BlackBerry partners on mobile security delivery with Samsung Electronics

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 13, 2014 10:55 am MDT BlackBerry partners on mobile security delivery with Samsung Electronics An unlikely pairing of BlackBerry and Samsung, two rivals in the smartphone industry, took shape on Thursday as the Canadian technology firm announced it would make its mobile security technology available for the Android operating system.It was a partnership that delivered a strong message: BlackBerry may have a lower profile these days, but it’s still prepared to be competitive.“I don’t know how to feel these days. I don’t know whether to wish Samsung success or not,” BlackBerry chief executive John Chen joked from the stage at an investor conference in San Francisco.Starting next year, business customers will have access to software on Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets that is linked with BlackBerry’s new mobile security software, known as BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12.Chen said BES12 will serve as an “anchor” for a plan to roll out more software to users and give large organizations the ability to manage both older BlackBerrys and more recent versions of its smartphones, as well as smartphones that run software from competitors like Microsoft, Google and Apple.It will be made available through numerous carriers, including Rogers in Canada and Vodaphone in the United Kingdom.The partnership combines the BES12 technology with Samsung KNOX, which is the company’s own mobile security platform.BlackBerry’s investor conference gave company executives an opportunity to show how far they’ve come since Chen took the leadership role about a year ago.Several other partnerships and product launches were unveiled at the event, including a limited-edition red BlackBerry Passport timed for Black Friday in the United States. The company also said it will release the BlackBerry Classic, a new take on its popular older keyboard smartphones, on Dec. 17.New software called Enterprise Identity gives organizations the ability to manage secure access to its cloud-based internal applications and software.BBM Meetings was also demonstrated for the first time, an addition to BBM Messenger that lets up to 25 people voice and video conference over their smartphones, sharing spreadsheets and other documents.Shares of BlackBerry were ahead nine per cent, or $1.14 at $13.90, in late afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.After the presentation, Chen took a jab at other players in the industry, noting that he recently watched an interview with another technology company that was boasting about how it lured business customers away from BlackBerry’s services.“At that point I knew I was going to end their party,” he said.BlackBerry is in the midst of a turnaround plan that has involved Chen scaling back the size of the company while refocusing its priorities on corporate clients, rather than the consumer market.“Next year is about growth. We’re going to focus on growing not only the top line, we’re going to focus on growing the profit,” Chen said in his speech.“But you’ve got to give us a little bit of time to get there.”One of the BlackBerry’s biggest challenges has been keeping ahead of its competitors in the enterprise services market. Both Apple and Samsung have developed their own enterprise security platforms in an effort to lure a larger chunk of BlackBerry’s customer base.— Follow @dj_friend on Twitter. read more

Basketball comes full circle as Raptors prepare to host NBA Finals

The first NBA game was in Toronto.And now, the NBA Finals are headed there.Finally.The NBA Finals are set after the Toronto Raptors won the Eastern Conference championship on Saturday night and earned the right to play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors. For the Raptors, it’ll be the first time on this stage; for the Warriors, it’ll be an 11th trip to the finals and fifth in a row, as they look for a fourth crown in the last five seasons.Game 1 is Thursday night in Toronto, which will become the first city outside the U.S. to play host to a finals game – a milestone that comes just about 73 years after Toronto was the site of the first game in NBA history.The Raptors weren’t around then: Toronto’s first NBA team was called the Huskies, a club that went 22-38 in its only season. The Raptors have been around since 1995, and in their 24th season they’re finally going to play for a ring.“They’re the champions,” Raptors star Kawhi Leonard said of the Warriors. “We’ve got to go in, have the mental focus, enjoy the moment and take the challenge.”While it is the first finals trip for the Raptors franchise, many players on the team have been there. Leonard and Danny Green got there with San Antonio in 2013 and 2014, with Leonard winning MVP of the series against Miami five years ago. Serge Ibaka was with Oklahoma City for its appearance in 2012 and Raptors reserve Patrick McCaw was part of the Warriors for their title runs in each of the past two seasons.“We’re not satisfied,” Raptors President Masai Ujiri said. “We want to win the championship.”Related stories:Toronto reacts to Raptors clinching NBA finals berthToronto Raptors advance to NBA finals, first Canadian team in historyVideo: Fans sing ‘O Canada’ after Raptors victory For the Warriors, this has almost become an annual rite.Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston have been part of each of these five runs to the finals by Golden State. Kevin Durant is going to his third in a row and fourth overall; if he wins Finals MVP – that would seem unlikely at this point, because he isn’t expected to play in Game 1 and it’s unknown if he’ll actually appear in the series at all because of a calf injury – he would join Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal as the only players to win that trophy in three consecutive seasons.By the time Game 1 rolls around, the Warriors will have been off for 10 days. They scrimmaged Saturday to break up the monotony.“I think we try and be smart with it,” Iguodala said. “We got a few guys just trying to get back from injury and it’s given us some time to get that rest and take advantage of it.”Warriors coach Steve Kerr has a chance at his ninth championship. He won five as a player, has three already as a coach and is going to the finals for the 10th time in his last 13 seasons in either of those roles.“It’s not like we’ve come to expect it, but we’re veterans of this experience and this run and our guys know how to finish games,” Kerr said. “They know how to win playoff series, and so there’s a sense of confidence going into every round. There’s still a sense of joy and accomplishment getting to the finals. It’s so hard to do.”For Leonard, it’ll be the first trip to the finals since he was MVP of the series in 2014.And it only continues to prove that his first year in Toronto was a success.Traded to the Raptors last summer by San Antonio – DeMar DeRozan was the big piece the Spurs got – Leonard, his health and whether he’d fit in in Toronto was one of the major storylines entering this season.Asked and answered. Leonard has averaged 31.2 points and 8.8 rebounds in the playoffs, had a 27-point, 17-rebound, seven-assist effort in the win over Milwaukee that clinched the East on Saturday, and had perhaps the biggest moment of this post-season when his buzzer-beater hit the rim four times before dropping to beat Philadelphia in Game 7 of the second round.“He’s been great,” Kerr said. “Not surprising, though. He’s got his finals MVP a few years ago. One of the best players in the league, so he’s been great.”Game 2 is in Toronto on June 2, followed by Games 3 and 4 at Oracle Arena on June 5 and June 7.Either Game 4 or Game 6 – on June 13, if it goes that far – will be the final time the Warriors call that building home. They’re leaving Oakland after this season for the brand-new Chase Center in San Francisco.The Raptors swept the season series, though there are plenty of reasons not to make too big a deal out of that. For starters, the teams haven’t played since Dec. 12. And neither team was at full strength in either of those games – Durant scored 51 in a 131-128 loss at Toronto in a game in which the Warriors didn’t have Curry, Cousins or Green; the Raptors won by 20 at Oracle even without Leonard two weeks later.Regardless, it can now be said: Toronto and the Bay lay claim to the NBA’s two best teams this season.All that’s left to decide now is who’ll be hosting the championship parade and hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy. read more