21st June 2011

New Book Release – Cloud CIO Strategy

Cloud CIO StrategyToday’s markets are all about velocity and differentiation. Businesses need to compete hyper-aggressively in a price driven environment that’s saturated with choices for the consumer.  In his new book Cloud CIO Strategy, Toronto author Bruce D’Sena describes the pivotal transformation that’s required if companies want to keep up the pace and stay profitable.

Social networks, The Internet of Things, Wireless connectivity and the Cloud are just some of the disruptive forces dramatically changing the way consumers and businesses interact.  Yet, despite technology’s progress, the chasm between what a business typically needs and the value that their IT department provides is widening. The fundamental approach to how businesses apply information technology as well as their operating culture needs to change.

“Cloudsourcing and the Cloud’s utility service models can bring simplicity, flexibility and speed to businesses, with significantly lower expenditures and a much better cost structure,” says D’Sena. “But many companies approach this the wrong way and make things difficult for themselves. This is not an IT project, but a better approach to IT itself. To succeed, a Cloud strategy must be executed through partnerships that are properly matched, and must deliver incremental value to the business right from the start. Cloud CIO Strategy shows how this can be done.”

Traditional approaches are simply no longer relevant.  Companies that rely completely on their internal IT infrastructure are putting themselves on a path to certain extinction. The knowledge and currency lag, ridiculously high expenditures and other management overheads will drive them to the ground. The social and product frameworks that drive consumer ecosystems are also transitioning to the Cloud, so companies that wait too long are just going to be left behind. The most dynamic new players are already taking advantage of opportunities that Cloud models provide, and getting ahead of the game.

This book is meant to be an eye opener for business and technology executives, as well as for the investment and entrepreneurial community in general. Cloud CIO Strategy conveys a sense of urgency and provides the direction and tools to get started. Filled with ideas and examples, the book addresses Cloud concepts and their relevance to business strategy as well as their application in practice. Topics covered include Cloud fundamentals and architecture, the unique characteristics of utility computing and Cloudsourcing partnerships, organizational aspects, distribution of responsibilities, strategic planning, and many other insightful perspectives on leadership, transition and culture.

The book also includes an engrossing commentary on the Cloud’s confluence with disruptive areas like Wireless Payments and Augmented Reality, and their related impacts on online commerce. Cloud CIO Strategy is available in hardcover and paperback from Lulu Press.

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21st June 2011

Padworx Digital Enters Realm of Pride Prejudice and Zombies

padworxPadWorx Digital Media, Inc. has begun work on the enhanced book/app for the New York Times bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Versions of the book/app for iOS and Android will be released in Fall 2011.

Set in a zombie-infested version of Regency-era England, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies follows Jane Austen’s beloved story of the Bennet family’s life and loves, but sets it against a brain-eating zombie apocalypse.   The original book, adapted in 2009 by Seth Grahame-Smith from Austen’s original text, remains a critical and commercial hit and pride and prejudice and zombiesreached number three on the New York Times bestseller list.  Lionsgate Films is currently in production on the feature film version, due out in 2012.

“We’ve been very fortunate to work on some extremely cool projects,” said Jeffery Alan Schechter, Creative Director and President of PadWorx Digital Media, Inc. “But it doesn’t get any cooler than working with Quirk Books on such an iconic title.”

PadWorx Digital Media’s premiere releases, Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition and A Christmas Carol, were both crowned “App of the Week” by Apple and nominated in the fiction category for Digital Book World’s annual Publishing Innovation Award this past January, with Dracula going on to win the top honor.  It was the intensity and fun of Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition that brought PadWorx to the attention of David Borgenicht, President and Publisher of Quirk Books.

“We were looking for a company that shared our creative vision to tackle our first highly interactive e-book,” said Borgenicht, “and it was clear from Dracula: The Official Stoker Family Edition that PadWorx could be our creative equals.  In the world of interactive book developers, PadWorx is definitely at the top of the game.”

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21st June 2011

New ComplyWorks Release Provides Multilingual Contractor and Supplier Management Solutions

complyworksComplyWorks is pleased to announce the release of ComplyWorks Management System 3.9. The new release includes multilingual capabilities, with English and French user interfaces available initially.

With the release of ComplyWorks Management System (CMS) 3.9, ComplyWorks improves its ability to provide contractor and supplier management to global industries. CMS is currently used on three continents in a wide variety of industries to conduct due diligence, improve risk mitigation and increase performance of employees, contractors and suppliers in relation to productivity, safety, health, environmental, financial and other indicators.

The multilingual capabilities of CMS 3.9 will allow user interfaces to be added in an unlimited number of languages as ComplyWorks and its customers enter new regions and countries. Currently, end-users can choose between English and French user interfaces.

“Contractor and supplier management is a global issue, and we’re providing global solutions,” says Cal Fairbanks, President and CEO of ComplyWorks Ltd. “The multilingual features of CMS 3.9 are a direct result of consulting with our customers, listening to what they need to manage contractors and suppliers around the globe, and meeting those needs. This release is an example of how ComplyWorks provides solutions that are relevant to our customers, their compliance requirements, the language they do business in, and the countries in which they operate. ”

The previous version of the CMS, 3.8.2, was released in January 2011 and included new Multiple-Level Compliance capabilities that are in use by 100% of CMS customers. CMS 3.8.2 also included significant enhancements to the TrackWorks tool that have resulted in its rapid adoption by ComplyWorks customers.

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21st June 2011

Meridian4 Expands Publishing Deal With Headup Games

Meridian4Montreal publisher Meridian4 today announced they’ve expanded their publishing partnership with German developer Headup Games to include the new strategy role-playing game, Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts. Arriving this fall with a host of new content exclusively for digital download to the PC, Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts revisits protagonist Drake and his rag-tag bunch of unlikely heroes with a completely reworked optical style, new character creations and an original storyline.

“The Grotesque series’ unique ability to parody the genre while simultaneously advancing it through smart gameplay and unique features, results in a lighthearted entertainment experience that can be enjoyed by both hardcore and casual fans alike,” said Steve Milburn, Marketing Director of Meridian4.  “The enhancements and new storyline will keep players laughing, engaged and challenged from start to finish.”

The story of Grotesque Tactics 2: Dungeons & Donuts begins as the citizens of the Kingdom of Glory celebrate their victory over the Dark Church.  While in the catacombs of their former enemies, their revelry is disturbed by a sudden all-encompassing fog.  Those that remain alive after the strange attack, barricade themselves in the depths of the catacombs.  As time passes, food becomes scarce and the people of the Kingdom of Glory begin to realize that they might all meet their demise.  The ‘heroic’ Knights of Glory, shady mercenaries and the arrogant high elves band together into guilds in order to survive and escape the dank catacombs.   Unfortunately, the guilds are far too concerned with their distaste for each other, thus allowing for an awakening of dark forces in the dungeons below.


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21st June 2011

Calgary Scientific Revolutionizes Application Sharing and Advanced Collaboration With PureWeb 3.0

calgary scientificCalgary Scientific has released PureWeb® 3.0, the first platform solution that allows multiple users to interact with the same instance of a software application simultaneously. PureWeb’s new collaboration capability allows geographically distributed users to access any PureWeb enabled application and collaborate with other users on a real-time basis. PureWeb allows existing software applications to be used in new ways and places, for less time and money, while maintaining high performance and security.

“The goal of Calgary Scientific has been to provide solutions for our customers that allow them to extend how and where their solutions are used,” says Pierre Lemire, President and Chief Technology Officer, Calgary Scientific. “Breaking yet another significant technical barrier, PureWeb 3.0 raises the bar to an even higher level by allowing users to interact with a single computed location, from any device, in a secure, high performance manner.”

With PureWeb, software that was previously chained in place on workstations and desktops can be freed to work anywhere on the Internet. It can then be accessed on mobile devices like laptops, netbooks, tablets and smartphones in modern ways that feel native to each. PureWeb allows software applications to be used by any user from any location or device without having to completely rewrite existing application code for each new platform. Making applications available to users anytime, anywhere increases the productivity and value of the applications.

New technologies such as web, cloud and mobile devices, have changed how and where users deploy and access applications. PureWeb allows any software applications to be leveraged in new ways by expanding how and where it is deployed and how it is accessed. This allows existing software to be utilized in new ways and increases the overall value to customers by providing flexibility and extending software and hardware lifecycles. PureWeb 3.0’s revolutionary collaboration capabilities allow users to share and collaborate with each other and their applications in a real-time, high performance fashion. Software applications can be shared natively and controlled by multiple users without having to invoke third-party sharing facilities, such as conferencing and collaboration tools, that add latency, complexity, and cost.

PureWeb brings modern benefits, such as web, cloud, mobile devices and now collaboration, to existing software applications quickly and at a fraction the time and cost of alternate approaches by not changing what the software does or how it is written. PureWeb’s support of existing and emerging standards allows users to future-proof their application investments and quickly support new platforms and devices in the future.

The PureWeb approach to modernizing software for the web, cloud or other host environments, dramatically reduces software management costs. Unlike SOA projects that are difficult to manage and contain, PureWeb does not require changes to existing applications. PureWeb also eliminates the licensing, deployment and management costs of proprietary clients required by screen scraping and other desktop virtualization techniques.

PureWeb offers an ever-expanding list of options for legacy applications. PureWeb integrates directly into your existing C#, C++ or Java code, bringing the web to your application rather than your application to the web. And more importantly, adding support for mobile applications such as an Apple iPad, iPhone or Google Android devices is seamless.


Data is always most secure when it is not unnecessarily moved or copied. With PureWeb, data is stored where it is in now and is accessed through the PureWeb-enabled application just like it currently does. Since PureWeb does not change or compromise these systems, it provides further cost savings by not transferring or duplicating the data to any client, including mobile devices. This allows users to leverage existing security and infrastructure while providing secure and compliant access to applications from any client.

High performance software belongs on high performance hardware and PureWeb doesn’t change that. It just makes software applications accessible from mobile devices that leverage the processing power of existing high performance infrastructure. By doing this, PureWeb puts the processing power of a server in every user’s hand.

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21st June 2011

New Release of OpenText Social Workplace Powers Purpose-Driven Teams

Open TextOpenText™ has announced the availability of the next major release of OpenText Social Workplace, a fully integrated social collaboration environment designed to help purpose-driven teams assemble, stay connected, and achieve breakthrough results.

The announcement was made at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston. During a keynote presentation, Tyler Knowlton, of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for Canada (DFAIT), showcased how Social Workplace is helping the G-20 improve collaboration among delegates from member countries around the world. Also at the conference, OpenText announced the Prize for Purpose-Driven Business, a contest to recognize organizations that are effectively dedicated to a purpose.

The Prize for Purpose-Driven Business is an initiative to showcase those teams and individuals who embody what it means to be a purpose driven organization and have in-turn used social collaboration tools to help achieve their missions. The Prize for Purpose-Driven Business is open to all organizations, whether they are current OpenText customers or not.

OpenText Social Workplace is a new kind of people-centric enterprise application that works through either SaaS or on-premise deployment. It helps cross-functional teams form quickly and collaborate effectively with minimal training or technical support. The latest release has a number of new features including optional integration with OpenText ECM Suite 2010 for comprehensive records management and governance, chat, and important additions to the wiki editor, among other enhancements.

“In a purpose-driven organization, teams are not limited by geography, function, hierarchies or management structure.  They form by bringing the right people together for the right reason at the right time. These teams need new ways of collaborating and getting work done,” said James Latham, OpenText’s Chief Marketing Officer. “With this new release, OpenText Social Workplace is even more adept at supporting a fluid model of collaboration that allows teams to organize quickly and tap each person’s expertise to fulfill the team’s purpose.” Latham discusses how Social Workplace supports purpose-driven organizations in a new OpenText News Podcast posted today.

The Social Workplace experience is designed from the ground up to work the way people want to work, starting with a personal dashboard to drive personal productivity and provide easy access to everyone’s profile, status and blog. From there, community spaces unite distributed teams with the appropriate level of access. New microblogging capabilities provide an ambient level of awareness of activity throughout an organization. It now also incorporates chat to facilitate quick, real-time touches among one or more team members.

Compared to social media offerings from start-ups or smaller vendors, Social Workplace is backed by OpenText’s deep experience in delivering enterprise-class content management solutions. One way organizations can tap into that experience is to connect Social Workplace communities to OpenText ECM Suite 2010. This new option makes it possible for content created during a project to be automatically archived in compliance with an organization’s regulations and policies with full records management control to an enterprise content repository with minimal intervention from technical staff.

Inside the community, Social Workplace offers a number of tools for creating content using wikis, information feeds and document management, images and video repositories. With the latest release, wikis have been enhanced with support for tables and version comparison capabilities.  Document handling is more robust with advanced commenting, versioning and comparison functionality.

Modern workforces require flexible access to content. Social Workplace can be accessed from any Web browser and mobile devices. Pre-built apps for iPhone and BlackBerry devices are available with support for the new release and allow people to log-in from any location, check tasks, review project details, update status and search for information.

Beginning in June 2011, teams will be invited to submit their most compelling stories about how having a clear sense of purpose impacted their team’s success. Entries will be accepted through September 30th, 2011. The entries will then be screened and finalists judged by a panel that includes the speakers from the OpenText Purpose-Driven Speaker Series including Simon Sinek, Andrew McAfee and John Seely Brown.

The new release of OpenText Social Workplace, version 2.0, is available now either for download or as a cloud-based solution.  The Fast Start program offers a low risk way to get started and includes a 60-day full-version Social Workplace license for up to 950 users. OpenText also offers the public Social Workplace Sandbox community that allows people to experience the product at any time.

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21st June 2011

Merging Media Announces Event Partnerships

merging media conferenceMerging Media Productions has added three new 2011 Advisory Committee Members who will be assisting with advice and support for the upcoming October 2011 Conference+ Masterclass:

  • Katie Jeffs Director Membership Development and Outreach, CMPA (National)
  • Jonathan Carringan, President & Co-Founder, MOBCOM Consulting Inc.
  • Lynda Brown, CEO/Founder of ZuluMe

Merging Media also extends its gratitude to its 2010 Advisors Betsy Chaly, Ravi Singh, Fiona McAuley and Ted Nugent for their generous support during their 2010 event.

Merging Media Productions Inc. in partnership with the Canadian Media Production Association BC is proud to be a part of SIGGRAPH 2011 this August 7-11 in Vancouver. Merging Media and CMPA will be facilitating CMPA-BCthe International B2B Matchmaking Program that is being organized by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and the Government of British Columbia. If you’d like to meet visiting International Media professionals during the event, here are the full details:

• B2B Matchmaking Program – August 8 – 11

The Business to Business Matchmaking Program will help facilitate meetings between Canadian domestic companies and international/ US companies attending SIGGRAPH. The B2B online platform will allow you to profile your company, view the profiles of other companies and request meetings with international/ US companies of interest. Meeting requests will be coordinated through the Canadian Media Production Association and booked into meeting rooms reserved onsite (unless otherwise specified).

• SIGGRAPH Welcome Reception – Sunday, August 7

Supported by BC Film, DFAIT will be hosting an International Delegate Welcome Reception from 6-8pm on Sunday, August 7th. The welcome reception will offer an opportunity to meet some of the US & International business delegates at SIGGRAPH 2011 as well as local industry and support organizations. This event is invite only with limited capacity, so please indicate your interest to Marc Coderre if you would like to be added to the invite list.

Transmedia Vancouver Meetup – June 29

The Transmedia Vancouver Meetup Group will be having its first Guest Speaker event featuring Merging Media’s Advisory Board Member Matt Toner of Zeroes to Heroes on Wednesday June 29th, 5pm at CMPA-BC. This is a not to be missed event for those keen on meeting like-minded folk involved in Transmedia.

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21st June 2011

Desire2Learn Announces International Innovation Award

Desire2LearnSubmissions are now open for the brand new Desire2Learn Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning which was announced last week by Desire2Learn Incorporated and The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the STLHE 2011 Conference, held at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon last week.

This Award, to be initially awarded in June 2012, has been established to celebrate and recognize innovative approaches that promote learning in new ways at post-secondary institutions. Up to five awards will be presented annually. Recipients will be the basis of a community of knowledge, expertise and innovation that can be drawn upon globally to enhance learning for all.stlhe

“With the launch of the Desire2Learn Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning, STLHE is proud to offer the most comprehensive national awards program in the world,” explains Arshad Ahmad, Ph.D., President, STLHE and 3M National Teaching Fellow. “Recognizing innovation not only complements existing STLHE awards in teaching excellence, educational leadership, collaborative learning, and lifetime achievements, but also fits strategically in the Society’s mission to promote learning through change.”

Instructors currently teaching at a post-secondary institution are eligible to apply. A demonstrable record of innovation(s) in areas including pedagogical approaches, teaching methods, course design, curriculum development, assessment methods, various tools and technologies that enhance learning and have had a significant impact on post-secondary education is required.

Ahmad adds, “The Desire2Learn Award also promises to build community as cohorts, who will be recognized each year, will have the opportunity to spend time together, learn from each other and collaborate in future undertakings. Desire2Learn’s legacy of innovation is matched by its enthusiasm to unlock the potential of learners globally. This is one of the many reasons why there is a natural fit between our organizations. Above all, we share a mutual interest in improving the quality of the student experience before anything else. We look forward to a long-term partnership with a common purpose to make a qualitative difference in the lives of our students.”

Patrick Lyons, Director, Instructional Technologies Educational Development Centre / Carleton University OnLine, Carleton University has been appointed as the inaugural coordinator. Lyons is well known in the Canadian post-secondary community as an advocate for effective teaching and use of technology.

“STLHE is the most important organization in Canada supporting the development, recognition and encouragement of excellent teaching and learning practices,” notes Lyons. “The Desire2Learn Innovation Award in Teaching and Learning is a powerful and concrete opportunity to encourage and promote innovative learning initiatives in post- secondary institutions across North America and from around the world.”

“We are pleased to be partnering with The Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher in Education in recognition of teaching that is truly innovative,” states John Baker, President & CEO, Desire2Learn. “Through this award, instructors who are providing a notable and sustained impact on student learning and development will be acknowledged for their inventive approaches to education. These individuals emulate our mission of transforming teaching and learning.”

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21st June 2011

Indie Ink Releases Challenge to Find Tayna

Indie Ink Publishing announced an unusual contest today as part of the launch of its new young adult contemporary fantasy novel release, Strange Places, by Saskatoon’s Jefferson Smith.

Raised as a modern-day kitchen slave in an orphanage run by child-loathing nuns, and now stalked by disturbing strangers, the novel’s 13-year-old heroine Tayna gambles everything on a desperate journey to discover her origins that will lead her to the far corners of two strange worlds: one filled with shopping malls and televisions, the other with Gnomes, Djin and magic.Strange Places

One part book launch, one part community celebration, and with a healthy dollop of strange, the launch promises to be memorable. How else would you describe a night that goes beyond plain readings, and includes a dramatic interpretation by school kids, an original musical score, an original pop song about events in the book (written by Jefferson and his daughters), and even an original new drink recipe from the book called boh-cho?

“We’re so proud to launch this amazing book and series,” said Indie Ink founder Suzanne Paschall, “Not to mention this bizarre contest Jefferson has dreamed up.” The series is called Finding Tayna, so readers are encouraged to follow Jeff online and at appearances, where he’ll be giving out clues throughout the year. All you have to do is find Tayna. What makes the contest so unusual is the prize: In addition to traditional prize packages, two winners will be immortalized as non-trivial characters in the second book of the series (planned for 2012 release).

“Jefferson’s wonderful sense of fun and magic has involved young people from the beginning,” Paschall says. “His eldest daughter was the inspiration for the protagonist, and all three daughters formed the dinner-table editorial committee, reacting to each chapter as it was written. When a fourth daughter was born, the family decided that there could only be one name for her: Tayna, the book’s heroine.”

Jefferson, a creativity theorist at the University of Saskatchewan, carried this inclusive style of creation into local schools, too, workshopping scenes with classes and inviting students to critique the book in advance, resulting in writing that captures an authentic youth voice, making it unique among the plethora of other young adult fantasy books written by adults.

Advance praise from independent readers is already coming in. Agnitha, 12, from Saskatoon says, “Holy crap, this book freaking powns!” Connor, 11, from Austin, Texas adds, “A strong beginning with powerful, flowing ideas. Exciting and suspenseful throughout…a wonderful novel for experienced young readers.”

The book officially launches tonight, June 21 (7:30 p.m.) at McNally Robinson and Friday, June 25 (9:00 a.m.) at Caswell Community School.  A list of sales outlets can be found on findingtayna.com. The hard cover book retails for $22.95. Strange Places will also be available in e-book format in all major online e-book stores.

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21st June 2011

Kobo Goes Tropical At Caribbean Stores

koboKobo has announced that the company’s Wireless eReader has landed in the Caribbean through a new partnership with Nigel R Khan Bookseller. The innovative bookseller – with nine locations in Trinidad and Tobago – is committed to bringing the latest technology to readers. The introduction of the Kobo Wireless eReader provides the large chain with an open and enjoyable device to support local readers and the islands’ tourism trade. The partnership will enable the book chain’s customers to engage in reading on a whole new level with Kobo, as well as attract a new reading crowd with the technological advancements Kobo brings to eReading.kobo touch ereader

As the southernmost island in the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago’s population of 1.3 million boasts a literacy rate of 92.8%, making it the perfect place for Kobo to reach avid readers and encourage them to start eReading with the device of their choice. Nigel R Khan Bookseller has proven their overarching commitment to reading and technology, adopting new approaches that enhance the joy of reading for their customers.

“Along with the excitement of bringing our passion for eReading to new shores, we expect to see great success with the launch of the Kobo Wireless eReader in Nigel R Khan Bookseller stores throughout Trinidad and Tobago,” said Todd Humphrey, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Kobo. “Nigel R Khan Bookseller is really leading the way by bringing the latest technology to the Caribbean and introducing eReading to their customers. We look forward to serving Trinidad and Tobago’s growing eReading community and the country’s technology-focused demographic.”

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