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  • SIGGRAPH 2011 Announces Computer Animation Festival Winners

20th June 2011

SIGGRAPH 2011 Announces Computer Animation Festival Winners

siggraph 2011SIGGRAPH has announced the Computer Animation Festival’s Best in Show, Jury Award, and Best Student Project recipients for the SIGGRAPH 2011 Conference taking place in Vancouver this August 7th – 11th. A total of 77 films will be shown during the Computer Animation Festival. Nominees were chosen by an expert panel of jury members from 891 submissions representing 44 countries.

“The level of quality and technical expertise exemplified by this year’s submissions continues to raise the bar for the extreme innovation and leading technology the The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, Moonbot Studios (PhotComputer Animation Festival delivers year after year,” said Joshua Grow, Computer Animation Festival Director and 3D Stereo Coordinator for The Creative-Cartel. “The submissions selected to be featured at SIGGRAPH 2011 are a true testament to the leaps and bounds the Computer Animation Industry has achieved since the Computer Animation Festival first debut at SIGGRAPH and promises a very exciting road ahead.”

The Computer Animation Festival is recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as a qualifying festival. Since 1999, several works originally presented in the Computer Animation Festival have been nominated for or have received a “Best Animated Short” Academy Award. This year’s selections will be featured during the Computer Animation Festival through a series of daily Festival Screenings and the iconic Electronic Theater allowing attendees to get a glimpse behind the making of computer generated effects, visualizations, and animations.

Best In Show Award

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Directed by William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, Moonbot Studios

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and Technicolor musicals.

Jury Award

Paths of Hate

Directed by Damian Nenow, Platige Image

Two pilots, driven by blind hate, chase each other in their airplanes and thereby write cryptic messages of madness into the firmament. On their way into the abyss they transform into inhuman and distorted creatures that finally become part of the history of hate.

Best Student Project Prize

Flamingo Pride

Directed by Tomer Eshed, The Konrad Wolf Potsdam-Babelsberg Film and Television University

Frustrated being the only straight flamingo in a gay flock, our hero falls in love with a lady stork that flies by. Unable to convince her of his serious intentions he isolates himself and goes through an identity crisis. An intensive encounter inspires him to make a bold move.

Jury Award Runners-Up

Escape of the Gingerbread Man!!!

Directed by Tod Polson, The Monk Studios

A young storyteller challenges the old master in a pub on the Irish west coast. The “Escape of the Gingerbread Man” is a mad romp through the Irish countryside. As well as a subtle commentary on the changes in traditions, and culture that is happening throughout the “emerald isle.”

The Experience of Fliehkraft

Directed by Till Nowak, frameboX

Humans mount themselves onto gigantic robots and try to get centrifuged through space. Sounds like science fiction, but it is what happens in theme parks. Machines with the power of tanks offer five minutes of anti-gravity therapy. An attempt to escape this world … driven by 10,000 horsepower.

Best Student Project Prize Runners-Up


Directed by Tyler Carter, Brigham Young University

A regular night of dream delivering turns into a literal nightmare when an orphan’s book of Ancient Aztec Mythology comes alive. The Dreamgiver must save the orphan from his own nightmare!

Sweater Dog

Directed by Gina Moffit, Ringling College of Art and Design

A normally happy go lucky dog is put into a restricting sweater by his owner but tries to go on with his normal every day activities.

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20th June 2011

Warning – Paper Munchers On The Loose

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble Inc. is pleased to announce that Paper Munchers, an explosively new physics-based game has officially arrived on Apple’s iPad (Lite Version), iPhone and iPod Touch (Lite Version), as well as on Mac OSX via the Mac App Store.paper munchers

That’s right, the Paper Munchers are here, they’re hungry and it’s up to you to make sure they get fed. Use the explosive power of your touch to match deliciously cute monsters with the ferocious mouths of the Paper Munchers. Use your arsenal of bombs to launch those delicious monsters into the jaws of the malicious maws.

Explode your way through five worlds and 75 levels of munching mayhem! Paper Munchers is packed full of explosive physics, unique characters, and 5 Worlds with a whole feast of new content to come!

Features of this monster eat monster world:

  • 75 explosive levels with more on the way
  • 5 Beautiful Paper Craft Worlds of nom nom nomming
  • Tight physics based gameplay
  • Game Center Achievements
  • Tons of explosions and carnivorous action

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20th June 2011

TechSol Introduces New Modular Touch Screen Product Line

techsolBC’s Technical Solutions Inc. has released a new modular touch-screen computer product line. In three simple steps, choose your LCD screen (with matching adapter board), computer module, and I/O module and you have the guts of a touch-screen terminal customized exactly to your needs.

  • pick your display (it comes with a matching display interface board supporting LCD, touch, back-light, plus some optional extras)
  • pick your computer power, from 500 to 1000 MIPS, with or without on-board Ethernet
  • pick your mix of I/O and power-supply. From POE to a super-low-cost 2-board option powered by USB, there’s a range of boards coming.

Using the latest i.MX processors from FreeScale Semi-conductor of Austin Texas, Techsol’s engineers have applied 25 years of experience designing low-power CMOS computer systems for commercial, industrial, medical, automotive, and defense applications to the long-standing challenge of “why not all 3”. All TSCM products run Techsol’s Medallion Linux, one of the oldest and most stable Linux distributions exclusively targeting ARM processors. Display options currently supported include 3.5″, 4.3″, 5″ WVGA, 7″ WVGA, 7″ Hi-Brite, and 10.4″ SVGA LVDS with more coming.

Conceived in 2007, designed starting in 2009 (there was a recession providing time :), optimized in 2010, and now rolling out in 2011, the Touch Screen Computer Module (TSCM) simplifies the creation of your next product at low-cost, with low-risk, and with fast time-to-market. Plus, Techsol still offers custom design services should you require a unique mix of interfaces or power-supplies on your I/O board or support for a new display.

Embedded Engineering is the same all over the world. Engineers face the same challenges of having too much to do, and not enough time or money to do it with. Techsol’s Medallion Classic and TSC modules address this issue and provide a solution that extends into the production stages of a product, not just the proof-of-concept stage like most SBCs.

The Medallion Single-board computer product line encompasses multiple CPUs, and different configurations with the same CPU. However, the pin-out and form-factor remain the same, even after 10 years, and the TSCM will also have a long availability for “planned NON-obsolesence”.

By designing with the Medallion system, you are effectively out-sourcing your CPU design and Linux porting with no up-front NRE fees. That lets your team concentrate on the hardware and software portions of your product that your customers see. The result is that you can create a higher-quality product in a fraction of the time and cost of designing everything yourself from scratch, with interchangeable modules extending product life-cycle times.

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20th June 2011

Introducing theLocBox

locboxWith the pairing of two unique talents and backgrounds, best selling author Stephen Joyce and pioneer software engineer Doug Oucharek have launched theLocBox, providing users with the opportunity to take security of their data into their own hands.

While encrypted file sharing isn’t a new concept, this add-on to existing cloud systems provides users with a new tool. theLocBox enables users to create a key that allows them the opportunity to protect their stored data and maintain control over who has access to that data. Users create their own individual keys, stored locally, to share and access encrypted files. The concept is simple; theLocBox creates a “vault” folder in Dropbox and any documents dragged to theLocBox window are encrypted and copied to this vault folder. Only the key the user creates will be able to access the files, protecting your personal data.

Doug Oucharek states, “Trusting third parties with your encryption keys is unacceptable, especially if you are a business. End-to-end encryption, where only the end users have the ability to decrypt the files, is the safest way to use cloud storage.”

Co-creator, Stephen Joyce added, “Today, more work than ever is conducted in a virtual space and as a result, it’s more important than ever to have confidence in your privacy when sharing and storing files and other personal data.”

theLocBox comes at a critical time when reports of personal data security breaches are rampant in the media and security is on everyone’s mind. Recently, Sony disclosed that nearly 77 million Playstation users were affected by a breach in data security – This information was stored in what Sony said was an “outdated database from 2007.”

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20th June 2011

TD Bank Group Extends Summer Reading Club Support

TD Financial GroupTD Bank Group today announced a multi-year, $3.7-million renewed investment to the program to help Library and Archives Canada, Toronto Public Library and CNIB run the TD Summer Reading Club through to 2014.  As Canada’s largest reading club, more than half a million children are expected to participate and will read more than two million books in both English and French each year.

“The TD Summer Reading Club is a great way to keep young minds stimulated over the summer months,” said Frank McKenna, TD Bank Group deputy chair and literacy champion. “We are proud to help kids discover the joy of reading this summer and make a splash using their imaginations.”

From scuba diving for treasure to studying mythical water creatures, the award-winning TD Summer Reading Club’s theme, Splash! Celebrate Summer will inspire children to use their imaginations to explore lakes, rivers and oceans through reading.  Children in participating provinces will make a splash at their local libraries by registering for a free TD Summer Reading Club kit. Each child is encouraged to set a reading goal for the summer and at the end of the summer, the local librarian will present each child with a reading certificate.

“Children and their families are encouraged to dive into a good book at their local library,” said Jane Pyper, Toronto Public Library’s City Librarian. “Thousands of children participate in the program every year, building confidence in their reading abilities and providing a safe place to have fun during the summer.”

Summer reading clubs have a positive impact on children’s reading, but family really plays an important role by encouraging children to read for pleasure at home. Studies show that reading as little as six books over the summer will help young children maintain their reading levels.

“Nothing stimulates a child’s imagination like reading,” said Dr. Daniel Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada. “It brings them to a world where magic can happen, the kind of world we once all believed in and a sense of wonder that we yearn for as we get older.”

In 2009, CNIB joined the program in an effort to increase accessibility for children with print disabilities. “We are thrilled to make the TD Summer Reading Club available to children with vision loss, by bringing stories to life with French and English audio recordings and Braille,” said Al Jameson, Chair, National Board of Directors, CNIB.

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20th June 2011

Rypple Launches Social Performance Management Application

ryppleRypple© has launched Loops, a disruptive new social performance summary application available as part of Rypple’s Phenomenal Plan for just $9-per-user-per month. It includes hundreds of feature enhancements of Rypple’s social performance platform, and plugs securely and seamlessly into existing work systems.. Loops makes it quick and easy for managers to pull together all the relevant information about employee performance already captured in Rypple’s existing applications—continuous feedback, social goals, one-on-one coaching, and meaningful recognition—into helpful, actionable performance summaries.

Everything is already in one place and easy to find so there’s no need to dig through old emails, notes, or spreadsheets and managers can run Loops whenever they choose—at the end of a goal, a project, or a quarter. They can invite anyone to contribute feedback, whether inside or outside their teams. And they can draft a series of customized questions to get the answers they need to accelerate performance. Greater visibility means no surprises when it comes to discussing promotions or compensation.

“The workplace has changed,” said Daniel Debow, co-CEO of Rypple. “But performance management hasn’t changed with it. Traditional reviews have become disconnected from real performance, and they’re slowing us down. With the help of our customers—creative, innovative companies devoted to nurturing and developing their people—we’ve built a social performance management platform for the way we work today: in real-time.”

Hundreds of innovative companies already use Rypple to set key priorities, recognize meaningful accomplishments, and get ongoing feedback and coaching. Rypple worked closely with a select group of customers to build and refine Loops, including Facebook, Gilt Groupe, RichRelevance, PhotoBucket, Bazaarvoice, EventBright, Kobo, Nexj Systems, Pivotal Labs, and Insomniac Games. Now, with Rypple Loops, managers and their teams can collect everything in one place—in real time—finally making performance management both effective and painless.

“Rypple built a performance platform that supports Facebook’s social, collaborative, and fast-moving culture,” said Bob Trahan, the company’s Director of Engineering and Head of Culture & Engagement. “Working with Rypple means our performance summaries are more real-time and our people get the feedback they want and need.”

Rypple’s easy to use privacy controls allow managers and their teams choose how much to share—and how much to keep private: employees can recognize one another publicly for their accomplishments on a company-wide feed everyone can see; hold private one-on-ones with their manager in a private, shared space; or request anonymous feedback from anyone at the company.

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20th June 2011

Pre-Order HP TouchPad Tablet At Best Buy Canada

Best Buy CanadaBest Buy Canada has announced the pre-sale of the new HP TouchPad tablet at Best Buy stores across Canada. This is HP’s first webOS tablet, available with the option of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage – user-available storage subject to change based on system software and application usage. It will be available to purchase in-store at Best Buy on July 15th, and customers who pre-order the HP TouchPad through Best Buy will receive 6X Reward Zone points.HP TouchPad

HP TouchPad is part of a growing family of webOS devices designed to keep people better connected. With webOS, HP TouchPad users have a next-level multitasking experience, integrated access to their information with HP Synergy, the ability to find information on the device or the web using the Just Type feature, and unobtrusive notifications. TouchPad is a productivity powerhouse that also offers access to the cloud and entertainment, including movies, TV shows, games, photos, books, magazines and premium audio playback with stereo speakers and Beats Audio™ technology.

Key Features of the HP TouchPad:

  • HP’s first webOS tablet – facilitates easy multi-tasking and organizing
  • 16GB for $519.99; 32GB for $619.99
  • Just Type feature – start an email, message or status update without launching an app – just start typing
  • HP Synergy – Sync contacts, calendars, email and photos with sources like Facebook and Google. (Within wireless coverage area only. Microsoft Exchange email, contacts, and calendars available for ActiveSync only; requires Microsoft Outlook using Exchange Server 2003 with SP2, Exchange Server 2007, or Exchange Server 2010.)
  • HP exclusive Touch to Share capability (Touch to Share capabilities require TouchPad with webOS 3.0 and Pre3 (pending availability) or Veer (requires future over the air update) with webOS 2.2 or higher. Viewing URL web page content requires data connection via Wi-Fi or cellular connection.)
  • Supports Adobe® Flash Player® and HTML 5

Other information about TouchPad use:

  • Internet access within wireless coverage area only. Wi-Fi within range of 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi network. Some Wi-Fi hotspots may require fee for usage. Not all web content may be available. Email and related information required for setup and activation.
  • Third-party software available separately. Within wireless coverage area only. Requires data services at additional cost. Not all apps available on all devices.
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20th June 2011

Richard Ivey School of Business Case Studies Available At iBookstore

IveyIvey School of Business case studies are now available anywhere, anytime through Apple’s iBookstore. One of the world’s leading business case publishers, the Richard Ivey School of Business is the first publisher to make business case studies available on the iBookstore. Starting today over 500 cases from Ivey’s inventory are available to download for $3.99 each. The iBookstore is available through the free iBooks app for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Since the Ivey Business School’s inception in 1922 the case method has been the keystone of its highly regarded approach to teaching general management. Students and executives at universities around the world use Ivey cases to learn by doing. Business students, executives or anyone can now benefit from enhanced convenience, quicker delivery, and more flexibility in accessing published cases.

“Making Ivey cases available through the iBookstore provides an opportunity to reach a new and wider audience that may not have been exposed to business case studies previously,” said Paul Beamish, Director of Ivey Publishing. “It supports our emphasis on making Ivey cases easily accessible to everyone.”

Each case provides readers with an opportunity to stand in the shoes of the decision-maker, analyzing the business issue presented, making judgments and determining a course of action. Ivey is the second largest producer and distributor of business case studies in the world.

Over 500 cases are currently available, with newer cases to be added regularly.  More than 200 new cases are created each year from business faculty at Ivey and from other partnered universities. Articles from the Ivey Business Journal will also be available through the iBookstore.

Richard Ivey School of Business, the world’s largest producer of Asian cases, will continue to offer its inventory in printed or digital PDF form through its network of 18 traditional academic publishing partners including Harvard Business Publishing and the European Case Clearing House.


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20th June 2011

A City On The Heal – This Is Our Vancouver

tourism vancouverThe remarkable effort of Vancouverites to show the world that the raucous actions of a select few by no means defines the city they love has garnered widespread attention, both locally and abroad.

Now, with the aid of a sophisticated online platform that aggregates comments, photos, and video content from the far reaches of the internet, online users can delve into the profound outpouring of affection for Vancouver that has dominated the social sphere in recent days.

The site, affectionately named ‘This Is Our Vancouver‘, makes use of the latest digital technology to pull content into one space that would ordinarily require days of surfing to unearth. This Is Our Vancouver permits even novice users to access the overwhelming content generated by those who are passionate about Vancouver on a single, intuitive platform.

“In recent days we’ve seen an outpouring of emotion and love for Vancouver from our citizens, who spontaneously shared their thoughts on the temporary plywood storefronts downtown,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “This opportunity will continue through This Is Our Vancouver, a new site that is supported by 100% donated services from our community. It provides one more way for everyone to express their love for our city as we collectively move forward and show the world what kind of city Vancouver truly is.”

DDB CanadaDeveloped by creative agency DDB Canada, in partnership with Tourism Vancouver, the online platform scours the web for compelling content from diverse sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.

“Last Wednesday Vancouver was reeling from a blindside,” said Tourism Vancouver President & CEO Rick Antonson. “Today, Vancouver’s integrity shines again. This is a testament to the commitment of this city’s citizens to set things right if they have gone wrong. ‘This Is Our Vancouver.com’ is our way of helping the world know that Vancouver’s greatest asset is its people.”

In addition to creating a one-stop portal for existing Vancouver content, This Is Our Vancouver is a user-friendly platform that encourages all Canadians to contribute their take on what best defines the city.

Says Greg Klassen, the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Senior Vice President, Marketing Strategy,  “The mindless destruction we witnessed last week has been eclipsed by a collective effort of Canadians of all ages that is truly extraordinary. We applaud the citizens who mobilized so quickly to remind the world what Canada is really all about.”

The ease of making an online contribution paired with the inspiration that comes from browsing the diverse and heartfelt content of fellow Canadians puts this new platform in prime position to continue generating testimonials that will help restore the nation’s image.

Lance Saunders, Executive Vice President & Managing Director of DDB Canada’s Vancouver office, said, “As a creative agency, our world is about harnessing emotion. We mobilize people around sentiments that hold real meaning for them. Vancouver is our national headquarters; it’s a natural time for us to put our experience into practice for a vital cause. This is about celebrating Vancouver and restoring its image to where it deserves to be.”

Since the website has gone live, many local businesses and media outlets have volunteered their services to generate awareness about the new platform and encourage widespread participation.  Project partners The Vancouver Sun and The Province have generously contributed significant ad space to promote the site with a view to helping citizens reclaim their city and shape its future.

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