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  • Government of Canada Encourages Youth to Discover Careers in Science and Tech

17th August 2011

Government of Canada Encourages Youth to Discover Careers in Science and Tech

Government of Canada FedDev OntarioMore children in southern Ontario will be able to experience real-world scientific issues and innovations thanks to an investment in Actua announced by Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“Our Government recognizes the importance of preparing young people for today’s high-tech economy,” said MP Braid. “By developing our next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, we can help drive innovation and keep the economy growing in southern Ontario for years to come.”

Actua, a national science, engineering and technology youth outreach network, will receive up to $1.25 million to enhance its customized programming designed to engage youth who are typically underrepresented and underserved in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. This includes Aboriginal youth, girls, underprivileged youth, at-risk youth and youth living in remote areas or inner-city neighbourhoods. The funding will help Actua create more spaces in southern Ontario for children to participate in summer camps, classroom workshops, clubs and community outreach activities. These are delivered by university undergraduate students in science, technology and engineering programs who are instructors for Actua network members.

“We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to grow our southern Ontario members’ capacities to deepen the impact and broaden the reach of our STEM programming, especially for youth who are underserved and underrepresented in STEM. This FedDev Ontario contribution will enhance Actua’s significant contributions to building the next generation of Ontario innovators!” said Jennifer Flanagan, President and CEO of Actua.

The investment is provided through FedDev Ontario’s Youth STEM Initiative, aimed at encouraging students in kindergarten through grade 12 to pursue an education or career in the STEM fields. For more information about the program and Actua, please refer to the backgrounder.

FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its second year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity. To learn more, please visit the web site or call 1-866-593-5505.

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17th August 2011

Government of Canada Helps Youth Employment Services Support Entrepreneurship

Government of CanadaThe Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, announces that Youth Employment Services (YES) will receive $1,012,022 in non-repayable funding to continue financing its Entrepreneurship program for a three-year period ending March 31, 2014.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support Youth Employment Services, which plays a crucial role in encouraging young members of the Greater Montréal English-speaking community to go into business for themselves,” said Minister Lebel.

This assistance will enable YES to continue offering services, including personalized counselling, business management training, networking and mentoring programs, to help the region’s youth in their efforts to start up a business.

In 2009-2010, some 2,200 young clients availed themselves of the organization’s services, for a total of nearly 9,000 visits. Each year, YES lends its support to the creation of about 200 small and medium-sized enterprises. This funding has been granted through the Community Diversification program.

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17th August 2011

Nokia And Polar Mobile Launch Over 300 Mobile Apps for Major Media Brands

Polar MobileNokia has entered into an agreement with Polar Mobile to launch over 300 mobile apps for Nokia smartphones over the next 12 months. Polar Mobile will be launching apps on Nokia smartphones for over 300 top tier media brands globally, including the likes of Wired UK, Kompas, Advertising Age, Globe and Mail, Shanghai Daily and 7DAYS. The apps will be made available to consumers of Nokia’s Symbian smartphones, the recently announced Nokia N9 and future Nokia with Windows Phone devices.

“Nokia is excited about the opportunity to team up with Polar Mobile to bring hundreds of quality apps to consumers around the world. Polar Mobile’s ability to scale and attract a global set of brands is strategic in supporting Nokia’s efforts in offering compelling apps and experiences for our users,” said Richard White, General Manager, Nokia Canada.

The first set of 50 apps under this new partnership will be available on Nokia’s Symbian devices by next month and will be available globally through Nokia’s Ovi Store.

“We are thrilled that Nokia has chosen Polar Mobile to provide top tier media apps for their devices. Nokia’s global consumer reach is important for many of our customers, especially in Europe, Middle East and Asia,” says Kunal Gupta, Chief Executive Officer, Polar Mobile. “Partnering with Nokia helps our media customers continue to grow their mobile audiences”.

Polar Mobile provides a software Platform to top-tier media companies to make it fast & easy to launch mobile Apps across multiple smartphone and tablet operating systems. Using Qt as the basis for its Platform on Nokia smartphones, Polar Mobile can deliver rich user experiences for their customers. To date, Polar Mobile has launched over 1,200 mobile apps across other major smartphone devices for more than 300 media brands in 10 countries. Now, in partnership with Nokia, Polar Mobile can extend support for Nokia smartphones reaching consumers in 190 markets.

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17th August 2011

Poynt Preloaded on Virgin Media in the United Kingdom

poyntPoynt Corporation has announced that the Poynt app is now available to Virgin Media’s mobile customers purchasing the newly launched Android-powered Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro in the United Kingdom (UK). Poynt appears as a preloaded icon on the device.

The preloading of the Poynt App on mobile devices facilitates user trials and continued usage, and has proven highly effective in bridging the gap between general product awareness and actual user adoption. Previous preloads, or embeds, have resulted in high user adoption and monthly user retention rates over 50%. Additional users lead to increased user activity, which is then monetized through searches and display advertising within the Poynt platform. On average, users gained through a preload agreement perform 23 searches per month.

“Preload agreements with mobile operators, like Virgin Media, are helping drive Poynt’s user base to quickly become one of the most widely-adopted mobile applications worldwide,” said Andrew Osis, president and CEO of Poynt Corp. “In fact, of our 700,000 new users in June, existing preloads contributed more than 300,000 new users. We are working on signing new preload agreements with additional carriers in the U.S., Western Europe, and Asia, which together could add up to more than 50 million new users of Poynt.”

In addition to the current deployment on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, the Company also has an agreement with Virgin Media for a Virtual Preload on several BlackBerry devices.

Poynt is a convenient and timesaving GPS-enabled mobile application that connects consumers to local businesses, events, restaurants, movie theatres, gas prices and weather information at the moment they are looking to buy or acquire products or services. Poynt provides consumers with the ability to move beyond discovery of their local area to view movie trailers and reviews, buy movie tickets, click-to-call businesses, get directions, browse listing websites and read reviews and book dining reservations.

Poynt provides contextual and relevant advertising to users performing local queries and its revenue model is based on user queries, page views, advertising and transactions within the App. Each user query generates several page views, which are monetized through display advertising and sponsored listings paid for by advertisers. These advertising placements generate revenues on a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) basis or on a cost per click (CPC) basis. Transactions, such as ticket sales and restaurant reservations, also contribute to revenues on a fee for service basis.

Poynt is available as a free download for users in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia on BlackBerry® smartphones, BlackBerry Playbook tablet, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7 and Nokia devices from the respective App Stores. Poynt is also available via Over the Air download at m.poynt.com.

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17th August 2011

Canada Media Fund Outreach and Consultation

Canada Media Fundvia CMF email: The Canada Media Fund has extended an invitation to Canadian content creators to participate in its on-line consultation about changes for the 2012-13 programs.

The Canada Media Fund has launched a new « Outreach and Consultation »  section on its website. This section will keep you informed about the discussions held by the various working groups and the Digital Media Measurement Advisory Committee concerning certain policy issues in view of changes for the 2012-2013 programs. You are invited to submit your comments and opinions on the discussion forum.

All documents presented and discussed during the working groups and the advisory committee meetings, as well as the calendar of meetings, will be available for download. You are invited to consult the updates on a regular basis and share your concerns on the discussion forum.

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17th August 2011

Canadian Mobile Media Snapshot Highlights Impact On Key Brand Metrics

bell mediaBell Media has shared preliminary findings from its fourth annual Canadian Mobile Media Snapshot. The 2011 research illustrates the strong link between mobile media use and brand awareness, favourability and purchase intent.

Among the key findings:

  • 82% of mobile media users agree that mobile media is a good way to learn about new products and brands
  • 80% of mobile media users agree that mobile media can influence them to investigate a product or service
  • 71% of mobile media users agree that mobile media can change the way they think about a product or service
  • 65% of mobile media users agree that mobile media can influence them to buy a product or service

“The importance of mobile in daily life has already been well established. What these findings underline is a clear opportunity for brands to impact their key metrics by using mobile media and advertising,” says Jonathan Dunn, Associate Director, Mobile Sales and Marketing, Bell Media Digital. “We are seeing increasingly positive attitudes towards mobile advertising from consumers with nearly 30% of mobile media users citing excellent experiences with mobile ads.”

Of those surveyed, over half had purchased their phone in the last year leading to a smartphone penetration percentage within the survey sample of 56%. This is consistent with the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunications Association’s recently published figures for Smartphone use among key urban demographics in their 2011 Cell Phone Consumer Attitudes Study. These figures align with carrier device sales and widely available projections for Smartphone adoption in the next 6-12 months.

“Conscious of the dramatic acceleration of Smartphone adoption in Canada, the research we released provides much more than a trailing view of the market,” says Dunn. “The 2011 Canadian Mobile Media Snapshot was structured to ensure our sales teams and agency partners have access to data that can be confidently applied to proactive campaign planning.”

Canadian mobile users are also issuing a call to action for Canadian brands to make more content mobile friendly. When asked what would encourage them to use the mobile Internet more, the top reasons respondents gave all spoke to issues solved by more mobile-optimized sites including: sites better designed for mobile browsing; easier to use mobile sites; and more mobile sites.

“The feedback is significant in that it provides clear indication that Canadians have an appetite to engage with brands on mobile but are frustrated by web experiences designed exclusively for desktop,” said Dunn.

The Canadian Mobile Media Snapshot researched consumer use habits and preferences by device, operating system, content consumption and time and place-based use amongst Canadian mobile owners aged 16-64 across Canadian provinces. Age, gender and geographic lenses have been applied to the data to ensure brands working with Bell Media Digital Sales have access to highly relevant and actionable data about their target customer segments in a way that is consistent with existing planning practices.

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17th August 2011

Canada Outpacing U.S. in Smart Home Technology Adoption

vivintAccording to Calgary home automation company Vivint™, Canadian customers are adopting smart home technologies at a higher rate than customers in the United States. As of July 2011, 54 percent of new Canadian customers added smart home features like remote door locks, video surveillance, energy management, and lighting and small appliance control to their basic security packages—compared to 48 percent in the United States.

Smart home features are easier to use and more affordable than ever—with full packages running about the same price as a cell phone plan. New technologies, professional installation services, and innovative financing plans have made the safety, convenience, and energy management benefits of home automation accessible for a wide variety of consumers.

Gail Albin and her husband Michael of Qualicum Beach, B.C., use Vivint’s smart home technology to stay safe, and stay connected: “My husband travels overseas for his job and the big time change can make it hard for us to stay in touch,” Gail said. “Michael uses the Vivint app from his smart phone to check the system log, which tells him when I have armed and disarmed our system. That way, he knows that I’m safe at night, and when I’m awake and he can call me in the morning.”

Ted and Karen Betts of Lethbridge, Alberta, use Vivint to manage their energy use and give family members access to their house while they are away. “My husband and I own a business that takes us away from home quite regularly. It’s great to be able to adjust our thermostat, from the Vivint website, to make sure our house isn’t too warm or too cold—especially during the winter months.” She continued, saying that “My sister checks on our house regularly, when we travel, and it’s so much more convenient to just give her a personal code she can use to get inside. She doesn’t have to worry about keeping track of a key, and the system arms automatically when she leaves. The ability to access the Vivint website and monitor all entry and exits taking place, regardless of where in the world we might be, provides us with an extraordinary sense of security and control of our home while we are away.”

Alberta led the country with 66 percent of new customers adding smart home features. The lowest adopting province is New Brunswick at 33 percent—which is still higher than 18 U.S. states and territories.

New customer smart technology adoption by province:

Alberta: 66.32% Newfoundland and Labrador: 45.33%
Northwest Territories: 56.88% Nova Scotia: 34.80%
Manitoba: 58.19% Ontario: 34.04%
Saskatchewan: 51.77% New Brunswick: 33.08%
British Columbia: 46.43%
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17th August 2011

Nintendo Adds More Titles To Selects Line-up

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada says that consumers and their families soon will be able to experience even more must-play games for the Wii™ system at an excellent value. Nintendo has announced the addition of four games to the Nintendo® Selects collection, a hot-selling series of fun, family-friendly Wii games offered at a suggested retail price of $19.99 each. Starting August 28th, the Nintendo Selects lineup grows to include Super Paper Mario™, Mario Strikers™ Charged by Next Level Games, Punch-Out!!™, also by Next Level Games, and Super Mario Galaxy™, which is recognized as one of the most acclaimed Wii games of all time.

Already enjoyed by millions of players around the globe, games in the Nintendo Selects collection offer boundless fun at an enticing price for Wii users of any experience level, whether they want to expand their own game libraries or find affordable, fun-packed gifts for loved ones. The Wii console, which comes bundled with the Mario Kart™ Wii game and the Wii Wheel™ accessory, delivers extraordinary entertainment value for families and is available for a suggested retail price of $149.99.

Three of the four new additions to the Nintendo Selects collection invite players to interact with Nintendo’s iconic Mario™ character in imaginative and entertaining ways: Super Mario Galaxy is an out-of-this-world adventure in which Mario must travel through outer space to rescue Princess Peach™ from the devious Bowser™; Super Paper Mario offers classic Mario RPG action that can be switched from flat 2D worlds to a full open-world perspective; and Mario Strikers Charged finds the Mushroom Kingdom crew storming the soccer field for fast-paced athletic kicks. Also, the fan-favorite Punch-Out!! game delivers motion-controlled boxing thrills with a host of memorable characters. All four games feature multiplayer modes that let friends and family members have fun together.

Previously announced games in the Nintendo Selects collection include The Legend of Zelda™: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing™: City Folk, Mario™ Super Sluggers and Wii Sports™.

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17th August 2011

LiveCast Media Announces Unified 3D Video Delivery

livecast mediaFrom the 2011 Concours on the Avenue, exhibition in California’s Carmel-by-the-Sea,  Vancouver’s LiveCast Media has announced the first unified live 3D video streaming and delivery platform. LiveCast’s cloud based architecture enables anyone to broadcast 3D video up to 1080p/i HD quality and instantly have it viewed on any 3D video enabled device, including: home theatres, set-top boxes, laptops and mobile phones.

“We are very pleased to have these new broadcasting technologies bringing our event, Concours on the Avenue, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California to far more people and in a much more realistic way than ever before,” said Doug & Genie Freedman, Founders of Concours on the Avenue event. “To see and appreciate these extraordinary collector cars and their owners, gives people the chance to feel like they are actually here with us, sharing in the full three dimensional reality of this extraordinary event.”

“The goal of For Locals Only LLC is to bring the communities of the world together,” said Gary Hamada, Larry Weingarten, & Neal Kruse of For Locals Only LLC. “Working with LiveCast Media and employing their exciting new 3D live broadcasting technologies has made it possible for us to achieve our goals in ways never before possible.”

LiveCast’s innovative solution is particularly timely towards enhancing the new 3D enabled mobile phones now entering the global marketplace, such as the HTC EVO 3D and LG Thrill. You can view this 3D event live or on-demand on your 3D device without need for glasses.

“It has been a pleasure partnering with the For Locals Only team to offer the world’s first convergent live 3D webcast,” said William Mutual, CEO, LiveCast Media. “This achievement is the result of overcoming major technical hurdles and will greatly propel the onset of the 3D ecosystem and available of enhanced content.”

LiveCast is working with existing enterprise customers and mobile operators to provide the technology for a variety of use cases including: news gathering, healthcare, security, public safety, field maintenance, and public safety. LiveCast will be adding vertical specific features, which will further extend the value for unique applications within those industries.

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17th August 2011

WinMagic Opens Office In Germany

winmagicWinMagic® an innovator in full-disk encryption (FDE), has announced that in response to rapidly-increasing Global demand for its SecureDoc full-disk encryption technology it has opened an office in Frankfurt am Main in Germany to better serve the German, Russian and Eastern European markets. The Canadian company is deploying a knowledgeable local sales force and increasing its local marketing activities to significantly expand its services to mid-size and large enterprises in Central Europe over the next year.

WinMagic is the sole manufacturer to specialize in data security for portable devices. WinMagic’s SecureDoc is a powerful solution designed to protect sensitive data stored on laptops, tablets and removable media, such as USB thumb drives, CD/DVDs and storage cards. SecureDoc enables administrators to encrypt entire hard drives and provides convenient management and configuration options. Its central administration makes the creation and distribution of keys extremely simple. In addition, SecureDoc provides options to further protect encrypted data using new authentication technologies such as biometric systems.

WinMagic is the first vendor to support network connections in the pre-boot phase (PBConnex), thus permitting encryption to be introduced without the need to adapt existing IT processes. All new Opal-compliant self-encrypting drives (SEDs) are also supported. Furthermore, WinMagic is the first producer to offer high-performance, secure encryption for solid-state disks (SSDs). SecureDoc is compatible with all current versions of Windows, Mac OS X and Linux – making it simple to implement uniform security standards in heterogeneous environments.

“As an independent manufacturer of mobile data security solutions, WinMagic is currently experiencing tremendous growth in demand in its home market Canada, as well as in the United States and Japan, mainly due to its outstanding technology,” explained Georg Gann, WinMagic Director DACH & Eastern Europe. “Despite enterprises in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the rest of Europe placing particular value on technologically-advanced products, numerous competitors have lost their product development focus due to the consolidation in our industry, and as a result many customers are dissatisfied,” Gann continued. “WinMagic is totally focused on providing innovative solutions that simplify strong data protection for both users and administrators, and so we are confident that WinMagic and its distribution partners can meet all the expectations of increasingly-demanding customers far better than the antivirus vendors.”

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