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Developers: Check Out the AT&T Hackathon in Toronto During the NxNE Music Festival


RIM may or may not be sponsoring NxNE but they’ll be sponsors of the AT&T Mobile App Hackathon. The event is produced by the AT&T Developer Program and Apigee and it’s designed for attendees (technical and non-technical), to build apps and compete for prizes. The hackathon is open to any platform or programming language. If your coding skills are a little rusty, there will be live developer support from local senior developers as well as from AT&T, Sencha, and Apigee to help you code faster and more effectively.
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Why Are Some Major Canadian Festivals Ignoring Its BlackBerry Fans?


There’s a trend we’ve noticed at festivals lately where BlackBerry support is being dropped. This hasn’t always been the case. For some festivals, there was a previous app and for the most recent year it’s completely absent. It’s not enough to say “well BlackBerry is on the downward swing in North America” because that doesn’t address the current market share. Many of these festivals have enourmous BlackBerry support. For example, Bluesfest happens in Ottawa, Canada, where there’s probably a larger BlackBerry userbase than iPhone. For some reason, the organizers of the festival have a misconception about BlackBerry and don’t feel like investing the resources. Why do we say it’s the organizers? Because the companies that make these apps have the resources and the developers to address the platform, so it seems the client isn’t requesting it (to their own detriment).

The Calgary Stampede is a great example of this. PurpleForge is the development company behind the Calgary Stampede iPhone app but there is no BlackBerry version available. It’s not like PurpleForge can’t do BlackBerry, its App World vendor account has 14 apps in App World, one of which is for the City of Calgary. The only explanation is that the client simply didn’t want it.
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Developers: Enter the MintChip Challenge for a Chance to Win Over $50,000 in Gold


The Royal Canadian Mint produces all of Canada’s coins as well as it offers gold and silver refinery and assay services. Given its status as a leader in producing currency, the Mint has launched a challenge for a new product it calls MintChip. MintChip aims to be the next generation of digital currency. With MintChip, users can upload money to any electronic device, whether it be a smartphone, USB stick, laptop, tablet or some cool future device we don’t know about. Transactions can be as high as you want to as little as a penny. If you’re a developer, you need to sign up for the MintChip Challenge, and create an app that showcases the power of digital transactions using MintChip. Also, you could win a huge piece of gold!
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Mobile Development Studio Select Start Acquired by eCommerce Company Shopify


Select Start Studios is a mobile app development shop based in Ottawa, Canada and it was recently acquired by the up-and-coming eCommerce company Shopify. The acquisition makes a lot of sense as eCommerce is increasingly happening on mobile devices and rather than Shopify outsourcing its mobile efforts, it made more sense for Shopfiy to acquire a group like Select Start and develop the mobile products internally. While Select Start promoted the fact that it does cross-platform development and included BlackBerry, the company is better known for its iOS products such as Getaround.
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Costco Selling the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook for $274.99


The PlayBook has been getting some good pricing options in many of the major retail outlets. There has been talk of Best Buy USA offering the 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook for $299, as well as the 32GB model for $399 and the 64GB model for $499. I was recently at Costco and its prices seem much better, especially since the Canadian dollar is worth less than the American lately. More after the jump.
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GroupMe Goes 3.0 With New Features and Support for Canada


GroupMe was recently acquired by Microsoft/Skype for over $50 million. It’s a great sign that if you build a great app and company around it, you can still be acquired for a ton of money even if you don’t make a single dollar in revenue. The company doesn’t seem to have slowed down after its acquisition though and has announced version 3.0 which includes availability in Canada. Click through for more details.
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