11th April 2011

Digital Alberta Awards Open For Submissions

digital albertaNominations are now being accepted for the Digital Alberta Awards. Formerly known as the mediaFresh Awards, the Digital Alberta Awards recognize companies, individuals and technologies that have shaped Alberta’s digital landscape. Through nominations the Digital Alberta Awards notes the excellence achieved in Alberta’s industries where digital media has significantly strengthened, improved or innovated. These awards will be presented to outstanding companies, individuals or organizations in industry sectors who have demonstrated the greatest impact on the market using digital media and technologies. The deadline for nominations is May 6th, with the winners announced and awards presented during a Cocktail Reception in Calgary at the Hotel Arts on June 6th from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.

The Categories Are:

* B2B Innovation
* B2C Innovation
* Best Agency
* Best Combined Hardware & Software Experience
* Best Digital Design
* Best Digital Startup
* Best in Cross-Platform Content
* Best in E-learning
* Best in Financial Services
* Best in Gaming
* Best in Social Media
* Best Social Impact
* Best Use of Film, Animation or SFX
* Best User Experience
* Government 2.0
* Mobile Innovation
* People’s Choice Award
* Sponsors
* The Student Digital Award

A reminder to all Digital Alberta members, your Annual General Meeting will be held on April 19th. If you’re in Edmonton, the meeting will be held at the Advanced Technology Centre boardroom. If you’re in Calgary, it will be held at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre. The Association is currently seeking three new Directors as well as people who are interested in volunteering to help out with the Association. Click here if you could be that person.

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11th April 2011

Monday News Wrap-Up

Register: TOJam is happening May 13 – 15th in Toronto & registration opens sometime today
Speaker Session: Consoles Are Dinosaurs – May 12th in Vancouver
Final Day: To submit Speaker Proposals for the Montreal International Game Summit

Strategy FirstSoftware publisher Strategy First Inc. will increase from 20% of all sales to 30% of all sales from their game store to further assist with the ongoing crisis in Japan. The website will feature both hardcore and casual games so that everyone in the family may purchase and support Japan.

The efforts are to help the RED CROSS with the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief efforts. The Earthquakes and Tsunami   have devastated the country and its people. Strategy First is extending its commitment to helping the region and its people through the Red Cross until April 18th, and anyone who purchases one of the other over 300 titles available on the website will directly help the Red Cross provide relief to the victims in Japan.

Some of the available titles featured are, Ninja Blade Online, Dark Fall Lost Souls, Crash Time III, Darkstar The Interactive Movie, Steel Fury, Jagged Alliance II Gold with casual titles, Rail Way Mogul, Air Port Control Simulator  and many more. Along with Hard Core Strategy, and Casual Games other genres include, Simulation, Arcade Action, Racing, RPG, Adventure, Grand Strategy, and Train Simulator. All titles are available for your donation.

“With the unfortunate news coming from Japan we are renewing our efforts to support the country and its people through the Red Cross.” Says Strategy First Director Emanuel Wall, “Our games will provide an opportunity to help others while providing good quality entertainment to Gamers.”

With your support the Red Cross can continue to provide life-saving medical care, shelter, supplies and most importantly – hope, to earthquake and tsunami survivors.  The needs are great but you can make a difference. All funds raised will support the Red Cross.

DejeroWaterloo’s Dejero Labs Inc. has announced that the Panasonic NAB exhibit will feature a Panasonic Toughbook laptop that integrates the Dejero LIVE Transmitter software to demonstrate a live HD video transmission solution that is highly mobile with 4G wireless capability. This innovative transmission solution integrates store and forward capabilities and can also upload clips, photos, and files as well as stream live video. The collaboration between Panasonic and Dejero delivers on the simple premise: broadcast live or remotely located high-quality video without the high cost or complexity of satellite or microwave transmission. Television broadcasters can view at NAB for the first time, a new choice to cover breaking news faster, with less set-up time, and with the ability to transmit anywhere cellular or Ethernet networks are available. The Dejero-enabled Toughbook laptop demonstration is at the Panasonic NAB exhibit # C3707 (in the Central Hall).

“Collaborating with Panasonic on a new HD mobile video transmission solution offers broadcasters a view of a more flexible future for live and remote file-based transmission,” said Dan Mance, Dejero CEO. “Toughbook continues Panasonic’s tradition of delivering no-compromise reliable computing for mission critical users and is the ideal Dejero enabled laptop platform.”

Solution Highlights:

  • Toughbook CF-31 Laptop
  • Bonded 4G Modem Module
  • HD-SDI Input
  • Adaptive Bit-rate H.264 Transmission
  • LIVE + Store and Forward
  • Direct to Web Streaming Solution
  • File Transfer Clips, Photos or Files
  • HD-SDI to HD-SDI, Web Stream or FTP/Folder
  • Low Latency
  • High Quality Video

The Panasonic and Dejero live HD video transmission solution includes the Panasonic Toughbook CF-31, the sixth generation of flagship Toughbook clamshell notebooks, which have become the gold standard of rugged computing over the past 14 years, boasting the lowest failure rates in the industry. The Toughbook incorporates the Dejero LIVE Transmitter software, to produce a portable HD/SD transmitter that connects to a camera and goes live with the push of a button. The complete solution also includes the Dejero LIVE Video Manager, the online manager that connects transmitters to video receiving servers; and the Dejero LIVE Video Server, the receiving unit that typically resides in a studio rack to decode the live video transmission for ingest.

vixsAlso at NABS is Toronto’s ViXS Systems Inc., and they invite attendees to experience how the next generation multimedia processors by ViXS are enabling new broadcast and professional applications.  Key to these digital media revolutions will be advanced transcoding, encoding and media processing from ViXS Systems.

ViXS’ smart processors put it firmly at the center of the next generation encoders and transcoders, enabling a large array of devices, including: cable/satellite/IPTV encoders; switched digital systems; multi-screen (TV, PC, mobile) transcoders; ingest systems; on-demand video delivery systems; video conferencing; surveillance and many others.  The following demonstration line will be shown at ViXS’ private suite:

  • XCodePro® multi-stream transcoder solution for broadcast and professional applications
  • XCodePro® HD/SD encoder solution for broadcast and professional applications
  • Over-the-top and content mobility solutions to address the anytime, anywhere entertainment; streaming to iPAD®s, tablets and other mobile devices

bpsresolverBPS Resolver Inc., a recognized leader in governance, risk and compliance (GRC) management software headquartered in Toronto has announced the release of the latest version of its flagship GRC application, GRC Cloud. Version 5.4 builds on and expands many key features in response to feedback from BPS Resolver’s customers, many of whom are leading companies in their industries. These enhancements include:

  • Greater capabilities for non-Administrative users with new advanced permissions to add items and edit items within the framework from their normal working screens
  • More flexibility in determining how users access and interact with reports in the home page dashboard.
  • Enhanced abilities to efficiently remove or purge external documents from the application
  • Capability to determine the display order of mathematical  functions and include function results in more chart types

“This release of GRC Cloud brings to fruition ideas generated both by our own product team and our customers, and allows companies to assign greater responsibility for maintenance of the GRC framework to qualified users across their organization.” said Steve Taylor, CEO, BPS Resolver Inc.

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11th April 2011

Free Comic Book Day In May

free comic book dayStadium Comics in Brampton is one of thousands of comic book shops around the world celebrating the comic book art form on Saturday, May 7th. On Free Comic Book Day, over two million comic books will be given away by participating stores, introducing as many people as possible to the wonders of comic books!

“This year’s Free Comic Book Day is going to be a blast. We’ll have contests, raffles, giveaways, and of course free comics!” said Kevin Hickey, Manager of Stadium Comics. “But what makes our event extra special is the local artistic talent we are bringing into the store to sign books and sketch for the fans.”

Among the several guests scheduled to appear at Stadium Comics for the event are comic creators such as New Mutants and X-Men artist Leonard Kirk, Transformers artist Alex Milne, Red Robin artist Marcus To, X-Factor and G.I. Joe artist Valentine DeLandro, Disney’s The Incredibles artist Marcio Takara, and Toronto Radio and TV Personality “Fearless Fred” Kennedy, who is a comic book creator as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th April 2011

Windsor RCMP Seize Counterfeit Games and Movies

RCMPOn March 15th, 2011 members of the Windsor Detachment Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Federal Enforcement Section executed a search warrants at a residence in Wallaceburg, Ontario in relation to an investigation into counterfeit DVD movies.

As a result of the search warrant investigators seized approximately 3000 counterfeit DVD movies, 300 counterfeit video games, as well as computer equipment utilized to copy movies and tools used to modify gaming consoles. Titles that were identified and seized vary from children’s movies to new and not yet released movies such as True Grit, The Fighter and The King’s Speech.

Steven Scotney (age 29) of Wallaceburg, Ontario has been charges with four counts of selling an infringing copy of work under the Copyright Act.  If convicted, Scotney could face fines up to a one million dollars and up to 5 years incarceration.

The economic impact in sales revenue lost to local legitimate business operators is in the thousands of dollars. The local business operator, having an inventory of 3,000 DVD, selling at an average price of $20.00/DVD, would generate sales of $60,000. With 300 counterfeit video games, selling for an average price of $50.00/unit, would generate $15,000 in sales. These illegal products removed some $75,000 of legitimate sales activity from licenced business operators in the Wallaceburg area. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th April 2011

IAB Canada Reports Huge Growth in Mobile Advertising

IAB CanadaThe Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada has announced that Mobile Advertising Revenues in Canada exceeded budgeted expectations of $18 million, and grew by 169% over 2008 numbers, to just over $31.9 million for 2009. For 2010, Canadian Mobile Advertising Revenues are forecast to grow by 60%, to $51 million.

The Top 10 Earners in IAB Canada’s Mobile Advertising Revenue Survey accounted for 90% of Total Net Revenues in 2009. Revenue concentration among the Top 10 earners has increased substantially over levels recorded during previous years, which ranged from 79% in 2006 to 81% in 2008.

In order to get an update on Ad Spend as per other Media, but also keep track of the rapidly growing Application (App) development industry; for the first time, Mobile Advertising Revenues were separated into mutually-exclusive Ad Placement/Spend and Production-Only categories within IAB Canada’s Survey.

Ad Placement/Spend was the main engine behind the 169% increase in overall Canadian Mobile Ad revenues in 2009, growing at a rate of 325% year over year, driven primarily by Mobile Messaging, with $15.65 million in Net revenue. Mobile Search also grew dramatically in 2009 — to $6.7 million — exceeding Mobile Display/Sponsorship Ad Revenues, which grew to $5.1 million.

Production-Only Ad Revenue was led by monies received for the development of Mobile Applications, which experienced a massive 1377% growth rate compared to 2008, due to the proliferation of smartphones of all makes and models, following the iphone launch in Canada in April 2008. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th April 2011

Kobo Going Local In Europe

koboKobo has announced its plans to launch local content stores in Germany and Spain starting in May 2011, with local stores for France, Italy and the Netherlands following shortly after. Kobo’s European stores will offer customers a rich assortment of local content, merchandised to the tastes and preferences of readers across Europe. Kobo has partnered with European publishers to offer a wide range of titles on a selection of localized applications for today’s popular eReading devices. This launch marks the beginning of Kobo’s European expansion with other countries to follow.

Kobo will be in the Digital Zone & Theater Booth #Y655. Attendees who stop by and check in via Foursquare will receive Kobo merchandise. In addition, Michael Tamblyn, Executive Vice President of Content, Sales and Merchandising for Kobo is scheduled to speak at the London Book Fair Supply Chain Seminar on Wednesday, April 13 at 11:10 a.m. in Cromwell Room 1.

“European readers have been looking for an eBook service that encompasses the full range of mobile devices, tablets, and eReaders – we are happy to step up and fulfill that need. This announcement marks Kobo’s entry into the European market and an industry first. In providing local content and reading experiences for European readers, Kobo continues to build on the vision of giving people around the world the freedom to read on any device, and share their love of reading with friends,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo.

Today, Kobo has over 3 million users, and customers in over 100 countries worldwide – in a year of dramatic growth, Kobo added just over one million of those users in less than 90 days. In addition to its global store, Kobo already offers locally merchandised English language stores in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The Kobo store offers a selection of over 2.3 million eBooks, newspapers and magazines with titles ranging from the NYT bestseller list, the hottest new releases, thrillers, romance and over a million free books. Since its launch in 2009, Kobo has been dedicated to an open cloud-based platform, enabling users to read on any device, and with open standards that give users freedom to build their lifetime libraries as they choose. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th April 2011

Montreal Looking Forward To Hosting PyCon

Montreal PythonIt is with great joy and honour that Montréal-Python organizers and Tourisme Montréal received the nomination of Montréal as the host city of PyCon (2014 and 2015), the most significant international conference centred on the Python programming language. This annual event connects the Python programming community, providing members with the ideal opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and build relationships. The agenda includes many presentations and workshops, as well as a number of activities designed to promote networking among the participants. Above and beyond ideas, PyCon puts words into action, with “pythonistas” getting together for intense development sessions with the objective of advancing numerous software projects. pycon

“In 2011, some 1,500 delegates participated in a seven-day event that continues to grow, year after year. By choosing Montréal, the organizers decided, for the very first time, to hold the event outside of the United States,” says Davin Baragiotta, Montréal-Python spokesperson. “It wasn’t an accident that PyCon organizers chose Montréal. To begin with, the local Python community here is regarded as very dynamic, but it is also due to a carefully-prepared bid proposal put together by local organizers and supported by Tourisme Montréal, that the decision was made,” concludes Mathieu Leduc-Hamel, also from Montréal-Python.

“I’m extremely excited that PyCon 2014 and 2015 will be held in Montréal. The local Python user group is fast-growing and dynamic—in short, a fantastic example of what we look for when evaluating where we should hold the conference. The Montréal-Python group and Tourisme Montréal should be congratulated for putting together such a compelling bid. They submitted an amazing proposal for a beautiful city; we are eager to expand PyCon US into PyCon North America, and we look forward to visiting Montréal,” expresses Jesse Noller, incoming PyCon Chairman for the next two years and Python Software Foundation Director.

“The news of Montréal receiving the honour of hosting PyCon reinforces the city’s position as a rapidly expanding techno-destination and a magnet when it comes to technological innovation and creativity,” affirms the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Not only will participants discover a community of talented technophiles here in Montréal, but they will also have the wonderful opportunity to experience the pace of this city whose charm, energy, culinary variety, festivities, and ingenuity are beyond compare,” adds Charles Lapointe.

Marc Tremblay, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal (Convention Centre), says: “In 2013, the Palais des congrès de Montréal will have completed the development of a world class technological environment, and will position itself as a leader in its industry on an international level, particularly in terms of participant productivity and global client experience. It will be a unique opportunity for PyCon participants to enjoy our efficient facilities located in the heart of the most dynamic techno-metropolis in North America.”

On a side note, the Montreal Python group will be holding an introductory Python class for women on May 3rd. Any ladies with an interest in learning the language are welcome to attend this free event.

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11th April 2011

Blue Ant To Acquire GlassBox

glassbox televisionGlassBOX Television Inc. and Blue Ant Media Inc., controlled by media executive Michael MacMillan, announced today they have entered into an agreement for the acquisition by Blue Ant of a controlling interest in the Company. The announcement was made by GlassBOX Television co-CEOs Jeffrey Elliott and Raja Khanna.

Blue Ant Media will initially purchase 29.9% of GlassBOX Television Inc. from both existing security holders and Company treasury. In addition, an offer has been accepted for Blue Ant to purchase additional shares in GlassBOX from existing shareholders, which will result in a minimum ownership position of 75% which, in keeping with standard regulatory policies on ownership thresholds, requires CRTC approval. This acquisition will result in Blue Ant becoming a controlling shareholder of GlassBOX Television.

With this transaction, GlassBOX Television’s executive management will be restructured. Michael MacMillan will assume the new position of Executive Chairman and will actively participate in GlassBOX Television’s strategic growth for its digital and broadcast properties, which include Bite TV, AUX TV and the newly acquired Travel & Escape Channel. Raja Khanna will become CEO and Jeffrey Elliott will take on the new position of President, and Chief Strategy Officer.

“Michael MacMillan is internationally respected in our industry and we are delighted to have him take an active role in what we are building at GlassBOX. We are well positioned as an innovative independent media company and Michael’s involvement will allow us to accelerate our growth strategy,” said Jeffrey Elliott and Raja Khanna. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th April 2011

Picking Up The Pace

Canadian filmmaker and 3D visionary James Cameron has teamed up with acclaimed cinematographer and fellow 3D pioneer, Vince Pace to form CAMERON – PACE Group (CPG), which seeks to accelerate worldwide growth of 3D across all entertainment platforms including features, episodic and live television, sports, advertising andVince Pace and James Cameron consumer products, pioneering a new generation of camera systems, services and a variety of creative tools that are innovative, powerful and easier to embrace. Cameron and Pace unveiled the new company this morning during a press conference at the 2011 NAB Show in Las Vegas.

CPG will build upon the strong foundation of PACE and the 3D technology to which its co-founders have individually and collectively contributed, such as the revolutionary FUSION 3D system. In combination, Cameron’s and Pace’s technologies, products and services have been responsible for $4.7 billion of box office receipts and have played an extensive role in 25 features, seven concert and music entertainment projects and 40 sports productions worldwide, including “Avatar,” “TRON: Legacy,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife” and “U2 3D.” This history puts CPG in a unique position to respond to the growing demand for high-quality 3D entertainment and to provide 3D technology innovations that serve studios, filmmakers, directors of photography, producers, networks, studios and broadcasters. The company plans to take full advantage of its position to drive innovations in technology and deliver products, services and creative tools in unprecedented ways.

In addition to making advanced technologies, tools and services available to the global entertainment community, CPG will serve as an industry advocate for 3D technologies, practices and creative tools that will help filmmakers and other content producers realize 3D’s full potential as a creative and powerful storytelling and live broadcast medium. It will also drive public advocacy by setting the “gold standard” for the public’s perception of 3D, which will result in compelling, engaging and high quality 3D entertainment. CAMERON – PACE Group already has an extensive list of current and upcoming projects, including “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “The Three Musketeers,” “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” “Life of Pi,” and “47 Ronin.” Read the rest of this entry »

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