6th September 2011

Canadian Architectural Illustrators Honoured

Four Canadian architectural illustrators have had their artwork chosen to be part of Architecture in Perspective 26, the International Competition of Digital and Traditional Architectural Illustration. Marie Eldridge from Calgary, and three Toronto-area illustrators – Roberto Ou, Michael  Ouzikov (Forrec) and Michael McCann – will all have their work featured in the exhibition, which opens on September 26 at the Pola Gallery in Tokyo. Architecture in Perspective (AIP) is presented by the American Society of Architectural Illustrators (ASAI), whose annual convention and exhibition will be held this year in conjunction with the UIA 2011 World Congress of Architecture, also taking place in Tokyo, from September 24 to October 2.

“Winning the ASAI Award of Excellence was extremely gratifying; there is nothing more professionally satisfying than the recognition of your peers,” says Marie Eldridge. “Attending the conference in Japan will be the icing on the cake.”

From among the 56 pieces selected for the exhibition, Michael McCann’s illustration received two major awards: The Formal Category Award and The Members’ Choice Award. The preeminent award, The Hugh Ferriss Memorial Prize, was awarded this year to Swiss illustrator Marcel Schaufelberger.

With 10,000 people expected to attend the 2011 UIA Conference, ASAI President Masaaki Yamada stated that “This year’s exhibition Includes the largest international exhibition of architectural illustration ever assembled, featuring AIP26 (ASAI) and exhibitions from Japan (JARA), Korea (KAPA), Australia (AAAI) and China.”

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6th September 2011

Space Marine Ready For Battle

Relic EntertainmentFor those not yet aware, Warhammer® 40,000®: Space Marine® by THQ studio Relic Entertainment has shipped for the Xbox 360®, Playstation®3 and Windows PC. Combining intense melee and ranged combat, Space Marine puts players into the boots of one of humanity’s elite soldiers, genetically engineered and equipped with state of the art weapons and armor. Players are dropped right into the action as they battle to defend an Imperial Forge World, a planet sized factory, from an invasion by the savage and brutal Orks, using the most devastating weaponry mankind has at its disposal.Space Marine

Space Marine also features 8 vs. 8 class-based multiplayer where players take on the role of either Space Marine or Chaos Space Marine in a battle to the death. Players can choose the balanced Tactical and Chaos Space Marine, the heavy weapons focused Devastator and Havoc or the jump pack equipped melee specialist Assault Marine and Raptor.

A free downloadable Co-operative gameplay mode called Exterminatus will also be made available to all players in early October. This mode pits a team of four Space Marine players against numerous AI controlled enemies in a fight to survive. Featuring dynamic challenges and global leaderboards, Space Marine’s co-op mode will keep players engaged for months to come.

The game includes a full progression and upgrade system tied to both multiplayer and co-op. Players will earn experience and unlock new weapons and perks which allow them to customize their loadouts to suit their play style. Progression will also unlock more options for the game’s customizer, which allows players to create a unique character to suit them, with over 1.8 Billion possibilities available at launch.

In addition to leveraging Steamworks’ Auto-Updating, Achievements, Match-Making, Leaderboards and Stats, the PC version of Warhammer® 40,000® Space Marine® will support Steamworks Cloud technology.

A premium quality Collector’s Edition is available to purchase from THQ.com, featuring a 10″ Purity Seal, Art Book, Game Soundtrack, 25 foiled character cards and a premium box. The Space Marine Collector’s Edition has a SRP of $99 (console) and $79 (PC).

A demo of the game is now available to download now for the Xbox 360,Playstation 3 and Windows PC. Space Marine is available to purchase now from a variety of retailers for a SRP of $60 console and $50 PC, and is rated M for Mature.


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6th September 2011

Inspirapps Launches Polltogo

InspirappsToronto start-up Inspirapps Inc. has launched polltogo, a web/mobile application that lets users conduct short mobile polls and receive instant feedback from various audiences, including clients, students, viewers, readers and friends, using their cell phone, smartphone or any internet-connected device.

In addition to offering the classic online polling features, polltogo focuses on real-time interaction and offers a unique, simple way of collecting instant feedback from a target audience without the need for using, installing or renting dedicated voting devices.polltogo

polltogo is a universal tool that can be used within a professional environment, such as at a conference or in customer satisfaction polls, a learning environment to stimulate the interaction between teachers and students, or during a training session. Users also may choose to poll colleagues and friends in a casual setting, asking such questions as, “Sushi or Tex-Mex for dinner tonight?” Also, its ability to work on any mobile device (voters are not required to download any application to their phone to participate) makes it the perfect tool for interaction between television producers, advertisers and viewers during a live TV show.

polltogo is totally free for voters. It is also free for poll makers who wish to create a poll with up to 20 votes (typically the length of most personal-interest polls).  Professional users, who generally need to receive more than 20 votes per poll, can buy credits (one credit equals one vote) at a very reasonable rate (currently 200 votes for 99 cents).

Creating a poll, sharing it with a target audience and viewing the results is as easy as 1-2-3 and only takes a minute:

1. Create the poll – Users can create polls in advance (or live at an event) on a smartphone, tablet or laptop using a very simple interface. Using polltogo.com or the polltogo mobile app, the user simply enters a question (e.g., “How would you rate this presentation?”), chooses a poll type (multiple choice, yes/no, rating, textual feedback), sets the duration (from 1 minute to no limit), and provides a few options (result presentation, allow comments, privacy, etc.).

2. Share the poll – Once the poll is created, two sharing options are offered: A unique QR code that can be scanned by most smartphones and a short URL that voters can simply type into any web browser (on their laptop/desktop, on their mobile phone, or even on older WAP-based cell phones).

3. View the results – Results of each poll can be viewed on a web page or shown live to an audience that just voted. They also may be viewed directly and easily by each voter on their device, providing that the poll initiator selects that option.

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6th September 2011

Teletoon Unveils New Branding

teletoonAlong with the launch of its fall programming season, Teletoon has officially unveiled its newly-refreshed branding for the network’s English and French daytime properties. The new, wilder branding reflects the network’s tagline: “Teletoon: It’s Unreal” as well as the network’s brand essence: “Anything is possible.”

“Teletoon is a brand with unexpected characteristics – it’s funny, surprising, playful and – like kids – a little bit mischievous. With this refresh, we want to better unify and re-establish the brand as a whole – and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” said Russell Ward, Vice President, Marketing, Teletoon Canada Inc. “We’ve incorporated the brand essence and personality in the logo itself, giving it infinite possibilities to take on different shapes, textures, materials, characteristics and much more.  In our world, everything begins and ends with Teletoon.”

The refreshed look takes on the characteristics of the network’s programming and overall attitude that reflects the fun, unexpected and imaginative spirit of Teletoon and its viewers. The updated Teletoon logo embodies the network’s tagline and brand essence with bold new animations, effects and colours, while maintaining its recognizable yellow colour. The new branding can be seen across Teletoon’s on-air and online platforms, including on-air promos and on-screen IDs and across teletoon.com.

In support and celebration of the Teletoon brand refresh, the network has planned a series of unreal surprises taking place at random locations that will surprise and delight unsuspecting fans while promoting the brand. The first such endeavor is the ongoing, Teletoon-branded, Unreal Ice Cream Truck that has been showing up unexpectedly all around Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area with brand ambassadors surprising fans with delicious treats. Other such surprises will be taking place in mystery locations in the coming months.

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6th September 2011

Free Thinking Film Festival Brings Pro-Democracy Films to Ottawa

free thinking film festThe Free Thinking Film Society kicks off its 2ndannual film festival to celebrate liberty, freedom and democracy on November 11th in Ottawa. The Free Thinking Film Festival will feature three major events, two panel discussion and over 20 films, between November 11-13, 2011 at Library and Archives Canada and the Bronson Centre.  There will also be a Free Thinking Alley where attendees can buy books and DVDs, and enjoy food and drink.

“I love celebrating liberty, freedom and democracy,” says Free Thinking Film President Fred Litwin. “Get ready for three days of challenging films and discussions with no political-correctness.”

The Festival opens at 6:30 PM November 11th with History Wars, a debate between Jack Granatstein (Historian and former director of the Canadian War Museum) and Michael Byers (Professor of Political Science at UBC) on the future of the Canadian military, moderated by Michael Bliss. This event is co-sponsored by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and will take place at the Bronson Centre.

The Festival will end with “Unmasked: Judeophobia and the Threat to Civilization”, the Canadian premiere of a documentary about the current political assault against Israel.  Producer Gloria Greenfield will be in attendance.

A sample of other scheduled films include:

  • “Angryphone,” about English language rights in Quebec
  • “The Biases of the CBC,” a film and panel discussion on CBC bias against Israel and conservatives
  • “The Power of the Powerless,” a look at the velvet revolution that toppled communism in Czechoslovakia
  • “The Living,” a film about the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s
  • “Freedom of What?cott,” a documentary about free speech in Saskatchewan
  • “Freedom Fighter,” Rev. Majed El Shafie’s campaign against discrimination against religious minorities around the world
  • “The 10 Conditions of Love,” about Rubiya Kadeer, the leader of the Uyghur people and their fight to save their culture
  • “Cool It,” why we should ‘cool it’ when it comes to global warming
  • “3 Billion and Counting,” tells us why we need DDT to fight malaria in Africa
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6th September 2011

OpenText Acquires Operitel

Open TextOpen Text Corporation has acquired Operitel Corporation, a company headquartered in Peterborough that specializes in Learning Management Systems (LMS) and Enterprise Learning Portals. The acquisition adds powerful e-learning capabilities to OpenText’s solutions. Operitel’s solutions include social and mobile learning management and capabilities that integrate with Microsoft® SharePoint.

“Given the scale of content and process management solutions we’re providing to global organizations today, integrated e-learning is becoming an integral part of the high value solution we provide,”  said John Shackleton, President and Chief Executive Officer of OpenText. “This acquisition will complement and extend OpenText’s solutions, providing award-winning LMS functionality to our global customer base. Operitel customers benefit from access to the resources and stability of Canada’s largest software company.”

With Operitel’s flagship product, LearnFlexTM Learning Management System, customers can offer efficient learning services to their employees and customers. With additional strong mobile and social offerings, Operitel’s LMS technology further enhances and broadens functionality available to customers of OpenText’s ECM Suite. Customers can utilize Operitel’s solutions to deliver, track, and validate internal learning across their organizations. These learning services are especially critical for ensuring timely compliance with organizational and industry-specific regulatory requirements – capabilities that complement OpenText’s traditional strengths in compliance, information governance, and records management.

LearnFlex, which has received multiple awards, is built on Microsoft®‘s .NET platform and is both a Microsoft Partner and a tier one Microsoft Official E-Learning reseller. Operitel builds solutions that support and extend Microsoft SharePoint. OpenText is a leader in providing solutions that integrate with SharePoint and Microsoft Office.  For SharePoint, OpenText offers BPM, application governance and archiving solutions. With Operitel, OpenText continues to add to its position as a leading Microsoft partner and a key provider of solutions that support and extend SharePoint.

“Operitel was built with the basic principle of putting the client first and concentrating on innovative solutions that are leading edge and enterprise scalable, ” said Michael Skinner, Chief Executive Officer of Operitel, who will continue to lead the company within the OpenText group. “I believe the acquisition of Operitel by OpenText is an excellent opportunity to provide our customers and partners assurance that we will continue to respond to their needs while at the same time leveraging the extended resources of a larger enterprise.”


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6th September 2011

Merging Media Updates Progress of 2010 BC Film Development Winners

merging media conferenceLast year’s Merging Media Conference+Masterclass marked the first time that the $10,000 BC Film Development Award was awarded to the best cross-media project presented at the annual event. Merging Media will once again offer this wonderful opportunity to cross-platform content creators at its Merging Media Pitch 360 sessions during the upcoming 2011 event on October 27th and 28th.

Andrew Williamson of Off Island Films and Audrey Mehler of Paperny Films each won $5,000 last year to develop their projects. Andrew came to Merging Media with the Spiral, a web based interactive drama series that went on to become a part of another local media initiative called Melting Silos. Audrey pitched Eat St. Tweet, an innovative way to bring a Food Network show about food carts to life online as well as in a mobile app. The series and app launched earlier this year and more goodies are in store with their fall season that premiered on September 2nd. Audrey’s team offers viewers an unparalleled culinary experience by revealing new culinary carts around cities in North America, with access to information across three media platforms.

Now here’s your chance to take your project to the stage and win this year’s award! If you have an innovative transmedia or cross-media project in the works, apply before September 30 to be one of 8 participants to present at Merging Media’s Masterclass and Pitch 360 sessions and you could be the next one to win that $10,000 award! For more information, contact: coordinator@mergingmedia.ca. If you haven’t registered yet, it’s not too late to take advantage of Early Bird rates.

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6th September 2011

MasterCard Foundation To Help Students Attend MicroFinance Summit

The Toronto International Microfinance Summit announced today The MasterCard Foundation is providing 100 college and university students with financial assistance to attend its conference at Toronto’s Allstream Centre September 17, 2011. In its third year, the Summit is comprised of two events, a fundraising Gala on September 16th and the micro way Conference with a new MicroMarketplace September 17th. This year the theme is From Microfinance to Financial Inclusion: Making a Difference in our World. Topics include:

  • Financial Literacy, Youth Programs and First Nations
  • Mobile Banking, Technology and Investment Funds with impact
  • How microfinance enables global health initiatives
  • Rating Microfinance Institutions and Risk Management
  • Microfinance in conflict zones

“The Toronto International Microfinance Summit brings together thought leaders in the sector with both international and domestic expertise,” says Reeta Roy, President and CEO of the MasterCard Foundation.  “The Summit is an important platform for knowledge-sharing and The MasterCard Foundation is proud to support students’ attendance.”

“Microfinance is the place where business and international development objectives intersect and social impact is achieved,” adds Jim Louttit, Vice President of Toronto International Microfinance Summit and Rotarian Action Group for Microcredit Secretary.  “For the second year, The MasterCard Foundation is partnering with us so more students can learn about this powerful poverty reduction tool, interact with experts and get involved.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, will attend the Gala and offer official greetings. Forty Summit speakers from thirty organizations on five continents are scheduled to make presentations,  including:

  • Bob Annibale – Citi Microfinance
  • Vidar Jorgensen – Grameen America
  • Kadita (A.T.) Tshibaka – Opportunity International
  • Philip Smith – philanthropist and author
  • Joyce Lehman – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Michael Bowles – Aga Khan Foundation
  • Damien von Stauffenberg – MicroRate
  • Jeff Rayman – Secutor Capital
  • Dr. Tanjina Mirza – Plan Canada
  • Howard Weinstein – Solar Ear
  • Charles Belanger – FINCA
  • Francois Montour – CIDA
  • Tess Bayombong – CARE Canada
  • Deborah Lindholm – Foundation for Women


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6th September 2011

Amaya To Provide Regulated Gaming System for Moldova National Lottery

amayaMontreal’s Amaya Gaming Group Inc., an entertainment solutions provider for the regulated gaming industry has been awarded an exclusive, 20-year contract with the National Lottery of Moldova to provide a full range of gaming solutions. Amaya will leverage its innovative technology platform to implement and support national gaming programs including: lottery, video lottery terminals, sports betting, and digital gaming.

The agreement represents a significant milestone as Amaya’s first comprehensive government mandate spanning the complete range of gaming programs and activities. The contract has the potential to generate recurring revenues in excess of $20 million annually.  Implementation is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011.

“We are very pleased to begin a long-term relationship with the National Lottery of Moldova that promises to be fruitful for both parties,” said David Baazov, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amaya Gaming Group.  “Our technology is designed to offer a full range of gaming solutions from a single platform, and we believe our breadth of capabilities was a key reason we were selected, along with our ability to ensure the integrity of the system.  While Moldova is the first customer to formally select us for this wide range of gaming activities, our strategy is to expand our relationships over time with new and existing customers by offering more gaming technologies in their jurisdictions.”

The partnership will provide the National Lottery of Moldova with new sources of revenue, including funds that are currently leaving the country for off-shore gaming activities. One of the features of Amaya’s technology is designed to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of data collected from devices across the gaming network.  The system will enable government authorities to receive real-time, accurate accounting reports that are free of human error, manipulation and/or fraud, while providing the framework for implementing responsible gaming features, including the strict prohibition of underage gaming.

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6th September 2011

Computer Using Educators Conference Next Month

CUEBCComputer Using Educators of BC will be holding their annual fall conference at Terry Fox Secondary in Port Coquitlam on October 21st. This conference, which focuses on technology in the classroom, is open to both educators and non-educators.

The conference’s keynote will be presented by North Carolina writer, speaker and instructor David Warlick, and this year’s conference theme is Embracing Emerging Technologies. As of this writing, there are 40 speaker sessions being offered at the conference, including presentations on how to use Blender 3D, Twitter for the Classroom, Supporting Online Learners, Digital Game Development, Digital Storytelling and there are also several sessions on ways to use the internet and technology tools to inspire learning and creativity in today’s students.

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