Via: WSJ BlackBerry Ltd. executives flew to California to meet with Facebook Inc. last week to gauge its interest in a potential bid for the struggling smartphone-maker, according to people familiar with the matter.
It remains unclear whether Facebook is interested in placing a bid. Spokesmen for both companies declined to comment.
Last month BlackBerry struck a preliminary deal to go private with Canadian insurer Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. for $4.7 billion, or $9 a share. The due diligence period for that deal ends next week, but BlackBerry and its advisers remain open to interest from other potential bidders. The deadline for other bids is Monday.
BlackBerry does have other players circling. Earlier this month The Wall Street Journal reported that Chinese computer giant Lenovo Group Ltd. was interested in a possible bid. And BlackBerry has signed a nondisclosure agreement with distressed asset specialists Cerberus Captial Management LP, people familiar with the matter have said.
BlackBerry’s co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin are also weighing a bid, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this month.
Thinkspace, an organization created by sixteen-year-old James Anderson, seeks to “inspire the next generation of app developers” through dedicated coding zones in high schools across the globe. Anderson formally launched Thinkspace this month with campuses in Plymouth and Northern Ireland.
Anderson first came up with the idea for Thinkspace when he became disappointed with the UK educational system’s approach to computer information and related topics. Rather than attempt to change the curriculum, Anderson sought to work around it by creating “Thinkspaces” within schools.
A Thinkspace is essentially a room filled with computers and mobile devices with which students are encouraged to build whatever software they can imagine. The UK Thinkspace, located at Plymouth’s Devonport High School for Boys, contains Android devices, iPod touches, iPads, Blackberrys, and Windows Phone devices, all connected to an assortment of Mac and PC computers.
The flagship UK campus cost around £10,000, but Anderson says that almost any budget will suffice. The goal is not necessarily to build state-of-the-art development labs, but rather to provide students with a place to go in order to learn to code, collaborate on projects, and just build software.
Any school interested in establishing a Thinkspace is welcome to join the program. The only requirement is that a teacher from the school join Thinkspace Social—a development-oriented social network created by Anderson—and begin inviting students from the school. Anderson told 9to5Mac that the organization is already looking to expand internationally into Australia, Israel, Singapore, and the United States.
The Thinkspace project has gained the backing of many well-known public figures, such as Google SVP of Engineering Vic Gundotra, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Virgin founder Richard Branson, and top executives from other companies like Microsoft.
Anderson told Wired that he envisions Thinkspaces as a student-driven program where experienced coders can help educate the next generation of software designers and developers. He hopes to see the program spread not only across Europe, but around the world.
For more photos click the soure link below.
BlackBerry has announced today that the US Defense Information System Agency (DISA) has given both the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 the Authority to Operate (ATO) on the Department of Defense (DoD) networks, making BlackBerry the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) to obtain an ATO. With the ATO, the DISA is prepping to support 10,000 BB10 devices by the fall and over 30,000 but the end of 2013.
Press Release below:
BlackBerry Awarded “Authority to Operate” on U.S. Department of Defense Networks
DISA deploying BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 to support BlackBerry 10 smartphones on DoD networks
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – August 08, 2013) – BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB) today announced the U.S. Defense Information System Agency (DISA) has given BlackBerry® Z10 and BlackBerry® Q10 smartphones with BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10, the Authority to Operate (ATO) on Department of Defense (DoD) networks. BlackBerry is the first Mobile Device Management (MDM) provider to obtain an ATO.
With the ATO, DISA is now developing the infrastructure to support BlackBerry 10 smartphones. DISA is architecting the capacity to support 10,000 BlackBerry 10 smartphones by this fall and 30,000 by the end of 2013 on DoD networks.
“Being the first smartphones to be supported on U.S. Department of Defense networks further establishes BlackBerry’s proven and validated security model,” said Scott Totzke, SVP, BlackBerry Security Group at BlackBerry. “With foreign entities – governmental and criminal – ramping up attacks on electronic communications and information systems, BlackBerry provides government agencies with a proven partner that follows top-to-bottom security protocols.”
Receiving the ATO is a critical step forward in the security certification process. The approval demonstrates that BlackBerry 10 smartphones meet DoD’s most stringent security requirements. BlackBerry 10 smartphones will enable DoD personnel to have the ability to securely connect to networks and access assets from work. The BlackBerry mobile infrastructure provides a highly responsive, intelligent and intuitive mobile computing experience while ensuring the personal and the corporate information on a user’s phone are kept separate and safe.
For more information about BlackBerry 10, please visit: http://www.blackberry.com/BB10.
Offering a game for free — but charging for further content in-game like extra levels, power-ups and accessories — is an extremely popular business model for many companies. Currently, 80 of the 100 top-grossing apps on the Google Play Store in the are free-to-play but make their money with in-game purchases.
“The OFT investigation is exploring whether these games are misleading”
Official statement, Office of Fair Trading
The OFT’s statement reads:
“The OFT investigation is exploring whether these games are misleading, commercially aggressive or otherwise unfair. In particular, the OFT is looking into whether these games include ‘direct exhortations’ to children — a strong encouragement to make a purchase, or to do something that will necessitate making a purchase, or to persuade their parents or other adults to make a purchase for them. This is unlawful under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.”
There are numerous reports of children running up large bills without their parents’ knowldeg. Wired.co.uk reported in March on an eight-year-old boy who racked up a bill of £980 for virtual donuts on The Simpsons: Tapped Out for iPad. The boy’s parents only realised when their monthly phone bill came through, with purchases on it ranging from £1.50 to as high as £75 — for donuts, remember, that aren’t even real.
Apple agreed in this case to refund the bill, a decision that the company usually makes on a case-by-case basis. In the US, Apple was forced into a settlement in a class-action suit brought over what were labelled “bait apps” — if someone could prove that a minor made an in-game purchase without permission from the responsible adult, the money could be reclaimed in either cash or iTunes credit.
That’s just a US case, but the OFT’s investigation could see a similar case resulting in the UK depending on what evidence is uncovered. The OFT has asked parents to write in
“with information about potentially misleading or commercially aggressive practices they are aware of in relation to these games”.
The contact page is on the OFT’s site.
Games companies are also being contacted for information on how they advertise in-game purchases. The OFT’s Cavendish Elithorn said:
“We are concerned that children and their parents could be subject to unfair pressure to purchase when they are playing games they thought were free, but which can actually run up substantial costs.”
“The OFT is not seeking to ban in-game purchases, but the games industry must ensure it is complying with the relevant regulations so that children are protected. We are speaking to the industry and will take enforcement action if necessary.”
The report of the OFT’s findings is due to be published in October 2013.
The Brooklyn arena, home to the Nets, has struck a two-season marketing deal with the embattled smartphone maker, The Post has learned.
The deal is valued at $1 million to $5 million, according to an industry source who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
BlackBerry and its new Z10 phone will get prominent ad placement throughout the arena — plus its own customer “experiential” area and a suite-level lounge, according to Mike Zavodsky, the Nets vice president of new corporate marketing.
BlackBerry is paying for “brand domination” at the arena, where people will see marketing for the smartphone maker from “street to seat,” he said.
The tech company has been on a marketing push of late to revive its market share in smartphones since losing ground to the likes of Apple and Samsung. The BlackBerry Z10 hit US stores last month.
BlackBerry has targeted other sports, like Formula 1 racing, with a reported $12 million deal announced in February. BlackBerry also markets heavily with the NHL.
BlackBerry paid $4 million for a Super Bowl ad this year.
The Barclays Center has similar deals with Calvin Klein and MetroPCS for branded “mini-neighborhoods” within the arena.
The deal with BlackBerry, which could be announced as soon as today, comes just as Alicia Keys is set to perform at the arena tomorrow. The singer is a “brand ambassador” for BlackBerry.
Source: NY Post