UPDATE – Wednesday, November 30, 2005 D-BOX widens loss in Q2, wins CES awardLongueuil, QC’s D-Box Technologies Inc. posted its second-quarter results recently. While the firm’s revenues grew 50% in the quarter year-over-year, from roughly $546,000 to $821,000, the red ink also grew by more than 10% with a $751,000 net loss compared to $675,000 in the same quarter last year. The firm credited its Quest X3ME motion simulator, introduced in September, for much of the upswing in sales revenue, and said in the short-term it will focus on growing its U.S. distribution presence as well as on forging relationships with providers of entertainment content. The Quest X3ME won recognition at an awards event affiliated with the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The motion-enabled seat was named "Best of Innovations" in the furniture category at the 2006 International CES Innovations Design and Engineering awards; as such, D-Box will be fêted at a special presentation for award-winners when CES 2006 gets underway on January 5 next year in Las Vegas. 40% of Canadians afraid to shop online: surveyDistrust of online shopping and Internet security has led 40% of respondents in a Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) survey to say they won’t be turning to the Internet to order holiday gifts this year. By contrast, only 24% of Americans polled in a similar survey said they would shun online shopping for safety reasons. The Forrester Research survey, which interviewed more than 1,200 Canadians, found that while the majority of respondents use anti-virus programs, firewalls, email filters and other forms of software protection while online, 88% of respondents feel that some online retailers haven’t taken the necessary steps to adequately protect their customers. Additionally, 73% of those surveyed said that one or more members of their family might not be fully aware of potential security threats waiting on the Internet, and may inadvertently compromise their personal information or that of other family members. Loss of personal information was the biggest specific concern at 81%, closely followed by identity theft and spam. AOL, CBC.ca sign ad/content partnershipThe Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s English-language properties announced they will retain the Canadian arm of Dulles VA-based Internet service provider America Online Inc. (AOL) to provide advertising sales and support. AOL Canada Media Network will provide third-party ad sales representation, search engine optimization and syndication, and content integration for the websites under the cbc.ca banner. AOL Canada says it currently reaches more than 4.5 million news-browsers in Canada, while the CBC boasts an audience of 2.4 million loyal readers. As part of the agreement, AOL Canada’s website will feature CBC news stories and video content, and AOL Canada Media Network will also revamp cbc.ca’s site search feature to include sponsored links and Web search. AirG goes down under with latest signingHot on the heels of new services on Bell Mobility’s 1X network (CNM, Nov. 11/05) and both pre- and post-paid networks at Reston VA’s Nextel (CNM, Aug. 10/05), Vancouver firm AirG has inked an agreement to provide its mobile community software to Orange Australia. The new Orange Lounge will be that country’s largest wireless user community, and will allow subscribers to chat, flirt, send instant messages and photos, enter contests and much more. More than five million wireless users around the world are already interacting using the AirG network of wireless community sites, offered by more than 85 different wireless network operators in 33 countries. Kids’ software wins Dr. Toy awardsSmart Bear Adventures, an interactive storybook and videogame from Vancouver’s Leboe & Grice Multimedia, has won three awards from Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, a San Francisco child expert and game enthusiast better known as Dr. Toy. The Canadian firm’s CD-ROM was named Best Children’s Vacation product, as well as one of the top 10 socially responsible products and one of the best 100 children’s products overall. Smart Bear Adventures uses multimedia and interactivity to build hand-eye coordination, motor skills, vocabulary, word recognition and more, and has been approved for use in elementary science classes in BC with approval from that province’s ministry of education. Watch for a special feature on kids and interactive media in an upcoming issue of Canadian NEW MEDIA. AudiSoft finds European distribution partnerMontreal’s AudiSoft Technologies, a provider of wearable audio-visual communications gear, has named Silence SAS as the European importer and non-exclusive distributor of its products. The deal, worth $500,000 initially, will see the French firm supply AudiSoft equipment – including the Frontline Communicator, a portable two-way audio and video communications solution for remote support and distance training applications – to its European customer base of video production firms, producers and national TV broadcasters. The Frontline Communicator solution is based around Compaq’s iPaq handheld computer, and incorporates a miniature colour camera with an integrated digital pointer, instant wireless communication, a PCMCIA card reader, and more. St. Joseph’s digital signage arm signs dealAlchemy, the digital signage arm of Toronto-based media and communications firm St. Joseph Communications, has been chosen by OfficeMax Inc. to supply point-of-purchase digital displays for the U.S. office products retailer. The Canadian firm will work with technology partner Adflow Networks to populate Itasca IL-based OfficeMax’s chain of stores with the signs. In a media release, OfficeMax VP of visual merchandising Jim Dismukes said a digital signage pilot program "has been so impressive to date that we are currently expanding it to more of our new large format stores across the USA." In addition to Alchemy and digital signage, St. Joseph Communications is also involved in commercial printing, document management and magazine publishing, including such titles as Toronto Life and Fashion Magazine. Sony announces PC-to-PSP linkSony of Canada Ltd. recently announced the availability of the PSP Media Manager, a device that allows users of the firm’s Playstation Portable (PSP) handheld gaming system to download files from their home computer to their PSP. Content supported includes music files, photos, movies and RSS feeds, with video formats including MPEG 3 and 4, Windows Media Player’s WMV and AVI, and Apple QuickTime MOV. Audio formats supported include MP3, WAV and WMA, with customizable encoding and playback bitrates, while BMP, JPG, GIF and other still image formats can also be used. The data transfer takes place via USB technology – a six-foot cable is included with the PSP Media Manager. The device will be on sale next month for $39.99 at the Sony Store. Calgary firm bags buck of the IrishIreland’s largest independent bookmaker, Boylesports, has selected Calgary’s Chartwell Technology Inc. to provide Java and Flash games for its website. The Canadian firm’s casino-based games and other offerings will be featured on the Boylesports website.