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12th July 2011

Discovery Foundation Market Validation Program In Vancouver

acetech ontarioFrom ACETECH: Are you a the founder of a new technology company wondering how to validate your new product in the market?

The deadline to apply for this program has been extended to Friday July 15th.

Only 20 spots available  –  Apply Online

ACETECH is delivering a go-to-market boot camp for very early stage technology companies.  The program provides a structured process and one-on-one mentoring from an experienced technology CEO to help you get to market faster with less risk.

After successful completion of the Market Validation Program, ACETECH can refer you into the BCIC Mento Program to receive ongoing mentoring.  The BCIC Mentor Program is entirely funded by BCIC and ther is no cost to participate for 12 months.

The program includes:

  • 3 full-day interactive, educational sessions
    • September 20
    • October 18
    • November 15
  • 3 one-on-one mentoring sessions with an experienced technology CEO (one session per month – September to December) – to be scheduled with the mentor.

You leave with:

  • A completed positioning statement and value proposition
  • A strategy to go to market
  • Priorities identified to achieve early adopter customers
  • Training to sell to early adopters
  • Actionable tools and templates
  • Access to contacts and resources

Who’s eligible:

  • Technology company CEO/founders
  • Less than 10 employees
  • Pre-revenue
  • Must have a product or an early working version of the product

Program Cost & Application

The Market Validation Proram is subsidised by Discovery Foundation.  The registration fee for the program is $1795, however,  the Discovery Foundation subsidy will cover $1300 for each company admitted in the program (20 spots available). The cost of the program to the entrepreneur is $495.

The application deadline is July 1, 2011 July 15, 2011.  Your application is not a formal registration for the program.  All applicants will be contacted by ACETECH once the application has been reviewed.

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12th July 2011

Intel and Toshiba Launch Social Media Film Project

intelThis is not a Canadian production, but Canadians can be a part of it, and it’s just a really cool project. Intel Corporation and Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., today announced a creative collaboration and campaign to deliver a new social film project titled “Inside.” As part of the film experience an online casting call has also been issued.Toshiba

Starring Emmy Rossum (“Shameless,” “Phantom of the Opera,”), “Inside” is a blockbuster-class experiment in social entertainment, brought to life by leading minds in Hollywood, technology and social media. The film aims to bring a new genre of interactive, social entertainment and is directed by D.J. Caruso (“Disturbia,” “I Am Number Four,” “Eagle Eye”) and Oscar-winning cinematographer Mauro Fiore (“Avatar,” “Training Day”).

“’Inside’ is unique because it allows me as the director to direct not just the actors but the audience as well,” Caruso said. “Social film is still in an experimental phase and collaborations like this one will help bring new concepts, opportunities and ideas to the world of entertainment. We had to approach the film differently because there are blanks that need to be filled in by the social media audience, but that is what makes it an exciting new experience for the viewer; the opportunity to participate in the film itself.”Inside Experience Toshiba Intel Laptop

In the film, Rossum plays the role of Christina, a 20-something woman trapped in a room with only a 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor-powered Toshiba Satellite® P775 series laptop and an untraceable Internet connection. Unable to determine where she is being held or what her fate might be, Christina uses the laptop to mobilize her social network, reaching out to friends, family and anyone else who can help her figure out where she’s being held and how to escape.

Unlike most static productions, “Inside” engages the audience by enlisting them to be a part of the film through social media. Viewers are encouraged to connect with Christina, tweet clues and post advice to her Facebook wall. The film will air in short episodes starting on July 25. During this time, viewers will be invited to activate their social channels and help decode Christina’s dilemma by posting tips, insights, ideas and clues. The editing team, led by Emmy-winning editor Josh Bodnar, will incorporate posts that best fit the storyline into the episodes.

Additionally, one viewer will have a chance to be cast in a role through a YouTube online casting call that opens today and runs through July 20. The winning video submission will be incorporated into the movie and the winner will be included in the credits of the film.

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

“As the ‘Sponsors of Tomorrow’ we are excited to expand the entertainment computing experience of today,” said Johan Jervoe, VP Creative Services and Digital Marketing, Intel Corporation. “By bringing the worlds of social media and entertainment together, we will give the viewer the ability to have an active voice and play a participating role, something that has never been done before with traditional film. It’s exciting for viewers/participants to have the opportunity of being cast alongside talent like Emmy Rossum, D.J. Caruso and Mauro Fiore.”

“With ‘Inside,’ the goal was to provide our audience with a unique, engaging experience,” said Ron Smith, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems Inc., Digital Products Division. “We wanted to connect with a younger consumer audience through the social media channels and technologies they use most. Our hope is that viewers are enticed by the opportunities ‘Inside’ creates, giving them the possibility of seeing their name, comments and social identity included in a film that has the potential to alter the entertainment landscape.”

Follow “Inside” on Facebook and on Twitter via @theinsideexp or #theinsideexperience.

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12th July 2011

SplineTech JavaScript Debugger PRO Update Boosts Unique New Features

spline technologiesMontreal’s Spline Technologies Corporation has released a major update to SplineTech JavaScript Debugger PRO, an independent standalone Web development tool that enables Web developers to easily edit and debug JavaScript and VBScript inside HTML and AJAX pages, without the need for any add-ons, plugins or changes of their code to handle the debugging process. Client-side JavaScript, JScript and client-side VBScript debugging languages are fully supported for simple and complex HTML, DHTML and AJAX debugging scenarios.

SplineTech JavaScript Debugger PRO offers following main features to address the most common Web development issues:

– Advanced form debugging for JavaScript form validation – Programmers to cause order forms to validate in clients’ browser windows before they are submitted.
– JavaScript pop-up debuggingJavaScript Debugger
– Debug DHTML menus and JavaScript menus
– Debug JavaScript and VBScript events: Debug JavaScript Pop-ups, onclick, onmouseover, onfocus and any
other event.
– Debug DHTML behavior
– Debug client-side JavaScript controls: Debug calendars and any other control
– Multi-Functional VBScript and JavaScript script editor for HTML and AJAX
– Full Support for native VBScript and JavaScript syntax (color-coded)
– Explicit JavaScript runtime error information
– Execution line highlighting: Display the current line of the code to be executed

Aside from a vast array of main features, this major update of SplineTech JavaScript Debugger PRO includes these new and unique features:

– Pause code execution in 3, 5 or more seconds (user adjustable)
– Reformat unreadable JavaScript and AJAX scripts (turns large one-line AJAX scripts into properly formatted readable multi-line code)
– Step Through multiple lines of code at once (user adjustable)
– Go back (and forth) to any step within your code
– Call Stack enables developers to view all function names taken from function lists (since IE reports most of them as anonymous)
– View all current variables in a dedicated Current Variables panel

Without requiring any manual configuration or network configuration, SplineTech JavaScript Debugger PRO runs on the Windows 7/2008/2000/2003/XP and Windows Server 2008 platforms (both x86 and x64) with Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or better. SplineTech JavaScript Debugger PRO is priced at $35 per single-user license.

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12th July 2011

Maximizer Cloud CRM Solution Now On Azure Marketplace

maximizerMaximizer Software has announced that its new cloud-based CRM Solution, Maximizer™ CRM Live, is available for purchase on the Microsoft Windows Azure Marketplace. With an affordable, web-based monthly subscription model ($49/user/month), Maximizer CRM Live provides organizations with a proven, full-featured CRM solution, designed to drive more sales, improve marketing effectiveness, and enrich customer service interactions.

“We are excited to bring 20+ years of experience and proven success with CRM to the Windows Azure Marketplace,” said Vivek Thomas, President of Maximizer Software. “The availability of Maximizer CRM Live from the Windows Azure Marketplace will make it even more convenient for customers to access and start experiencing the power of our full-featured, cloud-based CRM solution.”

Recognition of the technological capabilities and robust features of Maximizer CRM Live is a further testament to Maximizer Software’s long standing relationship with Microsoft, including Gold Certified Partner status for over 5 years. After passing a rigorous selection and integration process, Maximizer CRM Live has been selected as the first CRM application available for purchase on the Windows Azure Marketplace. Customers can now gain access to the award-winning features of Maximizer CRM Live directly through the Windows Azure Marketplace.

“By accessing the Maximizer CRM Live solution from the Windows Azure Marketplace, customers will gain functionality, value, and quality,” said Sudhir Hasbe, senior product manager, Windows Azure, at Microsoft. “Maximizer CRM Live is one of the first commerce-enabled applications available through the Windows Azure Marketplace, and we welcome this feature-rich cloud-based CRM application.”

Maximizer CRM Live delivers an easy to use and flexible CRM solution to customers by leveraging the robustness and security of the award-wining Windows Azure platform. Accessible from anywhere on any computer or mobile device, users can manage sales opportunities, marketing initiatives, provide customer service and collaborate with teams all in real time. With no technical expertise required, customers can be up and running within moments of signing up. Customizable to fit any industry, Maximizer CRM Live is secure with a 99.5% uptime guarantee.

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12th July 2011

TutorPanel Announces Integration With Google Calendar

TutorPanelTutoring industry software provider TutorPanel has announced the addition of Google Calendar Sync to their tutor scheduling and invoicing software, which will allow for integration of tutors’ and students’ schedules with Google Calendar. This new feature allows companies to take advantage of additional features offered by Google Calendar such as syncing events to desktop calendars such as Microsoft Office, Apple iCal, Mozilla Sunbird. It also offers tutors and students the convenience of being able to view their tutoring schedule alongside other events on their calendars.

TutorPanel users have two ways to connect their TutorPanel calendars to their Google Calendar. First, tutors can sync events from their Google Calendar to their TutorPanel calendar. This feature makes it easier for tutors and administrators to find available time slots to schedule tutoring sessions.

The second way TutorPanel users can connect to Google Calendar is by displaying tutors’ lessons on their own Google Calendars. This allows tutors to have easier access to their lesson schedules and allows them to take advantage of Google Calendar’s sync feature with desktop calendars and mobile devices.

The addition of Google Calendar Sync to the TutorPanel system came in response to requests from TutorPanel users that felt their companies could benefit from this type of functionality. TutorPanel’s close relationship with tutoring companies and their ability to implement requested features plays an enormous role in the success of the software.

Tutoring companies interested in evaluating TutorPanel can learn more and try it free for 30-days by going to  the TutorPanel website.

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12th July 2011

Ponycorns Venture Onto iPad

ponycornsOne of the most original new titles that has taken the game industry by storm is now available for your iPad. Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure by newcomer Cassie Creighton (and her Dad) was released earlier today on the iTunes Store for $2.99 and compatible with iPads running iOS 4.0 or later.ponycorns for ipad

Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure began as a father-daughter project at TOJam, a Toronto-area Game Jam held in May. The game was designed in Flash and was originally released for play in web browsers, but the overwhelming success of Cassie’s game, for which she created the artwork and voice-overs, has led to additional releases for PlayBook and now the iPad. You can read the full story behind the game’s journey on Ryan’s blog over at Untold Entertainment.

All of the proceeds raised from the sale of Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure are going to pay for Cassie’s education once she is old enough to attend a post-secondary school. Since launch, Cassie’s game empire has also grown to encompass Ponycorn merchandising and appearances on TV and radio, as well as in mainstream print media.

For those who would like to chat first hand with Cassie’s Dad about his young game designer phenom or about Ponycorns, rainbow portals and evil lemons, Ryan will be attending Casual Connect next week in Seattle. Of course, Ryan does have his own projects he may want to discuss – but that’s outside the scope of this article, which is to send all of you iPad and PlayBook owners to the appropriate marketplaces and online stores to purchase Cassie’s game and support her education.

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12th July 2011

EA Welcomes PopCap To The Family

EA GamesAs pretty well everyone in the industry already suspected, Electronic Arts Inc. has now publicly confirmed an agreement to acquire PopCap Games.  Well-known for its blockbuster titles like Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled, and Zuma, and a proven ability to create new hits, PopCap is a leader in the fast growing market for casual digital games with locations in Dublin, Vancouver (which creates all those PopCap Hidden Object titles), Seattle, San Francisco, Shanghai and Tokyo.

PopCap Games was founded eleven years ago by John Vechey, Jason Kapalka and Brian Fiete, three young gaming geeks who followed their passion – to make games. John and Brian met when they were both popcapattending Purdue University before working for Sierra. Meanwhile the token Canadian in the trio, Jason, graduated from the University of Alberta and had worked as a Senior Producer for Pogo.com – another casual game portal that was swallowed up by the EA publishing empire just as PopCap was getting its start.

“EA and PopCap are a compelling combination,” said EA CEO John Riccitiello. “PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.”

“We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games,” said David Roberts, CEO of PopCap. “By working with EA, we’ll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience.”

“PopCap has a proven financial trajectory with sustained revenue growth and double-digit operating margins,” said EA CFO Eric Brown. “On a non-GAAP basis, this deal is expected to be at least ten-cents accretive in fiscal year 2013.”

PopCap is one of the largest and most respected digital and social gaming companies with more than 150 million games installed and played worldwide on platforms such as Facebook®, RenRen, Google™, iPhone™, iPad™ and Android. In calendar year 2010, approximately 80% of PopCap’s revenue was on high growth digital platforms.

EA will pay approximately $650 million in cash and $100 million in shares of EA common stock to be issued to certain stockholders of PopCap. In addition, the PopCap sellers are entitled to additional variable cash consideration, contingent upon the achievement of certain non-GAAP earnings before interest and tax (“EBIT”) performance milestones through December 2013, EA’s third fiscal quarter end.

At the upper end of the earn-out, the performance targets for EBIT are approximately $343 million in total PopCap standalone EBIT generated over the two-year period through December 2013. The exact earn-out calculation is subject to adjustments. EA will also provide up to $50 million in long-term equity retention awards to PopCap employees to be granted over the next four years.

Transaction and Financial Highlights

* The transaction is expected to close in August 2011, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

* On a non-GAAP basis, the acquisition is expected to be EPS neutral to EA’s fiscal year 2012 results, as a result of one-time transaction costs, and at least $0.10 accretive to EA’s FY 2013 non-GAAP EPS.

* For the first quarter of fiscal year 2012, EA is announcing preliminary results of approximately:

*$500 million to $525 million in non-GAAP revenue versus guidance of $460 million to $500 million of non-GAAP revenue.

* ($0.40) to ($0.37) in non-GAAP diluted loss per share versus guidance of ($0.49) to ($0.44) in non-GAAP diluted loss per share.

EA is reaffirming its full year fiscal year 2012 non-GAAP guidance of $0.70 to $0.90 diluted earnings per share. EA is also increasing its full year non-GAAP revenue guidance to a range of $3,800 million to $4,025 million to account for the inclusion of PopCap for a portion of FY12. EA is announcing preliminary guidance for the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 of non-GAAP diluted loss per share ranging from ($0.15) to ($0.05).

EA has executed a commitment letter for a $550 million senior unsecured bridge facility with Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., UBS Securities LLC, and UBS Loan Finance LLC, that EA may choose to draw upon prior to closing the acquisition. EA expects to explore permanent financing options in connection with the funding of this acquisition. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC provided EA’s board of directors valuation advice in connection with the transaction. EA was also assisted by UBS Investment Bank.

In addition, the $600 million share repurchase program that EA announced in February, 2011 remains in effect. As of July 1, 2011, EA has repurchased 7.1 million shares for a total of $149 million under this program. EA is not obligated to repurchase any specific number of shares under the program and the repurchase program may be modified, suspended or discontinued at any time.

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12th July 2011

Streaming Colour Studios Releases Baby’s Musical Hands

streaming colour studiosStreaming Colour Studios proudly introduces Baby’s Musical Hands for iPad (99 cents Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later), featuring 15 brightly coloured squares that your baby can touch. Red squares make drum sounds, yellow squares play piano notes, and blue squares play guitar notes. Every time your baby touches the screen, colorful stars will burst from their fingers. Watch them delight in the audio and visual feedback!

“As a game designer and developer, I love my iPad. But as a new father, I realized how much my son loves it too. I decided I could put my experience developing for iPad to use, and build an app for my son to play with, and Baby’s Musical Hands was born!” says creator Owen Goss, founder of Streaming Colour Studios.


* Baby’s Musical Hands supports full multi-touch, meaning your baby gets the kind of feedback they expect when touching the screen.
* Baby’s Musical Hands respects the iPad’s mute switch and volume buttons, if you want your baby to enjoy a visual feast without the sounds.

Always one to encourage early adoption, here is a video of Trainyard creator Matt Rix’s  son Toren testing out the technology:

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

+100 for cuteness 😉

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12th July 2011

Spooky Squid Games Releases Debut Trailer for They Bleed Pixels

spooky squid gamesIndependent game developer Spooky Squid Games has released the debut trailer for They Bleed Pixels, a fast-paced, “gothic lo-fi” platforming beat-em-up coming to Xbox Live Indie Games in Summer 2011.

Featuring a distinct visual style that blends pixel art with paper and ink textures, They Bleed Pixels is a singular mix of intense platforming and fierce beat-em-up action.  It tells the story of a young girl haunted by a mysterious book and her violent Lovecraftian nightmares.

They Bleed Pixels uses a simple one-button combat scheme with surprising depth at its core. Button mashing is discouraged while kicking shadowy monsters into saws, pits and spikes is rewarded thanks to a unique checkpoint earning system: instead of being evenly distributed at set locations, players must earn and place checkpoints through stylish kills.  The more and better you kill, the faster you fill your checkpoint meter. Avoid combat or button mash mindlessly and you’ll find checkpoints uncomfortably far apart.

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

“We’re crafting They Bleed Pixels with a healthy respect for the player’s abilities and the belief that action games should offer a genuine challenge,” says Miguel Sternberg, Creative Director at Spooky Squid Games. “We wanted to create a game that demands that players excel at both combat and platforming. Want a checkpoint before you take on that series of spike-lined pits? Then dash into the nearest enemy launch him in the air and juggle him into that nearby skill saw.”

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12th July 2011

Ortsbo Accelerates User Engagement On Azure

ortsboIntertainment Media Inc. has announced that its social media, real time, experiential translation platform Ortsbo generated over 68 Million minutes of user engagement for the second half of June 2011 along with 12.8 Million Online Sessions, 53 Million Page Views and 9.6 Million Unique Users in only 15 days from June 15thto June 30th. This represents a significant increase to the previously reported numbers, as Ortsbo has made the initial transition to Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform, providing a Cloud environment allowing virtually unlimited technology growth opportunities.

Over the past 45 days, Ortsbo has been transitioning its systems to the Cloud to provide a more robust user experience and will continue through Summer 2011 to improve the services. To date, these improvements have increased the speed and access to the Ortsbo platform allowing users to spend more time engaged in the experience. During the initial overhaul process, Ortsbo suspended number reporting, as it rebuilt and retooled the entire system. On a go forward basis, the reporting of metrics is expected to be twice a month.

“The move to the Cloud with Microsoft Azure has allowed Ortsbo to accelerate growth and we are seeing the results immediately,” said David Lucatch, President of Ortsbo and CEO Intertainment Media.

Intertainment has acquired rights to a United States patent application with respect to the automated translation within a browser in consideration for a payment of $200,000. The company has taken over all the rights associated with the patent application as well as any derivatives thereof. The vendor will receive additional payments upon the issuance of the patent and any continuation or continuation-in-part claiming priority from the patent application. In addition, the vendor will be entitled to receive 10% of any licensing revenue generated in connection with the patent.

“We believe that the acquisition of the patent application and the associated rights will further strengthen Intertainment’s portfolio in the area of automated online translation and communication,” commented Lucatch.

Ortsbo has appointed New York based translation industry veteran Mr. Matthew Grotenstein to lead global business development and partner acquisition. Mr. Grotenstein brings over 10 years experience growing businesses in the communications, social media, and management consulting space. Most recently, Mr. Grotenstein led US Business Development for CLS Communication, one of the world’s largest language translation providers.

“We are excited to have Matt onboard to lead our global commercial business development and partner programs as he brings a wealth of industry knowledge and relationships to the Ortsbo team,” said Lucatch. “We are eager to combine our current successes with Matt’s industry leadership. His first objective will be to monetize the brand across a commercial landscape.”

Together with the recently integrated Commobility team, Ortsbo has upgraded a number of technology parameters allowing the company to update its previously filed mobile version of Ortsbo for the Apple iPhone. Ortsbo to Ortsbo, or “O2O”, for which a patent has been applied for, is nearing completion for application and commercialization through Apple iTunes.

Recent upgrades to the Ortsbo platform have resulted in a streamlined process for mobile implementation. Together with its pilot for the Apple iPhone, Ortsbo is now piloting an Android version of its Ortsbo applications with other system applications expected through Summer 2011.

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