8th February 2011

Shaw Delays User Based Billing

Shaw CableSo, in a press release earlier today, Shaw Communications announced that the corporation will “invite customers to participate in consultation sessions to share thoughts on Internet usage allowances and billing.”

Before I get into the crux of their official press release – I am a Shaw customer. Our household subscribes to the Extreme-I residential plan, and as I addressed on Sunday, we are not happy subscribers. When we signed up for Extreme-I, we were given a data transfer cap of 125gb. This was not a promotional offering, there was no special price other than the “bundled with other Shaw services” price of $47.00 per month plus $10.00 per month for our third IP address.

In mid December 2010, 25gb disappeared off of our plan. Without any advance notice or any communication whatsoever from Shaw – including any notification that our Terms and Conditions had changed, we were suddenly sitting at a 100gb data transfer limit – and still paying the same price. So, we have a decrease in service, but no decrease in price. We don’t want a decrease in price – we want our 25gb back. Decreasing the price is not going to win back the trust Shaw destroyed with that move.

We have been with Shaw for well over a decade. We have been loyal Shaw customers, we’ve even brought them new subscribers. I was poised to convert the company where I work over to Shaw Business Internet and Phone. Now I’m not so sure I want to do that – even though we’ll save a bundle on long distance calls – because I no longer trust the corporation. I’ve waded through the financial documents they are required by law to post publicly as they are a publicly traded company. I know what the Corporation has been telling its shareholders about how wonderful and speedy and redundant the service pipes are. I’ve seen the revenue and expenditure columns, and I know how to read them.

We do not have a lot of choice as to internet carriers where we live. We have Shaw, Telus or the reseller Uniserve, whom I would never sign up with to begin with, simply because of the way Uniserve conducted business way back in the day of it being a small internet start-up whose offices were a few blocks from where I live. I choose to not go back to Telus, because  their phone service is far more expensive compared to Shaw Digital Phone, and I do not want to sign a contract, nor is their customer service outstanding. At least Shaw does have that going for it – the CSRs I’ve dealt with over the years have always been polite and willing to assist in any way they could. Shaw has even been an ISP sponsor for LAN events we’ve run in the past – and they provided incredibly good service for the event, assigning us with a dedicated service representative to get the connections up and running smoothly – but now we fast-forward to today, and Shaw honey, we have trust issues.

“We have been listening to the discussion taking place and determined that we want to hear directly
from our own customers before we roll out any kind of program. Wherever we end up needs to work first and foremost for our customers,” said Peter Bissonnette, President of Shaw Communications.

Shaw will conduct customer discussion sessions in all its serving regions in addition to creating opportunities to contribute feedback online. Customers will be invited to share their ideas with senior Shaw leaders who will participate in the sessions throughout February and March.

Until this thorough consultation with customers has taken place, Shaw will not implement Internet usage billing. To date, no Shaw Internet customer has received a bill for any usage based charges.

“Bandwidth is not unlimited and that is the crux of the issue. There are many potential solutions to
this challenge and we’re asking for our customers’ help to build a solution that works for everyone,”
said Bissonnette.

“Our customers choose to use the Internet in different ways and it has become an essential part of
our daily lives,” continued Bissonnette. “We want to build pricing and packaging options that deliver
choice, quality and value to all our customers.”

Well – that press release started circulating the net around five hours ago. We still haven’t received a notice from Shaw giving us the link to find out how to request an invitation to one of their customer meetings. I found the link on the DSL Reports forum, and I dutifully sent off a request for an invitation, but there was no auto-responder saying “thank you for your request” so I hope it isn’t just floating around in our congested, over-used internet pipes.

In my final word on the matter for today, here is the latest screenshot of our data transfer for the month. Our billing cycle ends at midnight, so we’ll be back within our limit. Oh, wait – at 123gb we still are within the limit we signed up for. It’s Shaw sneaky new lower-capped 100gb plan that we’re over. If you want to take a step in the right direction, Mr. Bissonnette, give us back what your company took away.

Shaw Bandwidth Usage

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8th February 2011

Breakthrough Entertainment and Big Blue Bubble Team Up For Crash Canyon

breakthrough entertainmentThe digital media division of Breakthrough Entertainment announced today that it will create an online social game based on the animated television series, Crash Canyon. Targeted for youth and adult audiences ages 13-35, Crash Canyon Adventure will roll out September 2011 in French and English and will debut on TELETOON at Night/La Nuit websites. Breakthrough Entertainment will team with London, Ontario-based game creator, Big Blue Bubble, for development.Big Blue Bubble

In Crash Canyon Adventure, players create a unique character and join the residents of Crash Canyon. As fledgling members of this sometimes chaotic, sometimes absurd, but always funny community, they are sent on quests, play mini-games, craft an escape vehicle or build a home — and buy, collect and trade a huge array of items. All the while, players interact and socialize with the other new Crash residents as well as the many characters from the series.

A few of the game’s main features include:

• The Crashbook: Players will have available a wide range of social networking tools in the game.
• Full Character Creation: The player can fully customize the look of their character, their clothes, their accessories and even their personality.
• Two Game Goals For Players To Choose: The player can choose between attempting to escape the canyon or settle into their cozy corner and decorate and customize their home in the canyon.
• Quest Driven Game Play: A hugely popular game play mechanic where the colorful characters of the canyon will send the player on funny and exciting adventures, challenge them to mini games and trade or gift items to them.

Breakthrough Entertainment’s digital media division secured funding for Crash Canyon Adventure from three sources: the game is made possible through the generous support of the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund, the Ontario Media Development Corporation (Interactive Digital Media Fund) and the Shaw Rocket Fund’s Digital Media Stream.crash canyon

“We are delighted to be producing this game for TELETOON. The show’s gregarious characters and wildly hilarious story lines lend well for an online social game: Crash Canyon Adventure perfectly captures the humor of the television series,” said Dorothy Vreeker, Director, Digital Media at Breakthrough Entertainment.

Crash Canyon (Television Series Synopsis) — The Wendell family doesn’t usually do too much together; the parents work a lot and the kids have developed their own lives. This year however, Norm, the Wendell patriarch, has decided to schedule a family vacation. He rents a van and a camper trailer, forces everyone inside and the family sets off on a week of heavily-scheduled fun.

With all four Wendells in a confined space, motoring between tourist attractions, scenic vistas and the occasional point of interest, the trip turns out to be a disaster – in fact, an actual disaster – Norm accidentally drives the van over a cliff!The van plummets two miles straight down into a canyon. When the Wendells stumble out, they realize that not only are they alive, but also that they are not alone. The same fate has befallen several others before them and the Wendells are just the newest residents of a community of everyone else that has driven, cycled, sky-dived or even crashed their NASA landing capsule there.

So, the Wendells live in their camper trailer in the heart of a shanty town of all the other crashed vehicles, scattered wherever gravity set them down. Their neighbors include an astronaut and his chimp companion, a wealthy family (who live in the summer house they were transporting), a has-been British punk rocker and many more. All these characters hope to escape, but until one of their plans actually work, they make up this impromptu community known only as “Crash Canyon”.

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8th February 2011

Innovation Growth Spurts For Companies Big And Small

Tiny Hippos released a small update to its Ripple Emulator product today. The Version 0.4.8 update tiny hipposincludes Compass support for PhoneGap and Accelerometer bug fixes. Ripple is a multi-platform mobile environment emulator that runs in a web browser and is custom-tailored to HTML5 mobile application testing. Ripple aims to reduce the challenges being faced by mobile developers caused by today’s platform fragmentation in the marketplace.

ACheckerAChecker 1.1 by ATutor has been released. Built with the assistance of the Ontario Government’s Enabling Change Program, AChecker is a free open source Web content accessibility evaluator used to assess Web pages for conformance with international accessibility standards. This release adds a number of significant new features, including:

*CSS Evaluator: Access the validity of external stylesheets, embedded stylesheets, and inline styles while evaluating the accessibility of a Web page.
*Colour Contrast Evaluation: Ten new accessibility checks have been added to evaluate foreground and background colour contrast to ensure text is readable by everyone.
*Paste HTML from Clipboard: Evaluators can now paste the source HTML of a Web page into AChecker to have it evaluated. This makes it possible to assess pages that are not accessible from the Web, such those on an Intranet, or on a local personal computer.
*Updater: Administrators can now keep their AChecker installation up to date in between releases with the AChecker Updater. The Updater lets them apply patches to fix bugs, to add new features as they become available, and to add new accessibility checks as they are created.
*AChecker Translator Site: There are currently English and Italian translations of AChecker. Sign-up for a translator account on atutor.ca if you don’t already have one, and help translate AChecker into your language.

Teach MyFollowing in the steps of its award-winning predecessors, Teach My Toddler and Teach My Baby, Teach My Preschooler is the third product from the Toronto-based Teach My brand and recently named one of Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products and received iParenting’s Greatest Products of 2010 award.

Developed with education consultant, Judith Rowlands, M Ed., Teach My Preschooler is designed to give preschoolers a head start, develop fine motor skills, encourage parent/child interaction and increase school readiness skills. The kit is divided into four sections; Ready to Read, Print, Count to 100 and Teach My ProductsEarly Math. Each section is fully-coordinated with books, flashcards, posters, a print guide and a magic drawing board.

“There is an increasing demand among parents to find simple, educational products without the technology of lights, sounds or music to help their children master the basic fundamentals of learning,” says Christy Cook, mompreneur and founder of Teach My. “Teach My Preschooler is a back-to-basics, all-in-one learning kit that provides modern, educational tools to help preschoolers master reading, printing, numbers to 100 and early math.

Teach My aims to take the guesswork out of early learning. The award-winning Teach My Baby is the first and only all-in-one learning kit for babies 6 to 18 months. The kit introduces First Words, First Numbers, Self and Sound & Touch. For children 18 months to 3 years, Teach My Toddler, is designed to help toddlers master the basics: alphabet, numbers, shapes and colors.  Teach My kits are available online and at specialty retailers across North America for $49.99, and will be at Booth #5748 at the NY Toy Fair.

PNI MediaPNI Digital Media has selected the Strangeloop Site Optimizer to accelerate its Digital Media Platform, which allows the world’s largest retailers to offer personalized products such as photo prints and photo books, ordered online and produced on demand for pick up and purchase at a consumers preferred retail location. The PNI Digital Media Platform connects 14,000 retail locations, 9000 of which offer a one-hour pick up of photo prints and photo gifts ordered online. The implementation of the Strangeloop Site Optimizer came just in time for PNI to take advantage of the peak holiday season, which typically sees more than 5 million image uploads and more than 150,000 orders during a single day.Strangeloop Networks

“We tested Strangeloop’s Site Optimizer after a careful review of all the delivery-based web acceleration technology available in the market,” said Aaron Rallo, President of PNI Digital Media. “We were immediately impressed with Site Optimizer’s ease of deployment, performance benefits, and its ability to scale across our enterprise.” Read the rest of this entry »

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8th February 2011

Darkness 2 Web Site Launches

Digital Extremes2K Games has unveiled the new web site for The Darkness™ II, the sequel to the million unit-selling 2007 title, The Darkness™, will be coming to the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC in fall 2011. Developed by Digital Extremes and based on the supernatural horror comic book series created by Top Cow Productions, Inc., The Darkness II takes players down a brutal and personal path as Jackie Estacado, wielder of The Darkness – an ancient and ruthless force of chaos and destruction.

The Darkness II breaks out of the sea of conventional first-person shooters with its fervid Quad-Wielding gameplay, which will allow players to slash, grab, and throw objects and enemies with their Demon Arms while simultaneously firing two weapons. The game is layered with the use of dark versus light, steeped in deep and twisted storytelling, and engulfed in stylistic violence that is visualized through a hand-painted graphic noir technique that stays true to its comic book origins.

“The Darkness II is a well of dark and imaginative violence, and it’s a stylized and beautiful nightmare,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “The Darkness II continues the 2K Games tradition of delivering quality, innovative games that are filled to the brim with atmosphere and deep storytelling. The game takes a unique stance on fighting in the dark versus light. Combined with the arsenal of weapons at Jackie’s disposal and the gruesome attacks of the supernatural Demon Arms and Darkness powers, we’re proud to announce another title that delivers on our core values of creating games for gamers.”The Darkness 2

The Darkness II will feature award-winning comic book writer, Paul Jenkins, who will provide a tightly integrated narrative that weaves dark humor with hardcore tenderness.

Take a step back from the familiar and comfortable, and prepare to embrace The Darkness.

It’s been two years since Jackie Estacado, now the Don of the Franchetti crime family, used The Darkness to kill the men responsible for his girlfriend’s murder. He’s been unable to shake the memory of Jenny’s death since bottling up his supernatural power, and now The Darkness wants out. A sudden, unprovoked attack on Jackie’s life heralds the start of a full-scale mob war, which has clearly been orchestrated by some outside force. The botched attempt opens the door for The Darkness to reemerge, and sets Jackie on a journey to hell and worse, as he unravels the mystery behind the attack and the motivations of The Darkness itself.

“Sometimes that whooshing sound you hear is that of comic fans holding their collective breath,” said Marc Silvestri, founder and CEO of Top Cow Productions and co-creator of The Darkness comics. “So often disappointed when a favorite character gives birth to a lame movie or video game, us fans have come to expect the worst. And sometimes we get it. But not with The Darkness II. Yeah, call me biased, but this second installment of Jackie Estacado’s epic saga is – in my humble opinion – one of the most brutally cool games I’ve ever played. 2K Games hammered this one out of the park.”

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8th February 2011

Canadian Game Title Updates

Garage IncFans of TransGaming Studio’s Garage Inc. game will be happy to know that the title will be available on the Big Fish Games portal tomorrow – unless you’re a BFG Game Club Member, then you can play it via the portal today.

Big Sandwich GamesToday’s PlayStation®Network update will include the long-awaited demo for HOARD™, Big Sandwich Games’ critically acclaimed action strategy game about dragons and their treasure. The full game is already available for purchase on the system.

“HOARD™ is at its strongest with a controller in hand,” says Tyler Sigman, the game’s designer. “We know that the addictive gameplay really sells itself when players get a chance to try it. We also know that a lot of consumers still don’t know HOARD™ exists, so we’re glad to finally make the demo available and remove that obstacle to new people trying the game!”

The demo will allow gamers to sample their fire-breathing, gold-collecting skills on several maps and game modes, including a 2-player local (“couch”) co-operative level. The full game includes 4 game modes, over 35 maps, leaderboards, trophies, and any combination of local and online multiplayer making HOARD™ one of only a few great options for 4-person couch-party style play.

HOARD™’s innovative gameplay and design focus on rock-solid short-session experiences earned it a “Best Quick Fix” award and “Best Competitive Multiplayer” nomination in IGN’s Best of 2010 Awards.

The full version of HOARD™ is for sale now on the PlayStation®Network for $14.99, and includes dozens of hours Big Blue Bubbleof gameplay and over 100 unique badges to be earned. HOARD™-themed avatars and wallpapers are also available.

Building on Burn the Rope’s phenomenal success in the App Store, Big Blue Bubble, Inc. is pleased to announce its upcoming major update to the top-selling iOS game. Praised by critics and gamers alike, Burn the Rope will be better than ever with new bug types, fast-paced bonus rounds, a new world of 16 never-before-seen-levels and beautiful Retina display support! We have also created a new “Burn the Rope Lite” version for those of you who prefer the try before you buy approach. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th February 2011

Smartphone Updates

airG2010 was a banner year for Vancouver’s airG, who saw its mobile social network grow to more than 55 million cumulative unique users worldwide, sending more than six billion instant messages on their mobile devices. Through partnerships with more than 100 mobile operators in 40 countries and support for more than 30 languages, airG is the most widely available mobile social network in the world.

“What distinguishes airG from other online social networks is its unique blend of social discovery, social utility and social entertainment,” said Vincent Yen, Co-Founder, airG. “Over the past ten years we have seen the popularity of airG grow consistently to more than 55 million cumulative unique users, with more than one million new users experiencing airG each month.”

airG enables mobile users to easily find, connect and share their world with their existing friends as well as millions of new people from around the world. airG’s proprietary social entertainment platform includes features like user identities and status updates, photo and video sharing, social games, instant messaging and virtual goods.

As a testament to the phenomenal power of airG to connect and entertain people on their mobile phone, in 2010 airG’s users shared more than 2.3 billion photos, sent more than 74 million virtual gifts, had an average of 30 new friends they met in the community, generated more than 7.9 billion minutes of use, and spent more than 77 minutes each day using airG.

“As Smartphones and mobile devices become the de facto channel to access the internet, we believe mobile social networking will grow at a faster rate than online,” added Dejan Mirkovic, Vice President Marketing and Corporate Development, airG. “With the extraordinary rate of growth airG experienced in 2010, we are on track to double the size our mobile social network by 2012.”

TelusSome Canadians will enjoy even faster mobile internet access speeds this March when TELUS launches its new Dual Cell upgrade to HSPA+ (DC-HSPA+). This new network capability supports extremely fast manufacturer’s rated peak download speeds of up to 42 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 11 Mbps( depending on the device being used, network congestion, distance from the cell site, local conditions and other factors). TELUS’ HSPA+ network is now a fourth generation (4G) network according to current International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standards (December 6 2010 ITU News Release:  ITU World Radiocommunication Seminar highlights future communication technologies), and this latest innovation will ensure that TELUS continues to bring the latest in mobile technologies to Canadians.
Sierra Wireless
The first device to take full advantage of this new Dual Cell capability will be the Sierra Wireless AirCard 319U 4G Internet Key, available to TELUS customers in March on Canada’s fastest coast-to-coast mobile network. That is, the fastest according to TELUS’ tests of data throughput speeds in large Canadian urban centres available from national HSPA+ service providers. Internet access speed provided by the network operator may vary due to the device being used, network congestion, distance from the cell site, local conditions and other factors. Speed on the Internet is beyond the wireless network operator’s control and may vary with your configuration, internet traffic, website server and management policies, and other factors. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th February 2011

Storied Places Contest to Celebrate Parks Canada Centennial

Canada's HistoryYou can’t travel back in time, but you can travel across Canada to experience a wide variety of historical and interactive getaways. From the monumental struggles between the British and French and the eventual Acadian expulsion, to the Klondike Gold Rush and the sacred sites now guided by the Haida Watchmen, the crucial turning points that define our history still resonate with us today.

“These places bring the past alive in a way books and television can’t. People young and old can get a feel for what things were like in the past. And for young people, a positive experience at a historic site will often ignite a lifelong interest in further explorations of our history and heritage,” said Nelle Oosterom, Senior Editor of Canada’s Adventure CanadaHistory magazine. “This special project is a fun way for us to do two things: draw attention to ten National Historic Sites that we feel are leaders in creating unforgettable visitor experiences and secondly, encourage Canadians to tell us how they have been impressed, enthralled, entertained, or enlightened at the historic places they’ve experienced.”

In honour of Parks Canada’s centennial, Canada’s History magazine and Adventure Canada invite you to share your stories. Whether your experience is as a visitor, an employee, a volunteer or someone who has helped to build or construct one of almost 1,000 National Historic Sites, Canada’s History wants to hear about your memories of these storied places.

Canadians of all ages are encouraged to write an essay of no more than 500 words about their favourite National Historic Site, and submit it online along with a photograph. Entries to the Storied Places Contest will also be accepted by email (storiedplacescontest@canadashistory.ca) or by regular mail at:

Storied Places, Canada’s History
Main Floor, Bryce Hall
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2E9

The grand prize is an all expenses paid cruise for two from Greenland to Newfoundland tracing the Voyages of the Vikings and visiting one of our top national historic sites, L’Anse aux Meadows. Other prizes will be awarded for runners-up and honourable mentions. Deadline for entries is July 25th, 2011.

There is also a school-based contest that will run until December 31st, 2011. Teachers and students who submit entries as part of a class project will be eligible to win the “ultimate class field trip” to Ottawa. Five regional prizes, involving a visit to a National Historic Site are also available to be won.

Canada’s History has selected its top ten places that bring history alive in Canada on the basis of historical significance and visitor experience. This is the definitive “bucket list” for Canadian historical tourism. They are:

Fortress of Louisbourg, N.S. – Shine a Light on Canada’s Seafaring Past
Louisbourg was once one of the busiest seaports in North America, thanks to the lucrative cod fishery of the Grand Banks. France spent 26 years constructing the strongest fortress on the continent. During the siege of 1758, the British dismantled every stone and brick. In 1961, the Canadian government began reconstructing the Fortress of Louisbourg and it now spans five hectares and features fifty buildings. Read the rest of this entry »

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8th February 2011

Trend Micro Launches Second Annual Story Contest

Trend MicroTrend Micro has announced the 2nd annual “What’s Your Story” video contest. The contest combines the powerful tools of Internet reach and user generated video to encourage young people to tell their stories and share ideas about online safety.

The Contest’s three entry categories mirror some of the largest challenges to being safe online: Being a Good Online Citizen, Using a Cell Phone Wisely, and Maintaining Your Online Privacy. Canadian residents (outside of Quebec) aged 13 and older can create and submit a video of two minutes or less about how best to stay safe when engaging in online activities such as texting, instant messaging, or using social networking sites.

“What’s Your Story is a creative, fun and relevant way for everyone from teachers to aspiring film makers, their friends and families to become more involved in their own online safety,” said Lynette Owens, director, Trend Micro’s Internet Safety for Kids & Families. “The level of engagement that teens in particular exhibited last year convinced us to expand the reach of this year’s contest beyond Canada and the U.S and into the UK. We are delighted to be joined this year by some of the world’s leading organizations advocating for youth online safety. Together, we believe ‘What’s Your Story’ promotes the positive use of the very thing we are trying to keep kids safe on.”

Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families has teamed with some of the world’s leading organizations that either provide access to kids online or advocate for their safety. The 2011 judging panel includes: Childnet International, Common Sense Media, ConnectSafely, Facebook, JENNiRADIO, myYearbook, Q2/UK, and Webwise Kids.

Unlike other video contests that rely on static and subjective criteria, “What’s Your Story” actively engages participants throughout the entire process through an on line review process. Video makers can share their submissions and encourage others to view and vote, which means voters also become active participants in the process. Only the highest-rated and most-viewed videos will be considered for prizes by the contest judges.

Ontario teens KJ Proux and Matt Bendo were finalists in the Being Safe on Line category for their video Pull the Plug on Bullying. A 30 second version of the video was shown 18 times daily on the CBS Superscreen in New York’s Times Square during the month of November 2010. Canada is one of the most connected countries on the planet and the highest percentage of regular on line users are teens. According to Statistics Canada, close to 99 percent of teens living in Canada use on line tools in their daily lives.

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

What’s Your Story 2011 will award a grand prize of $10,000.00 U.S. to the winning entry, with special $500 US categories for schools and individuals who submit entries. Contest submissions are due by April 5th and winners will be announced on April 26th.

Trend Micro also has a grant programme to provide financial, in-kind donations, or volunteer support to eligible organizations or initiatives that help educate families, parents, kids, teachers and schools on using the Internet safely and securely.

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8th February 2011

Amazon Names Most Romantic Canadian Cities

amazonWith Valentine’s Day around the corner, Amazon.ca has released its second annual ranking of the Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in Canada. They are:

1. Victoria 2. Guelph 3. Calgary 4. Saskatoon 5. Oakville (new) 6. Regina 7. Kingston 8. Kelowna 9. Nepean (new)
10. Burlington (new) 11. Winnipeg 12. Richmond Hill (new) 13. Edmonton 14. London 15. Kitchener (new)
16. St. Catharines (new) 17. Burnaby (new) 18. Thunder Bay 19. Richmond 20. Ottawa

This list was compiled by comparing Amazon.ca sales data of romance novels, sex and relationship books, romantic comedy DVDs and Michael Bublé CDs since Jan. 1, 2011, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 100,000 residents.

A closer look at Amazon.ca’s “most romantic” data reveals that:

* Victoria proves brains are sexy too, not only earning the honour of all-around Most Romantic City 2011, but also as the biggest consumer of romantic books.
* British Columbia is home to the top spot but more than half of the most romantic cities (11 in all) are in Ontario.
* Canada’s metropolises (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver) fail to make the cut this year, bested by smaller challengers like Nepean, Oakville and Richmond Hill.
* Last year’s winner, Saskatoon, falls to No. 4, though still remains a healthy lover of romance novels.
* Crazy Love: Though not quite placing in the Top 20, Brantford, Ontario, holds the distinction of being the single-biggest per capita purchaser of Michael Bublé CDs.
* Kingston is the place where residents are most likely to curl up in front of a romantic DVD, with Calgary and Nepean as the close runners-up.
* Always the bridesmaid: Calgary is the most consistent consumer of romantic products, landing in the top three of every category surveyed – though never No.1.

The above data is interesting, but just for the record, the original press release from Amazon’s HQ in Seattle listed Calgary as being in British Columbia, so if you’re waiting on an order shipment…

Amazon Says Calgary Is In BC

max the muttToronto animation school Max The Mutt™ has redesigned its Classical & Computer Animation & Production Diploma program. The updated 4 year curriculum focuses on character animation based on Warner Bros and Disney guidelines. With the school continuing to grow, Max the Mutt™  is opening additional facilities at 1139 College Street.

This Career College currently at 952 Queen Street West was founded in 1996 in a small studio by professional artists and animators. Max the Mutt’s founder, Maxine Schacker is an accomplished artist whose work has been exhibited in Montreal, Toronto and New York. She studied with world-famous Instructor of Drawing and Anatomy, Robert Beverly Hale, at the Arts Students League of New York.

As the success of the animation program grew, the school added programs in Illustration for Sequential Arts, and Concept Art for Animation & Video Games.  Most of the instructors at Max the Mutt™ are current, working professionals who teach on a part-time basis. All want to teach at Max the Mutt™ because of the serious, professional students, small classes, and ability to input the curriculum.

The new facility will house most of the courses for years 2, 3 and 4 of the animation diploma program and some of the 3 and 4 year courses for Concept Art students. Max the Mutt™ Productions Inc. will also be housed at this location. An additional benefit of the new location is an exciting art gallery. Max the Mutt™ plans to have ongoing shows of work done by students, alumni and faculty. A spring exhibition will celebrate the opening of the new facility showcasing work by the Max the Mutt™ faculty.

The updated 4 year animation curriculum includes a stimulating experience of working in a studio environment. Students from Max the Mutt™ will enter the industry with hands-on production experience, a skill that is extremely attractive to the industry.  The goal at Max the Mutt™ is to create and maintain a vibrant, ethical community dedicated to passing on skills to upcoming generations.

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