A quick reminder that Microsoft Tech Days will be touring across the country beginning next month. You may still have time to get in on the Early Bird pricing if you act fast. Early Bird prices close six weeks prior to tour arrival dates.
Vancouver: September 14-15
Edmonton: October 05-06
Toronto: October 27-28
Halifax: November 02-03
Ottawa: November 09-10
Montreal: November 23-24
Winnipeg: December 07-08
Calgary: December 14-15
If you are a Joss Whedon fan, then you will want to be spending some time at Whedon Fest, a 3 day unofficial convention to celebrate all that is Whedon. The convention will feature guests and events from Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Dr. Horrible and Dollhouse. Organizers and fans will be celebrating the Joss ‘verse from Friday October, 1st to Sunday October, 3rd 2010 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Centre in Toronto, Canada. The unofficial Whedon Fest convention will comprise of guest talks, autograph and photograph sessions, charity auction, a Saturday night masquerade and dance, contests, and more.
BattleGoat Studios and Paradox Interactive are pleased to announce that Supreme Ruler Cold War, the next title in the Supreme Ruler series, is scheduled for release in Q2 2011. Building on Supreme Ruler 2010 and 2020, BattleGoat Studios invites you to relive the tension and uncertainty of the Cold War. As the 1950’s approach, the Korean War looms, the Arms Race intensifies, the Berlin Crisis leads to the formation of NATO, and the world anticipates a new World War.
As leader of the United States or the Soviet Union, you must make the correct Economic, Diplomatic, Domestic and Military decisions to successfully navigate your country through this dangerous historical era and increase your nation’s Sphere of Influence on the world stage.
– Play as the United States or Soviet Union in Campaign Mode
– Control any Nation in Post-World War II Era in Sandbox Mode
– Use Diplomacy, Trade and Espionage to influence the policies of other nations
– Research new Technologies to give your nation an edge
– Grow and Modernize your Economy
– Control Military production and deployment, or let your Ministers take care of the details
– And when Diplomacy Fails… Sophisticated Real-Time Strategic and Tactical Control of your Military Forces!
– Enhanced Graphics and Sound including New 3D Terrain
– Experience the redesigned GUI with improved On-Map feedback and streamlined controls
– Up to 16 players in Multiplayer over local network or Internet
ApeZone has released a free version of SoliScare for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, letting you take a free peak at their whimsical card game, specifically designed for the iPhone’s touch screen. The free version lets you play though ten ghost levels, where you will use your astral weapons of everyday objects to beat down ghosts. Drawing a club, gives you a golf club, a spade gives you a shovel, and so on. As you make longer runs of cards, you’ll capture ghosts and place them in your jailhouse. Try to capture all 13 ghosts. Collect coins as you clear cards and buy game perks to help you out.
Paradox Interactive and Vancouver’s Kerberos Productions have released new screenshots and gameplay scenes from Sword of the Stars II, the sequel to the hit 4X franchise, Sword of the Stars. Scheduled for release in Q2 2011, Sword of the Stars II will feature the six races from SotS and its expansions, as well as revealing the dark, running secret of the original series, the Suul’ka – an ancient race that is responsible for tampering with other races in the Sword of the Stars universe.
“We’re really excited to have the Sword of the Stars II as a part of our lineup at Gamescom” Says Executive Producer Mattias Lilja at Paradox Interactive. “PC gamers have a lot of love for the genre and we’re no exception. The game looks and plays great already and we’re really looking forwarding to showing off the game.”
nGen, Niagara’s Interactive Media Generator is pleased to announce the opening of its $3 million, state of the art facility designed for digital interactive media advancement. Funded by the Community Adjustment Fund, a government fund established as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to address the short-term economic needs of Canadian communities impacted by the global recession. The new facility houses cutting edge digital interactive media technologies and will undoubtedly increase Niagara’s already growing reputation as a hub for digital interactive media. The expanded facility has been branded the Generator at one. Located at one St. Paul Street in downtown St. Catharines the facility has the capacity to enable entire media projects to be created at one location.
“The technology at the Generator at one is second to none” explains Jeff Chesebrough, Executive Director of nGen. “Coupled with the fact that we are 25 minutes from the U.S Border and an hour from the heart of downtown Toronto, we are extremely excited about the future of digital interactive media in Niagara.” The facility is highlighted by its Production Studio, Audio Suite, Research and Development Lab, Datacentre, VFX Suite and Presentation Theatre. the Generator at one is powered by nGen with the technology being managed by its three Technology Partners: Fourgrounds Media, Furi Enterprises, and morro images. The technology is available for commercial or independent rental, however the three Technology Partners also offer independent creative services incorporating the cutting edge facility. These Partners are locally owned and operated businesses specializing in the innovation, creation and support of digital interactive media.
the Generator at one is equipped with one of the most advanced motion capture systems in the world, the Vicon MX system with T160 cameras. The facility’s system allows for the capture of audio and motion simultaneously making it one of the few Vicon Studios in North America with this ability. Motion capturing technology is probably best known for its widespread application in Video Game development as a way of capturing realistic character movements. There are only a small handful of motion capture systems in Ontario and the T160 camera system is at the top of its class.
Other technologies available at the Generator at one are the facility’s two Red One Cameras, capable of filming 4X HD quality video. It is widely speculated that these cameras, which produce digital video, will eventually replace film cameras in the majority of Hollywood productions. The technology is already being adopted by some of Hollywood’s most noteworthy directors such as, Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings and District 9. the Generator at one is also equipped with high-end software for editing video, audio and adding visual effects, which is highlighted by Autodesk Flame and Smoke, Pro Tools HD3, and Final Cut Pro. Many of the top film and television production studios in the world use the same software for their projects. The Research and Development Lab houses a 3D printer and 3D scanner for rapid prototyping and reverse engineering, and the powerful Datacentre provides the IT infrastructure necessary to support high-end media creation.
“The building was designed for seamless workflow for digital interactive media projects. Our leading edge technology enables projects to be completed all within one building,” states Chesebrough. “Niagara is an extremely attractive location for businesses to complete their projects. With a lower cost of business, a strong contingent of local talent, a less stressful ‘city’ environment, and an exceptional tourism industry, we are extremely confident that companies will think of Niagara when they are planning their next project.”
David Oakes, Director of Economic Development for the City of St. Catharines and a member of the Ontario Technology Corridor, is excited about the possibilities nGen has created for the Region. “Niagara is a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship, with nGen being one of our greatest examples of bringing together the private and public sector in partnership. nGen encompasses the intellectual and physical capital needed to develop a global competitiveness in digital and interactive media.”
Mobile Innovation Week in Toronto will showcase global mobile thought leaders, developers, innovators, institutions and industry professionals coming together for an exciting and engaging series of events all focused on exploring new mobile Internet frontiers, applications and business ideas.
Running from September 13th – 18th, Mobile Innovation Week features a full line up of workshops, conferences, symposiums, bootcamps and featured networking receptions – all focused on delivering and driving new business opportunities for today and into the future. The week’s events will bring together the leaders of the mobile industry all in one city — all in one place — to help grow your business and build your network of expertise. Register today for any, or all, of the Mobile Innovation Week events to stake your claim on serving over 5 billion mobile consumers world wide.
As Canada’s back-to-school shopping season reaches full gear, many retailers find getting in touch with consumers, especially parents with limited shopping time, a rapidly changing mission. Now, retailers must rethink how they communicate, connect and sell to their customers.
“The Canadian economy is recovering and most retailers are in relatively good financial shape. However, retailers still face skittish consumers who are expecting retailers to deliver value — every day,” says Daniel Baer, Ernst & Young’s Canadian retail and wholesale industry leader. “Recent economic news, including consumer confidence and unemployment rates, will only serve to sharpen consumers’ resistance to spend.”
Already, consumers are delaying buying decisions, hoping for prices to fall. Based on current trends, 2010 back-to-school sales are expected to increase approximately 4% to 5% — keeping in mind, 2009 sales results were comparatively weak compared to prior years.
The economy is not the only factor affecting retailers’ growth and consumer spending. Consumers no longer live to shop, but rather they shop to live. They’re looking for more than the convenience factor; they expect their input and opinions to be heard.
Retailers can remain ahead of the competition by taking advantage of the web, the fastest-growing retail channel, and the emerging mobile application platform. In order for retailers to continue building customer relationships and keep up to date with the ever-changing shopping landscape, they should:
* Increase investments in the mobile platform: Mobile commerce, or m-commerce, is the newest channel to connect with shoppers. New applications offer mobile updates and promotions, allow product research, improve consumer relations and gain brand loyalty in the long run.
* Re-think the website: Websites are becoming the number-one shopping arena, and are often even more profitable than physical stores. Purchasing needs to be seamless and transparent to the consumer, regardless of the channel — consumers are buying from a brand, not a channel.
* Embrace social media: Social media allows for real-time customer feedback. Features like Facebook’s “like” button or Twitter’s “retweet” spread opinions instantaneously. Social media not only increases sales, but drives traffic to company websites raising brand recognition, which is good for the bottom line.
* Build customer intelligence: Understanding customer buying trends is essential when building short- and long-term plans for the sales and product mix. Retailers who offer branded credit cards and loyalty programs often gather more important customer information and brand build. Consumers respond positively to and are looking for targeted email based on their individual shopping patterns.
“Consumers go online to find the best deals and selection, coupons and product information. This is especially true during the back-to-school season,” says Baer. “Television has taken a back seat to the internet and mobile applications. Retailers who embrace these new platforms today will be tomorrow’s winners.”
To continue success in the midst of change, retailers must go beyond traditional shopping methods and adapt to emerging trends and technology dominating the buying landscape.
DigitalJournal.com is proud to announce it is hosting The Future of Media, an event which features a live panel discussion that will explore how media organizations are adapting to the Web, how social media has influenced journalism, and what the future holds for media professionals. The event will conclude with an interactive Q&A with audience members and users on Twitter and Facebook.
The Future of Media will take place Wednesday, September 8 at the Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West) at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free. Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis, so guests are advised to arrive early.
The Future of Media panel includes a diverse lineup of industry leaders: Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook Canada; Anjali Kapoor, Managing Editor of the Globe and Mail Digital; David Skok, Senior Producer of Online Content for Global News; Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile; and Mark Evans, a digital marketing and social media strategist and co-founder of the MESH conference. The Future of Media will be moderated by DigitalJournal.com.
Panelists will address how social and digital media are changing traditional journalism; why social services such as Facebook are increasingly being regarded as a discovery point for news; how real-time information is changing mainstream media and the role of mobile devices; and how changing media consumption habits offer a glimpse into the future of media.
The Future of Media event is sponsored by Queensway Audi, Suite 66, Dell Canada, Rogers Wireless, Flip Video, Palm and CNW Group. At The Future of Media event, sponsors are providing many high-end gadgets and tech toys as raffle prizes to attendees. The prizes include: a 32GB Apple iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G (3G data plan sold separately) courtesy of Suite 66; a Dell Studio 15 notebook with artist lid courtesy of Dell Canada; 5 Flip Ultra HD camcorders courtesy of Flip Video; a Samsung Galaxy S Captivate smartphone courtesy of Rogers Wireless; and a Palm Pre smartphone with Touchstone Charging Dock courtesy of Palm.
It seems there is finally some light at the end of a very long tunnel for Producer/Director of Bong Of The Dead. Thomas Newman has been in post production for one and half years working on his epic 5 thousand dollar movie which he is doing entirely in his basement.
The film was shot on a farm owned by a friend, and has been getting sweetened entirely in post by Thomas Newman himself. Over 260 shots have been composited with a rate of 30 frames per second and some shots being about 10 seconds long you can imagine the painstaking process of animating frame by frame.
The film is now set to be completed by October 1st in order to be available for major film festivals around the globe. It has been confirmed that scheduled ADR (Automated dialogue replacement) sessions with his actors will begin early in September. Once the audio is in place, it will be then onto color correction and final touches to prep for final output.
How could he possibly be this much of a gluten for punishment you ask? We asked the same thing and his answer was quite honest:
“I figure everything that I’m doing toward my film right now needs to be documented so that I can put together a documentary of the wild journey because it has been insane! Besides I want to make sure they have plenty of footage of me trying to build my career one frame at a time for Biography!”
Be sure to check out a top secret sequence screening in Vancouver at the Rio Cinema on August 20th. The very next day the Bong cast and crew will be marching at the front of the official Anjali Vancouver Zombie walk which brings out all the gashes and ghouls Vancouver has to offer. The entire event will be documented by yes you guessed it Thomas himself and a micro crew of a stills photographer and second camera operator.
In the first half of 2010, Wattpad established cross-promotional partnerships with major self-publishing houses, including Smashwords, Lulu and Bubok. To assist writers in connecting with readers on the site, Wattpad is launching the Self-Published Writers Program, a new marketing initiative that creates additional value for the time authors spend promoting their work online. Authors who have accounts with one of Wattpad’s self-publishing partners will be able to gain additional exposure through Wattpad channels based on their level of interaction.
Wattpad provides a platform for self-published authors to expand their online presence to a dedicated reading audience and is playing an increasing role in a writer’s marketing efforts. The Wattpad community spends over a quarter of a billion minutes on the site every month, sharing all genres of fiction, recommending titles and interacting with writers and readers around the world.
J. Alexander Greenwood, author of “Obsidian,” explains his reasoning for joining Wattpad: “Wattpad is the latest social media community I’ve joined. I learned about it from Smashwords. I posted an award-winning short story of mine and instantly received useful feedback! I also garnered interest in my ebook. I am really pleased with the response from the Wattpad community.”
Writers can link their Wattpad account directly to Smashwords, Lulu and Bubok, creating a straightforward way for new fans to purchase authors’ work.
“We are always so impressed with the willingness of new Wattpad authors to not only share free content, but reach out to readers in order to grow their fan base,” explains Allen Lau, co-founder and CEO of Wattpad. “As authors continue to take advantage of self publishing, they require more targeted social networking services to connect with readers. “We are excited about the many amazing authors who have decided to join Wattpad since partnering with these self-publishing companies and the Self-Published Writers Program managed by Wattpad is a natural fit.”
In addition to promoting their work online, authors benefit from Wattpad mobile apps for Android, iPad and over 1,000 other devices, which allows readers to easily connect with writer profiles and their work.
Youth in Motion, an organization benefiting disadvantaged youth in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal’s Southwest borough, was the happy recipient of seven computer stations donated by Vigilant Futures. The computers will serve to provide area youth with an additional resource for homework assignments, as well as help them improve their computer skills.
“We welcome this donation with great enthusiasm and appreciation as the kids who come here often use computers only at school since few have one at home. Unfortunately, Little Burgundy continues to be an area that is plagued by meager educational and purposeful services,” said Rosemary Segee, Project Coordinator at Youth in Motion.
Their dedication to serving the youth of the Little Burgundy community with a strong emphasis on education, recreation and culture programs complements Vigilant Futures’ own philosophy as the company supports various Montreal-area initiatives that promote youth education.
“Youth in Motion provides youth with the opportunity to see beyond poverty and violence through their community programs and computers are the perfect tool to get kids interested in education. It‘s our way to show we believe in the importance of their community work,” said Josh Felker, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Vigilant Futures.
Youth in Motion sees on average 20-30 kids come through its doors each day after school and the numbers grow during the summer break with increased programs and daytime activities that promote community bonding with strong levels of parental involvement.
Netfirms Inc. announced today its been named a main sponsor of WordCamp Montreal being held on August 28 and 29th at the UQAM Coeur-des-Sciences Complex. WordCamp Montréal strives to provide educational, interesting and relevant talks about all aspects of using, developing and deploying WordPress for online publishing needs.
“WordPress is the top open source application deployed on our web hosting platform. We are very excited to partner with Wordcamp Montréal and to help support the WordPress community in Montréal and from around the world,” says Thomas Savundra, President and CEO of Netfirms Inc. “Most importantly, we are dedicated to supporting WordCamp Montreal’s commitment to providing casual WordPress users and web professionals a venue to participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.”
This event coincides with Netfirms’ completion of recent improvements to its cloud computing grid hosting infrastructure to seamlessly support WordPress development and high traffic deployment. Netfirms WordPress experts will be on hand to interact with attendees and to provide a special Netfirms giveaway and prizes including two Apple iPads. To help celebrate this get-together Netfirms will be giving each attendee of WordCamp Montreal an Advantage Web Hosting plan and two free domain names for only $1.
Dedicated to producing smart series that entertain, empower and resonate with their viewers, Astral’s Family Channel announces that it will greenlight three new live-action comedy series all set to premiere in spring 2011.
“Whether it be the premise, the characters, the writing team or the possibility to explore a multiplatform rollout strategy, each of these series presents many exciting opportunities to deliver on the ‘never a dull moment’ Family Channel experience,” said Michael Goldsmith, Director, Original Programming. “We’re looking forward to working with the production teams on each show and seeing how our audience reacts to each series.”
DECIDEDLY DEBRA (13 episodes x 30 minutes)
Produced by Cookie Jar Entertainment, Decidedly Debra follows Debra Delong, an effervescent teen with a unique style and outlook on the world who is determined to start her own business. Debra’s best friend Preston is sometimes reluctant to become embroiled in Debra’s ambitious schemes but always manages to stick by her side. Decidedly Debra is created by Andrew Nicolls and Darrel Vickers (Jimmy Neutron, Fairly OddParents, Back to the Barnyard) and marks Cookie Jar Entertainment’s first live-action series for Family Channel.
REALLY ME (13 episodes x 30 minutes)
Best friends Maddy and Julia win their own reality TV show and look forward to the fame, endorsement deals and perks they assume will go along with gig. However, with a pushy producer, an over enthusiastic family and no privacy, they soon discover that having their lives documented 24/7 may not be as much fun as they thought. Really Me is created by Tom McGillis and Jennifer Pertsch and produced by Fresh TV (6TEEN, Total Drama Island, My Babysitter’s A Vampire).
WHAT’S UP, WARTHOGS! (100 episodes x 5 minutes)
A group of teens aim to transform their school’s morning announcements into an entertaining news show in What’s Up, Warthogs!, produced by Aircraft Pictures (Todd & The Book Of Pure Evil) and executive produced by Bill O’Dowd of Dolphin Entertainment (Zoey 101). Utilizing online as well as on air, What’s Up, Warthogs! will roll out as short-form episodes on Family.ca before premiering on the network. Created by Alex Diaz and Julie Sagalowsky, the writing team will be lead by Dean Batali (That 70’s Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer).