this show (recorded live Sunday night) I wasn't expecting it to be a super fun one, but fun we had!! Continuing our series of CrackBerry 10th Anniversary Podcasts, our special guest on this episode was the incredibly talented and TALL Simon Sage. Simon's blogging in BlackBerry goes back almost ten years where he first got his start on a site called BlackBerryCool. At the end of show we reminisce about some of those early days.

    We kicked things off though focusing on all the BlackBerry news of the week, including the company's Q4 2017 Earnings Report. From there we of course addressed the KEYone elephant in room regarding the timing of the KEYone's rollout. We also spent some time debating the best way to continue rolling out CrackBerry Meetups around the globe - I think we came up with a clever idea for that and I'd love to hear your feedback on it. And we covered a WHOLE bunch more than that, so you'll have to listen in.

    As for the title of this episode? Well, if you listen to the entire show you're going to agree it's a fitting title. :)

    I hope you enjoy the show!!

    PS. We're on a pretty steady cadence now of recording the podcast on Sunday evenings. The exact time will vary but if you follow @crackberry on Twitter we'll always announce it there and you can tune in live via YouTube and participate in the Q&A. We'll then post the video replay here to CrackBerry once we have the audio cleaned up and the podcast feeds updated.

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