A national media union and an agency that represents independent journalists have joined forces to advance the interests of freelancers who provide content to Canadian media organizations. The Canadian Media Guild, along with its parent union CWA-SCA Canada and the Canadian Writers Group are working together to represent individual freelance writers and to advocate for all freelancers on issues such as rates, copyright and digital and re-use rights.
“I’m proud to be a partner in this alliance,” says Derek Finkle, an independent journalist and founder of the Canadian Writers Group. “The agency has already made important strides in expanding our writers’ client base and has worked hard to make sure our writers are compensated properly and signing the fairest contracts possible. With the support of the Canadian Media Guild, our writers will be marketed in a more sophisticated way, and freelance journalists will have an effective way to negotiate more collectively when it comes to publishing contracts that are increasingly less favourable to contributors.”
“After years of stagnating rates and contracts that haven’t kept up with the digital realities, this is a true opportunity to improve the economic situation for media freelancers,” adds Lise Lareau, national president of the Canadian Media Guild. “Many groups, including trade unions, have been struggling for a long time to represent freelancers effectively. This alliance is a new model that is already starting to bear fruit.”
In addition to negotiating individual contracts, the two organizations have begun meeting with publishers with a view to introducing new standards for contracts with freelancers that allow writers to benefit from additional revenue their work generates in digital and other new platforms and that protects their copyright and moral rights. The group has also launched The Storyboard, an online community for Canada’s independent journalists, complete with the latest news, advice and opportunities for freelancers.
Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles, previously available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, is now available in HD for the iPad for $9.99 USD. Developed by GameLoft, Altair’s Chronicles plunges the player into this Assassin’s Creed prequel with rich gameplay and a well-balanced mix of stealth, chaotic action, and riddle-solving exploration in the midst of a 3D world set in the historical Middle East. Features exclusive to this iPad version include impressive HD graphics, and iPad optimized camera and a customizable interface.
This chapter of the Assassin’s Creed franchise is sent in 1191CE Jerusalem, a time when the Third Crusade is tearing the Holy Land apart. Playing as Master Assassin Altaïr, you are sent by the Order of the Assassins on a quest to find the “Chalice”, an object of such power that, in the right hands, can end the Crusades. Steal the Chalice from the Templars before someone offers them the right price for it. The fate of the Holy Land depends on you.
As with other Assassin’s Creed titles, playing as Altair will present with the benefits of your Master Assassin skills – acrobatic moves, combo attacks, patience, coercion and dexterity. You will be able to adapt your fighting tactics with the use of six weapons for both close combat and long-range attacks including swords, daggers, a grappling hook, and bombs. Achieve the ability to upgrade your health and weapons by collecting the glowing orbs as you explore the fully 3D-rendered historic world of the Crusades.
Vancouver technical artist Jason Brackman has published his first iOS app in the iTunes store. My ICD9, available for $2.99 USD, is an app that provides users easy and immediate access to medical diagnostic codes. The easy to use search button provides access to the code you want right now and you can always bookmark items for later retrieval.
Jason’s debut app features the following:
* everything is contained within the application. Results are immediate and always accessible.
* My ICD9 has a simple design aesthetic for ease of readability and interaction.
* a custom dictionary that understands short forms of medical terms.
* Add frequently used codes to “My Favorites” for even faster reference.
* search the entire ICD9 database, or just one category
In this age of increasing electronic technology, developing computer skills at an early age has become necessary for successful transition into working life. The use of a computer can empower any student with a powerful tool which can greatly improve their homework assignments, research projects and ultimately their education level. Computers for Kids takes aim at turning children of families with economic barriers into success stories of the future.
Computers for Kids relies on computer donations from local area businesses and residents to fulfill referrals received from social organizations and schools. “I would like to thank the many donors we have, both commercial and residential, for their support,” said Chris Davies, Computers for Kids executive director. “By choosing to donate your computers and electronics to us you have enabled us to continue offering this valuable service to our community.”
Donated equipment is evaluated by trained staff and volunteers who then repair and refurbish as many systems as possible. This year over 700 computers were refurbished for designated placements in which over 1,000 children reaped benefits.
In order to continue to meet the high demand in their area increased equipment donations are necessary. Products which are accepted include desktop and laptop computers; peripherals such as mice, keyboards and disk drives; monitors; televisions; desktop printers and fax machines. Even non-functional items are found useful as Computers for Kids operates a recycling program which helps raise funds for their mission. To drop off your items visit Computers for Kids anytime between 9:00AM-6:00PM Monday through Friday or 9:00AM-3:00PM on Saturday. They are located at 4150 Sandwich in Windsor, Ontario.
“The popularity and appreciation of the Galaxie music service continues to grow, and loyal users of Galaxie are asking for access to the service on the Internet,” says Eric Boyko, President of Stingray Digital. “Every day, our customers ask us how to listen to Galaxie online since they want to be able to tune to Galaxie elsewhere than in front of their televisions. Now, Rogers digital cable customers can continue to listen to Galaxie, their preferred source of music, through Rogers On Demand Online.” he adds.
Rogers digital cable customers will be able to access the Galaxie Online Music Player by choosing “Galaxie” in the list of channels on Rogers On Demand Online. With the Galaxie Online Music Player, users can stream their choice of the same 40 Galaxie channels available on Rogers digital cable. Users can browse the 40 channels, see the album cover art of the current, next and previously played songs, and they can consult a complete list of the songs played in the past 24 hours on each of the 40 channels. The player is easy to navigate and is visually attractive.
The Galaxie Online Music Player is the second Galaxie service to be offered on Rogers On Demand Online. The popular Galaxie Music Videos on Demand service has been available on the platform since the launch. Visitors to the site can search, select and view their choice of current top videos from among a large library of titles of all genres.
And, to leave you with a laugh this weekend in case you’ve not seen it cycling through Twitter and Facebook, here is Irish comedian Dara Ó Briain talking about his game playing adventures. I know it’s not Canadian content, but I bet every single one of you can relate to this routine – especially the crouch button dilemma.