• Village Gamer

  • Venture Capital For Canada Campaign Launched by CATA

16th December 2010

Venture Capital For Canada Campaign Launched by CATA

CATACATAAlliance, Canada’s largest high tech association has sent out a statement about the launch of its advocacy Campaign aimed at increasing the availability of Venture Capital funding for new and growing companies.

Known as the “Venture Capital (VC) for Canada” campaign, it is part of the industry’s Innovation Nation program, developed under the tutelage of Canada’s leading entrepreneur, Sir Terence Matthews that lays out what we must do as a nation to move us from a 13th place ranking to first place in innovation rankings.Sir Terence Matthews

Recent studies such as The Global Trends in Venture Capital: Outlook for the Future Survey (March/April 2010) point to a contraction of VC Funding in Canada, in contrast to significant growth in available funding in emerging markets, such as, China, Brazil and India.  Canadian VCs find that our lack of critical mass creates a poor climate for investment and innovation, a dynamic that sets up a shift in wealth creation from Canada to the more favoured jurisdictions. The study was sponsored by Deloitte in cooperation with other VC associations around the world. It surveyed venture capitalists in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Of the total number of respondents, 61% were based in the Americas (of which 7% or 36 firms were Canadian), 16% in Europe, and 23% in Asia Pacific.

According to CATA Leadership Council Director & Senior Vice President of OMERS, John Ruffolo, “clearly, Canadian venture capital firms are up against serious competition from emerging markets, as are their counterparts in the U.S and Europe. But with the small size of the Canadian industry, the impact of this decline is even more devastating.”

Ruffolo, added “We face an urgent situation; public policy makers need to move now with measures that improve the success prospects of this vital sector here at home. We need to get more dollars into the hands of existing Canadian VCs, and also encourage the creation of more domestic VCs.”

A recent study of the BC Venture Capital program (i.e., Hellmann Schure 2010 Venture Capital Report) offers some insight into the B.C. VC program, established to increase the amount of growth capital available to innovative early-stage small- and medium-sizes enterprises (“SME’s”) in that province. If the other provincial Programs were to be modeled after the Investment Capital Program (Eligible Business Corporations) operated by the Government of British Columbia, these programs would include:

  • Credits: 30% of the invested amount, refundable to individuals / creditable against Ontario taxes payable for corporations with carry-over availability
  • Contribution Limits: $250,000 per annum for individual or corporate investors ($75,000 maximum tax credit)
  • Budget Size: $100 million in tax credits for direct investments (e.g., proportional to Ontario’s overall population). Amount would leverage $333 million in equity investments for eligible SME’s in Ontario)
  • Target sectors: to be determined, but potentially focused on priority sectors Such as the bio-economy and clean technologies, pharmaceutical research and manufacturing, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing
  • Eligible investments: SME’s with up to 100 employees, a payroll where at least 75% of wages go to Ontario residents (50% for export-oriented SME’s) and equity of $25,000
  • Term: minimum of five years, with pro-rated refunds if sold earlier
  • Eligible investors: residents and corporations

CATA CEO, John Reid, calling for industry engagement through traditional and social media channels to advance solutions, pointed out that “Companies participating in the BC program generate more taxes than they consume tax credits, and consistently create new jobs. The overall program has a provincial tax multiplier of 1.98 and Canadian tax multiplier of 2.92.”

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

As a first step the Venture Capital (VC) for Canada campaign is calling for the introduction as quickly as possible, of a shared federal/provincial “Venture Capital Investment Tax Credit” system based on the very successful model currently operating in B.C.

The CATAAlliance invites you to review the Venture Capital (VC) for Canada campaign communiqué and join the Conversation by offering your guidance, views and feedback on the CATA Linkedin social media site as well as sharing electronically and/or printing out and faxing the Venture Capital (VC) for Canada communiqué and follow up with a phone call to your local MP, media and network of contacts, inclusive of posting on your own social media accounts.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Business News, Government, National News, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

16th December 2010

IPF Maintains Web Series Funding Program

IPFIn a statement released yesterday, the IPF announced that it would be continuing the funding program for the production of web series properties. This is very good news for those creators who want to follow the path of success already being traveled by such web series as Ruby Skye, P.I., Moderation Town and BunnyHop, to name but a few of the projects funded by the IPF web series program.

The Board of Directors of the Independent Production Fund undertook an evaluation of its Web Series Pilot Program and determined that funding support should be maintained in 2011, in order to continue to explore this innovative, story-driven dramatic form and its potential business models. “The creativity of the web series format is exciting and inspiring, but there are a few mysteries yet to solve in this experimental format” noted IPF Chair, Charles Ohayon, “Time is needed to develop appropriate marketing, distribution and business models”.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

There has been very strong industry interest in this unique funding Program and much anticipation for its renewal. The IPF is the only Canadian Fund that supports linear online dramatic content. The 2010 Pilot Program invested $1.2 M in the production of 11 drama series in English and in French, created for audiences from pre-schoolers to adults, representing 942 minutes of linear drama as well as interactive activities and social media strategies. Budgets ranged from $300 a minute to $5,000 a minute. The funded projects were selected from amongst 166 submissions made by Canadian producers and writers from across the country. The IPF created its own web series dashboard for the series it funds, Wip, available at www.ipf.ca/webseries.

The deadline for Requests for Proposals for the 2011 Web Series Program is March 1, 2011. The selected short-list of finalist projects will be available by March 28 and complete production applications will be required by May 2. Funding decisions will be announced in mid-June. Eligible projects must have a Canadian web host and URL, and be original content designed primarily for the web. Guidelines are available on the IPF web site.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

In the past 20 years, the IPF has invested $51M in the production of 229 drama series for television, 11 web series and 300 professional development activities. The IPF works in close collaboration with the Cogeco Program Development Fund. Therefore, television drama series for private broadcasters will continue to be eligible to apply to the IPF, and the Board may recommend that applications be transferred to the Cogeco Fund, if there is insufficient funding available at the IPF.

The Independent Production Fund is a private, charitable Foundation with a $35M endowment. It uses the interest from this endowment as well as recoupment from successful projects, for its industry investments. An independent Board of Directors representing various aspects of the industry is responsible for all funding decisions.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

EA Mobile Announces Bad Company 2 For iPhone

EA MobileEA Mobile is excited to announce that their biggest, baddest FPS, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, will be appearing for the first time ever on the App Store – hopefully becoming available tomorrow, DecemberBattlefield Bad Company 2 for iPhone 16th. Available at the killer price of 99 cents USD, Bad Company 2 is based on  the bestselling console game from DICE. Let the battle rage in the jungle, snow, and desert, in close-quarter combat, and in the air. Utilize intuitive controls as you destroy enemies with tanks and choppers in state-of the-art vehicular combat. Go all-out in full online multiplayer mode, and get a modern-warfare simulation for iPhone® & iPod touch® that’s second to none.

Your iPhone or iPod touch becomes the staging ground for the total Battlefield: BC2 experience. Track 14 single-player missions across 5 intensely detailed battle zones. Capture emplacements in jungle heat, arctic snow, and desert dust. Feel the adrenaline-pumping intensity of close-quarter combat and also unleash devastation from the air. It’s good to be Bad.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 for iPhoneWreak havoc on enemy forces with a plethora of powerful weapons and vehicles. Access an arsenal of up to 14 weapons – from a simple knife to a rocket-propelled grenade. Also drive the action with multiple vehicle types, including a tank and helicopter.

Access 3 different controls systems. Use gesture controls with no control buttons visible on screen, or add the virtual fire button, or choose to have both fire button and analog stick. Select the system that suits your preferred fighting style!

Initiate combat with 4-player action across dedicated maps. Engage in 2-4 player Free for Alls and Squad Deathmatches. The game supports OTA, WiFi, 3G, and BT Multiplayer. Push invitations to friends to join you in online battles.

After four years of increasingly successful operations, during which more than $33 million in early-stage capital has National Angel Capital Organizationbeen deployed to Ontarian companies via Angel groups, the National Angel Organization – Ontario (NAO-Ontario) has promoted Paul Connor to the position of Executive Director, succeeding retiring President W. Daniel Mothersill. This appointment initiates a process of renewal and preparation to realize the full potential of Angel investing in the Province of Ontario, while maintaining the experience and expertise developed to date.

With a background in management and communications, Paul has had positions of escalating responsibility at Paul ConnorNAO-Ontario over the past three years, becoming increasingly aware of the challenges and opportunities of organized Angel investing. He is focused on delivering both support and best practices to Ontario’s Angel investor groups with the support of Bryan Watson, advisor to the Angel Network Program and Executive Director of the National Angel Capital Organization, who helped create the Angel Network Program in 2007.

“I’d like to thank Dan for his years of service to the Angel investment community in Ontario as Director of the Angel Network Program. His creativity and drive validated Ontarian Angels’ constructive role in innovation and growth. As a result, NAO-Ontario can be an important collaborator in the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s new Ontario Network of Excellence, and FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation program,” said Patricia Lorenz, chair of NAO-Ontario.

NAO-Ontario Executive Director Paul Connor stated, “The Angel Network Program has shown that every dollar put towards Angel investors organizing their peers yields an order of magnitude more in early-stage capital investments. Even more value is added by the independent and experienced judgment of Angel investors holding a stake in the future of innovative companies. I am dedicated to realizing the full potential of both to contribute to Ontario’s future bootupprosperity.”

Bootup Entrepreneurial Society is hosting a free seminar about Government Funding at their office in Vancouver on the morning of January 19th. The session will feature speaker Rizwan J. Kheraj, Industrial Technology Advisor for the National Research Council, IRAP and will help you evaluate funding programmes offered by the Provincial and Federal governments, and how to determine if you and your company are eligible.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Careers, Education, Events, Everyone 10+, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Shooters By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

New Games For Canadians On The Go

streaming colourGuelph independent developer Streaming Colour Studios has a new game out in the iTunes App Store.Dirty Diapers Dirty Diapers features a nursery full of babies. Your mission is to them all happy by feeding, changing and rocking them to stop them from crying.

You play the game by dragging actions from the bottom of the screen to unhappy babies in order to soothe them. But as time ticks on, they’ll get fussy more quickly. Can you keep up? Keep a cool head to master this frantically fun game, available now for 99 cents USD. Streaming Colour’s previous iPhone titles include Landformer, Monkeys In Space, and Dapple.

LudiaLudia Games and FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) have announced that their Family Feud Decades App is now available on the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, starting at $2.99USD. The app, based on the popular family game show, offers hours of retro fun fueled by thousands of survey questions from four different eras of the Family Feud TV show, set against the backdrop of stages, scoreboards and wardrobe items from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.

The Family Feud Decades App retains all of the treasured game play elements found in the original Family Feud App, including the “face off,” “fast money rounds,” “strikes” and “stealing.” Additionally, players can interact in multiplayer challenges with family and friends.

“We are thrilled to bring Family Feud Decades to the App Store,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This latest release builds on the success of the first Family Feud App and is sure to keep players coming back for more. The app’s uniquely entertaining take on the family favorite game show, flavored by four decades of sets, stages and wardrobes, promises to make game play fun as well as a nostalgic experience for all.”

Features of the Family Feud Decades App include:family feud decades

  • Single and multiplayer game modes with three levels of difficulty.
  • Authentic sets and stages modeled after four decades of the TV show with wardrobe items to match.
  • Fully customizable player avatars: choose hairstyles, clothing, accessories and more.
  • Predictive text input and auto-spell checker for lightning fast answering.
  • Bonus items that unlock as questions are answered and levels are passed.

“Now in its 4th decade on television, the Emmy-award winning Family Feud continues to be one of the most beloved game shows in broadcast history,” said Olivier Delfosse, Director, Interactive, FME Americas. “We are pleased to see the game franchise continue to thrive on the App store.”

Also brand new from Ludia and Classic Media is ‘Where’s Waldo?® in Hollywood‘ App which is also available on the App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, for $2.99USD (iPhone and iPod touch) or $4.99USD (HD for iPad). Where’s Waldo? in Hollywood brings the search for the world traveler to the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, set against a backdrop of red carpet events and epic Hollywood film sets, such as “Robin Hood,” “The Wild West” and “The Three Musketeers.” In the star-studded scenes, search-and-find game play is enhanced with engaging animations, eye-popping color and detail, and new game play modes and features that provide fans with a new way to interact with the game.Waldo In Hollywood

“We are excited to bring Where’s Waldo? in Hollywood to fans worldwide,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “This latest title keeps all the favorite elements that made the first Where’s Waldo? a top selling app, but adds new thrills that take full advantage of the high-resolution display and innovative Multi Touch interface of iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.”

The Where’s Waldo? in Hollywood App has several new gameplay modes and features, including:

  • Beat Odlaw “Versus” Mode: Play against Waldo’s arch-nemesis, Odlaw, in a timed hunt for hidden objects.
  • Two-Player “Versus” Mode (iPad only):  Compete against friends and family from the same device.
  • Story Mode: Explore the game in untimed “free play” while accompanied by Waldo and his friends, Wenda, Woof and Wizard Whitebeard.
  • Star-Studded Challenges: Search for Waldo and explore ten paparazzi-filled red carpet events and epic Hollywood film sets, including: “Silent Movie,” “The Wild West,” “The Three Musketeers,” “Song and Dance,” “Robin Hood,” and more!
  • Enhanced Player Experience: Broaden the search field with scrollable maps, Pinch-to-zoom and Multi Touch, which aid in a player’s ability to spot small objects and look for clues that lead to cleverly camouflaged items.

“We are excited to partner with Ludia on the Where’s Waldo? in Hollywood App,” said Nicole Blake, Executive Vice President, Global Marketing & Consumer Products, Classic Media. “The new app delivers the search-and-find game play that helped make the first app an international favorite as well as exciting new features and content that allows users to interact with the game in a whole new way.”

By the way, Ludia is hiring.

Sarbakan Game StudioSarbakan has signed an agreement with a multinational corporation for the creation of a game for the PlayStation®3 system, using the PlayStation®Move motion controller, launched in September 2010. Sony’s PlayStation®Move redefines motion gaming with the most immersive and realistic gaming experience only possible on the PlayStation®3.

Under the agreement and in conjunction with a leading, worldwide publisher, Sarbakan will develop a game, yet to be named publically, which will be sold globally in retail stores next year. It is just one of the first PlayStation®3 games with the PlayStation®Move that Sarbakan plans to develop. More details on Sarbakan’s PlayStation development and this partnership will be available over the upcoming months.

“From iOS to Kinect to now PlayStation®Move development, Sarbakan continues its goal in offering development services for any type of game, whether you are on the couch, on the net or on the go,” said Guy Boucher, President of Sarbakan.

Sarbakan also appeared recently on NHK Special, one of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation’s most prominent television programs, on December 12 at 9 pm. The program was aired during Japan’s prime-time and broadcasted nationally to an audience of over 40 million.

NHK Special covered the latest trends in the video game industry, profiling innovative developers around the globe. The program’s focused on game development in Quebec, as a Canadian province that has carved an enviable position as one of the world’s largest hubs in the game industry. Sarbakan was chosen by the Japan Broadcasting Corporation because of its long-standing experience in the video game industry, with over 700 titles under its belt.

“We are thrilled to have represented Québec City in showing Japanese audiences just how much our hometown is a hotbed for creativity and innovation,” said Guy Boucher, President of Sarbakan.”We are even more thrilled that NHK recognizes the important role independent developers play in pushing the game industry’s technology envelope further.”

The Japan Broadcasting Corporation nationally operates five television channels and three radio services. Internationally, NHK offers two television services: NHK World TV and NHK World Premium, along with NHK World Radio Japan, which provides news in 18 languages. NHK World TV programs and Radio Japan’s news can be accessed on the internet. NHK has 54 stations across Japan and correspondents in 31 locations around the world.

Government of CanadaAs many of you already know, The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, announced yesterday that Apple Canada has been granted approval under the Investment Canada Act to establish iBookstore Canada.

“Our Government is committed to strengthening Canada’s economy through all its sectors, especially arts and culture,” said Minister Moore. “Apple has demonstrated how iBookstore Canada represents new opportunities for Canadian authors and publishers, and I have determined that this investment will be of net benefit to Canada.”

This decision is based on commitments made by Apple Canada, which include:

* Promotion of Canadian-authored books–both French- and English-language titles–in iBookstore in Canada and other iBookstores internationally;
* Increased opportunities for Canadian publishers and authors, including new and independent writers;
* Increased access to titles from Aboriginal authors and publishers;
* Assistance to Canadian publishers in streamlining processes of e-book creation and enhancement; and
* Jobs for Canadians and improved services for Canadian consumers, including an iBookstore tailored to Canadian readers.

The Government of Canada ordered a review to determine if the investment by Apple Canada would be of net benefit to Canada. Under the Investment Canada Act, all reviews and approvals of investments in the cultural sector are the responsibility of the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Casual, Contests, Digital Products, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Social Media By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

Top Ten Hotspots For Laptop Theft

Absolute SoftwareVancouver’s Absolute Software Corporation has revealed a list of the top 10 target areas for the theft of mobile computers. The maker of LoJack® for Laptops, the leading anti-theft solution for consumers, also announced a special holiday offer on its consumer solution.

The top 10 list reveals that consumer computers are more likely to be stolen while at school or home, where families use their computers the most. The list is based on theft reports filed to the Absolute Theft Recovery Team by Absolute customers over a one-year period. With the holidays approaching, Absolute is warning that the risk of computers being stolen from the home is higher than what may be perceived by consumers.

“The trends in this list may surprise some computer owners. According to our experience, consumers think ‘it won’t happen to me’ and take chances. They often think of security issues only when they are on the move,” said Mark Grace, vice president of consumer business at Absolute Software. “However, with schools and residences topping the list of places computers are stolen, owners need to be extra cautious, particularly around the holidays when home burglaries often increase. LoJack for Laptops helps protect you from computer theft year-round. That’s why we are offering consumers a give one, get one free deal on LoJack for Laptops this holiday season.”

This holiday season, consumers can purchase a license of LoJack for Laptops and receive a second license for a friend or relative, free (Limited time offer. See lojackforlaptops.com for additional details and to purchase). Computer owners can take advantage of this offer by visiting lojackforlaptops.com. Once activated, computer owners can access:

* Geolocation – For day-to-day use (in non-theft scenarios), consumers can keep track of their computer on an internet-based map. Useful for customers who want to check if the computer’s location has changed while they are away from home.
* Device freeze – If a computer is suspected to be simply lost and not stolen, customers can freeze their computer and display a custom message for whoever finds it. In addition, an unauthorized user cannot access the content on the computer, keeping private information safe in an effort to prevent identity theft.
* Remote data delete – To protect their personal information, customers can choose to delete a pre-set group of files or all files, including the operating system.
* Managed theft recovery – If a computer is stolen, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team will work with local law enforcement to recover it.

Top 10 Places Consumer Computers Are Stolen

1. K-12 Schools
2. Residential Properties
3. Automobiles
4. Businesses/Offices
5. Universities and Colleges
6. Hotels and Motels
7. Restaurants and Cafes
8. Stores and Shopping Malls
9. Public Transit (includes taxis, buses, trains, etc)
10. Airports (terminals, security checkpoints, storage areas and airport restaurants)

Mark Grace continued, “Last year, Absolute recovered over 5,000 computers, and assisted in the conviction of over 500 felons ranging from burglars to murderers. With LoJack for Laptops, consumers can strike back against crime. We protect more than 2 million consumers today, let us give you the same peace of mind – knowing your essential computing device and data are protected.”

The Printing HouseThe Printing House Ltd.™ (TPH®) has launched a viral marketing campaign consisting of a series of videos titled The Printz. These comical skits have set a new tone for the Canadian owned and operated printing company, changing the way their business products and services are promoted. “With so many new innovative products and services we the printzneeded a new way to inform our customer” says Marc Petitpas, Vice President of TPH®.

The main characters of these webisodes consist of The Printz, an old-world Nordic explorer who traveled to Canada from his homeland Gudmundarstadi, and his trusted colleague Keith.

As the Communications Specialist for Thor Hammer Productions Inc., The Printz saves his coworkers from their everyday woes and helps his colleague Keith deal with his communication challenges by offering various communication solutions.

To date two webisodes have been released on YouTube, and similar to other social media campaigns, they will be adding to this series in the upcoming months with The Printz: Episode Three scheduled to be released in the New Year.

TPH® has taken a great approach to developing this social media campaign. To keep in the loop with The Printz campaign you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Digital Products, National News, Social Media, Software By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

The Twelve Scams of Christmas

mcafeeAs Canadians gear up for the final countdown to Christmas, McAfee is reminding consumers to be vigilant with their information this holiday season. To help Canadians protect themselves online, McAfee has released the “Twelve Scams of Christmas” – the 12 most dangerous online scams that computer users should be cautious of this year.

“Scams continue to be big business for cybercriminals who have their sights set on capitalizing on open hearts and wallets this holiday season,” said Dave Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs. “As people jump online to look for deals on gifts and travel, it’s important to recognize common scams to safeguard against theft during the busy season ahead.”

Twelve Scams of Christmas

1. iPad Offer Scams
With Apple products topping most shopping lists this holiday season, scammers are busy distributing bogus offers for free iPads. McAfee Labs found that in the spam version of the scam consumers are asked to purchase other products and provide their credit card number to get the free iPad. Of course, victims never receive the iPad or the other items, just the headache of reporting a stolen credit card number. In the social media version of the scam, users take a quiz to win a free iPad and must supply their cell phone number to receive the results. In actuality they are signed up for a cell phone scam that costs $10 a week.

2. “Help! I’ve Been Robbed” Scam
This travel scam sends phony distress messages to family and friends requesting that money be wired or transferred so that they can get home. McAfee Labs has seen an increase in this scam and predicts its rise during the busy travel season.

3. Fake Gift Cards
Cybercrooks use social media to promote fake gift card offers with the goal of stealing consumers’ information and money, which is then sold to marketers or used for ID theft. One recent Facebook scam offered a “free US$1,000 Best Buy gift card” to the first 20,000 people who signed up for a Best Buy fan page, which was a look-a-like. To apply for the gift card they had to provide personal information and take a series of quizzes.

4. Holiday Job Offers
As people seek extra cash for gifts this holiday season, Twitter scams offer dangerous links to high-paying, work-at-home jobs. Users are asked to supply personal information such as their email address, home address and Social Security number to apply for the fake job.

5. “Smishing”
Cybercrooks are now “smishing,” or sending phishing SMS texts. These texts appear to come from your bank or an online retailer, saying that there is something wrong with an account and you must call to verify your information. In reality, these efforts are merely a ruse to extract valuable personal information from the targets. Cybercrooks know that people are more vulnerable to this scam during the holiday season when consumers are doing more online shopping and checking bank balances frequently.

6. Suspicious Holiday Rentals

During peak travel times when consumers often look online for affordable holiday rentals, cybercrooks post fake holiday rental sites that ask for down payments on properties by credit card or wire transfer.

7. Recession Scams Continue
Scammers target vulnerable consumers with recession related scams such as pay-in-advance credit schemes. McAfee Labs has seen a significant number of spam emails advertising prequalified, low-interest loans and credit cards if the recipient pays a processing fee, which goes directly into the scammer’s pocket.

8. Grinch-like Greetings

E-cards are a convenient and earth-friendly way to send greetings to friends and family, but cybercriminals load fake versions with links that spread computer viruses and other malware instead of cheer. According to McAfee Labs, computers may start displaying obscene images, pop-up ads or even start sending cards to contacts that appear to come from you.

9. Low Price Traps
Shoppers should be cautious of products offered at prices far below competitors. Cyber scammers use auction sites and fake websites to offer too-good-to-be-true deals with the goal of stealing your money and information.

10. Charity Scams
The holidays have historically been a prime time for charity scams since it’s a traditional time for giving, and McAfee Labs predicts that this year is no exception. Common ploys include phone calls and spam e-mails asking you to donate to veterans’ charities, children’s causes and relief funds for the latest catastrophe.

11. Dangerous Holiday Downloads
Holiday-themed screensavers, jingles and animations are an easy way for scammers to spread viruses and other computer threats, especially when links come from an email or IM that appears to be from a friend.

12. Hotel and Airport Wi-fi

During the holidays many people travel and use free wi-fi in places like hotels and airports. This is a tempting time for thieves to hack into networks hoping to find opportunities for theft.

McAfee advises Internet users to follow these five tips to protect their computers and personal information:

* Stick to well-established and trusted sites that include trust marks (icons or seals from third parties verifying that the site is safe), user reviews and customer support. A reputable trust mark provider will have a live link attached to its trust mark icon, which will take visitors to a verification Web site of the trust mark provider.
* Do not respond to offers that arrive in a spam email, text or instant message.
* Preview a link’s web address before you click on it to make sure it is going to an established site. To check a link, move your mouse pointer over it — but don’t click it — and the address should appear on the bottom bar of your web browser. Never download or click anything from an unknown source.
* Stay away from vendors that offer prices well below the norm. Don’t believe anything that’s too good to be true.
* Make sure to use trusted wi-fi networks. Don’t check bank accounts or shop online if you’re not sure the network is safe.

If you think you may be a victim of cybercrime, McAfee invites you to visit the McAfee Cybercrime Response Unit to assess your risks and learn what you can do next.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Digital Products, National News, Social Media, Software By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

Happy First Birthday Kobo

koboKobo, the only pure-play global eReading service built on an open platform, today marked its one-year anniversary by outlining significant growth and industry milestones as well as its vision for the future of eReading. Today’s news comes less than one week following the launch of Kobo Reading Life on the iPad, the industry’s first-ever comprehensive social eReading experience pioneering the ability for a consumer to share what they are reading with friends on Facebook, view reading stats, earn achievements, and check-in with favourite characters and places inside a book.kobo eReader

“In one year, Kobo has experienced phenomenal growth and shown impressive leadership across the eReading world,” said Michael Serbinis, Chief Executive Officer of Kobo. “Analysts predict that eBooks will represent over 30% of global book sales by 2014 and Kobo is well positioned to go after that market with its vision of delivering any eBook, newspaper, or magazine to any device worldwide.”

Since launching on December 15, 2009, Kobo has:

* Sold millions of eBooks to customers in over 100 countries
* Distributed millions of free eBooks to over 1.3 million registered users and millions of free users
* Confirmed its commitment to eReading on any device by launching free eReading applications for the widest range of device platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, Android Tablets (an industry first), Blackberry, Palm WebOS, Windows, Mac OS, Linux and other eReaders. With Kobo, users can focus on building their lifetime library, independent of device
new kobo* Assembled one of the largest catalogs in the world with over 2.2 million eBooks, popular newspapers and magazines, from thousands of leading publishers such as Random House, Harper Collins, and Penguin Group
* Licensed its open platform to booksellers worldwide, enabling leading booksellers to launch eReading services in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong
* Launched the eReader for Everyone – the Kobo eReader in May, which became the first $99 eInk-based eReader in the US. Subsequently launched the Kobo Wireless eReader, now for sale at Walmart stores and Walmart.com, Indigo, Chapters, Borders, Swindon (Hong Kong), Angus & Robertson’s (Australia) and Whitcoull’s (New Zealand)
* Announced partnerships with leading consumer electronics leaders including Samsung and RIM, enabling eReading on the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Blackberry Playbook – an industry first.
* Launched newspapers and magazine subscriptions for iPad, iPhone and the Kobo Wireless eReader – enabling customers to buy a subscription once, and read on multiple devices – an industry first
* Launched eBook gifting and gift card programs on www.kobo.com – an industry first
* Introduced ‘Reading Life’ from Kobo – an industry first social eReading experience, that brings the culture of reading to digital, making eReading more social, meaningful, and fun

“We are expecting the biggest single eBook sales day in history as people turn on new eReaders, tablets, and smartphones on Dec 25th ,” said Serbinis. Another industry first, Kobo offers the ability to gift an eBook or send an eBook gift card. “Thousands of eBooks will be gifted and delivered on Dec 25th to new and existing Kobo users just in time for the Holidays. These consumers will demand an experience that is ubiquitous, independent of today’s popular devices and an experience that brings the culture of reading to digital. Kobo is the only service already delivering on those expectations and the ideal place for consumers to build their digital libraries for life.” Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Digital Products, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

OpenText Launches New Version of eDocs DM

Open TextOpenText Corporation has launched OpenText eDOCS DM 5.3, a significant upgrade to the eDOCS product portfolio designed to help lower total cost of ownership and deliver a more individualized user experience. The new version of eDOCS also features tight integration with OpenText ECM Suite 2010 for customers requiring scalability across large enterprise deployments.

eDOCS complements the OpenText product portfolio and is widely used by law firms, public sector agencies and across other industries to help reduce the time and complexity associated with storing, organizing and locating information. Extensive platform and structural updates in the new eDOCS DM lay the foundation for the next major release slated for 2012.

“As this latest release illustrates, OpenText is continuing to respond to eDOCS customer requirements, giving firms a rich set of upgrades and enhancements that will deliver immediate benefits such as lower support costs and enhanced user productivity,” said Todd Partridge, Vice President and General Manager for eDOCS and Legal Solutions at OpenText. “We are continuing to see strong momentum around eDOCS with customers adopting it as their strategic hub for document and legal content management, and with this release are moving to capitalize on this momentum now and going forward.”

To help lower costs, eDOCS DM 5.3 adds support for remote deployment tools that significantly reduce the work required to deploy eDOCS to user communities. Rapid system deployments are achieved without visiting workstations, and maintenance is simplified with Web and Microsoft Windows utilities that support centralized as well as delegated system management.

Now with support for Microsoft Office 2010, eDOCS provides a rich user experience that minimizes time spent learning the document and records management system and boosts productivity. To accommodate a variety of work styles, eDOCS DM gives users the ability to easily create their own eDOCS ribbons from within Microsoft Office 2010 applications.

For very large enterprise-wide deployments, eDOCS incorporates updates and integrations that allow customers to tap the OpenText ECM Suite 2010 for comprehensive library and archiving capabilities, helping to eliminate islands of information, improve information discovery, and reduce storage and infrastructure costs. In 2011, eDOCS customers will also be able to take advantage of OpenText social media applications to boost organizational effectiveness.

“Document management with OpenText eDOCS is becoming more and more important to our organization and gives us a consistent, reliable, traceable, and secure knowledge repository,” said Brook Lee, Chief Information Officer at Fox Rothschild LLP, a full-service law firm with more than 500 lawyers and 16 offices across the U.S. “We are extremely pleased with the performance of eDOCS within our firm and look forward to upgrading to the new version in the near future. We’re confident in OpenText’s continuing commitment to bring state-of-the-art content management solutions to the legal industry.”

digital journalAs one of the first news outlets to bring user-generated content to mobile phones, Digital Journal is extending its presence to smartphones in partnership with Polar Mobile. Today, Digital Journal announces apps for almost every smartphone on the market.

Digital Journal has partnered with Polar Mobile to release free news apps for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch as well as BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone devices. Available for free at app.digitaljournal.com, the apps enable smartphone users to read news from Digital Journalists working in 175 countries around the world. Readers can follow breaking news via Digital Journal’s smartphone app and share articles via Facebook, Twitter and email from within the apps.Polar Mobile

“We’re very excited about bringing user-generated content to virtually all smartphone platforms at once,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal Inc. “Mobile platforms are shaping the future of media, and we’re happy to partner with Polar Mobile to bring our engaging news network into the palm of your hand.” Read the rest of this entry »

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Contests, Digital Products, National News, New Releases, Social Media, Software By: | Print This Post Print This Post

15th December 2010

VFS Third Annual Game Design Scholarship For Women

VFSVancouver Film School (VFS) is pleased to present the third annual Women in Games Scholarship – the first scholarship of its kind in the world – to encourage greater opportunities for women pursuing a career in game design.

The Women in Games Scholarship, valued at up to $50,000, covers the full tuition for a female aspiring game designer to attend VFS’s acclaimed one-year Game Design program, named by the Los Angeles Times as a Top 10 school “favoured by industry recruiters”.

Since the scholarship was introduced two years ago, the percentage of female VFS Game Design students has increased from 2% in 2008 to 8% in 2010, an encouraging trend for the future of the industry. 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 XMG Studio, and Melanie Genereux of Longtail Studios in PEI.

Along with the Women in Games Scholarship, VFS is partnering with Game Design Expo sponsors G4TechTV, Annex Pro and 3vis to celebrate the fifth year of Game Design Expo with an additional $50,000 in scholarships. The ten individual $5,000 awards are open to all aspiring game designers.
Game Design Expo 2011
Full details of the Women in Games Scholarship will be announced at the free Sunday Open House as part of Game Design Expo 2011 on January 22-23, 2011. Application forms for the $5,000 VFS Game Design scholarships are currently available for download.

Attendees of the Open House will also be able to hear about the program, meet students and faculty, take sample classes, and visit the Women in Games Vancouver (WIGeh) booth. Space is limited, so anyone interested in attending the always-popular Open House is strongly encouraged to register now.

VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors to realize Game Design Expo 2011: G4, 3vis, Annex Pro, Pixologic, Radical Entertainment, Sumo Lounge, HP, and The Georgia Straight.

DomtarDomtar Corporation has extended the use of HP’s patented ColorLok® Technology to all of its Domtar branded business papers to provide a higher quality printing experience compared to papers that do not have ColorLok Technology. This technology will now be more widely available to customers, allowing them to keep pace with advancements in printing technology found in digital printing systems.

“We are pleased to extend ColorLok Technology, a performance-based standard, to all Domtar branded business papers, and in so doing, providing our customers with high-quality, environmentally responsible paper products, in both virgin and recycled content options,” said Karin Flemming, Domtar Marketing Manager, Business Papers.

Domtar first agreed to support the performance standards of ColorLok in early 2008 by incorporating the technology into its First Choice® line of business papers, a premium quality product with 98 brightness, and soon after with its Imageprint® brand multiuse papers. Now Domtar Copy®, Domtar EarthChoice® Office Paper, Husky® Copy and Recycled Husky® Copy, will be available with ColorLok Technology, providing customers with a 92 brightness alternative in both virgin and recycled content options.

Paper that uses the ColorLok logo must pass a precise set of standards for print quality, as well as physical and electrostatic standards for quality and reliability. Criteria for meeting the ColorLok performance standard includes improved image quality, dry time and consistency for printer performance. For inkjet printers, the benefits of ColorLok include bolder, sharper images and faster drying times. Benefits for laser printers include reliable printing, consistent imaging and an extended printer life, based on testing by Buyers Lab Inc., August 2010.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Education, Events, Game Dev, National News, scholarships By: | Print This Post Print This Post

14th December 2010

From Assassins To Monkeys – Battles For All

Complex GamesAn unorthodox promotional video campaign launched today by Complex Games threatens to smear the likes of Justin Bieber, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sarah Palin, Steven Colbert, Harry Potter and others with wads of Monkey flung Poo.
monkey poo
The 7 Deadly Poos is a website just recently launched for the holiday season that promises to release one video a day for a week featuring each one of these celebrity characters getting Poo’d by a devious cartoon monkey.

Watchers can join in on the contest by voting on which of the characters they want to appear in the game’s next update. The winner will be determined by January 1st of this coming year.

UbisoftA reminder from Ubisoft that the Animus Project Update 1.0 downloadable content (DLC) for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood for the Xbox 360® and the PlayStation®3 is now available on XBOX LIVE® and PlayStation® Network for download for free. Ubisoft has also announced that Animus Project Update 2.0 will be available in January and also free to download.

The Animus Project Update 1.0 includes a brand-new game mode and brand new map for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer. The game mode, Advanced Alliance, makes the original Alliance Mode with target identification and engagement more difficult than in original Alliance Mode, thus providing a more challenging experience for players. With three teams of two players each, Advanced Alliance is a tougherHellequin In Mont St Michel test for players and rewards teams that use stealth techniques to hunt their targets.

Located on a rocky tidal island of Normandy in France, the new map, Mont Saint-Michel, offers breathtaking scenery sure to enchant all. Its particular topography of narrow streets, high-perched bell-tower and multi-leveled architecture is perfect for hunters and predators alike to surge from out of nowhere to execute their prey. To survive, recruits need to use free-running and narrow roads to their advantage.

The Animus Project Update 2.0 will include a brand-new game mode and brand new map for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Multiplayer. The Pienza Map provides the perfect free-running playground where predators and targets can blend and disappear. In the new Chest Capture Multiplayer Mode two teams comprised of three players each partner with fellow Templars to either defend or capture Chests. Also included is the new Templar Score feature to reward diligent work by Abstergo recruits.

EA MobileEA Mobile has released some information about Risk HD, a game that will capture the traditional look and feel of the original board game – but blow it out with a new interactive experience on iPad. Strategize over the world map, which springs to life with intense visual clarity. Attack with a sleek dice-roll effect. Sense a greater thrill of battle with awesome sound effects, and more.RiskHD-ipad

With 3 ways to play – all for up to 6 players — RISK for iPad is made satisfy the competitive demands of true strategy gamers. Test your power against unforgiving computer-driven adversaries. Play all around the board against your greatest real-world rivals in an epic war game. Or go collide head-to-head against your most personal opponent via local WiFi or Bluetooth.

Think strategically and play your cards right to defeat enemies with the new “Fixed” rule set. Or play by the classic “Progressive” rules and dominate the game in traditional style. View your cards with a simple touch and track the territories you’ve conquered. Earn an extensive list of achievements as your armies dominate territory after territory!

Exclusive Risk HD iPad Features:

• new interactive board-game experience – Gather up to 6 players around the iPad for the ultimate war game!
• Fast-App Switching – Pause a game and instantly return where you left off
• Inspiring HD-quality graphics and precision gameplay – Enjoy visuals optimized for the iPad’s sharper resolution and bigger Multi-Touch screen
• new “Fixed” rule set – For more strategic action, take on your enemies with a challenging new style of play

Digital ExtremesTHQ has released a single player video for its highly anticipated FPS title Homefront, the PC version of which is in development at Digital Extremes.

In Homefront, players are transported to the year 2027, a time when America’s infrastructure is shattered and the military is in shambles after the country falls to a savage occupation by the nuclear armed Greater Korean Republic. Abandoned by her former allies, the United States is a bleak landscape of walled towns and abandoned suburbs. This is a police state where high school stadiums have become detention centers, and shopping malls shelter armored attack vehicles.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Join the Resistance, stand united and fight for freedom against an overwhelming military force In Homefront’s gripping, cinematic single player campaign, and experience epic, ground breaking multiplayer action all set in a terrifyingly plausible near-future world.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, Casual, Everyone, Everyone 10+, Mature, Mobile, National News, New Releases, Shooters, Teen, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

  • Archives

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • Select a list:

  • GWEN Radio
  • Gamers Giving Back