PRC's Third Anniversary, Speed Texting Champs, Image to OCR Converter, New Ringtones

David Sims : First Coffee
David Sims
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PRC's Third Anniversary, Speed Texting Champs, Image to OCR Converter, New Ringtones

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is John Coltrane's highly accessible but not wallpaper album, My Favorite Things. We'll follow that with Workout from an underrated trumpeter, Hank Mobley:

PRC, which sells outsourced customer contact management services, marked its third anniversary as a member of the Colorado Springs community with a celebration on January 14 in the PRC offices at 6805 Corporate Drive in Colorado Springs.

As part of the celebration, local employees pledged 1,000 hours of community service to the Colorado Springs area through PRC Community Care, a company-wide initiative that encourages and enables PRC employees to take an active role in improving their local communities.
Each month throughout 2010, PRC employees will participate in a specific volunteer activity, raise money or collect items for donation to organizations that address homelessness, youth and family matters and provide support for U.S. soldiers serving overseas.

"Giving back to the community has been a part of the PRC fabric since our inception nearly 30 years ago," says PRC CEO Steven Richards, who attended the celebration in Colorado Springs. "We are very pleased to be a part of the Colorado Springs community and look forward to working with our employees, local leaders and community organizations to further improve the economic outlook and quality of life for residents in the area."
You know how it goes if you've been reading this space for any time at all: If a company's doing charitable work, they get to be a bit puffy here. It's First Coffee's "thank you" for what they do.

At the January 14 event, PRC officials announced the company's hiring plans for 2010. The company's bustling call center handles in-bound customer service calls for a client in the telecommunications industry.

"PRC's job growth in Colorado Springs is welcome news, especially given the current challenges facing our economy," says Mike Kazmierski, President & CEO of The Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation. "We are pleased to see one of our key primary employers expanding in our community since one of our objectives at EDC is to help create an environment that is conducive to corporate growth."

Representatives from local nonprofit organizations participating in the PRC Community Cares initiatives were on hand to announce plans for the coming year. Care and Share, Pikes Peak Family Connections, The Children's Literacy Center, and TESSA are all on the list to receive aid from PRC employees.

"Support from local businesses is essential in running our organization," says Lisa Amend, director of marketing at Care and Share. "PRC's commitment to help the Colorado Springs community is appreciated especially among individuals and families in need."

In the past three years, PRC and its employees have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable donations to local community groups and organizations in the areas where the company does business.

The company was also recognized by as a top global provider of outsourced contact management services. Headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, the company is privately held.

LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A. (LG Mobile Phones) hosted the LG Mobile World Cup, a speed-texting competition, crowning Young-Ho Bae, age 18, and Mok-Min Ha, age 17, from Korea as the winning team.
The duo took home the title of LG Mobile World Cup Champions, and split the $100,000 in prize money, after beating out 24 participants from 12 other countries after an intense five game series in New York City.
In addition to the main competition, the players attempted to set a new Guinness World Records mark for fastest texting. And in fact a new record was set by Pedro Matias, age 27, from Portugal who typed a 264-character text in just 1 minute 59 seconds, slicing 23 seconds off the previous record, set by Finland's Arttu Harkki on April 27, 2005.

Contestants competed for the title on sLG mobile handsets, including LG enV3, LG BL20 and LG GW520.

"It is amazing that our team won the world title! Every moment in every round of the texting game was just awesome!" said Young-Ho Bae. "It's an additional delight that we got to meet new friends from different countries in one of the most exciting cities in the world."

Morgan Dynda and Kate Moore from the United States placed second, winning a joint $20,000, and Juan Ignacio Aufranc and Agustina Montegna from Argentina placed third, divvying up $10,000.
During the competition at Gotham Hall, players competed in various texting missions, including break the wall, monster popping, moving pillar, running relay and racing replay: "In each mission, contestants were tasked with the challenge of typing in phrases on their mobile devices exactly as they appeared on nearby plasma screens with no typos or abbreviations while trying to be quicker than their opponents," LG officials explained.

Finalists selection for the LG Mobile World Cup began in May 2009 with a series of national texting contests across 13 countries including Canada, Indonesia, Portugal, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Korea, Spain, Australia, and New Zealand. After several months, 26 contestants were chosen to compete in teams of two in the hopes of becoming the word's fastest texter.

Soft Solutions, based in Delhi, has launched a new software -- Image to OCR Converter, for text recognition in images, pdf and scanned documents.
The OCR -- Optical Character Recognition -- software can read text from bmp, pdf, tiff, jpg, gif, png and "all major image formats," company officials say, and "saves the extracted text in word, doc, pdf, html and text formats with accurate text formatting and spacing."
One can see the advantages, of course: It avoids retyping of scanned documents by converting the scanned image and pdf files back to text based formats.

Image to OCR Converter recognizes more than 40 different languages, company officials say, adding that images, pdf and scanned documents in any supported language can be converted back to the original language text complete with all language fonts and styles.
Image to OCR Converter recognizes English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, UK English, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, Portuguese, Brazilian, Galician, Icelandic, Greek, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Slovenian, Luxembourg, Finnish, Turkish, Russian, Byelorussian, Ukrainian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Afrikaans, Albanian, Catalan, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, and Basque.
And we're betting you didn't know there was enough of a difference between Irish and Scottish Gaelic to merit a separate language designation.

The software also provides security features such as password protection and watermark to the converted documents to prevent unauthorized viewing and copying or illegal distribution. Image to OCR Converter can automatically detect and correct rotated, skewed and tilted documents, company officials claim: "Broken text and characters is also reconstructed to provide better accuracy and recognition."

No Tie Software has introduced 9,999 Ringtones Uncensored and AutoRingtone text to speech, both for iPhone and iPod touch devices.
"Musical ringtones are so 2009," company officials say, sniffing that "everybody has the same one and you have to guess which tone is for which contact. What people want is Talking Caller ID Ringtones."

Whatever your name is, whomever is calling, No Tie officials assure you "there's a ringtone for that. Users can select from 20 voices including quality commercially licensed voices such as British Man or Woman. They can also use 100+ introductory sound effects as fun attention getters."
Type the name of a contact to create a talking ringtone and you're away: "Ringtones Uncensored lets users type any message they want and have it turned into a talking ringtone," company officials say.

Over 100,000 unique AutoRingtones have been created so far -- if you want, you can have each caller's name, title, and a personal message spoken out loud. No more guessing who is calling or whose phone is ringing. Although this reporter would be a bit careful with that feature. Awkward social situations come readily to mind.

You'll need an iPhone or iPod Touch 2.2.1 or later (ringtones are needed on Touches?) Ringtones Uncensored and AutoRingtone PRO are both currently available at an introductory price of just $0.99, and there are even free lite versions of AutoRingtone so users can try before they buy. 
In addition to the iPhone .m4r ringtone format, ringtone sound files can be downloaded in .AIFF format, for use on other phones.

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