Meeting Obama? Leave your BlackBerry at the door

If you're meeting with American President Barack Obama then you may be asked to leave your BlackBerry device at the door with a yellow sticky note.

President Obama and Cabinet members share their perspectives during their bimonthly meetings. The meetings typically last over one hour and include topics such as the Economy, Iraq War and other domestic matters. CNN spotted that cabinet members are also asked to leave their BlackBerry devices in a basket at the door when meeting with the President. Members simply write their name on a yellow sticky note and attach it to their device.

Although the official "behind the scenes" video of the cabinet does not confirm the reason behind the ritual, we can safely assume it's to ensure the meeting remains un-interrupted by emails, text messages and the occasional voice mail from Tiger Woods.

You can check out the high tech system in use below.

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57 Comments

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Shiranui said,
What is the big deal with blackberries anyway?

Surely not "push email"?

It's true push email, none of this constant connect post disconnect like other phones.

They are also the most secure.

Nashy said,

It's true push email, none of this constant connect post disconnect like other phones.

They are also the most secure.

Well, in Japan we have had push email on virtually all phones sold for close to ten years now. No wonder the blackberry went mostly unnoticed here.
Lack of push email is hindering the uptake of android phones too.

I am interested in finding out more about Blackberry's security features though.

Nashy said,


It's true push email, none of this constant connect post disconnect like other phones.

They are also the most secure.


Windows Mobile at least also offers "true" push mail. It also maintains connection to the server and gets "pinged" as soon as email comes in. In my usage it works faster than my desktop Outlook connected to Exchange. Even with the Outlook machine connected to the same LAN as the Exchange server.

I think the BB is such highly regarded because it does what it doe well and the BB messenger and PIN features are very useful.

Shiranui said,


Well, in Japan we have had push email on virtually all phones sold for close to ten years now. No wonder the blackberry went mostly unnoticed here.
Lack of push email is hindering the uptake of android phones too.

I am interested in finding out more about Blackberry's security features though.


How so? The only standardized "push" email standard is IMAP IDLE which was finished in like 2000 and wasn't widely supported in servers until 2005 or shortly after...

Frazell Thomas said,

Windows Mobile at least also offers "true" push mail. It also maintains connection to the server and gets "pinged" as soon as email comes in. In my usage it works faster than my desktop Outlook connected to Exchange. Even with the Outlook machine connected to the same LAN as the Exchange server.

I think the BB is such highly regarded because it does what it doe well and the BB messenger and PIN features are very useful.

Yes, but BB does true push for non exchange clients too.

Frazell Thomas said,
Windows Mobile at least also offers "true" push mail. It also maintains connection to the server and gets "pinged" as soon as email comes in. In my usage it works faster than my desktop Outlook connected to Exchange. Even with the Outlook machine connected to the same LAN as the Exchange server.

I think the BB is such highly regarded because it does what it doe well and the BB messenger and PIN features are very useful.

Hahaha, this is true for me too. My desktop sits on the same switch as my exchange server, both of which are powerful machines. And yet my iPhone tends to chime before Outlook 2007 does when a new message arrives!

Makes me chuckle every time I see it happen. Makes me think that ActiveSync OTA is damned fast protocol.

Nashy said,
Argh! It's not BlackBerries. It's BlackBerrys! It's a name.

Argh! It is not a "name" (which would make it a noun). It is an adjective!

From the horse's mouth: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/legal/BlackBe...ber_2008_v1.pdf

Check out how it is "never" to be used. There are no plural adjectives. No plural to BlackBerry.

Take that, Mr. Smarty Pants! :P


(in all seriousness, I don't get bent out of shape like you did over such minor naming usage)

markjensen said,
Argh! It is not a "name" (which would make it a noun). It is an adjective!

From the horse's mouth: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/legal/BlackBe...ber_2008_v1.pdf

Check out how it is "never" to be used. There are no plural adjectives. No plural to BlackBerry.

Take that, Mr. Smarty Pants! :P


(in all seriousness, I don't get bent out of shape like you did over such minor naming usage)

No one loves BlackBerry as much as me!

If I knew how to insert smilies, my post wouldn't have come off all serious as it reads.

Nashy said,
No one loves BlackBerry as much as me!

If I knew how to insert smilies, my post wouldn't have come off all serious as it reads.


No biggie. I had no idea, myself, until I googled and searched their site for a bit.

This probably has happened before with previous presidents in different meetings. Its more of a matter of just having an uninterrupted conversation.

I'm sure it has a LOT less to do with trust seeing as how they could tweet, sms, email, etc. any information from the meeting right after they get out. It is about them actually paying attention and not getting absorbed in their sms, emails, etc.

He won't get those "oh this call is very important I need to take this" moments.

murkurie said,
He probably has 3 email accounts, so needs a blackberry per account.

I hope that is sarcasm and Blackberries can be used with multiple emails. I have 1 iPhone, and 6 email accounts on it. (don't ask why I've accrued so many emails...*sigh*).

shawncm217 said,
True. It looks like only BlackBerrys are affected. Android, iPhone, WinMo and feature phones? Safe! LOL.

Yes, out of the Smart Phones, the BlackBerry is the only real smart one. Smarter than most people in Government, which is probably why.

Actually, because most Blackberries have keyboards and iPhones/Android phones don't, it would be much harder to type without looking.

I do see one Storm though.

Simon said,
I doubt many cabinet ministers know what a jailbreak is, not to mention jailbreaking and installing SSH.

I think a lot of cabinet ministers/members know what jailbreaking is...as they are all crooks and one step away from having to plan one..haha

dagamer34 said,
Actually, because most Blackberries have keyboards and iPhones/Android phones don't, it would be much harder to type without looking.

I do see one Storm though.

hahahahahha

bdsams said,
blackberry FTW....good to know that im not alone in my addiction

You're not. I have a real problem. I have 7.

bdsams said,
blackberry FTW....good to know that im not alone in my addiction

Same here. Defo FTW. I can't see myself ever using another phone tbh.

Fubar said,
omg at the video of them putting them into a basket so cash man

Why a straw basket!? They don't have a plastic tray, or a cabinet or something?

This is the same logic for classes. People cannot understand how to turn off or silence their phones, so they constantly go off during lecture.

BGM said,
just turn it off, and leave in your pocket? heh
There's also a chance of eavesdropping through these devices, among other things. In my younger years and having a TS clearance, we were never allowed to have any thing electronic (including watches... though I did question it) when I went to classified briefings and meetings. I'm surprised stuff like this wasn't already enforced.

Chrono951 said,
This is the same logic for classes. People cannot understand how to turn off or silence their phones, so they constantly go off during lecture.

Lol, I love it when it happens. The whole lecture theater just cracks up haha

SirDoan said,

Yes they do..

And by forever, you mean 15 seconds from the second you hold down the button to screen-off, and then 4.8 seconds from hitting power button, to screen on and usable? timings were done using my ipod touch's stopwatch feature, and using my 8300...so 4.8 seconds...SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LONG to wait.