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BlackBerry said to ax dozens of jobs from US sales force

BlackBerry laid off dozens of people from it US sales force on Monday in another wave of layoffs at the embattled handset maker, according to published reports.

The company laid off more than half its sales force on Monday, a source described as close to the matter told Canadian technology blog Cantech Letter, describing the company's consumer sales force as "gone" and the enterprise as "gutted."

The Wall Street Journal separately reported that several dozen sales employees had been laid off Monday as part of BlackBerry's ongoing restructuring, citing people familiar with the matter. … Read more

High-tech views of the massive Yosemite Rim Fire

The raging Yosemite Rim Fire is blazing a path through one of the country's most beloved national parks. As of Tuesday the fire is 20 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, but it is still threatening to burn through Redwood forests and ranger stations. What's more, it has left tens of thousands of charred acres in its wake.

Mapping software company Esri has created an interactive map that let's people on the Web see exactly what is happening on the ground in California. This map has three views: critical points of … Read more

BlackBerry, Mozilla fighting bugs with 'Peach'

Nobody likes bugs in their peaches, but in computer security terms, the goal of the new "Peach" tool from BlackBerry and Mozilla is to fight back against the critters.

Peach is an open-source "fuzzing" tool, which automates tests designed to expose hidden security holes, so they can be fixed before people have been put at risk. Created by Michael Eddington of Deja Vu Security, its developers are working on its third major version since 2004. That BlackBerry and Mozilla are advocating its use to detect bugs is a big win for the tool and Eddington.

The … Read more

Is 'Pacific Rim' a retelling of Japanese anime 'Evangelion'?

The scene: Tokyo lies in ruins. A child is alone in the wreckage and terrified as a colossal monster approaches. The creature's on an unstoppable rampage and the kid's fate looks sealed. Until a savior steps in at the last moment.

Fast forward: The kid is introduced to an international military program that builds giant robotic machines to fight marauding alien monsters. But the machines must be piloted by people with special neurological abilities. Naturally the kid has this power, and is chosen to mount humanity's last defense against the invasion.

If you saw "Pacific Rim" over the weekend, you know this story. But it feels very familiar if you've also seen "Neon Genesis Evangelion," the blockbuster 1995-1996 anime series that redefined the giant robot sci-fi genre in Japan. What does Guillermo del Toro's big budget sci-fi slugfest owe to that franchise? … Read more

Former RIM CEO to lead Canadian agency on green tech

After wiping his hands clean of Research In Motion, former co-CEO Jim Balsillie will now lead Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a federal agency that promotes green tech, The Canadian Press reported Tuesday.

Balsillie left Canadian-based RIM, the maker of BlackBerry, in March 2012 amid shareholder criticism over the company's poor performance in recent years. Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis also stepped down, but remained on the board until his retirement in May. Since leaving the company, Balsillie has dropped all of his RIM stock.

He is contracted to stay in his new position, chair of Sustainable Development Technology Canada, for five … Read more

AT&T could sell BlackBerry Z10 on March 15

New reports suggest that AT&T will be the first U.S. carrier out of the gate with the BlackBerry Z10 on March 15. If they pan out, then it reveals BlackBerry's true weakness despite the hype of BB10.

Originally reported by N4BB and echoed by mobile news sites Phone Arena and BlackBerryOS, AT&T apparently has moved up its plans to push the Z10 out to the American public. If sources close to N4B can be trusted, then BlackBerry's most advanced handset could hit the street the day after the Samsung Galaxy S4's big unveiling. … Read more

Ex-BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie dumps entire stake

Jim Balsillie, the former co-CEO of BlackBerry, has sold off his entire stake in the company, according to a regulatory filing.

A year ago, Balsillie was one of the largest individual shareholders in BlackBerry (formerly known as Research In Motion) with 26.8 million shares in the company. But in a document filed today, BlackBerry disclosed that Balsillie no longer holds any shares in the company.

Balsillie and fellow former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis stepped down last March amid shareholder criticism over the way the company was being run and a stunning drop in its share price. Current CEO Thorsten Heins … Read more

BlackBerry 10 smartphones won't be sold in Japan

As BlackBerry rolls deeper into the smartphone world with the launch of BlackBerry 10, it looks like some countries will be left off of the map.

The device maker confirmed today that it has no plans to launch any BlackBerry 10 smartphones in Japan.

"We are in the process of launching BlackBerry 10 globally in key markets and we are seeing positive demand for the BlackBerry Z10 in countries where it has already launched," a BlackBerry spokesperson told CNET in an e-mail. "Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry, and we have no plans to launch … Read more

Why the BlackBerry Z10 is on sale in the U.K. first

Two days ago, the company formerly known as RIM pulled out all the stops at a super-swanky event in New York to launch two new phones that will either kill or cure the company.

Despite the global launch happening in the U.S., America will be the last in the first batch of countries to see the Z10, BlackBerry's first phone to ship with its new OS, BlackBerry 10. Americans have to wait until March to buy the touch-screen phone, but it became available to buy in the U.K. yesterday. That's six days ahead even of BlackBerry'… Read more

Low Latency No. 50: Better late than never

Low Latency is a weekly comic on CNET's Crave blog written by CNET editor and podcast host Jeff Bakalar and illustrated by Blake Stevenson. Be sure to check Crave every Thursday at 8 a.m. PT for new panels! Want more? Here's every Low Latency comic so far.… Read more