1st September 2011

The Baconing is Now Released for All Platforms

Hothead GamesIndie game developer Hothead Games is very excited to announce that gamers can now eat up their tastiest action RPG, The Baconing on Xbox LIVE® Arcade, PlayStation®Network, Windows-based PC, and Mac. This epic adventure of bacon goodness is available on Xbox LIVE Arcade for Xbox 360 for 1200 Microsoft Points, and on PlayStation®Network, Steam, and the Mac App Store for $14.99.

Mike Inglehart, Producer on The Baconing commented: “This stand alone sci-fi adventure is our best game yet. If you like Hothead’s games, be prepared for plenty of our charm, humor and adventure. If you never played a DeathSpank game before, jump in with The Baconing – it’s very, very tasty and available for everyone, regardless of what system you want to play on.”

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In The Baconing, hero DeathSpank, oblivious of an ancient Thongolith myth, carelessly pulls on all six Thongs of Virtue at the same time, summoning an unspeakable self-evil, the AntiSpank. DeathSpank must bear the incredible heat and enter the Fires of Bacon to destroy five of the six thongs to vanquish the AntiSpank.

With an improved tactical combat system, players can defeat evil on their own or partner up with new side-kick, Bob from Marketing and other characters for local co-op play. Along the way, DeathSpank travels through sci-fi inspired worlds, meeting a hilarious cast of characters, and obtains new Weapons of Justice and suits of armor as he fights to return peace to his beloved Spanktopia.

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1st September 2011

Euroleague Basketball Represented In NBA Jam On Fire Edition

EA SportsElectronic Arts and Euroleague Basketball have announced a licensing partnership that makes the global interactive entertainment software company an official partner under the video gaming category. Under this agreement EA Sports will include Turkish Airlines Euroleague players in the upcoming release of the mythical arcade game NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.NBA Jam On Fire Edition

This is the first time that European clubs will be officially represented in the NBA JAM franchise, one of the most successful video games in sports history. All fans will be able to choose any of the four participating teams in the last Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four. Dimitris Diamantidis and Mike Batiste of Panathinaikos Athens, Lior Eliyahu and Sofoklis Schortsanitis of Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv, Bo McCalebb and Ksistof Lavrinovic of Montepaschi Siena, Sergio Llull and Carlos Suarez of Real Madrid will be amongst the players representing the four Euroleague teams in the 2–on–2 basketball games.

Currently in development at EA Canada,  NBA JAM: On Fire Edition will change the way players play this iconic franchise. All your favorite moves, spins and dunks are still available but now includes a host of gameplay improvements.  NBA JAM: On Fire Edition brings you even more to this basketball arcade classic.  Enhanced gameplay, ground breaking artificial intelligence and exciting online features continue to bring countless hours of enjoyment to this over-the-top experience.  The game will be available via digital download.

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1st September 2011

Bearville Passes 20 Million Avatars

frima studioFrima Studio and Build-A-Bear-Workshop® have announced that Bearville.com™, the online virtual world extension of the Build-A-Bear Workshop brand, has surpassed 20 million avatars. Bearville™ is a premier virtual world experience for children, families and fans of the Build-A-Bear-Workshop brand. Co-developed and maintained with Frima Studio, Bearville is a free online virtual world and entertainment destination where Guests bring their furry friends to life, interact with other users, play games, take on virtual jobs, buy virtual items and explore.Bearville

Since its launch in 2007, Bearville has entertained millions of young fans and earned a spot as one of the top children’s virtual worlds. With exciting adventures, avatar customization and mini-games, Bearville has solidified Build-A-Bear Workshop as a leader in kids interactive entertainment. With the success of Bearville, the company continues to extend its brand from retail shops into e-commerce, online virtual worlds, mobile entertainment apps, and more.

“We’re extremely proud to reach the twenty million avatar milestone with Bearville and are thankful to all of our loyal fans who visit the virtual world each day,” commented Maxine Clark, Founder and Chief Executive Bear of Build-A-Bear-Workshop. “This achievement reinforces our commitment to provide a fun, interactive experience for our guests.”

“Frima Studio has been a critical partner for us in developing the online world on Bearville.com. From concept to twenty million Guests, Frima has been with us every step of the way,” noted Dave Finnegan, Chief Information Bear, Build-A-Bear-Workshop. “Their strategic partnership, creative thinking and technical expertise have been essential to the success of Bearville.”

“This has been an exciting project for us from the start and we’re honored to have been a trusted partner of Build-A-Bear-Workshop for almost five years now,” remarked Steve Couture, CEO, Frima Studio. “Bearville is one of our biggest projects here at Frima, an incredible family brand and a very forward thinking entertainment company.”

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1st September 2011

DHX Media Appoints Home Entertainment Partner For Rastamouse

dhx mediaHalifax studio DHX Media has appointed Universal Pictures UK as home entertainment partner for Rastamouse, the CBeebies stop-motion animated series, which is scoring high ratings on the UK channel and BBC iPlayer. Universal will release the first Rastamouse DVD on 3 October 2011. It will feature six episodes including Da Crucial Plan, Bakin’ an Breakin’, Mice Camera Action, Da Rhymin Teef, Pie Widout Cheese and Toots Re-routes alongside exclusive bonus content: three sing-along songs from Rastamouse & Da Easy Crew and fun printable activities. The Rastamouse DVD will retail at £12.99 and will be supported by a TV advertising campaign.

Jessica Horne, A & R Manager for Universal Pictures UK commented: “We’re delighted to be releasing Rastamouse rastamouseon DVD. In a crowded market, this is a pre-school series with a genuine USP. Rastamouse is the coolest licensed character on the market and the show’s humour and musical content really connect with pre-schoolers and their parents.”

Josh Scherba, SVP Distribution at DHX Media added: “There is a significant demand for Rastamouse DVDs in the UK and in Universal we feel that we have the right partner on board to handle the home entertainment element of the brand. With the album available via EMI and toys set to hit the market through Character Options in the Autumn, there is a growing consumer presence for the brand in the UK which is supported by a strong performance of the series on CBeebies.”

Rastamouse, the animated series based on the critically acclaimed books by Genevieve Webster and Michael De Souza, launched on CBeebies in January 2011 and has since engaged a following of preschoolers and parents alike. The series features Rastamouse, Scratchy and Zoomer of Da Easy Crew, the mystery-solving, reggae-playing band who always make a bad ting good and live by their motto “redemption, not retribution.”

A Rastamouse Company Production for CBeebies, Rastamouse is produced by Greg Boardman and Eugenio Perez of Three Stones Media, in association with Dinamo Productions, Little Roots and DHX Media, which handles worldwide TV sales (excluding the UK) and worldwide licensing and merchandising.  The production is supported by the Wales Creative IP Fund.

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1st September 2011

D-Link Enhances Business Storage Portfolio

d-linkD-Link has announced the ShareCenter® Pro network storage solutions supporting concurrent NAS and iSCSI connectivity, designed for small and medium-sized business environments. With the ShareCenter Pro N-Series and S-Series models, D-Link has expanded its business storage offerings to deliver cost-effective unified storage solutions with built-in security, data protection, and disaster recovery functionality ideal for file sharing, data backup and IP video archival, to complement their existing xStack® Storage family of high performance iSCSI SAN arrays.

According to Gartner, the top storage priorities for small businesses center on data security, backup and disaster recovery. And, of the small businesses that are deploying network storage, approximately 50 percent rely on NAS solutions and 30 percent rely on iSCSI connectivity, according to Gartner User Survey Analysis: Why Small-Business Storage Is a Tough Sell, February 2011.

D-Link® ShareCenter Pro storage solutions offer the best of both worlds – high-end NAS features and performance often found in more costly SAN arrays, including iSCSI connectivity to support small business server applications, dual Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports, snapshots, encrypted volumes, virtual disk drive (VDD) expansion and remote backup. In addition, the ShareCenter Pro models are Windows, Mac and Linux compatible, and come with a five-year warranty (vs. the typical one-to-three year warranty) as well as an extended five-year warranty option for a total of 10 years, offering industry leading ease-of-integration and support.

Gerrit Koester, technology and facilities manager at the Filutowski Cataract & LASIK Institute in Orlando, Fla., was tasked with optimizing and managing a network infrastructure that ensured quick and easy access to over 100,000 patient records containing over two million electronic image files. “What I needed was a highly available, redundant storage solution offering easy backup and iSCSI support,” said Koester.

After evaluating the D-Link ShareCenter Pro DNS-1200-05, Koester was extremely surprised by the performance the solution achieved, as well as the flexibility and affordable price. Koester said, “We should get great speeds, probably as good as USB 2.0, maybe 40 megabytes a second, give or take. We got well over a hundred, and I said, ‘Wow, this is faster than some of the SANs we’ve evaluated. This is a phenomenal product and is truly cutting edge, but it is using existing technologies in a smart way that makes it very easy to configure, and it guarantees that it is going to be reliable.”

D-Link understands that small and medium-businesses have limited IT resources and staff, and provides these companies with end-to-end networking solutions to ensure interoperability, ease of integration and a single support call for troubleshooting. D-Link can offer small and medium-sized businesses scalability, reliability, performance, and lower initial and ongoing costs. Through D-Link’s superior economic model, businesses can leverage these affordable networking and storage solutions in multi-vendor IT infrastructures without being locked into proprietary hardware, software or service requirements.

“Small businesses evaluating network storage often have a checklist of the latest ‘must have’ features, but need to realize that reliability, data protection and network interoperability are paramount,” said Joseph Martins, managing director and analyst, Data Mobility Group. “The D-Link ShareCenter Pro models support non-proprietary hardware in a unified system with NAS and iSCSI support for added flexibility, ease of use and cost savings.” Read the rest of this entry »

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1st September 2011

CanIt 8.0.8 improves Archiver Software

Roaring PenguinRoaring Penguin Software Inc. has released CanIt 8.0.8, which adds a major improvement to the CanIt Archiver software, including the ability to take a search expression and generate a zip file containing all archived messages that match.  Also, CanIt may be configured to zip up archived mail just before it expires from the archive.

For the CanIt-PRO and CanIt-Domain-PRO anti-spam software, improvements were made to the Bayesian Analysis.  The removal of old Bayes databases has been automated.  An “old” database is defined as one that has not been trained in a given timespan (by default, 365 days.)

CanIt Archiver, “The Uninterruptible Email Supply”, is a highly-configurable email archiving solution focused on email continuity.  CanIt Archiver ensures that email is accessible in the event of a mail server outage and queues email to ensure that it is delivered when mail service is restored.  CanIt Archiver is also available as a Hosted Email Archiving Service.

CanIt 8.0.8 is available as:

* CanIt-PRO, an anti-spam software solution suitable for small and medium-sized businesses.
* CanIt-Domain-PRO, spam filtering software for MSPs to host anti-spam for their customers.
* Hosted CanIt, a fully outsourced, hosted anti-spam service.
* CanIt Archiver, email archiving software.
* Hosted CanIt Archiver, a fully outsourced, hosted email archiving service.

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1st September 2011

Big Blue Bubble Announces Five New Titles

Big Blue BubbleBig Blue Bubble Inc. has announced that the will be releasing 5 new titles across iOS and Android devices, PC, Mac and Facebook in the next business quarter. Not all titles will be available for all platforms, please see individual titles for details.

“We’re excited to see our next round of amazing original IP be released simultaneously and Burn The Rope Worldsacross multiple platforms.  The range of genres covered will further cement our standing as Canada’s top gaming company.” said Bryan Davis, Director of Business Development of Big Blue Bubble.

Burn The Rope: WORLDS, the sequel to one of Big Blue Bubble’s most successful games, brings totally new and unique gameplay mechanics combined with the well-known gameplay and visual style.  Burn The Rope: Worlds is a challenging game where players try to burn as much rope as possible in each level, but there’s a catch – naturally. The fire only burns upwards, leaving the player to tilt and turn the phone to keep the flame alive.

As the player progresses through the levels, he will encounter bugs crawling along the rope. Different bugs have different reactions to the flame. For example, burning the ant changes the color of the flame so rope of the same color can be burned, and burning the spider shoots out a web bridge so the player can access parts of the level Fling A Thingthat were inaccessible before. Burn The Rope Worlds will launch in September 2011 for iOS, Android, PC and Mac.

Fling a Thing is a simple game where you shoot your Thing in the air and collect all the bubbles.  The player advances onto the next level when all the bubbles are collected.  The player has a limited amount of shots and when they run out, the round ends.  The Thing is shot in the air by touching and pulling it back like a slingshot.

Once released it bounces around the screen collecting bubbles and power-ups. The goal is to collect as many bubbles as possible and beat your last high score. The player needs to pay attention to the Suckies’ Hunger Meter because when it’s empty they can head on over to the “Feeding Ground”. As the player taps the bubbles, the Suckie jumps up and collects them, filling their Hunger Meter. Fling a Thing will launch in September 2011 for iOS and Android devices, PC, Mac and Facebook.

Dark Incursion is a side scrolling hack and slash game that gives the player a full stereoscopic 3D experience. It takes place in an alternate reality in the late 1800’s, amidst an industrial revolution and a world war.  The Dark Incursionplayer is the character, Anya, who is one of the few who know about a secret military laboratory developing biological weaponry that could devastate the entire planet if it got out of control.

The player has a multitude of melee and ranged weapons at their disposal to eradicate the abominations from the city. Weapons and attributes are upgradable to best suit their play style. The deeper they get into the secret bunker the more advanced and powerful these monsters become. To top all of this off, the player must complete their mission before the government gives the order to send these bio-soldiers on to the battlefield where there will be no stopping them. With a vivid steam punk art style using new 3D technologies, the creatures will literally jump off the screen. Dark Incursion will be released in September 2011 for iOS and Android devices, and will be available for PC and Mac in October 2011.

Hamster CannonHamster Cannon is a physics-based puzzle game in which the player combines and launches various hamsters out of cannons to collect Golden Noms.  The player will select three different hamsters out of a possible eight – each with their own special skills.  The player will use angles and bouncing to navigate the levels with a myriad of different surfaces that can react differently depending on which Hamster is being used.

The points awarded for collecting Noms can be traded in the In-Game Store to unlock different upgrades. Hamsters are fired out of the cannon at a high velocity, and the player has the ability to adjust the angle of the cannon to maximize the special skills of each hamster. Hamster Cannon will be available for iOS and Android devices, PC and Mac in September 2011iOracle

iOracle is one of the most unique trivia games out there! It has players predicting actual real world events, in order to earn the admiration of their fickle followers, who come and go based on the accuracy of the player’s predictions.  The more questions they get right, the more followers they will earn. There will be new questions asked every day, with answers being supplied on the following day.

Players will have their own temple which they can decorate to attract different types of followers. Each follower type asks a different variety of questions – sports, movies, weather, etc. In-app purchasing will also be available to help players get past tougher questions, decorate their temple, or customize their avatar. This will all contribute to the players goal of accumulating more followers.  iOracle will launch in October 2011 for iOS and Android devices as well as Facebook.

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1st September 2011

Destiny Media Announces Mobile Patent Application

destiny mediaDestiny Media Technologies Inc. is pleased to announce that a provisional patent application was filed on August 17th for a new invention that renders video to web browsers on all computers and devices, including mobile, without requiring advance support or permission from that device or manufacturer.

Because there is no standard format for online video, content owners currently have to provide a separate version of their media file to support each device and operating system.  This transcoding process is labor intensive and expensive and requires multiple copies of the exact same content to be stored redundantly in different formats.  Compression artifacts are cumulative, so transcoding causes a progressive loss of quality with each successive generation, known as digital generation loss. Destiny’s invention provides a cacheable, cross platform standard compatible with all web servers and browsers, saving up to 90% on bandwidth costs, while ensuring a nearly 100% playback rate without any effort from the consumer.

Comments company CEO, Steve Vestergaard, “The summer of 2011 has seen a flurry of activity surrounding the so called “smartphone patent wars” being waged in the US and elsewhere.  Some of the largest technology companies in the world have been buying up patent portfolios and stepping up their efforts to enforce their IP rights against their competitors, so we’re very pleased to file an application for an invention in the space which we believe will be very valuable commercially.

Online video for mobile is growing rapidly, but because of a lack of standards, it’s costly for publishers to create content that works cross platform.  Either customers don’t have the right CODEC or plug-in player installed or their device doesn’t provide support for that format at all.  The proposed HTML 5 standard, which will eliminate the need for maintaining and updating plug-ins, will make the process somewhat easier for consumers, but video producers will still be required to create multiple copies of the same video in proprietary formats to support various browsers.”

Popular video players such as Windows Media Player, Quicktime and Flash are implemented in different versions for each operating system and CPU and in the case of mobile, can require that they are explicitly supported ahead of time by the device.  In a heartfelt letter posted to Apple’s website in April 2010, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, explained why he will not allow the most popular video format, Flash, on iPhones, iPods and iPads.  Flash also doesn’t play on Windows Phone 7 and Android 2.1 or less devices.

Destiny’s invention will enable publishers to create a single high quality video which will confidently play on any device and operating system that can access a web page.  A commercial version of Destiny’s solution is expected to be released by the end of the year.  Destiny’s current streaming video solutions, branded as Clipstream®, require Java to be included as part of the browser, so although they are cross platform, devices which don’t support Java, such as the iPhone and iPad do not support them.  This new solution will work on all operating systems and devices.

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31st August 2011

Accenture Foundations Provides Grant To Canadian Youth Business Foundation

Accenture and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) have announced that the Accenture Foundations have awarded the national charity a grant of US$420,000 to help the organization support young entrepreneurs in Canada.Canadian Youth Business Foundation

The two-year commitment is part of Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, Skills to Succeed, which will equip 250,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The grant will help CYBF mentor more than 2,000 entrepreneurs aged 18 – 34 and enhance the mentoring skills of more than 3,700 existing and new mentors, who help entrepreneurs build and scale sustainable businesses across the country.

In addition to the grant Accenture will provide CYBF with pro-bono services to help ensure the long-term success of the program. Specifically, Accenture employee volunteers will create a new online mentoring orientation program, which will upgrade the skill sets of both mentors and mentees. Additionally, Accenture volunteers will be recruited to act as mentors to the entrepreneurs.

“Supporting Canadian Youth Business Foundation helps bring to life Accenture’s commitment to building skills,” said Adrian Lajtha, chief leadership officer at Accenture. “CYBF proves it’s possible to make a significant, lasting impact on the economic well-being of individuals and their communities by developing entrepreneurial skills and connecting people with the right job opportunities.”

“Accenture’s work empowering Canadian youth through our work with Canadian Youth Business Foundation builds on our goal to make a difference in the lives and careers of people across Canada,” said Bill Morris, managing director of Accenture in Canada. “Teaming with CYBF fits with Accenture’s global corporate citizenship focus, Skills to Succeed, which recognizes that skills are one of the most powerful drivers of success.”

The grant is an extension of Accenture’s relationship with CYBF which began in 2006, when Accenture funded development of their online mentoring tools and interactive business planner. Additionally, CYBF is an active member of the Prince’s Youth Business International network (YBI), which Accenture has supported since 2006 by providing more than US$3.6 million in grants and pro-bono assistance in recruiting, training and maintaining the organization’s mentoring network. The new funds will be used to rebuild and roll out the nonprofit’s online mentoring orientation tool and to assess, scope and develop mentoring programs and services.

“Both the Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Accenture share a commitment to invest in the success of tomorrow’s business leaders by providing them with the skills and support they need to start and sustain their own businesses and to drive economic vitality in communities” said Vivian Prokop, chief executive officer of Canadian Youth Business Foundation. “The support of Accenture will enable Canadian Youth Business Foundation to strengthen and broaden its successful mentoring program as the foundation and platform for entrepreneurial, small business skill development for young entrepreneurs in Canada and around the world.

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31st August 2011

CSDC Systems Inc Acquires Privasoft

csdcEnterprise solutions provider CSDC Systems Inc. has acquired Privasoft, an Ottawa-based provider of solutions – for public sector and regulated industries – that automate legislated obligations to comply with laws such as Access to Information (ATI) and Freedom of Information (FOI).

Privasoft designs, develops and delivers a variety of solutions including the AccessPro suite. Privasoft’s products are used by a large number of organizations in North America and Europe to automate capturing, tracking, reporting and managing cases as part of the information disclosure process. For nearly twenty years, the solution has proven to optimize case processing, reduce operational costs and deliver consistent decisions while improving the quality of responses.

The addition of Privasoft to CSDC’s existing portfolio of solutions for permitting, licensing, grants and courts, solidifies CSDC position in the market as a leading provider of enterprise solutions that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery.

“This strategic acquisition increases the strength, depth and breadth of solutions in our product portfolio.” said Sebastien Pare, President and COO of CSDC. “In joining two organizations with complementary customer bases, clients of both companies, all of whom are continually being asked to do more with less, will benefit from the resources and efficiencies of the greater organization. While the Privasoft organization will maintain their focus on the Freedom of Information market, their customers will gain access to expanded resources and enhanced solutions and support.”

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