30th August 2011

IGLOO Positioned in the Magic Quadrant in Leading Analyst Reports

igloo communitiesIGLOO Software announced today that the company has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Niche quadrant of the Social Software in the Workplace and Externally Facing Social Software reports. IGLOO was one of 22 and 18 vendors respectively to appear in the reports.

The Gartner reports help to advise business executives and IT leaders who are seeking information and direction on investments in social technologies. The Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace consists of products that support internal information sharing, project coordination and collaboration. The Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software consists of products that support external teaming and networking where most participants reside outside the organization.

“We consider our positioning in the Magic Quadrant confirmation of our strategy to focus exclusively on a 100% cloud solution to enable modern business collaboration,” said Dan Latendre, CEO of IGLOO Software. “This unique approach provides a highly flexible and agile solution that can only be achieved with a pure SaaS (Software as a Service) model.”

You can download a complimentary copy of the Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace, courtesy of IGLOO – registration required.

Author credits:

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Social Software in the Workplace by Nikos Drakos et al., August 25, 2011.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Externally Facing Social Software by Jeffrey Mann, et al., August 25, 2011.

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30th August 2011

Cows vs Aliens Now On Android

xmg studioAndroid smartphone owners are finally able to play the addictive “Cows vs. Aliens” game by XMG Studio, now available for a limited time as a free download on the Google Android Market. The aim of “Cows vs. Aliens” is to save herds of cows from invading aliens by pushing the cows safely into the barn and keeping the aliens out. It sounds simple but when waves of nasty aliens are descending on your innocent cows you will need all eleven fingers on the screen.cows vs aliens

Launched for iOS in February 2011, “Cows vs. Aliens” has enjoyed huge success on the Apple App Store, with many players instantly falling for this easy to pick up but hard to put down game. “Cows vs. Aliens” introduces a new way of interacting with your game, using a pushing gesture to move the cows and aliens around the screen. Unlike other games, which rely on line drawing or touch and drag gestures, the pushing mechanic is a much more organic and lifelike interaction.

Like it’s iOS counterpart, “Cows vs. Aliens” for Android appeals to both to casual and serious gamers by keeping the mechanism simple and intuitive, but making it more and more challenging, when moving up the levels. The Android version also allows you to compete with other players and unlock special achievements and awards using OpenFeint’s leaderboard and achievements.

“This game launch includes another significant development for XMG,” says Ray Sharma, founder and CEO of XMG Studio Inc. “We are responding to popular request for our hit games to be available on Android. We have modified our Kanban Agile game development process to be able to more efficiently address this important community. Its important for the tens of millions of XMG users to know this is just the beginning of our Android efforts. To that end we wish Android touch screen users all the best and we hope you enjoy our free game promotion as our way of getting things started!”

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30th August 2011

Register Now For Merging Media Pitch 360 Dev Award

merging media conferenceMerging Media Productions and the Canadian Media Production Association – British Columbia have announced that British Columbia Film, will once again sponsor the Merging Media Pitch 360 Development Award of $10,000. This prize will be awarded to the winner of the best cross-media project presented at the Merging Media Conference and Masterclass 2011 on October 27th and 28th. Funding for British Columbia Film is provided by the Province of British Columbia.

Developers and producers based in British Columbia who are working on cross-media or transmedia projects which include TV, film or web series elements, are encouraged to apply for the Masterclass and Pitch 360 program. Just eight companies will be selected to attend “Pitching the Multi-Platform Project” – Merging Media 2011’s exclusive Masterclass conducted by Starlight Runner Entertainment’s Caitlin Burns, followed by pitch training sessions.

These sessions will comprise one-on-one mentoring and pitch coaching by industry specialists from New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, to help participants fine tune their presentations. The final pitches will be presented on the main conference stage on October 28th before an international jury of potential co-producers, broadcasters, collaborators, investors and distributors. Deadline for submissions is September 30th and space is limited, register soon to avoid disappointment.

Eligibility and Guidelines:

  • Project must be owned by the company or individual pitching;
  • Company or individual must be British Columbia resident or BC incorporated;
  • Project must have at least one conventional media element (eg. TV, film, webseries) and at least one more interactive element (eg. mobile, game, interactive site etc.);
  • Pitch will be seven minutes, followed by a ten minute Q & Aperiod;
  • Projects need not have a funding trigger (eg. CMF, broadcaster, distributor, etc.);
  • In addition to fictional story narratives, factual/documentaries, reality projects, lifestyle and arts/entertainment projects are also accepted;
  • A development agreement will be signed and the $10,000 award MUST go towards the development of the project.

Selection Criteria:

Eight “Pitch 360” participants will be selected based on:

  1. Innovation and creative potential
  2. Marketability and concept viability
  3. Cross media integration
  4. USA/international market appeal

Pitch 360 Jury

  1. Curt Marvis, President of Digital Media, Lionsgate Studios
  2. Brian Seth Hurst, Opportunity Management Company, LA
  3. Chris Harris, Shaw Media, Toronto
  4. Mark Bishop, marblemedia, Toronto
  5. Greg Schenz, Endgame Entertainment, LA
  6. Seth Shapiro, New Amsterdam Media, LA

The registration fee is $50 per person (paid upon acceptance only). Each team is permitted to register up to three people for the Masterclass only. Teams will be informed by mid October if they have been selected.

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30th August 2011

Social Intranet Software Engages Healthcare Workers on the Go

intranet connectionsVancouver social intranet software provider Intranet Connections has been selected by Ontario based healthcare organization York Central Hospital to provide its intranet services to their 2,500 users, providing an effective and accessible communications tool for healthcare workers on the go.

York Central Hospital was looking for intranet software to better organize their internal communications for healthcare professionals that access the intranet from computers across the four wing hospital throughout the day. The main objective of the intranet was to provide a central location for employees to access important company information. They use their intranet to announce their CEO’s message, hospital highlights, healthcare news, media coverage and press releases. Human Resources consolidated their important documents and policies onto the site and are promoting employees to apply for internal jobs within the Job Center application. A Google search widget allows employees to find content on the internet from the intranet home page.

Nelson Cardoso, Corporate Webmaster for York Central Hospital, says, “I appreciate the ability to create sub-sites that enable various departments and areas like fire and emergency and energy awareness to manage their own content. The service and response time needed to be efficient, and we found that in Intranet Connections.”

To prepare for the launch of Intranet Connections, York Central Hospital offered learning sessions, sent weekly engagement emails and advertised the new intranet with promotional posters and articles in the hospital newsletter. York Central Hospital uses Intranet Connections stats software to monitor visits to the site, whose visits have increased substantially in less than three weeks. The ease of using Intranet Connections software has made adding content simple. York Central Hospital allows users to manage their own content in the Physician Resource Center and Medical Affairs area of the intranet.

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30th August 2011

N-able Technologies Achieves VMware Ready Status

n-able technologiesN-able Technologies® announced yesterday that N-central has achieved VMware Ready™ status. This designation indicates that N-able Technologies’ N-central has passed a detailed evaluation and testing process managed by VMware and is now listed on the VMware Partner Product Catalogue. Passing the extensive VMware-specified testing helps ensure that N-central makes the best use of VMware technology and is ready for deployment in customer environments.

“We are pleased that N-able’s N-central qualifies for the VMware Ready™ logo, signifying to customers that it has passed specific VMware testing and interoperability criteria and is ready to run in production environments,” said Sheryl Sage, Director, Alliance Programs, VMware.n-able n-central

“Demand for virtualized infrastructure among small and midsize businesses (SMBs) is rising, which means the need among our channel partners for greater remote manageability and insight into the health of these virtualized machines is also climbing,” says Robert Grapes, Director of Product Marketing and Management, N-able Technologies. “The VMware Ready™ designation is an important achievement for N-able — one that is critical to our partners’ ongoing success with SMBs, as well as with other customers relying upon virtualization to take their IT environments to the next level.”

The VMware Ready program is a VMware co-branding program for qualified partner products and is a benefit of the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program. With more than 2,000 members worldwide, the VMware TAP program works with best-of-breed technology partners to provide them a comprehensive set of VMware technical and marketing services, support, tools and expertise to deliver enhanced value to joint customers.

N-able Technologies’ N-central can be found within the online VMware Partner Product Catalogue and hardware products can be found within the online VMware Hardware Compatibility List.

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30th August 2011

Shaftesbury Appoints Industry Veteran Jay Switzer to Board of Directors

shaftesbury films incShaftesbury has announced the appointment of Jay Switzer, former President and CEO of Canadian broadcaster CHUM Limited, to the production company’s board of directors, effective Jay Switzerimmediately.

“Jay has been one of the Canadian broadcast industry’s most successful leaders for the past 25 years, and has been integral to the creation of some of this country’s most dynamic programming and media brands,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury. “His wealth of experience will be invaluable to Shaftesbury as we continue to expand and diversify our business and develop additional opportunities for growth.”

“It is a true privilege to join the board of a company I have admired for more than 20 years,” said Switzer. “Christina and her team are the best in the business and I look forward to working with the board to help Shaftesbury develop and grow into the future.”

A respected veteran of the Canadian arts and media industry for more than two decades, Switzer served as President and CEO of CHUM Ltd. prior to its sale in 2007, and was instrumental in the development and launch of CHUM’s specialty channels dating back to MuchMusic in 1983/84. Switzer is co-founder and Chair of Hollywood Suite Inc., which recently announced the launch of a multiplatform four-channel HD specialty movie package in Canada, and also serves on the boards of Canadian media companies William F. White International Inc. (Comweb Group) and OUTtv, as well the Canadian Centre for Diversity. Switzer is a former Vice Chair of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and a former longtime Governor of the Banff Television Foundation.

Switzer holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario), and has been recognized with numerous awards for his leadership in both broadcast industry and community initiatives.

Switzer joins current Shaftesbury board members Jennings; Scott Garvie, Senior Vice President, Business & Legal Affairs, Shaftesbury; Millard Roth, former CEO, The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association; Carey Diamond, President and CEO, Whitecastle Investments Ltd.; and Donald Ziraldo, co-founder of Inniskillin Wines Inc. and Chairman of Mobilotto Inc. and Ziraldo Icewine.

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29th August 2011

Beta Testing Opens For The Secret World

funcomFuncom has opened the official beta registration for ‘The Secret World’, the highly anticipated upcoming massively multiplayer online game set in our own, modern-day world, and currently in development at Funcom Montreal. Gamers can now register to be evaluated for participation in the upcoming phases of beta that will be running up to the launch of the game in April 2012. During the The Secret Worldnext months Funcom will be increasing the number of beta participants gradually.

The launch of the beta registration also signals the start of the first phase ‘The Secret War’, an interactive online experience that engages community members in the conflict between the Templars, the Illuminati, and the Dragon – the three factions in ‘The Secret World’ – even before the game is released.

“One of the most interesting features of ‘The Secret World’ is the three profoundly different secret societies that players can join,” says Funcom SVP of Sales & Marketing, Morten Larssen. “Since we first announced the game we have gradually revealed more details about them, and what we have seen is that thousands of gamers in our community have come to identify with them and form a loyal bond to other community members belonging to the same society. With ‘The Secret War’ experience we are excited about the prospect of allowing for even more community interaction and engagement.”

The first phase of the experience allows users to take a unique personality test to determine which secret society The Secret Worldthey belong to and then choose which society to join. After making the ultimate choice the user is automatically registered as a beta candidate for ‘The Secret World’ and will also be eligible to take part in the upcoming second phase of ‘The Secret War’ interactive online experience.

The second phase of the experience will allow users to expand the influence of their secret society through a social media connected, web-based game. Here users can recruit friends and deploy them as agents for their cause, scoring points for themselves and their secret society. Users can also share assets from and information about ‘The Secret World’ to score more points, allowing them to climb through the ranks of their secret society and unlock achievements, exclusive in-game equipment and weaponry, in-game titles, and even the coveted guaranteed beta access reward.

Through ‘The Secret War’ interactive online experience users will also take part in weekly sweepstakes where they can win a trip to the Funcom Montreal studio, signed collector’s editions of the game, and even the opportunity to have their name integrated into ‘The Secret World´ game.

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29th August 2011

BCIC New Ventures Announce Finalists

BCIC New VenturesThe BCIC-New Ventures judges have made it official and today announced the 10 Finalists for the the 2011 competition as well as the Top 5 for the Agritech competition. The BCIC-New Ventures Competition is open to any B.C. resident, team or business with an innovative technology product or service that has not yet secured significant financing from external investors.

Each of the competitors have paid $200.00 entry fees and participated in business-related seminars and events which began in April, along with 4 stringent elimination rounds began with pitching their idea, and then moved on to passing a feasibility test and developing a condensed business plan. The final round will take place on September 8th and 9th, when the award finalists will pitch to a live jury. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held on September 22nd.

In alphabetical order by company name the Top 10 BCIC-New Ventures companies are:

Competitors entered in the Agritech stream will be evaluated by a separate panel of jury members and the Top 5 finalists of the stream will vie for 2 prizes: the $30,000 Shildroth First Prize for Innovation in Agritech Prize and the $20,000 Shildroth Second Prize for Innovation in Agritech .

In alphabetical order by company name the Top 5 Agritech companies for 2011 are:

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29th August 2011

2011 Canadians And Privacy Survey Results Published

Government of CanadaCanadians are heavy users of social networks and other communications technologies, but many are not taking basic steps to protect their personal information, a comprehensive survey of 2,000 randomly selected adults has determined. Commissioned by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) and published late last week, the survey found that three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents own at least one mobile communications device, such as a cell phone, smart phone or tablet – yet only four in ten use password locks for the devices, or adjust their settings to limit the sharing of personal information that may be stored on the devices.

The 2011 Canadians and Privacy Survey also found that one-third of Canadians use public Wi-Fi sites, such as those located at coffee shops and airports, where online communication may not always be protected by encryption. Of those, fully 85 percent admitted to some concern about possible risks to the security of their personal information.

The poll, conducted in late February and early March by Harris/Decima, also found that just over half (51 percent) of respondents use social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn. Fortunately, four in five said they take advantage of privacy settings that allow them to control access to their online content. Even so, 45 percent of all respondents who use social networking sites acknowledged that they are concerned about the associated risks to their privacy.

“Canadians are recognizing that their personal information is not safe in this new digital environment, unless they take concrete measures to protect it,” Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart observed. “Unfortunately, however, too few are taking even the most basic precautions, such as setting passwords on their mobile devices.”

“We encourage people to use passwords, encryption, privacy settings and every other available measure to safeguard their personal information, because the meaningful protection of privacy has to start with the individual.”

Indeed, the survey detected widespread concern about the impact of technology on people’s privacy. Four in 10 respondents felt that computers and the Internet pose a risk to their privacy, up from one-quarter (26 percent) in a similar survey just two years ago. Levels of concern about a range of technologies and applications, including cellphones, online banking, and credit and debit card transactions, all rose since 2009.

While younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 are the most enthusiastic users of technology, they are also the most likely to use available mechanisms to protect their privacy.

“This was a gratifying finding,” Commissioner Stoddart said. “Young people are sometimes stereotyped as digital exhibitionists who are quite uninhibited in posting comments and personal images. And yet, this new data shows that they not only care about privacy, they are actually leaders in protecting it.”

Other highlights of the poll include:

  • Six in 10 respondents felt that their personal information enjoys weaker protection than it did 10 years ago. Indeed 65 percent said the protection of personal information will be among the most pressing issues confronting Canadians in the decade ahead.
  • Canadians are deeply suspicious about the collection and use of personal information by public- and private-sector organizations. Only 22 percent of respondents said governments are taking their obligations to protect privacy seriously, and 14 percent said businesses take their responsibilities seriously.
  • An overwhelming majority want tough sanctions against organizations that fail to properly protect the privacy of individuals. More than eight in 10 respondents wanted to see measures such as publicly naming offending organizations, fining them, or taking legal action against them.
  • There was widespread concern about businesses that request too much personal information, don’t keep it secure, sell it to other organizations, or use it to send spam or make other unsolicited marketing contact. About nine in 10 respondents found such practices disturbing.
  • More than eight in 10 respondents (83 percent) said Internet companies should ask their customers for permission to track their online behaviour and Internet usage.
  • With respect to the personal information that Canadians provide at airports and border crossings, a substantial majority (85 percent) said they are somewhat or very concerned when it is shared with foreign authorities.
  • More than eight in 10 respondents (82 percent) opposed giving police and intelligence agencies the power to access e-mail records and other Internet usage data without a warrant from the courts.
  • There was little appetite for genetic testing to find out whether people have a heightened risk of developing certain diseases. Only one-quarter (26 percent) of respondents said they are somewhat or very interested in such services.
  • Only 30 percent of respondents felt they had a good or very good grasp of their privacy rights under the law. Still, three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents felt they are doing a good or very good job of protecting their own privacy. Younger respondents were the least likely to rate their knowledge of privacy rights as very good, or to have confidence in their ability to protect it.

The OPC commissioned the poll in order to gauge public understanding and awareness of privacy, particularly as it is affected by the Office’s four priority issues: information technology, public safety, identity integrity and protection, and genetic technology. Similar surveys were conducted in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

A PDF version of the  complete survey, which has a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percent, 19 times out of 20, is available for download from the Privacy Commissioner’s web site.

 

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29th August 2011

iLookAbout To Provide Louisville Image Capture

ilookaboutLondon Ontario’s iLookAbout Corp. has confirmed that through an agreement with Pictometry International, the corporation has been contracted to provide StreetScape imagery to Jefferson County, Kentucky which includes the City of Louisville. The contract calls for delivery of static imagery for the County’s CAMA application as well as integration of StreetScape imagery into Pictometry EFS, POL and ESRi for Assessment and other County departments. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.

“We are very proud to have been chosen to image Jefferson County. The decision of Mr. Tony Lindauer of the Jefferson County, Property Value Administrator’s Office, to move forward with StreetScape and GeoViewPort™ is affirmation that our work in the area of Desktop Review is taking root,” commented Jeff Young, President and CEO of iLookAbout. “Mr. Lindauer’s decision will allow the PVA to work better, faster and more cost effectively through the use of technology. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the PVA.”

“iLookAbout StreetScape™ and GeoViewPort™ are examples of how the PVA can improve service and productivity to the constituents of Jefferson County, KY. These leading technologies, when coupled with existing tools such as Pictometry On Line, allow our staff to make better informed decisions on a more timely basis,” said Tony Lindauer, Jefferson County PVA. “We have followed the success of iLookAbout over many years and are thrilled to finally have their products in house.”

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