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24th August 2011

BCIC Entrepreneurship At Wavefront Program Deadline Is Looming

bcicBCIC and Wavefront (the Canadian wireless commercialization centre) launched its second annual entrepreneurship@Wavefront Program today.  A 12-month program, entrepreneurship@Wavefront is designed to support and nurture early-stage B.C. wireless companies from product concept to market entry. After a successful pilot, the accelerator program is expanding to support 12 companies this year and will be working closely with the BC Regional wavefrontScience and Technology Network to increase accessibility of the program for participants outside the Lower Mainland.

“The first year program enabled eight entrepreneurs to turn their product ideas into successful emerging wireless companies,” said Mark Payne, Acting CEO of BCIC.  “Wavefront has done a great job working with these startups in our program, which have collectively generated over half a million dollars in external investment, over $350,000 in revenues, 18 new jobs, and new products that are penetrating growing markets.”

Among the first year graduating class is Vancouver-based RewardLoop, this year’s B.C. TIA Award winner for ‘Most Promising Startup’.

“The entrepreneurship@Wavefront was the catalyst that enabled us to work full time on bringing RewardLoop to market.  We have already signed deals with some of North America’s largest retail chains and are expanding our reach through international distribution partnerships , “ said Nigel Malkin, CEO and Co-Founder, RewardLoop. “The guidance, feedback, and support we’ve received from the program at Wavefront were invaluable to us in making these accomplishments possible in such a short period of time.”

Companies selected this year will receive office space in Wavefront’s downtown accelerator centre, access to their wireless expert advisory, training, and testing services, sales and marketing coaching, and connections to key industry contacts. Program participants also benefit from BCIC’s Mentor Program, a network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts who provide entrepreneurs with support that is critical for growing a successful company.

“The wireless solutions being developed by the entrepreneurship@Wavefront companies span from Machine-to-Machine (M2M) to next generation networks to enterprise applications that address issues faced across many industries.  We continue to work closely with BCIC to ensure cross-sector opportunities, creating an environment within our accelerator centre that fosters collaboration and success,” said Jim Maynard, President of Wavefront.

Full details and applications for the entrepreneurship@Wavefront program are available online. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 26th at 11:59 p.m.   Selected companies will be announced September 7, 2011 with the program and access to Wavefront’s downtown Vancouver offices beginning immediately after.

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24th August 2011

IUGO Launches Animal Academy

IUGOIUGO is pleased to announce the launch of its next mobile social title, Animal Academy, a time/resource-management game that lets you build and customize your school for adorable animal teachers and students.animal academy

“We wanted to create a fun experience for all ages,” states IUGO’s CEO Hong-Yee Wong.  “Animal Academy is very easy to pick up, and the friendly and intuitive activities will keep you delighted for hours.”  The game launches with 20 cheery classroom themes and 23 endearing animal characters, with more being added with regular updates.

Animal Academy Description

  • Customize your school – Build classrooms that will delight the students of Animal Academy. Reading, writing and arithmetic are the basics, but this ultra-fun school can also teach subjects such as paleontology, robotics, fashion and football to name but a few.
  • Attract adorable animals – Each new classroom unlocks a new animal species! Cats, dogs, penguins, foxes, robo-mice and more.
  • Play with friends – Pitch your students up against rival schools in friendly competitions or help out by supervising a friend’s classroom! Playing with friends earns you daily in-game rewards.
  • Play the role of Principal – Build and maintain the greatest school in the land. The students at Animal Academy have been known to reward beloved Principals with heart-felt, home-made gifts.
  • Expect tons of future content – IUGO is committed to keeping Animal Academy fresh with frequent and continuous updates. Check back often for new classrooms, animal species, game features and more.

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The iPhone and iPad enhanced game is available now in the Apple Appstore and is today’s free download thanks to @FreeAppADay. Animal Academy is rated 4+ and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 3.0 or later.

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24th August 2011

Red Nova Episode Two Now Available

Celsius GamesCelsius Games has released the next installment in the Red Nova saga. In Episode 1: Red Nova, which was released earlier this year, players were introduced to the Earth Colonial Fleet, brave soldiers tasked with protecting the people of our home planet. While out on a test flight with the shiny new prototype fighter ESC Red Nova, the crew happens upon a previously unknown alien fleet preparing to stage a sneak attack on the human colonies.red nova iPhone

In order to give the Red Nova a chance to escape and warn the rest of the fleet you have volunteered to attack the aliens head-on. With a choice of any of the fighters on deck, you have to use your wits, guns, and ample supply of homing missiles to survive the alien onslaught for as long as possible.

In Episode Two: Mercy, the ESC has been receiving reports that a massive alien mothership has begun an assault on the shipyards at Gamma Crucis, a mere 88 light years from Earth. It has disabled the fleet there and without your help the crew of those ships will perish.

While the Red Nova occupies the mothership you must use your skill to pilot your heavy transport ship, the Raven, against the alien’s fighter onslaught launched from the mothership. Battle through the waves of enemy ships and rescue the stranded citizens at the shipyard before it’s too late.

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Episode Two is a free update for those who already own Episode One – if you haven’t yet purchased this challenging game for your iOS mobile device, you can get it in the iTunes App Store for only 99 cents (USD) – a very good value for such a polished title.

New features added in Episode Two include an added “Gun Pod” power-up which, when activated, will orbit your ship, targeting the nearest enemy and firing at a rapid rate. Gun Pod is backwards compatible with Episode 1. Another new feature is the anti-capital-ship explosive enemy type, which is only featured in Episode 2. This feature offers lots of hit points and will only attack capital ships.

Fixes included with the Episode 2 Update:

  • Optimized rendering engine, should improve performance
  • Changed pause button to make it easier to see the radar
  • Radar markers now change size based on distance to target
  • Fixed a pause/resume bug that would occur when the game entered the background during “Game Over”
  • Increased the range at which energy orbs will become attracted to the ship
  • Improved loading time from optimized data files
  • Improved menu navigation

Red Nova is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices running iOS 3.1.3 or later and is Rated 9+ for Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence. For even more insight into the Red Nova story, check out the short story Test Pilot by game creator Colin Walsh.

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24th August 2011

Canada Media Fund invests 3.4 Million Through English POV Program

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) announced today an investment of $3.4 million in 16 projects through its 2011-2012 English Point-of-View (POV) Program. This program is designed to encourage English POV documentary production.

Of the 49 applications received for the English POV Program, the CMF has approved the funding for 16 projects. $2.7 million has been committed to television components and $0.7 million to digital media components. Fourteen projects were presented with a rich and substantial digital media component, of which 11 will be financed by the CMF, while two are using video on demand (VOD) and/or digital distribution as their additional platforms.

Of the approved projects, two are from British Columbia, one is a co-production between Nova Scotia and Nunavut, six are from Ontario, six from Quebec, and one from Saskatchewan. These decisions and funding commitments are preliminary, as all requests must undergo a contracting process.


Convergent Project Title  Applicant(s) Region Platform $ Commitment 
An Ill Wind  Dark Lullabies Inc. (dba DLI Productions)  MTL  Television  $188,169
 Moonray Studios  TOR  Digital Media  $100,000
 Total:  $288,169
Arctic Defenders  John Walker Productions Ltd.  NS  Digital Media  $50,000
 Television  $195,000
 Total:  $245,000
El Huaso  The Handshake Productions Inc.  MTL  Television  $69,000
Election Fever  Karma Film Inc.  SK  Digital Media  $100,000
 Television  $250,000
 Total:  $350,000
Exhibition (The)  Jove Pictures Inc.  BC  Digital Media  $171,500
 Television  $29,150
Total:  $200,650
Fly Colt Fly      Barefoot Bandit Productions Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $44,000
Television  $250,000
Total:  $294,000
Hue  Honalee Productions Inc.  BC Television  $89,194
Indie, with Child   Les Productions Catbird Inc.  MTL Digital Media  $25,000
Television  $230,300
Total:  $255,300
Lost Highway (The)  Insurgent Project 1 Ltd.  TOR Digital Media  $24,976
Television  $147,000
Total:  $171,976
Mirror Mirror     Dark Lullabies Inc. (dba DLI Productions)  MTL Television  $180,000
My Astronomers  Inigo Films Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $36,873
Television  $250,000
Total:  $286,873
Pyongyang Express  Zarathustra Films Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $34,045
Television  $222,104
Total:  $256,149
Rise Again   Diatribe Pictures Inc.  TOR Digital Media  $82,000
Television  $257,178
Total:  $339,178
Waiting Room (The)   Périphéria Productions Inc.  MTL Television  $25,000
When Jews Were Funny  Sudden Storm Entertainment Ltd.  TOR Television  $211,511
When the Trumpet Sounds  Parabola Films  MTL Digital Media  $12,000
Television  $80,000
Total:  $92,000
Number of POV projects:  16  Total Commitments:  $3,354,000


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24th August 2011

Endemol Recognizes Endgame As Quality Programming

I managed to miss the original announcement of this, but I’m sharing it with you all now – because there is a very endgameimportant little nugget of hope contained in this news release from Endemol – providing our favourite locally-shot quirky crime drama does not face the possibility of re-location. It would be hard to watch the show if it were shot anywhere but in Vancouver, with the cast and crew as is – and I know many people who would rejoice at the chance of viewing the show on TV sets outside of Canada.

Endemol recently  announced the launch of Endemol Studios, an LA-based independent scripted TV studio operation, to be headed up by newly appointed CEO Philippe Maigret. In his new role, Maigret will report to Endemol North America Chairman, David Goldberg.  Maigret will continue to oversee North America rights acquisitions for the Group, where he has served as Executive Vice President, North America Acquisitions, since joining the company in March 2010. Joining Maigret, Jeremy Gold is appointed Head of Creative Affairs, Endemol Studios. Gold joined Endemol in 2008 as Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming and launched Endemol USA’s scripted TV development division.

Endemol Studios will develop and produce US scripted TV programming for global exploitation across all platforms.  The operation is resourced to finance the development of projects; deficit-finance the production of pilots and series; and to oversee all related activities. Endemol Studios will focus on primetime U.S. cable drama productions based on original projects developed internally, as well as scripted formats adapted from Endemol’s international portfolio.  The studio will also partner with US networks and producers on projects already developed, coming on board in a studio capacity.

“Endemol Studios represents a significant step in our ongoing strategy to expand and diversify our activities in North America at the same time helping fuel our global growth. Philippe and Jeremy bring together a powerful blend of experience and a track record of delivering projects with global potential” said David Goldberg, Chairman of Endemol North America.

Maigret added: “It is something of a wish fulfillment to build a new-generation TV studio business. Endemol Studios will draw on Endemol’s world leading creative resources in the US and around the world, as well as leveraging the Group’s global distribution platforms.”

The launch of Endemol Studios capitalizes on Endemol’s successes in US scripted television to date. These have included AMC’s recent series order of the Endemol USA-developed series Hell on Wheels, premiering November 6; as well as the rights acquisition of  TV Land’s Hot in Cleveland, Happily Divorced and The Exes, TNT’s Leverage, The Hub’s The Haunting Hour in the U.S. and Showcase’s Endgame in Canada.
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24th August 2011

New Handycam Camcorder From Sony Broadens Creative Possibilities For Shooters

Sony CanadaThe CaveChild would kill for one of these cameras.

The new Handycam® NEX-VG20 camcorder from Sony allows videographers to explore the artistic potential of the growing range of E-Mount lenses for shooting cinematic Full HD video and high-resolution still photos. The new camcorder offers several enhancements over Sony’s acclaimed NEX-VG10 – the world’s first consumer HD camcorder with interchangeable lenses – including comprehensive manual controls, improved imaging quality and upgraded sound. Significantly refined ergonomics include enhanced grips for balance and to support low-angle shooting and a second record button, among many others.

“Whether you’re shooting video or stills, this camcorder’s large sensor rivals the expressive picture quality of a DSLR camera,” said Michelle Seemann, marketing manager of camcorders at Sony Canada. “We’ve also made several enhancements to deliver the type of camcorder that video enthusiasts will love.”

Sony NEX-VG20With a resolution of 16.1 effective megapixels, the camcorder’s Exmor™ APS HD CMOS sensor assures outstanding video image quality, with extremely low noise in low light. It also captures pristine 16 megapixel still photos, with RAW format support for all the post-processing flexibility that’s familiar to DSLR users. The sensor also allows the creation of background defocus (‘bokeh’) effects with a user’s E-mount lenses.

Full HD video shooting in the AVCHD™ format is now complemented by a choice of 24p and 60p (progressive) frame rate options. Footage shot at 24p can be enhanced with Cinema Tone Gamma™ and Cinema Tone Color™ for an even richer, more cinematic look.

Dialogue and other sounds are captured by the precision Quad Capsule Spatial Array Microphone that now supports stereo and 5.1 channel surround. The camcorder also offers a new audio level control.

Several ergonomic refinements let videographers shoot HD video and stills in even greater comfort. The camcorder’s handgrip has been redesigned for excellent stability. Allowing manual adjustment of exposure, iris and other settings, the control dial can now be accessed even when the LCD panel is closed.

The button layout now features ‘hard’ function keys, direct access to each shooting mode (Iris, Shutter speed, Program AE), a second REC button for low-angle shots and expanded focus button – all located for intuitive operation so users don’t have to take their eyes from the electronic viewfinder.

Shooters can frame and review footage on the three-inch (7.5cm) Xtra Fine LCD™ display that features TruBlack™ technology for clear, high contrast images. The screen can rotate up to a 270-degree range for easy framing in any position, even with the camera held low. A touch-panel simplifies fingertip operation of shooting functions.

The NEX-VG20H camcorder comes with the SEL18200 F3.5-6.3 E-mount lens. With a wide 11x optical zoom range and built-in Optical SteadyShot™ image stabilization, this versatile lens offers smooth, quiet autofocus operation during movies and still shooting.

A choice of seven E-mount lenses can cover virtually any shooting situation. The optional LA-EA2 lens mount adaptor provides even wider compatibility with the established family of A-mount optics. Sony is also planning to develop a third-party “eco-system” to allow consumers to use the camcorder with other brands’ lens assets.

The Handycam NEX-VG20H camcorder kit includes the E-Mount SEL18200 lens and will be available in November at Sony retail stores and other authorized retailers throughout the Sony dealer network at a retail price of about $2,200. A body-only version, the NEX-VG20, will be available for about $1,600.

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24th August 2011

Kobo eReader Touch Edition Launches at Best Buy

koboThe Kobo eReader Touch Edition is now available at Best Buy stores in both Canada and the USA as part of its strategy to deliver eReading to everyone, everywhere. To support the launch of the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition at Best Buy, Kobo specialists will be alongside Best Buy’s Blue Shirts to demo the eReader to consumers, providing them with a hands-on experience to see, touch and try the slim, light and innovative touch screen eReader.

The Kobo Wireless eReader has been available in-store and online at Best Buy for the last four months. Best Buy is now expanding its Kobo offering by carrying the Kobo eReader Touch Edition, which is available onlineand at select Best Buy stores nationwide. This in-store roll out allows consumers to gain an in-depth, hands-on comparison of the Touch Edition against competing eReaders. Kobo is currently expanding the Touch Edition availability through multiple retail channels on a number of continents, and Best Buy is one of several planned launches in the United States for Q3 and Q4.

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24th August 2011

Largest Online Collection of Study Notes to Launch Across Canada

notesolutionNotesolution.com, an online note sharing platform for post-secondary students is about to launch its free service to over 20 universities across Canada. Notesolution is a Toronto based start-up, originally exclusive to the University of Toronto, but now with over 10,000 active users sharing 12,000 study documents.

“From Facebook to Foursquare, people are looking to their peers for the best source of information. Notesolution is the next natural progression for this concept of social learning” says Jack Tai, CEO and co-founder of Notesolution. Notesolution believes the future of education should revolve around the concept of peer-to-peer learning and will be releasing Notesolution 2.0 later this week.

Notesolution.com currently holds the largest collection of university notes in Canada. Students share their own study guides, lecture and textbook notes to earn credits which they use towards downloading notes from their peers. Students earn credits every time their notes are downloaded and can also exchange the credits for gift cards through Notesolution’s reward program. The Notesolution reward program encourages students to take quality notes.

“We believe that experience is the best teacher, so why not learn from the experiences of fellow students? Notesolution is a gateway for students to exchange study materials with each other, connecting and enhancing their university life.”  said Kevin Wu, COO and co-founder of Notesolution.

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24th August 2011

Travel Lighter and Smarter With GoTravelWallet App

omnegoWhite label mobile wallet and marketing platform solutions provider Omnego has launched their GoTravelWallet™ app, the one place to digitally store travel information for people on the go.

Perfect for business and pleasure, the GoTravelWallet lets travelers carry all of their travel cards, documents, references and travel information within a single smartphone wallet app, enabling smarter and lighter travel without the bulk of cards, papers and books that clutter and weigh down wallets and luggage.

GoTravelWallet carries mobile versions of airline, hotel and car rental membership, rewards and credit cards in a handy smartphone wallet app. GoTravelWallet also helps protect travelers from the loss or theft of important travel documents by storing digital photos of passport, insurance and other travel forms created with the in-app camera. And GoTravelWallet is a convenient one-stop reference for all travel-related information from exchange rates to weather, and provides quick access to the mobile websites of airlines, car rental companies, hotels and other travel resources.

With GoTravelWallet, travelers can:

  • Check airline flight status and schedules, and book flights from over 30 airlines
  • Make car rental reservations from popular car and transport businesses
  • Book hotels from major hotel and hotel discount websites
  • Research destinations with access to travel guides like Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, Orbitz, TripAdvisor
  • Find nearby deals, banks, shopping, restaurants, groceries, pharmacies, lodging and more
  • Access travel reference tools – QR code reader, currency exchange rates, language translator, measurement conversion, time zones and weather

The GoTravelWallet app is now available for Blackberry, iPhone and Android smartphones.

Omnego is hiring: Director of Business Development and a QA Specialist

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24th August 2011

ExactFlat Certified For Autodesk Inventor

exactflatConversion software ExactFlat converts 3D models into accurate, production-ready 2D cut patterns. Fully integrated with Autodesk Inventor software, ExactFlat extends the power of Inventor by making it optimally suited for manufacturers using industrial fabrics.

“ExactFlat’s 3D to 2D flattening algorithms have been used in some of the largest, most demanding, and most advanced global manufacturers for years and we are excited to bring this functionality to Autodesk Inventor. Now that ExactFlat is seamlessly integrated into the Inventor menu ribbon, it is easier than ever before for customers to save time, money and effort when they need to flatten complex 3D models into accurate 2D flat patterns,” said Carl White, director of Inventor digital design product management at Autodesk.

“ExactFlat leverages the engineering and CAD data within Autodesk Inventor to automate and simplify the manual, time consuming, and costly processes for flattening 3D models into 2D flat patterns. With well-designed models, 3D to 2D flattening is only 5 simple steps and can be completed in about 5 minutes. Manufacturers in marine, automotive, aerospace, architecture, performance garments, furniture and other industries using industrial fabrics will find ExactFlat indispensable to improving their prototyping and production efficiencies,” added Mark Jewel, founder of Tri-D Technologies.

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ExactFlat removes the design and manufacturing constraints imposed by traditional manual flattening processes. If you’re using 3D CAD and you need to create 2D flat patterns for the cutting table, ExactFlat is the fastest, most accurate and simple way to do it.

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