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24th May 2011

Rand McNally Commercial Truck GPS Now Available In Canada

Rand McNally now offers its line of award-winning truck GPS devices for sale throughout Canada. The IntelliRoute®synnex TND™ line is distributed in Canada exclusively by SYNNEX Canada Limited and will first be available at Traction, Heavy Duty Parts stores, Lordco – Auto Parts and at Amazon.ca.

intelliroute“Professional drivers in Canada will now be able to access our products at home, rather than coming stateside to make purchases. The IntelliRoute® TND™ has been designed for the North American market with full translation into French and Spanish. In addition, we have features that uniquely address driver needs in Canada, such as the ability to warn of border crossings ahead,” explained Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally.

The IntelliRoute® TND™ line was built from the ground up for professional drivers. Beginning with award-winning truck-specific navigation from Rand McNally, the units feature a speaker and mounting device designed for truck use, an extra-long power cable, and a suite of specialized Trucker Business Tools to assist drivers in managing the business aspects of trucking. Many of the features in the IntelliRoute® TND™ 510 and 710 units were developed as a direct result of tens of thousands of comments from “Tell Rand,” a unique on-device feature that provides continuous feedback to Rand McNally from the driver community.

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24th May 2011

230 Million Dollar Financing Completed for Xplornet

xplornetXplornet Communications Inc. (formerly Barrett Xplore Inc.), is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed a $230 million private financing.  One of the largest Canadian telecom financing announcements this year, the funds will be used to support and aggressively expand Xplornet’s broadband network across Canada to the 2.4 million households that do not have access to real, affordable broadband.  A start-up just 6 years ago, Xplornet is now one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies.

“This is an investment in rural Canada that will be nothing less than transformative,” said Xplornet’s Chief Executive Officer John Maduri. “This will allow us to complete a job we started 6 years ago -bringing affordable broadband to every Canadian who wants it, no matter where they live.  That is a monumental accomplishment in the telecom industry.  Not only is this a ringing endorsement of our business model, it will permit an historic leap forward toward the full digital engagement of rural Canadians.”

This funding comes on the heels of Xplornet’s recent announcement that it had successfully started activating its new national 4G network.  The company, which by the end of 2012 will have a total of approximately 1,000 towers, is deploying a 4G WiMAX network and two next-generation 4G satellites.  This network will allow Xplornet to reach 100% of Canadians with fast, affordable broadband by the end of 2012.  “Wireless is the future of digital telecommunications,” said Maduri, “and only Xplornet has invested this significantly in a hybrid satellite and fixed wireless network for Canada.  The fact that we can reach anyone on the second largest country on Earth – despite all the geographic and topographic difficulties – at an affordable price to customers – proves that wireless is the answer to Canada’s rural broadband challenge.”

The ability of Xplornet to secure a financing of this size reflects the willingness of investors to bank on a market that is both large and which has significant pent-up demand.  Gerry O’Reilly, Chief Financial Officer for Xplornet added, “This funding, which includes a very attractive refinancing of some existing debt, will enable Xplornet’s continued aggressive growth in rural Canada, and position us for continued success as one of Canada’s leading telecommunications companies.”

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24th May 2011

Interactive Media Fastest Growing Segment of Entertainment Industry

Ernst & YoungInteractive media is the fastest-growing segment of the media and entertainment industry, according to a recent report from Ernst & Young, Spotlight on profitable growth (PDF). Its rise to the top of the heap is fuelled by a renewed push to provide consumers with access to information and entertainment content through a variety of Internet-based formats.

“It’s all about content, and while that’s nothing new in the industry, this time, it’s becoming clear that the majority of future revenue both from advertisers and consumers will come from services rather than products. So everyone ? from venerable newspapers to social media networks to conglomerates ? is scrambling to find new and innovative ways to marry content with distribution channels,” says Neal Clarance, leader of Ernst & Young’s Media and Entertainment practice.Spotlight On Growth

Interactive media continues to benefit from consumers’ ongoing shift away from traditional media and towards online platforms. A good example is companies that provide streaming video services, which are changing the way people watch television. These companies in particular are pushing hard to find a wealth of content to entice users. Newspapers are trying new subscription models to push readers to their online content. Internet retailers also want in on the content action.

“To be sure, there is increased competition for established media conglomerates, but in spite of a difficult operating environment, media and entertainment companies continue to show resiliency,” says Clarance. “With advertising and consumer spending on the rebound, and digital initiatives gaining speed, improved growth and profitability lie ahead for the industry.”

Spotlight on profitable growth is a five-year study on the growth and profitability of the media and entertainment industry, based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of margin percentage and dollars. The new report ranks the top 10 media and entertainment industry sectors on both their profitability and profitability growth rate, and provides a performance comparison of the overall media and entertainment business to other stock market indices.

The ranking of overall average profitability during a five-year period according to margin percentage:

1)     Cable operators, 37.6%
2)     Interactive media, 34.6%
3)     Cable networks, 31.4%
4)     Satellite television, 27%
5)     Publishing, 20%
6)     Conglomerates, 18.8%
7)     Television broadcasts, 17.6%
8)     Film and television productions, 10.6%
9)     Electronic games, 10.6%
10)   Music, 10.6%

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24th May 2011

Parta Dialogue To Acquire GreenPod Web Platform

parta dialoguePARTA Dialogue Inc., an expert in Social Media and Social Learning for businesses, has announced its intention to completely acquire the GreenPod WEB platform in the coming weeks – subject to regulatory approval including that of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Parta Dialogue Inc. will complete acquisition of GreenPod Web platform in exchange for 810,000 Common Shares of Parta. In addition, Parta will pay 2000 € HT for expenses related to the platform remaining due. The Vendor, Robin Placet, is the director of Parta Dialogue SAS, a subsidiary owned at 90% by Parta Dialogue Inc, and as such is also an insider of Parta. The Vendor also agrees that its 10% stake in the share capital of Parta Dialogue SAS will be acquired by Parta for 500 € HT.

GreenPod.fr was conceived and developed by Web Me Up, a company specialized in producing web videos for brands. GreenPod.fr is a precursor in its field for two reasons. Its treatment of sustainability related news for the general public and its ultra-portable formats including a custom player for the Web, iPod and Smartphones. The core concept of the service is to deliver “green news” to subscribers wherever they are at. Reception of the service by mainstream media and brands marketing to green audiences has been positive from the start. After a year and a half of existence, GreenPod has become a hit with the blogging community in France. The acquisition of GreenPod will permit Parta to gain traction with social media communities based around sustainability discussions and multiply the delivery formats for its social media contents to reflect the new mobile nature of information browsing and sharing.

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24th May 2011

Absolute Software Wins Million Dollar Deal

Absolute SoftwareAbsolute® Software Corporation, provider of firmware-embedded endpoint security and management solutions has announced that the company has signed a million dollar deal to provide a leading K-12 school district with the Company’s Computrace® and Absolute Manage offerings, validating the requirement for organizations to apply both security and management best practices to all of their endpoints.

“The endpoint security and management markets are converging,” said John Livingston, Chairman and CEO of Absolute. “Customers have long told us they need to be able to securely manage their PCs, laptops and now tablets and smartphones in a more simplified, reliable and cost effective manner. With the addition of Absolute Manage to complement Computrace’s leading device tracking and data protection capabilities, we are evolving our offerings to meet this need. This contract win demonstrates that the expansion of our product base is delivering results.”

The customer had identified a need for lifecycle management for their entire estate of PC notebooks. In a competitive marketplace, the customer selected Absolute Manage due to its unique persistent PC capability, and its ability to securely manage their PC population with the addition of Computrace. By combining Absolute Manage with Computrace, the customer is able to rely on valuable cloud-persistent tracking and emergency response services to ensure their PCs can be reliably and securely tracked, managed, and protected.

Mr. Livingston continued: “It was the synergies the customer could realize by combining our security and lifecycle management solutions that tipped the scales in our favor.  This illustrates how Absolute Manage is creating new customer acquisition opportunities for Computrace. We believe our unique ability to provide organizations with both endpoint security and management tools for their computing assets and other mobile devices has us well positioned to emerge as a leader in the broad endpoint security and management market.”

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24th May 2011

Office Jerk Breaks Six Million Downloads as New Content Hits the App Store

fluikMillions of iPhone and iPad users around the world have unleashed their inner trouble-maker in the feel-good app of the year Office Jerk, the latest game on iPhone and iPad from Fluik Entertainment, continues to exceed expectations and delight audiences around the world. Since its Office Jerkrelease less than a month ago, the free app has been downloaded over six million times. It has become the number-one free app in more than 50 countries, as players take revenge on that one guy in the office that makes the rest of us look bad.

Not content with letting players toss pies, eggs, paper, dynamite and more, Fluik is offering an entirely new arsenal of destruction with today’s release of Office Jerk 1.2. The update includes all new items to hurl at that office mate you love to hate:

  • Smack him right between the eyes with the Sucker Dart!
  • Unleash your inner Tiger and nail him with a golf ball!
  • Toss the fan and blow him away!

Also, in response to countless requests from fans, an Android version will released later this week, giving millions more gamers a chance to discover what the rest of the world has already realized – there is always room for a little juvenile behavior in the modern office space.

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24th May 2011

Radian6 Sale Benefits BDC

bdcThe Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is pleased to announce that enterprise cloud computing company salesforce.com has completed the acquisition of BDC investee company Radian6. Salesforce.com purchased Radian6 for approximately US$276 million in cash and US$50 million in stock, net of cash acquired.

BDC Interim Executive Vice President, Investments, Jérôme Nycz says, “We are extremely pleased with this transaction and our return on investment, which is among the most profitable BDC Venture Capital has recorded. This successful exit is an excellent outcome for both Radian6 and salesforce.com, as well as for BDC Venture Capital and Canada’s venture capital industry. It is also good news for Atlantic Canada where Radian6 is based. The company has grown its employee base to several hundred and continues to serve its 2,400 customers from offices in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We expect its growth will continue and the organization will become a sustaining pillar in the business community in these provinces.”

BDC was a syndicate partner that invested in Radian6 in a first institutional round of financing in 2008. Co-investors included Summerhill Venture Partners and BrightSpark Ventures.

Jérôme Nycz adds, “BDC is grateful to have invested in the serial entrepreneurs that founded Radian6 and to have co-invested with local angel investors and savvy institutional investors focused on early stage opportunities.”

Radian6 was founded in 2006 and is the industry-leading social media monitoring platform. The company has more than 350 employees and is based in Fredericton, NB. Salesforce.com has more than 5,000 employees (including those at Radian6), was founded in 1999 and is based in San Francisco, CA.

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24th May 2011

Rastamouse Signed to EMI Music

dhx mediaDHX Media has announced that its hit preschool series Rastamouse has been licensed to EMI Music for a new album to be released on July 4, 2011.rastamouse

In the four months since its launch, Rastamouse has quickly developed into one of the most popular children’s shows in the UK where it airs on CBeebies and BBC2. Based on the successful range of books by Michael De Souza and Genevieve Webster, the critically acclaimed TV series follows the adventures of cool, music-making, skateboarding, crime-fighting Rastamouse & Da Easy Crew as they share their philosophy of ‘Makin’ a Bad Ting Good’. The official YouTube channel for Rastamouse has received over 750,000 views.

Music is a crucial element of the TV series, with Reggae, rap and hip-hop featured prominently, and most of the stories have strong musical themes. The brilliant new album features extended versions of super cool reggae tunes from the smash hit TV children’s animation series.  Rastamouse is voiced by actor / presenter / DJ Reggie Yates, who appears on the first single ‘Ice Popp’ and other tracks.

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

The album release will be preceded by the fantastic, fun, summer reggae sound of Rastamouse single ‘Hot Hot Hot’, to be released on 26th June, following Rastamouse & Crew’s live appearances at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival. The single comes with accompanying promo video and features hot new vocals from Scratchy. Rastamouse is also on the bill for the Lollibop Festival, Regent’s Park (5th-7th August) with other appearances to be announced shortly.

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24th May 2011

CDW Canada Announces Winners of Third Annual Teaching with Technology Contest

CDW CanadaCDW Canada, a provider of technology solutions for Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors, today announced the winners of its third annual Teaching with Technology™ Story and Sweepstakes Contest.

This year’s grand prize winner of the Story Contest is a teacher from Campbell River, and the two runner-up Teaching With Technologywinners are teachers from Richmond Hill and Barrie. All three were chosen by a panel of judges to receive grand prize technology packages. Ten sweepstakes winners (five educators and five IT professionals) were picked by a random draw to win various technology prizes. Finally, one winner was selected to win a prize bundle in the Tweet UR Tech Tale Contest. Introduced last year, this contest challenged educators to tweet their submissions in no more than140 characters.

“Educators across Canada are so passionate about their jobs and have really taken the time to implement great technology-based learning strategies,” says Mary Ann Yule, Vice President and General Manager, CDW Canada. “This year’s submissions are true testaments to that passion and to the dedication they have — engaging the future generations with inspired creativity and IT. Through these stories and by speaking with our customers, we know the significant impact technology can have on a student. We hope to inspire Canadian educators to go above and beyond in teaching with technology,”

Educators from across Canada were asked to write about how technology has improved or enhanced the learning experience in their classrooms. CDW Canada’s panel of IT experts reviewed the 200-500 word entries and selected three winners. Each prize bundle – ranging in value from approximately $5,000 to $6,000 – contains technology products that are useful in the classroom, such as projectors, personal computers, whiteboards, digital cameras, and networking software and equipment. The prizes will allow the winning schools and teachers to continue to make a difference in the classroom.

Winner #1: Southgate Middle School in Campbell River, B.C. – Robynne Fraser, special education teacher
Robynne submitted a story about how the use of technology in the classroom has had a drastic impact on students, including a teenage girl with select mutism who was able to speak for the first time; autistic students who learned how to make eye contact with the use of a digital camera; and children — not expected to be literate — who learned to read. Read the rest of this entry »

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24th May 2011

EA Sports Reveals NHL 12 Features

EA SportsWith the Stanley Cup® Playoffs heating up, Electronic Arts Inc. is getting in on the action with the announcement of new features for EA SPORTS™ NHL® 12, shipping on September 9th in Europe and September 13th in North America. Play your way to superstardom in the revamped Be a Pro mode NHL12 Leafsand experience the authentic action and energy of real life hockey with the Full Contact Physics Engine.

In the revamped Be a Pro mode, experience the pursuit of greatness and legendary moments in your playing career, shatter historic records and cement yourself in NHL history. Additionally, the better you play, the more ice time you’ll get where you can simulate to your next shift with the EA SPORTS Action Tracker so you’re always on the ice as you play out your entire career in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.

The NHL 12 Full Contact Physics Engine puts you in the rink with everything now live on the ice, from players to the environment – everything is interactive and in play. Experience the skill and aggression of hockey from NHL12 Iginlashattered glass to flying helmets to knocking players over the boards and into the bench; crash the crease too hard and you’ll knock the net off and send the goalie flying. Size and physicality will be emphasized as bigger players will be able to throw their weight around as they screen the goalie and battle in front of the net.

This year marks the first time players will face dynamic goalies in the game. Players can knock the net off and make contact with goalies, knocking them down or out of position, as they crash the crease. Watch as goalies battle through screens to make awe-inspiring saves. Additionally, we’re reigniting the beloved fighting engine that first appeared in NHL 10 with all-new goalie battles. When the action gets heated, send a message by leaving the net, dropping the gloves, and trading punches with rivals during fights.

All new gameplay presentation creates an authentic, fresh new look and feel throughout NHL 12 with NHL12 BlackHawkspresentation graphics that mimic real life hockey broadcasts. For the first time ever lace up outdoors under the lights in one of the biggest hockey events of the season, the 2011 NHL Winter Classic® at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, within seconds of putting in the disc. Inspired by the NHL GameCenter Ice Tracker, the all-new EA SPORTS Action Tracker presents game highlights and key moments so you never miss a beat.

This is just a sneak peek of what’s to come in EA SPORTS NHL 12. Stay tuned in the coming months for more news on the franchise as well as the EA SPORTS Hockey League and Hockey Ultimate Team. To get in on the action now visit EASports to pre-order your copy of NHL 12.

And remember – today is Game Day – Go Canucks!

From EA's NHL 11 Simulator

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