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  • I Learn With Poko Seasons And Weather Now On iPhone

27th May 2011

I Learn With Poko Seasons And Weather Now On iPhone

tribal novaFollowing the great success of “I Learn With Poko: Seasons and Weather! HD,” Tribal Nova has released the iPhone version of this top ranking educational app. The iPad version has been selected by Apple as “New and Noteworthy” or “Staff favorites” in the U.S and 15 other countries. Users and reviewers have also given the game rave reviews bringing the app to the top position of I Learn Withthe Games-Educational and Games-Kids charts in Australia as well as a top 10 positions in the U.S., Canada and the UK.

I Learn With Poko: Seasons and Weather! is an educational game that lets children 3 to 7 years old learn many key concepts about the weather in various seasons, how to dress and what activities to do depending on the weather… while having tons of fun! Produced by the developers behind the award winning PBS KIDS PLAY! and CBC Wonderworld online learning programs, this app is the first app available on iPhone in the groundbreaking iLearnWith educational program, which is designed to help kids get ready for school, one app at a time.

“Seasons and Weather is one of the most important Science subjects taught to children in Pre-k and Kindergarten, yet there are no games for young children covering the subject in the app store. We are happy to fulfill this need and are committed to developing a comprehensive educational program in which each app will address a specific subject in the curriculum. We have another nine apps currently in development covering various skills in math, literacy, science and foreign languages,” says Pierre Le Lann, co-founder of Tribal Nova.

This app is based on National Standards and has been developed with child developmental psychologists and educators. The game has three levels, increasing in complexity, details and subject covered. Moreover, each level contains a mechanism that adjusts the difficulty based on the child’s success rate. These elements combined enable the game to meet children’s developmental needs regardless if they are 3 or 7 years old.

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The game contains many ways for children to learn about seasons and weather: finding certain weather conditions such as clouds or snow to help Beebee find pictures for her photo album; or spotting clothes that do not fit the weather to help Poko take a perfect picture; or guessing what activities Poko did certain days of the week based on the weather and the month of the year.

Educational content, rich graphics and audio, fun game mechanics and a high production budget really set this app apart to deliver both learning and fun to families.

“We have developed over 100 online educational games for young children over the past 5 years. We are very excited to apply our expertise to touch screens, and are confident we can develop some of the best kids apps in the app store with truly educational content and great gameplay,” says Guillaume Aniorte, Tribal Nova’s other co-founder.

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27th May 2011

Join Canada at Casual Connect Seattle

CanadaCanadian casual developers are invited to the Casual Connect Conference, taking place in Seattle this July 19th through 21st. The conference attracts over 2,000 industry professionals with a cutting edge lecture series and highly popular nightly networking events. Join more than 50 Canadian companies that are expected to attend this year’s conference and take advantage of the following:

• $100 discount off the Premium Registration for the first 50 companies – Contact your local Trade Commissioner for details.

• Send and receive meeting requests with companies prior to the conference

• Access to free on-site meeting space during the conference

• Informational breakfast briefing with local industry experts on July 19

• Networking events held at the Invest in Canada booth on-site

• Inclusion in the Canada Company Directory to be distributed at the event (please feel out attached document)

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27th May 2011

Finalists Announced for 2011 Digital Alberta Awards

digital albertaDigital Alberta received nearly 200 submissions in 17 categories for this year’s Digital Alberta Awards. The Association has announced the finalists and hopes to see you all at the Digital Alberta Awards on Monday, June 6th at Calgary’s Hotel Arts. Tickets are on sale now, but seating is limited and the show promises to be a sell out event. This year’s nominees are:

Outstanding Achievement Award

• iStockphoto – Bruce Livingstone
• Bioware – Dr Ray Muzyka and Dr Greg Zeschuk
• Critical Mass – Dianne Wilkins
• Smart Technologies – David Martin
• StumbleUpon – Garrett Camp

B2C Innovation – Presented by Macleod Dixon

• Robots & Pencils for Ripplewave – Ayala Malls
• Robots & Pencils for Rightmove PLC – Rightmove for iPad
• Chaordix for Orange (France Telecom) UK – Mobile Volunteering
• Pirates Love Daisies – gskinner.com
• Strut for Brookfield Homes – Website, iPhone App & Touch-based Kiosk

Best Digital Advertising/Marketing or Design Agency – Presented by the CMA

• Donovan Creative
• Medium Rare
• Suitcase Interactive
• Evans Hunt
• Critical Mass

Best Digital Design – Presented by Adobe

• Robots & Pencils for Rightmove PLC – Rightmove for iPad
• Suitcase Interactive – Jayman MasterBuilt Web Site
• RED The Agency – EPCOR Blue Bucket Crew
• Calgary Herald In-house design team – Swerve Calgary
• Strut for Brookfield Homes – Website, iPhone App & Touch-based Kiosk

Best in Cross-Platform Content – Presented by Postmedia Networks

• The SnowShow Presented by SnowSeekers
• Enthrill Entertainment – One Child Transmedia Experience
• Corus Entertainment – ExploreMusic – powered by Cardinal
• Snow Seekers Go-Guide
• EA / Bioware – Mass Effect 2
• Conceptual Films – FOTO with Struan

B2B Innovation

• Robots & Pencils for Avalanche Air Systems Ltd. – Contractor Forms HD App
• Robots & Pencils for Ayala Malls / Ripplewave – Ayala Malls App
• Chaordix for IBM (Global) – Information Governance Community
• Touchmetric
• WMode – Cricket

Best Combined Hardware & Software Experience

• Suitcase Interactive – Jayman Touchscreen Application
• JetVision
• eQube Technology and Software Inc – Lil Gecko
• SMART Technologies – Multitouch Interactive Whiteboard
• SMART Technologies – Mixed Reality in education

Best in E-learning

• Rocket Fuel Games for Discovery Kids – Seek Your Own Proof
• 3DI – Simulation Training on Aerial Work Platform
• Global e-Training
• SMART Multitouch Interactive whiteboard
• SMART Mixed reality in the classroom

Best in Games Development

• Big Nerds in Disguise – Own This World
• EA / Bioware – Dragon Age 2
• EA / Bioware – Mass Effect 2
• BigStack Studios – Sigma
• Games Cafe – Sally’s Studio
• Pirates Love Daisies – gskinner.com

Best Use of Film, Animation or Special FX

• Solid Green Promo
• Jump Studios – IZOD Indy Rebranding Package
• Science Alberta – Do You Know What Nano Means
• 3DI – MARL Technologies Launches Revolutionary Sub Sea Drill
• EA / Bioware – Mass Effect 2

Government 2.0

• City of Calgary – Road Conditions Map
• City Of Calgary – 2010 Calgary Civic Election iPhone App
• Studio Dialog for the City Of Calgary – The Bow is Below
• Share Edmonton Wiki Site

Best In Financial Services

• Fulucai Productions Ltd. – “The Real Deal”
• Habañero for Servus Credit Union – Servus Website
• Suitcase Interactive for Neteller Net+ Credit Card – Facebook Ninja Defense Game
• Solium Capital – Adhoc Financial Reporting Engine

Mobile Innovation

• Poynt Corporation
• Syncamatic
• Big Nerds in Disguise – Own This World
• Perfectly Clear – iPhone & iPad Apps
• Fluik Entertainment – Office Jerk

Best in Social Media

• Suitcase Interactive for The Forzani Group – Athletes World “Stand Out” Engagement Campaign
• Cardinal for Corus Entertainment – ExploreMusic
• RED the Agency for EPCOR – Blue Bucket Crew and Digital Aquarium
• Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) – Canada’s Oil Sands: Come see for yourself.
• Edmonton Journal – Grey Cup 2010
• Shell Canada – Shell FuellingChange

Best Social Impact

• Chaordix for University of Oxford (Global) – Global Voices for Maternal Health
• Suitcase Interactive for United Way of Calgary – “BeCause” Social Campaign
• Joe Media for angrysue.ca – Get Turned off. For Good (aka. End Idling)
• Spark! by Benevity Workplace Giving Solution
• From Competition to Connection – Bringing Women Together with Womentum

Best Digital Startup

• Empire Avenue
• ExploreMusic – powered by Cardinal
• Beamdog
• Calgary Herald In-house design team – Swerve Calgary
• decorateIT online

Student Digital Award

• Alana Thorburn-Watt – Synaesthesia Squares
• Jessie Altura and Oana Avasilichioaei – Celan Mirror
• Greg Crossfield – Pulsar Chocolate Bar
• Lindsay MacDonald – University of Calgary – A Delicate Agreement
• Jeremy Pudlowski – The Man of Hat

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26th May 2011

Another Playdate With Shaw

Shaw CableWay back on March 8th we went to a Customer Consultation evening hosted by Shaw, our ISP. The reason for this desire to meet face to face with customers was the backlash Shaw experienced from customers like us in response to the User Based Billing issue. The corporation hosted over 30 such meetings across its service area during the first consultation, and judging from the meeting we attended tonight, Shaw listened.

As with the first consultation evening, this one was led by Chris Kucharski, VP Operations, and one of the first points he made was that Shaw heard the message, loud and clear. He stated that at times it was hard to hear people who (like us) had been long term customers, and who, because of the way Shaw initially handled the UBB issue, had lost trust and faith in the company. Throughout each of the original consultation sessions, there was a commonality of thinking that Shaw needed to become transparent in its communication with its customers, who wanted more options when it came to the speed and data usage of their internet access – and the company freely admitted that it learned some very hard lessons throughout that process.

Over the past three months, the teams at Shaw went over all of the feedback they had received both in person and via the internet, and they came to the decision that Shaw’s future involved unleashing their internet customers, not reigning them in. This was followed by a collective mind shift on the company’s focus as it began to really explore what it could accomplish in the way of service provision and pricing to support the ever-growing usage of the internet in our daily lives. None of these considerations would have been possible without the exchanges that went on between the corporation and its customers, and this was a dialogue that Shaw wanted to keep open as it moves into the future.

There are approximately 366 000 Shaw customers still on analogue cable, and over the next 16 months, those customers will be converted to full digital cable. As those customers are moved off of analogue, there will be an increasing capacity of bandwidth available to improve internet services and options. These improvements will be a rolling capacity improvement as each of those analogue customers will have to be visited and their services converted. Those who need to be upgraded to digital will receive their digital boxes at no charge, and while this will cost the company a lot of money, and we know that those costs will be passed along to the consumer in the course of doing business, but to be honest I really don’t have a problem with that, simply because when all is said and done, everyone will benefit.

Some of those benefits have already been realized by those who subscribe to the Extreme internet package, with the bandwidth speed and data transfer allowance already receiving an upgrade that sees the transfer allowance more than double. The new, what I will call lower-tier, packages are shown in the image below – I will get into the higher-tiered packages later in this article.

Shaw Upgraded Plans

These transfer allowance improvements are evidence that Shaw was indeed listening to its customers – and are available with no price increase over the current plans. Those of us on the higher-tiered broadband packages will have to wait until June for new options, but I will come to that in a bit.

The topic of the Transfer Usage Tool used by Shaw to show its customers how much data transfer they’ve used, but as was shown in the first round of consultations, this tool does not reflect real-time usage and is in fact two days behind in its reporting. It was also shown to be inaccurate and unreliable. Shaw’s programming engineers will be revisiting the reporting tool and making several improvements in it over the coming months.

There was also the question of Shaw’s flexibility as customer usage of the internet will inevitably change over time as the internet and data transfers become more and more important to the average Canadian as well as to business. Mr. Kucharski stated that as with these new plans, Shaw would review the plans and options when usage changes became apparent. One of the most important issues that started the whole uprising among internet users was very conspicuous in its absence with these new plans. There are no per gigabyte charges. At all.

Should a customer consistently go over his or her transfer cap month after month (not that that has ever happened in our house), they will be contacted by Shaw to discuss plan options as the plan they are on obviously isn’t working for them. The corporation is still working on the best avenue to pursue in regards to those who are consistently over, but they promise to not be combative or punitive. Those customers on plans with transfer limits who go over will be automatically bumped up to the next plan level for the remainder of the month, but again, the company is looking at the best way to communicate this action to the consumer.

During the first round of consultations there had been discussion of educating people to do their downloading during off-peak hours, something that would not always be convenient for those with home offices or who telecommute. After taking the beating that it did during the consultation period, Shaw wanted to take the most open and customer-friendly approach to any changes they made with their internet offerings, and throttling or rewarding off-peak usage simply did not have a place in the new packages. While there will inevitably be a need for some education in regards to transfer usage, the company again felt it better to unleash its customers and give them the internet experience they expected than to leave them feeling sour and limited. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th May 2011

Revelations Revealed

ubisoftUbisoft has released new product details for Assassin’s Creed® Revelations, allowing us to see what is coming as the battle between Assassin and Templar continues its richly immersive tale when it launches on the Xbox 360® , the PlayStation®3 and Windows PC this November. Assassin’s Creed Revelations is available now for pre-order in the Ubi Store.Assassin's Creed Revelations Constantinople

Assassin’s Creed Revelations follows master assassin Ezio Auditore as he walks in the footsteps of his legendary mentor, Altaïr, on a journey to recover five ancient seals that hold the keys to the future of the Assassins brotherhood. It is a perilous path – one that will take Ezio to Constantinople, the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where a growing army of Templars threatens to destabilize the region.

  • Hone the deadly art of assassination – As Ezio Auditore, wield the lethal skills of a wiser, more efficient assassin. Armed with a new arsenal of weapons and abilities including the hookblade, bomb crafting and a heightened Eagle Sense, you can kill with death-dealing proficiency.
  • Herald the return of a legend – Assassin’s Creed Revelations features the return of Altaïr as a playable character, the hero of the original Assassin’s Creed.
  • Journey to the Constantinople –Explore picturesque settings, from Masyaf, the mountain stronghold of the Assassins during the Third Crusade to the vibrant and exotic Constantinople, the jewel of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th Century. Navigate crowded streets and vistas, through a cauldron of cultures as Constantinople comes to life.
  • Meet new players to the Assassins Creed lore –Encounter memorable personalities, including fellow master assassin Yusuf Tazim, Prince Suleiman, destined to become one of the greatest monarchs in history, and Sofia Sorto, a simple woman who vies for Ezio’s heart.
  • Test your skills as an assassin against your friends – the acclaimed online multiplayer experience returns, refined and expanded with more modes, more enthralling maps and new characters

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26th May 2011

GrowLab Set To Accelerate Vancouver Startups

growlabProminent Canadian and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and investors today announced the launch of a new accelerator program based in Vancouver. GrowLab is a “startup boot camp” for entrepreneurs whose companies can receive up to $25,000 in seed funding, four months of mentorship, free office space and the opportunity to pitch investors at the end of the program for follow-on funding. The program will be based in Vancouver for the first three months: the fourth month will be spent in San Francisco. GrowLab is now accepting applications for its fall program, with five companies to be chosen for the first cohort,  which will be starting in August 2011.bdc

“We created GrowLab to provide financing and mentor support to help build tomorrow’s great companies,” says Leonard Brody, President of Clarity Digital and one of GrowLab’s founders. “Our approach is entrepreneur-centric. We’re founded on the principal that if we find and support talented entrepreneurs, their ideas can grow into truly disruptive companies.”

In an effort to continue building a strong start up ecosystem, the accelerator has signed on many high-profile angel and venture investors. Its three lead investors are the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), iNovia Capital and BlackBerry Partners Fund.

BDC Venture Capital VP for Strategic Initiatives, Senia Rapisarda says, “BDC VC has always had a strong focus on early-stage technology development. Accelerators like GrowLab play a pivotal role in providing entrepreneurs with “smart capital” – both financing and expertise. Accelerators mentor entrepreneurs. They also provide them with the introductions and global connections they need to hasten the time to market. BDC is pleased to partner with GrowLab and establish the first accelerator of its kind in the country – one that will formally link Vancouver and Canada to Silicon Valley.” Read the rest of this entry »

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26th May 2011

OpenMedia Releases Telecom Report

open mediaBuilding on the success of a 480,000 signature petition launched earlier this year, award-winning public engagement organization OpenMedia.ca today released a citizen-powered report that exposes the weaknesses of closed communications models. Titled Casting An Open Net, the report counters popular arguments by major telecom companies that want to impose punitive pricing schemes, in which Canadians pay more for Internet and get less. The findings are clear: there is no technical or economic justification for restricting access to legal online content.

The report is the first of its kind: a comprehensive look at economic, technical, cultural aspects of Internet openness, as well as Canadian views on net neutrality and international comparisons. It shows that the Internet’s open architecture has become central to the success of our economy, our culture and our society, but that it is under threat by large, vertically-integrated telecom companies that seek to control, and even to discourage, use of the Internet. Read the rest of this entry »

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26th May 2011

Impact Award Winners Announced At mesh11

ciraThe Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) announced the winners of its first annual .CA Impact Awards at the mesh conference in Toronto, on the evening of May 25. Winners were chosen for using their .CA websites to make a positive cultural, technical, economic, or social impact. Four winners received $5,000 each as well as national recognition.

“At CIRA, we try to keep track of all the great .CA websites out there, but with over 1.6 million registered .CA sites it’s hard to keep up,” says Byron Holland, President and CEO of CIRA. “The .CA Impact Awards has really opened our eyes to some of the amazing work done on the web by Canadians. It’s truly inspiring.”

The awards were broken down in four broad categories, the winners for each category are:

  • eLearning: ArtsAlive.CA, an educational performing arts website produced by the National Arts Centre, is the pre-eminent resource for performing arts education in Canada, engaging Canadians through information, multimedia and activities.
  • Small Business: OpenMedia.CA uses its .CA website to protect the open Internet and to promote the innovation and free speech that it enables. OpenMedia.ca is currently the home of the viral Stop the Metre campaign, bringing the public together to fight for a more affordable Internet.
  • Non-Profit: UppercaseGallery.CA is now an online artist community, featuring a blog, exhibitions, and a magazine. UppercaseGallery began as a gallery in downtown Calgary that featured the work of emerging and established graphic designers before moving online. Its .CA domain name allows Uppercase Gallery to clearly define itself as Canadian, as much of its web traffic is international.
  • Web Technology and Design: NewPad.CA is an online apartment-hunting portal intended to make apartment hunting easier by mapping out online apartment listings in cities across Canada.

The .CA Impact Awards are part of CIRA’s ongoing commitment to invest in Canada’s Internet community and are designed to recognize youth, educators, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, technology developers and web designers.

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25th May 2011

D-Box Signs With Maya Cinemas

Sign up now to pitch your launch at Launch Party 11, being hosted at the Grow Conference 2011 in Vancouver. Launch @ Grow will be held on August 17th and organizers are looking for 15 of the hottest Canadian tech startups – but wait, that’s not all! Four of those 15 startups will pitch live on stage during Day 2 of Grow.

Digifest 2011 wants you to participate in First Person Show – a meet & greet show & tell for the video game and animation communities in Toronto and Ontario. Hosted at Gaming Inc., the new George Brown video game incubator and game development classrooms, the First Person Show will be held as part of Digifest 2011 during the day on both Saturday October 29th and Sunday October 30th. Apply now to participate.

3Vis is holding a presentation night on May 31st at the Caprice Club in Vancouver. Make Your Ideas A Reality will feature sessions by Louis Marcoux, Lee Fraser and Mark Schoennagel. In addition to these informative sessions, there will be networking opportunities and some great prize give-aways.

D-BoxD-BOX Technologies Inc. has signed its first agreement with Maya Cinemas to equip its Bakersfield and Salinas locations in California with 24 and 30 D-BOX MFX Seats respectively. D-BOX Motion Effects create a completely immersive experience with subtle, refined motion sensations that pitch, roll and heave theatre seats in perfect sync with the onscreen action.

“New partnerships like these coupled with an incredible lineup of new movie content continue to drive our growth forward, allowing us to continue to expand our presence in U.S. markets and abroad,” said President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master.

“At Maya Cinemas we strive to create a highly entertaining experience with the most advanced technologies and exceptional services,” said President of Maya Cinemas, Frank Haffar. “D-BOX is a natural fit for our theatres and provides our customers a new way to experience the movies.”

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25th May 2011

iQuakeMini Coming To The App Store

orion microsystemsORION Microsystems will be releasing iQuakeMini for iPad, iPhone and iPod this May 28th on the iTunes App Store worldwide. iQuakeMini is an app that displays graphically the latest earthquakes using heatmaps and allows you to receive earthquake notifications on your iPhone, iPad or wifi connected iPod when an earthquake occurs in one of the three user selected areas.

Quakes are represented by multicolored spots and areas on different types of Maps, with basic information provided directly on the maps. More indepth details are available on a List of recent earthquakes, with links to
Internet sources such as USGS. A unique feature in iQuakeMini is the option to create up to three “watch” areas on the globe, with the app then sending alarm notifications to your iDevice when an earthquake occurs in your watched areas. Day and Night settings also allow filtering of information during night hours if needed.

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Users can post maps and snapshots of the screen to Twitter, Facebook, emailed or saved in the Photo Album. The Info is linked to an internet-based “Breaking News” page which is updated in real time when major events occur.

iQuakeMini device requirements:

* iPhone, iPad (3G or WiFi) 4.2 or later
* iPod (WiFi) 4.2 or later

iQuakeMini will be priced at $2.99 (USD) and will be available worldwide through the App Store, with a $1.99 special intro price from May 28 to June 5. iQuakeLite, a free iPad version of the app is available now.

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