BlackBerry Passport Now Available

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2014 by itnerd

The BlackBerry Passport is available today at TELUS MobilityRogers WirelessBell MobilityMTS Wireless and SaskTel Wireless.

The BlackBerry Passport’s revolutionary touch-enabled keyboard, unique 4.5” square screen and 30-hour battery life with mixed use are built for mobile professionals who want a smartphone that empowers them to accomplish more. It’s also the first device to come preloaded with BlackBerry 10.3. This new OS release includes BlackBerry Blend, a new app that seamlessly and securely brings messaging and content that’s on your BlackBerry smartphone to your computer and tablet.

To learn more about the BlackBerry Passport and the strategy behind its design, as well as additional details about BlackBerry Blend, please find the press releases here and here. You can also expect a review of the Passport as soon as BlackBerry ships me one.

Sony Xperia Z3 Coming To Canada This Fall

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 1, 2014 by itnerd

Sony today announced that the Sony Xperia Z3 is coming to Canada this fall. This phone is waterproof, it comes with a great camera, screen and outstanding battery life. It should be really attract a lot of attention when it hits the street. Telus has already reached out that they’ll be carrying this phone. I’ve asked them for one to review and when I get one, you can expect a review shortly thereafter.

New App Allows Users To Get “Consent” Before Sex

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 1, 2014 by itnerd

There’s a new app that has hit the Apple App Store as well as Google Play that has a very unique purpose. It purports to allow the Tinder generation to make sure that there’s consent before sex. The app is called Good2Go and here’s how it works. Say you meet someone and you want to sex with them, you launch the Good2Go app hand the phone off to your potential partner, and allow them to navigate the process to determine if they are ready and willing to have sex with you.

Now this YouTube video shows how “easy” this app is to use:

Here’s how things really play out once you hand your smartphone over:

  • “Are We Good2Go?” the first screen asks, prompting the partner to answer “No, Thanks,” “Yes, but … we need to talk,” or “I’m Good2Go.”
  • If the partner chooses “No, Thanks”, a black screen pops up that reads “Remember! No means No! Only Yes means Yes, BUT can be changed to NO at anytime!”
  • If they opt instead to have a conversation before deciding the app pauses to allow both parties to discuss.
  • If they choose “I’m Good2Go.”, they then have to enter their level of sobriety. The choices are “Sober,” “Mildly Intoxicated,” “Intoxicated but Good2Go,” or “Pretty Wasted.” If they choose “Pretty Wasted,” the app informs her that they “cannot consent” and they are instructed to return the phone back to its owner.
  • All other choices lead to a third screen, which asks the partner if they are a existing Good2Go user or a new one. If they a new user, they are prompted to enter their phone number and a password, confirm that they are 18 years old or older, and press submit. Then, your potential partner will fill out a fourth prompt, which asks them to input a six-digit code that’s just been texted to their own cellphone to verify her identity with that app. (Previous users can just type in their phone number—which serves as their Good2Go username—and password.) Once that level is complete, they return the phone to its owner, who can view a message explaining the terms of the partner’s consent. Then, the instigator presses a button marked “Ok,” which reminds them again that yes can be changed to “NO at anytime!”

If you both want to have sex after all of that, then you’re Good2Go.

Now, I have to wonder how legally binding this is. I’m a computer nerd and not a lawyer, but I am guessing on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 in iron clad legally binding, it’s a 1. So if you’re thinking that this will protect you from a false accusation of rape, you might want to think again. But I don’t think that is the true purpose of this app. What I think it’s intended to do is to make both parties think about whom and under what circumstances they have sex with someone. Such as when they’re drunk or high where consent cannot be obtained. On that front, I think it succeeds. Though, after testing this app with my wife so that I could figure out how it works, I wonder if the five minutes of effort to obtain consent was worth it. It might have been simpler to just talk about having sex rather than use an app. Another thing that concerns me is that this app collects your phone number and stores it on a server. Even though they do have a policy that states that only law enforcement with the proper paperwork can get to this data, I have to admit that this data collection bothers me a bit.

My bottom line is this: Good2Go is an app with good intentions, but I think that you want to have sex you should just talk about it like adults rather than use an app.

BlackBerry Named A “Leader” In Mobile Device Management

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 30, 2014 by itnerd

Today BlackBerry announced it has been named a “Leader” in The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Mobile Management, Q3 2014. Forrester evaluated BlackBerry along with 14 other of the most significant mobile device management vendors. BlackBerry earned the highest score in Strategy as well as Global Presence, and tied for the top ranking in Market Presence, which considers revenue, install base and partners. In addition, BlackBerry received the highest possible score in 12 of the 27 criteria measured by Forrester, including Network Security, Future Vision, and Support.

More details on the report can be found at http://www.blackberry.com/forresterwave/

Telus Launches Enhanced We365 App

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 30, 2014 by itnerd

With We Day Toronto just around the corner, Telus has partnered with Free the Children to launch a new app that’s designed just for youth.

As digital natives, youth are joined at the hip with their smartphones and their social lives increasingly exist in the digital world. According to a recent TELUS WISE survey, 71 per cent of Canadian parents purchased their child’s first mobile device before the age of 14. An Ipsos Reid survey also found that 48 per cent of teens use online social networking as their main form of communication.

But Telus believes that technology should empower youth to go beyond texts, photos and videos. That’s why Telus and Free the Children have partnered to launch the enhanced We365 app, the first digital community and mobile app of its kind designed to inspire and empower youth to make positive change throughout the year. Frequent readers will recall that Telus had a similar app last year.

To help make sure that it would really sing with youth and meet their needs, the app was tested with them through all stages of development to ensure they would have a user experience that is not unlike the social media platforms that they already know and love.

Available for free download on Android and Apple devices, We365 enables youth to:

  • Discover and learn about causes that are important to them
  • Rally their friends and create groups to support issues
  • Spread the word and share accomplishments on social media
  • Take daily challenges or create their own to make an instant impact
  • Track and verify their volunteer activities and hours electronically for school and scholarships

Telus will donate $5 for every download of the We365 app until November 30, 2014 up to a maximum of $125,000.

More information on We365 can be found on www.we365.com. You can also check out this recent Buzzfeed post on ways social media has already changed the world.

Rogers And Telus Announce New Phones

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on September 30, 2014 by itnerd

I got e-mails from Rogers and Telus announcing that they’re carrying some new phones.

First Rogers. The Android based HTC Desire 510 launched today at both Rogers & Fido. The device is available for $0 on select two-year Share Everything plans with Rogers and $0 with a 2-year Tab24 agreement on a Smart plan with Fido. The device is available in grey and white – white is a Rogers/Fido exclusive. Driven by a quad-core processor for the LTE network, the HTC Desire™ 510 displays rich graphics on a 4.7″ display, juggles between multiple apps, and provides the smooth gaming of a premium smartphone.

Over at Telus the new Moto X will available in black at TELUS for $100 with a two-year SharePlus plan or $600 outright. The Moto X in bamboo finish as well as the Moto 360 smart watch will be available at TELUS on October 31. The Moto X will be sure to have friends burning with phone envy. From the phone’s stylish design, lightning fast performance, stellar voice activation powered by Google to the 13 MP camera, the Moto X has it all at an affordable price point.

I’ve asked for loaners of both phones. When I get them, expect a review or two to be posted.

Belkin Announces Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD for Mac and PC

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 30, 2014 by itnerd

Belkin today introduced the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD with cable, a powerful docking solution for both Mac and PC computers. Equipped with two Thunderbolt 2 ports, it allows users to take full advantage of Thunderbolt 2 technology’s high-speed 20Gbps bandwidth, and provides reliable transfers between laptops and up to eight other devices using one single Thunderbolt cable.

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Designed for PC and Mac, Ultrabook, laptop and desktop users, the Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD helps increase productivity, portability and connectivity. With eight ports including support for HDMI, USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, audio and Thunderbolt 2, the Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD supports up to eight devices connected directly to the dock, with support for up to four additional (five total) Thunderbolt devices through a daisy-chain setup. Display the clearest picture through either the HDMI or Thunderbolt 2 port at a resolution of up to 4K. The USB 3.0 ports open the ability to charge smartphones, tablets and other higher amperage devices, even when the host computer is asleep or not connected to the dock. It also offers Thunderbolt 2 data transfer speeds of up to 20Gbps, which is two times faster than Thunderbolt, four times faster than USB 3.0 and up to 25 times faster than FireWire 800.

Belkin’s Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD (F4U085bt) is available now at belkin.com and is planned to be available at Apple stores nationwide in October for an MSRP of $299.99 and includes a Thunderbolt cable.

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