5th April 2011

Microsoft Canada Breakfast Campaign Launched

msnEveryone knows the best way to start the day is with a good breakfast, but it’s something many Canadian children miss out on. That’s why Microsoft Canada teamed up with long-time partner Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada to create the MSN.ca Breakfast Campaign, which launches nationally today.

“Close to 700,000 Canadian children live below the poverty line. Boys and Girls Clubs in 700 communities across Canada support critical areas of healthy child development, including addressing child hunger through the provision of nutritious meals and snacks to thousands of young people in need,” says Pam Jolliffe, President and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. “Our longstanding partnership with Microsoft is having a Boys and Girls Clubs of Canadatremendous impact on the lives of the more than 200,000 children, youth and families we serve, and we are thrilled to be working with the MSN.ca team on this Breakfast Campaign, which will help us have an even greater impact on child hunger and nutrition in Canada.”

The eight-week social media campaign encourages Canadians to reset their homepage to MSN.ca – for every homepage reset, Microsoft Canada will donate a breakfast to Boys Microsoft Canadaand Girls Clubs of Canada. With a target of 100,000 homepage resets and breakfast donations, the campaign is anchored by a Facebook application that allows users to ‘toast’ their profile photo and post it to the Wall of Toast, share the cause with their social networks on Facebook and visit MSN.ca to reset their homepage.

“Microsoft Canada has proudly partnered with Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada for over a decade through programs like CanTech, Digital Arts competitions and an Annual Holiday Greeting Card competition,” says Gavin Thompson, Director of Corporate Citizenship, Microsoft Canada. “We are thrilled to offer our Facebook fanbase a unique way to engage with MSN.ca and make a difference in the lives of Canadian kids through the breakfast campaign.”

distribution360Distribution360 has been very busy over in Europe. Earlier today the company announced that it has secured the worldwide distribution rights—excluding the UK—for the brand new animated preschool adventure series, Olive the Ostrich (52 x 5’), created by BAFTA-winning animation studio Blue-Zoo. The series will premiere in the UK on Nick Jr. in September 2011.olive the ostrich

Written in a highly descriptive, storybook style, Olive the Ostrich is a CGI animated series for kids, which chronicles the adventures of a young ostrich named Olive on her imaginary travels to all sorts of amazing places. In each episode, animators bring to life real pictures drawn by children and submitted through an integrated online component. These animations create all the guest characters, places and objects that Olive encounters. Inquisitive and enthusiastic, Olive loves to solve problems and help people whenever she can. She’ll try anything once, which can get her into trouble, but always finds fun and inventive ways of getting herself out of it.

“Olive the Ostrich is a wonderful new series, and we’re very pleased to be partnering with Blue-Zoo to bring Olive’s adventures to markets internationally,” says Stéphanie Röckmann-Portier, Head of Sales, Distribution360. ?This truly engaging and interactive property allows us to further explore the preschool market for new and exciting opportunities.”

“Olive is a unique property that has been brought to life by children for children. Core to Olive is story making and creativity – both important ingredients in creating a successful property, said Oli Hyatt,Director Blue-Zoo. “We are pleased to be working with Distribution360, and hopefully Olive will now be enjoyed by children in many more countries.”

panduitJoin your peers and industry experts from Panduit, The Uptime Institute, Cisco, and Emerson at the Novotel Toronto Centre in Downtown Toronto on May 26th to learn how you can drive change within your enterprise to become more efficient, productive and agile.

Panduit’s ‘The Nature of Transformation’ Roadshows feature presentations, interactive sessions, and roundtable discussions with industry experts that will address business challenges such as evolving customer expectations, technologies, regulations and sustainability initiatives. With a focus on best practices and methodologies, Panduit, Emerson, and Cisco will also discuss cutting-edge solutions in data center and building planning, design, and management that reduce costs while enhancing business performance. Space is limited, so register early if you want to attend.

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5th April 2011

American Schools Turn To Absolute For Theft Recovery

Absolute SoftwareAbsolute® Software Corporation has released details of several laptop theft recovery success stories from K-12 school districts across the U.S. that utilize Computrace® by Absolute Software. These recoveries, along with the over 5,000 stolen computers recovered in the last 12 months, demonstrate the value of security software in the prevention of data breaches and the financial loss associated with laptop theft.

Computrace has been successfully deployed by school districts across 39 states as an effective and proven layered approach to endpoint security. In fact, 75% of America’s top 20 school districts depend on Computrace persistence technology to provide them with actionable intelligence to understand where their devices are, regardless of location, and take the necessary action required when a device is at risk.

“School districts throughout the U.S. are facing drastic budget cuts, and as a result, the ability to adequately track, monitor and protect expensive mobile assets both in and out of the classroom is more critical than ever before,” said Lyle Singular, vice president of recovery services, Absolute Software. “The power of Computrace persistence technology combined with the expertise of our Absolute Theft Recovery Team and their established relationships with local authorities provides a clear value proposition to all organizations. Our technology provides resource-strapped IT departments with the necessary visibility and control they need to track and manage their deployed devices and get them back quickly should a crime occur.”

Carleton Elementary School, part of the Detroit Public School District, recently fell victim to large-scale theft. Included in the items stolen were several Mac laptops, which were outfitted with Computrace software. Relying on the tracking capabilities inherent in Computrace, Absolute worked with the local police department to provide a trail of clues leading directly to a suspect.

When contacted by law enforcement the suspect admitted that while he did not steal the devices, he had recently purchased them for $400 each from a nearby gas station. He agreed to return the stolen laptops and one day later, the devices were returned to Carleton Elementary. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th April 2011

IAB Canada Announces New Mobile Council And New Partnership

IAB CanadaThe Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada today announced the launch of its new Mobile Council, and new partnerships with the Mobile Experience Innovation Center (MEIC) and OCAD University, to drive Mobile Marketing research, education and innovation in Canada.

The Mobile Committee, which has been operating under IAB Canada’s Emerging Platforms Council since 2006, will now be broken out into a full Mobile Council (with various committees now able to organize under it).

Work already done by IAB Canada’s Mobile Committee over the past 6 years includes:



  • Inclusion of Mobile marketing within the Essential Interactive Handbook (2004-2007), produced with Marketing Magazine as part of the IAB Canada/Marketing Interactive To The Max Conference.
  • Creation of a dedicated Mobile In Motion Handbook and Mobile In Motion Roadshow with Marketing Magazine (2006).
  • Inclusion of Mobile marketing modules within IAB Canada’s Intensive One-Day Course In Interactive Marketing (since 2006), and the recent launch of a fully-dedicated Intensive One-Day Course in Mobile Marketing (2011), to SOLD OUT! classes and rave reviews In Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.


  • Inclusion of Mobile Ad Standards within IAB Canada’s Canadian Universal Ad Package (since 2010).
  • In-progress work on revisions to Mobile Ad Standards, and the development of new Tablet Ad Standards specifically for Canada.


  • Inclusion of Mobile marketing in IAB Canada’s MIXX Canada Conference + Roadshow — including Mobile Keynotes by Neil Sweeney (formerly StreamTheWorld, now Juice Mobile), Alan Li (Adtech), Kamar Shah (Vortex Mobile), Anthony Novac (Spreed:Inc.) since 2008.
  • Launch of IAB Canada’s MIXX Canada Mobile BlackBerry App (since 2009).

IAB Canada’s Mobile Council will be jointly chaired by Peter Vaz, Vice President, Director Digital Communications, MacLAREN M2 UNIVERSAL (who will also retain his Chair role on the Emerging Platforms Council), and Sara Diamond, Chair, Mobile Experience Innovation Centre; President, OCAD University; and Board Member, Interactive Ontario. Read the rest of this entry »

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5th April 2011

Rock Legend Gene Simmons Endorses and Partners with Ortsbo

intertainment mediaIntertainment Media Inc. has announced that its social media, real time, language translation platform Ortsbo has been endorsed by international rock legend, accomplished global entrepreneur and one of the world’s most recognized personalities, Gene Simmons, who has signed on as a business partner and to serve as Ortsbo’s official spokesperson.

The personification of today’s globally connected, multi-cultural citizen, Simmons is fluent in five languages, including English, Hebrew, Hungarian, and German, as well as some Japanese and he’s working to add Mandarin to his repertoire. Simmons will lend his legendary personality to help spread the word about Ortsbo’s unique, ortsbotranslator experience platform that integrates seamlessly with the most popular social media platforms to enable users from around the world to instantly send and receive messages in their native language.

Along with the new logo created by Gene Simmons, Ortsbo is launching an engaging, dynamic website that offers users the choice of Ortsbo for Silverlight and Ortsbo HTML that is compatible with desktop and mobile browsers, iPad, and other portable computing devices for consumer and commercial environments.

“Ortsbo has changed my life. I can now instantaneously communicate with fans around the world in their native Gene Simmons Family Jewels Image Credit: Gene Simmonslanguage. It’s opened up so many new doors for me – personally and in business,” said Simmons.

Unlike typical translation software, Ortsbo eliminates the need to cut/copy and paste text into a translator by automatically translating typed text into the specified language instantly. Users simply indicate the desired language for their intended recipient and Ortsbo does the rest. Ortsbo even lets users conduct multiple chat sessions simultaneously across multiple social networks in multiple languages in real time.

Free for consumers to use, the Ortsbo service is ideal for both personal/social communication, allowing users to chat with friends and family around the world or around the neighborhood, and for business communications. Global colleagues can use Ortsbo to collaborate and chat about projects in their native language for faster and more efficient communication that reduces the risk of misunderstanding due to translation errors.

For businesses, Ortsbo provides multi-lingual global communications solutions via RSS, API solutions, private chat networks and custom services allowing organizations to provide seamless communications with their constituents.

“Ortsbo is tearing down language barriers to bridge communication gaps in our infinitely connected global society,” said David Lucatch, president of Ortsbo. “Whether you want to communicate with family and friends back home in Europe, or a business associate in Japan, Ortsbo is changing the way people communicate around the globe by automatically translating your conversation in real time.”

In just nine months, Ortsbo usage has reached the same level that it took internet bellwether Facebook 29 months to achieve, outpacing usage growth at the world’s largest network in one-third of the time. Ortsbo boasts more than 9 million unique users each month. Since launch, over 26.9 million unique visitors from more than 170 countries have logged more than 132.7 million minutes using Ortsbo, translating conversations automatically into more than 50 global languages.

Ortsbo integrates seamlessly with all the most popular social networks you already use, including Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and many more. For business or personal use, the Ortsbo for Outlook plug-in module will automatically translate emails sent and received for a one-time purchase of just $29.95.

“Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected every day, but the fact that we’re all speaking different languages remains a significant obstacle in achieving a real global connectivity and consciousness,” Lucatch said. “Ortsbo’s quick and easy automatic translation that eliminates the need for the hassle of cut/copy and paste can help eliminate this barrier to move us forward economically and socially and help us to overcome some of the stereotypes, cultural challenges and political obstacles that stand in our way.”

Here’s a trivia fact for you – Gene Simmon’s Family Jewels is the only “family” reality show we watch. No Osbornes, no Kate & Jon, no Sister Wives. We watch the Simmons, because for all their celebrity, they are not afraid to their strengths, their weaknesses, and most of all, their humanity.

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5th April 2011

CANARIE DAIRs Technology Entrepreneurs to Accelerate Innovation

canarieCANARIE Inc. has announced that it is accepting proposals from technology entrepreneurs and innovators to develop their products, services or applications using Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, offering a unique opportunity and competitive advantage for Canada’s small and medium-sized information and communications technology (ICT) companies.

CANARIE’s DAIR – the Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research Program – is a shared R & D environment where users can design, prototype, validate and demonstrate pre-commercial technologies on demand and at no charge during the pilot phase of the program, which runs from May 2011 until March 2012. Based on a successful pilot, the program will be expanded to incorporate additional users, such as multinational enterprises and academic researchers.

The  Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research Program is open to developers of:

  • Multi-player online games
  • Transactional software such as e-banking
  • Telecom software such as billing
  • Web-based apps such as social networking/marketing
  • Other digital products, services and applications

“Canada is rich in terms of technical talent and technology start-up companies. There are many companies involved in developing advanced networking solutions and associated software systems across the country. The DAIR Program represents an innovative way to help these companies rapidly develop solutions for world markets. It will provide a substantial boost to the technology R & D community in Canada,” said Terry Matthews, Chairman and founder of Mitel, March Networks, Solace Systems and many other Canadian technology companies.

“DAIR is a very welcome program,” said Mr. Matthews. “This will help a large number of developers in smaller ICT organizations who often lack the resources to test their solutions in an advanced R & D network environment.”

CANARIE announced DAIR in December 2010 in response to data showing Canada’s ICT sector underperforms in comparison to its global peers. DAIR is designed to stimulate the ICT sector by removing a competitive barrier for SMEs and by promoting made-in-Canada product development and commercialization.

DAIR helps accelerate time-to-market for SMEs by providing access to an R & D environment consisting of a high-capacity fibre optic network, macro cellular and WiFi access, and compute and storage resources. This environment will offer SMEs the opportunity to move products quickly towards commercialization, without incurring additional development costs.

Applicants are urged to submit their proposals by April 22, 2011, as these will be evaluated by May 2. Proposals accepted after that date will be evaluated within 5 business days. The first group of users is expected to access DAIR in May 2011. Selection criteria for the program include expected cost and time savings with respect to product development, and alignment of technical requirements with DAIR resources.

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5th April 2011

Open Text Named Top Software Company For Third Year Running

Open TextOpenText has been ranked Canada’s top software company for the third consecutive year by the Branham Group, a leading Canadian industry analyst and strategic consulting firm serving the global information technology marketplace.

“OpenText is really a homegrown Canadian success story, given that the company evolved from an ambitious project at the University of Waterloo initiated 20 years ago,” said John Shackleton, Chief Executive Officer at OpenText. “We’re delighted to have become one of Canada’s flagship high-tech companies, and to be named the top software company again this year.”

The Branham300 has highlighted the top Canadian and multinational ICT companies operating in Canada, as ranked by revenue, for almost 20 years. “OpenText leads the Canadian Software sector on the Branham300 again this year, closing yet another year of positive growth,” today’s Branham300 announcement states.

OpenText’s growth is reflected in the expansion of its headquarters location in Waterloo which when completed this summer more than doubles the capacity at the facility. The company now operates in 114 countries serving millions of software users worldwide and partnering with companies like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle. OpenText is focused on providing social networking software that is secure and robust enough for use behind corporate firewalls; mobile solutions to ensure that content can be accessed everywhere; and advanced content analytics technology to improve search and Web user experience. OpenText was the first company ever to provide secure social networking collaboration for world leaders at the Toronto and Korea G-20 Summits held in 2010.

“OpenText is helping enterprises globally manage content challenges, something that is becoming increasingly critical in a digital world,” said Shackleton. “When meeting with our customers throughout the world, we find that the role of enterprise content management solutions has never been more relevant for improved productivity and performance.”

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5th April 2011

Introducing Puzzle of the Day for Burn The Rope

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble is pleased to announce that Burn the Rope for the iOS fans can now play a new puzzle every day. Players can log in daily to see a fresh, new challenge. Additionally, Burn the Rope fans are invited to submit their original puzzle ideas for development as a Puzzle of the Day.

Puzzle of the Day is a unique game feature introduced in the 1.3 game update now available to all users. Every day, players of Burn the Rope for the iPhone will receive a new puzzle to play, which means free ongoing new content designed by users.

Anyone who submits a puzzle design has a chance to win a free T-shirt, bragging rights, and the undying admiration of Wickman if their puzzle is selected to become an actual game level. One puzzle will be selected every day so there’s plenty of opportunity to win. Submit a puzzle now to become one of the first winners.burn the rope key

“Puzzle of the Day strives to give users more influence over the kind of levels they most enjoy. With the ability to design and rate their own levels, players can create an experience they want and not what we think they want.” stated Dave Kerr, designer of Burn the Rope.” Plus, they’ll get a ton of new levels to solve.”

Burn the Rope is a challenging game where you try to burn as much rope as you can in each level, and as the fire only burns upwards, you have to tilt and turn your iOS device to keep your flame alive – and sometimes it’s burning up three or four different ropes, all headed in different directions.

As you progress through the levels, you’ll encounter bugs crawling along the rope. Different bugs have different reactions to the flame. For example, the ant changes the color of the flame so you can burn different colored ropes, and the spider shoots out a web bridge so you can access parts of the level that you could not before.

Burn the Rope is incredibly fun and addictive. You will actually feel like you’re burning a rope, yet there’s no need for a fire extinguisher.


· 112 exciting levels that are fun for the whole family
· New puzzle of the day feature
· Incredibly fun and addictive that is easy to learn but hard to master
· Unique controls with beautiful graphics and cool fire effects

Burn the Rope has received a great deal of praise from the critics and has been nominated for several awards including Best of 2010 and several categories in the upcoming Canadian Video game awards. Burn the Rope was also selected as “App of the Day” on both Gizmodo and TUAW. Burn the Rope 1.3 is $1.99 (USD) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category, as is Burn The Rope Lite version. A new Unlocking System has been introduced in Burn the Rope Lite, which now includes the ability to earn every level in the original game, for free.

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5th April 2011

Second Season Confirmed For Skatoony

skatoonyThere’s more loony Skatoony fun on the way for TELETOON fans. The Canadian broadcaster has ordered a second season of the marblemedia-produced hit TV series Skatoony (26 half-hour English and 26 half-hour French episodes), and further expansion of the popular multiplayer online game on Skatoony.ca. Skatoony is based on the Cartoon Network UK format.

“Skatoony has proven to be a very successful franchise both in English and French Canada, and we’re excited to be starting production on its second season in association with our long-time partner TELETOON,” says Mark Bishop, Executive Producer/Partner, marblemedia. “The great thing about Skatoony is that it encourages education and learning through fun and engaging trivia games,” adds Bishop. “There is a high-level of interactivity both on-air and online that resonates well with kids.”

Production of the second season has begun in Toronto on the animated/live-action comedy series that pits tweemarblemedians and toons against each other in competition through frantic, trivia-based rounds – but only one will be named Skatoony Quiz Champ. The live-action portion of Skatoony is being filmed in front of a green screen with contestants chosen through an audition process, which took place in Toronto and Montreal over the past two months. In addition, teletoon.com held a wildly successful contest and a winner from both English and French Canada will appear on the show. To add to the excitement of the second season, there will be special “celebrity” toon appearances by popular characters from other TELETOON hit series, such as Total Drama Revenge of the Island (Fresh TV) and Jimmy Two-Shoes (Breakthrough Entertainment).

teletoon“TELETOON is incredibly excited to bring Skatoony on board for a second season – a series that has become a beloved part of our programming lineup,” says Alan Gregg, Director, Original Content, TELETOON Canada inc. “We’re delighted to have more celebrity appearances from TELETOON’s other original productions that will enhance the new season and the overall game-show experience that Skatoony brings to our viewers.”

This year, teletoon.com launched its first-ever multi-player online game, the marblemedia-produced Skatoony Home Game (available at Skatoony.ca), which has been played over 85,000 times with over one million trivia questions asked to date. Kids play against other real kids in real time as well as computer-generated characters, distribution360and compete in the same trivia rounds featured on the television series, such as Bang On or Bogus and Hoo Flung Dung. The more kids play, the more Skatoony Bucks they collect, which can be used in-game to purchase accessories to customize both their avatar and their quiz show block.

Distributed internationally by Distribution360, Skatoony TV and Skatoony Interactive were produced with the financial participation of TELETOON Canada inc.; Canada Media Fund; Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund; Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit; Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit; Canadian Television Fund – Digital Media Program; OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund.

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