The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has released the official guidelines for its Diverse Languages Program. The Diverse Languages Program, which forms part of the CMF’s Convergent Stream, ensures that Canadians have access to content that reflects the variety of languages they speak. The program will provide funding support for the creation of Canadian content for television and digital media platforms in languages other than English, French, and Canadian Aboriginal languages, which are served by the CMF’s other funding programs.
Congratulations are due to Tickle Tap Apps developer zinc Roe, the proud recipient of three Parents’ Choice Awards in the highly competitive Mobile Apps category. Sound Shaker and Sort Slider both earned Gold Awards for highest quality apps while Count Caddy was recognized with Silver Honors for excellence. These popular apps are educational iPhone games preschoolers love and parents can feel good about.
To celebrate the awards, zinc Roe will be giving away Bug Builder, the newest app in the Tickle Tap series, for free! Visit the iTunes App Store on Saturday, July 3 or Sunday, July 4 and type “Bug Builder” into the search to download your free app.
The venerable Parents’ Choice Foundation has been reviewing and recommending quality children’s media for more than three decades. This year it was inundated with entries for its new Mobile Apps category. Apps were judged based on overall ratings for how each app amused and offered new ways to learn. The judges describe Tickle Tap Apps as “a charming introduction to learning anytime and anywhere.”
“zinc Roe design offers a suite of bright and colorful apps for the youngest users,” says the Parents’ Choice Awards review of the Tickle Tap apps. “With its welcoming continuity of voice and characters, this age-appropriate playful prologue is deliciously intriguing to those eager to learn.”
Tickle Tap Apps are attractive, simple games that help kids learn about numbers, shapes and patterns. The apps are developed by child gaming experts, vetted by educational researchers and tested by kids. These portable games help transform trips, line-ups and car rides into fun, educational experiences for young children.
U.S. publisher 505 Games and Canadian developer Artificial Mind and Movement (A2M) have released the bears – Naughty Bear is now available for the Xbox 360™ and PlayStation®3 platforms. The game allows players to take on the role of the infamous Naughty Bear, who is driven to seek retribution after his fellow bears snub him one time too many times. After the other bears exclude him from Daddles’ big birthday party, Naughty Bear finally snaps and slashes a grisly path of revenge and destruction across the Island of Perfection.
Waging psychological warfare against all things cute and fluffy, as Naughty Bear, players engage in sadistic scuffles on all that crosses their path. Using a hilarious array of weapons, interactive objects and endless scare tactics, gamers create chaos on the Island of Perfection to earn Naughty Points as they inflict physical and psychological harm on Naughty Bear’s numerous enemies. This all-new scare-based points system allows players to win the most rewards for being truly deviant and maniacal. As the ill-fated bears become more difficult to harass and terrorize as the game progresses, the variety of scare-based attacks allow for a completely new experience each time players pick up a controller.
Rated by the ESRB as “T” for Teens with a “Violence” content descriptor, Naughty Bear features more than 28 single player levels to unlock as well as competitive online multiplayer modes filled with unique characteristics and weaponry encountered at every stage. Players battle an endless barrage of bears recruited to wage war against Naughty, including Soldier Bears, Ninja Bears, Robo Bears and even an Alien Bear invasion. As they scour the Island of Perfection to unleash their naughtiness, players can collect all the hidden party items locked away by the other bears to win wearable items and unlock special Achievements and Trophies.
Transgaming has just announced that Her Interactive’s title Nancy Drew: Trail of the Twister is now available on GameTree Online for Mac gamers. Download the game for only $19.99 and then go undercover as a storm chaser, immersing yourself in meteorology by studying clouds, reading Doppler data, and surviving tornadoes – all while trying to find a saboteur.
For the second time in as many weeks, Canadian rockers Nickelback have ventured into the musical game genre, this time with California-based developer Tapulous. The studio is extending its wildly popular Tap Tap Revenge franchise with the launch of Nickelback Revenge, which is available now for $4.99 in the iTunes App Store. The new game features eleven of Nickelback’s most popular all-time songs, including “Rockstar,” “This Afternoon,” and “If Today Was Your Last Day.”
“The combination of our music and Tapulous’ gameplay is very cool. We’re excited to give our fans a fun, interactive way to experience our music,” said Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.
A premium version of Tapulous’ addictive music rhythm game, Nickelback Revenge sets gameplay to the band’s biggest hits and integrates engaging Nickelback graphics and content. The game also includes a popular Bluetooth-based “battle mode” which allows players to wirelessly challenge friends to point-by-point battles for bragging rights.
“We’re thrilled to bring Nickelback to Tap Tap Revenge. Our players are always hungry for more great music, and Nickelback definitely fits the bill,” explained Tim O’Brien, VP of business development at Tapulous. “Whether measured by album sales, song downloads or concert attendance, Nickelback is huge.”
To kick off the launch, Tapulous and Roadrunner Records, Nickelback’s worldwide music label, are running a special promotion: The first 2,500 consumers to download the game will receive 25 in-game credits — good towards the purchase of more music — and a chance to win a Gibson Flying V signed by the band. In addition, players will be challenged to “Outplay Nickelback,” or beat the band members’ highest in-game scores. Players who best Chad, lead guitarist Ryan Peake, bass guitarist Mike Kroeger and/or drummer Daniel Adair will be entered to win weekly prizes, including Dark Horse tour books and premium earphones.
Consumers across the globe are embracing the Internet as a primary source of information, but Canadians are unique in their use of digital and social media. The 2010 Digital Influence Index, released in Canada today by Fleishman-Hillard in conjunction with Harris Interactive, reveals that Canadians have high online engagement but a lower level of trust in the Internet.
The study also measures several key aspects of consumers’ use of the Internet, from media consumption patterns, to the degree of adoption of various digital behaviours, to involvement in social networking. Now in its second year, the Index has expanded to include 48 per cent of the global online population, spanning the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Japan and Canada.
“Canadian consumers are comfortable yet cautious when it comes to using the Internet,” said David Bradfield, senior partner and global chair of Fleishman-Hillard’s digital practice. “We lead the world in social networking and call the Internet our most influential source of information. There’s a gap though. While consumers migrate online, marketers aren’t making the move to digital fast enough. They need to realign their marketing and communication programs or risk irrelevance in the consumers’ mind.”
The Digital Influence Index reveals the following key insights that set Canadian consumers apart from the rest of the world:
1. Internet Most Influential Medium: The Internet is the most important and influential form of media consumed by Canadians. Compared to the 37 per cent of Canadian consumers who say that newspapers are important to their lives, 52 per cent say that the Internet is most important.
2. Canadians are Sociable: Sixty-nine per cent of Canadian consumers have a Facebook account, compared with the 47 per cent average across the seven countries. Though Canadians embrace social media, they are cautious about its use and how much they reveal about themselves.
3. Canadians Seek Accuracy: In Canada, consumers are more likely to identify and follow a couple of trustworthy sources for the most accurate information on the Internet.
4. Cautiously Trusting: Canadians are most likely to seek advice from others when making a decision and value conversations with friends, families and co-workers when it comes to decision-making.
5. Twitter Know-how: Consumers in Canada are the most knowledgeable of microblogs but have low levels of trust in companies that microblog.
6. Pay to Play Doesn’t Pay-off: Consumers call into question the truthfulness of an article written by a blogger if the blogger was given a free sample or was paid by a company.
7. Adopting Mobile Behaviours: Canada has a relatively low level of adopting many mobile digital behaviours compared with other mature markets (U.S., U.K, France, Germany and Japan).
8. Where to From Here: Although the Internet is already considered an influential medium, only 24 per cent of Canadians believe that it will have a greater influence on their decisions in the next two years.
Waterloo’s Primate Labs, developer of the cross-platform Geekbench benchmark, is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Geekbench 2 for iPhone and iPod touch on the iTunes App Store. Geekbench 2 for iPhone features a completely new interface designed for the iPhone and iPod touch, and runs the same benchmarks as Geekbench 2 for other platforms.
“What’s great about Geekbench 2 for iPhone is that it runs the same benchmarks as Geekbench 2 on other operating systems,” says John Poole, founder of Primate Labs. “Users can not only compare their results between other iPhones and iPods, but also between iPhones, iPods, Macs, and PCs.”
Accuracy: Geekbench 2 for iPhone runs a number of different benchmarks, all of which are engineered to simulate real-world usage scenarios. Geekbench quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Geekbench also displays results for each individual benchmark and an average overall score for all benchmarks, allowing users to make both broad and narrow comparisons between devices.
Ease of use: Geekbench 2 for iPhone features a simple user interface with no difficult or confusing benchmark options to set, which takes the guesswork out of producing repeatable and reliable benchmark results.
Community: Geekbench 2 for iPhone integrates with the Geekbench Result Browser. The Geekbench Result Browser allows users to upload, manage, and share their benchmark results online. Users can also compare their results to other results; with over 250,000 results from different sectors and industries (including finance, government, media, and tech) the Geekbench Result Browser provides a rich database for comparisons.
Geekbench 2 for iPhone requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 4 or later, and is available today on the iTunes App Store for $4.99.
The National Film Board (NFB) of Canada, which is undergoing the complete digitization of its 70-year film and tape-based collection, has implemented American-developed Atempo Digital Archive (ADA) as the cornerstone archival solution for its preservation efforts. The organization has integrated ADA within its digitization workflow to archive and manage over 13,000 works that make up 6,000 hours of content.
In developing the NFB’s Digitization Plan, the challenge was preserving this priceless audiovisual legacy for future generations while making these collections available to all on the platform of their choice, including theatrical screenings, online streaming and on mobile devices. The new digital archive ensures the reliable long-term retention of the NFB’s collection as well as the efficient management of the exponential growth in data volumes from all new productions. With its cataloguing, indexation and search functionalities, ADA’s broad capabilities make it optimized to meet the NFB’s most critical needs. Furthermore, by seamlessly integrating with the NFB’s existing in-house asset management system, ADA helps streamline content workflows.
A special XML-ingest capability in ADA enables the archival of all digital assets along with all their metadata. In the NFB’s digitization workflow, three separate digital versions are created and archived for each production: the uncompressed Digital Source Master, the Digital Master with treatment of image and sound elements, and an unassembled, compressed mezzanine file that is used to generate copies of the production for other distribution platforms such as streaming broadband or mobile devices. At the same time, each digital version also requires the recording and archival of the film’s metadata, which include the resolution at which it was digitized, the different aspect ratios, the source type, and other content factors. For every 100 titles, the digitization process generates over 10 million metadata entries associated with 30 TB of content and 2.4 million files.
Many of the NFB’s films are repurposed or edited into new works, and ADA’s automation enables the organization to efficiently meet their repurposing mandates by providing platform- and format-specific deliverables to their customers. ADA provides an easy-to-use graphical interface that simplifies metadata searches and allows drag-and-drop archive and retrieval, which enables NFB technicians and collection managers to efficiently search and retrieve works from the archive.
Vancouver’s Maximizer Software Inc. has announced the availability of the first-ever Maximizer CRM 11 Team Edition and enhanced CRM 11 Entrepreneur Edition, tailored for organizations with individual or up to five networked users that primarily need contact management functionality. The new Team Edition is designed for organizations with 5-50 networked users that demand more advanced sales opportunity management and collaboration. These latest offerings complete the rollout of Maximizer CRM 11 across four editions, with Group and Enterprise Editions previously launched on March 29.
“With today’s small business landscape tougher than ever, professionals are demanding real-time access to critical customer and prospect information—as well as the ability to strategically act on sales pipeline activity—in a moment’s notice,” said William Anderson, executive vice president of technology, Maximizer Software. “Our new ‘Team’ approach to sales was developed with this in mind, as Maximizer CRM 11 enables powerful collaboration and knowledge sharing among colleagues so they can collectively focus on efficiently closing the highest priority sales opportunities, whether in the office or on the road.”
Maximizer CRM 11 offers expanded sales force automation capabilities and tools to proactively monitor and keep sales opportunities moving forward. Team edition specifically offers advanced Sales Opportunity Management, which enables companies to create Sales Teams within the system—whether domestic or international, with time zone support built into related appointments and tasks. Sales managers are able to leverage critical insight into the status of sales deals in the pipeline with real-time access into performance data by representative or sales team, to better focus resources and facilitate stronger collaboration to close key deals. Additionally, sales team members can quickly merge customer information with professional HTML email templates for timely sales outreach and follow-up activities.
Maximizer CRM 11 features a new, intuitive user interface based on Microsoft Office’s familiar “ribbon” style navigation found at the top of Microsoft Office applications. Users can optimize their customer list management by associating specific column views to catalogue searches and “favourites” lists for quicker search results.
Delivered via BlackBerry® devices, Maximizer Mobile CRM gives small business professionals instant access to information in the field, including customers’ history, leads, sales opportunities, dashboards, customer service cases, documents, and schedules. Included in Maximizer CRM 11 Team Edition and available as an add-on product for Entrepreneur Edition, new Maximizer Mobile CRM features include optimized usability, such as a redesigned interface, tighter integration with native BlackBerry applications, and more end-to-end features that enable deeper interaction with real-time customer data. Wireless synchronization is no longer required. Specific new offerings include:
* Real-time access to content, documents and e-mail attachments stored in the central Maximizer CRM database
* GPS functionality with turn-by-turn maps and navigation, which enables mobilized workforces to optimize their time on the road and get new directions on-the-fly if schedules unexpectedly change
* Multimedia support for video, voice and images that can be easily saved to a current Maximizer CRM record
* Mobile CRM multi-user support, which allows users to assign tasks, escalate cases, and assign opportunities to other colleagues without returning to the desktop application
Featuring CRM functionality specifically tailored for smaller teams, Maximizer CRM 11 Team and Entrepreneur Editions are available from Maximizer or through its global network of business partners. Team Edition is priced at $549 MSRP per license, which includes desktop and mobile access, as well as one year of inclusive upgrade assurance and technical support. Entrepreneur Edition is available for $199 MSRP and includes desktop access with the option for mobile access as an add-on product with additional license fees. Please inquire for full pricing and promotional offers valid until August 31, 2010.