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16th August 2011

Bluestreak Technology To Demonstrate Video Everywhere at IBC 2011

bluestreak technologyMontreal’s Bluestreak Technology will be demonstrating a variety of new Video Everywhere™ services at the IBC Expo 2011 conference and exhibition in Amsterdam this September 9th through 13th. Video Everywhere™ is an emerging concept, blending the delivery of content from traditional TV services, over-the-top (OTT) vendors, and social media into connected devices, including televisions, set-top boxes, digital video recorders, smartphones, and tablets.

A recent study by UK-based IMS research forecasts that OTT video services will generate $16.4 billion in revenue by 2016, with video-on-demand services from pay-TV providers seeing an additional $14.7 billion. With researchers machbluepredicting a tenfold increase in pay-OTT transactions over the next five years, it is clear that the promise of delivering video services any time on any device is now becoming more important than ever.

Expect Video Everywhere™ to be a key topic at this year’s IBC 2011 conference, where companies will be showcasing their latest innovations in the areas of optimized video delivery. At the event, IBC exhibitor Bluestreak Technology will be demonstrating a variety of new services focused on the areas of:

  • OTT – The company will be unveiling a new customer deployment that delivers premium OTT video services from leading service providers, including Netflix, BBC, and YouTube, on a wide variety of televisions, digital media players, and Blu-ray players worldwide.
  • Multi-screen and companion screen – The company will be showcasing its connected TV capabilities with a product demonstration that combines live TV, network PVR, video on demand (VOD), interactive widgets, and Internet TV into a single service that runs across a variety of connected devices, including televisions, set-top boxes, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
  • 3D interactive video – The company will be highlighting leading-edge innovations in the area of 3D video with a demonstration that showcases both 3D content and interactive features for IBC attendees to experience.

Bluestreak Technology will also be demonstrating the latest updates to the company’s MachBlue platform which deliver an outstanding video experience for today’s largest connected device vendors and content providers, including Bouygues Telecom, DivX, Mitsubishi, NDS, Orange, Panasonic, SagemCom, Soft@Home, Time Warner Cable and Videotron.

Demonstrations and product information will be available at the Bluestreak Technology stand in Hall 13 at the IBC 2011 exhibition, stand number: 13.123.

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16th August 2011

Be Prepared For Bill C-28 The Canadian Anti-Spam Law

constant contactFrom Constant Contact: Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL), Bill C-28, may not be in effect until early 2012, but that doesn’t mean that small businesses and organizations should wait to make sure they are prepared for the new legislation. Marketing advisor Constant Contact®, Inc. is offering its insights to help small businesses and nonprofits across Canada – as well as any others communicating with people in Canada – prepare for compliance.

“The general guidelines set forth by Canada’s new anti-spam legislation actually mirror what Constant Contact has been promoting for years—the ‘best practices’ that make email and social media marketing most effective,” said Lisa Kember, Constant Contact regional development director for Toronto. “By following best practices, marketers not only set themselves up for success, but also put themselves in a better position to comply with the law when it goes into effect.”

The Canadian Government passed CASL in December 2010 to establish a regulatory framework for permission-based marketing, including email marketing, social media marketing, text, and other electronic messaging. This framework will protect electronic commerce in Canada, deter damaging and deceptive forms of spam, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, and drive out spammers.

“Education and awareness are key to ensuring that organizations are proactively evaluating their contact list collection methods and practising permission-based online marketing,” said Guy Steeves, Constant Contact regional development director for Vancouver. “With or without the legislation, there are many things that small businesses and organizations can do now, and we want to be sure they know we’re here to help.”

Following are 10 permission-based online marketing best practices that small businesses and organizations can use to spruce up their marketing efforts and prepare for CASL:

1. Be Respectful – Ask for permission to communicate with your contacts. Some email marketers have operated for years with implicit consent to use an address obtained through relationships with customers or clients, but this will no longer be enough once the new legislation goes into effect. There will be a grace period for obtaining explicit consent through opt-in, however anyone who has gathered their contacts with implied consent will eventually have to convert them to explicit. Start gathering explicit consent from your new and existing contacts now so that you are ahead of the game.

Also, recognize that permission can be given, but it can be taken away too. Make sure every email you send has the option for the recipient to unsubscribe or “opt-out.” Interests may change over time and communications may no longer be valuable to a given subscriber. Those subscribers are entitled to withdraw their permission at will.

2. Be Specific – When people sign up for your email list, allow them to select—precisely—their areas of interest (e.g., newsletters, sale notifications, new product or service announcements, event invitations). You can make subscribers feel more comfortable by specifying what they will receive and when they will receive it (e.g., “Sign up for Our Weekly Concert Announcement”). Also, be sure to identify yourself to your subscribers in the “From:” line, and use the name they recognize most easily – your name or your company name.

3. Be Trustworthy – Your privacy policy should be clearly posted, and your address and phone number should be included in all email communications. This adds credibility to your company and your emails even if recipients do not click on the link.

4. Be Straightforward – Remind recipients why they are receiving an email from you. Whether they are a valued customer, a prospect who expressed interest, or a client you want to keep in touch with, the reminder will enhance recognition of your business and put your email into context, thus differentiating your communications from unwanted email.

5. Be Interested – Are your email communications adding value? Is the frequency right? A survey is an inexpensive, easy, and immediate way to find out how your customers really feel about your company and your email communications. So, when you do a survey, don’t forget to ask how your customers feel about your emails.

6. Be Current – People change ISPs, jobs, and email addresses frequently. Often, you’ll be the last to know. Ask for updated information and give subscribers an easy way to change their email address. In addition, provide a way for your subscribers to change their profile, interests and preferences to help you target the right content for the right audience.

7. Be Considerate – Respect the privilege of communicating with your customers and prospects by taking care not to communicate too often. Gratuitous emails are not met with gratitude. Think carefully and plan how many, and what kind of communications you send to your subscribers.

8. Be Diligent – Some subscribers will reply to an email to unsubscribe instead of using the automatic unsubscribe link. Monitor your inbox for unsubscribes and complaints, then make sure you remove unsubscribe addresses right away and take action on any grievances.

9. Be Observant – Look at your reports! There’s a wealth of information just waiting to be discovered. Always pay attention to how many people are unsubscribing from your emails. If you are losing more than .5 percent of your subscribers per month, take a look at all of the elements of your campaigns, make sure you’re following the other nine tips, and make adjustments where you’re falling short. Opens and click-throughs can also indicate where you might be missing the mark.

10. Beware – Beware of strangers bearing lists! Permission is not transferable. Today, subscribers want to receive email from those companies they have subscribed to, not an unknown third party. If anyone claims you can “Blast your ad to over 1,000 safe addresses for only $5.00!” or “Buy a CD with 10,000,000 email addresses for only $99!” this is too good to be true. These lists are not permission-based—they are spam lists.

You can get more information on this and a variety of topics at Constant Contact’s online learning centre. There are also a number of educational seminars in BC and Ontario that may interest you.

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16th August 2011

NetFlix Introduces Just For Kids

netflixNetflix has made it easier and more fun for Canadian kids and families to instantly watch a huge range of kid-friendly TV shows and movies with its new “Just for Kids” experience. Although the “Just for Kids” experience is currently available only via the Netflix website, similar functionality will come to the Wii, iPad, Xbox, Playstation and many other devices over the next year.

Members in Canada can now click on the “Just for Kids” tab at the top of the Netflix home page and find a newly-designed section featuring content perfect for children 12 and under. Kids will now be able to click on an icon of their favorite characters – from “SpongeBob SquarePants” to “Dora The Explorer”, and from “Arthur” to “Pingu” and “Thomas and Friends”- and find a deep selection of great TV shows and movies featuring that character.

Kids, parents and caregivers will also be able to scan through row after row of movies and shows organized by easy-to-understand genres like superheroes, princesses, dinosaurs and girl power, featuring clear and simple descriptions of the plot of each title. To develop these selections, Netflix used ratings and reviews from Common Sense Media, a non-profit provider of independent, trustworthy ratings, reviews, and information to help parents make great media choices.

“Kids discover and categorize movies and TV shows differently than adults,” said Todd Yellin, Netflix Vice President of Product Innovation. “Just as we have revolutionized the way people find the movies and shows they want to watch when and how they want to, we’re making it easier for kids and parents alike to have the best possible Netflix experience.”

Netflix designed the “Just for Kids” experience in recognition that kids are among the most ardent consumers of TV shows and movies. Almost half of the 25 million Netflix members in the United States and Canada have instantly watched at least two movies or shows made for kids in the last 90 days.

“Family movie night is a great way for parents to connect with their kids in our 24/7 media culture, and over the last few years, Netflix has recreated the concept, bringing kids and parents together around great, quality entertainment on multiple platforms,” said Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, president and COO, Common Sense Media. “We’ve partnered with Netflix for many years and our work informs the overall quality and scope of the “Just for Kids” experience, helping parents to make great media choices for the entire family.”

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16th August 2011

Young Entrepreneurs Set To Shake Up The Mobile App Market

the next 36Heavy-hitting investors and business elite from across North America heard pitches from Canada’s youngest entrepreneurs yesterday, and are evaluating the first business ventures created through game-changing program, The Next 36. An initiative supported by more than 50 Canadian business leaders – including Galen Weston, Paul Desmarais Sr. and Jim Pattison as founding patrons – The Next 36 aims to transform the country’s most promising undergraduates into high-impact entrepreneurs and nation builders.

“For years, I have been looking for the best way to help young entrepreneurs,” explains Anthony Lacavera, a director of The Next 36 and Chairman and CEO of Globalive. “The Next 36 is the perfect formula.”2010 Selection Day for The Next 36

Yesterday’s ‘Venture Day’ marked the culmination of the program’s inaugural year. The accomplished young co-founders (aged 19 to 23) spent the last eight months working in teams and together with CEO mentors, top business school faculty, and others to seize opportunities in mobile application technology. These ventures include mobile apps relating to local bartering, customer feedback, exercise rewards, flirting and virtual clothing.

Monday’s graduation ceremony featured the presentation of three highly-coveted awards. The 2011 Valedictorian, selected by his peers, was David Berkal, a Peace & Conflict Studies graduate from The University of Toronto. Emily Dimytosh, who is entering her final year in Commerce at Queen’s, was chosen by the program’s co-founders as winner of the Satchu Prize, named in honour of Founding Chair, Reza Satchu.  “In terms of raising the bar, The Next 36 has taken me from varsity high jump to Olympic pole vaulting,” states Dimytosh.  The recipient of the Outstanding Venture Award was Tradyo, a swapping application that allows users to buy & barter on a local level through their smartphone.  Tradyo’s co-founders come from McGill, Western, Guelph and Toronto.

“Canadian prosperity depends on our ability to generate more seasoned entrepreneurs to drive this country forward.” said Claudia Hepburn, co-founder and executive director of The Next 36. “Entrepreneurs who see opportunities where others see challenges have the ability to change our community and our economy. We can’t wait to see how they build on this experience in the real world.”

As the first cohort of The Next 36 makes plans to forge ahead with their businesses – some while juggling their studies – the program is gearing up to welcome its next wave of students. The application process is open until October 7, 2011.

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16th August 2011

CBC To Continue Broadcasting Analog TV Signals Until August 2012

CRTCThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has given the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) permission to continue broadcasting analog over-the-air television signals in 22 markets until August 31, 2012. This decision gives the CBC an additional year to find solutions for viewers who may lose access to its over-the-air signals after the transition to digital television.

In 2007, the CRTC set August 31, 2011 as the deadline for broadcasters to complete the transition from analog to digital television. The transition is mandatory in 28 Canadian markets, including provincial and national capitals, metropolitan areas with populations greater than 300,000, and mCBCarkets served by more than one local television station.

The CBC operates 25 local stations in mandatory markets whose over-the-air transmitters will be converted to digital in time for the deadline. The CBC also operates 22 analog transmitters that rebroadcast its stations’ signals into other communities that are also considered mandatory markets, but does not intend to replace them with digital transmitters. For example, under the CBC’s current transition plans, the signal of its English-language television station in Montreal would not have been available in Quebec City after the transition.

As the national public broadcaster, the CBC has a unique mandate to serve the entire Canadian population. A one-year extension is necessary to guarantee over-the-air viewers in some mandatory markets do not lose access to the signals of CBC television stations and have sufficient time to find alternate means of accessing them.

The CRTC will examine the CBC’s long-term plans for its analog over-the-air transmitters during the June 2012 public hearing to renew its radio and television licences.

Following the transition to digital television, the government has reserved channels 52 to 69 for public safety and advanced wireless services. The CBC must vacate these channels by the August 31, 2011 deadline by either moving its signal to a lower channel on the dial or switching to a low-power transmitter.

Viewers who watch local television stations using rabbit ears or an outdoor antenna may experience some change in the way they receive television signals. For more information, please see Canada’s Transition to Digital Television.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has given the CBC permission to continue operating 22 analog over-the-air transmitters beyond the August 31, 2011 deadline for the transition to digital television. The transmitters, which serve markets where the transition is mandatory, rebroadcast the programming of CBC television stations located in other cities.

Below is a list of the local television stations and the transmitters that rebroadcast their programming:

Language Local stations Transmitters
English television services CBRT Calgary CBRT-6-Lethbridge
CBKT Regina CBKST Saskatoon
CBLT Toronto CBLN-TV London
CBLN-TV-1 Paris (serving Kitchener-Waterloo)
CBMT Montreal CBJET Chicoutimi
CBVE-TV Quebec
CBMT-3 Sherbrooke
CBMT-1 Trois-Rivières
CBAT-TV Fredericton CBAT-TV-2 Moncton
CBAT-TV Saint John
French television services CBXFT Edmonton CBRFT Calgary
CBXFT-3 Lethbridge
CBKFT Regina CBKFT-1 Saskatoon
CBLFT Toronto CBLFT-8 Kitchener
CBLFT-9 London
CBLFT-18 Thunder Bay
CBEFT Windsor
CBAFT Moncton CBAFT-10 Fredericton
CBAFT-1 Saint John
CBHFT Halifax
CBAFT-5 Charlottetown
CBFT Montreal CBFJ-TV St. John’s


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16th August 2011

Calgary Scientific Partners With CyberSKA Project

calgary scientificCalgary Scientific has announced a strategic partnership with the CyberSKA project. This project provides scientists and researchers around the world a platform to access and collaborate on the massive data sets coming from newer and bigger radio telescopes. CyberSKA is using PureWeb® from Calgary Scientific to web- and mobile-enable the astronomy viewer so the data can be analyzed without being moved and the results can be accessed anywhere in the world, on any device. It also allows researchers on different sides of the globe to interact and collaborate in real-time on the same information about the origin, structure and evolution of the universe.

“PureWeb provides the ability to analyze large multi-dimensional data sets from modern telescopes through our web portal without having to download these enormous files,” said University of Calgary Professor Russ Taylor, Director of the Institute for Space Imaging Science and CyberSKA Project Leader. “This eliminates the need to move these massive amounts of data to individual users, and provides the unique ability for researchers across the globe to collaborate with each other on the analysis of these data using whatever device they have – whether a desktop, laptop or tablet.”

Traditional approaches will not be able to process and move this massive amount of data as output will be in the range of 60GB per second – totaling terabytes in hours and petabytes in days. This includes the Square Kilometer Array – an international multi-billion dollar project to build the largest radio telescope in the world. With a total collecting area a million square meters (one square kilometre), it will be 50 times more sensitive and 10,000 times faster for imaging the sky than the most powerful telescopes today. Information collected will be shared around the world creating huge technical challenges.

“The partnership with the CyberSKA project is another example of how Calgary Scientific continues to demonstrate that PureWeb is a powerful, enabling platform that can uniquely address the most challenging issues related to high performance cloud computing. This project faces the ‘big data’ issue on an extreme scale and PureWeb is the answer,” emphasizes Byron Osing, CEO and Chair of Calgary Scientific. “PureWeb also maintains the highest degree of security as the data is never copied or moved across any network to the user. This is true whether it is a single user or a large group collaborating in real-time with the same data.”

PureWeb is the first software platform that allows multiple users to interact with the same instance of an application simultaneously. This new capability allows geographically distributed users to access any PureWeb enabled application and collaborate with other users in real-time. PureWeb allows existing software applications to be used in new ways and places, for less time and money, while maintaining high performance and security.

Canadian funding for the CyberSKA project is provided by CANARIE, Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network.  Within Alberta, CyberSKA partners also include Cybera, a not-for-profit organization that spurs and supports innovation, for the economic benefit of Alberta, through the use of cyberinfrastructure.

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16th August 2011

Enter The Secret World in April 2012

funcomFuncom and EA Partners, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. would like you to know that the highly anticipated modern-day, Massively Multiplayer Online Game, The Secret World will release for the PC in April 2012. Starting August 26th, gamers can register to join upcoming betas, through a unique interactive social media campaign that will be made available on the game’s official site.

Imagine a world where secret societies pull the strings of kings and presidents, where vampires are more than just The Secret Worlda Hollywood fantasy, and where all the myths, legends and conspiracies are true. The Secret World is an MMO that breaks free from the confinements of character classes and levels and allows players to explore real-world locations with an engrossing storyline. Funcom will not only challenge but redefine long-established MMO standards.

“It has never been more rewarding working on The Secret World than it is now,” says Senior Producer and Creative Director Ragnar Tørnquist. “The progress we are making in development allows the whole team to really enjoy just playing the game for hours on end. We are all looking forward to bringing in players through upcoming betas, and their feedback will be crucial to the further development of the game as we progress toward the April 2012 launch.”

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16th August 2011

EA Sports Developing Authentic Street Soccer Game

EA SportsElectronic Arts Inc. has announced that EA Sports™ is developing an authentic street soccer game that will replicate the way the game is played by street players all over the world. From the creators of the award-winning EA Sports FIFA Soccer franchise at EA Canada, and inspired by street soccer styles and stars from around the world, EA Sports FIFA Street will be built to the level of quality and depth that millions of FIFA fans have come to expect from the EA Sports FIFA development team. The game will be available for the PlayStation®3  and Xbox 360® in early 2012.Fifa Street

“This is the first time our award-winning FIFA development team is creating a street soccer game, and we are going to deliver a level of authenticity never before seen in this genre, along with amazing gameplay,” said Matt Bilbey, Vice President and GM of Soccer, EA Sports. “FIFA Street will appeal to new fans that are looking for a unique, fun soccer experience, and long-time FIFA fans looking for an authentic street soccer experience with the level of quality that they know and love from the FIFA franchise.”

Powered by the revolutionary FIFA Soccer gameplay engine, and introducing Street Ball Control, FIFA Street will deliver an arsenal of groundbreaking street dribbling styles and trick moves that ignite the one-on-one battles within matches. Whether performing one panna after another without breaking a sweat the way street soccer is played in Amsterdam, or a physical, fight-for-possession style the way players compete in London, fans will enjoy a superior fidelity of ball control and responsiveness than anything ever experienced in a soccer videogame. Plus, for the first time ever, utilize aerial skills to maneuver past opponents, an all-new sophisticated one-touch passing system for quick, precision passes, and over 50 never-before-experienced skill moves.

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Play with and against the stars of the most popular clubs in the world—or real-life street players—and compete at more than 35 locations around the world. From one-on-one battles in parking lots and parks to prestigious 5v5 tournaments on the streets of the world’s biggest cities, FIFA Street will replicate the unique street soccer style. Plus, it will feature a host of modes and online features that will be revealed in the months ahead that will make the game a social, connected experience.

FIFA Street will be connected to EA Sports Football Club (Online Pass, FIFA Street and internet connection required), so from the first nutmeg on, gamers will be contributing to their Football Club identity. Fans who purchase EA Sports Season Ticket will also get, as a bonus offer, full-game digital access to FIFA Street three days in advance of launch.

An EA Sports Season Ticket subscription provides full-game digital access to all participating EA Sports games three days before launch, a 20% discount on all downloadable content, free premium web content and membership recognition through an in-game and online EA Sports Season Ticket badge. An annual subscription to EA Sports Season Ticket is now available through the PlayStation Store and Xbox LIVE for $24.99 or 2000 MS Points. EA Sports Season Ticket is available for Xbox 360 in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and PS3 in North America. Benefits begin with the launch of Madden NFL 12. Moving forward, participating franchises include NHL hockey, FIFA Soccer, Tiger Woods PGA Tour golf and NCAA Football. Subscribers will also get, as a bonus offer, three-day early digital access to FIFA Street.

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