13th June 2011

Lair of the Evildoer To Be Exposed on Friday

going loud studiosGoing Loud Studios, creators of Zombie Accountant, has announced that “Lair of the Evildoer” has gone gold Lair of the Evildoerwill be released on Xbox Live Indie Games this Friday, June 17th. Gamers will be able to download it from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace for only 80 Microsoft Points.

“We’re using the latest in cutting-edge set-your-release-date technology,” said Ben Kane, founder of Going Loud Studios. “It gives us an unprecedented level of control over when the game comes out.”

“Oh and the game’s pretty good too,” he continued, when asked to say something relevant.

In “Lair of the Evildoer”, players will attempt to escape the lair of mad scientist and all-around evildoer Dr. Odious. They’ll fight over 30 types of monsters as they explore the procedurally generated levels hunting for the best loot. Their only allies are the 25 varieties of weapons, each with dozens of variations. Fortunately, players will gain experience and spend stat points to improve their character and better their odds of making it out alive. They’ll need all the help they can get.

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13th June 2011

01 Communique and WiLAN Enter Partnership

01 communique laboratory01 Communique Laboratory Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. have entered into an agreement that will see WiLAN assist 01 Communique in the licensing of 01 Communique’s patents related to remote access technology for a number of specified licensees. wilan

“Having signed technology license agreements with hundreds of companies, including Broadcom, Intel, LG, Motorola and Samsung, worth many hundreds of millions of dollars, WiLAN has demonstrated superior licensing capabilities,” said Andrew Cheung, President and CEO, 01 Communique.  “WiLAN’s proven track record and its strong financial position makes WiLAN an ideal choice to help maximize the revenue that we anticipate can be generated from our patented technology.  We are very pleased with the opportunity to work with WiLAN.

Added Cheung, “We have a complete suite of products in the remote access marketplace that have been built using our patented technology and we believe there are companies that are using this patented technology to compete against us.”

“WiLAN has been aware of the 01 Communique patents for some time and believes these are extremely important patents,” said Jim Skippen, Chairman & CEO, WiLAN.  “This partnership  is very significant to WiLAN and we are confident that we will be able to develop a licensing program that will benefit both 01 Communique and WiLAN.  This is especially exciting for WiLAN since it will bring us into new markets.”

Under the terms of the agreement, WiLAN’s subsidiary Gladios IP will have day-to-day responsibility for developing programs aimed at licensing 01 Communique’s patents.

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13th June 2011

Conference Board Releases Report On Using The Digital Economy To Access International Markets

conference board of canadaThe emergence of digital markets can help Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sell internationally by increasing access to foreign customers and improving the quality, speed, and cost-effectiveness of transactions.

Despite the potential benefits, Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are hesitant to sell online because they lack the knowledge of how to do so effectively, according to a Conference Board of Canada report, Building International Sales in a Digitized Economy: Best Practices for SMEs. The report identifies three main factors that contribute to success in international digital markets: a favourable online reputation, strong online technological capabilities, and an engaged online brand community.

“Most Canadian small and medium-sized businesses use the internet, but online selling is not yet widespread,” said Rebecca Reuber, co-author and Professor of Strategic Management at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. “Many small and medium-sized businesses do not know how to reach foreign customers online or how to adapt their business model to take advantage of digital markets.”

“Although greater internationalization provides growth opportunities, doing business in foreign markets can be difficult and costly for resource-constrained SMEs, and most of them operate solely in the domestic market,” said Eileen Fischer, co-author and Max and Anne Tanenbaum Chair of Entrepreneurship and Family Enterprise. “One particular hurdle for some firms is the investment that’s required in technology to sell effectively online. ”

A Statistics Canada survey reported in 2008 that only 36 per cent of Canadian private sector organizations believed doing business over the Internet would allow them to reach new customers. And a 2010 Statistics Canada study found that only seven per cent of small enterprises and 13 per cent of medium size enterprises were selling online in 2007, about the same percentage reported in 2001.

The Conference Board report shows that the competitive context for SMEs in international digital markets differs from that in traditional markets. Online buyers are more apt to imitate the purchasing behavior of other customers, technological capabilities increase in importance, and online buyers are interested in participating in online communities. As a result, three main factors that affect company success are:

  • A favourable online reputation – elements include visibility, trustworthiness, and signals of high product or service quality.
  • Strong online technological capabilities – the CEO and other top managers must champion technological development, rather than delegating responsibility.
  • Engaged online brand communities – buyers increasingly want to become involved with firms, so companies should invest resources in monitoring a range of social media and interacting with customers.

The research also identifies three major challenges. First, SME owners need to be cautious about relying exclusively on online contact with customers. Second, entering foreign markets haphazardly – or as market pioneers – can lead to costly mistakes that could be avoided with a deliberate and coherent strategy. Third, SME owners need to think about how “Canadian” they want their image or brand to be, as there can be advantages in making borders as invisible as possible.

The report concludes on a series of eight policy-related implications, including:

  • foster offline interactions between buyers and sellers;
  • focus on foreign markets with high growth potential instead of simply responding to unsolicited online requests;
  • ensure access to high capacity Internet and wireless networks;
  • ensure banks and government agencies are able to assess intangible resources, such as a firm’s reputation and online community;
  • provide more recent data about the international activities of Canadian SME in digital markets;

This report is publicly available at www.e-library.ca and was produced by the International Trade and Investment Centre for the Conference Board’s CanCompete program. CanCompete is a three-year program of research and dialogue is designed to help leading decision makers advance Canada on a path of national competitiveness. The International Trade and Investment Centre also published Canada’s Trade in a Digital World in April 2011.

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13th June 2011

ESL Literacy Network Recognized for Innovative Technology

ESL NetworkThe ESL Literacy Network at Bow Valley College in Calgary has won the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) 2011 Innovative Technology Award for providing ESL literacy practitioners with access to innovative online resources that inform classroom instruction and support ongoing professional development.

“The website provides an in-depth look at ESL literacy levels, learning needs, programming considerations, curriculum development and strategies for classroom instruction,” the nominator’s submission reads.

“Finding level-appropriate learning materials for adult learners with interrupted formal education is a challenge that all ESL literacy instructors face.  More than just a website, the ESL Literacy Network is a place for literacy practitioners to connect, share ideas and learn from the expertise that has been amassed at Bow Valley College.”NALD

The content provided on the website is based on years of classroom experience at the college combined with research and feedback from ESL literacy practitioners locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.  The website recognizes that ESL literacy programs are diverse and serve different learner populations in both urban and rural contexts and in part-time and full-time settings. The ESL Literacy Network is funded by the Government of Alberta.

“The ESL Literacy Network responds to the professional development needs of practitioners by providing a forum for ongoing professional growth and development,” said the NALD Board of Directors members who comprised the selection committee for the award competition.  “The innovative website has successfully leveraged technology and the Internet to provide more than an information hub – the website provides opportunities for extensive sharing of resources and in-depth discussion and reflection on classroom practice and research.”

“Educators will benefit from this user-friendly website, which provides a pedagogical approach for curriculum development, along with strategies and resources that support ESL literacy instruction. In this era of economic restraint, educators will appreciate the reproducible photo stories that can be downloaded and used in the classroom. The technical aspects of the ESL Literacy Network’s website – navigation, accessibility, aesthetic and visual appeal – are exemplary.”

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13th June 2011

Telus Cuts Roaming Rates

telusWith the launch of new clear and simple international travel pricing, Canadians can travel abroad this summer knowing they automatically enjoy Telus’ most affordable roaming rates in more than 200 countries. With the launch of Telus’ new clear and simple international travel pricing, all customers get the same low roaming rates when they’re traveling. Separate bundles and passes are no longer required to take advantage of the lowest rate, making it easy and hassle-free for customers to use Telus wireless services when overseas.

“After the launch of our new HSPA+ wireless network in late 2009, Telus was able to offer our customers a true international roaming capability for the first time, ending Rogers’ monopoly in international roaming for Canadians. We quickly started working with carriers around the world to negotiate reduced roaming rates for our customers and we now want to make it as simple and affordable as possible for our customers to use their smartphones wherever they go, without coming home to a surprise on their bill,” said David Fuller, Telus Chief Marketing Officer. “We understand what our customers want and we’ve been working hard over the last few years to give them exactly what they are asking for – clear and simple rate plans without system access and 911 carrier fees, a device unlocking service, a free SMS data notification service so they know how much data they have used, and easier access to affordable long distance rates through our recently-announced Skype partnership. Today, we are adding clear, simple and affordable international roaming rates for all of our customers.”

The combination of Telus’ device unlocking service, which allows Telus customers to use local SIM cards overseas; the easy experience of using Skype for affordable long distance calling; and now greatly reduced international roaming rates add up to great news for Canadians planning to travel overseas this summer. Telus’ new clear and simple international roaming rates will be available to all Telus customers – business and consumer – in over 200 countries, starting June 27:

2011 Telus Roaming Charges

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