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  • Canadian Government Confirms 20 Million Dollar Investment In Youth Business Foundation

6th June 2011

Canadian Government Confirms 20 Million Dollar Investment In Youth Business Foundation

Canadian Youth Business FoundationToday’s federal budget confirmed the Government of Canada’s commitment to young entrepreneurs through a continued confidence in the work of the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF).

With today’s budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed $20 million over two years in CYBF funding, an investment that will help the national charity continue to expand in order to meet the growing demand for start-up assistance. CYBF provides character-based start-up financing and world-class mentoring from business expert volunteers to young Canadians, enabling them to launch more than 1,000 new businesses in the next two years. These businesses are expected to generate more than 6,700 new Canadian jobs, reinforcing both short-term recovery and Canada’s long-term economic growth.

“We are grateful for the ongoing partnership we have forged with the Government of Canada, in this, the Year of the Entrepreneur,” explains Vivian Prokop, chief executive officer of CYBF, widely considered the go-to organization driving youth entrepreneurship in Canada. “This contribution will allow CYBF to continue to support the ideas, the innovation and the entrepreneurial spirit of Canada’s youth, ultimately creating jobs and strengthening our economy.”

Earlier this year, The Government of Canada designated 2011 as Year of the Entrepreneur, in recognition of the critical role that entrepreneurship plays in building a strong and competitive economy. The organization will also rely on funding from non-federal government sources in the public and private sectors in order to help meet the ever-increasing demand for its programs from coast to coast to coast.

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6th June 2011

Mass Effect 3 Journey Begins In March 2012

Bioware“Not everyone will survive,” warned EA BioWare as they announced that the epic action RPG Mass Effect™ 3, will arrive at retailers worldwide beginning March 6, 2012. In Mass Effect 3, an ancient alien race known only as “Reapers”, has launched an all-out invasion of the galaxy, leaving nothing but a trail of destruction in their wake. Earth has been taken, the galaxy is on the verge of total annihilation, and you are the only one who can stop them. The price of failure is extinction.

As Commander Shepard, players must lead the counter assault to take it back. Only Shepard can determine how events will play out, which planets will be saved from annihilation and which alliances will take form or be abandoned as the forces of the galaxy are rallied together to eliminate the Reaper threat once and for all.

“With Mass Effect 3, we are delivering blockbuster action and heart-wrenching emotion on a scale that far Mass Effect 3exceeds anything we’ve ever done before,” said Casey Hudson, Executive Producer of the Mass Effect series. “This is an all-out galactic war and how you choose to lead and play will ultimately determine how – and if – you can save the galaxy.”

BioWare also unveiled the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition, a special edition of the game featuring exclusive bonus content and unlockable items (conditions and restrictions apply), including in-game appearance packs, a Dark Horse Comic Book, a hardcover art book, an exclusive extended soundtrack, exclusive lithograph and an exclusive N7 patch. Designed to delight both new and seasoned fans, the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition also gives instant access to the N7 Arsenal Pack which features four tactical guns exclusive to this special edition. The Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition is available for pre-order now at participating retailers for $79.99 in limited quantities.

Mass Effect 3 and the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition will be available for the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and PC, with the Xbox 360 version Kinect™-enabled, allowing players to immerse themselves into the Mass Effect universe even further through new voice recognition technology. The Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition will be available in a digital format on the PC exclusively via Origin, EA’s new digital store destination.

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Gamers who purchase the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition on the PC via Origin will receive exclusive bonus content and unlockable items in digital format. This includes in-game appearance packs, a digital version of the Dark Horse Comic Book, a digital version of the art book, an exclusive extended soundtrack, a digital version of the exclusive lithograph and the N7 Arsenal Pack. The digital version of the Mass Effect 3 N7 Collector’s Edition will not include the N7 patch.

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6th June 2011

EA Sports Football Club Delivers Revolutionary New Way to Connect and Compete in FIFA Soccer 12

EA SportsElectronic Arts Inc. has announced its latest live service for FIFA Soccer 12 players with an internet connection. (You must accept EA’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service in order to play). called EA Sports™ Football Club that will bring the world’s most passionate sports fans together and engage them within the massive FIFA online community. EA Sports Football Club—the heartbeat of FIFA Soccer 12 —connects players to the real-world game with fresh, new content all the time, enabling them to support their favorite club in new ways connected to real-world events, and connect and compete with friends, rivals and millions of other players around the world.

“The millions of fans playing FIFA online have shown us there is a constant appetite for a deep connected experience, driven by a love of the sport,” said Matt Bilbey, Vice President and General Manager of Soccer for the FIFA Soccer franchise. “EA Sports Football Club is a new social experience that brings the world’s soccer fans fifa football clubtogether, engaging and entertaining them in new ways that have never been done before in a sports game.”

EA Sports Football Club creates a new social experience where fans can connect and compete with their friends and millions of other fans playing FIFA Soccer 12, where status, bragging rights and progression are all measured and ever-changing. For the first time ever, everything that happens within EA Sports FIFA Soccer 12—and against friends—is measured in a meaningful way. Every match matters, all season long. Earn experience points and level up to build your status. Track friends, challenges and status through the web. Share and compare accomplishments and spread the news on social channels like Facebook.

EA Sports Football Club also ignites the passion of sports fans and deepens their connection to their favourite team through Support Your Club, a central experience in EA Sports Football Club that enables fans to represent their club and compete against rival clubs in everything they do in FIFA Soccer 12. Earn club points and lift your club higher in the Support Your Club League Tables or help them avoid relegation. Virtual league tables are reset each week to create new challenges, renewed rivalries, and fresh story lines.

Fans will be more closely connected to the sport than ever before. Real-world story lines will drive content in EA Sports Football Club, making the game feel fresh and new all the time. Gamers will relive crucial real-world soccer events through regular challenges. EA Sports Football Club will have a dedicated team deliver new content and challenges so that FIFA Soccer 12 will look, feel and play like the real-world season.

There will be no additional charge for EA Sports Football Club as the service kicks off with FIFA Soccer 12 on the PlayStation®3, Xbox 360® and PC when the game launches this fall.

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6th June 2011

Perplexus Creator Coming To Western Canada

Michael McGinnis, the inventor of the top-selling 3D marble maze game Perplexus, will be visiting several Western Canadian Chapter’s stores over the next two weeks along with Timothy Kimber, the President of Ottawa-based Plasmart Inc., the company which helped make Perplexus an international best-selling and award-winning game sensation as part of a 2-week game signing and media tour.perplexus

Michael and Tim will be available for interviews to discuss how they turned the Superplexus a large-scale piece of art – into a hand-held family toy hit. Theirs is a Canadian success story that combines artistic inspiration with the magic of toy invention and business marketing. An original large-scale Superplexus will be on-site to provide fans and interested parties with the opportunity to learn tricks and tips to solving the incredibly challenging puzzle and to see in large-scale just how challenging it was to invent and create.

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6th June 2011

Ubisoft Announces Just Dance 3

ubisoftUbisoft® announced the joint development of Just Dance® 3 by Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Montreal. The third game in the multi-million selling Just Dance franchise, Just Dance 3 marks the debut of the Just Just Dance 3Dance series on Kinect™ for Xbox 360®and the PlayStation®Move forPlayStation®3, and the latest installment of the series on the Wii™ system from Nintendo. Developed by Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Montreal, Just Dance 3 will be released worldwide on October 11.

“The Just Dance brand has truly become a worldwide phenomenon with over 30 million people playing Just Dance,” said Olivier Ernst, director of Ubisoft Canada. “Fans play Just Dance at parties with friends, at home with the family, and as part of an active lifestyle to stay fit or even lose weight. Ubisoft is excited to bring Just Dance 3 to all motion platforms and give even more people the opportunity to enjoy the fun.”

Featuring more than 40 tracks across a wide range of musical genres, including pop, hip-hop, rock, R&B, country, disco, funk, and more, Just Dance 3 introduces a number of new game features that take advantage of the unique mechanics of each console. To get the party started, Just Dance 3 includes some of today’s hottest hits as well as classic dance tracks that everyone loves.

Confirmed tracks for Just Dance 3 include:

  • 2 Unlimited – “No Limit”
  • Black Eyed Peas – “Pump It”
  • Duck Sauce – “Barbra Streisand”
  • Groove Century – “Boogie Wonderland”
  • Gwen Stefani – “What You Waiting For”
  • Katy Perry – “California Gurls”
  • Kiss – “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
  • Laura Bell Bundy – “Giddy On Up (Giddy On Out)”
  • LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock – “Party Rock Anthem”
  • MIKA – “Lollipop”
  • Taio Cruz – “Dynamite”

In addition to this exciting tracklist, Just Dance 3 introduces exclusive new game features on all three motion-control platforms, such as four-player choreographies and dynamic environments on Wii and the new “Shout Out!” feature on Kinect, which allows players to score extra points by belting out their favorite song verse. This, combined with the entertaining and unique choreography developed by professional dancers, will provide players with the fun and accessible challenges they are looking for and ensuring that Just Dance 3 will get the world dancing.

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6th June 2011

Ubisoft Announces Far Cry 3

ubisoftUbisoft® has  announced the development of Far Cry 3®, marking the return of the highly-acclaimed video game franchise. Development on Far Cry 3 is led by Ubisoft Montréal with the support of Ubisoft Shanghai and Massive Entertainment. Far Cry 3 will be available for the Xbox 360®, the Sony® PlayStation®3 and Windows® PC in 2012.far cry 3

With Far Cry 3, players step into the shoes of Jason Brody, a man alone at the edge of the world, stranded on a mysterious tropical island. In this savage paradise where lawlessness and violence are the only sure thing, players dictate how the story unfolds, from the battles they choose to fight to the allies or enemies they make along the way. As Jason Brody, players will slash, sneak, detonate and shoot their way across the island in a world that has lost all sense of right and wrong.

“Far Cry 3 brings something new and unexpected, while still building upon the foundations of excellence that are inherent to the Far Cry brand,” said Dan Hay, producer at Ubisoft Montréal. “Whether you’re already a fan of the Far Cry series or jumping into the franchise for the very first time, you’re going to be blown away by the gritty story and epic adventure we’re going to deliver.”

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6th June 2011

Google Remedial Measures Address Privacy Deficiencies

Canada’s Privacy Commissioner is satisfied with Google’s response to her Office’s investigation into the company’s inappropriate collection of personal information from unsecured wireless networks across Canada, but plans further follow-up on the issue.

“An investigation that revealed Google Inc. lacked proper controls to protect personal information has led to a commitment by the company to implement remedial measures that will reduce the risk of future privacy violations,” says Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart.

Jennifer Stoddart

“Google appears to be well on the way to resolving serious shortcomings in the way in which it addresses privacy issues,” says Commissioner Stoddart.  “However, given the significance of the problems we found during our investigation, we will continue to monitor how Google implements our recommendations.”

The Privacy Commissioner has requested that Google undergo an independent, third-party audit of its privacy programs within a year and share the results with her Office.  An audit will help measure the effectiveness of Google’s proposed measures vis-à-vis its overall privacy compliance regime.

This is the first time the Commissioner has asked a company to undergo an independent audit. In order to strengthen accountability going forward, organizations may, in appropriate cases, be asked to file independent, third-party reports attesting to the fact that they have lived up to their commitments and have complied with the Commissioner’s recommendations.

“Google is a world leader in innovation and, by its own admission, it pursues ideas which push the limits of social norms and technologies.  As such, the company has an added responsibility to ensure that privacy protection gets the attention it deserves.  Unfortunately, past history suggests that has not been the case until now,” she says.

The Privacy Commissioner initiated an investigation under the federal private-sector privacy law, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, or PIPEDA, after Google admitted that its cars – which were photographing neighbourhoods for its Street View map service – had collected data transmitted over unprotected wireless networks installed in homes and businesses around the globe.  It’s likely that thousands of Canadians were affected.

The personal information collected included complete e-mails, e-mail addresses, usernames and passwords, names, home telephone numbers and addresses, and even the names of people suffering from certain medical conditions. The investigation concluded that the incident was largely a result of Google’s lack of proper privacy policies and procedures.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner issued its findings and recommendations in October 2010 and asked for a response by February 2011.  Google responded and subsequently provided clarification of certain issues at the request of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.

The Privacy Commissioner is now satisfied with the measures that Google has agreed to implement, including:

  • Significantly augmenting privacy and security training provided to all employees;
  • Implementing a system for tracking all projects that collect, use or store personal information and for holding the engineers and managers responsible for those projects accountable for privacy;
  • Requiring engineering project leaders to draft, maintain, submit and update Privacy Design Documents for all projects in order to help ensure engineering and product teams assess the privacy impact of their products and services from inception through launch;
  • Assigning an internal audit team to conduct periodic audits to verify the completion of selected Privacy Design Documents and their review by the appropriate managers; and
  • Piloting a review process whereby members of Google’s Privacy Engineering, Product Counsel and Privacy Counsel teams review proposals involving location-based data, as well as the software programs that are to be used for the collection of data.

Additionally, Google has advised that it has begun to delete the data it collected in Canada.  This process has been complicated by various rules and regulations that the company is subject to under Canadian and U.S. laws.  The company has stated that, until such time as the data can be fully destroyed, it will remain secured and will not be used.

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner will follow up with Google next year to gauge full implementation of its recommendations.  At that time, the Privacy Commissioner will determine whether and how best to pursue the matter in accordance with her authorities under the Act.

The Report of Findings and a Backgrounder on the Google investigation is available on the Privacy Commissioner’s website.

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6th June 2011

Interac e-Transfer Launches Facebook Challenge

interacCan you beat the clock?  A new contest has been launched on the Interac® Facebook page that challenges you to put your knowledge of  Interac e-Transfer to the test by answering a series of questions before time runs out.

New questions will be posted on the Facebook wall each week until the contest ends on July 11th, giving you multiple chances to show off your Interac IQ. Every question answered correctly means a ballot for a chance to win 1 of 3 $1,000 Interac e-Transfers.  You can also get extra ballots by sharing with us the different ways you have used Interac e-Transfer.

Think you have the speed and the smarts? Take the 2-Minute Challenge here.

Interac e-Transfer – the quick, easy and secure alternative to cheques and cash.

  • It’s a simple, convenient, and secure way to send and receive money directly from one bank account to another.
  • All you need is access to online or mobile banking through a participating financial institution, and you can send money to anyone with an email address or mobile phone number and a bank account in Canada — without sharing any personal or financial information.
  • There’s no need to set up a new account; and funds are available immediately.
  • Notification is by email or text – no need for stamps or mailboxes!
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6th June 2011

Style Studio Hits One Million Milestone Mark

xmg studioXMG’s Style Studio has hit its one millionth design milestone. Since its release in May of 2010, Style style studio fashion designerStudio has remained the only app that allows you to create, customize and share your own original fashion designs. A player can choose between colours, prints and styles, and superimpose them onto one of many articles of clothing. If there’s something they want to change, the designer also has the option of making alterations. For anyone hoping to bring style into their life in a fun, portable way, the app is perfect. Now, less than one year after its launch, more than 1 million items have been designed in Style Studio.

“Style Studio has the most extensive customization engine for clothing design ever seen on the iPhone” said Ray Sharma, Founder of XMG Studio. “While there are a few apps out there that allow you to apply colors to pre-set clothing items and mix and match them, Style Studio is the first app that actually allows the designer to choose different materials, make alterations, customize prints and apply add-ons or decorative elements to each piece of clothing.”

Style Studio is available in the iTunes app store for $2.99 for any Apple mobile device running OS 3.0 or higher.

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6th June 2011

SES Toronto Adds Meet the Experts Roundtable Forum

At SES Toronto at the Hyatt Regency Toronto, June 13-15, 2011, Incisive Media is featuring “Meet the Experts Roundtable Forum,” giving attendees an opportunity to address their specific questions and share information. In addition to the presentations and panels on search engine optimization (SEO), social media, local, mobile, link building, video optimization, pay-per-click (PPC), usability and more, these two new Meet the Experts Roundtable Forums will be held: Monday, June 13 at 4:30 pm and Tuesday, June 14 at 11:30 am.

SES Toronto 2011For two hours on each day of the conference, SES Toronto attendees will be able to receive a free personal consultation of their websites from SES experts, Bryan Eisenberg, Shari Thurow, Bruce and Krista Neher. These drop-in, interactive express site clinics are open to all attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis. It’s an opportunity to receive free feedback on usability, SEO and all facets of the site, and also to learn from the analysis of other websites.

From now through June 12, marketers can register for SES Toronto to receive a $100 savings.

“We’re always looking for more ways to give attendees the most up-to-date information targeted to their specific marketing and search programs. So we came up with the idea that will allow people to move among discussion groups and interact with their peers and the experts in a very personal way. We’ve scheduled both experts forums at times during the day that we can add a networking element to the mix – Monday with a cocktail reception and Tuesday with a lunch in the expo hall,” said Matt McGowan, Managing Director of Americas for Incisive Media.

“Our Express Clinics have been very popular with attendees. After all, what marketer wouldn’t want to receive free personal consulting from an expert,” continued McGowan. “This year we have specialized clinics providing feedback on conversion, usability, SEO and social media, but other aspects of the website will also be analyzed.”

Now in its eighth year, the SES Toronto conference includes two days of search marketing sessions, vendor exhibitions, and networking events on June 13 and 14, and one day of training on June 15. Many of the sessions are specifically geared towards a Canadian audience.

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