2nd June 2011

Zevrix Releases Update For Deliver

zevrixZevrix Solutions has announced Deliver 2.3.4, a feature update to its file delivery solution for remote and local destinations. Deliver lets users send files over Internet and local networks with variable e-mail notifications, automatic compression, encryption and other powerful capabilities. It supports FTP, Amazon S3, MobileMe and other remote and local services, and lets users send files to multiple destinations at once.

Deliver 2.3.4 can be purchased from Zevrix website for US$19.95 (free with purchase of BatchOutput for InDesign). The update is free for licensed users of Deliver, and a free trial is also available for download. Deliver is a Universal Binary and available for Mac OS X 10.5-10.6.

The new version lets users view destination passwords in clear text making it much easier for administrators to manage, store and retrieve passwords. Users have an option to view current password only, or to keep passwords in clear text as they switch between destinations. This feature is available through admin authentication only. Deliver also lets users automatically send output files and collected jobs from Adobe InDesign through seamless integration with Zevrix plug-ins BatchOutput and InPreflight.

Deliver quickly gains popularity as file delivery tool of choice at ad agencies, printers, audio recording studios, video producers and other facilities. Users only need to drop files onto the program icon, or select them from the system list, and the items will be delivered automatically to the desired destinations. The program will send automatic email notifications upon delivery, eliminating the need to babysit the files in order to notify the recipients. Files can be instantly downloaded from links included in the email. In addition, Deliver automates such repetitive tasks as file compression and encryption, and offers a detailed history of all deliveries.

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2nd June 2011

An App For Instant iPhone Photo Collages

shape collageShape Collage, the popular easy-to-use photo collage software with over 4 million downloads, has officially launched its iPhone application offering free, quick and easy collage creation to iPhone users.

The app allows users to create personal photo collages from dozens of pictures on their iPhones in under 30 seconds by selecting the pics they want, picking a shape, and quickly posting wherever they like to share. The app is ready for downloads on iTunes and is also available for the iPod Touch. iPad and Android versions will be released this summer.

“People are taking more and more pictures with their smartphones, but they don’t always have an effective way to share their photos, so many pics get stranded in phones and never get shared with friends and family,” said Vincent Cheung, CEO & Founder of Shape Collage. “Our app allows users to quickly create unique custom collages with their photos and tell the stories they want to share on the fly directly from their iPhones.”

Users can choose from several shapes, or use text or symbols to create a custom shape from their photos and then easily share on Facebook, Twitter, and Email. They can also save the collage on their iPhone and use it as their wallpaper.

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Shape Collage’s desktop software (available for Windows, Mac and Linux) has been downloaded over four million times since its 2009 release. The software automatically creates photo collages in different shapes using patent pending technology. Cheung created the software as a graduate student and was named the 2010 Graduate Student Entrepreneur Global Champion and he has won eight business plan competitions.

The Shape Collage desktop software is available for free at ShapeCollage.com with a pro upgraded version available for $25 USD. A free Facebook application is also available for users to share their collages with their friends on Facebook.

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2nd June 2011

Great West Life Releases Free Health App on iTunes

Great West LifeCanadian consumers want more education and options for health self-management. A Deloitte consumer study found 54 per cent of those surveyed in the Deloitte 2009 Canadian health care consumer survey report “Treating Patients As Consumers” are trying to learn how to prevent health problems and improve their well-being, and they want electronic tools to help them do so. Now consumers can access DrugHub, Great-West Life’s new, free health application for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, which they can personalize with their prescription information to help manage their prescription medications.

“Managing prescription drug usage can be complex, particularly for people with chronic health conditions or who require multiple medications over extended periods of time,” says Brad Fedorchuk, Vice-President of Group Marketing for Great-West Life, a leading Canadian life and health insurer, which processed $2.1 billion in prescription drug claim submissions in 2010. Taking prescription medications correctly as prescribed is one drughubsimple but effective way people can enhance their health self-management, and DrugHub can help them do so.”

The DrugHub app is intuitive and easy to use, and offers a convenient way to keep track of medications – in effect, putting “a virtual library of prescription drug information at your fingertips,” according to Fedorchuk. The application can also help track medications for aging parents, children, or others. “DrugHub displays multiple prescriptions, issues reminders for multiple individuals about when to take medications, tracks dosages and flags when it is time to order refills,” Fedorchuk says. “By helping to manage some of this complexity, we believe DrugHub can help people follow their medication dosages and schedules more closely, thereby improving health outcomes.”

Security and confidentiality features are built in to protect personal information. DrugHub also provides access to an extensive library of drug information, including simple-to-use drug interaction and side effect reference tools for each drug and access to thousands of physician-reviewed drug articles.

DrugHub is the first mobile health application to be issued by a Canadian group benefits insurer. The innovative health application builds on Great-West Life’s industry-first suite of eClaims services — including being the first and only insurer in Canada at this time to offer text message notification advising group plan members of the status of a claim.

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2nd June 2011

Pronto Software Delivers Next-Gen ERP Software

pronto softwareBusiness management software developer Pronto Software today introduced the new PRONTO-Xi Dimensions, an innovative product that brings together ERP transactions and BI Analytics in a unified, out-of-the-box solution.

Launched at Pronto Software’s customer conference in Toronto, PRONTO-Xi Dimensions is the ‘next generation’ smart ERP solution that will transform the way businesses work and receive information. Quick to implement and easy to use, the new release responds to key market needs including instant insight into business performance for faster, smarter decision making for all employees.

Embedding the powerful IBM Cognos BI suite, PRONTO-Xi Dimensions enables mid-market businesses to manage large volumes of data and access real time analytics to understand key business drivers and influence business outcomes.

“We’re pleased to be working with Pronto Software to unveil the PRONTO-Xi Dimensions release to the North American market,” said Kevin Schell, General Manager, PSA Inc. “The business insight that PRONTO-Xi Dimensions provides will allow our customers to accelerate in their industries through unmatched Cognos 10 reporting and embedded Business Intelligence.”

“There is no ERP package more comprehensive in the market that can handle the industry demands of manufacturing, distribution, field service and retail, and with the addition of Cognos 10, PRONTO-Xi Dimensions is certain to hit the market running,” Schell added.

“When planning for this release more than 18 months ago, we envisioned a product that’s not just a logical extension of the success we’ve built so far, but a game-changing solution that will make our ERP engine smarter and create greater access to knowledge, to enable customers to innovate and differentiate,” said Pronto Software Managing Director David Jackman. Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd June 2011

CRTC Releases 2010 Financial Results For Canadian Television Services

CRTCThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released statistical and financial information on Canadian television showing increased profits for all services for the broadcast year ending August 31, 2010.  The data includes information from conventional television stations and specialty, pay and pay-per-view television services, as well as video-on-demand services (pay and specialty services).

Conventional TelevisionStatistical and Financial Summaries 2006-2010
Pay Television, Pay-Per-View, Video-On-Demand and Specialty Services Statistical and Financial Summaries 2006-2010

Revenues for private conventional television grew by 9% from $1.97 billion in 2009 to approximately $2.15 billion in 2010. Expenses during the same period increased by 1.7% from $2.01 billion in 2009 to $2.05 billion in 2010.  As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) improved significantly from a deficit of $116.6 million in 2009 to a profit of $11.5 million in 2010 for a PBIT margin of 0.5%.

Revenues for pay and specialty services grew by 11.1 % from $3.11 billion in 2009 to approximately $3.46 billion in 2010.  Expenses during the same period were 8.1% higher, going from $2.31 billion to $2.49 billion.  Therefore, PBIT for pay and specialty services improved from $728.6 million in 2009 to $877.3 million in 2010 for a PBIT margin of 25.4%.

The total revenues of $2.15 billion for private conventional television were generated from the following sources:

  • $350 million in local advertising,
  • $1.6 billion from national advertising,
  • $65.9 million from the Local Programming Improvement Fund, and
  • $117.9 million from other sources.

The total revenues of $3.5 billion for pay and specialty services were generated from the following sources:

  • $1.58 billion from cable television subscribers
  • $668 million from direct-to-home satellite subscribers
  • $1.09 billion from national advertising
  • $19.6 million from local advertising, and
  • $99.9 million from other sources.

After stagnating in 2009, investment in Canadian programming increased by 12.6% for private conventional television and 8.8% for pay and specialty services.

Private conventional television spending on Canadian programming totalled $696.3 million, including $304.6 million on news programs, $50.9 million on documentaries and other information programs, $141 million on sports programming, $85.5 million on drama and $21.7 million on musical and variety shows.

Pay and specialty services spending on Canadian programming totalled $1.12 billion, including $179.6 million on news programs, $258.4 million on documentaries and other information programs, $353.2 million on sports programming, $143.6 million on drama, and $42.4 million on musical and variety shows.

In 2010, these sectors of the broadcasting industry employed 11,761 people and paid a total of $925.3 million in salaries. Private conventional television experienced a workforce decrease of 6.3% in 2010, while the pay and specialty services workforce remained relatively stable. Read the rest of this entry »

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2nd June 2011

Green Men Stage Canucks Fan Rally

Vancouver Canucks super fans Force and Sully, collectively known as The Green Men, aim to kick the green mentheir antics up a notch. The Green Men will be announcing their special plans for the upcoming Stanley Cup Finals between the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins, answering questions, and leading a Canuck fan rally in downtown Vancouver this Friday (June 3rd), at the UBC Robson Square Skating Rink.

Find out what the spandexed duo are up to as they continue their campaign to rattle the Canuck’s competition and reveal their latest strategy to unsettle the Boston Bruins whey they make their announcement at 11:45am.

The Green Men Fan Rally will begin at 12 noon, running until 1:00pm. The Robson Square Skating Rink is located underground at the Robson Square Plaza, 800 Robson Street in Vancouver. The next game in the 2011 Stanley Cup Play-offs is at 5pm on Saturday, June 4th at Rogers Arena.

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2nd June 2011

Nintendo eShop Launches In Canada

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada has announced that the first major system update for the hand-held Nintendo 3DS™ system will be available in North America the evening of June 6, Pacific time. By installing the free update via a wireless broadband Internet connection, Nintendo 3DS users will have access to an Internet browser and the Nintendo eShop, which contains a variety of new content, including Pokédex™ 3D, an application that lets fans see Pokémon™ characters in 3D. nintendo eShop

To celebrate the grand opening of the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo is offering the NES™ game Excitebike™ re-mastered in 3D as a free download until July 7 for anyone who installs the system update. Upcoming Virtual Console™ content available in the Nintendo eShop includes Game Boy™ games Super Mario Land™, Alleyway™ and Radar Mission™. New content will be added to the Nintendo eShop on Thursdays.

The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare™ games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.eShop Tour Grid

Within the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo 3DS users will also be able to download the free Pokédex 3D application and start collecting data for more than 150 Pokémon from the Pokémon™ Black Version and Pokémon White Version games. This new application lets users view each Pokémon in 3D with animated motion and sound. The Pokémon image can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing users to zoom in and view it from any angle. The detailed Pokédex also allows users to search, sort and filter all of the data they receive in a variety of ways, making it the essential guide for Pokémon fans. Players can complete their Pokédex by sharing data with friends and using the SpotPass™ feature, or by scanning special Pokémon AR Markers (augmented-reality markers). Once users have received data for a Pokémon, the AR Viewer allows them to view that Pokémon image in a real-world setting in real time, and create photos to share with friends.

“The Nintendo 3DS system is constantly evolving and growing,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “The Nintendo eShop is a one-stop resource for a broad range of Nintendo information and downloadable games and applications. It expands the Nintendo 3DS experience with new and entertaining content.”

Other capabilities that go live with the system update include a free Internet browser that has the capability to show 3D images on sites specifically designed to show 3D images. The browser can also be used during game play. Users can stop their Nintendo 3DS game and go to the browser by pressing the Home button and then resume their game when they are finished browsing.

The system update also gives Nintendo DSi™ and Nintendo DSi XL™ system owners the ability to easily transfer most of their previously downloaded Nintendo DSiWare™ games to their new Nintendo 3DS systems.

In the near future, users will be able to download a free application for a short-form video service that will enable them to view specially selected video content, including 3D movie trailers, comedy clips and music videos automatically received when the SpotPass feature is activated.

To install the recommended system update, Nintendo 3DS users can simply start the “System Settings” from the Home Menu, select “Other Settings” and scroll the page right to select “System Update.” Remember that the Nintendo 3DS system features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access.

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2nd June 2011

ICBC Releases Driving Knowledge App

icbcThe Insurance Corporation of BC has launched an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, that lets new drivers practice the driving knowledge test before taking the real test. The ICBC licensing mobile practice knowledge test can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and also includes the complete Learn to Drive Smart guide, all driver licensing locations, and selected videos that are aimed at helping new drivers prepare for their test and be safe on our roads.

“Our customers have told us that they want more options from us that better connect with their lifestyle,” said icbc licensing appFred Hess, ICBC’s vice president of driver licensing. “Getting your first licence is an exciting time but it can also be an intimidating process. We believe this app will make it easier to practice, which we hope calms nerves and helps new drivers focus on learning to make smart driving decisions.”

The practice knowledge test app randomly generates 25 questions to replicate the real test, including how to successfully make a right-turn, drive in school zones, watch out for vulnerable road users and handle a vehicle that skids and loses control. Customers who score 100 per cent on a practice test are rewarded by unlocking bonus video content.

The app also includes a series of videos that help new drivers develop their skills on the road, including tips on passing the road test, how to adjust your speed relative to conditions and intersection safety. The app also identifies the driver licensing centre locations nearest to the customer, shows them how to get there, hours of operation and contact number.

“Our online practice knowledge test has proved extremely popular in improving our customer experience for new drivers and this app will offer another easy and convenient choice for them,” said ICBC’s chief customer and marketing officer, Jeff Schulz. “They can even share their practice test results with friends via Facebook, Twitter or email.”

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2nd June 2011

XMG Launches Gaming Advisory Board

xmg studioToronto’s XMG Studios is looking for young people who would like to get involved in its just-launched Gaming Advisory Board. The Board is a panel of kids from around the world who assist the Toronto-based mobile video game studio in testing their games, reporting on trends, squashing in-game bugs, and even having the opportunity to learn how to make their very own video games.

Those accepted into the Gaming Advisory Board program will gain a rewarding experience in the emerging app economy. Equally important, GAB members will see their feedback touch millions of XMG game users around the World. Parental controls for supervision as well as a monitored exclusive GAB community will provide a safe forum for members to discuss their gaming experiences. In true gaming fashion the member with the highest amount of points at the end of the month, awarded for participating, will win a prize.

“GAB is an amazing opportunity for kids to give real-time feedback into the game development process,” says Ray Sharma, Founder and CEO of XMG Studio. “Through the GAB we also hope to continue supporting community and provide members with an amazing experience. GAB members will get a chance to be part of something unique in an exciting industry and for many of the participants, the two most important perks will be bragging rights and a great start to their resume.” Ultimately, GAB inspires to create future business leaders and tech savvy individuals that will take charge in growing healthy economies around the globe.

The Gaming Advisory Board currently has members across North America, including Toronto, New York, LA, Chicago, Dallas, and San Diego however expansion overseas is the next target. Those interested can apply online.

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2nd June 2011

Bill Tam To Head BCTIA

bctiaThe BC Technology Industry Association has announced that Bill Tam has been appointed as the new President and CEO, effective July 1, 2011. Bill will take over from outgoing President and CEO, Pascal Spothelfer, who will be returning to industry.

Bill’s career has taken him across Canada and into the United States, serving as CEO of EQO Communications in Vancouver, a Venture Partner at SpringBank TechVentures in Calgary, VP Business Development at AT&T Canada, VP of Product Strategy and Marketing at MetroNet, in addition to executive roles at Rogers Telecom in Toronto and Bell Canada in Toronto and Denver, Colorado. Over the past several years, Mr. Tam has been actively involved in growth initiatives with a successful history of building and launching new businesses in the software, e-commerce, Internet, and telecommunications sectors.Bill Tam

Bill joined the BCTIA Centre4Growth as one of the first CEOs-in-Residence and for the past ten months has been a committed member of the team. Bill currently coaches over 40 tech entrepreneurs, and is a key contributor to the success of the Centre4Growth program.

“The BCTIA Board of Directors is very pleased to appoint Bill Tam to lead our organization. Bill is a seasoned technology executive who possesses the management experience, strategic thinking, and drive to leverage the good work that has been accomplished at the BCTIA over the past years.” said Paul Gorton, Chair of the BCTIA Board of Directors.

“As both a corporate executive and a tech company founder, Bill understands the challenges that technology companies of all sizes face every day. This will allow him to be a very strong advocate for our industry, and an effective builder of a stronger, more cohesive technology community in British Columbia. His current contributions through Centre4Growth reflect his recognition that building industry capacity is critical to our success,” added Gorton. Read the rest of this entry »

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