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  • Masters of Digital Media Students Launch New Company and New App

15th August 2011

Masters of Digital Media Students Launch New Company and New App

Digital Touch GamesA team of seven students in the Masters of Digital Media program at The Center for Digital Media have come together to create an all-new physics-based puzzle game for iPads and iPhones within an crash cravingambitious timeline of 4 months. These students have also created Digital Touch Games, a brand new Vancouver independent studio. Crash Craving is their debut title.

Crash Craving is designed with casual gamers and non-gamers in mind, making the game easy to play but difficult to master. The game features a lovable orange chameleon fittingly named Mango. Mango is in search for food and he comes across jars of flies in a… French Cafe? That’s a classy meal right there and Mango knows how to get it. If you enjoy wreaking havoc in a fancy cafe by swinging like Tarzan with a super long sticky tongue, you’ll love this game. There are 50 levels to play through which is sure to provide hours of fun for just a single dollar on the iTunes app store.

TDigital Touch Games - The Teamhe Masters of Digital Media program is a professional degree designed to be a practical program in which students are set up to work for real industry projects with real clients as well as some high profile companies like Electronic Arts and Microsoft. On the last semester of the 20-month program, the students are given the chance to pitch their own project ideas to the directors of the school as well as industry judges in the style of Dragons’ Den to gauge the viability and profitability of what is being proposed. Making sure that they get a shot at creating a game from concept through development and production, these students endeavoured to have a marketable, polished game within a semester’s time.

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15th August 2011

Point Grey Launches World’s Smallest GigE Vision Cameras

Point GreyAdvanced digital imaging company Point Grey has announced the launch of its new Flea3 FL3-GE series of GigE Vision digital cameras, setting a new industry standard with an ultra-compact size of just 29 x 29 x 30 millimeters, making it the world’s smallest Gigabit Ethernet camera. The first available models use monochrome and color versions of the popular Sony® ICX445 CCD, a high sensitivity 1.3 megapixel 1/3-inch EXview HAD flea3 gigeimage sensor that runs at 30 FPS. The Flea3 offers superior imaging performance, unbeatable price-performance, and a host of new features, including opto-isolated GPIO for industrial triggering and strobe output, non-volatile flash memory for user data storage, and on-camera frame buffer.

“We are very excited to launch the Flea3 GigE series, which will provide customers with a unique combination of size, performance, and price,” says Vladimir Tucakov, Director of Sales and Marketing at Point Grey. Tucakov adds, “Point Grey has a history of bringing innovative and ground-breaking products to market. This drive for innovation has led to many industry firsts, including the world’s first and smallest FireWire-b cameras. With Flea3 we’re pushing technology boundaries again by providing three different interfaces—FireWire, GigE, and soon USB 3.0—in the same small, ice-cube form factor.”

Every Flea3 GigE camera is equipped with an industry-standard C-mount lens holder, removable IR cut filter flea3 gige back view(color models) / optical window (monochrome models), and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter. Additional features include automatic control of most camera properties, such as gain, exposure, and white balance; user configuration sets for defining custom power-up settings; gamma and programmable lookup table; customizable region of interest settings; and pixel binning. The Flea3 also complies with version 1.2 of the GigE Vision specification, which allows it to be used with many third-party software packages. Included with every camera is the FlyCapture® SDK, a full software library that provides a common control interface for all Point Grey cameras under both Windows and Linux.

The Flea3 FL3-GE-13S2 (1/3-inch 1.3 MP 30 FPS), list priced at USD $765, is available to order now from Point Grey and its network of distributors. Additional GigE Vision models are planned to be released throughout 2011.

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15th August 2011

Ortsbo Begins Beta Testing of Google Android Platform

ortsboIntertainment Media Inc. has announced that its social media, real time, experiential communications platform Ortsbo has begun beta testing of its Google Android platform for smartphones and mobile devices. This complements the recent market release of Ortsbo for iPhone (“Ortsbo 2Go” or “O2Go”), which in its first week of release received the highest level of product review, 5 Stars, from users. Ortsbo for Android, as part of the Ortsbo 2Go mobile suite, is expected to launch in the Android Marketplace by mid September.

The launch of Ortsbo’s Android beta testing is the latest in a series of mobile solution developments from Ortsbo as it continues to meet its milestone objectives for mobile offerings during Summer 2011. In addition to mobile solutions for Apple and Android, Ortsbo reported earlier that it has filed a patent for its “O2O” mobile platform for portable computing devices and expects that that product line will also be unveiled to consumers over the next 60 days.

With the purchase and integration of Commobility, Ortsbo is currently developing additional secured IP mobile and portable computing technology initiatives, including solutions for multi-lingual communications, location based and proximity communications solutions as well as additional device solutions for Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Details of these applications will be released as they become available.

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15th August 2011

Manage Your Own Virtual Airline

Welcome to Airways Virtual, a website that features virtual airlines for flight simulator FSX.  These include British Airways Virtual, Thai Airways Virtual, Tiger Airways Virtual, Hewa Bora Airways Virtual and many more.  If you simmilesare interested in managing a virtual airline then contact SimMiles and complete a virtual airline application form.  If you are interested in becoming a virtual airline pilot at one of these Virtual Airlines then you can click on the link that will take you to their website where you can complete a virtual airline pilot application.  Each virtual airline is independently managed and operated by the management of that specific virtual airline.

SimMiles is an airline simulation game for virtual airlines that allows real people to manage the virtual airline in an airline simulation game environment and it also allows virtual airline pilots to complete the flights for the virtual airline using Flight Simulator FSX in real time.  This way pilots also get to participate in this real time airline simulation game online in the most realistic environment.  Airways Virtual is a website that promotes virtual airlines, the airline management game genre in general and the flight simulator FSX community.

Airways Virtual features FSX Virtual Airlines that are based all over the world including countries like Canada, Singapore, United States (USA), UK (United Kingdom), Australia, Germany, France, New Zealand and Ireland.  There are many virtual airlines that you can choose from in these countries and many more.  Airways Virtual mainly features real world based virtual airlines to make the FSX Virtual Airline Management experience more realistic and fun.

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15th August 2011

Vancouver Welcomes Linuxcon

linuxconCalifornia-based provider of scale-out, open source storage solutions company Gluster co-founder and chief technology officer Anand Babu Periasamy will be among the industry experts presenting at LinuxCon, taking place August 17 – 19 at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver. On Friday, August 19 from 10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Periasamy will present “Bringing Intelligent Storage to OpenStack.” Additionally, John Mark Walker, Gluster’s community director, will host a GlusterFS Birds-of-a-Feather (BoF) on Thursday, August 18 at 5:15 p.m.

During Periasamy’s presentation he will discuss the pain points of storage in cloud computing environments and specifically address the benefits of using OpenStack and Gluster. Additionally, the discussion will feature code examples and use cases. Prior to Gluster, Periasamy served as CTO at California Digital Corporation and, in 2004, led the development of the world’s second-fastest supercomputer, “Thunder,” for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Periasamy also serves on the board of “Free Software Foundation – India.”

“OpenStack has experienced blinding success over the past year, with many developers, system administrators and companies participating in its ecosystem,” said Periasamy. “We have been collaborating with the OpenStack community to determine the largest pain points and storage is one of them. My discussion will outline how Gluster provides highly-scalable and highly available VM storage functionality for OpenStack.”

The GlusterFS BoF will be an opportunity for LinuxCon attendees to discuss and learn more about the GlusterFS roadmap, recent integration work and recipes for deploying at scale. Periasamy will be on hand to share his expertise and answer audience questions.

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15th August 2011

Nintendo Canada Announces Starfox64 3D Contest

Nintendo CanadaNintendo® is giving Canadians the chance to ‘Fly Like Fox’ with the launch of the Star Fox 64™ 3D ‘Fly Like Fox’ contest. To enter the contest fans can simply fly over to the Nintendo 3DS Facebook page and click on the Star Fox 64 3D contest tab. One lucky Star Fox fan and wingman of their choice will WIN a real-life fighter-pilot experience at Air Combat USA in Fullerton, California!

Just like Fox McCloud and his team in the classic remake for Nintendo 3DS TM, the winner and a friend will experience the thrill and excitement of flying a light attack fighter in air-to-air combat. After a briefing by an Air Combat USA Pilot in the basics of Tactical starfox64 3dFighter Maneuvers, they will engage in multiple g-pulling dogfights, experiencing the fierce aerial combat of the game in real life! The flight experience will be recorded and they will be debriefed post flight.

Contest Details

  • Open only to residents of the Canada (excluding Quebec) and the U.S. who are over the age of 14
  • The contest starts on August 15, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. PT and ends on November 7, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. PT
  • One winner from Canada and one winner from the United States and will each receive a grand prize trip package consisting of a “Basic Air Combat Maneuvers for 2” aerial combat lesson for the winner and their guest at Air Combat USA, a video of the flight experience, two nights’ accommodations in Fullerton, California, two round-trip airplane tickets, and $500 spending money
  • Approximate Retail Value of the Trip: $5,800 CAD
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15th August 2011

IKEA 2012 Catalogue Embraces Technology And Sharing

ikeaThe much anticipated arrival of the IKEA Catalogue landing on five million doorsteps across Canada is finally here. This year’s Catalogue, like the 60 before it, is full of smart solutions, inspiring rooms and insights into life at home. From the leading home furnishing experts in the world, comes a handbook to maximizing space at home.

The 2012 IKEA Catalogue will not only be delivered to homes across Canada, it will also be available through several digital channels. The complete Catalogue will be available on the IKEA Canada web site as of today. An IKEA catalogue iPhone  and Android application are also available today, with the addition of an iPad application in the Fall. IKEA is also introducing for the first time a Catalogue Widget that will allow bloggers and other websites to host the Catalogue (I couldn’t find a link for it, so this feature may not yet be live). Shoppers can also order a print copy of the Catalogue to be delivered via snail mail.

“No matter what size our homes are, none of us ever seem to have enough space,” says Kerri Molinaro, President, IKEA Canada. “There is no doubt that a small space requires creative thinking, but even big spaces can be challenging as our lives grow and we have more things to store.”

In the 2012 catalogue, readers will find a strong focus on the IKEA commitment to create a better life at home through:

Beautiful Design:

  • Graphic patterns add interest and texture. Toss in a little style with the new EIVOR cushion (page 23, $12.99)
  • Nothing says luxury like a gorgeous quality sofa. Sit back and relax in the new TIDAFORS sofa (page 25, $699)
  • The new VARMLUFT paper shade (page 45, $5) is perfect for creating a light and airy feeling
  • Celebrate the softer side of style with the new OPPDAL bed frame (page 170, $349/Queen with drawers). It is perfect for leaning back and reading a good book
  • The shape of the ISALA series (page 71, coffee table $249) is inspired by older Swedish furniture, with modern twists like thicker legs

Smart Design:

  • Building BILLY bookcases (page 27, $69.99) around a window or above a door is one way to use overlooked wall space and fit more in your room
  • Double duty products that deliver more function such as the KIVIK sofa and seating series (page 57, loveseat and chaise $1179) offer built-in storage in addition to durability and good looks
  • MELLTORP dining table (page 99, $39.99) goes from compact to ready-for-friends when paired next to the NORBERG wall-mounted drop-leaf table
  • Combine traditional looks in a cozy workstation – HEMNES secretary with add-on unit (page 245, $275 for grey/brown) complete with built-in cable management for collecting cables and cords out of sight – that fits right in with your living room

Sustainable design:

  • Innovative production techniques call for fewer resources and help reduce waste.  The materials for STUVA storage boxes (page 275, storage bench with box $119.00 each) are produced using the innovative “board on stiles” production method, making them not only faster to manufacture but also lighter in weight, resulting in fewer shipments and more savings passed along to the customer
  • Speaking of savings, our new expanded LED lighting range, including our TIVED work lamp (page 347, $29.99), help reduce household energy use (LED lighting is about 85% more efficient than incandescent lighting)


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15th August 2011

Ernst-Young Says Canada In Top Ten For Tech Mergers And Acquisitions

Ernst & YoungCanada ended the second quarter of 2011 on a high note as one of the top 10 countries for corporate technology mergers and acquisitions, with numbers increasing from 21 deals in Q2 2010 to 30 in Q2 2011, according to Ernst & Young’s Global technology M&A update.

“Average global deal value skyrocketed to US$194 million in the second quarter of 2011, and the numbers here at home were just as strong,” says Tony Ianni, leader of corporate finance in Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services practice. “Canada saw the second-highest number of cross-border deals, behind the United States — an uptick in volume and value we’ve seen developing over the last several quarters.”

Big-ticket deals drove the total value of global tech M&A to US$52.1 billion in Q2 2011, nearly doubling the deal value from an already strong first quarter. Global cross-border deal volume also increased 16% from Q1, while domestic deals declined by 11%. Not only that, cross-border deals showed a 32% increase over Q2 2010 numbers.

The total value of global deals with disclosed values increased by 92%, from US$27.1 billion in Q1 to US$52.1 billion in Q2 — a 69% increase from Q2 2010 (US$30.8 billion). While 61% of all disclosed value was concentrated in the top 10 deals, there was also significant deal-making strength at the opposite end of the spectrum, in deals of less than US$100 million.

This surge was powered by industry consolidation and ongoing disruptive innovation in the following areas:

  • Cloud computing
  • Smart mobility
  • Internet and mobile video
  • Smart grid and solar energy

“New waves of innovation, especially around smart mobility, cloud computing and social networking, are driving large and small deals across the globe,” says Ianni. “Not only did Q2 have the highest quarterly average since the first quarter of 2000, it also had the 20th-largest global technology deal ever by dollar value.”

Technology companies that continue to stockpile cash will have the flexibility to act when strategic M&A opportunities arise. Cash and investments held by the sector’s top 25 companies grew to US$591 billion by the end of Q2 2011 — an 18% year-over-year increase from US$499 billion at the end of Q2 2010.

“Interest in the technology sector continues to rise as information technology evolves into an increasingly valuable component of all products and services,” says Ianni. “But the question on everyone’s mind is whether deal-making will lose momentum or continue to overcome increasing divergence between buyers and sellers over valuation, geopolitical unrest and global debt issues.”

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15th August 2011

Mobilicity Announces Money-Saving Student Plans

mobilicityMobilicity has introduced the industry’s first $25 unlimited talk, text and data plan, as well as steep savings on popular Android smartphones to make going back to school more affordable and enjoyable. The new student plans, available for a limited time at Mobilicity stores in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton and Calgary as well as authorized dealers across Canada, underscores Mobilicity’s commitment to provide Canadians with a smarter, more affordable way to use wireless.

“With Mobilicity, Canadians can talk, text and use data like a king on a student’s budget,” said Chief Customer Officer Anthony Booth. “Students can afford to get everything they need from a mobile device and still have enough money to enjoy a rich life on campus all year long.”

Mobilicity’s Student Plan is a great deal for anyone who wants to stay connected with friends and family without breaking the bank. It offers unlimited local calling, unlimited local text and picture messaging, unlimited data, caller ID and unlimited Mobilicity-to-Mobilicity calling for only $25 a month.

For students looking for the most bang for their buck, the company launched the Ultimate Unlimited Back-to-School Plan, which includes all of its $25 Student Plan features plus unlimited North American long distance, unlimited Canada/US text and picture messaging, unlimited global text messaging, voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding and 3-way calling – all for only $40 a month.

In the spirit of sending students back to school in style, Mobilicity is also offering up to $200 off select handsets, such as high-end Android smartphones, like the Samsung Nexus S and HTC Panache. With these savings, consumers can also purchase a name-brand Android smartphone for under $100.

“Any student can look like a big shot on campus,” said Booth. “With savings of up to $200 on incredible Mobilicity smartphones, like the Samsung Nexus S and HTC Panache, buying an Android is well within reach of Canadian students.”

The Samsung Nexus S (now $349) combines the latest hardware with the fastest, most powerful version of Android to deliver a responsive and fluid experience all in a uniquely slim profile that fits comfortably in your hand. The HTC Panache (now $299) packs a host of unique features, based on the HTC Sense user interface, which allows users to customize, stream contacts’ social network updates and instantly silence the phone ringer with a quick flip.

The Motorola Spice (now $99) is a sleek Android smartphone with its sliding QWERTY keyboard and large multi-touch screen with multi-touch support allowing pinch-to-zoom and fluid flick navigation making it super easy to send messages on the fly. The Samsung G-Touch (now $99) is an outstanding messaging device and features a full touch screen and slide-out QWERTY keyboard making texts messages simple and intuitive.

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15th August 2011

Calgary To Launch Search-based Web Site

City of CalgaryFollowing a successful preview, The City of Calgary today announced the official launch of the new search-based calgary.ca. The website, which uses Microsoft SharePoint and Google search technology, was available for public Calgary Searchpreview from August 8 to 12. During the preview process, Calgarians were able to test the new site by typing in keywords to find relevant information. Public feedback during the preview process was exceptionally favourable with very few problems reported.

“We were incredibly impressed with the amount of feedback we received. Comments on social media indicated this was a move in the right direction for the City of Calgary” said David Watson, General Manager of Planning, Development and Assessment and Project Sponsor.

“Microsoft is pleased to be part of Calgary’s long term strategic vision to deliver innovation to its employees, Calgary Search Appcitizens and businesses,” said Mike Tremblay, Vice President, Public Sector, Microsoft Canada. “We congratulate The City on the launch of calgary.ca and are delighted that Microsoft SharePoint 2010 was selected as the unified platform to help streamline its government services and foster collaboration between Calgary and its citizens and local businesses.”

Through a competitive bidding process, The City of Calgary hired Infusion Development to complete development work on the website. “The goal from the onset was to ensure that citizens could find information and services quickly and easily.” said, Bill Baldasti, VP Canadian Sales, Infusion. “For this, a custom feed-engine to enable smart searching was developed. On top of this, we built an extensive mapping suite, a completely optimized mobile experience, and online forms that all together will enable revolutionary new ways for the community to interact with their local government.”

The new website marks a movement towards eGovernment and a shift to providing more services and information online. “Our citizens have said this is how they want to interact with their municipal government,” said Watson. He adds, “The upgrades we’ve made to calgary.ca have built the foundation for The City to support future advances in technology and will allow us to better serve and communicate with Calgarians for years to come.”

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