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  • Fast ForWord Software Agreement Established in British Columbia

31st May 2009

Fast ForWord Software Agreement Established in British Columbia

Scientific LearningBritish ColumbiaScientific Learning Corp. has announced an agreement with Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium (ERAC) to provide the British Columbia consortium’s members with access to discounts for the Fast ForWord® family of products.

Developed by California-based Scientific Learning Corp., the Fast ForWord software provides struggling readers with computer-delivered exercises that build the cognitive skills required to read and learn effectively. Based on more than 30 years of ERACneuroscience and cognitive research, Fast ForWord software has been used with great success in several BC districts including Surrey, Burnaby and Victoria.

At a recent conference in BC, special education administrators who have been using Fast ForWord shared their implementation strategies and student results. Administrators reported that some students are making improvements by as much as two grade levels, while many other students are more focused and attentive in class.
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31st May 2009

Canadian Presence Strong At Upcoming E3 2009

CanadaCanada – Our inbox has received a number of notifications from a wide variety of Canadian studios alerting us to their presence at next week’s E3 Expo, and we are reminded of how strong our interactive media industry truly is – and equally envious that we are not able to attend this year’s convention. I’ve scoured the ‘net trying to find and confirm all of the Canadian products which will be shown at E3, and I think I’ve found everyone – however, I’m sure that I’ve overlooked a studio or two, especially for those studios who are working on projects for other houses. Some studio and game appearances may fall under the “conjecture” category due to typical pre-show “rumours” and while I did make every effort to confirm E3 studio appearances, some requests went unanswered – so we will just add to the perpetual pre-show “will they or won’t they” speculation – after all, that’s part of the excitement and anticipation for the annual unveilings, is it not?

So, without further ado, here, I think, is a comprehensive list of who is going to E3 2009:
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29th May 2009

Majesco Entertainment Announces Flip’s Twisted World Exclusively for Wii

Frozen North ProductionsWaterlooMajesco Entertainment Company, an innovative provider of video games for the mass market, has announced Flip’s Twisted World exclusively for Wii™. This unique puzzle platformer places the world literally in the palm of players’ hands as they navigate topsy-turvy worlds where up and down, and left and right are only a matter of perspective. Developed by Frozen North Productions, Flip’s Twisted World is expected to launch in January 2010.Flip's Twisted World

“Flip’s Twisted World offers a truly innovative take on the traditional platform game by sidestepping conventional design in favor of a three-dimensional, perspective-altering approach,” said Gui Karyo, Executive Vice President of Operations for Majesco. “With a charismatic main character, fantastic puzzle landscapes and a unique gameplay mechanic, Flip’s gives platform game fans something to look forward to in the new year.”
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29th May 2009

Mount Boucherie Secondary Students Win Gold for 3-D Animation

Kelowna – Funky futuristic characters having an all too human movie-going experience formed the basis of an awarding winning 3-D animation created by two students in School District No. 23. Jenna Cumbers and Jade McGilvray won gold at the recent National Skills Canada competition in PEI for their entry titled “Don’t Spoil the View”. They are the first ever students from Mount Boucherie Secondary School to be invited to the National competition for animation.

Jenna and Jade had just 12 hours over two days to create a storyboard, model and animate their story using 3D Studio Max. In addition, the contest rules restricted the use of sound, which made it more challenging for the characters to tell the story.

“Their theme, revealed the morning of the competition, was Don’t Spoil the View, says Barb Butler, a teacher at MBSS and chaperone for the trip. “In the 3D category, there were seven teams. Jade and Jenna were the only females. Each team had one hour to storyboard before they were allowed to touch the excellent equipment provided for them. The first day was focused on modeling (Jenna’s specialty) and the second day on the animation (Jade’s specialty). They are a fantastic team and we enjoyed every minute of our time together.”

This is the third major win for the two students. In March, they won the regional competition and a 50% scholarship worth $16,500 for the Center for Arts and Technology Okanagan (CATO). That success allowed them to compete last month at the Provincials in Abbotsford winning silver. When the first place Provincial winners dropped out of the National competition on short notice, Jenna and Jade had just over a week to arrange to represent BC in Charlottetown. Team BC had 80 members including competitors from secondary and post-secondary schools, delegates, and chaperones.

The last minute trip and project work were made possible by Don Muir, the Computer Drafting & Animation teacher at MBSS, Principal Lisa McCullough, Shona Becker, the Career Coordinator, and Barb Butler, who chaperoned the students. Don extends his thanks to Andrew Buckley from CATO for personally teaching the students digital animation story writing techniques.

“Both Jade and Jenna will be going to animation school next year and I know they will be very successful,” says Muir. “Within the next 10 years, I expect I’ll be still sitting in a theater after a fantastic animated movie while others are leaving, because I’ll be watching the credits looking for their names as I have with a few other students who have gone before them. I have learned as much, if not more, from these two hardworking, enthusiastic, gifted students as they have from the MBSS animation program. I have enjoyed them immensely and will miss them.”

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29th May 2009

Demand Metric Releases Search Engine Optimization Maturity Assessment Tool

Demand MetricTorontoDemand Metric, a marketing management advisory firm, announces the availability of its Search Engine Optimization Assessment Tool. This easy-to-use tool allows a company to assess the effectiveness of its SEO efforts in four key areas:

* Strategy, buy-in and skills
* Process definition, automation and systems
* Keyword management
* Results reporting and metrics

Using this tool, companies can quickly and easily assess the effectiveness of their current SEO efforts. The results of the assessment provide a baseline and a set of recommendations for improvement.
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29th May 2009

NetCraft Communications Announces Availability of Versiera 3.0

NetCraft CommunicationsTorontoNetCraft Communications Inc., a global provider of computer infrastructure management including multi-platform management, compliance, asset management, software distribution, monitoring, alerting and ticketing, is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Versiera 3.0.

Versiera is a web-based management system that simplifies the common routine tasks performed by system administrators. Versiera offers a real-time view of all of your hardware, software along with their Versieraoperational health. Organizations looking to consolidate management platforms or need to incorporate the latest in management technologies as well as cut operational costs can take advantage of the free Internet accessible Versiera management service.
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29th May 2009

Roundhouse Interactive adds Trish Stratus to The Game Cartel

Roundhouse InteractiveToronto – Renowned celebrity Trish Stratus will bring her entertainment experience to The Game Cartel, as it develops the industry’s first player conceived console video game. “We are so pleased that my good friend, Trish Stratus has become a part of The Game Cartel. She will bring a great new dynamic to our executive board.” Says Mike Montanaro of Roundhouse Interactive. Trish, along with other entertainment and gaming

Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus

personalities will act as advisors, reviewing user submissions and ultimately deciding which ideas will be presented to The Game Cartel member community for voting and approval. Trish is excited to take part in the decision making process saying “I am very happy to be a part of The Game Cartel. I’m looking forward to working with Mike and the other Game Cartel members during the game creation.”

Taking its inspiration from online games, The Game Cartel lets paid members conceive, develop and vote on the direction of select commercially available console games. The current game in development by our members & customers is a first/third person shooter game. The game development will be officially launched to the public at E3, June 2nd to 4th at the L.A. Convention Centre.

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28th May 2009

Chains – Game Review

Official Website: Chains
Format: PC
Genre: Action

chains0One of the first things I noticed about Chains is that there was no tutorial; that’s fine, I could probably figure this out. When the first level, Trident, loads there is a clear message on the screen “Clear 100”. After a moment the level loads and the balls begin to fill in the empty spaces. I sat and watched them fill it, waiting for some kind of direction as to exactly how to clear these multi-coloured balls that had filled in the level and after a short time a box came up and with instructions. This was going to be a lot of fun, no more mind numbing word games, just a brightly coloured and interesting version of connect the dots!
chains1

On to the next level! Clear 200 without losing any, and the balls start falling down into this little trapped area with a gate held closed by a counterweight. This was the first time I actually lost a level; sad probably since the first went by so well. My second biggest complaint with the game was that the helpful hints would take enough time to read that by the time I was back to the game the number of balls piled up caused me to fail the level. This happened a couple times before I learned that the game auto pauses when it loses focus. Awesome idea, I really liked this. Now when the hints would come up I would alt tab to some other program and move it out of the way so that I could take my time to read over the hints.
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28th May 2009

MySchoolCouncil.com Makes it Easy to Create PTA and School Council Websites

My School CouncilTorontoTLI Software, a leading Web Applications developer, announces the launch of MySchoolCouncil.com. MySchoolCouncil.com is an application designed for school councils, parent teacher associations and student councils to build community online.

MySchoolCouncil provides the aforementioned community’s the ability to build, maintain and update online community website with only basic computer skills. The sites are automated and have several features that are particularly well suited to the school community. “One of the favorite features with school principals has been the approval process that can be activated for each site. It allows for each page that is built or updated to be sent automatically sent to the principal for their approval at which time, the page goes live,” said Taye Newman, Product Manager of MySchoolCouncil.com.
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28th May 2009

Corel Wins Award of Excellence from Society for Technical Communication

CorelOttawaCorel Corporation today announced that its documentation team has been recognized with an Award of Excellence from the Society for Technical Communication (STC). ‘The CorelDRAW® Handbook: Insights from the Experts’ won top honors in the STC BannerInternational Technical Publications competition receiving praise for its appealing and inviting design, as well as its effectiveness in strengthening readers’ connection to the product. ‘Insights from the Experts’ is essential resource material included with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4.

The STC International Technical Publications Competition recognizes and encourages excellence in communication through printed media. Each entry is evaluated for qualities including production, design and typography, copy editing, content and organization, and graphics.

‘Visually, this publication is dramatic, attractive, and appealing. Its concept is interesting and from a marketing standpoint, very effective. The testimonial approach and the contributors’ sharing of their expertise provide new users with a powerful message about the product’s capabilities and potential,’ said the STC judging panel. ‘The writing is conversational, leading readers to view the contributors as providing one-on-one training – a very effective approach.’
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