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  1. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    CAN bus explained...just in case you can't sleep (this will help lol):

    Classically Posted.
    bbjdog, zyben, BanffMoose and 8 others like this.
    07-22-15 12:08 AM
  2. Superfly_FR's Avatar
    It was achieved through firmware rrewrite in the CAN bus...basically a distribution protocol...

    I'm not an engineer but don't believe it's a QNX (or whomever) issue.

    Classically Posted.
    Asked Paul about this. But I 'm puzzled how they could install unsigned content with QNX ... will update if anything new to add.

    Posted via CB10
    bungaboy, rarsen, Mr BBRY and 5 others like this.
    07-22-15 04:50 AM
  3. JonCBK's Avatar
    Wouldn't it depend on what specs and parameters were set forth by the auto makers design team? I happen to own a 53 page patent on a safety device system relating to the auto industry, so I can at least contribute to the fact that QNX probably has nothing to do with handling the cloud credentials verification process for that Jeep. I would bet that QNX only under pins all the OS functioning for Quality of Service and Assurance of reliability.

    This does though bring up potential monetization for BlackBerry in the future... BlackBerry may want to increase their NOC servers now!
    If this car was running QNX and was hacked that bad, then Blackberry should start pushing the autos for everything to get Blackberry's security review. It could be another revenue stream. If it is the UConnect model then I suppose this will be a plus for Blackberry. But Blackberry's security reputation is too important to risk. They may need to push back with allowing car manufacturers to use QNX if they are going to couple it with a non-secure telematics system of unknown provence.
    rarsen, bungaboy, 3MIKE and 5 others like this.
    07-22-15 07:39 AM
  4. snaponsly's Avatar
    Good info on Chrysler/QnX systems.


    For 2016, UConnect gained more brand cues and new features:

    The Drag and Drop menu bar lets owners drag their favorite icon to the main menu bar.
    siriSiri Eyes Free (for iPhone 4S or later) lets drivers speak in natural language to send text messages, play music, set reminders, place phone calls, and access directions. It is activated by holding down the steering wheel button until the Siri screen appears and tones are played. Siri messages are processed remotely, not by the car, which should increase accuracy and allows the greater flexibility. It is likely that the data transfer occurs via the customer’s phone.
    “Do Not Disturb” and “Reply with Text Message” features route incoming mobile calls to voice mail and suppress text messages; sending a customized response is optional. These are set up via the big screen.
    Customers can now start songs from the beginning when switching between pre-set satellite radio channels.
    A new online car manual is smart enough to know the car’s VIN and leave out irrelevant sections of the manual (e.g. not including diesel information for Hemi owners). The content is updated over the air.
    These features are only available, for the moment, in the 2016 Chrysler 200 and 300, Dodge Challenger, Charger, Durango and Viper, Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and Ram 1500, Heavy Duty and Chassis Cab.

    The 2016 Uconnect systems have also been retuned for better performance, with new software and voice recognition algorithms to improve voice recognition, routing, and songs and application selection. New noise cancellation software helps to increase the quality and clarity of handsfree phone calls.

    As predicted by oh2o, the 2013 Ram 1500 debuted with a next-generation Uconnect system. Ram 1500 owners can manage their connected services from the 8.4-inch touchscreen display, or via the web. The new Powernet electrical architecture allows new content, with better data speeds. (Note: this system is completely different from the Fiat/Microsoft-based “UConnect 5.0,” discussed at the end of the page.)

    uconnect access via mobile

    UConnect 8.4 is built atop QNX, a tight and secure version of UNIX developed by RIM (the Blackberry™ telephone maker). Chrysler and RIM are reportedly working together for full BB10 (BlackBerry OS 10) integration. BB10 is expected to have greater “machine to machine” capabilities than past versions, which should beneft future versions of UConnect (thanks, DDakRT).

    uconnect navigationThe base 2013 Ram radio will be the Media Center R1; it has a four-line text display, USB input, and iPod integration, with an optional CD player. The R2 adds a five-inch touch-screen, speed-controlled volume, satellite radio, phone and voice control, EVIC personalization, and GPS receiver; a rearview camera and remote CD player are optional.

    The next-generation UConnect comes with the next stereos. The UConnect R3 (8.4 inch touch-screen) adds UConnect Access, including crash notification, 911 or roadside assistance calls, monthly vehicle health reports, voice texting, WiFi hotspots (pay per use), dead-reckoning with gyro, and optional rear-seat Blu-Ray DVD player; buyers can pay $595 to upgrade it with navigation. But those who want navigation should get the R4, which costs only $500 more, and also includes HD radio. A CD player is in the lower storage bin of the center console.

    The Uconnect Media Center R4 adds HD Radio, SiriusXM Travel Link, and SiriusXM Traffic and a remote USB port in the media console to the R3 capabilities.
    Both have an expanded SiriusXM Satellite Radio channel lineup, with new Latino channels (an industry first).

    The R1 and R2 are made by Conti; the R3 and R4 are made by Harman Kardon. All of them use a separate CD player (apparently optional on R1), as do the stereos used in the Dodge Dart.

    Tom’s Hardware looked into UConnect Access and found it used Texas Instruments’ OMAP-DM3730 SoC, a new version of a processor used by Hyundai and others, which has a smaller die (45 nm vs the old 65) and higher clock rates for the memory controller (20% higher), graphics (80% higher), and imaging/video/audio engine (50% higher). It uses the PowerVR SGX530 graphics core.


    The DM3730 uses a single Cortex A8 core, with a 1 GHz maximum clock rate. Tom’s wrote that this might have been reduced to cut heat and power usage; they also noted that while the system may seem old compared with smartphones, embedded systems require long life support and tend to use “mature” products.

    plugsThe system has 512 MB of memory, plus 16 GB of eMMC flash storage in place of a hard drive or such. That 16 GB holds the QNX operating system, maps, and programs. The operating system is QNX Neutrino RTOS 6.5.0; the system is apparently set up by Harman and Chrysler, working together. Harman also holds the Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, and Mark Levinson brand names, and is very popular in the automotive world, making systems for Toyota and many others.

    Operating tips and notes
    Mac users using SD or USB cards need to use Terminal commands or a utility such as MacPilot to delete hidden files and folders before using cards in the Jeep, or have files that look like songs, but will take a moment to skip over. Chrysler could program UConnect to ignore these files, and Apple could add a system preference not to write them to FAT32 media, but they don’t.The system cannot read Apple Lossless files or certain high-resolution AAC files (we haven’t figured out which ones, or why, yet), or copy-protected AAC. The latter can be replaced cheaply and easily if they were purchased from the iTunes Store, which is now AAC-free for music. These files can all be reformatted using various utilities, including iTunes.

    Regardless of whether you use SD, USB, or iPod, the stereo organizes your music by artist or title, and lets you shuffle or browse; if you browse, you can either use the touch screen or the tuning knob. We found the latter to be faster, most of the time. iPod connectivity is generally good but there can be quirks; but with SD and USB card compatibility, it seems unnecessary for anything but listening to audiobooks anyway. (Audiobooks from have a nasty copy protection scheme which iPods can decode but the car stereo can’t.)

    leather look

    We were surprised at how well the system took a bunch of tunes deliberately not stored in folders, and sorted them by artist and by album, with the GraceNote-powered cleanup option. The interface will use your folder names for the artist and album if it can’t figure the music out.

    In the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee setup, one cannot shut the stereo, just mute it (though the amplifier still shuts down); so when you turn your car back on, the stereo is on again.

    Uconnect Access
    UConnect 2The Uconnect Media Centers R3 and R4 have a built-in cellular connection (wireless connectivity is supplied by Sprint), allowing UConnect to finally match OnStar’s emergency response button; hence the new “911” button on the rearview mirror.

    Ram truck owners will be able to use select, certified in-vehicle applications as well; they will be controlled with voice recognition or steering wheel controls. One built-in program lets customers get vehicle health reports and remotely lock or unlock truck doors, start the vehicle, or flash lights via the Web or a smartphone.

    The 8.4-inch touchscreen includes the award-winning user interface designed by Chrysler Group Human Machine Interface engineers, with large icons and visual cues.

    The UConnect system is now able to get application updates over the air; and owners can download updates or new applications directly, via the 8.4-inch touchscreen. Some buyers can also get their non-navigation UConnect upgraded to include navigation, after they buy the car.

    Uconnect features one-step voice command of navigation, the ability to check real-time fuel prices and listen and respond to text messages, and familiar knobs for climate and comfort controls.

    gauges and shifter

    Uconnect Access controls are on the steering wheel; customers prefer audio controls at the rear of the steering wheel, and Ram was the first truck maker to integrate these. Audio system controls, including next station, radio preset, and previous station or track, are on the left. Volume and audio source are on the right.

    The optional Uconnect Voice Command allows drivers to control their mobile phone, music, and navigation system; when a compatible Bluetooth mobile phone is initially connected to the system, the phone book is automatically downloaded to the truck, synchronizing as many as 1,000 phone book entries, which can then be selected by simply saying a contact name. The feature also allows drivers to switch radio modes, and request real- time information (such as fuel prices) from the available SiriusXM Travel Link using natural voice commands

    UConnect Access Via Mobile
    uconnect accessUConnect Access Via Mobile builds on Chrysler's philosophy of sensible connectivity -- which has been all the more appreciated after Ford and BMW went for “feature lists” and ended up with harshly criticized (and, in Ford's case, buggy) systems. The system is based on QNX, and many programmer interfaces are shared with BlackBerry OS 10; POSIX compliance should also make it easier to port from Android and IOS.

    Content is streamed through the customer’s existing smartphone data plan; the system uses the programs’ familiar symbols, e.g. Pandora’s “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” buttons, while steering-wheel controls enable easy song-skipping. Applications approved so far include:

    Aha™ by HARMAN: Access over 30,000 “stations” of audio content including music services, news, entertainment, audiobooks, Facebook and Twitter newsfeeds, customized food and break stations, weather, and more.
    iHeartRadio: Clear Channel's digital music service, adapted to cars.
    Pandora automatically creates personalized radio stations based on songs submitted by the user; it is powered by the Music Genome Project, a detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, modified by listener feedback, with more than a million tracks included.
    Slacker: millions of songs in hundreds of stations.
    extended trip computerUConnect Access already provides fully integrated cloud-based voice-recognition technology to enable Voice Texting (creating text messages via natural speech) via Bluetooth-equipped smartphones that use the industry-standard Message Access Protocol (MAP).

    The same capability supports an upgraded navigation system that accepts one-step voice-commands for destination entry, as well as voice-driven Internet searching to find points of interest and place hands-free calls to them or add them as a destination.

    SiriusXM Satellite Radio
    Ram is the first in the automotive industry to take advantage of SiriusXM’s expanded lineup, with more commercial-free music, sports and comedy, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio, ESPN’s SportsCenter, Carlin’s Corner, and SiriusXM Latino, which alone has 19 channels of Latin programming (ten commercial-free music channels, and Spanish-language sports, news, talk and entertainment). Ram customers get a 12-month SiriusXM premier subscription when purchasing a satellite radio-equipped 2013 Ram 1500.
    The R3 and R4 navigation system have 3D landmark imagery, city models, and digital terrain. Directions are given audibly and also appear in the vehicle information center. The system has enhanced graphics and a one-step voice entry system so customers can say the address and go.
    SiriusXM Travel Link is available on vehicles with the R4; it provides...

    Weather: coast-to-coast weather data, current conditions and five-day forecasts, detailed storm cell information, hurricane and tropical storm tracking, local wind speeds and even ski resort conditions
    Fuel Prices: prices, locations and distance to more than 120,000 fuel stations across the United States, and can have the navigation system route to a selected fuel station location. The feature also can search for fuel grade, gasoline or diesel
    Sports: in-game and final scores and weekly schedules from the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, golf, college football and basketball
    Movies: uses listings from more than 4,500 movie theaters across the United States, with navigation to selected theaters
    Traffic: real-time traffic speed and flow along with accident information
    UConnect 5: Fiat and Microsoft
    uconnect 5Fiat’s version of UConnect is their own completely home-grown UConnect 5, named for the size of the screens on the hardware it uses. The system is spatially more compact, including hardware, and cheaper to build. It uses Microsoft Windows Embedded, the same system underlying Ford’s often-panned telematics system.

    While Fiat started with the system in 2006, the second generation, launched in 2013, was the first that Chrysler used in its own cars (not counting Mexican Fiat 500s). The UConnect 5.0 system launched in various Chrysler cars and trucks including Ram 1500 with the 2014 model year. It provides services similar to Chrysler’s UConnect, and it is likely that Fiat designers borrowed some Chrysler interface elements for their own efforts, given the praise UConnect received and the critical lamentations over Fiat’s “Blue & Me.”

    The Fiat system uses TomTom navigation, which some prefer to the Harman and Garmin systems used by Chrysler.
    bungaboy, Corbu, awindsr and 1 others like this.
    07-22-15 08:02 AM
  5. BACK-2-BLACK's Avatar
    BlackBerry Acquiring AtHoc to Enable Secure Mass Communication and Collaboration

    BlackBerry and AtHoc to connect communities, devices and organizations for real time communication

    WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 22, 2015) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in secure mobile communications, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AtHoc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

    AtHoc is a leading provider of secure, networked crisis communications. Its software platform enables people, devices and organizations to exchange critical information in real time during business continuity and life safety operations. The AtHoc platform will integrate with BlackBerry's enterprise portfolio and trusted global network to offer customers new capabilities for safety, security and mission-critical business communication. The acquisition will enable AtHoc to expand globally and increase scale, as well as deliver new applications on a secure platform for mass communication. For example, new applications may include integrating AtHoc solutions with BBM Meetings during an alert to enable live video feeds or transmit messages to provide real-time collaboration by leaders and decision makers.

    AtHoc's networked crisis communications platform alerts any device - including iOS, Android, PC and Mac desktops, digital displays, radios, IP phones, and endpoints such as sirens, fire panels and speakers - helping organizations and people to connect and share information in times of crisis. The leading provider to the U.S. Departments of Defense (DoD) and Homeland Security, AtHoc also supports public and private enterprises across the world, including healthcare providers and industrial facilities.

    "BlackBerry is making strategic investments in security, privacy and the Internet of Things, and acquiring AtHoc will enable us to provide a holistic, end-to-end approach to communications," said John Chen, BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO. "We have a proud history of securing mission-critical communications for the public sector as well as enterprises operating in the most highly regulated industries. AtHoc's technology and expertise will play a key role as BlackBerry works to connect and secure a broad range of endpoints."

    "AtHoc and BlackBerry share a common vision of a securely connected world," said Guy Miasnik, President and CEO, AtHoc. "Federal departments, state and local agencies, and commercial enterprises alike depend on AtHoc to communicate reliably during their most critical moments. Becoming part of BlackBerry will give us the ability to scale more quickly to expand our global reach and introduce new applications for the AtHoc platform, while continuing to serve our government and enterprise customers."

    AtHoc is recognized as a "Leader" by industry analyst firm Gartner and achieved the highest position for ability to execute on the firm's Magic Quadrant for U.S. Emergency/Mass Notification Services1. BlackBerry has provided the world's most secure mobility solutions for more than two decades, and has earned more than 70 government certifications and approvals, greater than any other mobile vendor. The BlackBerry 10 platform is the only mobility solution to receive the coveted Full Operational Capability (FOC) certification to run on U.S. DoD networks. BlackBerry is the trusted mobility partner of all G7 governments, 16 of the G20 governments, 10 out of 10 of the largest global banks and law firms, and the top five largest managed healthcare, investment services, and oil and gas companies.

    The transaction is expected to be completed in BlackBerry's 2016 fiscal third quarter and is subject to customary closing conditions.

    1 Gartner Magic Quadrant for U.S. Emergency/Mass Notification Services, 31 March 2014, Gartner

    About BlackBerry

    A global leader in secure mobile communications, BlackBerry revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The Company trades under the ticker symbols "BB" on the Toronto Stock Exchange and "BBRY" on the NASDAQ. For more information, visit Cell Phones, Smartphones & Mobile Phones from

    About AtHoc

    AtHoc is the pioneer and recognized leader in networked crisis communication, protecting millions of people and thousands of organizations around the world. AtHoc provides a secure and reliable exchange of critical information among organizations, their people and devices. A trusted partner to the world's most demanding customers, AtHoc is the #1 provider to the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and safeguards numerous other government agencies and leading commercial enterprises. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the company operates around the globe. Lead investors in AtHoc include Greylock Partners and Intel Capital. For more information about AtHoc, please visit
    AtHoc - Networked Crisis Communication.
    07-22-15 08:05 AM
  6. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry to Acquire AtHoc: The Executives’ Perspectives
    07-22-15 08:28 AM
  7. rarsen's Avatar
    OT from the Related Technology files, always prudent to monitor what is going on in China. Possibly contributing to some of John Chen's emphasis on Software versus general user Hardware :

    Here comes Huawei: 100M smartphones expected to ship in 2015 | ZDNet
    07-22-15 08:36 AM
  8. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Little context concerning AtHoc:

    Classically Posted.
    07-22-15 08:49 AM
  9. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Peter Missek ripping Apple on BNN...will post video link when available.

    Classically Posted.
    07-22-15 08:54 AM
  10. Corbu's Avatar
    For those who might be interested and/or haven't already done so:

    Sign up for the Inside Mobility newsletter by BlackBerry

    It pulls together the most compelling news and delivers it right to your inbox so you're always up to date.



    Enterprise mobility isn't your average topic and Inside Mobility isn't your average newsletter. It pulls together the most compelling news and delivers it right to your inbox so you're always up to date.
    07-22-15 09:05 AM
  11. Mr BBRY's Avatar
    BlackBerry Acquiring AtHoc to Enable Secure Mass Communication and Collaboration
    BlackBerry and AtHoc to connect communities, devices and organizations for real time communication

    WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - July 22, 2015) - BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY)(TSX:BB), a global leader in secure mobile communications, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AtHoc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
    THIS! I think this is great news because it shows BlackBerry is putting its cash to good use. It shows a tremendous commitment to their mission to create the most compelling portfolio of securing communications and IoT. I'd imagine BlackBerry is paying a pretty penny for a company of this significance too. Let's hope to see more of these acquisitions that might not drive the bottom line right away, but build long term value for us shareholders. But of course all of this doesn't matter because the market says so....
    07-22-15 09:07 AM
  12. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry to buy messaging alerts firm AtHoc to expand software base - The Globe and Mail

    BlackBerry Ltd said on Wednesday it is buying privately-held AtHoc, a provider of secure, networked crisis communications, as it moves to broaden its software offering and generate revenue from its BBM messaging service.

    San Mateo, California-based AtHoc’s services are used by a number of top clients including the U.S. Department of Defense, Homeland Security and a host of blue-chip companies, to provide software that seamlessly allows them to reach staff via their smartphones, or via digital displays, radios, and even sirens, in times of crisis. Its services help organizations and people share information during business continuity and rescue efforts.

    The terms of the transaction, which is expected to close by November, were not disclosed.

    “AtHoc is an alerts system, but it also needs richer content and that can be provided by BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which offers not just text, but voice, picture and video sharing, so we can provide a much richer experience to their clients,” said BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen in an interview.

    The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions made by the smartphone pioneer, as it pivots to focus more on software and turn around its faded fortunes.

    Earlier this year, Chen said he saw a part of the company’s targeted software revenue growth in the current fiscal year coming from acquisitions of companies that will allow it to sell more value-added services.

    In April, Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry announced plans to acquire privately-held software maker WatchDox, which secures files. Its services are used by some of the world’s top federal agencies, private equity firms, and a slew of Hollywood studios.

    This followed last year’s buyout of Secusmart, a German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption and British tech start-up Movirtu, whose software allows users to have two phone numbers on the same device with a single SIM card.

    “AtHoc, with its messaging alerts, is the next piece in the puzzle,” said Chen, noting that the firm has some large marquee clients that compliment BlackBerry’s own customer base.

    The acquisitions made so far have helped BlackBerry ramp up its portfolio of services that cater to the needs of its core base of clients, such as corporations and government agencies.

    “Becoming part of BlackBerry will give us the ability to scale more quickly to expand our global reach and introduce new applications for the AtHoc platform,” said AtHoc CEO Guy Miasnik in a statement.
    07-22-15 09:13 AM
  13. pbfan's Avatar
    THIS! I think this is great news because it shows BlackBerry is putting its cash to good use. It shows a tremendous commitment to their mission to create the most compelling portfolio of securing communications and IoT. I'd imagine BlackBerry is paying a pretty penny for a company of this significance too. Let's hope to see more of these acquisitions that might not drive the bottom line right away, but build long term value for us shareholders. But of course all of this doesn't matter because the market says so....
    I am curious why BBRY cannot do this type of software themselves?
    07-22-15 09:24 AM
  14. randall2580's Avatar
    Last I read, Chrysler UConnect 8.4 systems using the 8.4" screens are QNX based. UConnect 5.0 systems using the 5" screens are Microsoft based. The article didn't say which version of UConnect they compromised.

    There are too many OEM suppliers involved in making a car. Even if QNX was found to be "unhackable" a vulnerability could've been introduced by another OEM supplier's product or by the auto manufacturer's programmers themselves. Hard to point fingers here.

    Posted via CB10
    I agree, but I see it as a real chance for QNX. If they could present a white paper wherein they could show what they would have done to make this impossible (assuming this wasn't their system being hacked in the first place), they could buy themselves an awful lot of good press and probably some business with what is going on in Congress as reported here.

    Supposedly these 2 guys will present their work at a hackers convention in August, QNX could be ready with a response that is timely and opportunistic.
    07-22-15 09:28 AM
  15. Corbu's Avatar
    Completely OT:
    But since we have a friend on the Board...

    Interesting background piece on WFC which I'll post if you guys want it or can't access it.

    Wells Fargo & Co. Is the Earth?s Most Valuable Bank - WSJ
    Mr BBRY, zyben, sidhuk and 3 others like this.
    07-22-15 09:43 AM
  16. crackerdoodle's Avatar
    AtHoc, Inc. provides network-centric interactive crisis communication systems in the United States and internationally. The company offers AtHoc IWS, an interactive warning system that enables the organizations to communicate, interact, and account for all personnel during critical situations. It also provides IWSAlerts, a mass notification system; Personalized Operating Picture, a crisis visibility and information coordination tool; and IWSAccountability, a personnel status tracking and accountability module. In addition, the company offers IWSFieldReport, a field situation reporting application for field personnel; IWSDuress, a personal duress reporting application, which enables the user to report an urgent situation with a duress button on their smart phones; Notifier, a mobile application that sends timely alerts to desktop, email, SMS text, and phone; and AtHoc Cloud that enables emergency managers to send alerts, view events, and interact with personnel across a geo-distributed enterprise. Further, it provides IP Integration Module that integrates non-IP systems with the crisis communication platform; Social Network Integration platform that integrates with social networks; Weather Alerts Module that integrates with the National Weather Service Emergency Managers Weather Information Network for critical warnings, active alerts, or severe weather advisories; and Personnel Data Integration Module to maintain the current personnel contact information. The company’s products are used for physical security, force protection, personnel accountability, recall, and regulatory compliance. It serves air force, army, navy, marine, joint forces, homeland security, government, healthcare, higher education, and industrial/commercial sectors. AtHoc, Inc. has strategic alliances with Cisco, Dell, IBM, Microsoft, NOTIFIER by Honeywell, Siemens Communications, and SimplexGrinnell. The company was founded in 1999 and is based in San Mateo, California.
    07-22-15 09:48 AM
  17. Shanerredflag's Avatar
    Completely OT:
    But since we have a friend on the Board...

    Interesting background piece on WFC which I'll post if you guys want it or can't access it.

    Wells Fargo & Co. Is the Earth?s Most Valuable Bank - WSJ
    Would love to read it

    Classically Posted.
    Corbu, Mr BBRY, bungaboy and 2 others like this.
    07-22-15 10:00 AM
  18. Corbu's Avatar
    Would love to read it
    Happy to oblige!

    Wells Fargo & Co. Is the Earth’s Most Valuable Bank
    Lender rides relatively simple business lines to title of bank with world’s largest market capitalization

    Quick: Can you name the most valuable bank in the world?

    It isn’t who you think.

    San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. recently surpassed Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. as the lender with the largest market value in the world. Now, Wells Fargo’s market capitalization is approaching $300 billion, a first for a U.S. bank—and $42 billion and $120 billion more than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., respectively.

    The shares traded lower Tuesday, putting Wells Fargo about $1.3 billion short of the milestone. After a 13.5% gain in the past 12 months, Wells Fargo is now the seventh-largest stock in the S&P 500 index.

    The bank’s size underscores the relative strength of the U.S. economy, as China is racked by stock-market gyrations and Europe labors with existential questions about the eurozone.

    Even after paying tens of billions in regulatory settlements stemming from the crisis, U.S. banks have recovered handsomely. The KBW Bank Index, a measure of large U.S. bank stocks, is trading near a postcrisis high. And J.P. Morgan, the largest U.S. bank by assets and second-largest behind Wells Fargo in market value, hit its own all-time stock record of $69.75 a share June 23.

    Wells Fargo’s market value surpasses those of all peers thanks largely to its relatively simple business, which doesn’t rely on many complex derivatives or risky trades using borrowed money. Shares at Wells Fargo trade at 1.78 times the company’s book value, compared with 1.18 times at J.P. Morgan and 1.02 times at ICBC, which has suffered recently from concerns about the Chinese economy.

    “There’s just no question the industry is so much stronger than what it was six, seven, eight years ago,” said John Stumpf, the bank’s chairman and chief executive, in an interview. “The U.S. economy is doing quite well, especially in relative terms to the rest of the world.…There’s [also] been a lot of capital and liquidity raised” by the banks.

    Wells Fargo has its vulnerabilities. Some analysts point to cost controls and a loan book with exposure to falling energy prices. Others note that its shares are priced on the expensive side compared with its book value, and that banks often haven’t held the market-cap title for long.

    But Wells Fargo isn’t like many of its competitors. It is the No. 1 player in U.S. mortgages but is relatively small in trading, a business that has attracted heavy regulatory scrutiny and higher capital requirements. J.P. Morgan’s corporate and investment bank, which includes trading, made up 36% of the firm’s revenue in the second quarter, while the similar division at Wells Fargo, where trading is even smaller, was 29% of revenue.

    On Monday, the Federal Reserve told eight of the country’s biggest banks how much extra capital they would need to set aside to protect against losses. Of the six largest banks, Wells Fargo, the fourth largest by assets, has the smallest surcharge—2%—compared with 4.5% at J.P. Morgan and 3% at Bank of America Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

    Why is Wells Fargo valued the way it is? Largely because the very traits that were considered a weakness a generation ago are now regarded as a strength. The bank has largely eschewed investment banking and trading income, which has endeared it to regulators. That means the bank has fewer capital demands, which lowers its lending costs and increases its ability to pay dividends and buy back shares.

    One particular practice that has put Wells Fargo in the good graces of regulators is its sparing use of derivatives, which are contracts banks use to hedge or speculate on various price movements, often using borrowed money. According to a recent study by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Wells Fargo had $5.8 trillion in notional value of derivatives on its books, compared with $47.2 trillion at Bank of America Corp., $56.2 trillion at J.P. Morgan and $56.6 trillion at Citigroup.

    Many investors are also betting on Wells Fargo as a way to benefit if interest rates rise. The profitability of consumer banks like Wells Fargo often increase as the economy heats up and long-term bond yields climb.

    “A lot of funds have gravitated toward Wells Fargo because it feels like a cleaner story,” said David Konrad, head of bank research at Macquarie Group Ltd.

    Despite being the largest U.S. mortgage lender, Wells Fargo hasn’t weathered as many regulatory fines as others in the industry. Wells Fargo has yet to pay a major fine to the Department of Justice over residential mortgage-backed securities, whereas Bank of America doled out $16.65 billion, J.P. Morgan paid $13 billion and Citigroup clocked in at $7 billion over roughly the past 18 months.

    As for global valuation, Wells Fargo has wrestled with ICBC for the top spot for years. It first ousted the Chinese lender from the most-valuable spot in 2013. Citigroup, which was the most valuable U.S. bank before the financial crisis, today is fourth most valuable.

    Chinese bank performance has been sluggish as the country’s economy slows. Its state-run banks were able to deliver double-digit growth for years. But bad debts and a slowing economy are taking their toll. ICBC Chairman Jiang Jianqing said in a March briefing that “it is no longer possible to maintain such high growth levels.” ICBC shares have fallen about 19% in the past three months, according to FactSet.

    “At this point now, we’re starting to see companies’ actions start to impact the bottom line,” said David Ellison, a portfolio manager at Hennessy Funds who owns shares of J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo. “Whether it be cost initiatives, repositioning the balance sheet…we’re seeing the benefits of a good banking system.”
    07-22-15 10:02 AM
  19. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry to Buy Crisis-Communications Software Firm AtHoc - WSJ

    July 22, 2015 9:29 a.m. ET

    BlackBerry Ltd. said Wednesday it agreed to buy closely held software provider AtHoc, the smartphone maker’s latest niche acquisition in its bid to reignite revenue from sales of mobile software and security offerings to government and corporate customers.

    The deal is the Canadian smartphone maker’s fourth acquisition since September. All either focus on helping companies reduce their employee mobile device costs or add additional security to mobile networks.

    Financial terms of the AtHoc purchase weren’t disclosed.

    AtHoc’s software works across mobile operating systems and allows users to communicate in real time during a crisis situation. The San Manteo, California-based company’s customers include the U.S. Department of Defense and Homeland Security.

    “AtHoc’s technology and expertise will play a key role as BlackBerry works to connect and secure a broad range of endpoints,” BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a release.

    BlackBerry is betting on the sales of mobile security and productivity software, and smartphones aimed at professionals, to fuel its turnaround. It is targeting software sales of $500 million for fiscal 2016.

    Acquisitions have always been part of BlackBerry’s strategy. But deals are becoming increasingly important to its efforts as sales of the company’s latest software used to manage mobile devices on a corporate network struggle to gain traction.

    BlackBerry generated a profit of $68 million in its fiscal first quarter, largely due to cost-cutting. Revenue fell 32%. The company’s software sales rose year-over-year, but some analysts were disappointed with the increase because it also included revenue from the licensing of technology patents. BlackBerry had previously not grouped technology licensing revenue with software sales.

    The company had also aimed to generate another $100 million in fiscal 2016 from its BBM messaging service. But in another sign of its struggles, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing last month that it no longer expects to reach that BBM revenue target this year fiscal year due to lower-than-expected growth. It didn’t provide updated BBM revenue guidance.

    BlackBerry signaled in its release that AtHoc’s technology could help it generate revenue from BBM. The company may incorporate the software with its BBM service to allow users to enable live video feeds or transmit messages in real time.
    sidhuk, bungaboy, rarsen and 1 others like this.
    07-22-15 10:14 AM
  20. Corbu's Avatar
    BlackBerry adds crisis communications solution to its portfolio | IT World Canada News

    BlackBerry is extending its security portfolio with the acquisition of a provider of crisis communications solutions.

    The company said this morning it is buying San Mateo, Calif.-based AtHoc Inc., whose cloud platform can message staff to share information when alerts are triggered from a wide range of sources, including social media, fire panels, sirens, mobile app, desktop, two-way radios and wearable devices.

    “BlackBerry is making strategic investments in security, privacy and the Internet of Things, and acquiring AtHoc will enable us to provide a holistic, end-to-end approach to communications,” company CEO John Chen said in a statement. “AtHoc’s technology and expertise will play a key role as BlackBerry works to connect and secure a broad range of endpoints.”

    AtHoc CEO Guy Miasnik said the deal “will give us the ability to scale more quickly to expand our global reach and introduce new applications for the AtHoc platform, while continuing to serve our government and enterprise customers.” The statement said one new application might integrating AtHoc solutions with BBM Meetings, allowing it to carry live video feeds or transmit messages designated staff during an alert.

    The price BlackBerry [TSX: BB] paid wasn’t disclosed. The deal is expected to be completed later this year.

    AtHoc customers include the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, and more than 200 hospitals in the U.S.

    A number of company compete in the emergency communications space including Everbridge, SendWordNow, Global AlertLink, Sungard Availability Services, Blackboard Connect, Omnilert and OneCallNow. In March, Everbridge announced a partnership with Federal Signal, a provider of environmental and public safety products, to develop a unified communications platform allowing Federal Signal’s physical safety devices to initiate and receive emergency notifications and other communications.

    At the time Gartner research wrote that the partnership “gives both the companies a new potential customer base — Everbridge can sell its EMNS solutions; Federal Signal can sell its IoT devices. It also pressures Everbridge’s competitors to find similar deals covering the breadth and volume of IoT devices. More importantly, over time, as more IoT devices become available, customers implementing devices from several manufacturers won’t want to manage multiple EMNS services. A few market-leading EMNS providers could then emerge to manage IoT device alerts. But the more likely result will be the need for an IoT version of the Common Alerting Protocol — an XML-based data format for exchanging public warnings and emergencies between alerting technologies.”

    In a BlackBerry blog Miasnik said the “mass notification sector is actually a pretty significant and growing market. Governments are an obvious market as many agencies provide critical services. The defense industry is another key market. We’re also seeing traction among many organizations that need to coordinate large numbers of people to respond to any kind of disruption — think of a university or a chemical company. Really, any organization that has a disaster recovery plan involving the coordination of larger groups of people could be a customer.”
    sidhuk, Mr BBRY, bungaboy and 4 others like this.
    07-22-15 10:16 AM
  21. Corbu's Avatar
    07-22-15 10:21 AM
  22. Corbu's Avatar
    Amber on AtHoc:

    BNN - Watch TV Online | BlackBerry boosts security with new acquisition

    + Peter Misek evoking the possibility of a share buyback...
    Mr BBRY, bungaboy, W Hoa and 9 others like this.
    07-22-15 10:33 AM
  23. Mr.Conviviality's Avatar
    xoma has self destructed but somehow there are still lots moving in to buy...

    I'm confused.
    bungaboy likes this.
    07-22-15 10:48 AM
  24. BACK-2-BLACK's Avatar

    NantKwest Announces Launch of Initial Public Offering

    "Applied to have its shares of common stock approved for listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "NK"

    July 16, 2015 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

    CULVER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NantKwest, Inc. (formerly known as Conkwest, Inc.), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focused on harnessing the power of the innate immune system by using the Natural Killer (NK) cell to treat cancer, infectious diseases and inflammatory diseases, today announced that it has commenced an initial public offering of 7,000,000 shares of its common stock. The estimated price range of the common stock is between $20.00 and $23.00 per share. The underwriters of the offering will have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,050,000 shares of common stock from NantKwest at the initial public offering price, less customary underwriting discounts and commissions. NantKwest has applied to have its shares of common stock approved for listing on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol NK. In addition, existing stockholder Celgene Corporation has agreed to purchase $17.0 million of shares of NantKwest common stock in a separate private placement concurrent with the offering at a price per share equal to the initial public offering price.

    BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Jefferies LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering, and MLV & Co. LLC is acting as co-manager.

    A registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the SEC, but has not yet become effective. These securities may not be sold, nor may offers to buy be accepted, prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy these securities, nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction.

    The proposed offering will be made only by means of a prospectus. When available, copies of the preliminary prospectus related to the offering may be obtained from: BofA Merrill Lynch, 222 Broadway, New York, NY 10038, Attention: Prospectus Department, or by email at:; Citigroup Global Markets Inc., c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717, or by email at, or by telephone at (800) 831-9146; Jefferies LLC, Equity Syndicate Prospectus Department, 520 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10022, or by telephone at (877) 547-6340, or by email at; or Piper Jaffray & Co., Attention: Prospectus Department, 800 Nicollet Mall, Suite 800, Minneapolis, MN 55402, or by email to, or by telephone at (800) 747-3924.

    Jen Hodson, 562-397-3639"
    07-22-15 10:52 AM
  25. BACK-2-BLACK's Avatar

    "The AtHoc product evaluated for this research is IWSAlerts The current product version is IWSAlerts, which addresses some of the concerns mentioned for the evaluated product version for this research. AtHoc has generated most of its EMNS business from the following industry verticals: the U.S. military, U.S. state and local government agencies, healthcare, and discrete manufacturing. Ninety percent of its implementations are hybrid implementations, more than any other EMNS vendor. It guarantees 99.95% uptime in its SLA. AtHoc IWSAlerts is well-suited to large implementations that have a strong need for integration with physical security system integration, voice over IP (VoIP), and situational awareness and inbound messaging via a mobile app. AtHoc remains a Leader in this Magic Quadrant report due to its strong crisis communication system vision as well as its revenue growth between 2011 and 2012, which was the highest of all vendors in this report.

    • AtHoc's pricing model complexity was the second lowest of all vendors, with multiyear and industry pricing discounts available.
    • Unlimited messaging for phone, email and SMS is part of the standard contract.
    • AtHoc is one of only two vendors that offer all three service delivery models.
    • IWSAlerts has a basic and easy-to-use administrative UI. Administrators can select target recipients via GIS. The vendor offers excellent message status reporting and dashboards. AtHoc has expanded endpoint support into the OT device area. AtHoc is the top EMNS vendor for physical system integration. It provides tightly integrated VoIP phone support with the Cisco VoIP PBX and phone devices, and with Microsoft Lync. AtHoc has strong GIS capability (which supports Bing and Google Maps and Esri imports) for message creation, both in the Web app and mobile app. AtHoc supports IPAWS-OPEN, cell broadcasting and Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). Contact information is encrypted at rest using a FIPS 140-2-compliant algorithm.
    • IWSAlerts has excellent mobile device functionality via native iPhone, iPad and Android apps for recipient notification and administrator operations.
    • The message inbox is cached on the device for offline access to messages.
    • The map view on the app allows console system data receipt for visual interpretation of geobased information such as location of the event, cordoned-off areas and potential evacuation routes. The app has a duress button, as well as "track me" and check-in capabilities.
    • AtHoc has its own crisis/incident/emergency management suite, including functionality such as capturing rich event information; managing, visualizing and sharing event data for situational awareness;
    • communicating actionable situational intelligence to the target audience via a variety of endpoints; and accounting for personnel during an event.
    • AtHoc also integrates with many well-known third-party crisis/incident management tools.
    • AtHoc has excellent data center geographic distribution, with 18 data centers in the U.S. (on the East Coast in Virginia and Maryland;
    • West Coast in California; and in Hawaii, Oklahoma and Illinois), the U.K., Italy and Germany. All data centers can act as each other's failover and recovery center. AtHoc's own SaaS service is certified per NIST SP 800-53 Revision 3 (FIPS 199 moderate classification). Due to its strong military customer base, the AtHoc product suite is U.S. Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP)-certified and is on the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Approved Products List. AtHoc leverages MIR3's telephony alerting in combination with AtHoc's own service to provide a dual network for telephony redundancy.
    • Escalation and response times are well-documented (including Severity 1 work-arounds/resolutions achieved in less than one day). Customers are entitled to message cost refunds if the SLA is not met. However, details on how such refunds are calculated are not explained in the SLA itself.

    • Pricing for AtHoc's EMNS product is the highest of all vendors in the Magic Quadrant. This was evidenced in the customer reference feedback.
    • A recent emphasis to sell IWSAlerts in a vendor-hosted delivery model intended to attract a wider range of buyers currently has won only 10% adoption.
    • AtHoc's standard SLA indicates that it negotiates notification transmittal capacity for each customer implementation. However, Gartner was not provided an example of an SLA for notification transmittals to validate against capacity claims. The SLA states that AtHoc supports prior software versions for only one year after the release of the subsequent version. However, AtHoc claims that, in practice, it currently supports multiple prior software versions and that all of its customers buy the annual software assurance package, which includes all upgrades as well as 24/7 technical support.

    Last edited by BACK-2-BLACK; 07-22-15 at 12:33 PM.
    07-22-15 11:02 AM
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