2nd December 2009

Canada New Media Awards and New Releases

Canadian New Media AwardsToronto – Congratulations to all of the Canada New Media Award winners who were announced last night at the nextMEDIA gala at Toronto’s Design Exhange:

Big Blue BubbleLondon ONBig Blue Bubble Inc. announced today that the first Fighting Fantasy game book, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, will be available on iPhone this Christmas.Fighting Fantasy iPhone

Following the successful Nintendo DS launch of the game of the same name, Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for iPhone and iPod Touch takes a different approach bringing Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s legendary game book to your favorite handheld device.

Fighting Fantasy fans will love the classic story and original illustrations with a technological twist. No more dice, pencils, or bookmarks. All the special features are built in!

Features…

• Tap the on screen buttons to flip pages (No papercuts!)
• Shake to roll the dice using the accelerometer
• Inventory items selectable via touch-screen
• Game-save feature allows you to retrace your steps
• Beautifully painted illustrations

Karta MobileVancouverKarta Mobile Inc. today announced the public availability of Viira 2.0, the updated and enhanced version of its popular BlackBerry® application that brings the principles of David Allen’s Getting Things Done® (GTD®) productivity system into the hands of busy professionals, executives and entrepreneurs worldwide.

The new version of the already full-featured Viira adds several industry firsts, including the ability to viiracreate tasks based on incoming email messages, effortlessly prioritize tasks, and designate next actions. Viira is also the only BlackBerry GTD app to fully incorporate appointments and events in its underlying organizational system.

“Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” is a popular work-life productivity book by David Allen that shows readers how to effectively organize tasks, information and communications in an intuitive way. Since its debut in 2001, the GTD methodology has been enthusiastically embraced by millions of knowledge workers around the world.

While a multitude of web-based tools for implementing GTD have been made available over the last years, the engineering challenge of building effective and intuitive BlackBerry applications has left the principles of Getting Things Done under-represented on BlackBerry smartphones.

Viira has stepped in to fill the void. With Viira 2.0, BlackBerry owners can now conquer their inboxes by creating to-dos from the incoming email messages and immediately filing them in their appropriate place. Handling large volumes of incoming email has been a known pain point for people implementing Getting Things Done with BlackBerry devices – until now.

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1st December 2009

Canadian Hero Fund Launches New Site

Canadian Hero FundToronto – A new civilian charity supporting military personnel and their families officially launched its website today. The Canadian Hero Fund is a registered charity dedicated to raising money for families of fallen soldiers through community, grassroots efforts.

Founded by university students, the organization has a specific focus on youth engagement. “With the launch of this website we’re expanding the opportunities for Canadians to express their gratitude and support for the families of our military personnel,” said Michael Ball, executive member of the fund. “The site along with other online tools will leverage social networking to engage Canadians across Canada – young and old – to come together in common cause.”

The Canadian Hero Fund’s first goal is to raise $2.5m over 5 years, which will go to support scholarships for the children and spouses of fallen servicemen and women. By focusing efforts and engagement at a grassroots level, the Fund allows Canadians from all walks of life to have an opportunity to express their thanks and contribute in whatever way they can – large or small – in a show of support. Families will be able to apply for scholarships through the website.

“Canadians are looking for ways to express their thanks,” said Tim Peters, co-founder of the fund. “By promoting a grassroots approach the Fund is giving individuals, communities and groups who are looking for an opportunity to give back the chance to do so.”

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1st December 2009

News Bytes From Montreal’s Eidos and Ubisoft

UbisoftThis just in – Ubisoft Montreal has announced DLC expansions for Assassin’s Creed 2! Available for the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and the Playstation 3™ computer entertainment system, the first DLC, entitled “Battle of Forli” launches in January and the second DLC, entitled “Bonfire of the Vanities” in February.

Players must own a disc copy of Assassin’s Creed™ II on Playstation 3™ or Xbox 360™, have an Internet connection to download the additional content and a minimum of 1.0 GB of memory available for each DLC. More info on the DLC to be announced in late December. Time to start hoarding my XBL Points.

Eidos MontrealMeanwhile, Eidos Montreal is looking for a Marketing Manager for Thief 4. Here are the listed responsibilities:

* Assist the Eidos strategy team in the definition of game marketing position from a global scale point of view
* Create and implant a communication strategy adapted to each project
* Be the principal contact for the studio products, and provide client and game market related knowledge to the development teams
* Be in charge of the production and quality of all the marketing images, as well as the communication tools («screenshots», demos, artistic images and trailers)
* Setup and ensure production deadlines
* Be responsible for all the different development stages, and make sure that the marketing choices are represented in the elements constituting the game, such as the universe, the characters, the actions, etc…
* Identify the key success factors for the game, create the final positioning and compare this analysis with customer studies. Defend own marketing choices and achieve final approval
* Establish recommendations about the communicating strategy for the game (public relations, packaging, advertising, Internet, promotion) and be in charge of the creation of the principal game images (trailers, demos, «screenshots»…)
* Efficiently divide the tasks within the marketing team.

Please visit the Eidos job listing to check on the required qualifications and to apply for this position.

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1st December 2009

What’s New Today In Canadian Built Software

KlipfolioOttawaKlipfolio, Inc., developer of KPI dashboards, today announced the immediate availability of Klipfolio Dashboard version 5.3. The dashboard software now adds organizational and departmental notifications and alerts to its well-known strength in KPI reporting for operational decision makers. Klipfolio Dashboard 5.3

While dashboard software aims to give workers the performance data they need when they need it, achieving this goal can also increase the burden on overworked IT departments. Klipfolio Dashboard solves the first problem by putting KPIs in front of every employee all day long. Now Klipfolio addresses the second problem with real-time alerts and notification that are completely self-serve and require no IT intervention.

KPI dashboards from Klipfolio are popular with Fortune 1000 firms like Baxter Healthcare, EMC and Lufthansa for improving data visibility for business performance metrics using a light-weight desktop dashboard that exposes performance indicators and drives application adoption.

“The new real-time publishing system is invaluable for employee alerts,” says Allan Wille, President & CEO of Klipfolio. “Above and beyond internal communications, every department needs to communicate with their staff. Klipfolio Dashboard Publisher let’s managers and communicators notify the workforce with anything from passive news to critical alerts that require acknowledgement – all without any added IT effort.”

The 5.3 release also builds on Klipfolio Dashboard’s ability to share KPIs at a glance. In addition to tables and bar charts, desktop dashboard users can now visualize KPIs in interactive pie charts as well as searching and filtering dashboard KPIs with a new find feature. Finally, the new version also adds support for Microsoft’s XML Excel spreadsheets – the .xlsx format. Klipfolio offers a free 30 day trial period.

Open TextWaterlooOpen Text Corporation today announced the release of version 14 of its Connectivity Solutions consisting of Open Text Exceed, the leading PC X server solution for Windows, Open Text HostExplorer, its terminal emulation suite, and its secure shell clients and network file system software. Leveraging the new productivity and security features of Windows 7, this release offers organizations a smooth transition to the new Microsoft platform.

Windows 7 represents a significant leap forward in terms of user productivity, information security and platform management. Working closely with Microsoft, Open Text designed its latest Connectivity Solutions to take advantage of Windows 7 technologies. Specifically, users of the new software suite will be able to take advantage of the following enhancements:

- Support for Windows 7 Touch technology allows users to interact with UNIX and Mainframe applications through an intuitive and easy to use touch interface
- Jump Lists in the Task Bar and Start Menu provide faster access to frequently accessed items and frequently performed tasks
- Multiple Documents preview reduces the time spent switching between applications and open sessions
- New FIPS 140-2 validated cryptographic module provides stronger security to connections

“Windows 7 represents a great opportunity for Open Text to bring its rich portfolio of Enterprise and Connectivity Solutions to the next generation desktop,” says Jens Rabe, Vice President, Microsoft Solutions Group at Open Text. “With this release, Open Text has demonstrated that its Connectivity Solutions have been tested and proven to offer a rich user experience, while providing IT departments improved manageability and greater cost-control.”

Open Text’s leading connectivity solutions connect people, data and applications in mission-critical environments through a complete line of remote application access and data integration solutions. With 90 percent of Global 2000 companies relying on its award-winning solutions for over 20 years, Open Text understands the financial and operational challenges that most organizations face, whether it is multiple systems, disparate data sources or geographically dispersed teams.

mobovivoCalgary MoboVivo Inc., a software company that enables broadcasters to distribute TV shows on mobile phones, laptops and set-top boxes, today announced it is developing an additional 150 apps to be released starting later this year.

The Apps are compatible with MoboVivo myScreens which allow consumers to shift screens from mobile phone to set-top box. Content owners like broadcasters, cable and telephone companies that are trying to reach audiences on all platforms are using myScreens and MoboVivo’s other proprietary media management technologies to give consumers access to TV shows on whichever devices they choose, anytime, anywhere.

“The iPhone is an extremely popular device world-wide and our broadcaster, distributor and producer customers want to reach consumers on all screens,” said MoboVivo founder and CEO, Trevor Doerksen. “MoboVivo continues to explore innovative ways to attract new viewers and increase revenue for our customers on more screens.”

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1st December 2009

FIFA 10 Continues Record Sales Pace and FIFA 10 Ultimate Team Announced

EA SportsBurnabyElectronic Arts Inc. today announced the continued record-setting sales pace for FIFA 10 as well as the development of FIFA 10 Ultimate Team, a game mode expansion and new way of playing FIFA 10, the highest rated sports game ever (according to MetaCritic) on the PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360®.

Based on internal sales projections, FIFA 10 has sold through more than 4.5 million units worldwide since launch, a 26 percent increase over the same period a year ago (eight weeks in Europe and five weeks in North America). FIFA 10 also became the fastest-selling sports videogame in the world with 1.7 million units sold through at European retail in its first week after its launch on October 1, and it’s the top selling game overall in Europe in 2009.FIFA 10

FIFA 10 has achieved new franchise records for online play as well, averaging 3 million games played daily (based on average daily online users between Oct. 1, 2009 and November 19, 2009) and over 113 million total online games played on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 over the past two months as of November 30 2009, and will launch FIFA 10 Ultimate Team in the new year. FIFA 10 Ultimate Team is a deeper, more authentic, more dynamic version of the game mode successfully introduced last year and enables fans to customize the way they build their Ultimate Team.

Take on the challenge of building an Ultimate Team of the best football stars in the world, manage one or multiple squads simultaneously, and compete against other gamers in dynamically updated online tournaments. For the record number of football fans playing FIFA 10 online, FIFA 10 Ultimate Team provides a new challenge to put a personally crafted team up against the rest of the world.

“FIFA 10 Ultimate Team adds a lot more authenticity to a unique game that will update with new challenges and content over time,” said Producer Paul Hossack. “We now have over 7,000 players from 27 leagues available, from which gamers will craft one or multiple squads to show their mastery of the revamped, more realistic chemistry system, and compete in tournaments with exciting requirements and rewards. On top of that, we’ll release new tournaments and other updates regularly to keep the experience fresh and exciting.”

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30th November 2009

UL Warns of Power Supply Adaptor With Unauthourized UL Mark

Safety Notice: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is notifying consumers that a power supply adaptor, identified below, bears an unauthorized UL Mark for the United States and Canada. This product has not been evaluated by UL to the appropriate standard for safety for the United States or Canada, and is not authorized to bear the UL Mark. It is unknown if this product complies with the United States or Canadian safety requirements.

Name of Product: DSL and PSP 2in1 AC Adapter, Model 5819233 (AP2918)
Number of units: Unknown
Manufacturer: Unknown
Date of Manufacture: Unknown
Identification On the product:

DSL and PSP 2in1 AC Adapter
Model: 5819233 (AP2918)
Input: 120V AC 0.049A 60Hz
Output: 5.2V DC 450mA
C(UL)US
LISTED
I.T.E. POWER SUPPLY
65EJ
E229119

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30th November 2009

Next Gen Social Gaming Platform Announced At G-Star 2009

dimeRockerVancouver via Busan, South Korea – During his G-Star 2009 keynote speech, “The Deportalization of Online Games – A North American Perspective,” CEO of OverInteractive Media Inc. Glen Lougheed announced the official closed beta launch of dimeRocker, his company’s innovative self-publishing platform that enables Unity 3D game developers to Overinteractive Mediadeploy, manage and monetize their content across the social web from a single, centralized account. Interested game developers are encouraged to register online for the closed beta. Beta participation is initially limited, but will continue to grow as the platform’s capabilities expand.

“It is no longer about people going to a portal for a game, it is about bringing that game to people anywhere, on any platform,” said Lougheed. “This is the future of social gaming, and dimeRocker is perfectly positioned to lead the oncoming wave of next-gen social gaming.”

This first iteration of the dimeRocker platform will grant the first wave of Unity 3D game developers access to exciting new features and services, including:

* The ability to self-publish their games within Facebook
* Real-time global and social leader boards to keep their players in the middle of the action
* Accessibility to other social networks and premiere access to new features as they are added

Most importantly, closed beta participants will be invaluable in helping to shape dimeRocker’s evolution, ensuring that the platform offers a robust set of services to the global game development community.

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30th November 2009

Centre for Digital Media to be home for Network Centre of Excellence Programme

Masters For Digital MediaVancouver (via CDM) – A new Network Centre of Excellence (NCE) recently awarded by the federal government to 50 researchers at 19 universities across Canada, will be headquartered at the Centre for Digital Media, Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC). GRAND, an NCE in GRaphics, Animation, and New meDia, will explore, challenge, and advance the use of new media through collaborative, multi-disciplinary research, training, and innovation with a secondary focus on commercialization.

“Through GRAND, we will be able to develop further the evolving areas of research and commercialization of digital media,” said Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director, GRAND and CEO, Centre for Digital Media, GNWC. “Plus, we will have an opportunity to work with a top notch list of researchers and digital media companies from across the country.”

GRAND is comprised of 30 projects, supported by a multidisciplinary, cross-country network of investigators, researchers, and industry.

“A unique strength of the GRAND research program is the synergy between social science researchers and the engineering and computer science researchers who are collaborating on many of the projects,” explained Dr. Abby Goodrum, GRAND’s Director for Social Sciences and Humanities Research, and professor in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University in Toronto.

The five themes to be explored include:

• New media challenges and opportunities
• Games and interactive simulation
• Animation, graphics and imaging
• Social, legal, economic and cultural perspectives
• Enabling technologies and methodologies

“The proliferation of social networks and new media represent one of the most significant popular adaptations of computer technology,” said Dr. Kellogg Booth, GRAND’s scientific director and a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia which is hosting the NCE. “This new network will enable research collaborators to address issues and explore opportunities in this fast-growing sector.”

Whether tackling new media issues such as intellectual property rights and privacy or introducing new technologies, the outcomes from GRAND aim to benefit Canadians as well as enhance Canada’s position as a global leader in new media.

GRAND was one of three NCEs announced by the federal government today. In 2008, NCEs were responsible for 110 patents, 4,300 papers in refereed journals, and partnerships with more than 1,997 companies, government departments, and agencies, hospitals, universities in Canada and from around the world.

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30th November 2009

Complex Games Opens Game Dev Programme For Youth

LevelUp Game TrainingWinnipeg – The development team at Complex Games has officially opened their LevelUp Game Dev Training for Youth programme for registration. Geared for young people aged 12 – 18, and is geared around the Unity3D engine. Announced courses so far are the Novice 100 (12 – 18) and the Master 100 (mature students 17+), both starting in January.

The Novice 100 course offers an introduction to Programming Concepts such as variables, IF statements, For While and Event Loops and Functions at a cost of $525.oo for 16 one hour sessions. The Masters 100 course focuses on guiding the student through the same sort of challenging implementation faced in game development studios. Students will work through a self-directed project which must be completed by the end of the course. For a limited time, the Masters 100 course is being offered at 50% off the regular tuition of $1050.00. Other upcoming course offerings include the Novice 200, Junior 100 and 200, Senior 100 and 200, Advanced 100 and 200, as well as Expert 100 and 200.

LevelUp is also offering a free one hour course trial for parents and kids to get an understanding of the course offerings. Trial dates are December 5, December 19 and January 9. Pre-registration is required for the Trial sessions.

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30th November 2009

News From Ubisoft, Digital Leisure and NGRAIN

UbisoftMontreal - Today Ubisoft announced that Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands™ video game is in development and is scheduled to be released May 2010 for consoles and handhelds. This new installment in the critically-acclaimed franchise marks thPrince of Persia The Forgotten Sandse return to the Prince of Persia® Sands of Time storyline. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands™ will feature many of the fan-favorite elements from the original series as well as new gameplay innovations that gamers have come to expect from the Prince of Persia brand. Tune in to Spike TV’s “Video Game Awards 2009″ on Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 8 p.m. EST for the exclusive world premiere of the Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands™ trailer.

Digital LeisureGormley – Digital Leisure has announced that two of their latest titles are now available in North America. Copter Crisis, a chopper sim which puts you in the pilot’s seat is available in the WiiWare Store for 500 Wii Points. As a member of the elite Helicopter Rescue Squad, you’ll be assigned to respond to any type of emergency anywhere at any time. You’ll have to complete various missions with the latest in helicopter Copter Crisisrescue technology. When you’re ready, you’ll be tasked with executing rescue missions all around the Black Rock Canyon. Your Wii Remote controller becomes the control stick as you guide your copter along the canyons while avoiding rocks, severe weather and even anti-aircraft fire. Rescue lost hikers, deliver supplies to remote areas, assist on scientific missions and even blast your way into underground cavern systems. Complete all of your objectives and rise through the ranks to take on the toughest rescues and unlock 10 bonus missions. Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play allows you to enhance your flight experience with 10 additional copters, which can give you access to unlimited missiles, larger fuel tanks, cargo holds and even mid-air loops.Sudoku Challenge

Sudoku Challenge!, designed exclusively for the Nintendo DSi™ Shop can be downloaded for for 500 Nintendo DSi Points™. With over 100,000,000 unique Sudoku puzzles, you’ll never see the same puzzle twice in Sudoku Challenge! Get started by selecting the classic nine-by-nine Sukodu gameboard or really take up a challenge with Grand Sudoku by completing five intersecting Sudoku boards simultaneously – A first for the Nintendo DSi™! With three difficulty options even the most novice player to complete a Sudoku with ease. It’s time to get your thinking cap on and see how many Sudoku puzzles you can conquer!

ngrainVancouverNGRAIN, a leading provider of interactive 3D equipment simulation solutions for maintenance training and support whose head office is in Vancouver, has announced that the company is opening an office in Richmond, Virginia. The NGRAIN Virginia office will provide direct support to the company’s local and East Coast customers, which include the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security armed services.

“Military organizations are increasingly turning to simulation technology as a way of cost-effectively delivering enhanced maintenance training and support programs. This has resulted in the dramatic growth of our business,” said Paul Lindahl, CEO, NGRAIN. “With the rapid adoption of NGRAIN’s cost-saving Virtual Task Trainer solution and NGRAIN Producer software, the time is right to open a Virginia office. We are looking forward to becoming a larger part of the Washington, DC and Virginia modeling and simulation community.”

Over the past year the United States Coast Guard (USCG), United States Marine Corps, US Army, and US Air Force have continued their commitment to training transformation by selecting NGRAIN® Virtual Task Trainer and NGRAIN® Producer software to provide personnel with enhanced learning and improved maintenance support. In use across the armed services, the NGRAIN Virtual Task Trainer is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software-based solution that leverages 3D simulation to deliver installation, maintenance, repair and — most recently– medical training.

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