Results of the annual Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands Poll are out, and for the techno-Canadians, Duracell topped the Battery category, while Canon is the most trusted Digital Camera, Sony won the broad and vague Entertainment Equipment Manufacturer category; Blackberry is the most trusted Mobile Communications Device and Apple wins for Mobile Entertainment.
This year’s list of Canada’s Greenest Employers was announced this morning by the editors of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. Fifty organizations across Canada were recognized on this year’s list.
There’s another fun gaming-related mixer coming up in Vancouver – check out the Olympic Gaming Mixer, which will be taking place on the evening of Friday, May 7, 2010 at the Century Restaurant and Bar on Richards. Check out the event’s FaceBook page for the list of challenges to be had at the Olympic Gaming Mixer.
Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver presentation of Designing Assassin’s Creed II featuring Lead Game Designer Patrick Plourde from Ubisoft Montreal, which is generously sponsored in part by AnnexPro and 3vis. He will discuss the challenges faced by the dev team: an enormous scope, one of the biggest development teams ever assembled and a limited time frame. This talk is about sharing our best practices to ship high quality games through a focused and rigorous Design Process while maximizing the output of production. Tickets for this May 18th event at the VanCity Theatre are only $15.00 for SIGGRAPH members and $20.00 for non-members. Annual SIGGRAPH membership is only 35.00 – and gets you special pricing at all of our great chapter events. You should join today.
Interactive Ontario is pleased to welcome back Alexander Manu to give a keynote presentation at INPlay 2010. Manu, who delivered a keynote address at Interactive Ontario’s iSummit in 2006, is a strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author. For over 20 years Alexander has enabled global companies as diverse as Motorola, LEGO, Whirlpool, Nokia, Navteq and Unilever, to develop policies and strategies that address emerging issues through strategic foresight and pre-competitive business models.
Goldtooth Creative has once again shown their video magic – check out the Cover Reveal trailer for EA Sports’ Madden NFL 11, developed by Florida’s Tiburon Studio. Goldtooth’s incredibly talented teams have produced trailers and cinematics for many of today’s top titles. Need a production team for your project? We recommend them.
BC indie developer Krabbitsoft Studio has released new features and specs for their RPG Krabbit World Origins. Featuring some very unique creatures, Krabbit World Origins has a very strong player community, and allows for single or multi-player modes. This is a game we’re going to be taking a look at in the coming weeks – look for it to be featured in our review section later in May 2010.
Banff World Television Festival has just released a call for entrants for the nextMEDIA Digital Hot List. This is a competition open to developers, content producers, and digital superstars. This is your chance to showcase your new, innovative digital property and grab the attention of advertisers who are looking for exciting brand integration opportunities. There are four available categories for entry:
* Media (Does your website stand out amongst the rest?)
* Talent (Are you a proven online superstar with millions of followers?)
* Content Proposal (Got the best new idea for online content and branded entertainment?)
* Technologies (Are you creating the coolest apps, games and digital ad solutions?)
This contest closes on May 3rd, so if you’re interested in entering, you’d better get a move on!
New children’s mobile application studio Googly was delighted to find its first app, Alphabets in the Zoo featured yesterday in iTunes’ New and Noteworthy section, and amazed to see it reach number one on the education list.
Alphabets in The Zoo features a charming new animated alphabet song and story to help children learn their letters as they look, listen, and sing-a-long. Children’s understanding of the alphabet is taught and reinforced as they enjoy Saad Rashid’s colorful animation, listen to the Fauzia Abbasi’s delightful lyrics, and enjoy Dave Klotz’s catchy tune. Googly plans to release an iPad version of Alphabets in The Zoo shortly, and three more original children’s apps in the next 30 days.
Montreal publisher Strategy First has announced the release of Two Time Aggie award winner Dark Fall: Lost Souls and World Basketball Manager 2010 on Steam. The world’s leading platform for the digital distribution of PC games with over 25 million users world wide will offer a 10% discount on both games from April 21 – 28, 2010.
“We are excited to bring these two great titles to 25 million Steam users” says Strategy First Director Emanuel Wall, “We are proud to offer a two time Aggie Award winner, and the first PC Game from Greece to be published on Steam.”
Dark Fall: Lost Souls is the Aggie Award winner for Best First-Person PC Adventure game, and winner of Best Sound Design. Dark Fall: Lost Souls is a horror adventure game penned by the ‘Lost Crown’ author Jonathan Boakes. The new game engine allows full exploration and movement, letting the player physically interact with the eerie setting and really ‘feel’ the place while using light as your weapon and ally to fight the darkness.
Localized in several languages, World Basketball Manager 2010 allows gamers to take charge and manage basketball teams from all around the world. Gamers have access to over 11,000 basketball players on over 900 teams, and 1,300 managers from nearly 200 countries. Easy to learn and play, WBM 2010 has 95 tournaments to enter with Real Time Matches wth pre-season training centres and Manager Actions which allow for such activities as team promotions to player transfers.
Toronto – Tungle has introduced its Tungle.me software for IBM’s Lotus Notes at the Lotusphere Comes to You conference in Toronto. The application will be introduced and demonstrated on stage today by Tungle CEO Marc Gingras and IBM Software Group Director of Messaging, Ed Brill.
“Tungle for Lotus Notes helped me streamline the maintenance of free time across multiple calendars inside and outside of my company. It helped reduce emails and scheduling conflicts,” said Chris Miller, Director, Connectria, a provider of customized IT services to name brand clients globally. Miller was part of a group who tested a beta version of the software.
Tungle.me makes it easy for people to schedule meetings across organizations, calendar systems and time zones by eliminating costly double bookings and the endless back and forth of finding a time to meet. The addition of Lotus Notes means that Tungle now works with all major business- and consumer-oriented electronic calendar environments, including Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Entourage, and is also available on the iPhone and Blackberry.
“With the introduction of Tungle.me for Lotus Notes, many millions of additional business people around the world can spend more time being productive and less time playing scheduling ping-pong,” said Tungle CEO Marc Gingras.
IBM Lotus Notes collaboration software is available for the full spectrum of proliferating mobile and Web-connected devices such as the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry and Nokia Symbian smartphones, thin clients, laptops and desktops used to access corporate applications and business processes. Lotus Notes is available in a cloud-based version, and also comes bundled with hardware and other offerings via its Lotus Foundations line for mid-sized businesses.
Toronto – WinMagic® Inc. has opened an eStore so that customers can instantly purchase and download standalone SecureDoc products for Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X for $99, a 10 Pack for $945 or a 25 Pack for $2320 as well as a one, two or three year maintenance service packs.
SecureDoc also supports and manages hardware-encrypted disk drives including self-encrypting drives conforming to the Opal standard put forward by the Trusted Computing Group in January 2009, in addition to Seagate® Momentus® FDE drives and encrypted thumb drives from vendors like Ironkey, Sandisk, Kingston, MXI, etc. This provides the flexibility to deploy any combination of hardware and software-based encryption – or transition between the two – with full transparency for users and a consistent management interface for administrators.
Additionally, SecureDoc now supports Intel® Anti-Theft Technology, which is available in select systems with the new 2010 Intel® Core™ processor family. Intel AT acts as a laptop theft deterrence mechanism – enabling organizations to issue a “poison pill” to stolen laptops whether or not they are connected to the internet. When a protected notebook is reported as lost or stolen, Intel AT can remotely disable the computing platform and perform a data-disable function. SecureDoc seamlessly adds full-disk encryption and encryption management to Intel® AT – ensuring data cannot be accessed in the time it takes to report the loss and disable the laptop even if the hard drive is removed and installed on another computer.
Vancouver – Telefilm Canada is pleased to announce that it will present the Show Canada 2010 Closing Gala this evening. This year’s edition of the largest film industry convention in Canada is currently under way in Vancouver. Telefilm Canada, a partner in the success of Canadian cinema, is presenting the Closing Gala to celebrate the country’s film industry and its creators. Well-known Canadian comedian Brent Butt will be host for the evening.
“Show Canada is an important gathering for the Canadian film industry and Telefilm Canada is proud to support this event by presenting the Closing Gala,” said Sheila de La Varende, Director of National and International Business Development, Telefilm Canada. “On top of keeping participants busy with plenty of film screenings, seminars and an awards ceremony, the convention, organized by the Show Canada Committee, provides participants with a venue to discuss major industry issues like social marketing and multi-platform distribution. The Show Canada programme, designed to meet the needs of the Canadian film industry, attracted between 400 and 450 professionals, including studio heads, distributors and movie theatre operators from across the country. The closing ceremony will be the perfect ending to this exceptional event,” she concluded.
Those attending the Closing Gala presented by Telefilm Canada will have the opportunity to preview films scheduled for release this year. Successful 2009 productions, including a number of films that benefited from Telefilm Canada’s support, will be highlighted during the evening.
Quickly emerging as one of Canada’s newest technology companies to watch, Blitware Technologies Inc., is pleased to announce the achievement of a milestone for its popular driver update software, Driver Fetch. In March 2010, over 2 million computer users installed the utility software program, setting a new record for the company, and forging the course for future Blitware products.
Incorporated in late 2008, Blitware is a young software company that has produced four utility software applications since its inception. It’s flagship product, PC Medkit, was launched in the consumer market to help computer users clean, repair, and optimize their PCs while their File Helper software application enables computer users to find and open previously inaccessible files that they had downloaded. Though the company’s other software applications enjoyed strong consumer uptake, Driver Fetch is gaining the attention of the general computing population and experts alike. Designed to assist users in identifying and installing the drivers necessary to run hardware and peripheral devices, Driver Fetch is popular amongst those who expect the best in computer performance as well as those who install new hardware and peripherals. The program’s ability to detect and access drivers even when a computer is not online or cannot access the Internet is unique in the industry and has gained the program significant praise from technology experts.
Riding the success of the Driver Fetch milestone achievement, Blitware is now taking the time to build its online community. Appointing an Online Community Liaison, Blitware is reaching out to its current and future customers through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Flickr in an effort to make their corporate presence known and reach out to those computer users who need assistance with updating drivers, opening files, and optimizing their PCs. Blitware is hard at work on their newest product that promises to be another winner in the utility software sphere and is expected to be released in Summer 2010.
Presagis™ has announced the availability of Terra Vista 6.1.1 with support for OneSAF Terrain Format version 8.0 (OTF-8). This new release provides users with the ability to generate highly detailed and correlated OTF-compliant databases for OneSAF Objective System (OOS) version 4.0 runtime environments.
“With this release of Terra Vista, Presagis continues to deliver on its commitment of supporting key industry standards and to provide our customers with the features and functions they require to create correlated semi-automated forces databases,” said Chris Henderson, Vice President and Product Segment Lead for Visualization & Content Creation Products at Presagis. “Our customers can now create OTF-8 compliant databases using a product that provides the highest level of correlation in more formats than any other terrain generation tool in the industry”.
New to the OTF-8 format is the ability to build OTF databases that are smaller than a GeoTile and contain non-contiguous areas. Terra Vista users will benefit from increased flexibility and time-savings with the new OTF-8 format which enable users to create detailed terrain databases in all pages of a GeoTile when building an OTF database.
Terra Vista also offers users a wide range of methods for implementing Ultra High Resolution Buildings (UHRB) into their OTF-8 database. Users can import geospecific UHRBs modeled from the Creator Building Interior Wizard, or use models generated from other applications, to accurately construct and populate OTF databases with realistic, complex, and accurate Ultra High Resolution Buildings in the OneSAF Objective System.
eBay is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the launch of eBay.ca and a decade of connecting millions of buyers and sellers across the country, helping them to explore opportunities in the world of online commerce. eBay Canada marks the milestone with the induction of Canadians into the eBay Canada Hall of Fame, the launch of a charity auction to benefit Free The Children and awarding prizing worth $5,000 to contest winners. These celebration activities will recognize and reward the more than 11-million Canadians who have benefited from eBay in special and often unique ways over the last 10 years, during which time Canadians have bought more than $7-billion on eBay.ca, leading to a decade of success that would not have been possible without its millions of passionate community members.
“In just 10 years eBay.ca has become an important enabler of small businesses in Canada and the premier online shopping destination for Canadian consumers,” said Andrea Stairs, country manager of eBay Canada. “From a modest start in 2000, eBay.ca has grown tremendously and now helps millions of Canadians to buy and sell online with ease.”
Over the last decade eBay Canada has supported numerous causes and Canadian charities. For its tenth anniversary celebration, eBay.ca will auction off a number of high-profile items where members will have a chance to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences benefiting Free The Children. To date, Free The Children has built more than 500 schools, bringing the fundamental right of education to over 50,000 children every day. The auction is live, with a large array of notable experiences up for grabs.
And in the totally cool robots department, The Aeryon Scout, a small man-packable flying robotic system, manufactured by Aeryon Labs of Waterloo, gave law enforcement officers the break they needed in a recent drug bust in Central America. This small, lightweight mini-helicopter that is remote-controlled from the ground by computer was able to provide visual surveillance of a suspected narcotic trafficker’s compound deep in the jungle. The Scout provides the features of larger unmanned aerial systems (UASs) in a small package, at a fraction of the cost.
“This might sound like a plot from a TV show like CSI or 24, but it’s a real-life application of our robotic technology,” said Dave Kroetsch, President of Aeryon Labs. “This is what the Scout was designed for: providing aerial intelligence in settings too challenging or dangerous for humans to venture into.”
Kroetsch said the law enforcement officers took the Aeryon Scout into the jungle, in hostile territory, under the cover of darkness. At first light they cleared a small launch area, took the Scout out of its suitcase-sized case, and snapped it together. Measuring only 80 cm by 80 cm when assembled and weighing just over a kilogram, the Scout was easy to transport. They then set the robot’s target by selecting the location of the drug compound using a touch-screen satellite-map interface on a portable computer tablet. The target location was approximately 1 km from the operator. For security reasons the actual date and location of the operation cannot be publicized.
The Scout, which can quietly travel as far as three kilometres from the operator’s location and up to 500 metres off the ground, is ideal for this type of beyond line-of-sight surveillance as the officers did not need to see the unit to control it. Once at the target location, the Scout’s motion-compensated camera took digital still images and streamed encrypted digital video in real-time to the operator’s computer, with no risk to the investigating officers.
The images enabled the enforcement team to determine the interior layout of the compound, establish what vehicles were inside, identify possible escape routes, and assess what security measures were in place. Most importantly they were able to see a gap in the wire surrounding the compound that was then used as the entry point for the raid. The successful bust resulted in the arrest of the drug gang members. Before the use of the Aeryon Scout, law enforcement officers would typically drive an armoured vehicle through the wall of the compound and face unknown circumstances on the other side.
The drug bust is just one of the scenarios where the Aeryon Scout is useful to police and similar agencies. Easily carried in a backpack, the Aeryon Scout assists with documenting accident scenes, following fleeing suspects, and aiding in search and rescue operations in day or night, especially beyond line-of-sight of the operator. Military units can use it to scope out areas with dangerous or rugged terrain. There are also industrial applications such as inspecting the exterior of buildings or gathering air samples from exhausts and smokestacks.
“The Scout’s low noise, radar, visual and heat signatures make it an ideal platform for covert tactical imagery collection. You can set it up in a couple of minutes out of its case, fly the mission, and be gone without ever alerting the target. And if you can play a simple video game, you can fly the Scout,” said Charles Barlow, President Zariba Security Corporation and former Canadian intelligence officer.
Aeryon Labs designed the Scout system to be easy enough for even non-technical people to use with minimal training. Its on-board computer system supervises all aspects of the mission, allowing the operator to focus on completing a task.
“We’re excited to have developed robotic technology which is practical and affordable for law enforcement, military and security forces, and can save lives. And that’s priceless,” said Kroetsch.