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Why Does my BlackBerry Web Browser Force me to Google Canada? (or: why I love Berry 411 Search)

Whenever I go to www.google.com on my T-Mobile BlackBerry 7100t web browser, it insists on taking me to the Canadian version of the Google home page. Nothing I do can force it to the U.S. version. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but it really screws up any Google Local searches I try to do (because Google Local Canada doesn’t know anything about my Oregon zip code).

I know RIM is based in Canada, but come on… :-)

Luckily I have the excellent Berry 411 Search app to do all of my phone and address lookups. I like it much better than plain web searches, for a couple of reasons:

  • Store your Home, Work, and Other locations, which are used as context in all searches. That means that results are listed by proximity to your current specified location.
  • Perform Yellow Pages, White Pages, Movies, Shopping, Wikipedia, and Google searches from one menu
  • Results are tweaked so that phone numbers are clickable hyperlinks to dial – look up someone’s number, then just click on it in the results to dial
  • Get maps and driving directions to all address results (Yellow and White pages)
  • It’s free

Now that I think about it, Berry 411 Search is probably the most useful application I have on my Blackberry. It’s very empowering knowing that all sorts of releveant data is just a quick search away. I love it.

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4 thoughts on “Why Does my BlackBerry Web Browser Force me to Google Canada? (or: why I love Berry 411 Search)

  1. zsc says:

    I am using my verizon blackberry now…sometimes I am redirected to google canada but not always….I don’t know why

  2. Susan says:

    I have this same problem and it only started in the last few days. This happens with my laptop, not my Blackberry. Apparently, I have a Canadian IP address? I’ve also had problems as of late with Pandora. Normally I listen to it at work, but lately the page won’t load saying that only US customers can access it. I DO NOT LIVE IN CANADA! I don’t know how to make various websites recognize my US residency – Google included.

  3. Cliff says:

    Blackberry’s internet service redirects the browser through a proxy server which is (no surprise!) at R.I.M.’s home location, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. This is profoundly annoying.

    1. If you’re visiting a mobile browser page that is location-specific, you will end up being treated as though you’re in Waterloo.

    2. If the Waterloo server goes down, or if the connection between where-you-are and where-they-are goes down, there’s no work-around.

    3. The redirect cannot be re-set to something more intelligent (as far as I know). They’re FORCING us to all use Canadian internet traffic. This can be a good thing — if you’re an R.I.M. employee and you want the statistics about how “important” your company is, measured by traffic, to be artificially inflated, for example. Or if you are a Canadian who bally-hoos your national superiority in all things (as they are wont to do) or if you are interested in getting taxpayer kickback from the Canadian government based on how much foreigners’ money you take. Falsely inflated statistics.

    But actually it’s a bad thing — international activity.

    Imagine, for instance …

    3.a. You’re browsing the internet on your phone browser. You want to know where the latest apartments in New York are. You hit Craig’s List. The FBI sees that you’re visiting a web site which has recently been trafficking in international advertisements for sex slaves. You are now an accessory to a crime, simply because R.I.M. lied to you. You can, of course, sue them at some point in the future, for misrepresentation, if you can afford the legal fees to take on a big company in a foreign nation.

    I’m appalled. NO SETTING on the browser for REDIRECTING THE PROXY SERVER!!!??? Criminal.

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