Two Canadian tech launches

I wrote an item for my globeandmail blog that I thought I’d reproduce here, because some people who might be interested in it might not see it there:

It’s been a busy couple of days for small Canadian tech companies: a photo and video-sharing service called, which is based in Victoria and has been around for a while now, and Ottawa-based telecom startup Pixpo has released a new version of its media-sharing software — which has a couple of key differences compared with other similar services — while Iotum has announced a partnership with, a company that sells a voice-over-Internet appliance for consumers.

Pixpo, which was founded by Colin How, allows users to share their photos, music and video without having to upload it to an external website or server, as most services such as and do. Pixpo’s software allows users to connect directly to the content on your PC, and provides a nice-looking interface so they can browse through thumbnails of your photos or watch video clips with the built-in media player. Mr. How said in an email that the service uses a modified “peer-to-peer” network with a series of servers that can cache or store popular content.

Iotum, meanwhile — run by blogger Alec Saunders — has announced a deal to bundle its Relevance Engine software with VOIP devices sold by PhoneGnome. Iotum’s product uses smart filtering to determine which phone calls should be put through to a user based on the time of the call and who it is coming from, and can also determine where to send the call based on previous behaviour patterns or rules set by the user. PhoneGnome — which was started by one of the founders of Earthlink — sells a box that users can simply plug a regular phone into that provides VOIP calling, but allows them to keep their regular phone number.

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