Hackers to release "DingleBerry" tool to jailbreak BlackBerry Playbook

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Three developers have reportedly bypassed Research In Motion's security, gaining root access to the BlackBerry Playbook. The trio -- currently known as xpvqs, neuralic and cmw (Chris Wade) -- demonstrated the feat in a few videos this week. In one of the clips, neuralic fiddles with the backlight and LEDs through a command prompt. In another, cmw shows a PlayBook playing a Hulu show (the streaming service blocked RIM's tablet earlier this year).

The hackers will release their discovery next week in the form of a tool amusingly dubbed "DingleBerry," allowing fellow tinkerers to jailbreak their PlayBook. RIM was quick to respond to the claims, vowing to investigate the exploit. "If it is determined that the claim is accurate, RIM will follow its standard response process to develop and release a software update that is designed to minimize adverse impact to our customers or carrier partners," the company said.

The exploit could dent RIM's reputation because the BlackBerry brand prides itself on security. The company has been two steps behind Apple and Google when it comes to consumer smartphones and tablets, so it has attempted to distinguish itself in the enterprise market by harping on BlackBerry's superior security.

For instance, the PlayBook is the only tablet cleared for use by the US federal government after receiving a FIPS certification earlier this year. On the bright side, "DingleBerry" will not affect the company's mobile phones, which run on a different operating system (the PlayBook is powered by a QNX-based OS).

The fact that RIM must uphold its stern appearance on security seems unfortunate in this situation. When a mobile device flops, it's been common for companies to slash prices and encourage community development. Barnes and Noble's Nook is a great example in recent memory, and so is HP's TouchPad to an extent.

The PlayBook has received multiple price cuts and while we don't have sales figures, that doesn't seem to have helped the device's popularity much. The slate is currently fetching $260 to $380 depending on its internal storage. Would you be more inclined to buy a PlayBook if it ran Android and had a strong community backing?

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