Our “Calculus I” Application Has Been Approved


The release ‘’ of our product ‘Calculus I (v1)’ has been approved by BlackBerry. It should appear in BlackBerry World for all countries within 24h. This version is free for a limited time as we build our Built for BlackBerry UI, and add quiz scoring/gaming, ‘Live Tutor'(sm), and other social elements. We’d appreciate your feedback with this beta version. Please, share with students who may be studying Calculus and preparing for exams/review.

[Update: November 12, 2013.  We’re celebrating availability of the Z30 on Verizon on November 14, 2013! The “Calculus I” app can now be directly downloaded for all OS 10.0.0 devices and higher OS versions; check it out for FREE on a new Z30!  Point to the following link on your device web browser: http://t.co/sor3hV5j4c]







Dalvik or Art


Google may be changing how it compiles app codes into executable code. The goal is to make apps run more efficiently and to save battery life. It will be interesting to see how this impacts Oracle’s relationships with Google which uses JAVA on Android and with BlackBerry which has its own implementation with the Android player. Will ART make Android machine specific? How will ART impact BlackBerry’s Android player/run time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Oracle has sued Google over Java-related patents and technology that appear on the Android mobile operating system:


Dalvik is the process virtual machine (VM) in Google’s Android operating system. It is the software that runs the apps on Android devices. Dalvik is thus an integral part of Android, which is typically used on mobile devices such as mobile phones and tablet computers as well as more recently on embedded devices such as smart TVs and media streamers. Programs are commonly written in Java and compiled to bytecode. They are then converted from Java Virtual Machine-compatible .class files to Dalvik-compatible .dex (Dalvik Executable) files before installation on a device. The compact Dalvik Executable format is designed to be suitable for systems that are constrained in terms of memory and processor speed.

Oracle has claimed that Dalvik Virtual Machine infringes on Java Virtual Machine patents.

It’s not clear if BlackBerry has an agreement with Oracle or uses the same patented IP from Oracle in its Android player.


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

Calculus I Application Coming Soon to BlackBerry World


[Update: November 12, 2013.  We’re celebrating availability of the Z30 on Verizon on November 14, 2013! The “Calculus I” app can now be directly downloaded for FREE for all OS 10.0.0 devices (Z10, Q10,Q5, Z30) and higher OS versions; check it out for FREE on a new Z30!  Point to the following link on your device web browser: http://t.co/sor3hV5j4c]



We’ve signed, sealed, packaged and delivered to BlackBerry World our Version 1.0.1 of our 1st course in college Calculus review application. It will be available for free, in this version, for a limited time, until we add the built for BlackBerry UI and some unique social aspects. In the meanwhile, we hope it helps students prepare for their exams.

[Update: November 12, 2013.  We’re celebrating availability of the Z30 on Verizon on November 14, 2013! The “Calculus I” app can now be directly downloaded for all OS 10.0.0 devices and higher OS versions; check it out for FREE on a new Z30!  Point to the following link on your device web browser: http://t.co/sor3hV5j4c]

Who is John Chen New Interim CEO at BlackBerry


John Chen was born on Canada Day, 1955. This is a good omen for Canada’s titan of
technology, BlackBerry. As Interim CEO, and perhaps the future new CEO, this Chinese speaking executive is in great stead to build new growth and partnerships for BlackBerry. What else do we know about Mr. Chen?

John Chen
Born July 1, 1955
Hong Kong
Nationality American
Alma mater Brown University
California Institute of Technology
Occupation Former CEO of Sybase, Interim CEO Blackberry Ltd

John S. Chen (born July 1, 1955) was chairman, chief executive officer and president of Sybase, an independent software vendor specializing in data management, analytics, and mobility technology until January 2013.[1] He has also been a director at BlackBerry, Wells Fargo & Company and Walt Disney Company. As of November 4, 2013, Chen is interim CEO of Blackberry Ltd.[2]

A native of Hong Kong, John Chen graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School, an elite prep school in Northfield, Massachusetts. He then went on to graduate magna cum laude from Brown University in 1978 with a BS degree in electrical engineering. In 1979 he received his MS degree in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology.[3]

John S. Chen began his career as a design engineer with Unisys, where he eventually served as vice president and general manager of, in turn, the Convergent RISC Platform Division and the Convergent UNIX Systems Group. In 1991 he joined Pyramid Technology Corporation as executive vice president. Chen was elected president, chief operating officer and a director of Pyramid in 1993, serving until 1995.

Chen next joined Siemens Nixdorf as a vice president in 1995. He was promoted to president and chief executive officer of Siemens Nixdorf’s Open Enterprise Computing Division in 1996.

In 1997 Chen became president, chief operating officer and a director of Sybase. He was named chairman, CEO and president of Sybase in November 1998.

Chen developed and led Sybase’s re-invention strategy to evolve what had become a mature slower growth technology company into a $1B+ high-growth innovator. First, Mr. Chen returned Sybase to profitability and improved its balance sheet. He then defined and implemented Sybase’s “Unwired Enterprise” strategy to reposition the company, leveraging its database knowledge to create new offerings that addressed the emerging markets for analytics and mobility.[1]

Under Chen’s leadership, Sybase achieved strong financial performance and shareholder returns, including 55 consecutive quarters of profitability, $2.8 billion of cash generated, and a 28 percent compound annual growth rate of its market capitalization from a low of $362 million to $5.8 billion in 2010, when it was acquired by SAP AG.[4]

Board and trustee appointments
Chen will be appointed executive chairman of the board and interim CEO of BlackBerry in November 2013, responsible for the company’s strategic direction, strategic relationships and organizational goals[5]. He was elected a director of the Walt Disney Company in 2004 and of Wells Fargo & Company in 2006. He has also served on the board of the CIT Group Inc., and as a member of the New York Stock Exchange’s listing advisory committee, as well as the boards of several high-tech start-ups, including Beyond.com, Niku Corporation, Wafer Technology and Turbolinux US.

He is also a trustee Caltech [6] and the Brookings Institution, national trustee of The First Tee,[7] governor of the San Francisco Symphony,[8] past chairman (2009–2011) and longtime member of the Committee of 100[9] and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[3]

International relationsEdit
Mr. Chen is actively involved in international relations. He has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations.[3] U.S. President George W. Bush appointed Chen to serve on the President’s Export Council in 2005.[10] In 2006, he was appointed co-chair of the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee.[11]

Additionally, Mr. Chen chaired the U.S.-China Policy Advisory Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).[12]

The Brown University School of Engineering awarded Chen its BEAM (Brown Engineering Alumni Medal) Award in 2003.[13]

Chen holds an honorary professorship from Shanghai University, and honorary doctorates from San Jose State University, City University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

In recognition of his leadership in building U.S.-Asia relations, Mr. Chen has received awards from the US-Asia Institute (2009), the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, and the California-Asia Business Council (2007). The U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation has recognized Chen for his corporate board work.

Source: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_S._Chen

BlackBerry Restructuring and Replacing CEO with $1 Billion From Fairfax and Other Investors



BlackBerry stays public, gets Fairfax and others to adopt $1 billion of its debt, as the stock loses near $1 trading at 6.88, down from $7.77 close on Friday.

One has to hand it to Prem Watsa and the board for showing faith in BlackBerry’s future potential and realizing that it was time for a sweep of the executives at BlackBerry who with the delivery of BB10, failed to gain mind share for the brand and place the product in the hands of customers. I’m looking forward to Watsa’s lead as BlackBerry continues to re-invent itself. The search for a new CEO starts soon and one expects that all top tier management, including the CMO, Frank Boulben, will be moving on soon.

John Chen is replacing Thorsten Heins as interim CEO of BlackBerry. Chen is currently a director at both Wells Fargo and Disney, and his last big management stint was as chairman and CEO of Sybase, where he is credited with transforming the company prior to selling it to SAP

Press Release

John S. Chen to be Appointed Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and Interim CEO; Prem Watsa to be Appointed Lead Director

Company Concludes Review of Strategic Alternatives and Announces Changes to Board and Leadership Team

WATERLOO, ONTARIO and TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – November 04,
2013) – BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB), a world leader in the mobile communications market, today announced that it has entered into an agreement pursuant to which Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax”) and other institutional investors (collectively, the “Purchasers”) will invest in BlackBerry through a U.S. $1 billion private placement of convertible debentures. Fairfax has agreed to acquire U.S. $250 million principal amount of the Debentures. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.

Under the terms of the transaction, the Purchasers will subscribe for U.S. $1 billion aggregate principal amount of 6% unsecured subordinated convertible debentures (the “Debentures”) convertible into common shares of BlackBerry at a price of U.S. $10.00 per common share (the “Transaction”), a 28.7% premium to the closing price of BlackBerry common shares on November 1, 2013. The Debentures have a term of seven years. Based on the number of common shares currently outstanding, if all of the U.S. $1 billion of Debentures were converted, the common shares issued upon conversion would represent approximately 16% of the common shares outstanding after giving effect to the conversion.

Upon the closing of the transaction, John S. Chen will be appointed Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and, in that role, will be responsible for the strategic direction, strategic relationships and organizational goals of BlackBerry. Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax, will be appointed Lead Director and Chair of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee and Thorsten Heins and David Kerr intend to resign from the Board at closing.

In addition, Mr. Heins will step down as Chief Executive Officer at closing and Mr. Chen will serve as Interim Chief Executive Officer pending completion of a search for a new Chief Executive Officer.

Today’s announcement marks the conclusion of the review of strategic alternatives previously announced on August 12, 2013.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant vote of confidence in BlackBerry and its future by this group of preeminent, long-term investors,” said Barbara Stymiest, Chair of BlackBerry’s Board. “The BlackBerry Board conducted a thorough review of strategic alternatives and pursued the course of action that it concluded is in the best interests of BlackBerry and its constituents, including its shareholders. This financing provides an immediate cash injection on terms favorable to BlackBerry, enhancing our substantial cash position. Some of the most important customers in the world rely on BlackBerry and we are implementing the changes necessary to strengthen the company and ensure we remain a strong and innovative partner for their needs.”

Ms. Stymiest added, “I am also pleased that John Chen, a distinguished and proven leader in the technology industry, has agreed to serve as BlackBerry’s Executive Chairman. I look forward to continuing to serve BlackBerry as a member of its Board of Directors and chair of the Board’s Audit and Risk Management Committee. On behalf of the Board, I would also like to thank Thorsten for his service to BlackBerry over the past six years. Under his leadership, BlackBerry established a more efficient cost structure, developed new products, saw the adoption of BES 10 and delivered the BlackBerry 10 platform. These are all significant accomplishments. We are grateful for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

“Fairfax is a long-time supporter, investor and partner to BlackBerry and, with this investment, reinforces its deep commitment to the future success of this company,” said Prem Watsa, Chairman and CEO of Fairfax. “I look forward to rejoining the BlackBerry Board and to working with the other directors and management team, under John Chen’s leadership, to shape the next stage of BlackBerry’s strategy and growth.”

“I am pleased to join a company with as much potential as BlackBerry,” said Mr. Chen. “BlackBerry is an iconic brand with enormous potential – but it’s going to take time, discipline and tough decisions to reclaim our success. I look forward to leading BlackBerry in its turnaround and business model transformation for the benefit of all of its constituencies, including its customers, shareholders and employees.”

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions, including approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Pursuant to the Transaction agreement, the investors have an option to purchase up to an additional U.S. $250 million principal amount of Debentures within 30 days following closing. If an additional U.S. $250 million of Debentures is issued and all U.S. $1.25 billion of Debentures were converted, the common shares issued upon conversion would represent approximately 19.2% of the common shares after giving effect to the conversion, based on the number of common shares currently outstanding.

Is Lenovo Prepared With 1.5 Billion Dollars in Fodder For a BlackBerry Bid?



We recently wrote about the prospective partnerships with BlackBerry, and we concluded that Lenovo, Sony and Facebook would each have the most to offer and benefit from a partnership with BlackBerry:


Will Lenovo provide the icing for the BlackBerry re-serve  of everything OS 10?

Here’s an interesting article from The China Daily:

BlackBerry ripe for takeover by Lenovo

Updated: 2013-11-02 07:21

By Gao Yuan (China Daily)

Lenovo Group Ltd will “actively consider” acquisitions in the mobile consumer electronics industry, said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and chief executive officer of the world’s largest personal computer maker.

Yang’s remarks came amid reports that the Chinese company is in talks with embattled BlackBerry Ltd on a merger possibly worth $4.7 billion.

“Mergers and acquisitions are always useful tools for us to expand business into new markets, and we are open to deals that can boost our business,” the CEO said on Friday.

Lenovo, headquartered in Beijing, has long been rumored to be an active bidder for BlackBerry, which has been losing ground to Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd in the high-end smartphone sector.

In mid-October, The Wall Street Journal reported that Lenovo signed a nondisclosure deal to examine the books of the Canadian smartphone maker, which could pave the way for a possible acquisition.

The Chinese company is borrowing roughly $1.5 billion from banks for the deal, Reuters said.

“We have to prepare enough fodder for the next move,” Yang told reporters. But he refused to confirm the BlackBerry bid.

Other potential suitors are said to include Google Inc, SAP AG and Facebook Inc.

BlackBerry ripe for takeover by Lenovo

“BlackBerry’s patents and channel partner resources are valuable assets for Lenovo,” said James Wang, a Shanghai-based analyst at research firm Canalys.

Telecom operators are the biggest smartphone sellers in developed economies, and Lenovo needs such resources if it wants to enter US and European markets, according to Wang.

Lenovo will make its way to developed markets by 2015 after it enters such emerging economies as Russia, Brazil and Southeast Asia, Yang said.

The company is the second-largest smartphone vendor in China after Samsung. It also enjoys about 10 percent of market share in Southeast Asian countries.

Smartphones and tablets are the weapons Lenovo will use to advance into the United States and the European Union.

The company plans to sell at least 10 million tablets in the fiscal year that ends next March.

Its tablet shipments the previous fiscal year totaled 1 million.

“Smartphones and tablets are both profitable at the moment, and we will constantly be looking at ways to expand our business,” said Yang.

The company also launched an assembly plant in the central city of Wuhan, Hubei province. Annual mobile device shipments from the plant are estimated to reach 100 million.

Liu Jun, the Lenovo senior vice-president who heads its consumer product unit, said strong delivery power will help the company sell its products at a better price, which will help gain more customers at the lower end of the market.




Fairfax Not Shedding Light on BlackBerry Deal



There is no update from Fairfax today on its buyout of BlackBerry. Since the initial offer much has changed:

Google and Everything Android are part of lawsuit with BlackBerry’s consortium partners, Rockstar:


and BlackBerry may be looking for a better partner:



By Will Connors

Investors hoping to get an update on the deal to take BlackBerry Ltd.BB.T -1.34% private during Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd.’sFFH.T -2.86% earnings call Friday morning were likely disappointed.

Fairfax, the Canadian insurer led by Prem Watsa, in late September struck a preliminary $4.7 billion deal to buy the shares of BlackBerry it didn’t already own and take the troubled smartphone company private. Since the announcement of the deal, which Fairfax can walk away from at no penalty, investors have reacted skeptically, sending BlackBerry shares down more than 11%.

On Friday, Fairfax held a conference call to discuss its own third-quarter financial results. As soon as the call was opened to analysts’ questions, a request for an update on the BlackBerry bid was put forth.

Mr. Watsa, Fairfax’s founder and chief executive, declined to comment and quickly moved on. Investors will have to wait til Monday, when the due diligence period for the BlackBerry deal expires, to get an update.

Source: http://blogs.wsj.com/canadarealtime/2013/11/01/fairfax-declines-to-shed-light-on-blackberry-deal-for-now/