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27th April 2011

marblemedia Launches Storm Browser Game for Splatalot

marblemediamarblemedia has launched Storm, the newest browser game for its hit YTV show Splatalot. Head on over to the Splatalot site and test your luck in dodging the obstacles as you battle your way to the castle. The bonus is that unlike the show’s competitors, you get to stay safe and dry. If you haven’t yet watched Splatalot, you really should check it out. YTV and Danone has also paired up to give kids a chance to be a contestant on the show – details are on the Splatalot Winalot page.

Those of you who are still celebrating in the euphoric cloud of last night’s Canuck win over the Blackhawks may Tungle.menot be aware that scheduling service Tungle has been acquired by Research In Motion. In a statement on the company’s blog this morning, Tungle CEO Marc Gingras stated that “We’re really excited about this. We know there isn’t an industry more exciting than the smartphone and tablet markets, and RIM is a dominant player in this space. As of today, the entire team is joining the ranks of RIM. It’s playoff season and the Tungle team is focusing on putting the puck in the net for you, our customers. You have kept us on our toes, given us great ideas and most importantly, have been great supporters. For that, we thank you. Our objective is to keep innovation at the forefront – to be rebels in our own way. Think, Create, Innovate.”

Roaring PenguinRoaring Penguin Software Inc. has announced the availability of CanIt Archiver, an e-mail archiving and e-mail business continuity software program for small business.  CanIt Archiver automatically archives e-mail and makes it available from anywhere via a web-based user interface, making it an ideal tool for e-mail business continuity.  In the event that your e-mail server disappears, it is comforting to know that you will be able to read your e-mail.

CanIt Archiver allows you to search based upon the date range, message subject, sender, recipients, message body, attachment filename and many more advanced criteria.  It also allows you to perform nested searches to narrow down your search criteria.  Also, CanIt Archiver can find “related messages” which finds all messages referred to by a given message.  This allows you to easily follow the thread of a conversation.  Best of all, CanIt Archiver allows end users to search their own archives, saving system administrators time and effort in tracking down old e-mails.

CanIt Archiver allows you to specify how long mail should be retained, thereby tailoring your e-mail retention policy to match your organization’s policies or regulatory requirements such as the Freedom of Information Act, HIPAA, SOX, etc.

CanIt Archiver is integrated with:

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

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27th April 2011

CRTC Filings Lawsuits Patents and Appointments

I find this to be somewhat ironic, coming from a telecom that is just as guilty for high prices on telephone, mobile and internet fees as the other big companies, but Telus has submitted a proposal to the CRTC for safeguards to protect Canadian TV viewers from anti-competitive practices of the large broadcasting companies which now control Canada’s television industry. Telus

In the past year there has been an unparalleled concentration of content ownership resulting from large corporate acquisitions highlighted by BCE’s $3 billion purchase of Bell Globemedia and Shaw’s $2 billion purchase of CanWest. As a result, Canadian broadcasting content has become largely owned and controlled by Canada’s largest cable and satellite providers.

“The unprecedented concentration of market power in the broadcasting sector created by the common ownership of programming services and distribution platforms requires regulatory safeguards to protect consumers,” said Michael Hennessy, senior vice-president Regulatory and Government Affairs at Telus. “The potential for abuse of market power is real and the risk to consumers is significant. Without proper regulatory safeguards consumers could soon be facing increased costs and reduced choice in their TV viewing options.”

The proposed safeguards include:

  • Distributors should not withhold content from competitors. This will prevent anti-competitive programming blackouts.
  • Preferential or exclusive programming rights should not be permitted in Canada. Consumers should not have to switch suppliers to watch their favorite shows.
  • To ensure fair competition, vertically integrated broadcasters should not benefit from a head-start in launching new programming services.
  • Fees charged for a programming service should be in line with fees charged for other services of equal value to consumers to ensure consumer costs do not skyrocket.

A recent survey by Harrisdecima found that an overwhelming 88 per cent of Canadians support federal government rules that require all content to be made equally available to all distributors. Such rules are required to ensure consumers can watch any program they choose, no matter which company they buy their TV, internet or wireless service from.

hobby star marketingToronto-based Hobby Star Marketing Inc., organizers of the largest combined gaming, horror, comic, science fiction and anime event in Canada, Fan Expo Canada, today launched a lawsuit against American sports promotion company, Zuffa LLC and event organizers Reed Exhibitions Limited of the U.K. for trademark infringement.
fan expo canada
The company’s statement of claim seeks to establish that Zuffa LLC’s use of “UFC Fan Expo” is a confusingly similar use to Hobby Star Marketing’s registered trade-mark, Fan Expo Canada, and that such use infringes on Hobby Star Marketing’s exclusive rights in Canada in its trademark, causes confusion and depreciates the value of the Fan Expo Canada brand.

In documents filed in Federal Court, Hobby Star Marketing is requesting an immediate injunction to block organizers from using the name “UFC Fan Expo” and the accompanying slogan, “Ultimate Fan Experience” in Canada. This claim follows the December 2010 announcement of the first-ever UFC Fan Expo in Canada to be held in Toronto later this month.

“For the past 17 years, Fan Expo Canada has been the only event offering unique experiences and opportunities to interact with icons, industry leaders, and other enthusiastic fans across a variety of genres and modes and we intend to grow dynamically in coming years,” said Aman Gupta, President of Hobby Star Marketing. “We will do everything possible to protect our intellectual property and maintain the integrity of our event and our brand.”

Owned and operated by Hobby Star Marketing, Fan Expo Canada offers fans the chance to meet their favourite celebrities and pop culture heroes at autograph and photo sessions. Attendees can also participate in informational workshops with industry experts offering advice, tips and portfolio reviews, and shop for exclusive Fan Expo Canada offers, collectibles and memorabilia from more than 600 vendors.

Hobby Star Marketing Inc. was founded in 1992 and has quickly become one of Canada’s premiere sports and entertainment marketing companies. Since its inception, Hobby Star Marketing has secured a niche in the industry by specializing in professional sport and entertainment celebrity placement at a variety of venues and events.

AngossPredictive analytics software and solutions provider Angoss Software Corporation a global leader in delivering powerful , today announced the issuance to it by the US Patent Office of a patent for a method and system for interactive decision tree modification and visualization.

The invention with patent number 7,873,651 describes a method and system of modelling decision trees within a client-server environment. Decision trees are used as a visual and analytical decision support tool. They provide intuitive capabilities that allow users to segment populations and understand the key drivers of outcomes based on their business data. Angoss Software Corporation’s extensive experience with decision trees and its unique approach to their construction and visualization has now been recognized by the US Patent Office.

This latest patent covers technology in connection with the company’s KnowledgeSTUDIO® product and all of its interactions between the user, the client and the server when building and modifying a decision tree model. For example, to execute a “Find Split” operation, after receiving a user request, the client sends a command to the server which then finds the optimal variable to split on and how the data should be grouped to get the most predictive distribution. Once the server finds the answer, it is returned to the client to be displayed to the user for further interaction and modification.

“Today’s marketplace is growing increasingly competitive with the introduction of new data mining and predictive analytics technologies, and the most successful businesses will be those who leverage their intellectual property to give customers the assurances they are looking for when buying technology based products and solutions,” said Martin Galligan, President and CEO. “Our ability to bring the power of advanced predictive analytics to business users cannot be challenged.” Advanced analytics is no longer the exclusive domain of statisticians and quantitative analysts. This innovation progresses the ability of sales and marketing organizations to apply predictive analytics to their business to improve sales and marketing performance.” Read the rest of this entry »

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27th April 2011

Shaw Gets Exclusive With Mobio

mobioMobio Identity Systems, an international mobile payment and marketing company, is pleased to announce its exclusive partnership with Shaw Media to be Mobio’s first and only Canadian broadcast sales representative. For an initial term of 15 months, Shaw Media will be the official broadcast reseller of Mobio payment and marketing applications to advertising agencies, media buying services and direct clients across the country. The Mobio Smartphone app is available now via the company’s web site.

“Mobio’s innovative approach to interactive marketing and advertising gives Shaw Media an added edge in our highly competitive sales environment,” said Errol Da-Ré, Senior Vice President Sales, Shaw Media. “Together with Mobio, we will be able to deliver a uniquely personalized and valuable broadcast experience to all of our customers and clients.”

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Broadcasters and advertisers are quickly recognizing the potential for QR barcodes to change the face of their industry. With media fragmentation pulling the attention of consumers in multiple different directions, advertisers are having a difficult time reaching and meaningfully engaging their customers. By leveraging their get mobiocore assets, Mobio and Shaw Media will bring broadcast media to life in two very powerful ways, engaging customers like never before through:

  • Interactive Marketing – Allowing viewers to exchange information and receive personalized offers by scanning a barcode directly off of a TV with a Smartphone
  • Processing Payments – Allowing viewers to securely purchase products and services by scanning a barcode directly off of a TV with a Smartphone

“According to our recent research, 77% of QR barcode scanning is occurring digitally – both online and on TV – so partnering with a high profile broadcaster like Shaw Media is a tremendous opportunity,” said Mark Binns, Chief Marketing Officer, Mobio Identity Systems, Inc. “This partnership will allow our collective customer base to engage on a whole new level, adding massive value for viewers and significant revenue potential for advertisers and brands.”

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27th April 2011

26 Canadian School Teams Advance to FIRST 2011 World Championship

first roboticsFIRST Robotics Canada is pleased to announce that a total of 26 schools from Canada have qualified for the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis. The competition starts today and runs until April 30th at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. This is the largest robotics competition in the world and we are proud that Canada will be represented by some of our brightest and most innovative students.

The following Canadian high school teams will compete at the FIRST Robotics 2011 World Championship:

  • Governor Simcoe Secondary (St. Catharines) – GTA East Regional Chairman’s Award and GTA East, Waterloo and Pittsburgh Regional Winners
  • St. Mildred’s Lightbourn Girls School (Oakville) – GTA West Regional Chairman’s Award and Pittsburgh NASA Engineering Inspiration Award
  • Near North Student Robotics Initiative (North Bay) – Waterloo Regional Chairman’s Award
  • Westlane Secondary (Niagara Falls) – GTA East and Pittsburgh Regional Winners
  • Bishop Grandin Secondary (Calgary) – GTA East Regional Winner
  • Orchard Park Secondary (Stoney Creek) – GTA West, Waterloo and Rochester Regional Winners
  • Kincardine Secondary (Kincardine) – GTA West Regional Winner
  • Trafalgar Castle Girls School (Whitby) – GTA West Regional Winner
  • Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary (London) – Waterloo Regional Winner and Rookie All Star Award
  • Eastwood Collegiate (Kitchener) – Wisconsin Regional Winner
  • Rick Hansen Secondary (Mississauga) – GTA East Engineering Inspiration Award
  • Kingston Collegiate (Kingston) – GTA West Engineering Inspiration Award and New York City Regional Finalists
  • Oakville Trafalgar High School (Oakville) – Waterloo Engineering Inspiration Award
  • Oakridge Secondary (London) – GTA West Rookie All Star Award
  • Woburn Collegiate (Toronto) – GTA East Regional Finalist
  • Crescent School (Toronto) – GTA West Regional Finalist
  • Algoma School Board (Sault Ste. Marie) – Previously Qualified

FIRST Robotics high school students were given six weeks to design, build and test a robot within size, weight, cost and other design guidelines. At the competitions, these robots must work cooperatively and in competition in a game that challenges the limits of the robots and the students. Some 340 teams out of 2,075 in total have qualified to attend the 2011 World Championship.

The following Canadian middle school teams will compete at the FIRST Lego League 2011 World Championship:

  • Team 2359, The Hurricanes, Victoria, British Columbia
  • Team 8405, The TechnoVikings, St. Mary’s, Newfoundland
  • Team 529, The Three Blind Mice and Their Lost Cousin, Aylesford, Nova Scotia
  • Team 2977, The TechnoSurgeons, Mississauga, Ontario
  • Team 3663, The Sentinels, Oakville, Ontario

In total some 17,100 FLL teams from 57 countries participated in this year’s program.

The following Canadian middle school teams will compete at the FIRST Tech Challenge 2011 World Championship:

  • Team 245, Roberts Creek Xtreme Robotic Minds, Roberts Creek, British Columbia
  • Team 349, FIX IT, Victoria, British Columbia
  • Team 521, BSS Thunder, Wainwright, Alberta
  • Team 527, The Ghosts from Calgary, Alberta.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international non-profit organization designed to inspire students to pursue further studies and careers in science, engineering, computers and technology. Students develop skills in problem solving, innovation, leadership and teamwork as well as design, manufacturing, programming and testing. FIRST’s programs reach 250,000 students in 57 countries. FIRST Robotics Canada, a Canadian non-profit started in 2002, now reaches some 7,000 Canadian students.

FIRST Robotics Canada is supported by the Ministry of Education, Government of Ontario and is sponsored by Bruce Power, Hatch Limited, University of Toronto, Imperial Oil Foundation, TD Bank, Bell Canada, Magna International, SYNNEX Corporation, University of Waterloo, City of Mississauga, Johnson & Johnson, Yves Landry Foundation, Discovery Channel and others. The 2011 Waterloo Regional was sponsored by RIM, University of Waterloo, Toyota Canada, TD Bank, Discovery Channel and others. The 2011 FIRST LEGO League Ontario Championship was sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, RIM, UOIT and others.

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27th April 2011

Ortsbo Sees Continued Growth

ortsboIntertainment Media Inc. has announced that Ortsbo, its social media, real time, language translation platform, continues to accelerate, reaching 13.1 Million Unique Monthly Users, month over month for the period ended April 25, 2011. Since launch in late July 2010, Ortsbo has recorded over 183 Million minutes of User Engagement, over 129 Million Page Views, approximately 40 Million Unique Users and in excess of 58 Million Online Sessions. All of the Ortsbo performance metrics are validated independently through 3rd party verification including Google Analytics.

In the past week, Ortsbo has generated over 17 Million minutes of User Engagement, 12.9 Million Page Views, 6.2 Million Online Sessions and 4.8 Million Unique Users, a new record of Unique Users.

According to Google Analytics reports, over 80% of users visit Ortsbo web sites directly and are not using search engines or third party referrals. With over 110,000 Facebook Fans, over 15,000 joining this week, and over 12,500 Twitter followers, the Company continues to experience viral growth opportunities.Gene Simmons Family Jewels Image Credit: Gene Simmons

On April 20, 2011 Ortsbo announced that together with international rock legend, accomplished global entrepreneur, Ortsbo business partner and spokesman, Gene Simmons and sponsor Live Nation will present Gene Simmons Live & Global, an interactive global event allowing people all over the world to chat with Mr. Simmons in 53 languages. The event will be broadcast from the Rodeo Ballroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel on Friday, May 20, 2011 beginning 7:30 am Pacific. Users can register online for the event.

Unlike other social media platforms that may experience limited revenue opportunities, Ortsbo has been developed with the ability, in time, to generate revenues from a number of key sources, including, but not limited to:

Social Media – as with many other social media platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, Ortsbo has initiated advertising and sponsorship programs, allowing advertisers to reach users, through customized offers, on demand and targeted advertising. To maximize long term value, Ortsbo has made advertising available to companies around the globe and has been sharing its independently verified analytics with existing and potential advertisers.

Email – Ortsbo has developed an email translation platform that simply “plugs-in” to existing email applications. The first of these coming to market shortly is Ortsbo for Microsoft Outlook, or “O4O”. The product allows instant translation of email with original language attachments. Ortsbo has launched a pilot web site and expects to make it publicly available shortly. The email plug-in module will retail for $29.95 US. Ortsbo also offers a secure, multi-user, multilingual chat module for the commercial market. Read the rest of this entry »

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27th April 2011

Digital Alberta Board Elected

digital albertaDigital Alberta board member Michelle Sklar was elected president of the organization on April 19th, 2011 at the Annual General Meeting held at Calgary Technologies, Inc. Michelle Sklar is an active Canadian technologist and is the first woman to be elected to the position of president for the strategic industry body. Along with the appointment of Ms. Sklar, three new Board members were elected as well as two Executive board positions to better recognize Alberta’s rapidly expanding digital sector.

Ms. Sklar is the European Director of Marketing & Public Relations for Calgary based Poynt Corporation and will preside in the position for a two-year term beginning immediately. Two of the newly elected board members are located in Edmonton and will represent the industry initiatives taking place in central and northern Alberta. The Michelle Sklarnew Edmonton based members are Owen Brierley, Executive Director of Guru Digital Arts College and Lisa Hagen a well-known entrepreneur in the digital and interactive media sector. The final new board member is Steve Buors, SVP of Digital Media Strategy and Product Development for Post Media Inc.

The new board members join existing members, Gert-Jan de Vlugt, Global Content Manager, Smart Technologies as Treasurer and Alex Gault, VP Product Development and Client Services, MoboVivo, as Secretary who will serve in Executive position for the next two years. Former President Larry Jacques will remain on to serve as Past President.

Talking about her appointment as President Michelle Sklar commented, “This past year was an important time for Alberta’s digital industry and it is with much gratitude that we thank the board, lead by Larry Jacques as President and Jo-Anne Douthwaite as Executive Administrator, for their leadership and dedication. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to work with such a knowledgeable and passionate team and am looking forward to the next two years. Moving forward, the board plans to work hard to increase our member services, further our professional development initiatives, and showcase Alberta’s industry talent globally.”

2011-2012 Digital Alberta Board:

Michelle Sklar – President (Poynt Corporation)
Adam Goetz – VP South (Suitcase Interactive)
Logan Foster – VP North (Max Gaming Technologies)
Alex Gault – Secretary (MoboVivo)
Gert -Jan de Vlugt – Treasurer (Smart Technologies)
Roger Kondrat – Director (West 17 Media)
Harry Ludwig – Director (Macleod Dixon LLP)
Kurtis Lesick – Director
Lisa Hagen – Director (Gyst Works)
Owen Brierley – Director (Guru Digital Arts College)
Steve Buors – Director (Post Media Inc)
Larry Jacques – Past President (ITSportsnet)

Jo-Anne Douthwaite continues to act as the Executive Administrator and Kevin Dahl with Calgary Technologies Inc. continues to act as an ex-officio director.

The first initiative for the new board is the upcoming 2011 Digital Alberta Awards (formerly known as the mediaFRESH awards), which take place at Hotel Arts in Calgary on Monday June 6th, 2011 from 6-9 pm. The awards program is designed to recognize leaders in innovation, creativity and the evolving digital media sector in Alberta. This year we have 17 categories to include companies that may not traditionally be considered in the realm of digital media, but have pioneered much advancement both nationally and globally. Digital Alberta is thrilled to recognize “Best in Breed” in Alberta based companies. Nominations for the 2011 Digital Alberta Awards are now open for submissions.

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