I spent part of last evening playing through the new Firewalker DLC pack for Mass Effect 2, and overall I am very happy with it. I like once again having a vehicle to race around in, and I’m hoping that these five new missions was a test drive for more yet to come. Being able to use the Hammerhead hover tank to gather minerals and elements is much more engaging than scanning planets from the Normandy and lobbing probes at said planets.
While the new missions were not terribly interactive in regards to characters and were lacking in battle scenes, one cannot argue against there being value for the money. The Firewalker pack is free to those who have the Cerberus Network option, and really, any chance to experience more game play in Mass Effect 2 is a bonus. I am aware that some gamers felt that the Hammerhead didn’t have enough tank armour, but as far as I’m concerned, it was just fine. I am notorious for having my vehicles blow up, and I only lost my tank once – apparently it cannot hover over lava pits. Oops. The tank’s light armour simply means that the player must be smarter about picking fights and defeating the Geth, which to me adds another level of game play and strategy. I think that Bioware’s DLC mission team did a great job with this pack; now all they need to do is make it so that more planets can be visited with the tank and keep adding more DLC. I am definitely looking forward to the next pack, Stolen Memory, which will be available in just a couple of weeks.
Montréal – Ed Hooks will be presenting his one day course “Acting for Animators” at CG Con – The White Conference in Montréal on Friday, April 23rd. CG Con features 3 days of master classes by world-leading masters in film and video-game in areas such as Digital Animation, Digital Modeling and Digital Painting & Concept Art. The Early Bird conference price of $299.00 (students $239.20) is available until March 28, when ticket prices will go up to $399.00. The conference takes place April 23 – 25 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
CG Con will also be presenting The North American Roadshow in Vancouver on Saturday, May 8th. The venue and speaker list have not yet been announced, but tickets will be $100.00 each, or $80.00 for students and CG Society members.
“We have found that many users and businesses have made very large investments in acquiring and developing mobile applications, and these applications have been enhanced and refined to fit their needs like a glove,” said Gregory Sokoloff, CEO of StyleTap. “With all the new smartphone platforms, users are reluctant to lock themselves into one platform or to make the same investment over and over for each new platform. StyleTap’s cross-platform family of products can help make these problems go away.
“Naturally, we would prefer to be able to offer this product through the App Store, but unfortunately this is not currently possible due to Apple’s restrictive policies, and instead this version of StyleTap will run on jailbroken devices. Although there are many useful and entertaining applications available through the Apple App Store, we continue to receive a flood of emails from users telling us that they need StyleTap in order to keep running the applications, not available on the App Store, that are critical to their lives and businesses.”
StyleTap Platform for iPhone supports standard features that include TCP/IP networking, audio recording and playback, the ability to use the multi-gigabyte storage as a virtual memory card, and cut/copy/paste of text between native and Palm OS applications. It also provides innovative capabilities such as giving Palm OS applications access to the iPhone GPS by providing location information in standard GPS NMEA format.
StyleTap Platform for iPhone is the newest member of the StyleTap Platform family, which includes StyleTap Platform for Windows Mobile™ and StyleTap Platform for Symbian OS™. With StyleTap Platform, the same binary executable application can run on more smartphones and PDAs than for any other software runtime, while at the same time native code execution is supported on each device. For developers, this is “write once, profit everywhere.”
Interested users and developers can visit www.styletap.com/iphone for instructions on obtaining a free 14-day trial of the iPhone version. StyleTap Platform for iPhone can be purchased for US$49.95.
National – San Mateo-based GetJar, the world’s second largest app store, today announced that it will make its entire library of 60,000+ free mobile applications available to Rogers customers at no charge. Customers gain immediate access to GetJar’s massive library of applications via a GetJar link on the Rogers Application page accessible from the mobile Internet on their wireless device.
Rogers customers will have access to thousands of applications ranging from games, social networking, sports, entertainment and productivity applications. Popular apps such as Facebook® Mobile, Weather Channel® Mobile, Fandango, and Snap2Twitter can be easily downloaded to a wide variety of wireless devices.
“We are very excited that Rogers is working and cooperating with GetJar to meet the demands of its customers,” said Ilja Laurs, founder and CEO of GetJar. “This agreement, much like our recent announcement with Sprint Nextel, allows Rogers to immediately connect all its customers with over 60,000 free applications with very little effort.”
Rogers joins other leading companies already using GetJar’s flexible, open app store approach including Sprint, Sony Ericsson, 3UK, The Carphone Warehouse and Virgin Mobile France. GetJar offers branded solutions, such as is the case with Rogers, and also white label solutions using its app catalog express (ACE) service. GetJar supports over 2,000 handsets across all major platforms, including smartphones and non-smartphones.
To access GetJar’s catalog, text APPS to 555 to be sent a link to the Rogers Application page, then click on the link and select the “Free Apps from GetJar” link under Spotlight. Data plans are required to download the applications and data charges may apply with regards to application usage.
Toronto – Kobo, the global eBook retailer, today announced support for dedicated eReaders with a new application available through its “Powered by Kobo” partner program for hardware manufacturers and retailers. Kobo’s application provides a world-class eReading experience and storefront and will be embedded in leading eReaders launching in 2010. The company today also unveiled its Kobo eReader, a dedicated eReading device showcasing its new application.
The launch of the Kobo eReader application marks a first in this emerging market – standard software available for hardware partners worldwide. Kobo has developed a strong global following for its eReading applications for the iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Pre, and Android-based smartphones, and full color, touchscreen tablets including the upcoming iPad.
“We believe consumers want choice, and the freedom to read on any device. Building great eReading applications and partnering with leading device manufacturers is a recipe for success in this quickly growing market,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo. “Our ‘Powered by Kobo’ program accelerates the time to market for manufacturers of new devices and delivers more options for consumers. By providing a world-class catalog, complementary mobile applications and global infrastructure, partners can start selling eBooks in a matter of days.”
The “Powered by Kobo” program provides a flexible solution for partners to launch an eReader or eBook store offering eBooks, newspapers and magazines to their customers. Partners have access to applications for smartphones, netbooks and laptops, new tablets, and now dedicated eReaders. They also have access to API’s, a software development kit, a mobile storefront, and custom integration options to differentiate their offering. Whether a partner is looking for software, content or everything in between, “Powered by Kobo” can meet their needs.
Kobo’s eReader application allows users to read eBooks in both standard ePUB and PDF formats, and supports eBooks, subscriptions (newspapers, magazines) and documents. Any “Powered by Kobo” eReader application is in sync with a user’s Kobo account and any Kobo-enabled device for continuous reading. The eReader application supports a range of hardware options with various screen types including eInk and LCD screens, as well as various connectivity options – USB, Bluetooth, WIFI and 3G.
The new Kobo eReader showcases the new software and will make eReading more accessible to consumers. This stylized, easy-to-use, and affordable eInk based reader will be available for a limited time through Kobo’s retail partners for $149USD. It will be pre-loaded with 100 classic books so consumers can start reading right out of the box. Consumers can easily access Kobo’s catalog of over 2 million eBooks, including today’s bestsellers, newspapers and magazines through USB or wirelessly through Bluetooth. The Kobo eReader will be available first at Indigo Books & Music in Canada in May, followed by Borders in the US this summer. It will be the first of many dedicated eReaders preloaded with the Kobo eReader software.
Toronto – DMXReady server software developers have released version 2 of their Catalog Manager script. The Catalog Manager acts as a powerful and easy to use tool that helps in creating and maintaining an online catalogue of products and services. Once it is installed, site managers can easily manage a whole catalogue of products and services by using a web browser like Internet Explorer. Besides helping the user create and maintain a large online catalogue of products and services, DMXReady Catalog Manager v2 also provides its users with various other benefits such as adding product descriptions of features, price, product images and the information about the manufacturer with the help of this tool.
The DMXReady Catalog Manager v2 also helps in adding an optional PayPal accessory in order to automatically turn the catalogue into an e-commerce solution. The built-in page editor in the tool allows site managers to fully format each product page according to need. By using this tool, the users can experience less complicated server configurations because of the pre-built-in database within the script. It plugs the user into a new or existing ASP-enabled website in order to help get catalogue and e-commerce sites running faster. The Catalog Manager v2 can be used in three ways: Stand Alone, plugged into any ASP-enabled website, or inside DMXReady CMS.