5th October 2010

Two New Releases Encourage Skill and Strategy

In Real Life CompetitorsRace to the Finish, the new online companion game to the hit YTV reality series In Real Life is now live and ready to play. For the first time, young fans from across Canada are encouraged to support their favourite In Real Life on-air challenger by accumulating virtual points for them through game play. The two on-air challengers with the most points have the chance to compete in a bonus webisode finale for a brand new prize. Award-winning digital producer Secret Location created Race to the Finish, a show which has 18 new Canadian youths aged 12-14 from 15 different Canadian cities, race across North America to compete in heart-pounding, real world challenges. From high-tech espionage and video gaming to lobster fishing, these kids are vying to win the amazing ultimate prize: college tuition money and an all-expense paid family vacation. In Real Life season two premiered last evening at 7 p.m. on YTV.

sillysoftVancouver’s SillySoft has released Castle Vox, a computer strategy board game where Diplomacy meets Chess meets Axis & Allies. Victory in the game is accomplished by capturing all of the castles in a variety of historical, geometric, geographic, and fantasy settings. Unlike most strategy games, Castle Vox is not turned-based. All players plan their moves simultaneously, which allows for a much faster game time for Castle Voxthose can’t wait to hold dominion over the world. For those who are more patient, there is the “one-turn-a-day” mode.

Players are able to use the built-in map editor to create their own maps, which can then be shared with others, and programmers are welcome to add to the game’s AI with SillySoft’s SDK. Castle Vox has a free demo so that interested players can try it before purchasing ($19.99), and includes the following features:

* Fast world domination.
* Plan attacks simultaneously.
* Collaborate with teammates.
* Maps from many eras and mythologies.
* Giant maps with many players.
* Map editor included.
* Hard AI will push your brain in single-player matches.
* Online multi-player modes: relaxed and speed variants.
* Easy to learn, hard to master.
* Available for Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows.

Castle Vox has been chosen as one of the 32 finalists (and the only Canadian-made game) at this year’s IndieCade Festival, which takes place in Culver City, California this coming weekend.

BCTIAThe next BCTIA TechForum Voices of Experience takes place on October Anthony von Mandl14th at the Coal Harbour Hotel, and will feature Mr. Anthony von Mandl, Chairman & CEO of the Mark Anthony Group of companies and Proprietor of Mission Hill Family Estate winery.

Anthony von Mandl’s dream was to produce world calibre wines at Mission Hill Family Estate in the Okanagan Valley. The wine industry is extremely capital intensive and when no-one could be found to finance the vision he set about to build the Mark Anthony Group, a company which today is a multi-hundred million dollar private corporation based in Vancouver, BC.

This is his very private story and one he does not usually share in public; however being so passionate about building a stronger economic environment in BC and Canada for future generations he has agreed to so on this occasion.

Rogers WirelessToday seems to be the day for telecom acquisitions and partnerships. Rogers Communications Inc. announced earlier today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Atria Networks LP, owner and operator of one of Ontario’s largest fibre-optic networks for cash consideration of $425 million, subject to certain adjustments. Atria Networks is privately owned by Birch Hill Equity Partners.

The purchase of Atria Networks, based in Kitchener, Ontario, augments the Rogers Business Solutions offering by enhancing its ability to deliver on-net data centric services within and adjacent to the company’s cable footprint. The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approval. Rogers expects the transaction to close prior to the end of its first quarter, 2011.

Atria’s unique and scalable network includes 5,600 fibre route kilometers and over 3,800 on-net buildings in high-growth territories including Ottawa, Cornwall, Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, Richmond Hill, Markham, Hamilton, Barrie, Orillia, Peterborough and Vaughan. Atria serves a diverse customer base of over 1,100 customers spanning the public sector, enterprise and carrier providers.

D-BoxD-BOX Technologies Inc. has completed a private placement by issuing 3,947,368 common shares to Le Fonds d’investissement REA II Natcan Inc. at a price of $0.38 per share, for gross proceeds to D-BOX of $1,500,000. The private placement was conducted on a “non-brokered” basis.

“We are very pleased that Le Fonds d’investissement REA II Natcan Inc., a specialized institutional investor, participated in our private placement”, said Claude Mc Master, President and Chief Executive Officer of D-BOX. Its decision to invest and increase its existing equity position in D-BOX, is a sign of its confidence in our growth strategy. At the same time, the proceeds from the private placement will help D-BOX carry out its business plan.” Mr. Mc Master continued.

D-BOX will use the proceeds from the private placement to accelerate the deployment of its motion systems for commercial theatre application and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

As a result of the private placement, there are 128,584,936 common shares of D-BOX issued and outstanding. Under applicable securities legislation and the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange, the securities issued in the private placement are subject to a four-month hold period expiring on February 6, 2011.

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5th October 2010

CounterPath Awarded New US Patent

counterpathVancouver’s CounterPath Corporation has announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted its patent for presence detection in mobile and fixed broadband networks. By providing applications with a graceful way to automatically select the best network connection based on the user’s location, the patented mechanism enables services such as least-cost routing and minimizes dropped calls by streamlining the process of transferring calls from the cellular macro network to Wi-Fi or a femtocell.

CounterPath’s new patent – No. 7,809,381, “Presence Detection for Cellular and Internet Protocol Telephony” – builds on the company’s portfolio of patents and exclusive license protections for CounterPath’s fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) technologies. These include:

– On Sept. 28, CounterPath was granted a U.S. patent – No. 7,804,821 – for “Circuit Switched Cellular Network to Internet Calling with Internet Antennas,” which enables a single identity to be assigned to
multiple devices and specifies how to route communication services to those devices.

– In 2009, CounterPath was granted U.S. Patent No. 7,502,615 – “Handoff for Cellular and Internet Protocol Telephony” – which enables users to roam between mobile and IP networks seamlessly, allowing active calls to be handed off faster.

The new patent announced today leverages these two patents to enable the delivery of the voice and data services based on the end user’s location. For example, when a person moves from a mobile network into an IP-based network – such as one in a home or office – the combination of these three patented mechanisms allows the home or office phone to automatically assume the user’s mobile identity, or mobile phone ID. When the user leaves the home or office environment, the phone is seamlessly disconnected from the mobile identity and moved back to the mobile network. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2010

Apply Now For Melting Silos Initiative

melting silosPraxis Centre for Screenwriters and Agentic Communications are inviting you to participate in the second iteration of the “Melting Silos” initiative in partnership with Telefilm, the National Film Board and BC Film.

The goal of the Melting Silos Program is to connect local television/filmmaking and digital media talent in a way that educates both parties and facilitates the development of cross-platform project materials to be pitch ready for funding.

Melting Silos is seeking a small group of accomplished media content producers who would like to produce narrative based work with technical and creative support from a group of professionals in their opposing “silo”.

Filmmakers need not have new media skills, but a curiosity and desire to dive into this world with a creative idea. Digital Media Developers need not have story writing/telling expertise but possess a strong understanding of the interactive medium and have production proficiency.

Melting Silos is inviting you to submit a proposal via their online application in order to be considered for development. Deadline for application is October 15th, 2010

You can either apply with a concept and if selected have us match you with a suitable partner, or if you have an established relationship with a partner company please indicate on the application form.

Here are some key points of the Melting Silos Program:

* What sets Melting Silos apart from other workshops is the attention each project receives. It is not simply a high level feedback session. Your project is one of a very few that is being focused on during an intensive, intimate, collaborative mind-hive of creative and technical professionals dedicated to crafting better interactive experiences for their audiences. The subject matter experts are sought and recruited specifically for what they can bring to the projects being incubated using our agile programming methodology. This is only possible by leveraging the extensive networks of all three Melting Silos producers. Networks built out and maintained from our longevity of focus in the transmedia/cross-platform space Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2010

Investintech Releases New Version of Able2Extract PDF Converter

InvestinTechInvestintech PDF solutions is a leading provider of desktop, server and developer software for reading, converting, editing, creating and securing PDF documents. Today, Investintech.com is pleased to announce the release of the all new version 7 of its flagship PDF Converter software – Able2Extract. It is the first PDF converter to convert into all major Microsoft Office formats in a single product.

Version 7 is the biggest improvement in their product to date, from a totally new interface to the new and improved conversion outputs, here is a taste of what the new Able2Extract can do:

Able2Extract’s graphical user interface has been totally updated and includes a new streamlined toolbar to ensure an easier and less confusing experience. The new toolbar features and PDF conversion processes make viewing, selecting and converting PDF documents simpler and more efficient.Able2Extract

The most popular PDF conversion options have received attention and the result is better, faster and more accurate conversions. The developer has increased custom options for power users who want granular control over their conversion process.

Investintech’s flagship PDF to Excel conversion has a redesigned custom conversion feature which gives users of version 7 the ability to not only designate vertical column structure but also horizontal row structure. This will ensure maximum conversion accuracy for difficult PDF tables. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2010

iPerceptions Expands Its 4Q Free Suite

iPerceptionsiPerceptions Inc., a leading provider of web-focused Voice of Customer (VoC) analytics, today announced the expansion of its successful 4Q Free product offering to a family of four products. For the first time, companies can choose from a cost-effective, yet sophisticated suite of online analytics tools that analyze individual customer experiences based on the combination of VoC and Google Analytics (GA) data. The 4Q suite includes Facebook and Twitter links, automatic alerts when significant changes occur within the data and global industry comparisons from over 6000 websites across 35 industry verticals.

The 4Q product suite is a simple-to-deploy Software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution and includes the original 4Q Free version, which was developed in collaboration with Avinash Kaushik, a noted web analytics author and blogger. The suite has been expanded to include: 4Q Basic, 4Q Plus and 4Q Premium.

“Limited time, resources and budgets have made it difficult for many companies to take advantage of Voice of Customer analytics,” said Claude Guay, president and CEO of iPerceptions. “Because the price is right, many companies have adopted free web analytics tools such as Google Analytics to answer the what and 4Q Free to answer the why. But the 4Q suite offers companies of all sizes a low-cost, simple-to-deploy solution that combines the what and the why for more accurate and complete customer analysis.”

While the overall premise around asking the four most important survey questions remains the same as 4Q Free, the 4Q suite offers the following innovations:

* Individual Behavioral & Attitudinal Analysis – Allows companies to analyze individual customer experiences, including their open-ended feedback, based on the combination of VoC and GA data. This multi-perspective, session-level analysis provides a broader and more accurate view of the customer experience, which often unveils surprising insights and requires a different company response. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2010

New Title From Digital Leisure And VFS Adds to Advisory Board

Digital LeisureDigital Leisure Inc. announced today the upcoming launch of BrainDead 13 on the AppStore, designed exclusively for your iPhone® and iPod Touch®. Following in the footsteps of Don Bluth’s classic Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace, BrainDead 13 adds the ability to fully control where you’ll go throughout this classically animated interactive adventure.braindead 13

“This game has a massive cult following.” says Paul Gold, Supervising Producer. “Fans have been begging us to re-release it for years, and we think the iPhone is perfect format to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its original release.”

BrainDead 13 has you taking on the role of Lance, a young computer expert who is called to fix a computer at a bizarre and dilapidated castle. After repairing the large super-computer within the castle, you learn of Dr. Nero Neurosis’ diabolical plan to take over the world! Discovering the secret plan sends you on the run, being chased around the castle by Fritz, a psychotic servant of Dr. Neurosis – an evil disembodied brain. You must guide Lance through the deadly and mysterious castle to defeat Dr. Neurosis and save the world from his evil plans!

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Digital Leisure plans to follow up BrainDead 13 with a variety of classic arcade games for the iPhone and iPod Touch titles in the coming months. BrainDead 13 will be available this Friday October 8th for only $2.99 on the AppStore!

VFSVancouver Film School has announced on their blog that Peter Jin Hong, Google’s User Experience Designer in Search Engineering and Mobile, has joined the Digital Design program’s advisory board.

As part of his work in innovation and research in Mountain View, Peter focuses on conceptualizing and rapid prototyping next-generation applications. His past roles include Group Creative Director at the world-leading interactive agency Blast Radius and National Creative Director at Tribal DDB Canada. He’s also a graduate of the program (from way back in 1996) which gives him firsthand insight into the VFS experience.Peter Jin Hong

“His empathetic approach to humanistic design greatly enhances our curriculum as we continually strive to keep pace with our evolving industry,” says Head of Digital Design Amber Bezahler. “Peter is a true user experience expert and a role model for what our graduates can accomplish.”

Select industry professionals from around the world are invited to join VFS’s advisory boards. As lifelines to the industry, members provide the next generation of designers with a vital link to the professional world through guest lectures, project mentorship, portfolio advising, and potential internship and employment opportunities.

“There have been many good mentors in my life,” he says. “Mentoring in turn, and seeing people realize their potential, is both a privilege and source of joy for me. The successes I’ve been a part of really come down to people, their stories, and inspiring collaborations – much of that started at VFS for me.”

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5th October 2010

New Deals Afoot In Quebec For MEGA Brands and Bell

Mega BrandsMontreal’s MEGA Brands has entered into a global licensing agreement to develop construction toys based on the new Cartoon Network boys’ action series, Generator Rex. The global partnership marks the first time the two companies have partnered on product development, and will bring a full line of toys to international markets through a three-year agreement. MEGA Brands’ Generator Rex construction toy line is scheduled to launch in the construction toy aisles in the U.S. in fall 2011, and will roll out in additional territories thereafter.

“There is a tremendous amount of excitement and momentum surrounding Generator Rex and the addition of MEGA Brands to our consumer products offering presents a great opportunity for the brand from a global perspective,” said Christina Miller, senior vice president, CNE. “Construction toys are such a crucial element of how boys play and we’re excited to work closely with MEGA Brands to bring Rex’s generator rexworld and abilities to life for our fans.”

“We’re very excited to have this exclusive opportunity to partner with Cartoon Network Enterprises and create the first construction toy line for their newest action series, Generator Rex,” said Vic Bertrand, Chief Innovation Officer of MEGA Brands. “We look forward to bringing Rex and his powers to life through Mega Bloks and offering fans an action-packed building adventure.”

The newest action-adventure original series from Cartoon Network, Generator Rex is created by Man of Action (creators of the Ben 10 franchise) and produced at Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, CA. The series follows Rex, a 15-year-old typical teenager with abnormal powers – including the ability to make his fists the size of boulders, sprout a jet pack out of his back and turn his legs into a lightning-fast motorcycle, among other talents – as he uses his superhuman abilities to help fight mutant creatures known as E.V.O.s (Exponentially Variegated Organism).

In the U.S., new episodes from the series debut on Cartoon Network on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT), with replays on Saturday mornings, and the network has committed to at least 40 episodes of the series. The brand is also supported by a massive online machine that includes the Nanite Master game featured at CartoonNetwork.com that has had more than 6.9 million game plays since its launch in March (source: Omniture SiteCatalyst data), as well as the show’s page and a Facebook fan page.

Bell Canada today announced its purchase of Hypertec Availability Services‘ hosting division, the leading top-tier data hosting provider in Québec. The acquisition provides Bell with more than 100,000 square feet (9,290 square metres) of hosting space in a state-of-the-art Montréal data centre, enhancing Bell’s ability to provide co-location and managed data centre services for corporate and public sector clients.hypertec

“Bell’s acquisition of our newest data centre builds on our National Data Hosting Services portfolio’s ability to deliver secure and reliable mission-critical communications services to government and corporate clients in our data centres and across our high-performance fibre networks – while also enabling the next generation of cloud computing services,” said Stéphane Boisvert, President, Bell Business Markets. “It’s an acquisition that underscores Bell’s commitment to investing in broadband networks and services and to the continued expansion of Québec’s information technology infrastructure.” Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2010

PlayBoost Releases GameBar And Indigo Donates Books To Schools

playboostSan Francisco-based social game developer TheBroth announced today that Victoria, BC mobile and social media game monetization company Playboost, a subsidiary of NeverBlue, has developed Gamebar, a custom game-play monetization toolbar for Barn Buddy, a top game on Facebook with 1.8 million monthly users and the #1 game on Hi5. The new Barn Buddy “Gamebar” toolbar was officially launched on September 3, 2010. The toolbar is uniquely designed to add new income streams for TheBroth beyond revenue share off of search feeds, plus increase Barn Buddy’s user engagement.GameBar

“With Barn Buddy, TheBroth is clearly at the top of their game and has captured the imagination and market share of Facebook fans,” said Chris Dykstra, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Playboost. “It’s exciting to work with a group of individuals that challenges us to find new solutions for revenue and user engagement. Their attitude and drive underscores why TheBroth is a leader in Facebook farm games.”

The newly created Gamebar is even further engaging its most avid fans. “I find even I‘m playing the game more! We look forward to increased monetization with Playboost’s Gamebar,” said Markus Weichselbaum, CEO at TheBroth.

In addition to Playboost’s successful Gamebar product, the studio recently launched their Mobile Offer Platform which allows Android and iPhone game developers to monetize their free to play games.

Chapters IndigoThe bookshelves at 155 public school libraries across Canada will now receive a much needed boost in books through the second annual Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Adopt a School program. From September 12th to October 2nd, Indigo, Chapters and Coles stores across Canada “adopted” public schools in their communities. Through the generous donations of customers and employees school libraries were rejuvenated with funds raised by in-store activities and donations.

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5th October 2010

Naughty Bear Goes Pirate While Sierra Inks Deal With Telus

A2MAhoy, mateys! Global video game publisher 505 Games and developer Artificial Mind & Movement (A2M) today announced the latest downloadable chapter for Naughty Bear is available now for Xbox LIVE® Arcade and PlayStation® Network. The new pirate-themed Naughty Bear PirateChapter 9 pits the naughtiest bear around in a bid to lay siege to the Island of Perfection with even more mischievous action, including all-new characters, costumes and challenges.

Filled with exclusive hidden treasures, deadly weapons and brutal buccaneers, Chapter 9 serves up four new challenges to swashbuckle while taking up arms against baddie bears and their leader, Admiral Giggles, as well as The Pirates and their leader, The Great Bear Beard.

To commend their efforts in combat, Chapter 9 players can dress Naughty in his own version of the Pirate Bear costume or even assume the identity of The Great Bear Beard, find two new hats and collect the lethal cutlass, with unique ultra-kill capabilities.

Naughty Bear is available now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and also for iPhone & iPod Touch through the Apple App Store for $2.99 CAD. The downloadable Chapter 9 is available now on Xbox LIVE Arcade for 400 MS points and on PlayStation Network for the equivalent of $4.99 USD.

Sierra Wireless today announced a multi-year strategic agreement for the company to provide M2M (machine-to-machine) Services Management for Telus. Telus will integrate the Sierra Wireless AirVantage™ Services Platform into their network operations to provide M2M customers with online access to a comprehensive suite of M2M service creation, delivery and management capabilities, making it simpler and faster to bring M2M services to market and opening new service opportunities for Telus and its partners.

ABI Research forecasts M2M connection revenue in Canada to grow at a rate of 26 per cent per year from 2010 to 2015, to a total of $575 million (M2M Market Forecasts, ABI Research, Q3 2010, Total Cellular M2M Connection Revenue by Region, World Market Forecast 2007 – 2015 ). M2M services cover a wide range of applications, including remotely collecting vehicle data, remotely monitoring equipment such as pipelines and wind turbines, wireless point-of-sale devices, and connecting innovative consumer devices such as e-book readers, personal navigation devices, and cameras. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th October 2010

Waves Survivor From Renown Entertainment Sets Sail in the App Store

renown entertainmentWaves: Survivor, the first game released by independent developer Renown Entertainment, is now available for US $1.99 on the Apple App Store for the iPhone® and iPod touch®, also compatible with the iPad®.Waves Survivor

Help our hero Johnny Calm survive the perils of being lost at sea. Armed with only a paddle and bucket in his trusty rowboat, Johnny must fend off deadly sea creatures and overcome huge waves to make it past each day. Not everything is as grim as it seems with mermaids to befriend, deep-sea treasures to collect, big combos to score, and a special power up to extend his life. Stay alert or you’ll find Johnny swimming with the fishes! Can you survive?

With Waves: Survivor, the team at Renown seamlessly combined old school game play with new school technology [water physics] for a truly innovative and unique experience. Whether you play to beat your own score or compete against friends and the rest of the world for bragging rights, it can become very addictive. The team hopes that gamers everywhere have as much fun playing it as they did creating it.

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Guest stars Carolina Stephanie and Alicia Meek provide the look and voice acting for the mermaids in addition to a dramatic music score by Hollywood composer Jason Livesay.

Waves: Survivor features leaderboards (via Facebook and Twitter), interactive water physics, continuous survival gameplay, touch and accelerometer controls, collectible items and many more.

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