20th August 2011

Digital Journal Launches Online Project to Commemorate 9-11

digital journalToronto’s Digital Journal has announced an online editorial project to commemorate the 10th anniversary of September 11. Launching across Facebook, Twitter and the Digital Journal media network, Digital Journal’s “Remembering 9/11″ project aims to provide large-scale coverage and commentary about the anniversary of one of the most important events of modern history.

People from around the world are invited to submit blogs, images, video and comments about how Sept. 11 impacted them, and how they’ve changed since.

“As one of the most respected user-generated content networks in the world, Digital Journal has become a destination people visit in order to get the perspective of the people and to hear the voice of the crowd,” said Digital Journal Managing Editor, David Silverberg. “Digital Journal looked at the upcoming anniversary of 9/11 as an opportunity to showcase the best stories and memories from people everywhere. We wanted to provide a forum for people to tell their stories directly and commemorate a really important day in history.”

Digital Journal’s “Remembering 9/11″ project has been launched in the following places:

  • A Facebook Page called “Remember Sept 11” was created to invite people to post comments, upload images and video and tell their story about how 9/11 impacted them.
  • A Twitter page called “Remember Sept 11” was created to engage with people and hear stories about how 9/11 changed their lives. Twitter users can use the hashtag #RememberSept11 to collectively help commemorate the anniversary and Digital Journal will share stories and content submitted over the next month.
  • The public is invited to submit stories and content directly to the Digital Journal media network participants can post blogs, upload images, share video, join Groups and publish commentary.

“As media outlets everywhere look to cover the tenth anniversary of 9/11, Digital Journal will be offering the voice of the public,” said Silverberg. “We want to hear how the day has changed individuals, and we are happy to provide an outlet for people to share their stories with others.”

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20th August 2011

Globe2Go Now Available For Android

Newspaper DirectThe Globe and Mail’s Globe2Go ePaper service, developed by NewspaperDirect, has enjoyed unparalleled success since its release in 2010. Now NewspaperDirect and The Globe and Mail have launched the much-anticipated Globe2Go Android app, which is now available for download from Google’s Android Market.

Unlike other news applications that offer a slimmed-down version of the newspaper, Globe2Go gives its readers the complete daily newspaper, including all advertisements, plus instant access to all the regional editions of the publication. The daily edition is available for download at 5:30 a.m. local time. So, for most people, The Globe Globe2Go androidand Mail will be available on their mobile devices or tablets well before the print edition lands on their neighbour’s doorstep.

“NewspaperDirect enabled us to quickly deploy the Globe2Go ePaper service and allowed us to offer electronic portability of our newspaper on multiple platforms. The original Globe2Go app was introduced on the same day the first tablet was made available in Canada. It has been very popular with readers and we expect the Android version to be a huge hit as well,” said Andrée Gosselin O’Meara at The Globe and Mail.

Globe2Go is based on the same technology as NewspaperDirect’s PressReader app for Android devices, which delivers touch-optimized browsing of complete editions of top news publications and offers:

  •     Daily automatic download of user-selected titles
  •     Fast navigation using thumbnails or tables of contents
  •     Intuitive reading experience: flip, pan and zoom articles and photos, and view them in stunning clarity
  •     Support for full graphic page views or easy-to-read text views of articles
  •     On-demand audio that narrates a spoken version of any news article
  •     Sharing of articles by email or by posting on social network sites

In 2010, NewspaperDirect and The Globe and Mail developed the Globe2Go ePaper electronic edition of The Globe and Mail using NewspaperDirect’s proprietary PressDisplay.com technology, making the full digital replica of The Globe and Mail printed edition available on numerous platforms and devices, including PCs, Macs, smartphones, tablets and eReaders — at no operational cost to the publisher. It also ensures that as new devices hit the market, Globe2Go readers will be able to enjoy their favourite publication on the latest handsets and tablets.

“The Globe and Mail is the top national paper in Canada and is renowned for its superior reporting and editorial. Globe2Go apps are perfect for delivering the complete newspaper to users wherever they are, while retaining the quality of the print edition, which has recently gone through a major redesign,” said Alex Kroogman, CEO of NewspaperDirect. “We’re truly delighted to partner with them to deliver their award-winning content on all the devices their readers choose to use.”

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20th August 2011

Shaw Direct Launches 13 Additional Channels Across Canada

Shaw CableEffective August 22, Shaw Direct customers will have access to more local channels in markets across the country, including additional Global, CTV and CityTV channels along with French language offerings like TVA, SRC, Métro, Teletoon Retro French and TFO. TFO will be available to customers beginning August 29.

The latest additions follow the release of the Shaw Direct Essential HD receiver, Canada’s most compact and affordable satellite receiver. Customers can access the new channels launched in their provinces through Shaw Direct’s basic packages.

“Delivering the most advanced technology to our customers is just one of the reasons Shaw Direct has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all satellite TV providers,” said Peter Bissonnette, President, Shaw Communications Inc. “Our latest programming additions continue to bring customers the best in local, Canadian content they have come to expect.”

The following channels will launch as part of Shaw Direct’s latest offerings:

  • Global: Regina, Okanagan, Maritimes (Saint John)
  • CTV: Kitchener, Saskatoon
  • CityTV Winnipeg
  • TVA Abitibi
  • CBC Charlottetown
  • SRC: Trois Rivieres, Regina
  • Métro 14
  • Teletoon Retro French
  • TFO

Customers can enjoy the new programming on Shaw Direct’s receivers, including Advanced HDPVR, the Advanced HD Receiver, and the Essential HD Receiver. Shaw Direct’s receivers are HD and 3D compatible and ready for future technology advancements.

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19th August 2011

Federal Government Invests in GRAND

Government of Canada FedDev OntarioWestern Canada’s digital media sector will receive a major boost thanks to federal funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada. This investment will help Graphics Animation and New Media NCE Inc. (GRAND) improve technology transfer and research commercialization. The announcement took place at the first annual Design Thinking UnConference in Vancouver.grand

Our investment in GRAND will help provide enormous benefits for B.C.’s vibrant and growing digital economy, said Andrew Saxton, Member of Parliament for North Vancouver and Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board and for Western Economic Diversification, on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. This project will provide new technologies, exciting knowledge-based jobs and stronger, more competitive companies.

Funding will help deliver a two-year targeted small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) outreach, commercialization, and technology transfer program. The program will take place first in British Columbia and then be expanded to Alberta in the second year.

The program will build partnerships and educate the digital media community about GRAND’s activities. Initiatives include targeted work with local SMEs on technology transfer and business creation projects, including the development of research that could form the basis of new companies, and workshops that teach businesses how to attract start-up funding.

The program expects to develop nine technology prototypes, conduct 40 technology demonstrations and bring nine technologies to market. WD funding signals the federal government’s continued support for Canada’s flourishing digital media industry.

GRANDis uniquely positioned to deliver cutting research to the marketplace, explained Kellogg Booth, scientific director, GRAND. Digital media research conducted within our network has the potential to directly impact the products, services and businesses of tomorrow and the everyday lives of Canadians. GRAND researchers are active all across Canada. The WD investment will be a catalyst for our western initiatives.

GRAND NCE is a multidisciplinary, federally funded research network focused in the areas of New Media, Animation and Games. Based in B.C. at the Great Northern Way Campus, GRAND has 24 university members across Canada (including the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, University of Victoria, University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Saskatchewan and University of Manitoba), and more than 30 industry partners.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

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19th August 2011

GamerCamp Junior Confirmed

gamercampjrFrom the organizers of the very popular GamerCamp comes GamerCamp Jr. Toronto developers Mark and Jaime want to help the next generation of designers become more games literate and support any games-related ventures to express themselves whether it be as an enthusiastic player, a creative developers, or a thoughtful part of the media.

GamerCamp Junior offers a three part program to this venture for creative youngsters:

Game kits—We’re really excited for the game kits, which focus on critically thinking about why a game works or doesn’t work and then attempt to inspire remixing of the game to guide children in making their own games. For example, we took the beloved game Scrabble and created an entirely new game using the same board and pieces—this is one way to demonstrate to children that creating games isn’t bounded by programming experience or access to materials. We wanted to focus on kits that could be accessed from anywhere, so that children from across Canada can check us out. There are three kits right now spanning digital, physical, and board games: each are free to download on our website and come in a handy PDF.

Website—The Gamercamp Jr website will be the hub for all activity. We’ll be working with more game makers to create new kits to add to our library and as we find more information on helping children learn about making games we will post them to the website. We’d love to do a video on how games are made and are currently looking into resources to help accomplish this. The website is also where information about the meet-ups will be posted and you can also learn other ways to get involved with Gamercamp Jr!

Live Meet-ups—We think building a community is pretty amazing stuff—so having children and parents come together to work on games and meet other interested children and parents seems like a no-brainer. We know parents love making games too and trying out cool activities so Gamercamp Jr meet-ups requires both the child and parent/guardian to show up. Geared for kids 9 -13, the first GamerCamp Jr. Live Meet-up happens September 10, 2011 and is completely free. We’ll be working through the activities in the kits and more. Register now to participate.GamerCamp

By the way, the next regular GamerCamp takes place on November 25th through 27th. Tickets go on sale next month.

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19th August 2011

Open Mic Books Announces The Best of Funny Sexting

best of funny sextingIvana Murleau, who saw runaway success with her first ebook “The Best of Drunk Texter” knew that messages that seemed racy in the moment could often be equally hilarious, especially when the intended message didn’t go as planned. This growing phenomena is called “Sexting.”  Sexting is the act of sending explicit sex messages and images via cellphones and other PDA devices.

There have been an eruption of scandals involving sexting which have found many celebrities and politicians in hot water jeopardizing both careers and marriages.  For others, a sober “morning after” read through of a previous nights text can make for some regrettable and embarrassing moments.

“This ebook is definitely much raunchier than my first ebook” says Murleau who needed to add an adult content disclaimer on the sales page.

With her mix of wit and commentary, you’ll enjoy the taking the journey with Ms. Murleau through sexting gone wrong, from horrible misspellings to “wish you could die” misdirected messages. In anticipation to its popularity, Apple, Sony, and Kobo allowed Open Mic Press to jump the upload queue in time for a September 1, 2011 launch.

Ivana Murleau edited her first book “The Best Of Drunk Texter”  which made Bookstorechart.com’s Top 50 Humor eBooks available for download on your iPad and iPhone, resulting in a global sales increase of 5600% in May 2011 over the previous month.??In an effort to help readers enjoy both titles, most ebook vendors have committed to offering a discount on “The Best of Drunk Texter” bundled with “The Best of Funny Sexting”. The ebook has a simultaneous online release in the UK, Australia, Canada and the United States.?? Open Mic Press is an ebook publisher with a focus on promoting comics, joke books and general humour publications.

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19th August 2011

Arius3D to Acquire Masterfile

arius 3dArius3D Corp. and Masterfile Corporationare pleased to announce that Arius3D has entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Masterfile to purchase, on certain conditions, all of the issued and outstanding securities of Masterfile for a purchase price equal to CDN$21,379,580.

Masterfile, headquartered in Toronto, is one of the world’s largest providers of premium still images in terms of masterfilerevenues. Masterfile was created within a subsidiary of the Toronto Sun in 1981 and managed by Steve Pigeon until it was sold by the Toronto Sun to Mr. Pigeon and a consortium of employees and contributing photographers in 1984. Since its founding, Masterfile’s growth has been primarily organic, and today it has approximately 100 employees worldwide.

Set out below is selected financial information from Masterfile’s audited financial statements for each of the fiscal years ended February 28, 2009 and 2010:

FISCAL YEAR 2010 2009
(in Canadian dollars)
Revenue 22,308,000 27,495,000
Net Income 1,516,000 197,000
Total Assets 10,478,000 11,235,000
Total Liabilities 8,311,000 10,627,000

A decline of approximately $5.2 million in revenue between fiscal years 2010 and 2009 was consistent with overall industry results and is largely attributable to the impact of the world financial crisis. Net income improved by approximately $1.3 million over that same time period despite the revenue decline. Masterfile is only now in a position to benefit from a more normalized business environment, although there continues to be pressure on operating results.

Under the terms of the Share Purchase Agreement, Masterfile has agreed to provide the Company with its audited financial statements for fiscal 2011 prior to closing. With the acquisition of Masterfile, it is believed that the Company will be the only image distributor in the world offering traditional 2D images together with high resolution 3D images produced using Arius3D’s world renowned technologies.

John Wood, the CEO of Arius3D stated “I believe there is a significant opportunity in the 3D market and Masterfile is a great platform to enable Arius3D to take a leadership position in this market. Masterfile is a leading player in the 2D stock photo industry and has profited from the industry’s spectacular growth through more than two decades. Demand for 2D stock photo content is continuing to grow, however, crowd-sourced supply is impacting the business. As a result, combining the unique content of Arius3D with Masterfile has significant potential. Masterfile’s completely redesigned website released in July 2011 is the perfect platform to showcase 3D content on the internet. Users of the new class of consumer computing devices are demanding rich and interactive content, but 2D photographs are not interactive. 3D content provides the solution and we believe the potential growth in demand for 3D content could replicate or exceed that of 2D stock photo content.”

“Since 1999, Arius3D has developed proprietary, patented 3D technologies, capable of producing extraordinarily rich and interactive 3D image content. That content provides the users of the new class of computing devices with a dramatically enhanced experience. The acquisition of Masterfile should enable Arius3D to commercialize its proprietary capabilities profitably and more quickly, with the objective of making the combined company a leader in the 3D segment of our industry.”

Masterfile President, Steve Pigeon adds: “We believe the combination of Arius3D’s unique technology with Masterfile’s skill and experience in acquiring, marketing and licensing creative content globally provides a wonderful opportunity to build a powerful new enterprise that will benefit our clientele, contributing artists and other stakeholders around the world. This promises to be an exciting, challenging and hopefully rewarding adventure for all of us.” Read the rest of this entry »

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19th August 2011

Pizza 73 Releases Order App

pizza 73Pizza operator Pizza 73 has launched its iPhone application to make ordering pizza both convenient and fast. The launch is the first of its kind from a Western Canadian-based pizza chain. Developed by Break Point Creative, the new app can be downloaded from the App Store for all iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad™ devices.

This innovative application will fundamentally change the ordering experience, making it fast and convenient, all at the swipe of a finger. Users have access to the menu, specials, and to completely customize their pizzas and other menu choices. By using location-based services (LBS), it can map out the nearest Pizza 73 location. Registered users also receive added convenience with saved profile information and can choose their last order with just one tap.

Pizza 73 was one of the first in the industry to launch online ordering over ten years ago and has a strong online customer base, due to its user-friendly system and promotional activity, such as the current “Spin to Win” game when you order online. They are now first to market with the iPhone ordering app.

“We are committed to mobile as a part of our overall strategy to provide a fast and convenient ordering experience for our customers. As the leading pizza chain in Western Canada, we strive to be at the forefront of technology to set new standards within the pizza industry. Being a trend-setter is key to winning over new customers and providing another service to our existing customers.” said Pat Finelli, Chief Marketing Officer of Pizza Pizza / Pizza 73.

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19th August 2011

Chris Dallin Joins Karacters Design Group

karactersVancouver studio Karacters’ Design Group, the integrated branding and design division of DDB Canada, has appointed Chris Dallin as director of branding and design. Prior to joining Karacters, Dallin led brand strategy at Red Rocket Creative Strategies.

“Chris is a seasoned pro with extensive experience in executing impressive brand design programs across a wide range of business sectors including telecom, tourism and retail,” says Lance Saunders, EVP managing director, DDB Canada, Vancouver.  “Chris has been responsible for an impressive body of work and is highly respected in the industry.  We are thrilled to have someone of Chris’ stature lead the Karacters team.”  chris dallin

With 20 years’ experience, Dallin brings his strategic planning expertise, creative thinking and branding insight to the agency.  Working closely with Karacters’ creative director James Bateman, Dallin will help Karacters to further deepen its presence regionally, nationally and internationally as well as help develop creative brand solutions for clients, including brand identity, creative platforms, packaging and environmental design.

“Not only do I ascribe to DDB’s belief that creativity is the most powerful force in business, but I’ve been a long-time fan of Karacters’ world-class work,” says Dallin.  “The opportunity to lead the team at Karacters was an opportunity that I could not pass up.”

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18th August 2011

Market Research for the Social Generation by Tiipz

tiipzSquamish-based Tiipz has been selected from hundreds of start-ups across Canada to present its social new approach to market research today at Launch @GROW,happening at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Launch @GROW, an important platform for emerging companies, selects four brilliant new ventures each year to present their stories to more than 600 investors and influencers from Canada and Silicon Valley.

Explains Jason Cyr, who co-Founded Tiipz with partners Mark Nickson and Gesvyn Tjandra, “Today we have an exciting opportunity to explain how Tiipz will define a new approach to market research in the age of social media.”

Tiipz hasn’t yet officially launched, and already the company is working with clients including Westbeach, Kokanee, and Budweiser. Through a partnership with brand.LIVE, brands including Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Sennheiser and Mattel will be using Tiipz to undertake interactive customer research at the Live at Squamish concert happening this weekend.

Says Jason, “As a research tool, Tiipz is based entirely on engagement. The consumer benefits from a fun experience and a tangible reward for participation; they can share their opinion with others and possibly change the course of action for a business.”

“The business benefits from stronger market insights and increased brand loyalty. There’s no other research tool that’s nearly this engaging in the marketplace!”

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