Research In Motion Ltd.

Blackberry tablet 'to launch next week'

Research In Motion may use a developers' conference next week to announce plans for a tablet computer to compete with Apple's iPad and Amazon's, the Wall Street Journal said yesterday.

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The Diary: Alistair Campbell; Costa Prize; Glynn Griffiths; André

Alastair Campbell the ex-director of communications for Tony Blair and latter-day novelist, has always been known for his high-energy reserves. So it came as no surprise when he told me that he wrote parts of his first novel, and his latest book, 'Maya', on his Blackberry while he was multi-tasking on his office exercise machine. "I also work a lot on the move," he adds. "For my first novel, 'All in the Mind', a key themes which I had had difficulties with came to me as I was driving to a Burnley game on the M1. I pulled over at a service station and wrote down the "suicide scene" on my BlackBerry. It didn't change in the finished book. I also work a lot on cars and planes, and I have no trouble writing on my BlackBerry." For 'Maya', he drove around west London, to be in the neighbourhood in which his book's protagonist is based. "I decided she lived in Little Venice so I'd sit in the car outside to watch things going on and write on the BlackBerry," he says. Flashes of inspiration often come on the motorway while driving North to watch Burney FC, he says.

Extreme family: It lacks luxury but a break in the Welsh countryside

I'm a bit jealous of my children. They get to go on school trips to activity centres, have quadded and go-karted with PGL and often throw themselves around on boats and in tents with the cubs and Woodcraft Folk. I, meanwhile, spend my holidays on a sun lounger with one eye on my BlackBerry, feeling guilty about not using the hotel gym.

Outage cripples BlackBerry Americas network

North and South American users of Research in Motion Ltd's BlackBerry smartphone suffered widespread delays in message services yesterday, just a week after another outage struck the popular corporate network.