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27th May 2011

EA Sports Revolutionizes FIFA Soccer 12 with New Player Impact Engine

EA SportsElectronic Arts Inc. has announced that EA Sports™ has developed the Player Impact Engine, a new physics engine that will deliver revolutionary changes to the best^ sports videogame on the planet. Two years in development, the new Player Impact Engine inside FIFA Soccer 12 delivers real-world physicality in every interaction on the pitch. It is one of several major innovations for FIFA Soccer 12 that have been inspired by the real-world game and created by the FIFA development team at EA Canada – and is available now for Pre-Order.

The transformation FIFA Soccer 12 has undergone is revolutionary not evolutionary,” said Kaz Makita, Executive Producer for the FIFA franchise, which has won 136 videogame awards the past three years. “To create the best and most authentic FIFA game ever, we needed new technology to deliver on our vision. Fans will see, and more importantly feel, the significance of the Player Impact Engine immediately.”fifa 12 full slide

The game-changing new Player Impact Engine will drive FIFA Soccer 12 on the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®. Fans will experience the way real-world players challenge each other for the ball, win possession, and test each other physically. The Impact Engine processes decisions continuously in real-time at every point of contact on a player’s body to create an infinite variety of natural and believable outcomes in every collision. Players now feel more resilient, push and pull during the fight for possession, and recover from light challenges more easily.

Revolutionary gameplay innovations inspired by the real-world sport make FIFA Soccer 12 deeper and more engaging. All-new Precision Dribbling delivers a higher fidelity of touch on the ball for attacking players, while Tactical Defending makes defending as skilful and meaningful as real-world soccer. Plus, players have been infused with Pro Player Intelligence, the next generation of player intelligence and performance, and the new Career Mode delivers real-world storylines that brings enhanced depth and realism to the experience. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th May 2011

HeyWire Rolls Out New iOS App for Canada

heywireGet ready to start texting, tweeting and chatting like crazy, because keeping in touch with fellow Canadians just got a lot easier, cheaper and, well, a lot more fun! Boston company Heywire has launched HeyWire Canada as the very first iOS texting app to provide a Canadian phone number for unlimited texting (real SMS) to any mobile phone in Canada and to 45 countries for only $1.99 per month.

Whether you’re living in Canada, traveling on vacation or living abroad, HeyWire Canada provides an easy, inexpensive texting alternative using a Canadian phone number for connecting with friends and family in Canada and to 45 countries, including the U.S., Mexico, China, and countries within the Caribbean, South and Central America. Think of the HeyWire texting service as having a second line for your iPhone or a primary phone line for your iPod touch or iPad with access to unlimited texting greatness!

HeyWire Canada is available for $1.99/month. As a month-to-month subscription, you have the option to stop the service any time. So check-it out! Here’s how:

Step #1 – Make sure your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad has access to a 3G mobile data service or Wi-Fi.

Step #2 – Download HeyWire Canada from the iTunes App Store Social Networking category for free. Open the app, complete registration and simply purchase your Canadian phone number with unlimited texting for only $1.99/month. After that, once per month you will be reminded to renew so you can keep your Canadian number and unlimited texting. Yup, really easy! Read the rest of this entry »

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27th May 2011

Videotron Customers Benefit From Company’s Growth

videotronWith the release of its financial results for the first quarter of 2011, Videotron has announced some exciting plans for the rest of the year – and its customers will be the first to benefit. With reliable and robust land and mobile networks, state-of-the-art handsets and tablets, new HD channels and the most advanced platforms, Videotron customers already enjoy a wide array of benefits in terms of products, services, technological developments and entertainment.

“We know that the full range of telecommunications products and services that Videotron now offers or will soon be offering meets the growing needs of our customers because we are so close to them,” said Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Videotron. “For example, the recent launch of our illico web and illico mobile services lets customers watch their favourite content on the platform of their choice, while saving money thanks to product bundling and one-stop shopping. This empowers Videotron customers and gives them a freedom of choice found nowhere else. In fact, it is thanks to our customers that Videotron was ranked the mobile carrier with the highest customer satisfaction rate in Eastern Canada.(1) We owe this honour to our loyal customer base, and to our people.”

As at March 31, 2011, the company boasted a total of 164,700 subscriber connections, including 143,600 connections to its new 4G network. Since the end of April, the residents of Saguenay–Lac Saint-Jean and several other municipalities across Québec have had access to the Company’s mobile services. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th May 2011

Centre4Growth Coaching Service Tops 100 Clients in First 7 Months

centre4growthIn its first seven months of operations, the BCTIA‘s Centre4Growth initiative has already exceeded its Year 1 projections, including servicing over 100 clients in its CEO’s-in-Residence program. Through the assistance and guidance received at Centre4Growth, client companies have raised a total of $5.5M in new revenue and investment and expanded their workforce by a total of 31 new employees. The Centre4Growth is a new entrepreneur services initiative from the BC Technology Industry Association that provides a number of services to start-up and emerging technology companies in BC.

The mandate of the Centre4Growth program is to boost the capacity of BC’s technology entrepreneurs and their management teams, with the goal to further grow and develop BC’s innovation economy.

“It’s one thing to start a new technology company, but it’s another thing to grow that company from 5 employees to 25 or better yet, 100 employees,” said Pascal Spothelfer, President & CEO, BCTIA. “Through our research and advocacy efforts, we’ve heard a lot from entrepreneurs and investors about the need to grow the management capacity within our tech companies. Centre4Growth is without a doubt addressing these challenges, our client load proves there is a need, and our results in just seven months indicates that Centre4Growth is working.”

The core of the Centre4Growth initiative is a one-on-one coaching program provided by seasoned CEOs-in-Residence. By working directly with these experienced technology executives, tech entrepreneurs receive confidential coaching, as well as referrals into other C4G services designed to assist in the growth of their companies. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th May 2011

Microsoft Canada Announces Do Or Die Top Ten

Microsoft CanadaMicrosoft Canada has announced the 10 finalists for DO or DIE, a new campaign that asks the question: could you survive with just your PC? Of these 10 hopefuls, DO or DIE will choose three people to drop in three foreign cities with nothing but their wits, a Windows-based PC, and a Windows Phone 7. The lucky three will each choose one friend, and together they will have 10 days to find shelter, earn food and survive by creating, connecting and sharing with Windows and Windows Live services.

They will have no money, no suitcase and no security blanket, but they will have the support of their DO or DIE community, who can follow their adventures at DO or DIE via daily wall posts, photos and videos.

The 10 finalists were selected from an open casting call looking for the most quick-witted, connected and street-smart Canadians. To make it to the top three, they must engage with the DO or DIE community to convince them they have what it takes to survive and earn their support.

The final three will be announced June 6th, 2011.do or die

The Top Ten include:

Whitney Bragagnolo, Vancouver
Dominic McDowell – Vancouver
Josette Jorge – Vancouver
Trevor Jones – Vancouver
Jennifer Leung – Toronto
Kira-Jade Roebuck – Sarnia
Danielle Barker – Toronto
Richard Veltri – Simcoe
Alex Hugh – Markham
Rodolphe Louis – Montreal

Not one of the finalists? Not to worry, visitors to DO or DIE can take an interactive quiz featuring exotic locales and lore. Completing the quiz will generate your survival score, which you can share with friends, whether you earn an F (your survival rate is about as likely as a Baby Chick on a Mechanical Bull) or an A (Cockroach in a Tank – you could survive anywhere on earth). There will be new content throughout the campaign with new challenges and games.

Supporting candidates also makes you eligible for a number of prizes, including a $500 prepaid VISA card, a Windows Phone 7, an Xbox 360, and more. See DO or DIE for full contest details.

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27th May 2011

IAB Canada Releases New Pay-For-Performance Ad Campaign Guidelines

IAB CanadaThe Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada today released new Pay-For-Performance Ad Campaign Guidelines, designed to help Publishers, Ad Networks, Advertisers and Agencies maximize success when conducting direct response campaigns across the Web.

Designed to be used in situations where the goal is to elicit a specific and immediate action from a user who views the Online ad, Pay-For-Performance (PFP) ad campaigns have also increased in popularity as recessionary budgets have challenged marketers to deliver more immediate ROI from their Online advertising budgets.

The document, which was developed by both IAB Canada’s Publisher and Agency Councils, includes:

  • Proven practices for creating impactful PFP ad creative;
  • Factors to consider when adding targeting parameters to PFP campaigns;
  • Best practices for set-up, tracking and optimization of PFP campaigns beyond the “click,” to conversion events or sales;
  • Advice for minimizing PFP delivery and reporting discrepancies; and,
  • A host of additional tips designed to maximize efficiencies within PFP ad campaigns.

“The goal in creating IAB Canada’s new Pay-For-Performance Ad Guidelines was simple,” says Gino Coutu, Vice-President, Business Development, Rogers Digital Media and initiator of the project within IAB Canada’s Publisher Council. “Standardize as many elements as possible within the PFP buying, selling, delivery, tracking and reporting process, so that professionals on both sides of the PFP equation can concentrate instead, on innovating around technology, strategy and creative.”

Scott Atkinson, Director, Digital Solutions with Media Experts, and a key contributor on the initiative from IAB Canada’s Agency Council, agrees: “By following the basic rules of engagement detailed within IAB Canada’s new PFP Ad Guidelines, even experienced PFP marketers should be able to realize enough efficiencies to allow them more time to focus on the benefits that come from testing and optimizing around ad format, ad messaging, ad placement and conversion processes.”

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27th May 2011

Tungle Now On BlackBerry App World

TungleTungle is now available in the BlackBerry App World as a free download. Tungle.me is an app that makes scheduling meetings easy – across organizations, calendar systems and time zones – by eliminating the multiple emails, phone calls and double bookings that typically come with finding a time to meet.
While it is not a calendar itself, Tungle.me synchronizes with the leading online calendar systems including BlackBerry®, Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal, Entourage for Mac, Lotus Notes, Yahoo! and Windows Live. Tungle.me does not require people you schedule with to sign up or download anything.Tungle for BB

Tungle.me lets you send meeting invitations that propose multiple times and automatically adjust for time zones. You can also invite others to schedule with you through your personal Tungle.me page, which displays your custom availability (not your calendar details).

With Tungle.me for BlackBerry, you can share calendars with others, inside or outside your organization, across different calendar types. You can schedule meetings by overlaying calendars of people you share with and proposing multiple times to meet. Tungle.me sorts replies for you, dynamically prevents double bookings, and automatically adjusts for invitees’ time zones. You can also reply to meeting invitations received from other Tunglers, or through your personal Tungle.me scheduling page.

Tungle is now a part of the RIM group, and can be used on PC, Mac, mobile iDevices and as mentioned above, BlackBerry.

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27th May 2011

BC Man Arrested for Luring 13 Year Old Female Via The Internet

RCMPThese types of stories carry a double-edged sword, in part because it reminds us all that the internet has a dark and evil underbelly, but it also reminds us how important it is to teach our children about internet safety and to be involved in their lives.

On May 25 2011 the RCMP Integrated Child Exploitation unit, with the assistance of the New Westminster Police department, arrested a 27 year old male identified as Brandon Parisien from his home in New Westminster. Parisien was arrested for using the internet to expose himself to a 13 year old female and to attempt to meet with that female to have sex.

What Parisien did not know is that the 13 year old female that he was communicating with was in fact a police officer from the RCMP Child Exploitation unit.

“Every time we can arrest someone who is actively looking to take sexual advantage of children over the internet, we feel extremely satisfied that the community has one less predator to worry about” said Corporal Van LaerR, from the RCMP Child Exploitation unit.

Parisien was identified after contacting and engaging in chat room conversations with someone he believed to be a 13 year old female. Once it was determined that Parisien was living in New Westminster, the RCMP Child Exploitation unit contacted the New Westminster Police department and a joint operation was put together. This operation lead to the successful arrest of Parisien, who was then brought before the court in New Westminster on the same day. Parisien was later released from custody under strict conditions, including no contact with any children under the age of 16. Parisien is living alone and does not have any children. His computer equipment was seized and police confirmed that Child Pornography pictures and videos were also found on that equipment.

“This is yet another reminder for parents and children to be aware that these predators are Online and will not hesitate to engage children in conversation quickly leading to sexual exploitation” adds Corporal Van Laer.cybertip

Parents and children alike are reminded that any unusual Online activity should be immediately reported to their local police department or can be directly reported online at CyberTip, a website dedicated to these investigations and on which anonymous complaints can be filed.

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27th May 2011

SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies Preview

siggraph 2011The SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies program is home to the latest developments in technology, including haptics, displays, robotics, and artificial intelligence. SIGGRAPH 2011 will feature 23 of the latest innovations selected by a jury of industry experts from more than 100 submissions, with topics ranging from displays and input devices to collaborative environments. SIGGRAPH 2011 takes place this August 7th through 11th at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies program is unique in its interactive approach that allows people to experience the most cutting-edge developments first-hand,” said Cole Krumbholz, SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies Chair and co-founder of Koduco Games. “This year, conference attendees will experience the latest achievements from industry and university research labs.”

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Here is a sampling of the featured highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2011 Emerging Technologies; more can be viewed on the SIGGRAPH 2011 web site.

Face-to-Avatar

Hiroaki Tobita and Shigeaki Maruyama; Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

This floating avatar system integrates a blimp with a virtual avatar to create a unique system of telepresence. The blimp avatar contains several pieces of equipment, including a projector and a speaker as the output functions. Users communicate with others by presenting their facial images through the face to face avatarprojector and voices through the speaker. A camera and microphone attached to the blimp provide the input function and support the user’s manipulation from a distance.

The user’s presence is more dramatic than a conventional virtual avatar (CG and image) because the avatar is a physical object and moves freely in the real world. In addition, the user’s senses are augmented because the blimp detects dynamic information in the real world. For example, the camera provides a special floating view to the user, and the microphone collects a wide variety of sounds such as conversations and environmental noise.

Potential Future Use: Allows the user to have a moveable, physical presence in the real world from even the most remote location.

Volumetric Display Based on Vibrating Mylar Beam Splitter and LED Backlit LCD

Lanny Smoot, Quinn Smithwick, and Daniel Reetz; Disney Research

This new volumetric display produces full-color, high-spatial-resolution aerial images in front of the apparatus. It is based on a new optical element: the large, tunable-resonance, edge-driven, varifocal beam splitter.

This new display technology uses a circular Mylar beam splitter and adds a tension-adjusting metal hoop volumetric displaypressed against its surface. The beam splitter is adjusted, with high Q, to a specific resonance frequency. Three rim-mounted impulse drivers apply low-amplitude sinusoldal drive. Due to the high Q, the diaphram’s sympathetic vibration is large. The beam splitter folds the optical path, and the system includes a fixed-curvature concave mirror to create real images that appear out in front of the apparatus.

It produces high-quality 3D images that occupy a one-third-meter cube 1/3 meter out in front of the apparatus. The image is viewable over a 30-degree viewing angle.

Potential Future Use: Advancements in 3D displays will impact many fields from medical research to gaming.

A Medical Mirror for Non-Contact Health Monitoring

Ming-Zher Poh, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology; Daniel McDuff and Rosalind Picard, MIT Media Lab

Digital medical devices promise to transform the future of medicine with their ability to produce exquisitely detailed individual physiological data. As ordinary people gain access to and control over their own physiological data, they can play a more active role in diagnosing and managing their health. This revolution must take place in our everyday lives, not just in the doctor’s office or research lab. This project starts in the home environment by transforming everyday objects into health-sensing technology.

The Medical Mirror is a novel interactive interface that tracks and displays a user’s heart rate in real time without the need for external sensors. Currently, collection of physiological information requires users to strap on bulky sensors, chest straps, or sticky electrodes. The Medical Mirror allows contact-free medical mirrormeasurements of physiological information using a basic imaging device. When a user looks into the mirror, an image sensor detects and tracks the location of his or her face over time. By combining techniques in computer vision and advanced signal processing, the user’s heart rate is then computed from the optical signal reflected off the face. The user’s heart rate is displayed on the mirror, allowing visualization of both the user’s physical appearance and physiological state.

This project illustrates an innovative approach to pervasive health monitoring based on state-of-the-art technology. The Medical Mirror fits seamlessly into the ambient home environment, blending the data collection process into the course of daily routines. It is intended to provide a convenient way for people to track their daily health when they use the mirror for shaving, brushing teeth, etc.

Potential Future Use: This device allows for easy and much more sophisticated everyday health monitoring.

Telenoid: Tele-Presence Android for Communication

Kohei Ogawa, Shuichi Nishio, Kensuke Koda, Koichi Taura, Takashi Minato, Carlos Toshinori Ishii, Hiroshi Ishiguro; ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication

This new system of telecommunication focuses on the idea of transferring human “presence”. A minimal human conveys the impression of human existence at first glance, but it doesn’t suggest anything about personal features such as gender or age. The minimal appearance allows people to use Telenoid to transfer their presence to distant places regardless of their personal features.Telenoid: Tele-Presence Android for Communication

Telenoid’s tele-operation system is simple and intuitive. It can be controlled by even novice users. Its face-tracking system automatically captures the operator’s facial movements and expressions. Field tests revealed that most users tended to have a strange and negative impression of Telenoid in the beginning, but eventually they became comfortable. Elderly people had very positive feelings about Telenoid at first sight.

Potential Future Use: Telenoid provides a much more interactive and intimate experience than technology that is available today, such as Skype.

True 3D Display

Hidei Kimura and Akira Asano, Burton Inc.; Issei Fujishiro and Ayaka Nakatani; Keio University

This research team was the first to use laser-plasma technology for a true-3D display device that allows true 3d displayusers to draw 3D images in midair. Now the team has developed a much more compact and precise display,  called SRV (Super Real Vision)-5000, based on advanced laser technology. One remarkable feature of the new device is its enhanced resolution: from 300 points per second to 50,000 points per second. It displays 3D objects more faithfully in real time and increases the range of possible applications.

Potential Future Use: Advancements in 3D displays will impact many fields from medical research to gaming.

 

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27th May 2011

Beware The Baconing. Seriously.

Hothead GamesHothead Games today announced summer release plans for The Baconing, a new stand-alone experience about the mythology of the Bacon Fires. In The Baconing, players will be able to settle in for a lot of fun, meeting some old friends and new acquaintances in this new high profile comical adventure. The game is currently in development for PC, Mac and other formats and is scheduled for release in late summer.

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Apparently Bob from Marketing released this comment about the trailer – after a briefing from Legal:

“With an epic name such as ‘The Baconing’ we didn’t want to detract from one of the most memorable video game names in history, so we created a trailer that shows only the title logo. This trailer explains half of the story about how we arrived at this name, the other half of this story is down to one of our loyal fans.”

I wonder if DeathSpank will know more….is it possible to bribe ineptly naive virtuous super-heroes? I hope that “one of the other formats” includes the Xbox 360. If not, I will have to vanquish a few friends from the realm of Hothead with a kick in the shin. 😉

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