Vancouver – Clicktoy Interactive is pleased to announce the release of its software “The Meadow“for the Apple Mac. The award winning interactive software for children ages 1 to 5 is now available for purchase at local Canadian Apple Stores and select US Apple stores, and online at store.Apple.com.
Colourful 3-D graphics, nature sounds and original music bring nature to life on screen where children can join Mr. and Mrs. Bunny as they visit their friends living in The Meadow. With the simple press of a key, your child can guide the animals through the beautiful meadow environment.
“Any parent can tell you that when they’re working on their computer, the little one will come along and want to sit on their lap and press buttons,” said Ken Kavanagh, developer of The Meadow and president of Clicktoy Interactive. “As every key has a function, children are free to interact with the computer without worry.”
With The Meadow, parents and children can explore this charming and peaceful place together, featuring:
* Four detailed scenes
* ClickSafe locks the keyboard, prevents your child from exiting the application
* Stunning graphics and immersion in a virtual nature-walk
* Make up your own stories and imagine together
Available on the PC since 2008 “The Meadow” is now available for the Mac OS. Offered in over 17 languages the game sells for $24.95 and is available now for the Mac or PC. Village Gamer congratulates Ken Kavanagh and Clicktoy Interactive with this new release – and fully recommends “The Meadow” to anyone who has a toddler and/or pre-schooler in their family.
Vancouver – Vancouver Film School is pleased to present the $30,000 Women in Games Scholarship for the second straight year. This Scholarship covers the full tuition for a female aspiring game designer to attend VFS’s acclaimed one-year Game Design program, named by L.A. Times as a Top 10 school “favoured by industry recruiters”.
With International Women’s Day on March 8 highlighting the achievements of women and the need to create a more equal and rewarding future for girls, the announcement of the Women in Games scholarship is timely. In an industry traditionally dominated by men – around 90%, according to Game Developer Magazine’s 2009 Salary Survey – the scholarship was established as a concerted effort by VFS to encourage greater opportunities for females wishing to pursue Game Design as a career.
Last year, the inaugural scholarship was awarded to Shannon Lee of Toronto, who is just beginning her third term of six in the program at Vancouver Film School.
“The Game Design program at VFS has been a very rewarding and enjoyable experience thus far,” Lee says. “Applying for the scholarship was the best decision I’ve ever made and I’m sure that the next recipient will feel the same.”
Female VFS Game Design graduates have gone on to work successfully in the industry, including Tara Mustapha and Charmie Kim of Microsoft Game Studios, Pamela Livara of Vancouver’s Slant Six, and Melanie Genereux of Longtail Studios in PEI. Full details of this year’s Women in Games scholarship will be announced at the Game Design Expo 2010 being held in Vancouver on April 10-11, 2010.
Vancouver – Ninja Robot Dinosaur has announced its first game: The Ongoing Adventures of Ray Ardent: Science Ninja, an episodic 2D action-platformer where players run, jump, slide and dive their way through dangers that only a man who is a scientist and a ninja can survive.
Doctor Ray Ardent is a man of adventure, a man of the world, but most importantly, he is a man of Science. When the world is threatened by weird and mysterious threats too dangerous for traditional forces, Ray Ardent is the only man who can save the day.
Dr. Ardent charges into battle wearing his Science Gi, the most technologically advanced piece of clothing on the planet, and fights with the support of his elite squad of Science Scouts.
Edmonton – Bioware will be hosting a Dragon Age Awakening live demo and chat session this Friday (March 5) on Xfire at 5:oo P.M. PST. Viewers will be able to follow Lead Designer Ferret Baudoin as he plays through parts of Awakening. According to Bioware Community Co-ordinator Chris Priestly, ” this session will offer unique insight into the level design and show off some of the new features found in the expansion. Following the live gameplay demo, there will be an interactive chat session where your questions about Awakening will be answered. “
There are also going to be some prizes handed out – 10 PC copies of Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening and 10 copies of the Dragon Age novel The Stolen Throne signed by author David Gaider. (I already have one of those – the copy I bought at our local Chapters outlet was signed – I didn’t even notice until I got home. Score!)
Toronto – Morningstar Entertainment is pleased to announce the signing of a multi-year distribution deal to represent Turbo Dogs in the U.S. DVD market. Produced in association with Scholastic Media by CCI Entertainment, Turbo Dogs is a children’s favorite on the 24-hour qubo network as well as the Saturday morning qubo block that airs on the NBC television network. The series also airs on the Ion TV and Telemundo networks. Based on the book Racer Dogs by award-winning illustrator Bob Kolar, Turbo Dogs brings the unique world of Racertown to life with rich animation and high octane storylines. Geared to kids 4-7 years of age, the show combines laughs, learning and the thrill of the open road.
“We are extremely excited to be ‘teaming up’ with Scholastic Media to maximize this very popular children’s brand in both the U.S. Scholastic’s reputation for quality kids’ content is unparalleled. The Dogs – Dash, Mags, GT, Strut, Stinkbert and Clutch are engine-revving additions to the Morningstar Home Entertainment Catalogue that we are thrilled to be providing to our customers.” said Blair Moody, Vice President of Sales and Development at Morningstar.
“We are thrilled that Turbo Dogs will be available on DVD. Turbo Dogs is a delightful story featuring the hilarious antics of a wacky dog-filled community wild about racing that also delivers valuable life lessons about friendship and fair play” said Leslye Schaefer, SVP Marketing and Consumer Products, Scholastic Media, which is a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.
During 2010 it is expected that 4-5 bilingual English and Spanish DVDs will be released, each DVD containing eight episodes with the first installment, “Racing With The Team”, due out June 01, 2010.
Toronto – VQ Mileage Tracker™, a new business app for BlackBerry® smartphones that automatically tracks business mileage has been officially launched. This new app will enable employees to save time while also increasing accuracy and accountability for employers and for people who are self-employed.
“VQ Mileage Tracker saves business people time and spares them the frustration and inefficiency of manually tracking their mileage”, says Harris Korn, president of Xpressions Inc., creators of VQ Mileage Tracker and VQ CarFinder. “Most existing mileage tracking apps are what we call ‘digital pencils’, in that they require you to manually key in everything”, adds Korn. “VQ Mileage Tracker does all of this for the user. It automatically notes the date and time, how far you drove, and the address you drove to every time you drive your car, then emails you all this information when you’re ready to submit an expense report”.
VQ Mileage Tracker uses the BlackBerry smartphone’s GPS along with in-vehicle Bluetooth® to automatically determine when the user starts and ends a drive. Owners of vehicles without built-in Bluetooth can use VQ Mileage Tracker in semi-automatic mode – they just click on the app when they start driving, then click the app again when they finish their drive. VQ Mileage Tracker does the rest.
When users want to prepare an expense report or travel log, they just start VQ Mileage Tracker and click “Generate Report”. A report is automatically emailed to them that lists the date, time, distance and end address for every time they drove.
“The business community’s response to VQ Mileage Tracker has been exceptional. Salespeople and Field Service staff see this as a great time saver. Management in Sales, Field Services and Finance see VQ Mileage Tracker as an efficient and cost effective tool to increase staff productivity and reporting accuracy. We’re also exploring Enterprise-level licensing opportunities for companies to distribute VQ Mileage Tracker to their staff as a productivity tool.”
A free trial of the full version of VQ Mileage Tracker is being offered as part of the launch of this time-saving app, along with introductory pricing of just $6.99 (regularly $14.99).
VQ Mileage Tracker is currently available on the VQ Mileage Tracker site as well as on BlackBerry App World™, CrackBerry®, GetJar®, Mobireach® and other leading online app stores. VQ Mileage Tracker works on all current model BlackBerry smartphones that have built-in GPS and run on 4.5 OS or higher.
Toronto – Canadians will soon be able to leave their wallets at home thanks to a wireless payment sticker trial launched by EnStream LP, Canada’s leading mobile commerce company. The Zoompass Tag™ is a wireless payment device designed in the form of a sticker that can be attached to a mobile phone. The Zoompass Tag ushers in the future of mobile payments by allowing consumers to tap their phones at checkout to make purchases at retail stores.
In 2009, EnStream launched the revolutionary Zoompass™ mobile application and began offering Canadians the first version of a mobile wallet. Available online and accessible on most mobile phones in Canada, Zoompass already allows users to send money quickly and securely to friends and family.
“The new Zoompass Tag goes even further by allowing Canadians to make their regular store purchases quickly and securely, using only their mobile phone.” said Robin Dua, President of EnStream LP. “All Zoompass users will soon be able to pay for their morning coffee, gas at the pump, and lunch at a fast-food restaurant with a quick tap of their mobile phone.”
By tapping a mobile phone with the Zoompass Tag on a contactless reader at the point-of-sale, payment is automatically drawn from the user’s Zoompass stored value account. Contactless payments remove the need for coins and cash, plus time spent waiting in lines and digging for change. Canadians can look forward to having exact change ready via their mobile phones whenever they need it.
Customer’s financial information is stored on secure servers, not on the mobile phone, so even if the phone is lost or stolen, the customer’s Zoompass account remains secure. Together, the Zoompass Tag and Zoompass application allow consumers to monitor their purchase transactions in real-time.
“Every transaction is logged in the Zoompass application and can be instantly seen on the mobile phone. This is very handy to track purchases and budgets in real-time,” added Dua.
The sleek and appealing sticker measures 43 mm by 33 mm and can be easily affixed to any mobile phone.
“This is the most advanced wireless payment sticker available in the Canadian market today. Our Convego(R) Air Mobile sticker is the only sticker of its kind with a flexible body and a unique shuttle distribution method. It is the only sticker being trialed by the leading Canadian wireless carriers for use on their mobile phones”, said Kim Madore, VP Emerging Technology and Market Development for Giesecke & Devrient, producer of the Zoompass Tag.
The Zoompass Tag can be used at most contactless payment ready locations. Leading retail merchants such as Tim Hortons, McDonalds, Petro Canada and Loblaws will accept payment through the Zoompass Tag as these merchants are rapidly adopting contactless payment terminals in an effort to offer convenience to consumers and save costs.
The trial is offered to select Zoompass clients and is expected to last up to 3 months. The pilot will allow EnStream to evaluate many aspects of the mobile payment experience and shape the way Canadians pay for goods and services in the future.
Toronto – Tax credits are increasingly important during this economic environment. MEUK Corporation, leaders in SR&ED (Scientific Research & Experimental Development) Tax Credit programs are presenting two must-attend featured sessions at IT360 Conference & Expo, April 7, 2010 in Toronto.
The morning session, “3 Steps to Simplifying Your Software Development Projects for Tax Credits,” is presented by David Sabina. To survive in any industry today, one’s business must be innovative and resourceful. Even the slightest improvements to products or processes could be vital to business survival. This course will focus on the SR&ED Tax Credit Program and Software Development eligibility.
“No matter how small one’s business is if there are eligible projects, these businesses may qualify. Attendees will become educated on the subject and learn about a new methodology to simplify the SR&ED process benefiting business models in a great way,” said David Sabina, Director, MEUK Corporation.
The afternoon session, “Advanced Issues – SR&ED Income Tax Cases – Analyzing what is Black vs. White vs. Grey,” is also presented by David Sabina and will illustrate how various technological and financial issues require the use of professional judgment. It will include an overview of recent SR&ED tax cases and related implications for claimants.
“SR&ED has taken a front seat in assisting organizations to significantly upgrade and develop their software development cycles to improve their company’s productivity and ROI. These programs will demystify criteria and access to these funds,” said Bruce Cole, Show Director, IT360 Conference & Expo.
Vancouver – Suite101.com Media Inc., a global content site that provides consumers with trusted and reliable information, announced it will be expanding its use of search engine optimization (SEO) to help its writers and editors build quality content online that is more apt to be found by search results. Suite101 has hired writer and search strategist Aaron Bradley as SEO Director to implement the new tactics and strategies.
The newly created senior position will help the company’s writers and editors benefit from opportunities related to the growing role of search in the creation of articles for Suite101. As Director of SEO, Bradley will be responsible for educating editors about keywords and search terms, and help them to strategically tag stories submitted by Suite101.com’s growing writer base. Suite101 is known as a great source of SEO learning for writers. Bradley intends to expand on this by building better online tools for writers and creating advanced learning opportunities to help them succeed at SEO.
“Making sure well-written articles get found online involves continuous hard work and search engine knowledge,” said Peter Berger, CEO and President of Suite101.com Media Inc. “We know that in order to help our writers get their stories found, we need to increase our expertise in the area of search. Aaron is a respected expert in this area and he’s also a teacher. It’s a huge plus for writers to have an in-house expert resource who can share what they know with our writers and editors, while also making sure our sites are architecturally sound.”
“I look forward to working with the thousands of quality writers that make the Suite101 sites such an important resource for people, and so rightfully attractive to search engines,” said Bradley. “I’m committed to ensuring these great articles are made easy to find by search engines. In concert with this effort, I’m also committed to making sure Suite101 writers receive the maximum exposure and remuneration for their work.”
Bradley began his web-related career in 1995 as a librarian at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College Library in Toronto, Ontario. Over the next decade Bradley worked as web designer, creating sites such as Infomine.com, an industry-leading mining information portal. In addition, Bradley held roles as Search Engine Marketing Manager at online entertainment site Bodoglife.com, and SEO Manager for online jewelry retail sites Diamond.com and Ice.com (Internet Top 500 Retailer). Bradley also is a regular contributor to the “In-House” SEO column for Search Engine Land. He also pens his own blog at SEO Skeptic, founded Montreal SEO Meetup group.