CNM Short Takes

Itemus soothes investors over Shooting Gallery acquisition
In response to concerns in the U.S. over a round of layoffs at intended acquisition target Shooting Gallery, itemus inc, Toronto, released a mid-month press release to assure observers that the acquisition is still on track. No figures for the number of people let go were released, but itemus says the moves were necessary at the NYC-based new media producer to ensure a "path to profitability".

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Feb. 2 application deadline

CA*net Institute takes on new manager; launches 2nd round funding competition

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IBDG creates “neutral playground” for interactivity testing in mobile environment

A Ryerson University-based research group is using new funding from the Ontario government and a new experimental DTV licence from Industry Canada, to create close ties between broadcasters, new media content producers, and hardware manufacturers working on next-generation interactivity.

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From Las Vegas

Internet leaders debate the future of the PC in consumer electronic devices

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Ontario takes next step in transforming TVO into a new media learning centre

The expansion of the new media division of TVOntario is expected to be a slow bureaucratic affair as the provincial educational broadcaster absorbs the Independent Learning Centre. Different unions and the involvement of two different provincial ministries are generating red tape for the transfer of resources and staff positions from the centre to TVOntario. The centre, currently under the Ministry of Education, will be shifted to the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities, under which the provincial broadcaster operates at arm’s length.

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Statscan struggles with new media data collection; more funding needed

Statistics Canada is anxious to start compiling timely and comprehensive data on the country’s new media sector, but first it needs more money for annual surveys and a consensus from government and industry on what exactly constitutes "new media". The agency expects to hear by early March on a funding proposal that would see about seven biennial cultural surveys returned to annual surveys, and data collection initiated on 10 new areas, including new media.

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Federal government may introduce legislation on Internet broadcasting

The federal government is circulating draft proposals for dealing with the contentious issue of re-transmitting local TV signals over the Internet, and if industry consensus can be reached, a bill to legitimize the practice may be introduced in Parliament this spring. The move by both Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada to get involved in this issue comes as JumpTV faces a new legal glitch in its attempt to launch a cable TV-like service over the Internet.

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