15th March 2010

Beware the Ides of March and Enigmatic Thieves

mingleverseVancouverMingleverse is holding a promo contest and giving away A 50-Person Mingle Room with all features, including live video, for 1-year, built to the winner’s personal specifications. The contest winner will get to spend an hour with our Mingle Room designer to discuss room design, along with a $50.00 Google Adwords credit to spend on promoting your mingles or your mingle group. This contest is open to everyone. Please visit the Mingleverse contest page for details on how to enter.Kasumi Goto

EdmontonBioware has officially announced the next downloadable character for Mass Effect 2 (I mentioned her yesterday in my review of ME2). Kasumi Goto is a thief. More specifically, she is an enigmatic human thief and the Illusive Man has requested that Shepard add her to his (or her, depending on the gender of your Commander Shepard) elite squad. As with all of the other squad members, Kasumi will come along with her own baggage in the way of a quest which Shepard will have to help her with in order to win her loyalty. Kasumi is tentatively scheduled to be available in early April. It is interesting to note that on the Mass Effect 2 character page, there are still two slots marked “Classified” so I think we can safely say that there is lots more to look forward to from Bioware. Like…M57 Hover Tanks…and more missions.

D-BoxLongueuilD-BOX Technologies Inc. has announced its first agreement with Walt Disney Pictures to feature its groundbreaking motion technology with the studio’s new film from producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, opening in theatres May 28.Prince of Persia Sands of Time

“We are very proud to count Walt Disney Pictures as a supporter of our technology. Disney has a very good reputation within the industry and has demonstrated over the years much dynamism and vision. Following last year’s acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, which complements their already broad portfolio, this studio is well positioned to produce movies which will fit particularly well with our technology”, declared Claude Mc Master, President and Chief Executive Officer of D-BOX Technologies.

From the team that brought the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy to the big screen, Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films present Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, an epic action-adventure set in the mystical lands of Persia. A rogue prince (Jake Gyllenhaal) reluctantly joins forces with a mysterious princess (Gemma Arterton) and together they race against dark forces to safeguard an ancient dagger capable of releasing the Sands of Time – a gift from the gods that can reverse time and allow its possessor to rule the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th March 2010

City of Edmonton Embracing Technology

DreamCatcherTorontoDreamCatcher Games and The Adventure Company have announced the highly anticipated release of the Sherlock Holmes VS. Jack the Ripper game trailer for the Xbox 360. The game will be released on April 20th, 2010 in retail stores across North America, priced at $29.99.

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Sherlock Holmes VS. Jack The Ripper Game Overview:

A horrible series of crimes are uncovered in the East End district of London. The police have no serious leads and the heinous murders continue. Take on the role of Sherlock Holmes as you set out to find clues in the dark, gloomy streets of London searching for the macabre trail of the one known as Jack the Ripper. During this terrifying adventure, Sherlock will attempt to shed some light on the mystery that shrouds the identity and motive of the ghastly killer.

EdmontonEdmonton – The City of Edmonton is opening its doors to local software developers to improve the way information is made available to residents, and banking on market competition to spur innovation, lower costs and provide greater sustainability for the way information is processed.

“The City is committed to supporting our local software development community – some of the most innovative companies in the world are based in Edmonton,” said Chris Moore, the City of Edmonton’s Chief Information Officer. “At the same time the City is being recognized internationally for working with other municipalities to establish standards so that everyone can benefit from the solutions to the challenges we all face, from wherever they might be developed.”
Among the coming initiatives:

* The City of Edmonton is partnering with other municipalities, including the City of San Francisco, to agree on a common platform from which developers can create applications to send information to 311 call centres. The Open 311 effort means that an application developed for one city anywhere in the world could be used in other cities that have adopted the same platform.
* In late March the City will announce an Apps4Edmonton contest, with $50,000 in prizes and winners showcased at GTEC2010 in Ottawa in October 2010.
* The City of Edmonton is planning to launch an iPhone application called CityWatch, developed by local company Touchmetric. CityWatch will allow Edmontonians to report problems to 311 using an iPhone application. The message to 311 will include location information and pictures from the iPhone’s GPS and camera.

The City of Edmonton is also pursuing the development of a Code for Canada organization, which builds on similar work that is currently underway in the U.S.A. Code for Canada will help city governments become more transparent, connected and efficient by connecting the talents of innovative web developers with city departments to enable the transformative power of the web to achieve more impact with less money. Code for Canada will work with city officials and leading web development talent to identify and develop web solutions that can be shared and implemented in multiple cities.

In the last four months, the City has hosted several “Open” workshops and introduced an Open Data Catalogue, as part of its efforts to improve openness, accessibility and transparency.

“These types of efforts are also a much more effective way to develop and deliver information to residents than we might be able to undertake on our own,” added Moore. “We’re leveraging the power of the community to help our city operate more efficiently.”

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2nd March 2010

Splinter Cell Contest, Stoked Interactive is Live and HootSuite Expands To Android

TorontoMicrosoft Canada has a sweet contest going for Splinter Cell: Conviction fans. Check out the Contest Information page at GameStop (yes, this is a campaign to get gamers to pre-order SCC). The full rules for the contest, which is open to Canadians aged 18+ (or age of majority in their province of residence) only, can be found right here, but the idea is that 40 entrants will be randomly drawn from all pre-order registrants on March 18th, and those 40 entrants (along with a companion of their chosing, who must also be of majority age) will then be transported to Toronto on March 27th, where they will be hosted at a local hotel and given $100.00 in spending money. The 40 entrants and their guests will then become teams of two, and take part in a “scripted but realistic pure-skill challenge competition.”

According to the rules, each Team will travel through multiple checkpoints testing their skills against challenges inspired by the video game Xbox® Splinter Cell:  Conviction®.   The Team which most accurately and quickly completes all checkpoint challenges in the shortest period of time (thereby accumulating the highest number of game points) will be declared the winner. The winning Team will then stay another night in Toronto before traveling to Montreal for an overnight stay followed by a private tour of the Ubisoft offices and visit an EB Games or GameStop retail location. Please check the full rules page for more information.

marblemediaToronto – Working together with long-time collaborators Fresh TV Inc. and TELETOON Canada Inc., marblemedia has launched Stoked Interactive – to coincide with the March 4 premiere of new episodes of the series and push to the second season premiere in September 2010. With increasing interest in the program, the new site offers a tidal wave of new activities and experiences for fans around the globe. For fans of the French version of the series, teletoon.com has launched a French version of the site. Read the rest of this entry »

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25th February 2010

FIFA 10 Ultimate Team Now Available

EA SportsBurnabyElectronic Arts Inc. has announced that FIFA 10 Ultimate Team, the popular game mode expansion that creates a new way of playing the award-winning EA Sports™ FIFA Soccer 10, is available now to download for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system.

The original Ultimate Team expansion mode for FIFA Soccer 09 was the most popular PDLC expansion mode ever released by EA Sports, with over 35 million gold, silver and bronze packs opened, over 50 million auctions for players and items completed, and over 10 billion in-game coins exchanged in trades as legions of soccer fans took on the challenge to put a personally crafted team up against the rest of the world.FIFA 10 UltimateTeam

FIFA 10 Ultimate Team is half the price of the original — 400 Microsoft points or $4.99 through PlayStation Network — and this year enables gamers to manage one or multiple squads simultaneously, and compete against other gamers in dynamically updated online tournaments. Fans will be able to experience the game mode by creating a team with a starter pack of players and play a five game free trial (FIFA Soccer 10 and an internet connection are required for play).

Featuring over 7,500 of the best soccer stars in the world to choose from, gamers can emulate the way real-world coaches and managers build the truly great soccer teams. Choose how to manage your team –- focusing on creating one formidable squad, or managing multiple squads to match dynamic requirements for tournaments and competitions. Buy, sell, trade and acquire the biggest stars to build your team. Be strategic and tactical in preparing your squads for the various in-game competitions. A completely redesigned chemistry system built around player relationships on the pitch means that managing teams and squads to their full potential is even more critical to success. Take carefully assembled squads into standard tournaments and themed competitions against the most formidable teams from around the world – and then out wit and out play them.

Rated by the ESRB as “E for Everyone”, FIFA 10 Ultimate Team is available now to purchase for 400 Microsoft points or $4.99 as a download via Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network to FIFA Soccer 10. FIFA Soccer 10 and an internet connection are required for play. Read the rest of this entry »

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17th February 2010

Event and Association Updates

There is so much going on across this vast country of ours – it’s becoming a massive challenge to Orby - Proud to be Canadiankeep up on the digital media events while I have one eye on the Olympics and two hands on the 360 controller. It may become necessary to hook up a second TV in the living room so that I can game while watching The Games. Regardless of the controversy, warm weather, glitches, whining, protests and other Olympic foibles, I am really proud to be a Canadian (not that I wasn’t before the Olympics) – the inspiration, heart and sacrifice of our Canadian Olympic athletes is nothing short of amazing.

DemoCamp VancouverVancouver – Registration for Democamp Vancouver 10: Geo Edition is now open. Attend this event on March 4th and hear from Matt Galligan, cofounder of Boulder, CO-based SimpleGeo. Learn about SimpleGeo’s challenges to develop an infrastructure to power the geo layer of your app so you don’t have to build it all from scratch. This event is free to attend, but pre-registration is required.

Also coming up in Vancouver is CloudCamp, a free unconference taking place at Discovery Park CloudCamp Vancouveron March 13th. With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place where we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions. At CloudCamp, you are encouraged to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing. End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate

VIATeCVictoriaVIATeC invites you to join them on March 2 for an interactive seminar focused on your getting your business ready for the market. Featuring speaker Dave Thomas (Rocket Builders, Canadian Financing Forum), the seminar will cover many topics, such as marketing research, technology adoption models, “whole” solution offerings, product positioning, and pricing. Review what it means to be a technology entrepreneur and help you develop a business opportunity statement that can be used to take your idea or business to the next level. Tickets for this seminar, which is part of the New Ventures BC Seminar Series, are $10.00.

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17th February 2010

Get Viral with Doritos Canada

Doritos ViralocityToronto – The online space is dynamic, fast-paced and viral. Canadians are finally being given the opportunity to have their digital footprint measured and their social status quantified, with the help of a first-of-its-kind Doritos challenge – Doritos® Viralocity .

Launched on February 14, the Doritos® Viralocity Contest is a nation-wide initiative that asks Canadians to name the newest Doritos unidentified flavour, create a 60 second online video about what that flavour inspires in them and make it go viral. The person with the highest Doritos Viralocity score is eligible to win $100,000 cash and an additional $150,000 should they achieve Maximum Doritos Viralocity. Online stardom is the name of this game.

The winning entry will be determined by the final Doritos Viralocity score as based on the entrant’s ability and effort to make their entry go as viral as possible. A custom-designed algorithm, as verified by 10th Power Technologies Corp., will calculate each entry’s Doritos Viralocity score as of 11:59:59pm ET each night during the contest. The measurement algorithm is a way of calculating how viral a video has become by pulling and compiling data from internal and external sources like Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and AddThis.Doritos Viralocity

Another unique twist about this year’s Doritos program is the prizing structure. Instead of just one winner, the top 344 entries (as measured by their Doritos Viralocity score) will be eligible to win prizes of varying amounts of cash that correspond to their ranking.

“At Doritos, we’re constantly looking for bigger and better, a new and exciting way to break ground, that puts the consumer in control,” says Tony Matta, Vice President of Marketing at Frito Lay Canada. “This contest is an opportunity for Canadians to tap into the viral nature of videos, use their creativity and create a digital footprint that will give them the chance to walk away with some serious cash. The Doritos brand was built by the consumer, so we’ve decided to hand over our brand yet again and let the consumer keep calling the shots with the Doritos® Viralocity Contest.”

Ryan Coopersmith was last year’s winner of the 2009 phenomenon, Become the Doritos® Guru Contest, and is living proof that Doritos changed his life and encouraged his filmmaking dreams, while also bringing them to life.

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15th February 2010

Award Nominations, Demo Reels and Product Announcements

Orby - Proud to be Canadian

Village Gamer is Proud to Be Canadian

GO CANADA GO!


appboyEdmonton – A Smartphone as an x-ray machine? “There’s an app for that.” This phrase is starting to become as commonplace as saying “hello” when answering the phone. According to Gartner Research, Smartphone consumers are estimated to spend more than $6 billion and download over 4.5 billion mobile applications this year. With the mounting popularity of this phenomenon, AppBoy launched an easy-to-use, revolutionary social network that aims at connecting mobile app developers and users.

“AppBoy was developed to help developers get their apps discovered and to help users navigate through the thousands of available apps to find the ones they like,” says Thorren Koopmans, Director of Operations for AppBoy.

With more than 100,000 apps on the market, it’s difficult for app entrepreneurs to stand out. AppBoy gives app developers of multiple platforms (Android, iPhone, Palm and Blackberry) an opportunity to easily showcase their work and market their creations to mobile app lovers. Through personal developer profile pages created on the site, developers can share their ideas and even create their own app store. Apps sold through the social network also earn the developer a share of the profits.

AppBoy also has a lot to offer for those who aren’t building their own apps. Any user with ideas that are useful, smart or just plain entertaining can submit them to the website. Visitors to the social network have the ability to vote and comment on submissions. If the ideas generate enough votes, AppBoy rewards the user $250 and creates the app.

“We already have a great value proposition for both developers and end users, but we’re just getting started. There are big updates coming that are going to make AppBoy that much better.” Read the rest of this entry »

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5th February 2010

Great Things Are Happening In The Canadian Rockies

Banff – Motivated by the great success of the 2009 Banff World Television Awards, The Banff World Television Festival (June 13 – 16 2010) is proud to announce a new competition for the 2010 season that aims to honour those with the talent and motivation to create a series pilot.

The inaugural Banff International Pilots Competition aims to recognize the talent and creativity it takes to conceptualize and create a pilot, be it online or on television. The competition accepts submissions from both “virgin” producers who have never had a show or program broadcast in any way, as well as “veteran” producers with least one show broadcast on cable, satellite or the Internet, or with a show in full production.

The Banff World Television Festival is also proud to be hosting two amazing opportunities to participate in training programs focused on the creative side of television. The Canwest Showrunners Program and The Canwest Global Writers Program allow creative minds looking to expand their experience in the television industry the opportunity to meet and train with some of the biggest names in TV during their time at Banff.

The Canwest Showrunner Training Program helps to position seasoned series writers for the role of showrunner by inviting successful applicants with their own series to pitch to attend the Banff World Television Festival on a full access pass. At BANFF, they will have the opportunity to attend master classes, pitch Canadian and US broadcast executives and will be part of individual sessions with renowned showrunners attending BANFF.

The Writers Apprentice Program offers emerging Canadian writers with the opportunity to gain significant experience by completing a four-week internship in the story department of a prime-time series and will also be invited to attend the Banff World Television Festival on a full access pass.

Application deadline for Showunners is March 10, 2010 and March 15th, 2010 for Writers Apprentice. There is an Early Bird submission fee now in effect for the International Pilots Competition – it’s only $75.00 to enter until March 1, 2010. Final deadline for the Pilots Competition is March 15, 2010.

KASTNelson – The Kootenay Association for Science & Technology is bringing industry Guru Rochelle Grayson to the Kootenays! Join us to learn about news trends and tips to ensure you are making money from your product. This event will be designed to support technology and innovation companies in the monetization of software/applications as well as a presentation on turning new trends into opportunities. The event keynote Rochelle Grayson will be presenting on proven methods to monetize innovations – in short how to ensure companies make money on their products in today’s market. Also speaking at the event will be Rik Logtenberg, owner of Yellowseed, a Nelson-based web development and consulting company, with 10 employees and offices in Canada and India. Rik will be speaking about ways to use social media as a tool to improve marketing and sales.

This KAST Tech Village Connect event will be held at the New Grand Hotel in Nelson, BC on February 11th from 11:30 a.m. – 6:30p.m. Tickets are $20.00 per person and include speakers, workshops, lunch, appetizers , cash bar and networking.

KAST is also hosting a free webinar featuring Dave Thomas and Geoffrey Hansen of Rocket Builders. They will cover topic areas such as:

Better market planing = more revenue

* Entering the market with a new, innovative product or service?
*Are you able to explain your product or service so that the buyer understands what you have & why it is special?
*Do you have a well defined pricing model for your customers?
*Have you selected a promising target market?

Gain perspective on these questions and more:

* key criteria for understanding your market opportunity
*methods for market research
*methods for determining pricing
*key elements of a positioning statement
*techniques for market research on a shoestring

This webinar will be held on February 9, 2010 from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Pre-registration is required. Please see the KAST event page for further information about the event and how to register.

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26th January 2010

Innovacorp Announces I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition Winners

innovacorpHalifaxInnovacorp today announced the first and second place award winners in the provincial I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition, an innovative competition to identify and support high potential Nova Scotia knowledge-based businesses.

“The start-up businesses chosen as first and second place award winners are excellent examples of the types of high potential Nova Scotia companies that have the opportunity to compete globally,” said Dan MacDonald, president and CEO of Innovacorp.“The I-3 finalists are all targeting high growth industry sectors, including clean technology, life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing.”

The first and second place zone winners each receive $100,000 and $40,000 respectively in a combination of cash and in-kind business building services from professional services firms located in their zones to be used for the further development of their start-up ventures. The first place winners will move on to the provincial round happening February 9, to compete for a $100,000 seed investment from Innovacorp.

The first and second place award winners in each zone are:

Zone 1 (Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties)

1st Place – LST Energy – Jim Trussler, Gus Swanson and Philip Landry – Pictou – has developed an innovative patented technology that will enable efficient burning of grass and hay biomass pellets. While grass and hay biomass is plentiful and renewable, until this innovation it has been impractical to use as a fuel because it caused furnace and stove maintenance issues that required continuous intervention. LST Energy will first target commercial heating applications.

2nd Place – X-Flux Environmental Technologies – David Risk – Antigonish – has developed an innovative system for real-time monitoring of carbon dioxide emissions from underground carbon capture and storage facilities. The patented technology enables a network of ground level CO2 monitoring probes, network management and validation of carbon storage for public safety and containment integrity. X-Flux is positioned to enter the global market and will begin pilot installations in 2010.

Zone 2 (Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties)xona games

1st PlaceXona Games – Matthew and Jason Doucette – Yarmouth – is an independent game development studio targeting Xbox 360 and PC gaming platforms. The company concentrates on intensifying retro-style games and has already gained international recognition, placing 7th in the world and 2nd in Canada in Microsoft’s 2009 Dream Build Play competition. Xona’s game Decimation X is the number one rated Xbox LIVE Indie Game in Japan.

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23rd January 2010

Acquisitions In Montreal, IUGO on Blackberry and Global Events

creaformLévis – 3D scanning corporation Creaform has acquired Montréal-based InSpeck, a leader in manufacturing and marketing 3D scanning systems specialized in human-body scanning. InSpeck products are used in the industries of movie special effects, medical imagery, research, 3D crystal engraving and computer games.3D scanning of the human body, whose products include animation, special effects, medical imagery, research and electronic games. InSpeck’s current clients include Sony Computer Entertainment inSpeckAmerica, Electronic Arts, Warner Brothers and Gentle Giant Studios.

“This acquisition consolidates our position as leader in 3D scanning, as well as our position in the medical, multimedia and entertainment, and 3D imagery sectors,” says Mr. Charles Mony, President of Creaform, whose products, services and advanced training programs are intended for companies from the automotive, aerospace, consumer products, education, heritage preservation & architecture, manufacturing, medical care and multimedia industries, among others.

“By uniting their forces, our 2 companies keep expertise that is very coveted all over the world right here in Québec,” says Mr. Li Song, CEO for InSpeck. “Further, the complementary technologies of our teams will help us cover more applications and better serve the needs of the clients.”

Creaform has developed and sells the Handyscan 3D™ line of scanners. These state-of-the-art self-positioning handheld 3D laser scanners are known for the high accuracy of the 3D scanning data they generate, their true portability, and their ease of use. Creaform also manufactures and sells the HandyPROBE™, the 100% portable, wireless CMM, a probing system designed for inspection applications.

IUGOVancouverIUGO Mobile Entertainment presents its mega iPhone hit Zombie Attack! Bad Blood for the BlackBerry. ZA!BB is an addictive 3D tower defense game with a scary twist, and it is now available for purchase on Mobihand for $3.99. Zombie Attack Bad Blood

Your mission: Play as a survivor of the ultimate Zombie Apocalypse, strategically place weapons turrets to protect your shack and stay alive.

Features:

Different zombie types to slay
4 weapon types for a variety of zombie killing techniques
Survivor machete: hack and slash the undead when needed
Stylized 3D graphics
Local leaderboards
Intuitive controls, elegant UI
Pick up and play for 2 minutes or 2 hours

VisionFest 2010Global – Student animation festival VisionFest is now accepting animation, game and other interactive art submissions from high school, undergraduate and graduate students from around the world for this year’s festival, which will take place in Indianopolis, Indiana this coming October 22 – 24. Students are permitted to submit work which was completed no earlier than January 1, 2007. All entries must be postmarked on or before July 28, 2010.

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