30th April 2011

Tiga Talk Wants To Give You A 4G iPod Touch

tactica interactiveTactica Interactive, creators of the Tiga Talk Speech Therapy game have launched a contest with a 4G iPod Touch as the top prize.  The contest is open to anyone aged 15 and up (void in Quebec), and will feature 9 bi-weekly Tiga Talk prize packs on top of the Grand Prize: tiga talk

Grand Prize Draw: One (1) Grand Prize draw will be made at 1 pm on Friday September 2, 2011. The Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected among the entries and the name of each winning entry will be declared the potential winner.

Bi-Weekly Prize Draws: Nine (9) Weekly Prize draws will be made every second Friday starting May 6th, 2011. Each of the Weekly Prize winners will be randomly selected among the entries and the name of each winning entry will be declared the potential winner.

All you have to do to win is talk about Tiga Talk by using the form or links on the Contest Info Page to share Tiga Talk with your friends on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr, or show them your  own Tiga Talk blog, YouTube video or other way you are spreading the good word about Tiga Talk. Please refer to the Contest Rules for full entry and prize details.

aptnTiga Talk, the companion game to APTN’s television show by the same name, is currently on sale for $1.99 USD in the iTunes App Store, and was developed with licensed speech and language pathologists. Tiga Talk is a fun way for children to develop speech sounds through playful voice-controlled games that can improve speech clarity, articulation, and instill confidence. The app is for parents and speech Tiga Talk Submarinetherapists working with toddlers and children with language delays, as well as any parent looking to give their child a head start in early language development.

Children learn fundamental phonetic sounds, that are the building blocks of language, as they play 23 fun voice controlled games on an imaginative adventure with Tiga and friends. Game play rewards are based entirely on participation, not accuracy, so the child is constantly getting positive feedback as long as they are trying to make sounds.

Game activities include piloting a boat, helicopter, hot air balloon, race car, train, submarine, and even flying a rocket ship to visit the moon. Players can pop balloons to reveal clues to guide them on their adventure as well as knock over obstacles that lay in their path, including towers of tires, ice blocks, hay bales, crates, logs or even moon rocks.

Before each game children are introduced to a new phonetic sound by game characters. They are shown a cartoon image representing the sound and are encouraged to try saying the sound aloud. The app listens to make sure they’re verbally participating and congratulates them if they are and showers them with friendly encouragement if they aren’t.

Tiga Talk’s other features include:Tiga Talk Rocket

  • Voice controlled games encourage kids to speak clearly
  • Game play based on actual speech therapy sessions
  • Beautifully vibrant graphics and a variety fun learning games designed to engage young children
  • Entertaining cartoon characters deliver lots of positive feedback
  • An exciting interactive story adventure
  • Licensed speech therapists selected the apps 23 core phonetic sounds
  • Audio and video hints help demonstrate the correct way to make language sounds
  • A sound meter to measure voice volume levelsTiga Talk - Ball
  • Track progress and earn gold stars the more you play
  • Children are able to practice specific sounds and games
  • So easy to play young children can even use it by themselves

Here are just some of the benefits to be gained with Tiga Talk:

  • A great way for all kids to get a head start on language development
  • Kids learn to pronounce sounds more accurately including syllables, letters, and letter combinations
  • Help your child improve coordination and strength of speech muscles
  • Children learn through sound repetition and imitation
  • Children differentiate between sounds they hear and create a broader base vocabulary
  • Improve communication between the child’s brain and the body through visual and auditory aidsBell Fund
  • Improve childhood communication with peers and adults
  • Instill a sense of pride and confidence in your child

Tiga Talk is rated 4+ and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th gen) and iPad. It requires iOS 4.1 or later. Tiga Talk is developed with the financial support of the Bell Fund.

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30th April 2011

The Office Jerk Awaits Your Barrage In The iTunes App Store

fluik entertainmentEdmonton dev studio Fluik Entertainment and Big Fat Simulations, a BC studio located not far from the Village Office JerkGamer cave in the Fraser Valley, have released a new free to play title in the iTunes App Store.  The ad-supported Office Jerk is available now for the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, and if you prefer to torment co-workers ad-free, you can purchase the Remove Ads Pack for $0.99 USD.

For anyone fed up with people at their work place – and we’ve all been there – The Office Jerk is the harmless, feel-good game of the year for anyone tired of dealing with brown-nosing, know-it-all coworkers. From the comfort of your cubicle, unleash a barrage of comical destruction upon your unsuspecting victim – from office supplies like paper and pencils to hilariously dangerous staplers and dynamite. You can also purchase the ACME Pack ($1.99), which will add to your arsenal and up the damage you can inflict on your annoying office mate. The ACME pack includes pies, eggs and incendiary devices, while the $0.99 Ad Unlock will provide you with the stapler and coffee mug. The free version includes a wad of paper, a pencil and an eraser.

Of course, just tossing stuff at The Office Jerk isn’t always as easy as flinging the nearest stapler. The office fan adds to the challenge of nailing your target by intermittently causing a draft that can influence the flight path of your weaponry.

The Office Jerk is rated 9+ for Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence, and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, requires iOS 3.1 or later.

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30th April 2011

Murphid Coming to Windows Phone 7

Decapod StudiosDecapod Studios has announced that its incredibly addictive puzzle game Murphid will be launching on Windows Phone 7 early next week for $0.99. I can vouch for the addictive quotient, as I have played…and played…and played Murphid on the Xbox 360 – you can read my review of the game here.Murphid for WP7

Just as in the Xbox 360 version of Murphid, players must use their puzzle solving skills and fast reaction to withstand attack waves of gorgeous marble hordes and bring those beasts under control in this Collapse-Match 3 styled game. Deep, yet simple core game mechanics coupled with astonishing graphics, immersive sound effects and adaptive gameplay result in intense climatic moments that modern gamers are craving. Murphid’s underlying FunQuantization™ technology has been optimized to run flawlessly on Windows Phone 7.

Time-tested, solid fun features include:

* Engaging Campaign spawning more that 70 levels of marble blasting madness.
* Three game modes for players to choose from to suit their playing style.
* More than 10 powerups to help players redefine the game field and wreak havoc in a blink of an eye.
* 8 exclusive Awards to boost the replay value further by throwing extra challenges at the player.
* Pre-filled Leaderboard to give the game nostalgic, old-school touch.
* Awe-inspiring HD visuals with full widescreen support.
* Charming sound effects to create the ambience.
*Adaptive gameplay technology for challenging and fun gaming experience for players of all ages.

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30th April 2011

SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers Advance Preview

siggraph 2011The SIGGRAPH Technical Papers program is the premier international forum for disseminating new scholarly work in computer graphics and interactive techniques. SIGGRAPH 2011 takes place this August 7th through 11th at the Vancouver Convention Centre, and 82 Technical Papers will be presented. They were selected from among 432 submissions.

The papers to be presented were chosen by a distinguished committee of 52 experts from academia and industry. This year’s Technical Papers program also includes conference presentations for 33 papers published this year in the journal ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG). A complete listing of all the papers presented in this year’s program will be available on the SIGGRAPH 2011 web site in late May.

“Each year, the SIGGRAPH Technical Papers program evolves to feature the most cutting-edge advances in technology,” says Hugues Hoppe, SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers Chair from Microsoft Research. “This year is no different as SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers will provide a look into some of the latest achievements in facial animation, stereo and multi-layered displays, procedural modeling, and rendering.”

In addition to core topics of modeling, animation, rendering, imaging, and human-computer interaction, the Technical Papers program encouraged submissions from areas related to computer graphics, including: computer games, design, vision, scientific and information visualization, audio, and robotics.

Featured highlights from the SIGGRAPH 2011 Technical Papers program:

High-Quality Passive Facial Performance Capture Using Anchor Frames

A new technique for high-quality facial performance capture that leverages the repetitive structure of face motions to automatically locate frames with similar expressions, called anchor frames. High-resolution geometry is reconstructed and temporal motion is propagated in parallel using robust image-space matching between the anchor frames.

Authors: Thabo Beeler, ETH Zürich and Disney Research Zürich; Fabian Hahn, Disney Research Zürich; Derek Bradley, Disney Research Zürich; Bernd Bickel, Disney Research Zürich; Paul Beardsley, Disney Research Zürich; Craig Gotsman, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology; Bob Sumner, Disney Research Zürich; Markus Gross, Disney Research Zürich

Practical application as suggested by the Technical Papers Chair: Highly detailed facial capture using multiple cameras without markers.

Bounded Biharmonic Weights for Real-Time Deformation

Deformation by linear blending dominates practical use as the fastest approach for transforming 2D and 3D shapes. This paper develops “bounded biharmonic weights” that produce smooth and intuitive deformations for any combination of points, bones, and cages of arbitrary topology, making control of deformations simple and flexible. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th April 2011

Starmine From Zyx Entertainment Now on iTunes

starmineStarmine, the debut title for Vancouver’s Zyx Entertainment is now available in the iTunes App Store for $1.99 USD. This colourful match 3-styled puzzle game currently features 120 levels, 3 game modes, starminemulti-touch controls,and Retina Display support as well as  Game Centre Leaderboards & Achievements to unlock. Starmine can be played for a few seconds, a few minutes or as long as you can survive, and you can  join the Facebook community for game updates, tips and tricks.

Every puzzle has multiple solutions, and with no move restrictions, players can solve each puzzle in any way that works for them. Puzzle game veterans will appreciate the fast-paced puzzle action. Special blocks keep the game fresh while the deep scoring system, achievements and leaderboards will push you to your limits and keep you coming back for more.

System requirements:

iPhone 3G+
iPod G3+
iOS 3.2+ (4.1+ for Game Center)

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29th April 2011

Star-Twine For PC Now Available

star-twine by eric billingsleyNew from game developer Eric Billingsley is Star-Twine, a strategy game with ambient sounds, unique visuals and a virtually infinite number of levels to play on.

Battles unfold on three-dimensional maps where you, a small point of light, must build structures to extract energy from the threads that make up the world. Energy can be spent on new structures, each with their own unique abilities. The enemy AI builds while you build and reacts to your play-style. This results in challenging battles that require strategic insight and quick thinking.

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As a small point of light, you travel along a sprawling three-dimensional map, building new structures as you fly around each level. The game emphasizes positioning and timing rather than micro-management, and there are many options open to you at all times. Your objective is to destroy the enemy’s structures before they destroy yours.

Features:

  • Unlimited number of procedurally generated levels
  • Skirmish mode with multiple difficulties
  • Online 1 vs 1 multiplayer and LAN play
  • Fully 3D maps where attacks can come from any angle
  • Ambient electronic soundtrack and abstract visuals which create an atmospheric, relaxing experience
  • Simple RTS gameplay that emphasizes positioning and timing rather than micro-management

There is a demo version available, and if you like Star-Twine, you can purchase the full version on Star-Twine.net, Desura or GamersGate.com.

System Requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7
  • Processor: 1.5GHz CPU
  • Memory – 256MB available RAM
  • Hard Disk – 200MB available disk space (Additional 200MB for .NET Framework 3.5 if it is not already installed)
  • Video Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible card with Shader Model 2.0 Support and 256MB VRAM (NVidia GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon x1600 or better recommended)
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29th April 2011

Going Loud Studios Presents Lair of the EvilDoer

going loud studiosGoing Loud Studios, creators of the XBLIG and WP7 title Zombie Accountant, has announced their sophomore title: Lair of the Evildoer – which leads us to a good news-bad news scenario.

First, the good news! The evil Dr. Odious has created you and given you the gift of life.

Now, the bad news! He’s decided you are not worth his time! Now you must escape his procedurally generated lair, fighting monsters and collecting loot as you go.

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Features:

  • 20 levels procedurally generated by pure evil, ensuring unique experiences with every playthrough
  • 26 types of enemies, also generated by pure evil
  • Over 15 weapons with which to destroy those enemies (phew!)
  • Weapon affix system to keep you hunting for the best loot. Seek out the “Kickass Shotgun of Haste”, avoid the “Cheap Pistol of the Chicken”
  • Stat-based leveling system, to help you escape the lair the way you want to

Lair of the EvilDoer is scheduled for release in Spring 2011 on the Xbox Live Indie Games marketplace.

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29th April 2011

Race For Your Life in Need For Speed The Run

EA Black BoxGet ready to rip up the road! Adrenaline junkies and speed fiends will find themselves on the wrong side of the law when they race for their lives in Need for Speed™ The Run, coming this November from EA Black Box. The hottest blockbuster this holiday is a game that takes players on a heart-pounding cross-country race from San Francisco to New York. Launching on November 15, Need for Speed The Run lures players into an underground world of illicit, high-stakes racing on the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3, PC, Wii™ and Nintendo 3DS™.

The heat is on – and it isn’t just the fuzz who are after you. Entering the race is just the beginning as you blow across borders, weave through dense urban traffic, rocket down icy mountain passes and navigate narrow canyons at breakneck speeds. Powered by DICE’s state-of-the-art Frostbite™ 2 engine, Need for Speed The Run takes the action racing genre to new heights with stunning visuals and car physics that hug the road even at top speeds all built around a gripping storyline. The cars are hot, the racing is intense and the story will have you at the edge of your seat… all the way from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Empire State building.

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“This is the year that Need for Speed goes to the next level,” said Jason DeLong, Executive Producer at EA. “We think that Need for Speed The Run is going to surprise people with its intense, thrilling story and big action feel. But the game would be nothing without hot cars and crazy-fast chases. So that is what we’re delivering — explosive racing that will have players flirting with disaster at 200-miles an hour.”

Using the groundbreaking Frostbite 2 engine, Need for Speed The Run will set the bar with unparalleled visual quality and enhanced physics. Need for Speed The Run will also take immersive storytelling to a new level with cutting edge performances that will draw the player into a world with no speed limits, rules or allies. Autolog, the Need for Speed franchise’s revolutionary social competition functionality, is back and better in Need for Speed The Run as it will continue to reinvent how people play games, track career progression and compare game stats.

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29th April 2011

Micro Volts Get Zombified

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd is pleased to announce that its new Zombie Mode for the anime inspired third person MMO shooter, MicroVolts will launch next Thursday, May 5th. The much-anticipated feature will allow players to become “Zombified” and take on the role of a Zombie Toy in this popular third-person-shooter currently in open beta.

With the introduction of Zombie Mode, even toys can become zombies as infected players take on the role of a Zombie Toy with unique abilities to hunt players with uninfected toys.  Uninfected players will have all weapons available but may not have as much ammo as they are accustomed to playing with which may leave them vulnerable to a “Zombie Toy.”
Micro Volt Zombification
In addition to the upcoming Zombie Mode, the MicroVolts online community hub continues to undergo updates to provide players with even more functionality.  Players now have the ability to directly compare their stats with friends and any MicroVolts player in the world!  In addition, achievements will be coming soon to the Club House along with the ability to share with friends, and competitive players can look forward to future updates taking their game to a whole new level.

“The unique style and variety of modes are some of the main components that make MicroVolts stand out from other shooters and throwing zombies into the mix makes it that much more fun,” said Howard He, President of Rock Hippo Productions. “We also know that the Club House is an important community hub for our players, so we are always striving to update it and give them features that help them interact with their fellow MicroVolts players.”

MicroVolts features fast paced, third person shooter action and pits players against each other in a secret battle that has been waged and going unnoticed right in our own backyard for years.  No one knows for sure when or where the first toy declared war but rumor has it that the uprising began with four original limited edition figures, code named MicroVolts. Battle lines were drawn when Naomi, Knox, Pandora, and C.H.I.P.-the prototypes a-were soon joined by an endless number of modified versions. Now, toy figures around the world are engaged in an all-out war for valuable battery resources and supremacy of the Micro World.  All we can do now is stay out of their way and wait for a champion to be declared!

With a ton of weapons, inventive character designs, and a huge list of customization features, MicroVolts is destined to invigorate and re-energize the Free2play space. Intuitive controls and a third person view make the game easy to play and fun for both newcomers and veterans of shooter games.  Game modes include Free for ALL, Team Deathmatch, Item Match, Capture the Battery, and many more featuring various maps designed by toy concept.

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29th April 2011

Business News and Social Media Election Updates

rtndaThe Association of Electronic Journalists and RTDNA – The Radio Television Digital News Association vehemently opposes Section 329 of the Canada Elections Act, which prohibits transmission of election results to the public in a district where polling stations are still open.

The law was initially intended to curb national media outlets from “prematurely transmitting” electoral results across time zones, theoretically preventing election results in Eastern Canada from influencing voters in the West, despite a lack of evidence suggesting that has ever been the case. The stakes are raised a bit more now with social media’s emergence as a primary reporting tool. As it stands now, if a media organization or individual tweets about or Facebook comments about Canada’s election results prematurely, a law has been broken with the offender subject to a maximum fine of $25,000, or up to five years in prison.

“Social media is emerging as a critical tool spawning new hopes for democracy in northern Africa and the Middle East. We should not see it going the other way in Canada,” said RTNDA Canada president Andy LeBlanc. “The Canadian news media has long been prevented from broadcasting election results to places where the ballots are still open. That didn’t stop people from calling friends and relatives on the other side of the country to discuss ongoing election results. Millions of Canadians using Twitter and Facebook should not risk persecution for participating in an unfolding democratic process, the kind of political engagement people in other parts of the world are dying to achieve.”

“We’re living in a breaking news, digital world,” said RTDNA Chairman Mark Kraham. “News consumers expect – and are entitled to – the most up-to-date, comprehensive information available, especially when it comes to electing a nation’s leaders. This law is archaic and? condescending to voters and should be revised as soon as possible.”

“RTDNA strongly advocates ethical and responsible elections reporting,”?Kraham continued. “Information about election results should be delivered after a strong confirmation process ensuring that voters are given accurate information.”

In a report by the Montreal Gazette, John Enright, who speaks for Elections Canada, said his agency has no choice but to administer the law as written. Citizens are allowed to phone or text friends, or send private e-mails. But posting to a Facebook wall, to a webpage or to Twitter will be considered a violation.

“The legislation is still on the books, so our role as Elections Canada is to administer the legislation that is before us,” said Enright, in the Montreal Gazette report. “If there’s a breach of the law, Elections Canada is not going to discriminate between the Mothercorp and Joe Smith down the street.”

poyntPoynt Corporation has announced the issuance of 150,000 stock options at an exercise price of 0.15 to an officer of the Company.

The options have been granted under the terms and conditions of the Company’s approved option plan. The Company has a 10% “rolling” option plan which reserves for issuance on exercise of options a maximum of 10% of the number of common shares of the Company outstanding from time to time.

mobilicityMobilicity has enhanced its leadership position as Canada’s rising new wireless carrier, announcing that it has raised $215 million through a debt offering. Canada’s premier institutions were key investors in this new offering, which was led by National Bank Financial Inc. and GMP Securities. The offering represents one of the largest capital raises for an emerging telecommunications carrier in Canada in recent years, and will provide Mobilicity with growth capital to further strengthen its customer experience across Canada.

“Mobilicity has a compelling business model and the best value proposition for consumers and we are excited about getting additional support from Canada’s financial community,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Dobbin.

“Today’s news, made just two weeks shy of the first anniversary of our Toronto launch and on the heels of our successful launch in Calgary yesterday, confirms Mobilicity’s place as the leading, innovative new entrant in Canada’s wireless industry,” Dobbin added. “We are very well positioned for future growth and opportunities.”

The company’s Chief Financial Officer Joe Prodan said, “Our strong balance sheet, best-in-class services and low-cost operating structure provide the strength and flexibility required to provide terrific value to Canadian wireless consumers.”

D-BoxD-BOX Technologies Inc. has announced a new agreement with FTT (the company’s first European distributor for commercial theatre expansion) to equip a first theatre with Austria’s Cineplexx with approximately 50 D-BOX motion seats.

The Cineplexx in Linz, Austria will boast two auditoriums with D-BOX Motion technology. This newest theatre in Europe marks the first sale of D-BOX in Austria for commercial theatre usage. Under D-BOX’s international business model, in addition to the revenues generated from the sale of the systems, the agreement will generate licensing fees payable to D-BOX in accordance with the systems’ use.

“As a result of our highly advanced international business model and collaboration with FTT, we are continuing to generate considerable interest in our motion technology from theatre companies throughout Europe,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master. “We are steadily increasing our presence in this part of the world and look forward to developing additional partnerships similar to our new relationship with Cineplexx.”

Most recently, D-BOX announced that theatres in Germany and the Netherlands will soon feature its immersive motion technology adding to a growing list of countries that also include Japan, China (Hong Kong), Canada and the U.S.

YANGAROOYANGAROO Inc. has announced its results for the year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2010. Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 44% higher than the revenue for the same period of 2009 and revenue for the fiscal year of 2010 was 3% higher than the revenue in fiscal 2009.  The increase in revenue is a result of greater use of DMDS for music video delivery by the major labels and the independent sector.  Revenue is expected to continue to increase as billable US music audio and video deliveries grow, independent sector usage increases, and billable advertising delivery volumes rise. Read the rest of this entry »

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