SIGGRAPH 2010  has put out a call for cutting-edge examples  of video games and real-time simulations and graphics in several categories: commercial video games, experimental or prototypes games, software applications, interactive data visualizations, and information aesthetics, among others. All content that is interactively controlled and rendered in real-time, and can be repeated in front of a live audience, will be considered.
“Over the past several years, the role and impact of interactive and real-time graphics have grown substantially to affect SIGGRAPH attendees from film production to academia,” says Evan Hirsch, SIGGRAPH 2010 Real-Time Rendering Chair and Creative Director for THQ. “Building on the debut of Real-Time Rendering at the 2009 Computer Animation Festival , SIGGRAPH 2010 is continuing this new and exciting addition to the conference. This focus allows creators of games and real time graphics to highlight their cutting edge work on the same level as the linear work that has made the Computer Animation Theater legendary.”
Accepted work will be demonstrated live, in real time on a PC, Macintosh, or game console. While expectations are that many entries will be games released in 2010, submissions of non-commercial projects are also encouraged including:
* Game explorations
* Student game projects
* Mathematical or other industrial simulations
* Research projects
* Real-time art explorations
* New uses of pioneering technology
* Scientific visualizations: medical science, astrophysics, astronomy, physical science
* Interactive data visualization and/or interactive information aesthetics
Start-up companies at Canada 3.0 2010  will Face Off  with a panel of business experts and angel financiers to address their top business challenges and improve their go-to-market approach. That’s just one of the innovations at this year’s Canada 3.0 forum, Canada’s premier digital media forum slated for May 10-11 in Stratford.
“We have a strong focus on small business innovation at this year’s event, given that the entrepreneurial spirit is the lifeblood of new business development in Canada,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network , which is organizing Canada 3.0 2010 with the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus .
The Face Off sessions, inspired by CBC’s popular “Dragon’s Den”, will enable small business owners to present to a panel comprised of business leaders including senior executives running their own businesses; mentors from Venture Services from across the country; and angel financiers. The early-stage companies will outline their top three challenges for the expert panel and will leave with insight to apply to their businesses following the Canada 3.0 forum. Attendees will be able to watch the sessions and learn from the experiences of the start-up participants.
Several of the forum’s keynote speakers are from start-up companies including: Sarah Prevette, Founder and CEO of entrepreneurship company Sprouter.com; and Joseph Iuso, CEO, & Brian Crozier, Global Business Development, at UseMyBank, a company that rejected $1 million in Dragon’s Den funding and has gone on to be a successful venture.
Another innovation for Canada 3.0 2010 is the Soap Box  whereby companies can book short presentation slots to ‘pitch’ the value of their company to forum attendees.
“This exercise encourages each presenter to distill the value of their company into an ‘elevator pitch’ that they can use when presenting to other audiences. And it means a lot of smaller companies will be better-known by the end of Canada 3.0,” explained Tuer.
A Digital Showcase occupying a full hockey arena-sized area at the Rotary Centre in Stratford, will be dedicated to displays by more than 50 digital media-related companies. Forum attendees, including students and the general public, will have the opportunity to tour the showcase and see digital technology innovation at work.
“This is a great opportunity for companies like ours to showcase their offerings and increase awareness with an audience that includes leaders from business, government and academia,” said Stephen Bacso, CEO of Waterloo collaborative search start-up company DossierView.
Space in the Digital Showcase sold out well in advance of the forum, demonstrating the keen interest this year in Canada 3.0, Tuer said. Last year’s forum attracted close to 1,500 people and the 2010 version is expected to be a strong magnet for all those interested in digital media.
Toronto’s Tungle Corp.  and San Francisco based Plancast  have announced a new partnership to bring together calendar broadcasting with meeting planning. Through this partnership, Plancast has integrated Tungle.me into its users’ profiles, allowing users of both services to share their plans and easily schedule meetings.
“This partnership is an important step in the evolution of the social calendar and business networking ecosystem,” stated Marc Gingras, CEO and founder of Tungle. “With the integration of Tungle.me into Plancast, we are facilitating the last mile by marrying intent based platforms, with the ease of scheduling meetings between like minded individuals. The Community has been asking for this integration for some time, so this relationship is in direct response to feedback from users of both applications.”
Plancast users with a Tungle.me account can now add the Tungle.me widget to their Plancast Profile page, allowing visitors to see availability, suggest times to meet, and send a meeting request from their profile page. Tungle.me makes it easy for people to schedule meetings across organizations, calendar systems and time zones by eliminating costly double bookings and the endless back and forth of finding a time to meet.
“The joining of Tungle and Plancast shows a new example of the increasing connectivity of social applications.” says Robert Scoble, Managing Director at Rackspace Hosting. “As a result of the integration of Plancast and Tungle.me I am able to broadcast my intent to attend specific events and be in specific places and then seamlessly schedule meetings with like-minded people.”
“We started Plancast as a way for people to share with their social networks what events they were attending and where they were planning to be,” said Mark Hendrickson, CEO of Plancast. “This partnership with Tungle takes this vision one step further, allowing people to truly connect and schedule meetings based on their shared plans. Users of both Tungle.me and Plancast can expect to see deeper integration of these two applications over the coming months.”
I’ve been taking a close look at Tungle, because I think their product may be just what I need to maintain better organization in the Village Gamer household, but as I have things on three different calendars (wall calendar, Outlook, iTouch), assorted pieces of paper and various sticky notes, I would pretty well have to sync everything first. This will probably take place as soon as I finish reading a professional organization book that I’ve been reading off and on for a few months. Which, while it’s inspirational in some ways, it’s awfully disheartening in others.
I heard someone say on the radio the other day that humans are the least effective of earthbound creatures at maintaining discipline. I am so far behind on that I don’t think I even rate on the scale of maintaining an organized system of contacts and schedules, no matter how hard I try. I know that I will have start from Step 1 on the path to greater organization, scheduling and other sundry things, but it takes time, which is something I don’t have an abundance of these days. Perhaps I should read the chapter on time management, as well. Although it’s not really my own lack of time management, it’s the inability to work in peace at my day job and make any kind of progress. Some things I can control, others I cannot.
I am hoping that once we move into our new office, and I actually have walls around my desk, people will stop thinking that just because I am at a desk in the main office, they can talk to me. Constantly. I believe I will start putting earbuds in my ears – not connected to anything visible, but at least then maybe people will think I can’t hear them. Of course, this could backfire, and they will just come and stand at said desk until I acknowledge them. I would get so much more done in a day if I didn’t have to constantly “change gears” between working at home and working at the office. These are things I have learned from the organizational book previously mentioned, so I know that I am retaining a few things, it’s just that whole time factor – but – more on that another day when I write a review for said book.
Toronto’s ZipGive  has launched its Facebook Giving Application that permits Facebook users to raise money for their Charities by adding the application to their profile, for viral fundraising engagements.
Charities can raise money by adding the ZipGive Giving Application to the profiles of Facebook users. The ZipGive Giving Application provides for viral engagement in fundraising by showing in real-time how much money a user has helped to raise!
To add the ZipGive Giving Application to your Facebook profile, first add it as an Application, then browse for your charity and select the one you’d like to support, and finally add it to your profile and you’re done. ZipGive developed this application to help charities and its supporters raise money with their mobile phones within one of the largest social networks in the world. The ZipGive Giving application is a fast and easy way to show your support and get involved in a worthy cause.
Upon initiating the donation by the ZipGive Giving Application, users receive a confirmation message on their mobile phone to verify their donation. A final message is sent confirming the user’s donation. A non-taxable charge is then added on to the cell phone customer’s monthly bill.
The “Mobile Giving Channel” gives wireless users a simple and immediate way to receive and respond to appeals from worthy causes. Advantages to using mobile giving is that 100% of the contribution goes to the user’s charity and fund raising is extended to previously untapped occasions and demographics. Currently, charities can choose between a $5 or $10 donation. The Mobile Giving Foundation then remits the funds to the selected charitable organization within 60 to 90 days.