Upcoming Events
TOJam 2014

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 23rd, 2014

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This weekend, the Toronto Independent Game Jam (TOJam) once again invites game makers to get together and create magic over the course of 3 days. The object of this annual event is to allow this interesting mIx of people to flex their imaginations and coding muscles to create good games. TOJam is open to the public and is a fun time for all – especially afterwards when all of the games are showcased at the TOJam Open House (which happens on the Sunday evening).

Game creation is not a straightforward process, though many wish it was. Having such a short deadline adds an interesting dynamic to the mix, providing motivation and inspiring participants to examine their choices closely. The organizers want participants to make intelligent design choices and come up with a good product, not phone it in with something not really worth playing. It might sound harsh, but I think it’s a great objective.

What cool games will come out of TOJam this year? Probably lots. Check it out here!


Reviews
Color Cables

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 22nd, 2014

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In the land of charging cables, utility is king. While the cords that come with most devices get the job done, they’re usually quite short, or even delicate. I never thought this was true until I ended up ruining a few cords completely by accident – and when I say “accident”, I mean “incident” (as in “I totally didn’t expect this minor thing to completely decimate this cord”). There was an Indiegogo for a product called Color Cables that we tweeted about last month. The creators of that product were kind enough to send us a few to check out – and they are pretty sweet.

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Toys
Marvel Legends
Black Widow Figure

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 21st, 2014

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Earlier this month, I went out for an UltraAVX presentation of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (you should see it). In fact, I went to see it after I posted a tag-team review of Hasbro’s Captain America Marvel Legends figure. This time around, Smallest Thumbs and I take a look at an action figure of one of the other heroes from that film: the Black Widow.

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Trends
Microsoft Digital Trends

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 20th, 2014

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Recently, Microsoft did a study about some of the latest digital trends. This endeavour was no local study, either – they canvassed over nine thousand people from across nine different countries to figure out what makes people’s digital worlds tick these days, and they found some really interesting answers. For instance, did you know that consumers are now turning to niche networks to fulfill their online needs? In many ways, it makes sense! Why would you bother casting a broad net when there are other ways to have the information aggregated for you? Also, responding to something that you might see in a smaller network has a higher chance of being responded to!

Another cool trend is about Creator Culture, where consumers like to understand how things work, and like to get their hands dirty through the process of creation rather than simply consuming things. This highlights the strong position that technology holds in various cultures. I’m not sure how deep this creative bug goes, though – as most people like to make you think that they are a lot more engaged than they really are; however, it is compelling to see that people in general are trying to become more technologically self-sufficient.

There are many interesting bits of information that you can check out on the Microsoft Digital Trends site. Go check it out!


Updates
Belkin WeMo Light Switch

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 20th, 2014

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Last October, we reviewed a neat piece of tech from Belkin called the WeMo Light Switch. This cool device replaces one of your existing light switches (this is a physical replacement, and the light switch you are replacing must meet certain technical requirements), granting you a huge amount of control over the attached light fixture (seriously, check out the review – it’s cool). Well, Belkin has updated the free WeMo app (iOS/Android) to allow you to assign functionality to a long press (more than 2 seconds). There is also a new mode called “away”, which is a simulated occupancy play. Basically, you can have the light switch activate and deactivate at random intervals, so that there is no regular pattern when you are away from your home.

It’s cool to see that Belkin is delivering new functionality to some of their existing lineup, and integrating more with IFTTT (If This Then That). I’m hoping that some of these make their way to the other WeMo devices to increase the level of awesomeness.


Dx3 Canada 2014
Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge
Kids Help Phone Interview

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 19th, 2014

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At the end of February, we posted a bit about an event at Dx3 (Canada’s largest conference and tradeshow dedicated to digital marketing, bringing together a pile of people for two days of education and networking opportunities) about the Microsoft Advertising Xbox Challenge with Kinds Help Phone as the client. Well, the winning campaign was Grip Limited. We were fortunate enough to post a few questions about the event to Lynne Clarke, Marketing Director at Microsoft.

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Reviews
Disney Infinity
Phineas and Agent P Toy Box Set

By Jorge Figueiredo - April 18th, 2014

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Each and every time that we play Disney Infinity, we pay a visit to the Hall of Heroes to check our progress. For a while now, two spots remained empty – the spots belonging to Phineas and Agent P. Regardless of how much fun Disney Infinity is, those gaping holes did make us feel a little wistful. As of last week, however, these spots became occupied by bronze statues of the two zany heroes. As the final additions to the first run of Disney Infinity, these two figures bring goofy fun, espionage, and science into the mix (not to mention two boosters if you buy the Toy Box set)!

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