28th July 2011

Nintendo Announces Price Drop For 3DS

Nintendo CanadaNintendo Canada has announced plans to drop the suggested retail price of its portable Nintendo 3DS™ system to $169.99 in North America, as new games based on some of the world’s most beloved video game franchises head to the system. The new price, down from the suggested launch price of $249.99 and effective Aug. 12, makes an outstanding value even better and sets up a strong holiday season for the system.

“For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now,” said Nintendo of America President, Reggie Fils-Aime. “We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.”

Nintendo 3DS has the strongest software lineup of any video game system this holiday season and the new price now opens up the glasses-free 3D experience to many more consumers. Building on the popularity of The Legend of Zelda™: Ocarina of Time™ 3D, which launched June 19, the upcoming game calendar is a Who’s Who of iconic videzelda 3dso game franchises. Star Fox 64™ 3D arrives on Sept. 9, followed by Super Mario™ 3D Land in November, Mario Kart™ 7 in December and Kid Icarus™: Uprising during the holiday season.

In addition to great games, Nintendo 3DS has a host of attractive features (internet connection required for some features) that make it the must-have video game system this season:

  • The new Nintendo Video™ service automatically delivers short 3D videos from the worlds of music, comedy, animation and Hollywood.
  • A free application allows Netflix members with unlimited streaming plans to instantly watch TV episodes and movies streaming from Netflix.
  • The Nintendo eShop is a digital store for Nintendo 3DS owners that provides access to a wide variety of downloadable content, such as original 3D software, classic games that have been re-mastered in 3D called 3D Classics, Game Boy™ and Game Boy Color “Virtual Console” games in their original 2D glory, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare™ games. Visitors can also view video game trailers, screen shots and product information for games, including those available at retail locations.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in North America on March 27, nearly 900,000 people in North America have purchased one to enjoy 3D visuals without the need for special glasses. These Nintendo 3DS owners 3DS boxshotrepresent some of Nintendo’s most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

  • Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.
  • By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi’s Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

More details about this program will be announced in the future.

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28th July 2011

Kickin Momma Wants Your Babies

Hothead GamesFrom the incredibly warped minds at Hothead Games comes Kickin Momma, a hilarious new game coming to iPhone ($1.99) and iPad ($3.99) this August 4th. In this latest title, players control Momma as she aims and drop-kicks her babies into a shiny field of jewels and gems. Once launched into the air, Momma’s helpful children will hit, bounce and ping off pegs like pinballs.

You may well ask why do these youngsters put up with this, and where are Child Protective Services? Well, in the classic cliche of overbearing mothers, Kickin Momma’s children will do anything to make her happy, including being kicked into fire, ice and explosive pegs and being booted around 36 fun-filled levels to find all the gems in the game’s 3 dynamic worlds, all because Momma wants a shiny new necklace.

Players can also earn Bronze, Silver, or Gold medals upon completion of each level, as well as unlock fashionable accessory items to dress up Momma. Momma can be pimped out with costume items such as kicking boots, a mustache, a crown, and even a monocle while questing for Momma’s most-wanted prize piece: a gem-encrusted necklace.

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Game Center encourages masterful Mommas to compete with their friends for achievements or bragging rights to the highest place on the leader board. Prepare to kick the kids, collect the shiny gems and wear the necklace as everyone’s favourite Kickin Momma.

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27th July 2011

Discover Toon Boom Harmony 9 and Storyboard PRO 3D at Siggraph 2011

Toon BoomToon Boom will be unveiling Toon Boom Harmony 9 & Storyboard PRO 3D at SIGGRAPH 2011, Booth 708. These ground-breaking applications skyrocket animation styles to untapped creative realms, offering mind-blowing digital capabilities to creators.

Toon Boom Harmony Highlights:

• Draw with pencil lines supporting textures and variable line thickness. • Deform images and drawings animated over time using advanced bone and curved deformers.
• Built-in particle effects and dozens more!
• 2D-3D import integration, 3 axes object transformation Toon Boom

Storyboard Pro 3D Highlights:

• Work with 3D space with Camera View, Top and Side Views to position your 2D drawing.
• Build your own 3D Library for reuse.
• Export project to 3D software using FBX format.
• Take advantage of Digital Storyboarding capabilities

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27th July 2011

amaRocks Group Releases MLearnPad for Android 2.2

amarocks groupBusiness education and training developer amaRocks Group has announced the company’s first feature-packed Android 2.2 powered mobile learning tablet, the MLearnPad, which is is available now through amaRocks’ business education partners.

MLearnPad’s compact design encompasses a vibrant 8″ color LCD touch screen, with a 4GB of internal storage, and up to 32GB of expandable storage via micro SD, a powerful Freescale ARM Cortex – A8 processor, and 512 MB of RAM.  Boasting a feature set unparalleled in its class, MLearnPad comes standard with blazing fast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 1.3MP webcam, and USB.

MLearnPad which was recently approved by US FCC comes with Android 2.2, which means it has support mlearnpadfor Adobe Flash Player, giving the course participants unbridled access to the learning content.  The multi-tasking MLearnPad also comes with eReader, e-mail, Skype, MSN, YAHOO! Messenger, Facebook, Office Suite, 3D games support, Built-in Monophonic Recording and many more.

The introduction of the MLearnPad was integrated and tested with more than 300 Soft Skills and Enterprise Business Skills courses represents a hugely innovative step forward in the evolution of the online training industry. It has quite literally made it possible to take an entire curriculum, classroom, support staff, library and access it anywhere, anytime, in a totally user friendly format that is no bigger than an ordinary text book, and is available absolutely free of charge when course participant enroll for Professional or Pro-Diploma certificate course or at discounted price when they buy a single course(s).

In today’s fast paced environment, much of business learner’s time is lost sitting on commuter trains and buses, waiting in line, sitting in waiting rooms and “killing” time between meetings and in coffee shops.  The MLearnPad makes it possible for business learners to invest all this down time in their future.  In fact, anywhere business learners have access to WIFI can now be their own office, private classroom, library or study hall.

MLearnPad will keep business learners connected and engaged whether they are at home, at office, in flight, or at the neighborhood coffee shop.  Surf the web, download apps, and check email, stream videos and music, or share online status with friends and family, anywhere, Anytime, and at their own pace.

Imagine being able to participate in LIVEeCLASS while ride the train to the office, review lessons while waiting at doctor’s office, write an assignment in the coffee shop, between meetings access webinar tutorials, while enjoy lunch at the food court review essay with course facilitator.

If business learners have access to WIFI, they literally have access to an entire world of training opportunities and support services through this revolutionary tool.

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27th July 2011

Eight Ontario Start-ups Receive 6 Million Dollars In Funding From The Investment Accelerator Fund

MaRSEight Ontario companies have received more than $6 million in seed and later stage financing from the Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF), a program that invests in eligible companies as they develop their technologies and bring their products or services to market.

The IAF supports the launch and development of innovative companies in Ontario’s priority sectors of advanced materials and manufacturing, information technology, cleantech and life sciences. The IAF is funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by MaRS.Ontario

The IAF is committed to investing $500,000 in each of the following companies:

  • GridCentric: Two groundbreaking technologies: one supports cloud computing, while the other cuts the number of servers needed in client/server IT setups.
  • Karos Health: Creating an exchange network to improve electronic ordering and results distribution of diagnostic imaging tests between client hospitals, imaging centers and radiology reading services.
  • Locationary: Locationary is now commercializing its sophisticated cloud-based, local data management system that helps mobile and web publishers improve quality while reducing the costs and complexity of managing local business places data.
  • Temporal Power: Develops and manufactures electrical energy storage systems that use a breakthrough flywheel technology. The technology is aimed at helping the electrical utility industry modernize the grid, integrate wind and solar power and better utilize water for generating clean power.

The Investment Accelerator Fund-Life Sciences (IAF-LS) helps accelerate the growth of life sciences companies in Ontario. The fund invests up to $1,000,000 in seed and later stage financing in companies that have the potential to be global leaders in their field and provide sustainable economic benefits to Ontario. Funded by the Government of Ontario, the fund helps innovative life sciences companies turn their discoveries into new products and services that meet patient needs.

The IAF-LS is committed to investing up to $1,000,000 in each of the following companies.

  • Cytochroma Inc.: A pharmaceutical company that is developing and commercializing products to treat and prevent vitamin D insufficiency and secondary hyperparathyroidism associated with chronic kidney disease.
  • Profound Medical Inc.: An award-winning medical device company commercializing a device that accurately and precisely treats localized prostate cancer on an out-patient basis.
  • Trillium Therapeutics: Developing a new and innovative treatment for interstitial cystitis, a chronic and debilitating bladder disease that affects millions of women in North America.
  • Xagenic Canada Inc.: Commercializing a low cost, chip-based diagnostic testing system that can detect and identify germs within 30 minutes, right at the point of care (no lab required).

These investments, generally made in the form of a convertible debenture or as an equity investment, will help the companies develop their products or services and attract additional investment. Funding and support from the IAF and IAF-LS will help these innovative companies save lives, protect the environment and introduce new technologies.

“The IAF is proud to support these early-stage companies. Their innovative technologies, products and services mean that the strong management teams are capable of building businesses with sustainable competitive advantages,” says Barry Gekiere, IAF Managing Director. “We support our portfolio companies with access to capital and a network of market and sector connections. By partnering with these companies and helping them grow, the IAF is helping to create high-value jobs that contribute to Ontario’s innovation agenda.”

“We are thrilled to have MaRS and the IAF as investors and appreciate their help and guidance as we commercialize our new data management services”, says Grant Ritchie, CEO of Locationary. “The whole team was responsive, professional, and frankly, absolutely incredible through the entire investment process. They are great ambassadors for Ontario and play a major role in supporting the start-up tech community here.”

“We are absolutely delighted to have received this investment from IAF. Their team was comprehensive in their diligence, quick in their decision and is already contributing strategically to the direction of the company. We couldn’t be happier to have them as investors,” says Paul Chipperton, CEO of Profound Medical.

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27th July 2011

GDC 2012 Call For Submissions

GDCThe call for submissions to present lectures, roundtables and panel sessions at the 2012 Game Developers Conference® (GDC) is now open through Tuesday, September 6th. Organized by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, GDC 2012 is the game industry’s most comprehensive and longest running professionals-only event where game developers converge for a week of learning, networking and inspiration. GDC 2012 will take place March 5-9 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. Session proposals can be submitted via the official GDC website.

The GDC 2012 advisory board welcomes a slate of new members primarily aiding in the content planning for the Business, Marketing & Management, Production, and Visual Arts tracks including:

Chris Charla, Portfolio Director for XBLA, Microsoft Game Studios
Prior to joining Microsoft, Charla served as VP of business development at Foundation 9 Entertainment as well as editor-in-chief of Next Generation Magazine and launch editor of IGN.com.  In his new role at Microsoft Game Studios, Charla helps to shape Microsoft’s first party digital games portfolio.

Rod Fergusson, Executive Producer, Epic Games
As executive producer for Epic Games’ blockbuster Gears of War franchise,
Fergusson led the production of Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360) and the 2006 Game of the Year, Gears of War (Xbox 360, PC), in addition to collaborating with creative talent on the Gears of War novels, comic books and film. During his 10 year tenure at Microsoft, Fergusson also produced a number of game projects including Train Simulator, Blood Wake and Counter-Strike (Xbox).

Lee Petty, Project Lead & Art Director, Double Fine Productions
Since 1996, Petty has worked in the game industry in a wide variety of art production and leadership roles.  Petty has shipped numerous console and PC titles at companies such as Accolade, Infogrames, and Crystal Dynamics. Petty is currently at Double Fine Productions, where he serves as art director and project lead; his work includes 2009’s Brutal Legend and 2011’s Stacking.

Justin Thavirat , Senior Art Director, Blizzard
Thavirat is a senior art director at Blizzard Entertainment and has been working in the video game industry since 1994. He has contributed game art, concept art, cinematics art and marketing illustrations for many of Blizzard’s games in the Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, and World of Warcraft series. Most recently, Thavirat served as lead artist on World of Warcraft, art director on World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade, and is currently art directing Blizzard’s unannounced massively multiplayer online game.

Ru Weerasuriya, Art and Creative Director and Co-Founder, Ready at Dawn Studios
Weerasuriya is the art and creative director and co-founder of Ready at Dawn Studios. 2006 saw the release of their first game, Daxter, to critical and commercial acclaim, earning them a nomination for the BAFTA awards. Formerly a senior artist with Blizzard Entertainment, Weerasuriya initially worked on Starcraft: Brood War and then contributed to the blockbuster Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and its expansion, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. Weerasuriya’s work has been published in several books and magazines, including The Art of Warcraft, The Art of World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons books and Monster Manuals.

“The GDC Advisory Board has made improving the quality of presented talks its number one goal,” said Meggan Scavio, GM, Game Developers Conference Events. “With our new board members and the introduction of a new submissions system, we are able to continue to present talks that are representative of interesting and current work happening in game development each year.”

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27th July 2011

DHX Media Signs Worldwide Music Publishing Administration Deal

dhx mediaDHX Media has concluded a worldwide administration deal for more than 40 titles from DHX Media’s extensive library of television and film content with ole, one of the world’s largest independent music publishers. The deal includes a significant advance payment to DHX Media and gives ole music publishing administration rights for the entire DHX Media group of companies, including recently acquired W!LDBRAIN Entertainment. Under the deal, ole will collect and retain all music publishing revenue and, once it has recouped its advance, remit to DHX these revenues net of an administration fee.

DHX Media CEO Michael Donovan commented: “We are very happy to partner with ole on this venture. This deal again highlights the additional revenue streams we are able to access, unlocking the potential of our library of high-quality, enduring content.”

DHX Media maintains a library of over 2,300 hours of television productions that covers both live action and animated programming. The internationally popular titles in the company’s catalog include That’s So Weird, How To Be Indie, Bo on the GO!, Being Ian, Animal Mechanicals, Naturally Sadie, Franny’s Feet, Kid vs Kat, Angela Anaconda, dirtgirlworld, and Yo Gabba Gabba!, the successful live version of which will be back on the road this fall for a 50-city North American tour under the banner YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: It’s Time To Dance.

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27th July 2011

Mygazines Releases On-Page Widgets And Library App

mygazinesDigital publisher Mygazines has launched On-Page Widgets and the Library App. On-Page Widgets are an HTML5-powered mobile publishing tool for creating true app-like experiences on any device browser, including iPad, Playbook, iPhone, Android phones and desktops. Content creators can now easily offer readers web-apps with Twitter feeds, Facebook “Like” buttons, annotations, Youtube videos and other enhanced interactivity on any page of their digital editions.

“Enhancements are easily added via Mygazines’ Page Editor, where users predefine zones for desired interactive elements. Other uses include embedding forms, games or any type of HTML-based element. The possibilities are endless and the software is extremely natural to use”, explained Mygazines Chief Marketing Officer Randy Frisch.

Mygazines’ digital publishing software also offers tools like links, location-based rules and analytics. “The process converts magazines, brochures, flyers and beyond from a PDF format to an enhanced digital edition viewable on any web-enabled device. Content is distributed via a branded URL, Mygazines’ system automatically detects the device and shows a unique experience”, Frisch added.

Mygazines also announced the Library App, which gives readers the flexibility to discover, browse and navigate through content online or offline via a downloadable App. Powered by Mstand, it is a hybrid of web-app and native-app technologies and is available for iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch), Android (phones and tablets) and desktops.

“The Library App is a cutting edge and still affordable way to offer content on popular app storefronts,” explained Frisch. “Combining the Library App with On Page-Widgets allows any sized organization to present an experience that is sure to attract audience engagement.”


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27th July 2011

Absolute Software Announces Support for Mac OS X Lion

Absolute SoftwareAbsolute® Software Corporation has announced the general availability of Absolute Manage 5.4.2, allowing for customer upgrades to Apple’s newest operating system without any interruption to the endpoint management processes they depend on to effectively manage their cross-platform deployments. In addition, Apple Open Directory integration means organizations can now better manage users’ access to resources used on iOS 4 devices.

“Absolute Manage is truly cross-platform and provides endpoint management capabilities for PC, Mac®, and iOS devices,” said John Livingston, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Absolute Software. “Our customers expect us to keep pace with the market and we do, ensuring our solutions support the most current operating systems and form factors on the market today.”

Absolute Manage allows organizations to efficiently manage all their assets by automating time-consuming IT processes such as software distribution, patch management, asset inventory and imaging. Additionally, it helps organizations save money by allowing them to track installed applications and licenses, redeploy under-used licenses and hardware to optimize inventory, and avoid non-compliance fines.


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27th July 2011

Hammer Penguins Match Game Now Available

small fun gamesManitoba’s Small Fun Games has released Hammer Penguins, a new Windows tile-matching game for children and adults. Similar to the Mahjonng Solitaire genre of computer games, Hammer Penguins lets you help two penguins save their animal friends who have been trapped in the ice.
Hammer Penguins start screen
At the easiest levels, children of all ages will be able to pair matching tiles and release the trapped cows, puppies, and dozens of other animals from the ice. Parents can use the middle levels to play Hammer Penguins with their children, and teach them the principles of logic, strategy, and planning ahead. And a game at the high difficulty level will provide ten or twenty minutes of fun for even the most savvy gamer.

Each game board is a randomly shuffled set of 140 animal tiles that you need to match, two by two, until the entire board is cleared. The theory that determines the matching rules is simple and intuitive. But the game can be extremely challenging and complex. Hammer Penguins’ infinite variety of game boards keeps you looking forward to the next game.
Hammer Penguins Puzzle Board
Players can enjoy a relaxed, untimed game or the more difficult set of Challenge Games. The Hint button will reveal one move that is available immediately, even though it might not be the best strategic move to help you clear the entire board. You can even toggle the sound off if you prefer to play a quiet game.

Whether you’re a home computer user who wants to spend hours of relaxing fun playing a thoughtful, non-violent game, a businessperson who needs a way to take a challenging work break to relax and unwind, or a parent who wants to teach your kids to think logically and plan ahead, Hammer Penguins can provide years of entertainment.

Hammer Penguins runs under Windows 7/Vista/XP, costs $14.95(US), and may be purchased securely online. Hammer Penguins comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. One dollar of every sale is donated to the Winnipeg Humane Society.

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