Score Media acquired by Rogers Media: CRTC grants final approval

Rogers Media today received final regulatory approval from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to acquire Score Media Inc., which has been held in trust since October 19, 2012. With today’s approval, Rogers Media will integrate the operations and financial results of Score Media effective immediately.

thescore mobile for iphone
thescore mobile for iphone

The acquisition of Score Media includes The Score, Canada’s third largest specialty sports channel with 6.6 million television subscribers, closed captioning service Voice to Visual Inc., and mixed martial arts program The Score Fighting Series.  As part of the transaction, Rogers Media’s parent company, Rogers Communications Inc., acquires an 11.8 per cent equity interest in theScore Inc. (Score Digital).

The total consideration paid by Rogers Media in October 2012 was $167 million.

“The Score delivers niche sports news and information programming, complementing Rogers Media’s robust multiplatform sports offerings and significant investment in sports content and experiences,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media.  “Last year, we made the bold statement to make Sportsnet the #1 sports media brand in Canada, and together with The Score, we take another step forward in achieving this goal.”

The Score will be rebranded under the Sportsnet umbrella, which continues to experience double-digit audience growth year-over-year* and deliver award-winning content across five platforms.  The rebrand will be unveiled on July 1.

Rogers Media received approval for its request to amend The Score’s condition of licence, allowing for an enhanced viewing experience for Canadians while upholding The Score’s nature of service as a headline sports news service.  The changes to the condition of licence are an increase in the amount of analysis and interpretation programming to 15% from 10%, and flexibility to break into live sports event programming every hour to present sports results and video highlights, instead of every 15 minutes.  Rogers Media plans for The Score to continue providing sports updates once every 15 minutes during live events when possible, as the nature of the game being played permits.

thescore mobile for iphone
thescore mobile for iphone

Rogers Media’s tangible benefits package of $17.1 million (representing 10% of the value of the transaction) will have a positive long-term impact on regional and national amateur sports in Canada, athletes, sports organizations, and sports fans.  The funds, which will be directed over a five-year period, will be used to create new programming opportunities for the independent production sector and help foster skills development in multimedia and/or digital media production.

As part of its programing strategy, The Score will continue to deliver its own unique mix of programming and be the prime destination for breaking sports news, analysis and highlights.  While some sports properties will be shared between The Score and the Sportsnet networks (Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet World), The Score will be the home of exclusive content in Canada, including WWE and the newly-created HOCKEY CENTRAL Playoff Extra, which debuts tonight at 5 p.m. ET and will air daily until the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  In addition, Tim and Sid, which currently airs on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, will be returning to The Score in simulcast, beginning tomorrow from 1 to 4 p.m. ET weekdays.  Additional programming details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The Score will continue to operate out of the station’s studio on King St. in Toronto’s downtown core, with support from the extended Sportsnet and Rogers Media family.

About Rogers Media Inc.
Rogers Media Inc., a division of Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI; NYSE: RCI), is a diversified leading Canadian media company that engages in television and radio broadcasting, publishing, digital, and sports entertainment. Rogers Broadcasting has 55 AM and FM radio stations across Canada; television properties include seven City stations, five OMNI multicultural television stations, Sportsnet (consisting of four regional channels and the nationally-distributed Sportsnet ONE and Sportsnet World), and The Shopping Channel, a televised and internet shopping service.  Rogers Publishing produces many well-known consumer and online magazines, such as Maclean’s, Chatelaine, L’actualité, Canadian Business, and is the leading publisher of a number of industry, medical and financial publications. Rogers Media’s suite of digital assets includes 90+ owned and 300+ premium partnership sites. Rogers Media Inc. owns Rogers Centre stadium, a year-round sports and entertainment facility, and the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club.

*Source: BBM Canada, 2+ AMA, Jan. 1 to April 14, 2013 vs. Jan. 1 to April 15, 2012, Sportsnet Regional Networks + Sportsnet ONE, Total Canada

SOURCE: Rogers Media

NARR8: Create interactive stories with visuals, music and animation

NARR8, a digital publisher of interactive stories, motion comics and non-fiction series, will be adding a new ‘editor’ tool that will allow anyone to create interactive stories with visuals, music and animation. The platform is set to launch in late May 2013.

NARR8 is a free mobile application currently available for download on iPad and iPad Mini and Android devices 4.0 and higher. Having launched in Nov. 2012, the next stage in NARR8’s expanding business model will be the launch of their new ‘editor’ tool for readers, which encourages everyone to share their text on the platform, making the stories come alive with easy to apply animation, sound and visual effects.

Screenshot of NARR8 from Apple iPad
Screenshot of NARR8 from Apple iPad

The new interface will offer different types of assets, such as various sounds, backgrounds and images, as well as other simple instruments for animation. Using these tools, readers will create their own library of interactive stories in various genres. Tutorials will also be available to get new users up to speed.

“It has always been important to NARR8 to be able to assist talented artists and creators, most importantly our readers. By implementing ‘editor,’ we are allowing our creative fans that write and want to share stories to do so with our 700,000+ users all over the world. We’re excited to continue evolving the NARR8 product and look forward to what this great addition will bring,” said Founder Alexander Vaschenko.

Currently NARR8 features the following series:

  • Fear Hunters — Interactive novel about a team of psychiatrists who do battle with monsters that lurk in the subconscious minds of their patients
  • Multiverse — Interactive sci-fi novel about an elite paramilitary corps that traverses parallel worlds
  • The Secret City — Interactive urban-fantasy novel about vampires, witches, dark knights and other magic creatures, living among New York citizens
  • Chronographics — Nonfiction series that explores world history from a unique perspective
  • Paradigm — Nonfiction series that delves into popular fiction, technology, and life sciences
  • JAM — Motion comic that takes place in an unusual world where the laws of nature are actually the laws of classic video games
  • Final Feat — Motion fantasy/mythology comic about an epic war between mighty heroes and ancient monsters
  • Knights of the Void – A sci-fi motion comic about a war between an Alliance of the Knights of the Void and the tyrannical Empire.

If you are interested in trying a beta-version of the editor, please contact Alexis Valerio at Valerio@narr8.me.

NARR8 is free to download through Apple App Store and Google Play.

About NARR8

Digital Publisher NARR8 was founded in October of 2011 by Alexander Vaschenko, formerly of Mail.ru and Astrum Online, with initial funding of $4 Million (U.S.) through IMI.VC Venture Company, a Moscow-based investment firm led by Internet entrepreneur, Game Insight board member, and former Mail.ru and Astrum Online visionary Igor Matsanyuk. Headquartered in Moscow, Russia with satellite operations in San Francisco, NARR8 currently has over 170 employees encompassing key business functions, and features creative staff which includes veteran artists, game developers, and content creators throughout ten internally owned and operated studios.

Sony Announces the Cyber-shot HX50V: The World’s Smallest and Lightest 30x Optical Zoom Camera

Today, Sony introduced the Cyber-shot HX50 camera – a powerful new compact featuring an impressive 30x optical zoom range and advanced 20.4 MP “Exmor R” CMOS image sensor.  Measuring approximately 4.4″x2.6″x1.2″1 in size and weighing in at approximately 9.6 oz. 2, it is the world’s smallest and lightest camera with 30x optical zoom capability3.

“Despite the emergence of smart phone cameras in today’s market, the HX50V model gives photographers plenty of reason to invest in a dedicated pocket camera” said Patrick Huang, director of the Cyber-shot digital camera business at Sony Electronics.  “Its wide-ranging 30x optical zoom gives users more freedom to pick their shooting subject and position, and its extensive, advanced imaging capabilities give shooters the peace of mind that image quality will never be compromised – every scene will be given the color, detail and clarity that it deserves.  This powerful combination of size and performance makes the HX50 an especially unique, versatile camera.”

Sony Announces the Cyber-shot HX50V
Sony Announces the Cyber-shot HX50V

Performance and Design

To complement the extensive zoom, the new Cyber-shot HX50V model offers enhanced Optical SteadyShot  image stabilization to reduce camera shake and blur at all ranges.  At full zoom extension (30x) the HX50V camera offers stabilization that is approximately twice as effective as the HX200V high-zoom model introduced last year4.

The high-resolution 20.4 megapixel sensor in the new camera is paired with a powerful BIONZ processor, allowing the HX50V camera to produce high-resolution, high-quality images in all types of lighting conditions – from broad daylight to dimly lit interiors and everything in between.  Additionally, the HX50V model features exceptionally high-speed AutoFocus that can lock onto subjects at full zoom approximately twice as fast compared to the HX200V model5.

The new HX50V camera has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, utilizing Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile application, available for both Android and iOS app platforms, to wirelessly transfer photos and videos to a connected smartphone or tablet.  The application also allows a connected device to be used as a handy wireless remote to control the camera – ideal for self-portraits and group shots where the photographer wants to be included.

For more advanced users who like to fine-tune the details of a shot, the HX50V camera has a dedicated exposure compensation dial and a P/A/S/M model dial for adjusting other manual shooting settings.  It also features 5-blade aperture for smooth background defocusing effect and a Multi Interface Shoe for attaching compatible accessories including an electronic viewfinder, flash, or microphone.  It also has a Multi Terminal for using a compatible remote control.

The camera also features a powerful X-type lithium ion battery that is smaller than any of its predecessor batteries (in Sony Cyber-shot HX series) yet delivers an impressive 400 photos from a single charge6.

HD Video and Creative Modes

The new HX50V camera has an impressive video feature set as well, delivering stunning, beautifully crisp full HD (60p) movies that benefit from Optical SteadyShot  Active mode7 for reduced shake and image blur if the camera is in motion.   The HX50V model is also compatible with TRILUMINOUS Color technology, an expanded range of vivid, ultra-realistic colors that is available on select Sony BRAVIA TVs.  Content shot with the HX50V camera can be enjoyed in these vibrant colors when connected to compatible televisions.

Additionally, the HX50V camera offers a variety of different creative picture effect settings that make it easy to spice up photos, movies and panoramas instantly and automatically with a range of fun, impressive artistic treatments including Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-Key and more.

With its extensive feature set, extremely compact size, and advanced performance capabilities, the Cyber-shot HX50V represents the ultimate in flexibility in a compact camera.

Pricing and Availability

The new Cyber-shot HX50V compact digital camera will be available next month for about $450.  The camera and a range of compatible accessories can be purchased at Sony retail stores (www.store.sony.com) and other authorized dealers nationwide.

 1. CIPA compliant
 2. CIPA compliant (includes Battery and Memory Stick DUO)
 3. Among digital compact still cameras with optical zoom of 30x or higher. Based on internal Sony survey, as of April 24, 2013
 4. Shutter speed comparison at telephoto end of zoom range; Based on Sony internal testing.
 5. Based on CIPA standard, internal measurement. (At telephoto end of zoom range)
 6. CIPA standard, internal measurement. Approximate figure: actual value depends on shooting conditions.
 7. Compensates for blur in the direction the camera rolls; used in conjunction with electronic blur compensation

Internet of Things: Freescale Introduces Ingestible Microcontroller

Recently Freescale Semiconductor introduced an ingestible microcontroller. As we advance into a world of ever decreasing size in terms of computer technology we find ourselves coming face to face with the Internet of Things (IoT). Now what exactly does that mean anyways? According to Kevin Ashton at RFID Journal the IoT is defined as data gathered by objects rather than people.

“You can’t eat bits, burn them to stay warm or put them in your gas tank. Ideas and information are important, but things matter much more. Yet today’s information technology is so dependent on data originated by people that our computers know more about ideas than things. If we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things—using data they gathered without any help from us—we would be able to track and count everything, and greatly reduce waste, loss and cost. We would know when things needed replacing, repairing or recalling, and whether they were fresh or past their best. The Internet of Things has the potential to change the world, just as the Internet did. Maybe even more so.”

But how would you feel about swallowing a tiny microchip that would be used to gather data about your body’s inner workings? It kind of sounds like something out of a science fiction movie but the fact is the technology is ready for adoption now. This is an extremely powerful advancement as it means that granular data can be recorded for later analysis by health professionals. Finally doctors will be able to get to the bottom of those mysterious lingering health issues. The Freescale press release discusses this latest innovation.

“As the Internet of Things (IoT) expands to include greater numbers of small, intelligent, battery-operated devices, the MCUs that enable these devices must deliver performance, energy efficiency and connectivity in progressively smaller footprints. Freescale Semiconductor  is addressing the miniaturization trend with its new Kinetis KL02 MCU–the world’s smallest ARM Powered MCU. The KL02 holds great potential for ultra-small-form-factor products in applications such as portable consumer devices, remote sensing nodes, wearable devices and ingestible healthcare sensing.”

But to go a little further these new chips won’t just enable doctors to capture ever more data but will allow virtually any industry requiring more information to use these devices in ways we haven’t thought of yet. For years, SCADA systems have enabled organizations to monitor and control industrial processes including manufacturing, production,  water treatment and distribution, oil and gas pipelines, electrical power transmission and distribution,  and large communication systems.  Now this same kind of monitoring will enter our every day lives. The release goes on to discuss the potential for the new units.

Freescale Semiconductor announced the new Kinetis KL02 MCU - the world's smallest ARM Powered(R) MCU ... “The Internet of Things will soon be a vast and diverse ecosystem of smart connected devices and screens that embed intelligence into many new areas of our lives. This could range from tiny sensors helping to monitor crops and deliver irrigation, to microcontrollers that enable entire buildings to be more energy efficient. Our mobile devices could be soon controlling and managing this data and making our lives easier to manage,” said Richard York, director, Embedded Processor Products, ARM. “The Kinetis KL02 CSP MCU brings the best ARM and Freescale technologies to applications at the very edge of the IoT and opens up exciting possibilities for a new tier of ultra-small, smart, power-efficient devices.”
You may have heard the term big data. It’s innovations like this that will drive the creation of big data and create new jobs. In fact if you’re looking for work its a good idea to get trained up in this field. According to TDWI there is a looming labor shortage in big data.

“Consulting firm McKinsey predicts a shortage by 2018 of 140,000 to 190,000 people with the deep analytical skills needed to work with big data. “I think it actually could be higher than that,” says Dr. Betsy Page Sigman, a distinguished teaching professor at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. “

Sigman goes on to say that the shortage will also require 1.5 million analysts and managers with just the general know-how to use big data and analytics applications correctly. It’s definitely a growing field with lots of potential and as more innovations like this present themselves the labor gap could grow wider.

The Internet of Things is a larger innovation than most people realize and has the potential to change our lives. If you thought the Internet was a huge innovation just wait for the next round as we look forward to wearable and ingestible technology that is integrated into every facet of our lives. For the most part this technology will be transparent as miniaturization allows for data to be gathered “in the background” of our lives.

Create slideshows for free with “Vue: Where life meets music”. It’s the ultimate social memory experience

EA Partners, a group within Electronic Arts Inc, has launched Vue for iOS in Canada, Vue: Where life meets music is a free entertainment mobile app that brings your photos to life with your favourite music to create an unparalleled digital experience that can be shared with friends and family. Vue is a great way to create slideshows for free.

Using your Facebook photos and any song available through Rdio or your iTunes library, Vue easily and instantly combines your favourite songs and photos live to create interactive shows you can share with friends.

create free slideshows with vue
create free slideshows with vue

Vue offers an easy-to-use interface with no need for a PC, editing skills or file storage. Your vues can be shared with your entire social network, regardless of whether your friends have the Vue app. Vue takes photo sharing to the next level by making it easy to create professional quality slideshows with just a few clicks.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Tap into your photos from Facebook and select your favourite memorable moments and life events you want to include in your vue.
  2. Select your favourite songs to accompany the photos. You can use songs from your iTunes library, or from the massive library of popular streaming service Rdio.
  3. Save, share and interact with your vues. You can comment, “Like” and relive moments right in the app with your friends and family live, in real time, and share it on Facebook.

Vue was developed under the creative vision of EA Partners in partnership with Vancouver’s Finger Food Studios.

Vue is an innovative project that will continue to evolve over time, we can’t wait to see what our audience creates with this app,” explains Sinjin Bain, Head of EA Partners.

Vue: Where life meets music is available today for the iPhone and iPad devices in the Canadian App Store

For more information, visit Vue.me.

MasterCard launches Masterpass digital wallet service in Canada

Just this past week MasterCard launched its new digital wallet service called MasterPass. The service promises to make online shopping a more secure and easier experience. Canadians are the first consumers in North America to be able to use the service.

MasterCard Masterpass Digital Wallet
MasterCard Masterpass Digital Wallet

“MasterPass by MasterCard is a free digital wallet service that makes online shopping safe and easy by storing all of your payment and shipping information in one convenient and secure place. With MasterPass, you simply shop, click and checkout faster online.”

According to the press release on Canada Newswire, “…eCommerce is growing at a much faster pace than retail sales [in Canada]. MasterCard Advisor’s SpendingPulse data shows total Canadian year-over-year eCommerce sales grew

26.6% over the past 6 months ending in February 2013, compared to just 2.9% growth in overall Canadian retail sales during the same time period.”

Jason Davies, the Vice President of the MasterCard Canada eCommerce division says in the YouTube promotional video that MasterPass takes the consumer from the traditional online shopping experience down to 4 easy clicks.

  1. Click the MasterPass button on the merchant website
  2. Enter user name
  3. Enter password
  4. Authenticate with a 4 digit PIN that is delivered to your mobile device

As of launch, merchants including Porter Airlines, WagJag, Jaunt.ca and Grocery Gateway have enabled MasterPass

checkout services on their eCommerce websites. MasterCard plans to expand the number of MasterPass enabled merchants in Canada to 800 merchants by the end of 2013 and 2,800 merchants by the end of 2014.

Any innovation that can make my life easier is gladly welcomed and I look forward to using this service in the near future. In fact I can’t wait for the day we no longer require user names and passwords as I have a huge problem remembering all the different user names and passwords associated with all my online services.

3 easy ways to get more blog comments

Are you new to blogging and wondering how you can get more blog comments? I’ve asked myself the same question and I believe that it boils down to proper interface design and asking your readers to participate in the discussions.

As for the design of your blog, take a look at it from 35,000 feet. What do you see? If you were a visitor to your site what would you find annoying? What would you find distracting? You need to ask some very pointed questions. Remember simple is always better. Look at Google for example, the company’s homepage is very sparse but effective. When you land on the page it’s immediately evident where you need to click to accomplish a task. A search is as easy as entering a keyword and clicking enter.

Now you probably don’t want your blog to look as simple as Google but you do want to draw readers’ eyes to certain parts of your site. If there are too many ads the site will seem cluttered and the reader may just click away. Remember the point of this post is to establish more of a community on your blog.

When I looked at Vancouver Gadgets a while back I decided that maybe I shouldn’t simply copy what other sites are doing. For example, at the end of each post I had a plugin called YARPP (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin) that appeared. This plugin displayed 6 thumbnail images and text that attempted to draw readers away from my posts with other “recommended content.”

Well I took the executive decision to remove the plugin completely and my rationale was that after the reader finishes reading a post I don’t want to necessarily send them away. I want my readers to interact. I want to create community rather than send readers to content that may not be entirely relevant to their present concerns.

Another way to create community is to engage with your readers and to answer their questions. But also remember to ask questions as well. For example at the end of each blog post you can end with something like, “what do you think of … ?” or “what was your experience with … ?” as catalysts to starting conversations.

You may also want to investigate the opportunities with gamification which borrows concepts from the gaming industry to either reward site visitors or create some kind of competitive environment. If you’re good with coding for example you can learn from sites like Reddit where they use link karma and comment karma points to encourage users to post quality content.

As for getting things right with blogging I’m still learning what works best and will likely be learning for a long time to come. In fact with technology I don’t think there will be any end to the learning!

Tell me what you’ve done to make your blog more “community friendly”. Also if there’s anything about my site that annoys you please let me know!

CRTC’s action eliminates debt consolidation robocalls by Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions

Today, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions have paid penalties of $69,000 and $11,000, respectively, to the Receiver General for Canada as part of a settlement over their telemarketing practices. These companies promote debt relief and consolidation services to Canadians.

The CRTC issued a notice of violation after its investigation found that Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions had failed to comply with the telemarketing rules. These companies used automated calling devices (also known as robocalls) to promote their services to consumers without obtaining prior express consent.

“We appreciate that Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions fully cooperated with our investigation and committed to changing their telemarketing practices,” said Andrea Rosen, the CRTC’s Chief Compliance Officer. “We will continue to work with telemarketers to ensure they are obeying the rules at all times. Canadians are encouraged to file a detailed complaint each time they receive an unwanted telemarketing call.”

In addition to paying monetary penalties, Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance and Quick Connect Solutions have agreed to:

  • immediately cease making robocalls to promote or sell services and products without obtaining the recipient’s express consent
  • publish a corrective notice on Ontario Consumer Credit Assistance’s website
  • review their compliance programs and appoint a compliance officer to ensure ongoing adherence with the CRTC’s telemarketing rules
  • implement training and education programs for staff, and
  • provide an annual report to the CRTC for the next five years, which must document consumer complaints and the steps taken to resolve them.

About the CRTC’s enforcement measures

The CRTC enforces the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules in order to reduce unwanted calls to Canadians. According to its enforcement process, the CRTC can take corrective action with telemarketers, issue warnings and citations, conduct inspections and issue notices of violation. To date, the CRTC’s efforts have yielded over $2.5 million in penalties and over $740,000 in payments to post-secondary institutions.

The CRTC also serves as co-chair of the International Do Not Call Network. This network facilitates cooperation among its members, which consists of a dozen agencies that enforce telemarketing rules in their respective countries. Members meet annually to establish best practices and encourage the development of robust telemarketing laws around the globe.

About the National Do Not Call List

Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) was launched in 2008 to shield Canadians from unsolicited telemarketing calls and faxes. Canadians may register on the National DNCL at no charge or file a complaint about a telemarketer by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625) or visiting www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca. Once a number is added to the National DNCL, telemarketers have 31 days to update their calling lists. Over 11 million numbers are currently registered on the list.

Notice of Violation

Reference documents:

Video on the National Do Not Call List

Key facts for consumers

Key facts for telemarketers

How does the CRTC enforce the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules?

The CRTC

The CRTC is an administrative tribunal that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.

 

Additional information on automated calling devices

Automated calling devices are used to dial telephone numbers and automatically deliver a pre-recorded message. The CRTC’s Automatic Dialing and Announcing Device Rules prohibit telemarketers from using these devices to sell or promote a product or service unless a consumer has consented to be called by them.

They can, however, be used by police and fire departments, schools and hospitals if they have a valid public service message to communicate. Automated calling devices can also be used for appointment reminders and thank you calls.

For more information, please see the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.

SOURCE: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

Rogers to expand LTE Network to 44 more markets

Rogers Communications, Canada’s leading diversified communications company, announced it will bring its LTE network, Canada’s fastest wireless internet, to more Canadians across the country. Rogers will introduce LTE in 44 markets this spring and intends to reach a total of 95 markets in 2013, offering more wireless customers access to the world’s fastest wireless network technology from coast to coast.

Rogers will also be making its blazing fast 2600 MHz LTE spectrum band available in all markets, and 34 of the 44 new LTE markets will be capable of maximum theoretical network speeds of up to 150 Mbps. This means Rogers LTE customers using a 2600-enabled device can do even more and have access to the fastest speeds available. Rogers has more LTE network deployed in the 2600 MHz spectrum band than any other carrier in Canada.

LTESpeedChart
image courtesy of http://www.rogers.com/

“We’re thrilled to offer the country’s fastest wireless internet to more Canadians over the coming months,” said John Boynton, Rogers Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Today, Canadians are more connected than ever and are using their wireless devices in a number of ways – for live streaming HD programming, downloading large files, streaming YouTube clips and music, or enjoying the latest game from their app store of choice,” added Boynton. “The power of the network is critical to enabling these digital experiences, and with Rogers LTE, Canadians are getting more use out of their devices, at the fastest speeds available.”

Among the 44 LTE markets launching this spring will be Saint John, New Brunswick; Medicine Hat, Alberta; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; Guelph, Ontario; Muskoka, Ontario; Collingwood, Ontario; and multiple cities in Quebec.

Rogers continues to offer the largest selection of LTE devices of any carrier in Canada and will announce more 2600-enabled smartphones in the coming months. Current Rogers exclusive, 2600-enabled devices include the LG Optimus G 2600, the Rocket Stick, Rocket Hub and the Rocket Mobile Hotspot.

“It is our commitment to offer customers the fastest wireless internet experience in Canada,” added Boynton. “As we continue to invest in innovative and exclusive 2600-enabled devices, as well as the rollout of Canada’s fastest LTE network and our 2600 spectrum, more Rogers customers will enjoy an enhanced, superior wireless experience.”

In the coming months we will be rolling out the 44 markets and growing our lineup of LTE and 2600 enabled devices. For updates on our growing LTE network, visit www.rogers.com/LTE

About Rogers
Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada’s largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada’s leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony. Through Rogers Media we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, sports entertainment, and digital media. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI).

SOURCE Rogers Communications Inc.

IBM introduces predictive analytics software that forecasts asset failure

IBM today announced new business consulting services and software that, together, help C-Suite decision makers predict and prevent damaging supply chain disruptions.

Through IBM’s predictive analytics software and business consulting services, the new solution harnesses big data from instrumented assets and identifies irregularities in the manufacturing process, spots product irregularities, and forecasts a range of asset performance risks before a problem ever arises.

Operating, maintaining, and managing assets throughout their lifecycle is a massive built-in expense, made even more critical by the frequency of unpredicted, catastrophic machine failures. Asset downtime, especially, if unplanned, is a multi-million dollar issue for organizations; and the related unscheduled maintenance costs can range from three to 10 times the cost of scheduled maintenance.

“The world is entering a new era of smart – where decisions will be based on facts, data, and increasingly on the ability to apply analytics to massive data sets and extract very precise business insights,” said Fred Balboni, senior partner, Big Data Analytics, IBM Global Business Services.  “Companies realize they have a new opportunity to capitalize on big data to address some of the intractable issues of the past, drive new levels of business efficiency, and create new levels of value for their customers. Our data shows us that businesses that are applying analytics to structured and unstructured data are outperforming their competitors in every industry.”

Envision the myriad of components that combine to form the complex automobile manufacturing line. How can a decision maker know when it’s time to replace any one of the thousands of machine parts, robots or sensors; and beyond that, how the line – or an oil rig, or a piece of heavy equipment — can be taken off line for maintenance with minimal economic impact? IBM’s new solution will uncover these data-driven insights, examining both static and streaming information, combined with analysis of asset sensors correlated with domains such as environmental and facilities monitoring systems.

This new integrated solution analyzes big data from multiple static and streaming sources to make informed decisions by generating predictive statistical models to predict equipment failure conditions and create alerts.  The alerts are then displayed on an employee or manager’s tablet, smart phone or browser with recommended corrective actions that should be taken through interactive tools that perform root cause analytics and process improvements.

This new offering is intended to help clients in the Automotive, Electronics, Aerospace, Defense, Manufacturing, Mining, Transportation, Telecommunications and Energy and Utilities industries.  For example:

  • In the City of Cambridge, Ontario, the transportation and public works department found itself less able to complete inspections and preventive maintenance because its resources were increasingly being used to respond to emergency repair calls.  The city established a division devoted to asset management and with the help of IBM analytics they are evolving from a break-fix mode of operation moving toward more proactive, industry based practices to boost the quality of city services and address infrastructure sustainability.
  • A global auto manufacturer was looking to improve its production quality.  With IBM analytics the company was able to use real-time data to monitor the production quality and more quickly identify and resolve issues.  This resulted in a reduced the defect rate by 50 percent in 16 weeks in the production of their cylinder heads and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Another global manufacturing company was looking to more quickly detect part defects.  Through IBM analytics the company implemented an early detection model and is now saving $130M on warranty costs per year.
  • A regional utility company needed to maintain an aging infrastructure.  By implementing IBM predictive analytics technology into their supply chain processes they can now detect potential problems before they occur, and have seen 20 percent productivity gains for service trucks and up to 20 percent reduction of fuel costs due to fewer truck rolls.

Armed with facts on equipment performance, organizations across a range of industries will anticipate potential failures in their manufacturing systems, supply chains and distribution networks before something goes wrong — and improve operational efficiency as well as customer satisfaction with proactive responses that prevent or minimize potential issues.

“Analytics technology gives us valuable insight into trends and what we can expect in the future,” said Michael Hausser, Director of Asset Management and Supporting Services, Transportation and Public Works Department, City of Cambridge.  “We were heading toward a point where reliability of service would be reduced and we’d be beyond our resource capacity to re-actively resolve issues in a timely manner.  We are in transition to be more proactive and gain efficiencies in day to day maintenance management activities.”

IBM Signature Solution – Predictive Asset Optimization

According to engineering estimates, the U.S. will need to spend $2.2 trillion over the next five years just to bring national infrastructures up to date.  This includes improvements to roads, bridges, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications and more.  Understanding the data about those systems, and generated by those systems, has never been more urgent.

IBM is introducing new capabilities through its Predictive Asset Optimization solution, that provides deeper insights into the health of an organization’s assets by proactively maintaining and reducing operation and maintenance costs This broadens IBM’s capabilities and portfolio of IBM Signature Solutions, that take the power of predictive analytics to new levels of impact for the highest-priority issues of C-suite decision makers.

The Predictive Asset Optimization solution is implemented by IBM business consultants, supported by industry-leading applications management services capabilities, and cloud offerings. These capabilities are supported by IBM’s Big Data technology platform that includes Hadoop, stream computing, data warehouse, and information integration and governance capabilities, along with visualization and discovery, application development, systems management and industry accelerators. To date, the IBM Big Data platform has been adopted by more than 100 business partners, bringing a new class of analytics solutions to market and extending the reach of IBM analytics offerings for clients.

The new solution will be one of the first capabilities offered to clients at the new Advanced Analytics Center in Columbus, Ohio. Credit qualified clients can take advantage of financing for services solutions and zero percent loans for IBM software with IBM Global Financing.

IBM Signature Solutions

IBM Signature Solutions are a portfolio of outcome-based analytic offerings that include fraud detection, financial optimization and customer next best action solutions. They are built with IBM’s global team of researchers, software developers and business consultants.

These new capabilities are part of IBM’s larger focus on big data and analytics that spans hardware, software, services and research. IBM has completed more than 30,000 analytics client engagements and projects $20 billion in business analytics and big data revenue by 2015.

IBM has established the world’s deepest portfolio of analytics solutions; deploys 9,000 business analytics consultants and 400 researchers, and has acquired more than 30 companies since 2005 to build targeted expertise in this area.

IBM secures hundreds of patents a year in big data and analytics, and converts this deep intellectual capital into breakthrough capabilities, including Watson-like cognitive systems. The company has established a global network of nine IBM Client Centers for Smarter Analytics and goes to market with more than 27,000 IBM business partners

For more information about IBM and Analytics, please visit: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27163.wss

IBM YouTube Analytics Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ibmbusinessanalytics

For more information about how City of Cambridge, Ontario is using IBM analytics, please visit: http://ibm.co/ZWf26I

SOURCE IBM

IBM Predictive Analytics
IBM Predictive Analytics