Just a reminder that if you haven’t already, time is running out on your chance to have your say about Canada’s digital economy strategy. This incentive is meant to benefit our Canadian digital industry, so get involved in the discussion today. digiBC has released the 2010 BC Digital Media and Wireless Survey report (PDF) which was conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The report covers key sectors of British Columbia’s rapidly developing Digital Media and Wireless industries.
Twitter announced earlier today that it has purchased Vancouver company Smallthought Systems, the powers behind Dabble DB and Trendly. A message on Dabble DB’s landing page about the sale of the company reads:
“Obviously this represents a new chapter in the life of Dabble DB, both for us as a team, and for the product itself. We’d like to assure you that, for now, we will continue to provide our software and technical support to current Dabble DB customers. However, we will be disabling new account signups effective immediately.
There will be further changes to Dabble’s ongoing operations, and when those happen, we want to do right by you. We will provide you with 60 days advance notice of any major change. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure that, at any time, you can export all of your data, including attachments, in a structured format suitable for import into other systems.”
Patrick Beaulieu, Animation Artistic Director at Ubisoft Quebec City, has launched his first 3D animation collection book Animation Insiders. A rich and complete work of knowledge sharing, this collection of testimonials gives a lot of tricks and hints as well as anecdotes from renowned animators at Dreamworks, Blue Sky and Pixar, to name a few. The book is now available worldwide on sstudiopress.
“Gathering all these people from all over the world and putting together all of these testimonials was a lot of work, says Patrick Beaulieu, but the result gives us a privileged vision on what is going on back stage in animation. Each collaborator had a clean slate to share his experiences, works, methodologies, philosophy, etc…. even if some aspects are more technical, Animation Insiders remains open to a wide audience, from the animation fan boy to the experienced animator. Everyone passionate about animation, movies and video games will find himself in this book, he will also find details and insides about his favorite animation movies or games” he adds.
You will find testimonials, visuals and illustrations from 13 renowned animators such as:
Jason Ryan (USA, Dreamworks, Shrek 4)
Andrew Gordon (USA, Pixar, Nemo)
Jason Martinsen (USA, Animation Mentor, Ice Age)
Jason Schleifer (USA, Dreamworks, LOTR)
Anthea Kerou (USA, Dreamworks, Bolt)
Victor Navone (USA, Pixar, The Incredibles)
Ana Maria Alvarado (USA, Sony Image Works, Spiderman)
Mike Nguyen (USA, Rainplace, Iron Giant)
Pedro Blumenbaum (Spain, Nocturna)
Pablo Navarro (Spain, Nocturna)
Emilio Ghorayeb (Canada, New Breed VFX, Madagascar)
Matt Stangio (USA, Pixar, Toys Story 3)
Reno Armanet (France, Tigobo Animation)
The schedule for the GameSauce Conference has been posted to the web. This conference takes place on July 19th, immediately prior to Casual Connect Seattle (July 20 -22). Registration is $100.00 USD or is free to those registered for the Casual Connect Seattle conference. There are some great topics, panels and roundtable discussions on the slate, so plan to be in Seattle one day early in order to take advantage of this event. Along with the great topics being offered through the GameSauce Game Development Track, the following areas may also be of interest to you, and like me, you will need a clone in order to take it all in.
The Leadership & Professional Development Track, produced in partnership by Women In Games International, Women In Games Vancouver and Women In Games IGDA offers some great panels and roundtable discussions about career building and talent nurturing.
If game audio is your thing, The Audio Track, produced by Game Audio Alliance, has much to offer, and the Nvidia Tegra Mobile Game Development Track, which is making its debut at this year’s GameSauce Conference is a must for those looking for opportunities in the mobile market. The Alternative Funding and Exit Strategies Track, produced by The Corum Group is a four hour crash course discussing the positives and negatives of funding as well as what to do with your company once you are successful.
iPhone developer Matt Rix has released his first title in the iTunes App Store. Trainyard is a challenging puzzler that requires the safe movement of coloured blocks (trains) from one station to the next. Each of the 100 puzzles ramps up in difficulty, adding colour and track-changing blocks into the mix while you try to draw tracks from one locale to the next, hopefully avoiding train pile-ups. There are no set solutions to the puzzles, so you are free to try as many options as you like. Trainyard also includes bonus levels as well as the ability to share solutions that worked for you on the game’s web site. Trainyard is available now for only $1.99.
Disney Interactive Studios today announced Club Penguin Game Day! is being developed exclusively for Wii. Scheduled for release this September, Club Penguin Game Day! will mark the franchise’s video game console debut.
Based on the snow-covered virtual world that’s captivated millions around the globe, Club Penguin Game Day! will delve into the environment, characters and storylines of the online playground of Kelowna-based Club Penguin like never before. The game will include innovative ways to connect with Club Penguin and new, interactive mini-games to challenge and engage the whole family.
“Club Penguin has always maintained a really strong emphasis on social, family fun and the value of working together,” said Lane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin and executive vice president of Disney Online Studios. “Moving onto the Wii platform lets us offer parents a great opportunity to connect with their kids in the comfort of their own living room around an active game that’s participatory, cooperative and a lot of fun for everyone, and that’s something we’re really excited about.”
In Club Penguin Game Day!, players create and customize a penguin and compete in a variety of single or multiplayer sports-themed racing and performance events such as Java Sack, Fast Freeze, Sled & Slide and Sumo Smash. Each time players beat a challenge, they conquer a zone on the island. The ultimate goal is for players to work with their team and conquer as much territory as possible.
Club Penguin Game Day! will be the third video game in the franchise, following the recent release of Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force: Herbert’s Revenge for Nintendo DS™. The highly anticipated sequel to the original DS game, Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force, which was released in 2008 and sold more than 1.5 million units worldwide, introduced intriguing new missions and mysteries for Elite Penguin Force agents.
“As the Club Penguin phenomenon continues to grow, it makes sense to bring the brand to Wii,” said Craig Relyea, senior vice president of global marketing, Disney Interactive Studios.“ Club Penguin Game Day! combines the distinct look and feel of the Club Penguin virtual world with competitive games that are easy to pick up and play using the Wii Remote.”
Club Penguin Game Day! will allow players to transfer their customized penguins via their Wii Remote™ to a friend’s Wii for use in gameplay. Once back on the original console, high scores, coins and customization items earned will merge with the player’s profile.
As with the two DS games, players can also upload coins earned in game to Club Penguin, but the new game will take the elements of online-offline connectivity even further by also allowing players to synchronize their in-game penguins and achievements with their online penguin accounts. Club Penguin Game Day! is Rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.
Tungle Corp. has been named the official scheduling application of BlogWorld & New Media Expo, taking place October 14-16, 2010 in Las Vegas. The company also announced the release of its free WordPress and TypePad plug-ins for calendar publishing and integrated scheduling. The free Tungle.me TypePad widget can be found by logging into your Tungle account and clicking on Management, then Widget.
“I’ve saved a ton of time scheduling meetings since discovering Tungle.me,” said Scott Stratten, President of Un-Marketing and opening keynote speaker at BlogWorld 2010. “I’m psyched that I can add the Tungle.me plug in and publish my availability directly through my site, and accept or reject meeting requests without a time-wasting email exchange.”
WordPress and TypePad users with a Tungle.me account can now add the Tungle.me widget to their blogs. The widget embeds a mini Tungle.me page into the user’s blog or website, allowing visitors to click-to-expand and see availability, suggest times to meet, and send a meeting request—without leaving the site.
“With over 350,000 posts daily and 250 million plus blog visitors monthly; corporate and personal blogs are at the heart of business communication,” stated Marc Gingras, CEO and founder of Tungle. “The Tungle.me widget closes the asynchronous communication gap between bloggers and their audience to make meetings happen. Now bloggers can share their availability and book meetings, right alongside their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social widgets.”
As part of its initiative to support bloggers, Tungle has formed a partnership with BlogWorld. Through this partnership, conference attendees, speakers and exhibitors can select a personalized Tungle.me URL upon registration for the event. They can then customize their Tungle.me page and synchronize it with online calendars. Attendees can also choose to be added to the BlogWorld group in the Tungle.me directory, making it easier for them to schedule meetings with other attendees.
“At BlogWorld, it is as much about who you meet and the connections you make as it is about the content,” said Rick Calvert, CEO at BlogWorld & New Media Expo. “By partnering with Tungle, we are able to offer our attendees better service, enabling them to easily schedule meetings with each other onsite, as well as before and after the show.”
Score Media Inc., home of The Score Television Network, theScore.com, Hardcore Sports Radio and ScoreMobile today announces the launch of ScoreMobile FC, a free, comprehensive source of information for world football fans around the globe.
Building on the success of ScoreMobile, the leading sports app in BlackBerry App World™ worldwide and one of the leading apps in Apple’s App Store – and also recently launched for Android – ScoreMobile FC offers soccer fans:
– Live scores, stats and standings for more than 30 international soccer leagues from over 15 countries worldwide, growing to over 50 leagues by the kick-off of the 2010/2011 season
– Original video content such as The Score’s popular The Footy Show, multiplatform programming dedicated to covering all of the latest isoccer news and highlights
– Interactive live blogs for every key game
– Breaking news, top stories and game odds
The Score’s original sports app, ScoreMobile, is the ultimate resource for the hardcore sports fan, providing fast and easy access to in-depth sports information for all major sports leagues. Recently named a “Top 10 Sports App” in Beckett Media’s Guide to Phone Apps and a “Top 20 free BlackBerry App” by PC Magazine since its initial launch in June 2009, ScoreMobile has quickly become the industry leader with more than 1.3 million monthly unique visitors and counting.
“The Score is a revolutionary sports media company who believes in technological innovation,” says Dale Fallon, Director, Mobile, Score Media Inc. “One of our key strategies is to invest in and promote mobile media and we know that the portability of content is extremely important to consumers worldwide. Sports fans have proven the worth of ScoreMobile by downloading it, using it and spreading the word. Now we’re taking that to the next level by releasing an app for dedicated soccer fans – just in time for the most incredible sporting event of the year, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.”
While most people have intuitive reactions to Web sites, a group of Canadian scientists is developing software that can actually measure those emotions and more. Aude Dufresne, a professor at the Université de Montréal Department of Communications, led a team of researchers that are designing a new software to evaluate the biological responses of Internet users.
Simply put, the new software measures everything in Web users from body heat to eye movements to facial expressions and analyzes how they relate to online activities. The technology is now being tested at the newly opened Bell User Experience Centre, which is located at the telecom giant’s Nun’s Island campus. Bell will use the Université de Montréal technology to investigate how people react to Web sites. Such studies will provide companies with facts on how they can improve online experiences.
“With e-commerce and the multiplication of retail Web sites, it has become crucial for companies to consider the emotions of Web users,” says Professor Dufresne. “Our software is the first designed to measure emotions at conscious and preconscious levels, which will give companies a better sense of the likes and dislikes of Web users.”
This research was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Bell Canada.
Kiboomu Kids Inc. announced today that “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Preschool Storybook Piano iPhone App is now available on the iTunes store. Developed by a preschool teacher and platinum award-winning children’s singer/songwriter, The Preschool Storybook Piano App is a singing piano storybook that educates and entertains young children. Music is a valuable learning tool that encourages children to communicate, connect, discover and express themselves.
To celebrate the launch of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ” Preschool Storybook Piano App, Kiboomu is hosting a contest to give away 200 copies of its’ iPhone app. It is open to everyone with a US or Canadian iTunes account. The contest begins at 9:00 AM PST, on June 10st 2010 and ends at midnight PST on June 11th 2010. All you have to do is go to Kiboomu online and enter your email address and location.
* Watch the story unfold and hear the song being sung
* Press the start button and sing along
* Record and hear their own voice
* Select 7 different types of instruments and learn about the sounds they create
* Add animal sounds to the song
* Watch the piano keys light up one-by-one with the melody
* Follow the lighted piano keys to play the song
* Match the colorful music notes to the piano keys and play along
* Sing and read karaoke-style lyrics in English, French and Spanish
* Include their parents as they sing and read together
* Increase their vocabulary and language awareness
* Improve their auditory comprehension and listening skills
Now, parents with an iPhone will be able to provide their child with a learning tool that keeps them occupied and entertained.
“Juggling work and family life is hard,” said Sherry Segal and Wendy Wiseman, the owners and Co-Presidents of Kiboomu Kids Inc. “We created an iPhone app that keeps children entertained and learning while parents go about their busy day. It fills the child’s day with laughter, increases their little vocabularies and expands their growing minds in a fun and inviting way. Parents have just got to love that!”
Through the Kiboomu Kids Foundation, a portion of all sales will go towards feeding kids. “To come to the aid of children in need is our passion and what motivates us,” said Segal and Wiseman. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Preschool Storybook Piano App is $0.99 cents (USD) and available June 10, 2010 worldwide, exclusively through the App Store, the Educational and Games (Kids) category.
Applied Recognition announces the release of Fotobounce™ version 3.0, offering users the most secure way to share photos with friends and family members. With the release of v3.0, Fotobounce alleviates the concerns most users have about sharing their digital photos via a public website. These new features complement the unique people-centric photo management capabilities of version 2.0. Fotobounce also employs advanced face recognition technology to speed up the tagging of photos.
Fotobounce 3.0 enhancements include:
– Easy direct sharing of photos with friends and family: Create a peer network with any friends or family members that are running Fotobounce. Invite a friend to join the network as a fellow “Bouncer.” Once the invitation is accepted, a “Bouncer” can browse any photos marked as “public.”
– See whether friends are online or offline similar to Skype™: Friends that are online will show up clearly on the “Bouncer” list. Connect to those friends and browse photos by People, Events, Places, Keywords, and Collections.
– Invitations go by email, along with sample photos: Send an invitation email and attach “teaser” photos so friends and family members see a sample of the photos available for browsing.
– Full control over privacy: Of course security and privacy of data is a major concern as demonstrated by the recent uproar over default privacy settings and complexity. Fotobounce provides complete control over every album and what specific friends can see those albums. All transmissions of photos and associated data are encrypted with 128-bit SSL. Rest assured that no one can view any photos unless authorized.
– All photo tagging comes along with transferred photos: When viewing a photo on a friend’s (“bouncer”) system, one can see all associated info tags and people tags. If that photo is copied to the local Fotobounce library these tags also copy with the photos.