18th April 2011

Postmedia Network Teams up with GeoPollster

postmedia networkPostmedia Network Inc. and Chicago company GeoPollster have teamed up to offer Canadians a new way to have their say and support their political party of choice. The result of this collaboration is GeoPollster Canada: Part real-world election game, part mobile polling experiment, that launches this week, and uses the location-based site Foursquare – where people can ‘check-in’ to places on their mobile devices.

First launched on National Post’s website and then on canada.com’s Decision Canada election site, the GeoPollster site today rolls out to all of Postmedia Network’s daily newspaper websites: Times Colonist (Victoria), The Vancouver Sun, The Province (Vancouver), the Calgary Herald, the Edmonton Journal, the Leader-Post (Regina), The Star Phoenix (Saskatoon), The Windsor Star, the Ottawa Citizen and The Gazette (Montreal).

“Most traditional polls are conducted by cold-calling random Canadians on landline telephones and can miss a growing demographic that relies more on mobile devices and social media to connect with each other and the world,” said Jonathan Harris, Regional Vice President, Postmedia Digital. “It got us thinking: What would polling data look like if anyone with a smartphone could answer ‘who will you be voting for?’ anytime and anywhere they wanted?”

Participating in GeoPollster is easy and fun to do, readers can sign in to the service with their Foursquare account and select which political party they currently support: The Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, Green or Bloc Québecois (this information is completely private and will never be displayed). Then, every time they check into a Foursquare venue anywhere in Canada, GeoPollster will count their check-in as a “vote” for that party. Votes are tallied in real-time to determine polling data for each venue and expressed on our live updating map. Read the rest of this entry »

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18th April 2011

Game Prototype Challenge Five Is On

Wordcamp Montreal, which is taking place this July 9th and 10th at Coeur des Sciences, Agora Hydro-Québec – UQAM has put out a call for speakers. Early Bird tickets are also on sale now for $30.00.

Game Prototype ChallengeGame Prototype Challenge has announced its development theme for April – Companion and Rising. Participants have until 11:59pm on April 25th, 2011 to submit their game prototypes. That’s one week away, with a preview event known as Screenshot Saturday taking place on – you guessed it – this coming Saturday. This is the fifth round of prototype challenges, and if the previous four are anything to go by, this one will also see some awesome entries. You can check out all of the previous entries on the challenge’s web site.INplay 2011

The Early Bird registration rate for Interactive Ontario’s INplay 2011 conference has been extended until April 27th. Get your tickets now for what promises to be a great event. If you are a Canadian digital media designer, don’t forget to send in your submission for the CMF Canadian Interactive OntarioInteractive Showcase, the deadline is May 2nd.

Interactive Ontario has also released the results of its recent eLearning survey. Designed to examine the challenges faced by the province’s eLearning and cultural industry sectors, the 63 page PDF report (which I am still working my way through) looks at opportunities for growth and cross-pollination among all industry genres, including books, gaming, film, television and music.

OMDCSticking with Ontario for the moment, OMDC is now accepting applications for 2011/12 cycle of the OMDC Export Fund – Interactive Digital Media. This program provides eligible Ontario interactive digital media content producers with funding to participate in export development activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. Primary activities supported are market event attendance and targeted sales trips that relate to the strategy.

In order to be eligible, all applications must be submitted electronically through the Online Application Portal (OAP.) Interested applicants must register their company’s corporate information here prior to commencing an application.

For technical assistance with registration or the application process send an email to OMDC. Applicants are encouraged to commence the application process well in advance of the deadline in case technical support is required. Complete Guidelines and the link to the OAP are posted on the OMDC website.

In lieu of an information session, applicants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on a first draft of their OMDC Export Fund application through a one-on-one pre-application meeting with an OMDC Consultant. Participation in pre-application meetings is not a requirement and is offered as a courtesy for applicants who may be unfamiliar with the program and/or require additional assistance. Applicants are also encouraged to contact OMDC at any time with questions regarding this program.

Pre-application meetings will take place on May 9 and 10, 2011. Please send in an email to schedule a meeting please email programs@omdc.on.ca. Once your email request has been received, OMDC will contact you to schedule a time on one of these two days.

Here is a look at Part Two of the EA Sports video series on re-launching the SSX franchise with SSX: Deadly Descents:

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

mts-allstreamManitoba’s MTS has joined the “PVR from Anywhere” movement with the the launch of its My PVR (Personal Video Recorder) service which enables MTS Ultimate TV customers to add, change or delete their Whole Home PVR recordings using any computer with an Internet connection or from select mobile devices. This service is available free of charge to all MTS Ultimate TV Whole Home PVR subscribers.

“My PVR is a great addition to our MTS Ultimate TV service and will give customers the freedom to manage their Whole Home PVR from outside their home,” said Stan Kurtas, Vice President, Marketing, MTS. “We are always working to bring our customers the latest in technology in order to enhance, what we consider to be, the most feature rich television service in Canada.”

My PVR, which can be accessed through the customer’s MyAccount portal, offers customers the opportunity to browse through MTS’s online program guide to see what programs will be on in the next 12 days, search by title and create a shared login so anyone in the family can manage recordings over the Internet.

rabbleIndependent media site rabble.ca is celebrating its 10th anniversary by launching Media Watch, an initiative committed to dispelling myths perpetrated by ideologically driven reporters and sensationalist media. “We don’t want people to be blinded by SunTV,” said rabble.ca Publisher, Kim Elliott. “Our new media watch blog will feature a media consumer Twitter feed #sunwatch and the keen eye of Alheli Picazo.”

Coordinator of Media Watch and rabble.ca blogger, Alheli Picazo, wrote an expose in 2010 entitled “Ezra Levant vs Reality – A Prelude To Fox News North” in which she thoroughly challenged Levant’s characterization of George Soros. Following this piece Soros filed suit against Levant and Sun Media, resulting in a full retraction and apology printed in The Sun’s editorial section 13 short days after Levant’s original column ran.

“With the official launch of Sun TV News – featuring none other than Levant himself – there has never been a better time to establish a media accountability service,” said Picazo.

Though it’s starting off small, Media Watch aims to cover a wide range of media, from uninformed editorials and inaccurate reporting. rabble.ca’s team of dedicated spin decoders and lie detectors won’t just point out misinformation, but will provide readers with links to, and information about, the sources from which we cite accurate information. Be it scientific data, peer reviewed research, documented fact or expert analysis, we’ll share the tools you need to further investigate the issues.

Canadian voters are invited to tune in to rabbleTV on April 18 to watch special election coverage (“for the rest of us”) with the launch of the show Real Issues. Host Trish Hennessy (researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and author of the Hennessy Index) will be joined by guests Canadian Auto Workers economist Jim Stanford, Greg Elmer, Director, Infoscape Research Lab and Bell Globemedia Research Chair, and Atkinson Foundation’s Olivia Nuamah. This first panel responds to the leaders’ debates and the campaign so far, and will tackle the issue of strategic voting. 


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18th April 2011

UFO Digest Canada Has Launched

ufo digest canadaDirk Vander Ploeg, publisher of the very popular website UFO Digest is excited to announce the launch of his newest website, UFO Digest Canada.

Canada is in the forefront of UFO disclosure globally and it’s about time Canada had its own UFO website dealing exclusively with Canadian UFO sightings, photos and videos considering that Alberta was the first location in the World to open a UFO landing pad back in 1967. Hon Paul Hellyer, the former Canadian Minister for National Defense was the guest of honour at the opening, arriving by helicopter. Hellyer described his time as Minister for Defense from 1963-1967 where the occasional UFO sighting report crossed his desk. He claims to never having time for what he considered to be a “flight of fancy”, but nevertheless retained an interest in the UFO phenomenon. He also gave a speech in Toronto at an event titled: “Exopolitics Toronto: A Symposium on UFO Disclosure and Planetary Direction“. He also describes a private UFO sighting he later had with family and guests, but once again attributed it to a ‘flight of fancy’ rather than anything having serious policy implications.

From Vancouver Island to Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada has had its share of UFO sightings. Famous among UFO lore is the report of a UFO crash into the waters off Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, October 4, 1967. Then there is a report of a UFO landing outside of Carp in Ontario. The story involves a UFO crash and retrieval efforts, extraterrestrials, Canadian and American investigators, the RCMP, TV show producers and a handful of witnesses.

Vander Ploeg has also videos of an unknown object of his own, ” Let me take you back to the summer of 2001. I was watching the morning sky at approximately 2.00am. Venus was in the eastern sky and I decided to use my video camera to get a closer look at the planet. What I noticed was that the planet had a companion. I believed it was either another planet or a star. But during the time period I watched the sky, the object which was to the left of Venus paralleled the planet, moving through the sky and remaining the same distance from Venus. What then happened was extraordinary! The object to the left, whatever it was, began to fade and then when it had almost disappeared completely, suddenly moved rapidly to the right eventually fading into nothingness!”. The original video has not be edited and is available for expert analysis. Read the rest of this entry »

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18th April 2011

Tech Data Canada Signs Distribution Agreement With Ruckus Wireless

tech data canadaTech Data Canada has partnered with Silicon Valley company Ruckus Wireless™ to offer Ruckus “Smart Wi-Fi” systems and technology to its 5,000 reseller and solution provider customers across Canada. Through the agreement, Tech Data will distribute the entire line of Ruckus ZoneFlex™ Smart Wireless LAN products throughout the country.

With the availability of Ruckus ZoneFlex systems, value-added resellers (VARs) can offer their end-user customers in the healthcare, education and government industries advanced wireless networking capabilities at a fraction of the cost of other available systems. The ZoneFlex suite of products is perfectly suited to address today’s high density mobile computing environments, as businesses and government organizations grapple with the flood of handheld devices tapping into their networks.

The Ruckus ZoneFlex system is the only wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that combines intelligent RF routing and smart Wi-Fi meshing within an easy-to-use and centrally managed architecture. The combination of these technology breakthroughs gives enterprises the ability to achieve two to four times the range, reliability and performance at half the deployment time and cost of competitive alternatives, as well as the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in the market – making ZoneFlex ideal for the channel and their customers.

“The ‘Tablet Computer Age’ is upon us, and as a result, businesses everywhere need more robust wireless networks to support the influx of smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices being used by employees and visitors – most of which have no capability to connect to anything except wirelessly,” said Rob Mustarde, vice president of worldwide sales for Ruckus Wireless. “As a leading IT distributor for many of the key vertical markets we serve, Tech Data’s reach throughout Canada, as well as its localized warehousing in Western and Eastern Canada, will be of tremendous benefit in bringing our solutions to more channel partners, and ultimately, a broader portion of the Canadian market.” Read the rest of this entry »

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18th April 2011

Onestop launches fun Federal Election Game Ballot Blitz

onestop mediaBuilding on the wildly successful voter engagement game Mayor Munch, Onestop Media Group has launched Ballot Blitz – an online game starring animated versions of Canada’s top five party leaders: Stephen Harper, Michael Ignatieff, Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe and Elizabeth May.

Ballot Blitz is accessible online through Onestop’s consumer site and is promoted nationally to the millions of people viewing Onestop’s portfolio of  Digital Out-of-Home Networks across the country.ballot blitz Registration is required in order to play the game.

Ballot Blitz features Live poll results based on the animated candidates’ popularity.  Playonestop.com will also feature a series of fun election-specific polls and content. Over the next few weeks, Onestop will be using its digital media channels, PlayOnestop.com, Twitter, and Facebook, to promote several creative polls as an alternative to the dozens of scientific polls and ‘more-serious’ election media.

“History shows youth engagement leads to next generation voters. As a Canadian company immersed in the digital landscape, we have the mandate and social responsibility to do just that… help the communities in which we operate engage youth in this federal election in a fun fashion relevant to their generation,” says Michael Girgis, President and CEO, Onestop Media Group.

The digital and interactive campaign largely targets what is recognized as an untapped voting community of 18 – 34 year olds. As an incentive, Ballot Blitz players are eligible to win an Apple MacBook. The contest closes Friday, April 29th at 5:01pm.

 

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18th April 2011

BC High School Wins NEC Technology Giveaway Extravaganza

NEC TechnologyCommercial LCD display and projector solutions provider NEC Display Solutions of America has named Chase Secondary School as the winner of its $25,000 giveaway contest. Administrators at Chase Secondary will choose $25,000 worth of NEC products for the Chase, BC secondary school. Local dealer and NEC Star Student reseller Points West Audio Visual Ltd had notified Chase Secondary of the contest, suggesting that the school submit an entry.

“We’re extremely excited to work with Chase Secondary on their technology makeover and design something that will benefit both the faculty and students,” said Ashley Flaska, Vice President of Marketing at NEC Display Solutions. “Chase Secondary’s video submission was incredibly creative with a touch of humor that really got the public audience’s attention. We hope this contest brought awareness to schools about how they can improve their classrooms and computer labs, and that NEC has programs in place to help our customers achieve their ideal setup.”

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After more than 25,000 public votes during the month of March, Chase Secondary emerged the favorite and will take home the grand prize. The school has chosen to install projectors in its classrooms and desktop monitors. The four runners up include Robbin Hebrew Academy (Toronto), Rockvale Elementary (Rockvale, TN), St. Jude School (Joliet, IL) and Valley View School (North Brookfield, MA). Each of the runners up will receive a 32-inch NEC-E321NEC E321 for their schools. The contest through NEC’s Star Student (education) program received more than 200 entries during the submission period, and a panel of NEC judges reviewed all video submissions to select the most creative and deserving schools for the top five.

“On behalf of all the students and faculty at Chase Secondary, we are thrilled to be the grand prize winner of NEC’s Giveaway Extravaganza and humbled to be receiving new innovative technology that will benefit our students’ education,” said Mark Wereley, English Teacher at Chase Secondary School. “The staff is very much looking forward to selecting projector and desktop models for use in their classes to help improve student achievement. NEC creates reliable products that our teachers can count on and use to enhance their lessons and engage students.”

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18th April 2011

Office 365 Public Beta Available Now

Microsoft CanadaMicrosoft has announced the public beta of Microsoft® Office 365, the company’s next generation cloud productivity service for businesses of all sizes, which is set to officially launch later this year.

Office 365 was introduced in limited beta last year, bringing together Microsoft Office, SharePoint® Online, Exchange Online and Lync Online in an always-up-to-date cloud service. The public beta allows millions of people in more countries, including Canada, to try Office 365 for the first time.office 365

In addition, Microsoft unveiled the Office 365 Marketplace today, which gives customers a simple way to find partner apps and services for Office 365. Since the introduction of Office 365, more than 150,000 organizations, from independent professionals to large enterprises, have signed up to test it.

“Microsoft has been in the cloud supporting larger organizations like Kraft Foods, Starbucks, The Royal Mail Group and Swedish Red Cross for years. It was energizing to see that worldwide, more than, 70% of the organizations that signed up for the limited beta were small businesses with fewer than 25 employees,” said Bryan Rusche, product manager, Office 365, Microsoft Canada. “Here in Canada, Office 365 resonates with small businesses that want full-featured professional technology, delivered in a way that makes sense for their company.”

With Office 365, moving to the cloud doesn’t require people to change the way they work, because it’s based on the familiar, industry leading productivity tools people know and trust.  Employees get new ways to work together with ease, on virtually any device or mobile phone, using familiar applications, such as Office, that they already know and love. Business owners get the reliability, security and IT controls they need in the cloud.

The Office 365 Marketplace gives customers a simple way to find apps and services when they want to extend and customize Office 365. The Marketplace is now live with over 40 apps and 400 services available from the established community of more than 16,000 Microsoft cloud partners – with new apps and services to be added over time.

With Office 365 professionals and small businesses can be up and running with Office Web Apps, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Lync Online and an external website in approximately 15 minutes, for $6.75 Canadian per user, per month (minimum seat is one).

Office 365 for enterprises has an array of choices for midsize and large businesses as well as government organizations, starting for as little as $2.35 per user, per month (minimum seat is one) for basic e-mail. Office 365 for enterprises also includes the option to get Microsoft Office Professional Plus desktop software on a pay-as-you-go basis, for the first time ever. For $29.25 per user, per month (minimum seat is one), organizations can get Office Professional Plus along with e-mail, voicemail, enterprise social networking, instant messaging, Web portals, extranets, voice conferencing and videoconferencing, web conferencing, 24×7 phone support, on-premises licenses, and more.

 

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