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in any Blackberry I've ever owned or seen in smoothness, intuitiveness, app switching, ecosystem, and whatever else you can think of.
There is a key qualified there, that you've "owned or seen". The new BB7 devices really don't get the credit they should have and very few people know them. Everyone seems to have missed that RIM changed their UI over to 60fps hardware accelerated rendering. The result is an experience far smoother than the vast majority of Android devices. Things like pinch zoom in the browser are as smooth as iOS.
I'm not going to tell you that BlackBerry has a ton of apps, I'd be deluding myself. But the IM, email and social networking experience the GP was referring to is really unmatched by other platforms.
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I'm not going to say the US shouldn't cut anything, but what to cut is really outside the scope of this and discussing it wouldn't end well. To point is just that, other economically successful countries (say Canada, which doesn't have a debt crisis) manage with governments that spend an even larger amount of money. The US could afford what it currently spends if it raised taxes to levels seen in many other developed countries, or even just close to those levels.
On the upside, OS 2.0 already has MKV support. It's in the developer beta.
I should point out though that your carrier already knows what numbers you dialled and when you received messages. Anything that connects off device is obviously readable and loggable by them, BES of course excepted due to the encryption.
You're right though that it doesn't strictly need to be there. I do think ActiveSync support is a good idea, and I do think we'll see it on BBX.
In either case my point wasn't really about the merits. In the years I've owned a BlackBerry I've only experienced two of those outages and they've been short enough. BlackBerry sure has its issues, but reliability is a pretty minor one.