John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

RIM on PlayBook Jailbreaking: Don’t Do It

BlackBerry PlayBook owners who have jailbroken the device, take note: Research In Motion says you’ve voided your warranty by doing so.

In a post to RIM’s official blog, Adrian Stone, director of the company’s BlackBerry Security Incident Response Team (BBSIRT), explains — in painstaking detail — RIM’s position on “jailbreaking,” a procedure some tech-savvy consumers use to extend the functionality of devices whose operating systems are tightly controlled by their manufacturers. Its headline: Don’t do it.

And if you do do it? Well, then, you’re on your own if things go south for you.

“RIM recommends against installing any jailbreaking tool,” Stone wrote. “Customers who use a jailbreaking tool on BlackBerry products void the manufacturer warranty and also increase the long-term risk of negatively impacting the stability and user experience of their BlackBerry products.”

Not a surprising position for RIM to take. Rivals like Apple have had similar policies for years. But then, Apple needed one almost immediately after launching the iPhone in 2007. Evidently, RIM hasn’t until now, when the homebrew community has taken to meddling with the PlayBook via jailbreak tools like Dingleberry. Which is a good sign, I suppose, given the device’s lackluster sales.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik