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  • Comwave Launches ePhone in the Cloud for Web Users Worldwide

25th August 2011

Comwave Launches ePhone in the Cloud for Web Users Worldwide

comwaveFresh off the heels of a successful launch of ePhone for the BlackBerry Playbook™, Comwave introduces ePhone as a web-based Adobe® Flash® video phone. Users can access their ePhone from any computer in the world with an internet connection. “ePhone is an incredible value that every laptop should have,” says Yuval Barzakay, President. “In the boardroom or in the dorm room, ePhone turns your laptop into a regular phone.”

Customers receive their own phone number so even people from landlines and mobile phones can call ePhone users. Comwave ePhone also includes free local and long distance calls to almost 60 countries for only $20 per year. All you need is a PC or Apple® Mac computer with an internet connection to log into ePhone to make and receive calls and no software is required to install. Additionally, Customers can make unlimited Video Calls to other ePhone users absolutely free.

Customers can sign up for a 3-Day Risk Free trial and enjoy 100 minutes of free calling to almost 60 countries and unlimited talk between other ePhone users. Once the free trial has expired, Customers will have the option to continue for only $20 per year.

ePhone includes:

  • Your own telephone number
  • Unlimited Free Incoming calls from anywhere in the world including landlines and mobile phones
  • Unlimited ePhone-2-ePhone voice or video calling
  • 250 Free Minutes per month to call almost 60 countries. Calls that exceed the 250 free minutes will be charged at low rates guaranteed lower than Skype™
  • No monthly bills or fees, just a one-time annual payment
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25th August 2011

AMF Warns Quebec Investors About Internet Solicitation

Autorité des marchés financiersIn recent weeks, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has uncovered, particularly through Internet surveillance, several cases of companies that are unauthourized to operate in Québec yet are soliciting investors to speculate on the currency market.

The AMF is therefore cautioning investors against solicitations carried out through the website www.forexcanus.com by 6149154 Canada Inc., also known as Forexcanus. The AMF is also cautioning Québec investors against the activities of Gain Capital – Forex.com UK Limited, which solicits investors through www.forex.com.

These companies are not registered with the AMF as derivatives dealers or in any other capacity. Such solicitations and the nature of the products being proposed by these companies may be violations under the Derivatives Act or other laws administered by the AMF.

Currency and derivatives markets are complex and volatile, and are therefore for investors who have the knowledge, time and resources to track them. Investors who do not have the knowledge and time needed to trade in these markets could incur significant losses.

The AMF also reminds consumers about the importance of investigating before investing. They should ensure that the firms and individuals offering to act as intermediaries, including through the Internet, have the necessary approvals by checking the Register of firms and individuals authorized to practice on the AMF website or by calling the Information Centre. The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial industry.

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25th August 2011

Growing IT Skills Gap Between Post-Secondary And On The Job

pwcCanadian emerging technology CEOs are finding it more difficult to add new qualified employees to their payroll, according to a PwC report exploring talent management issues for the Canadian emerging technology sector. The report found 44% of CEOs listed recruiting new talent and management team members as their biggest hiring issue. What’s more, an overwhelming majority (72%) either don’t have a talent management strategy in place or aren’t sure if their existing strategy is effective.

“It is interesting to hear that IT entrepreneurs are challenged with finding qualified people,” says Peter Matutat, National Emerging Company Practice Leader, PwC. “At the heart of the issue may be that IT grads are coming out of school with a skill set that isn’t quite what employers are looking for.”

“The nature of emerging technology companies means they aren’t just seeking people with the technical know-how, but employees who are more well-rounded,” adds Matutat. “Start-up companies also highly value softer skills like creativity, an entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen.”

Tobi Day-Hamilton, director of advancement at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, says change needs to happen at the university level to ensure grads are equipped with the skills technology companies are looking for.

According to Day-Hamilton, “We’re seeing a skills gap in what grads learn in post-secondary and what companies are now requesting in employees. In recent years, we found students were specializing in one area of technology, which meant grads were lacking general business and creativity skills. Increasingly, these are attributes that are becoming must-haves for many employers.”

Day-Hamilton also stresses the importance of co-op education throughout the university experience. “Employers want new hires to come in and hit the ground running, which is difficult to do if you don’t have the practical experience,” she says. “The more experience you can get before graduating, the better.”

The University of Waterloo has developed new program offerings to address this skills gap issue. The university is launching its Masters of Digital Experience Innovation this September and its Bachelor of Global Business and Digital Arts next year.

For job seekers, the industry looks positive. Turnover continues to be low with 81% of CEOs reporting less than 10% turnover and close to 70% with less than 5% turnover. The primary reasons for staff voluntarily leaving their companies last year were for higher compensation and new challenging opportunities (both 21%). Involuntary staff turnover was mostly attributed to poor performance (32%) rather than cost containment (11%), and 35% of respondents indicated they had no involuntary turnover at all.

 

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25th August 2011

Accessible Media Inc Plays Role in Barrier-Breaking Accessibility Conferences

Accessible Media IncAccessible Media Inc. will be participating in three Canadian showcases for greater accessibility in media anywhere. Each “a11y” event – be it conference, unconference (self-organized forums for idea sharing, networking, learning, speaking, and demonstrating) or camp – is full of speeches, presentations and demonstrations that lead to great advances in software and website accessibility.

“Accessibility is often shortened to ‘a11y’ because 11 letters are replaced,” explains Robert Pearson, Director of Accessible Digital Media. “An ‘a11y’ event is a great opportunity for members of the design/development, usability, accessibility, other IT and end-users within disabilities communities to interact and learn from each other, and AMI wants to be there, where the future of new kinds of accessibility is shaped.  The community that requires accessibility has been patient long enough. It is time to meet their needs and ensure that no one is left behind, that everyone feels included and that the world becomes a more accessible place.”

“At AMI, we make media accessible to all Canadians and allow everyone to consume media equally.  We also deeply believe in supporting and promoting the work of others who strive to achieve inclusion, including people in the groundbreaking ‘a11y’ movement,” adds David Errington, AMI President and CEO.

In addition to supporting May’s A11yCamp Guelph, which AMI sponsored as part of the Aiming for Accessibility Conference, AMI will be taking part in the following Canadian events this fall:

August 26 in Montreal: Web Accessibility and e-Governance: For Truly Accessible Web Services conference. AMI will sponsor the afternoon’s facilitation, beginning at 1:20pm with Robert Pearson as a featured speaker.

September 24 in Toronto: Accessibility Camp Toronto. AMI will be sponsoring the ASL interpretation for the day, and AMI’s President and CEO, David Errington will be a featured speaker in the morning to discuss AMI’s role in Making Media Accessible to all Canadians.

December 2 in Ottawa: Ottawa’s first accessibility unconference. AMI will be a sponsor at this event.

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25th August 2011

Fakes And Forgeries On Display At The Currency Museum of Canada

Bank of Canada Currency MuseumThe Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada officially opens Fakes & Forgeries: Yesterday and Today, a Royal Ontario Museum-produced exhibition featuring 115 real and fake objects running the gamut from historical specimens and cultural artifacts, to household items and designer name brands.

Eleven displays are featured, each devoted to a different category of artifacts and their corresponding forgeries. Each display offers hints on how to tell the real from the fraudulent and a chance for visitors to see if they can pick out the authentic piece from the forgery. The exhibition is on display to the public from 26 August to 9 December 2011.

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25th August 2011

Teradici Announces APEX 2800 PCoIP Server Offload Card Distribution With EVGA

TeradiciBurnaby PC-over-IP®  developer Teradici Corporation has announced its agreement to distribute the APEX 2800 PCoIP server offload card with valued partner, EVGA. Teradici will partner with EVGA to bring the APEX 2800 to the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The group of EVGA’s distribution partners offering the Teradici APEX 2800 PCoIP server offload card include Ingram Micro, ASI, D&H, and Synnex.

The APEX 2800 is specifically designed to offload PCoIP image encoding responsibilities from VMware View VDI servers, significantly reducing CPU utilization. Unexpected peaks in CPU processing demands are instantly managed to protect and ensure a consistently high level of user experience at the desktop, and IT managers can enable increased VDI consolidation ratios while managing data center space and power needs more effectively.

“We look forward to working with EVGA to distribute our APEX 2800 PCoIP server offload card,” said Trent Punnett, vice president marketing, product management, and systems engineering. “We are confident that the trusted partnership between our organizations and the strength of EVGA’s channel relationships will provide the most effective path to market for the APEX 2800.”

“At EVGA we constantly strive to offer customers an array of outstanding products and we are proud to include Teradici’s PCoIP technology, along with its APEX 2800 PCoIP server offload card in our offerings,” said Bob Klase, VP of Sales at EVGA. “EVGA is committed to distribution and marketing of the APEX 2800 and is pleased by the early signs of market demand.”

The APEX 2800 PCoIP server offload card will be available beginning December, 2011 with a list price of $1995.00 USD.

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25th August 2011

Shaw Media Announces Details for Bomb Girls Mini-Series

Shaw CableShaw Media has announced casting and production details for Global Television’s original drama series, Bomb Girls. Starring Oscar® nominated actress Meg Tilly (Agnes of God, The Big Chill), the series begins production in Toronto on September 12 and runs through November 16, 2011. Commissioned by Shaw Media’s original content team and produced by Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Films, the six-part, one-hour series is scheduled to premiere on Global in January 2012.

Set in the 1940s, Bomb Girls tells the remarkable stories of the women who risked their lives in a munitions factory building bombs for the Allied forces fighting on the European front. The series delves into the lives of these exceptional women from all walks of life – peers, friends and rivals – who find themselves thrust into new worlds and changed profoundly as they are liberated from their home and social restrictions.Bomb Girls

“Bomb Girls is rich with historical significance, stemming from the efforts of Canadian women during the Second World War, and we are proud to spotlight the groundbreaking bravery of these unsung heroes through this new Global original,” said Barbara Williams, Senior Vice-President, Content, Shaw Media. “With its fresh-faced cast, seasoned production team, intriguing storylines and unflappable characters, this six-part series is a dynamic addition to our midseason slate.”

Bomb Girls stars Meg Tilly as Lorna, a supervisor at the munitions factory with two sons on the front; Jodi Balfour (The Sinking of the Laconia) as Gladys, a wealthy socialite who becomes a bomb girl despite her parents’ disapproval; Charlotte Hegele (Murdoch Mysteries) as Kate, a preacher’s daughter with a golden voice who’s running from her fundamentalist father; Ali Liebert (Hellcats) as Betty, a fast-talking girl from the Prairies responsible for training the bomb girls; Anastasia Philips (Skins) as Vera, whose life is forever changed by her work on the assembly line; Lisa Norton (72 Hours: True Crime) as Edith, a forlorn mother of two youngsters; and Antonio Cupo (L’Ombra del destino) as Marco, an Italian-born factory worker who is banned from the army because of his ethnic background.

“We’re stepping away from the familiar romantic notions of the ’40s to instead explore the astonishing and little-known truths about the home front,” said co-creator Michael MacLennan (Flashpoint, Queer as Folk). Further to this, co-creator Adrienne Mitchell (Durham County, Bliss) added, “When an explosive could blast in your face today, when your overseas lover could be shot dead tomorrow, when you’re not sure if the free world will be standing next month, you play your cards however you want — and you don’t play by the old rules.”

Produced by Muse Entertainment (The Kennedys) and Back Alley Films (Durham County), executive producers include Michael MacLennan, Michael Prupas (Muse Entertainment), Janis Lundman (Back Alley Films) and Adrienne Mitchell (Back Alley Films). Adrienne Mitchell is also the co-showrunner along with Michael MacLennan, who serves as the series’ head writer. Bomb Girls will be directed by Adrienne Mitchell, Ken Girotti (Rescue Me, Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and Anne Wheeler (Da Vinci’s Inquest, Cra$h and Burn).

The series will be distributed worldwide by Muse Distribution International.

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25th August 2011

EDC Partnership With Silicon Valley C-100 Will Help Grow Canadian IT Companies

Government of CanadaExport Development Canada (EDC) has formalized a partnership with C-100, a select group of Canadian entrepreneurs based primarily in Silicon Valley who leverage their collective expertise to grow a new generation of successful Canadian-led technology companies.

“Canada’s high tech sector has among the most energetic and aggressive exporters in the country, and their global mentality is an approach that partners well with EDC’s own interest in growing Canada’s export trade,” said Benoit Daignault, Senior Vice-President, Business Development, EDC.

“EDC’s partnership with C-100 will focus on enhancing EDC’s support of the Canadian technology community by gaining greater insights into the challenges and opportunities within the Canadian venture capital industry.”

Under the partnership, EDC will undertake an active involvement in the C-100 mentorship program, including having an EDC representative on the panel of C-100’s signature “48 hours in the valley” conference series, as well as participating in C-100 events in Canada and in the Silicon Valley.

EDC is Canada’s export credit agency, offering innovative commercial solutions to help Canadian exporters and investors expand their international business. EDC’s knowledge and partnerships are used by more than 8,200 Canadian companies and their global customers in up to 200 markets worldwide each year. EDC is financially self-sustaining and a recognized leader in financial reporting and economic analysis.

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25th August 2011

Salute to Supernatural Convention In Vancouver This Weekend

supernaturalFans will come together to celebrate the hit TV series Supernatural as Creation Entertainment brings an unforgettable weekend to Vancouver, The Salute to Supernatural Convention.  This three-day event will take place Friday thru Sunday, August 26-28 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard Street in Vancouver.

Throughout the weekend celebrity guests from Supernatural are scheduled to appear include:  on Friday, Alona Tal (Jo Harvelle), Richard Speight, Jr. (Trickster), Chad Lingberg (Ash) and Colin Lawrence (Reggie Hull); on Saturday, Misha Collins (Castiel), Matt Cohen (Young John Winchester) Steven Williams (Rufus Turner), Corin Nemec (Christian Campbell), Richard Speight, Jr. (Trickster), and Sebastian Roche (Balthazar); on Sunday, the stars of Supernatural Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) and Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Alastair).

In addition to celebrity appearances, the non-stop auditorium show will include behind the scenes presentations, costume and trivia contests, no minimum bid auctions of unique collectibles and one-of-a-kind items, and special salute videos and previews of upcoming sci-fi television shows and motion pictures.   Also not to be missed will be an exhibit hall featuring Sci-Fi collectibles from across the galaxy, autographs, photo opportunities and more.

General admission tickets are available in advance or at the door for $20 on Friday, $30 on Saturday and $60 on Sunday.  Show hours are:

Friday: 12 noon – 6:00 PM

Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (times are tentative).

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25th August 2011

Boston Company Looks At The New Gaming Landscape

Not exactly Canadian, but I felt that I would take advantage of editorial license as the company doesn’t state exactly where the survey respondents were from – if they were all living in the USA or not.

Over the past few years, the popularity of mobile phones and tablets have contributed to an explosion in gaming by offering users the newfound ability to game anytime and anywhere. A study just released by the research consultancy, Latitude, offers a deeper-dive investigation into the new gaming landscape and the profile of tomorrow’s gamer, suggesting opportunities for both game developers and companies across industries. A complete study summary (PDF) is available for download from Latitude.

The study included a Web survey of 290 smartphone owners between the ages of 15-54 who self-identified as “casual gamers,” with nearly half labeling themselves “game enthusiasts.” More than two-thirds said they expect to be gaming even more over the next few years. The multi-phase The Future of Gaming: a Portrait of the New Gamers study was designed by Latitude to investigate the evolution of gaming, to profile tomorrow’s gamers, and to showcase resulting opportunities across industries for the future of gaming.New Gamers Infographic Smartphone ownership was a criterion for survey participation, but engagement with mobile games was not.

The study found that the stereotype of the reclusive gamer is outdated; this emerging demographic is social, heavily engaged with the “offline” world, and extremely goal-oriented – with a strong drive to improve themselves and the world around them. The new gamers are not constrained to any single platform, and have many different motivations for gaming in addition to just having fun [See New Gamers – Infographic- right]. Moreover, they expect that online games will continue to move out of the traditional screen environment, blending seamlessly with the “offline” world in new and engaging ways that go beyond just “checking in” with apps like Foursquare and SCVNGR.

“This study is part of our larger People Connected initiative, a series designed to offer a snapshot of intentionally small groups who are currently redefining what’s possible through the Web,” says Neela Sakaria, Senior Vice President of Latitude. “We go beyond just identifying changes in technology, delving deeply into technology’s potential impact on us as people – how we think, relate to each other, and approach our daily lives. Profiling dynamic user groups like ‘the new gamers’ gives us a window into how companies can not only develop meaningful tech experiences today but, more excitingly, grasp opportunities that are just on the horizon.”

The study pinpointed three key insights summarizing what the new gamers are expecting for the future:

1. Games Go Beyond the Screen
Eager to get beyond their smartphone screens, gamers are actively seeking new levels of interactivity, more Chart 5intuitive interfaces (e.g., gestural or telepathic controls), and personalization of the physical world that mirrors what’s possible online. Future games should register and respond to people as they exist in the offline world, which may mean using a player’s location, mood or stress level as metrics in a game, or allowing players to overlay virtual environments or information onto their actual surroundings, as with augmented reality [See ‘New Gamers – Chart 5 – right].

Study participants expressed an overwhelming desire for immersive integration of digital content with traditionally offline spaces and activities:

  •     95 percent would like to see more games that do a better job of combining digital content with the real, physical world.
  •     90 percent agreed that current and future technologies will play a critical role in extending games beyond the traditional screen environment, moving them out into the real world.

“The gamers of tomorrow won’t be limited by platform or location. As technology becomes more seamlessly integrated with our lives, everyone will be a gamer, and the world around us will become the ultimate playing field,” explains Natalie Stehfest, a senior research analyst who led the study and who heads up Latitude’s qualitative research team. “Technology will allow us to measure – and, ultimately, improve – ourselves in the context of our daily activities and surroundings. Many people making small changes can have a large impact in society, and this study suggests that the new gamers are ready to ‘level-up,’ and be challenged in this way.”

2. Life Becomes Play
Not only did participants want games to be well-integrated with the offline world in a technological sense, they requested games that better fit into the context of everyday life activities, and could provide added incentive to do things they want or need to do anyways. Currently, a variety of “life games” exist for personal wellness, learning, and even for completing household chores.

  •     92 percent would like to use more “life games” (e.g., games that fit into the context of things they do anyways in life)
  •     More than two-thirds would like games to help them achieve their personal goals, such as being healthier or more productive.

3. Social Matures into Societal
The social aspect of gaming makes it particularly well suited to tackling larger societal issues, as people can now share meaningful experiences easily in real-time. Obstacles related to engagement, crowdsourcing, and logistics are removed as mobile platforms make it easier to become an engaged community member or to get involved with socially good causes in a way that feels game-like, either overtly or in a broader, “social adventure” sense.

  • New Game Landscape Chart 7    96 percent would like to see more games geared toward creating positive change in society over the next 5-10 years. (Only one-quarter have played games like this before.)
  •     3 in 4 people would be more interested in getting to know their neighbors and the people in their communities if local meet-ups were designed to be more game-like (e.g., involving neighborhood “teams,” scavenger hunts, etc.).

In conjunction with The Future of Gaming survey, Latitude conducted a series of expert interviews with both game makers and game enthusiasts, culminating in the production of a mini-documentary, The Future of Gaming: a Portrait of the New Gamers, produced in collaboration with In the Car Media. This thought-provoking snapshot of the new gaming landscape serves up fresh, insider perspectives on how games have evolved, and who exactly is playing today – or will be tomorrow. The full video, featuring Buster Benson, CEO of Health Month, is available in HD on Vimeo.

“Our interviews are meant to bring to life what we found in the study: that the new gamers are connected – often outgoing – people who live and play in the ‘real world,’ and who have a serious interest in bettering themselves and society as a whole,” says Dan Hemmerly-Brown, the video’s director and an Innovation Engineer at Latitude. “These conversations have even inspired Latitude to consider possibilities for building game elements into our own research techniques and technologies.”

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