Ubisoft Vancouver will be releasing its second sports title to the North American audience tomorrow, June 1st. Already released to the European market, Pur Futbol  (also known as Pure Football) is a knock-down, drag-out, no refs allowed soccer duel. Gamers are offered the choice of Quick Play, Exhibition Mode or Campaign Mode with no penalties and no coloured cards. You will, however, still have to mind your manners on the field.
Quick Play is exactly what it says – you are tossed into a randomly chosen match and expected to hold your own. Exhibition Mode will let you chose your teams, but don’t expect the game to be an easy trouncing of your opponent. Meanwhile, over in Campaign Mode, you can customize your pixelated self to your heart’s desire before heading off for a play-through of 18 tournament matches with varying challenges which you must successfully complete if you want to take part in the ultimate tournament and become the Pur Futbol champion. Take a look at the European launch trailer for the game to check out how it’s done.
Pur Futbol is not meant to be a technical round of sanctioned world cup soccer. It’s meant to be fun, challenging and rewarding in that there is somewhat less structure than the more rigid, rule-following soccer titles out in the game market. You will be granted special team management privileges by completing the challenges set out for you; this means you can upgrade your character, trade or steal other players, building your team up to the ultimate playing machine required to dominate the world on the soccer pitch.
Pur Futbol offers 230 players, 17 of the top teams from the international leagues, as well as 3 legend-status teams. The Hometown Champions  feature on the Pur Futbol site lets other players view local and global leaderboards as well as search for future opponents. With Xbox Live or PlayStation Network accounts, players will be able to challenge friends, families and foes to some fierce online play, further extending Pur Futbol’s replay attraction.
As we saw with Ubisoft Vancouver’s first title Academy of Champions, the game’s environment is full of rich graphics with recognizable locations and fantastical backgrounds. Pur Futbol also ties in with Ubisoft’s Uplay system, where you can get bonus actions and rewards  as you earn Uplay points. As shown here, you can get a special Ubisoft team uniform set with 30 Uplay points. Pur Futbol is rated E for Everyone and is available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Pur Futbol is listed at GameStop Canada  for $39.99.
Tickets for SIGGRAPH Vancouver’s next event are now on sale. The Making of ModNation Racers , which will feature presentations by Clint Hanson, Lucas Granito and James Grieve from United Front Games , this panel presentation will take place on June 29th at the VanCity Theatre. Tickets will be available to members for $10.00 and $20.00 for non-members.
Chapters  will be hosting two book signing sessions with author Neil Pasricha for his newly published work “The Book of Awesome “, which was inspired by the Webby Award  winning blog 1000 Awesome Things , where he posted one awesome thing in life each day. The Book of Awesome reminds readers of little things that make everyone smile. You are invited to join Pasricha as he signs copies of this universal high five for humanity at these Chapter’s outlets:
Chapters Macleod Trail – 9631 MacLeod Trail S.W., Calgary on Thursday June 10th at 5:00 pm
Chapters Robson – 788 Robson Street, Vancouver on Saturday June 12th at 2:00 pm
Crank Storyboard Suite 1.1  is now available from Crank Software Inc. , an innovator in embedded user interface (UI) solutions. Compared to older, traditional electronic design automation tools, Storyboard enables R&D teams to quickly and collaboratively develop rich and dynamic graphical user interfaces while optimizing hardware performance.
* Enhancements available in Crank Storyboard Suite 1.1 provide functionality that enables R&D teams to accelerate the design cycle resulting in faster times to commercialization.
* Storyboard 1.1 gives teams extended platform support for new operating systems and architectures
* Storyboard 1.1 delivers unparalleled performance though the use of industry standard graphics API’s
“Crank Storyboard Suite 1.1 is a result of listening to our customers and delivering the new functionality that they require to perform their jobs more efficiently. Storyboard is enabling R&D teams to more quickly prototype and simulate user interfaces to streamline the development cycle and release products with richer, more complete experiences for their users.” said Jason Clarke, Crank Software’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Storyboard 1.1 includes the following enhancements over the previous version:
* Extended platform support for Storyboard Engine
– Linux support increased to include Renesas MPU SH4A
– QNX 6 support increased to include PPC and Renesas MPU SH4A
– Windows CE 6.0 support for ARM platforms
* Linux hosted development for Storyboard Suite
* Lua debugger integrated into Storyboard Designer
* Performance optimizations by leveraging graphics acceleration though industry standard API’s including DirectFB and OpenVG
Toshiba  and PHAX Gaming  have joined forces to produce the first organized Canadian Online Gaming League. Over the next eleven months of online battle, over $30,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to Canadian players who display the top notch skills and the dedication it takes to become Canada’s Best. Toshiba and Taco Bell have supplied great prizing like Nokia Surge phones, Gunnar Optik e-SPORT Collection glasses and Taco Bell gift cards.
Not only will gamers have a shot at winning placement prizes, all tournament registrants are also automatically entered into a draw for a Toshiba Qosmio X500 Gaming Laptop or one 46″ UX600U REGZA LCD TV, both valued at $1999.99. The 2010 Toshiba PHAX Canadian Open line-up features the hottest titles in both XBOX360, Wii, and PC Gaming, with the inaugural 2010 tournament lineup to include the following:
HALO 3 4v4 (Xbox 360)
Counter Strike 1.6 5v5 (PC)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 4v4 (Xbox 360)
Super Smash Brothers Brawl 1v1 (Wii)
NHL 2010/11 1v1 (Xbox 360)
Over the next twelve months, registration for the Toshiba PHAX Canadian Open will be wide open and free of charge to Canadian players. For your convenience, the structure of the league schedule caters to both short term (4 week) tournaments, but also offers longer term ladder (8 week) competitions. If you play more than one game, points earned in each game will be added to your Player Total and jump your name to the top of the individual player leader boards. The PHAX Gaming crew will be broadcasting live tournament matches, conducting player/team interviews, and keeping up with all of the Toshiba Phax Canadian Open News online  throughout the entire season.
“We want our online 3D multiplayer games to be playable by as many kids as possible. After reviewing various technology options, we found Aftercad Immersion to be the best fit for streaming our highly immersive games to browsers on even lower-end machines,” said Rodger Raderman, Co-CEO of Nukotoys. “In addition, due to a rich informational environment that allows us to utilize both server and client optimally, Immersion gives us UI flexibility that is absent in other solutions.”
Aftercad has recently expanded its 3D web publishing efforts to include the new Immersion 3D application porting service for Game and 3D application developers looking to migrate their titles and apps to the cloud. As cloud computing begins to weaken the console makers’ grip on gaming, developers are looking to cash in on the new cloud gaming methods being touted by services like Onlive, Otoy, Gaikai and others. Aftercad Immersion delivers the technology to maximize this new cloud delivery method while giving developers the the ability to leverage the full power of HTML5 on the clients’ computer or mobile device.
“Other methods out there rely on just the video stream and an sometimes even a plugin to bring the remote game play to the user in time to react and send those commands back again. This method is called ‘Soft PC-Over-IP’ will always be lag sensitive and function as a closed loop. Immersion does a much better job by opening up the loop, allowing game developers to utilize the power at both ends of the wire thus greatly reducing the dependence on bandwidth alone,” said Chris Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad. “We are pleased with Nukotoys’ selection of our Immersion technology, it is yet another validation of the superiority of our patent pending approach and we are looking for more game developers to join us in the cloud.”
According to Statistics Canada, only one third of small businesses survive over five years, and Cognition LLP  is shaking up the legal market again by offering free legal consultations to entrepreneurs.
“Start-up companies typically can’t afford their own in-house counsel, nor can they spend a lot on outside legal services, with the result that they try to handle this work themselves. That’s when they get into trouble and miss valuable opportunities in their contracts and structuring,” notes Cognition partner Rubsun Ho.
“So we thought we’d help them out,” adds co-founder Joe Milstone. “If we get them as clients later, that’s a bonus. But for now, we’re just happy if we can improve their odds.”
What are some of the worst legal mistakes that start-ups and growth companies make? Through its network of 20 lawyers, Cognition has rescued clients from some really bad blunders. The top five are:
– Doling out equity without documentation or proper thought
– Not having a solid shareholders’ agreement, leading to messy conflicts down the road
– Hiring employees and contractors on a handshake, exposing the company to unnecessary termination risk and disputes over intellectual property
– Entering into major agreements with suppliers, customers and distribution partners without thinking through the terms or implications, including what’s not in the agreements but should be
– Blindly adopting others’ precedents and policies for their own use, assuming that “one size fits all” businesses and situations
To be closer and more accessible to entrepreneurs, Cognition  has taken up residence at MaRS , a Toronto-based innovation centre, in association with Ogilvy Renault . Entrepreneurs can drop in or make an appointment for no-cost legal consultations during the hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday at Cognition’s MaRS office at 101 College Street, Suite 140.
Cognition is no newcomer to doing things differently. As an entrepreneurial venture in itself, its lawyers work largely from their own homes or onsite with clients. This ‘virtual’ approach has allowed the firm to dramatically trim costs and thereby hold its fees to about half of what the traditional legal establishments charge. The firm also pioneered the alternative legal services model of providing start-up and growth businesses with their own dedicated in-house counsel on an outsourced basis.
“We do a lot of work for smaller, younger companies, so we’re familiar with their issues. We help them avoid the pitfalls, and often we can provide other value-added services for which we charge nothing,” says Ho.
For example, because of its network of contacts and experience, Cognition has been known to help start-up companies find venture capital and even new customers.
“It doesn’t surprise me that Cognition is offering free legal advice,” says Nussar Ahmed, President of AddictiveMobility, a client of the firm and of MaRS. “That’s just who they are. They got us over the early legal hurdles, and because they really wanted us to succeed, they leveraged other business opportunities for us as well.”