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10th May 2011

Open Mic Press Off To A Great Start With Drunk Texter

A small Canadian start up eBook publisher sits among a list of global publishing power houses as one of the top 50 Humor eBooks on Apple’s iPod Touch. Vancouver based Open Mic Press sales surged in May 2011 when bookstorechart.com named “The Best of Drunk Texter” by Ivana Murleau (we get it: I wanna Merlot) at 16th place in the category of Top 50 humor eBooks available for download on ipod, using the iBooks App available from the App Store on iTunes.best of drunk texter

“The Best of Drunk Texter is a hilarious book,” says Open Mic Press Co-Owner and Publicist Robert Christofle. “We saw a huge surge on all ebook sale sites when the news came out surpassing our other eBooks virtually overnight.”

The eBook is listed in over 43 countries with over 72 ebook sellers.

Open Mic Press was founded by Robert Greene and Robert Christofle in January 2011 to bring humour with a Canadian twist to the world ebook market. The venture was also an initiative to push environmental friendly publishing since ebooks creates little to no paper waste.

“It’s nice to see that a small ePublishing House from Canada with only two employees can compete against multi-conglomerates for readers of eBooks,” says Christofle.

According to data released by the Association of American Publishers, the growth of ebooks continues to accelerate to the obvious detriment of print books. In 2011, ebook sales surpassed hard cover book sales for the first time.



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10th May 2011

BC Government Endows MITACS With 3.5 Million Dollar Grant

mitacsA $3.5-million grant announced today by Premier Christy Clark will generate jobs and promote innovation by creating new research opportunities in the province.

The grant – awarded to MITACS, a Vancouver-based research network which creates and manages unique research and training programs – will enable B.C. graduate students and new PhDs to connect with businesses and apply their research to real-world challenges and attract top international undergraduate students to local universities.

“Research and innovation are key to economic growth in our province, and to providing jobs for B.C. families into the future,” Premier Clark said. “With this announcement, we are working with our partners to take great ideas from our university labs and turn them into excellent jobs, driving progress in every sector of our economy.”

The funding will create up to 300 new graduate internships through the MITACS-Accelerate program and 19 fellowships for recent PhD graduates through MITACS-Elevate, as well as foster better linkages between BC’s universities and some of the brightest international talent through the Globalink program.

Established in 1999, MITACS is a not-for-profit research organization which partners with government, universities and industry to recruit, train and retain graduate students in B.C.

“MITACS has far exceeded our expectations by connecting almost 1,000 graduate students with B.C. businesses and organizations to create innovative products and practices,” said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. “Today’s investment will help build the highly-educated workforce we need to be a leader in innovation and commercialization.” Read the rest of this entry »

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10th May 2011

Sun Life Financial Going Mobile

sun lifeSun Life Financial has announced that it plans to offer a free mobile application for group benefits and group retirement and savings plan members. Submitting benefit claims and saving for the future will be easier with a single mobile app that will redefine the plan member experience across Canada. Group plan members with an iPhone® mobile digital device or BlackBerry® smartphone will be able to download the free app directly from each manufacturer’s application marketplace. Users of other smartphones will have access to mobile web functionality shortly after the launch of the app.

For Sun Life group benefits plan members, the app allows them to submit medical and dental claims from their smartphones for instant processing. Plan members will be able to submit claims anywhere, anytime – even at point of sale – and could have their money deposited into their bank accounts within 24 to 48 hours.

Plan members will also be able to view the details of their submitted claims, even those submitted in paper through the mail, and have easy access to important benefit tools including their drug and travel protection cards. The app is scheduled to be available later this summer.

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Along with the group benefits capabilities, group retirement and savings plan members can check their plan balances and recent contributions right from their phones. Sun Life Financial will offer mobile access and three interactive financial planning tools that take everyday spending situations and show how easy it is to turn small expenses into substantial savings. These tools include:

  • Save today for more tomorrow
  • Small amounts equal big savings
  • Saving my bonus, saving my raise.

“Plan members have told us they’re looking for a faster, easier experience,” says Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We’ve provided that access in education sessions through the use of wireless enrolment and now we’re continuing the evolution of our technology for plan members by making mobile access available for account information and financial planning tools. We’re taking convenience to a whole new level for group retirement and savings plans.”

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10th May 2011

D-Box Expands Into Nebraska Theatres

D-BoxD-BOX Technologies Inc. has signed its first agreement with Rave Digital Media LLC to equip two screens in its Westroads 14 Theatre in Omaha, Neb. with a total of 46 D-BOX MFX Seats.

The Westroads 14 is scheduled to introduce the incredibly immersive D-BOX motion technology May 20th with the release of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. This is the first theatre in the state to offer D-BOX MFX Seats that pitch, roll and heave in perfect sync with the action taking place onscreen providing moviegoers a completely realistic movie-viewing experience.

“Rave is among the largest circuits in the U.S. so this first agreement is a substantial step forward toward our continued growth throughout the country,” stated President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master. “We are excited to complement Rave’s tradition of innovation and hope that our new collaboration will provide possible future opportunities for additional sites with Rave.”

“Our commitment to enhancing the movie experience through advanced technologies and exceptional comfort at our theaters is unwavering,” said VP of Marketing for Rave Motion Pictures, Jeremy Devine. “We view D-BOX as an incredibly unique, dynamic, and fun experience for our patrons.”

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10th May 2011

OpenText Wins Two SAP Pinnacle Awards

OpenText™ has been awarded two 2011 SAP® Pinnacle awards: Global Software Solution Partner of the Year and Open TextGlobal Enterprise Support Partner of the Year. SAP Pinnacle awards are presented annually to leading SAP partners that have excelled in developing and growing their partnership with SAP and driving customer success. Winners were selected based on over 150 nominations in 18 categories received from partners and SAP employees. OpenText will formally receive the awards on May 16th at SAPPHIRE® NOW, SAP’s international customer conference being held in Orlando, Florida this May 15th through 18th. The company’s solutions will be featured in more than 20 sessions throughout SAPPHIRE NOW and the 2011 ASUG Annual Conference.

“This year’s SAP Pinnacle awards and our growing presence at SAPPHIRE NOW truly reflect the strong and productive partnership OpenText and SAP enjoy together,” said Patrick Barnert, vice president, SAP Solutions at OpenText. “Not only have we won a Pinnacle award for the fourth straight year, but this year we have the honor of winning two in the same year, which is an impressive achievement. This is a true reflection of our teams’ dedication and hard work in delivering world-class ECM solutions, tightly integrated with SAP solutions, to our mutual customers.”

OpenText’s solutions for use with SAP applications are offered as part of the OpenText ECM Suite, which brings together the broad range of enterprise content management capabilities organizations need to securely and safely manage all types of enterprise information, documents, vital records, Web content, video, images, email, forms and reports across many different enterprise systems and applications and to make content available on mobile devices. The key benefit to customers is the transparent combination of content, collaboration and integrated business processes, which further ensure users can easily access relevant content.

“SAP is more committed than ever to a sound ecosystem strategy, which is key to delivering unmatched value to our customers and enabling SAP to reach its aggressive business goals,” said Eric Duffaut, president, Global Ecosystem and Channels, SAP. “We understand the power of our partnerships, through which we continue to drive game-changing co-innovation and expand our market reach and customer touch points – leveraging our partners’ local and industry expertise as an extension of our sales and services efforts – to satisfy the needs of customers of all sizes. As a recipient of two 2011 SAP Pinnacle awards, we recognize OpenText’s outstanding commitment and efforts in developing and growing its partnership with SAP and driving customer success.”

In addition to live demonstrations at SAP and OpenText (booth # 1936) exhibits, SAPPHIRE NOW attendees will have multiple opportunities to learn more about ECM solutions for use with SAP applications from their peers, from SAP and OpenText experts and from implementation partners. The more than 20 sessions being held at SAPPHIRE NOW and the 2011 ASUG Annual Conference cover a range of ECM topics touching on such areas as reducing paper in the HR department, managing content in the cloud, and further ensuring brand consistency and efficiency.

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10th May 2011

Design At Work The Best of Ottawa On Display

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) presents RGD Design at Work: Best of Ottawa, a juried exhibit of professional graphic design demonstrating how design creates value for business. On display at 350 Albert St. Lobby, from May 9-20, the reception will take place this evening from 6-8 P.M.

Design at Work presents exemplary graphic design projects created in the last two years. Each project is a miniature case study of how design can impact a client’s ability to communicate messages to key stakeholders and convey an organization’s unique qualities with clarity, consistency and energy.

“In this year’s Design at Work exhibit, you will see many great examples of the power of design and the marvelous results that can be achieved when a designer and client work together,” says Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management. “Whether it’s the website for a small start-up retailer, a promotional campaign for a global brand, or the rebranding of one of Canada’s leading media companies, professional designers, and more specifically, Registered Graphic Designers, can help any client to produce memorable, stunning and timeless communications.”

Featured design firms in this year’s Ottawa exhibit include: BmDodo Strategic Design, Cayenne Creative, Greenmelon, Mario Godbout Design, Natural Resources Canada, St. Lawrence College Marketing and Communications and Storm Communications. Clients range from the City of Gatineau, the Canadian Transportation Agency and the Canadian Judicial Council to the Egg Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Tulip Festival and Randall’s Home Décor.

RGD Design at Work: Best of Ottawa is sponsored by The Lowe-Martin Group.


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10th May 2011

Fundica Launches New Service For Ontario and Quebec

fundicaFundica, providers of unique services that help entrepreneurs efficiently find suitable funding programs and products, has launched new proprietary online services to intelligently help entrepreneurs and funding providers in Québec and Ontario. Fundica finds and tracks available grants, tax credits, loans and equity funding offered by federal, provincial and municipal governments, and private funding providers. Additionally, these services elevate the visibility of public and private funding providers’ initiatives.

Fundica offers a unique solution through its proprietary search, intelligent filtering and timely notification software. With an intuitive user interface, the Fundica solution allows for quick and easy matching of entrepreneurs with funding programs/products through an extensive and up-to-date database.

“Québec and Ontario have some of the best government and private sector funding programs/products in the world,” says Mike Lee, Eng., MBA, CFA, Partner, Fundica. “But, finding and tracking these initiatives can be mysterious and costly for busy entrepreneurs. Additionally, high advertising and administration costs can make programs/products completely ineffective for governments. We created Fundica to simplify the funding process for both entrepreneurs and funding providers,” adds Mr. Lee.

Fundica offers a free Basic Service that allows entrepreneurs to evaluate the number and size of potentially applicable programs/products before making a purchase decision. Fundica’s Premium Service includes comprehensive details on programs/products, advanced notifications and one hour of expert consulting. Depending on individual circumstances, it may be possible to fully complete applications within this one-hour period. Fundica’s Premium Service costs $40.00 per month, based on a 12-month subscription. Funding providers may change programs/products within Fundica’s database listings at any time and at no cost.

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10th May 2011

Touch Screen Controls for FIFA Soccer 12 on Nintendo 3DS

EA SportsBy now you’ve probably already heard that Electronic Arts Inc. has announced that EA Sports™ FIFA Soccer 12, currently in development at EA Sports in Burnaby, will deliver the most authentic, innovative and feature-rich 3D soccer experience on Nintendo 3DS™ when the game launches this fall. FIFA Soccer 12 on Nintendo 3DS will feature over 500 officially licensed clubs, new touch screen controls that will change the game play experience, and the first-ever 3D Street Soccer. With eight different game modes, it is the largest feature set ever developed by EA Sports for a hand-held soccer game.

Take to the pitch with superstars like Real Madrid’s Kaká and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, and become a true marksman using all-new optional touch screen controls. Enjoy precision shooting by picking a spot precisely from the player’s viewpoint using the lower touch screen and then finessing a shot with pinpoint Wayne Rooneyaccuracy. Utilize touch screen controls on set pieces to draw a shot that curves the ball around, or even power it over the wall for the match-winning goal that lifts your club to victory.

“We challenged our development team to develop innovative features that would maximize the FIFA experience on 3DS. They delivered intuitive new touch screen controls and a curved pitch in our Street mode that truly brings the 3D elements to life,” said Matt Prior, Producer for FIFA Soccer 12 on Nintendo 3DS. “When you combine these features and many other innovations with all the authentic players and kits for the upcoming season, we are confident that this will be the best soccer game available on Nintendo 3DS.”

Whether fans choose to take to the pitch as a real-world superstar or re-create themselves in the first-ever 3D Street Soccer mode, the environment will come alive through an innovative curved pitch and unique lower Van Persiecamera view that maximizes 3D planes, enabling gamers to experience the depth of the field and player movement with full 3D effects. Featuring players wearing the latest street gear, the stage will be set for epic 5 versus 5 matches in exotic street locales and indoor environments that are true to the spirit of street soccer. Plus, in Be A Pro, fans will be able to take their created player on a journey from the streets to ultimately compete for their favourite club and national side and become the next soccer legend.

FIFA Soccer 12 on Nintendo 3DS will feature fully authentic 11 versus 11 gameplay, head-to-head online matches using Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection, Tournament Mode with over 50 real-world competitions, a full in-depth Career Mode that enables gamers to play or manage their way to glory, 3D Street Soccer, Be A Pro and a Training Mode. It also features eight different camera angles to choose from for the perfect view of the pitch.

FIFA Soccer 12 has not yet been rated by the ESRB, and will be available in stores world-wide this fall.

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10th May 2011

TVO Kids Looking For The Best Teacher In Ontario

tvo kidsTVOKids is calling on students across Ontario to nominate their favourite teacher in its fifth annual Best Teacher Ever Contest, presented by Scholar’s Choice and in partnership with City Parent magazine. With the chance for both teachers and students to win great prizes, the contest is a perfect way to end the school year on a high note.

From May 2 until June 12, the contest gives kids in Junior Kindergarten up to Grade 6 an opportunity to recognize their teachers for the valuable work that they do. Last year’s contest received over 9,900 entries.

Both teachers and the students who nominate them have a chance to win. One teacher from each of three grade categories will win a $400 gift card from Scholar’s Choice and a netbook computer, and the students who nominated them will win a $100 gift card from Scholar’s Choice, an iPod Shuffle and a pizza party for their class. Five other entrants in each grade category will also win TVOKids prize packs.

To enter, kids must write to TVOKids describing what makes their teacher so special. Is it because they make every kid feel welcome and at home in the classroom? Do they go out of their way to give extra help after class? Or do they just make learning fun? Children from across the province can nominate their teacher in one of three categories: Junior and Senior Kindergarten; Primary (grades 1-3); and Junior (grades 4-6).

Entries can be submitted online or kids can send their submission by mail, being sure to include the name of the teacher they would like to nominate and their reason for nominating them, their school’s name, the child’s own name, grade level and phone number, and an original drawing showing why their teacher is the best teacher ever. Mail should be addressed to:

TVOKids The Space
Attn: Best Teacher Ever Contest
Box 200, Station Q
Toronto, ON
M4T 2T1

Winners will be chosen in a random draw and announced the week of June 12. Throughout the contest, a “Teacher of the Day” will be featured on tvokids.com. For complete rules, submission requirements, and prizing information, please visit tvokids.com.

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10th May 2011

TVO Kids Welcomes Two Inspiring Young Reporters

tvokidsKids and parents visiting TVOKids.com beginning May 31st will be introduced to two new and inspiring additions to the team. Ten-year-old Emma Evans from Toronto, and 16-year-old Hisham Mohammad from Whitby, join TVOKids.com as its newest Kid Reporters bringing back stories from the field from a typical kid’s point of view.Emma Evans and Hisham Mohammad Photo Credit: CNW Group/TVO

TVOKids producers worked with Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, where Emma and Hisham receive services, to help find kids who had talent and who could inspire kids who face challenges of their own.

“When TVOKids approached us to help find a Kid Reporter, we were thrilled because we know so many enthusiastic kids with great stuff to contribute,” says Genevieve Scott, Senior Communications Associate at Holland Bloorview. “Many people don’t know a child with a disability. Sometimes this can lead to false impressions about differences and misunderstandings. Emma and Hisham are role models for kids with and without disabilities. We are so proud of them and excited to see them on TV.”

For TVOKids producers the search of Emma and Hisham presented them challenges of a welcome kind.

“At first, we were looking for only one new reporter,” says Pat Ellingson, TVO’s Creative Head of Children’ Media, “but Emma and Hisham’s auditions were so wonderful that when it came to making the selection we realized we had to have two. They’re both enthusiastic, interested in people, and both have exceptionally bright minds. They are great examples of kids who demonstrate that there are no limitations to what you can achieve in life.”

Emma is a Girl Guide, a member of the Toronto Children’s Chorus, an avid reader who hosts monthly book clubs in her home and has published a short piece of writing in her school where she is a grade 4 student. Emma was also featured in a video for HeartSpeak, in which she talks about Cerebral Palsy, the challenges it presents to her in her life, and confessed to wanting to become an actress when she grows up.

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Hisham is a grade 10 student in the Performing Arts program at O’Neill Collegiate & Vocational School in Oshawa. A budding musician and athlete, Hisham plays alto saxophone and sledge hockey, is a member of the Junior National wheelchair basketball team, and names Rick Hansen as his role model. Hisham is also civic-minded, becoming the first page in a wheelchair in the Ontario Legislative page program at Queens Park.

In April, Emma and Hisham along with some of their friends met with TVOKids producers to talk about what stories they think should be on their editorial calendars including, a trip to the Toronto Zoo, bush-plane ride, the Canadian Air & Space Museum, Wheelchair sports, and Harbourfront Kids Camp.

Look for Emma and Hisham’s stories in the TVOKids Reporters page at TVOKids.com Ages 11 and Under.

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