Northern Sprites

Publication YearIssue Date 
  Northern Sprites
July 17, 2013
  Northern Sprites: Five amazing Canadian video gamesPDF files may take a moment to load

With the heat of summer bearing down on us, finding an excuse to stay inside and away from the sun, the mosquitos and the seasonal allergies can be a welcome blessing. Of course, there is no better way to waste away the limited days of Canadian summer than video games, and what better games to do so with than Canadian ones? Some people may be surprised to hear that Canada has the third largest video game industry in the world, and that we have created dozens of games that have entered the definitive canon of the medium.


June 27, 2013
  Northern Sprites: How Twitter has changed natural disastersPDF files may take a moment to load

For me, the morning of June 20 seemed like any other. My house was as dry as it usually is, I was able to travel downtown without much trouble and I had managed to stay far enough away from the river that I remained oblivious to the impending disaster. I only realized something was wrong when I received a panicked text from my mother in California, asking if I was safe. After some initial surprise, my first reaction was to do what I always do when I want to know what is happening in the world: I checked Twitter.


June 04, 2013
  Northern Sprites: The real problem with women in techPDF files may take a moment to load

Women are vastly underrepresented in the tech industry, making up only about 25 per cent of the information and communications technology employees in Canada — even though over half of the country’s workforce are women. This disparity has been noted by The Chic Geek, a new Calgarian organization that aims to increase the number of women in the tech industry.


May 19, 2013
  Northern Sprites: The two faces of video gamesPDF files may take a moment to load

Even to a person who is familiar with video games the list of speakers at this year’s Ottawa International Game Conference could seem perplexing. Looking down the list, one can find that for every independent, bearded artist there are half a dozen suit-clad marketing gurus — with a few nerdy programmers sitting awkwardly between those two vastly different groups. People this different can’t possibly be representative of the same industry, can they?


December 04, 2013
  Northern Sprites: What’s the deal with drones?PDF files may take a moment to load

When most people hear the word “drone,” they tend to think of a few very specific drones. Particulary the ones currently being used by the United States to carry out extrajudicial killings. Or perhaps they think of any of the many drones in movies, video games and books that are depicted as terrifying murder-robots. Either way, the mental image conjured by the word is rarely a pleasant one, which may be why there has been such a vocal reaction to Amazon’s planned drone delivery service.


October 30, 2013
  Northern Sprites: Crack in the bellPDF files may take a moment to load

Bell, one of Canada’s largest telecom companies, has recently announced that they are going to begin collecting more detailed data from their customers for the purpose of selling this information to advertisers and third parties.

This reveal will hardly come as a surprise to many Canadians. All three of Canada’s biggest telecom companies — Telus, Rogers and Bell — have a history of unscrupulous business practises, with Bell being the most ruthless of them all.


October 23, 2013
  Northern Sprites: The politics of techPDF files may take a moment to load

When asked about which commercial industries are the most right wing in their politics, the technology industry usually isn’t at the top of people’s lists. Yet tech companies can rival banks and oil companies in their distaste for regulation, with the people in the tech community sometimes taking these beliefs to the utmost extreme.


October 02, 2013
  Northern Sprites: A hearty bowl of SteamOSPDF files may take a moment to load

Valve — a company mostly known for developing popular video games such as Portal and Team Fortress 2 — has recently announced the upcoming release of a Linux-based operating system meant to be compatible with the company’s popular PC game distribution network, Steam. Along with this operating system, titled SteamOS, Valve also intends to develop a console-like gaming computer called the Steam Machine that will allow users to easily play PC games on their television.


July 31, 2013
  Northern Sprites: Nothing like a little friendly competitionPDF files may take a moment to load

If you ask almost any Canadian how they feel about their country’s phone companies, you probably won’t receive a very positive answer. People are painfully aware that the Big Three Canadian telecommunication companies — Bell, Rogers and Telus — have notoriously overcharged Canadians for cellphone services.


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