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Dear Friends,

In my most recent update I mentioned that I would be making a special announcement.

It is with great pleasure I not only present of our latest, delightful App, Wubbzy’s Fire Engine Adventure, but also announce the start of our partnership with the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA).
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You may learn more about the App and to view the it’s trailer by visiting:
http://www.cupcakedigital.com/apps/wubbzys-fire-engine-adventure/

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This partnership includes:
·      A paid sponsorship of the Wubbzy’s Fire Engine Adventure App itself during National Fire Prevention Week (Sunday, 10/6 – Saturday, 10/13); and,
·      A commission for Cupcake to produce an App dedicated to fire safety featuring Sparky the Fire Dog.

To read the first in a series of press releases about our partnership please visit:
http://www.cupcakedigital.com/blog/the-nfpa-and-sparky-the-fire-dog-partner-with-cupcake-digital/

To highlight this association, Wubbzy’s Fire Engine Adventure includes a special learning section providing children and caregivers with important fire safety information. It is a strong proof point of our belief in “the power of play” and its ability to drive awareness and educate children about very important causes such as fire prevention.

sparkyThis content is a further enhancement to our mission of incorporating educational opportunities and Common Core State Standards into all our Apps.

In the months to come we will be making other exciting partnership announcements regarding additional licenses we will be “on boarding” and cause-related sponsorships.

I would encourage you to download the application by visiting http://www.cupcakedigital.com/apps/wubbzys-fire-engine-adventure/
and click on the store icon of your choice (iTunes, Amazon, Google Play or Nook).

Give it a test drive, and write a review about it.

As this is a special partnership for us, please do take a moment to post or write about it on your social networks, blogs etc., and encourage your friends, family and loved ones to do the same.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Sincerely yours,

Brad Powers
Chairman

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UnknownMaintaining continued growth and leadership in the evolving children’s application market requires maximizing the value of our products to serve parents and children.  In this paper, we discuss how infusing Common Core State Standards into our apps/games and conducting our business in a socially responsible manner contributes to building trust among our target purchasers and to our future success.

Objective:

To demonstrate how Cupcake Digital is maximizing its potential for leadership in the children’s app market by infusing its apps with educator-developed learning moments specifically aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Background:

The Common Core State Standards will play a critical role in the education of America’s children going forward.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort — developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators and experts – to provide a consistent framework that will help ensure children are college and career-ready by the end of high school. The CCSS set the requirements for children K-12 in all academic subjects and provide teachers and parents with a common understanding of what students are expected to learn.
However, as the introduction of the Common Core State Standards is in its earliest stages, communication to parents about this new concept and what is means to their children’s education is not yet clear or sufficient.

Common Core: A Social Responsibility

Cupcake Digital is committed to being a thoughtful, socially responsible company that parents, caregivers and educators can trust. We believe that producing apps that not only entertain, but also help ready a child to meet nationally acknowledged academic requirements can only enhance our own potential for success.

The apps and games we produce are based on well-known, highly successful children’s entertainment media properties.  These delightful stories are adapted in the form of deluxe storybook experiences and interactive games.

The infusion of learning moments — aligned with Common Core State Standards – enables us to maximize the educational value of our apps and games.

Cupcake Digital has taken a leadership role in the curriculum-infused children’s app market by creating free, educator-developed worksheets and activities that supplement learning moments in the story.

While 47 states have committed to adopting the Common Core Curriculum by 2014, awareness of the initiative’s specifics and value is not yet widespread.

Cupcake Digital has identified a clear opportunity to help inform parents about the Common Core State Standards – in layman’s terms – in the Common Core Corner at the end of each app.  It is intended to help parents understand how the app is preparing their children to meet the CCSS challenges at school and what their children are learning through the app’s activities and the process of reading the app itself.

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Infusion of Common Core State Standards: Serious Business

“Digital media offers children unparalleled opportunities to learn, imagine, participate, practice, and create. But without a guidepost, we know parents, educators, and kids have difficulty finding engaging, enriching interactive experiences,” said Susan Crown, founder and chairman of SCE.

Cupcake Digital is one of the first companies in the children’s digital space to blend entertainment with Common Core State Standards learning moments, and we do so responsibly.

“The process of infusing our apps with CCSS was not one we approached lightly,” says Susan Miller, President and Co-founder of Cupcake Digital.  “To align our learning moments effectively with Common Core requirements, we looked to educational consultants  — experts in the Common Core State Standards – to work with us,” she continues.

An example of how CCSS-aligned learning moments are infused into Cupcake’s apps is attached. (link to examples provided at the end of this position paper) The example shown addresses the infusion of English language arts and mathematics activities in Wubbzy’s Dinosaur Adventure.

Cupcake is dedicated to the notion that there is room for fun in learning.  While our apps are infused with the CCSS, we make the learning process entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable!

Common Core: A Competitive Advantage

Cupcake Digital is one of the first companies in the children’s digital space to recognize the opportunity to serve parents and children better by maximizing the value of our products through the infusion of Common Core State Standards learning moments.  In so doing, we are also striving to help make CCSS easy to understand and easy to practice for parents and kids.

“As the children’s digital market floods with new products at exponential rates, parents will need guidance in choosing the highest quality products for their kids,” says Brad Powers, Chairman and CEO of Cupcake Digital.

“Our goal,” he adds, “is to be the number one choice among parents for apps that they can trust to entertain, inspire and help prepare young children for success in school and beyond.”

The Common Core State Standards are here to stay; and   national awareness of them will increase over the next two years. Cupcake Digital’s authority on the subject of CCSS and accountability for responsible infusion of the standards into our apps will continue to provide us a strong competitive edge.

Example:

Three games in Wubbzy’s Dinosaur Adventure are specifically designed to help prepare children to meet the requirements set forth for Kindergarten by the CCSS.  The games illustrate how Cupcake Digital blends entertainment and learning in games that are fun and fanciful, while also instructive.

Dino Alphabet Game

Children are asked to drag the dinosaur over the trees to eat all the letters. As the letters are eaten, the letter name is spoken by the narrator so that children can make the association.

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The Dino Alphabet Game supports the English Language Arts CCSS for the foundation of reading, which require children to recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters of the alphabet.

Dino Numbers Game

Children are asked to help the dinosaur to eat all the numbers from one to 10.  The numbers are read aloud, so that children can learn to recognize them.

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The Dino Numbers Game supports math learning by motivating children to count a variety of quantities and numbers. CCSS requires children to be able to count to 100 by ones and by tens.

Dino Word Game

Children are asked to help the hungry dinosaur find some words to snack on. A word appears at the top of the screen and is read aloud.  Below the word is a list of three words.  The child must select the one that matches the word at the top of the screen.

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Dino Word Game supports the English Language Arts CCSS requirement for children by teaching them to recognize a list of basic sight words that make up the majority of text and are critical to reading.

About Cupcake Digital Inc.
Cupcake Digital, Inc. was established in June 2012 with the intent of transforming children’s entertainment properties into deluxe story experiences infused with educational moments. Its first venture into digital applications was based on the Emmy Award-winning television series “Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!” The app immediately rose to # 1 and # 3 among children’s book apps on Amazon and iTunes respectively. Since then, every subsequent children’s story app created by Cupcake Digital has achieved a top 10 rating on Amazon. Headquartered in NYC, Cupcake Digital was founded by proven professionals in the fields of technology, family entertainment, publishing and brand marketing. In October of 2012, Cupcake Digital received its first round of private funding and has since gone on to partner with additional major children’s entertainment properties. For more information about Cupcake Digital Inc., please contact Carmen Hernandez at pr@cupcakedigital.com or visit www.cupcakedigital.com.

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Article from GigaOm.

For some odd reason, I felt that it was slim pickings when it came to stories for this weekend. It just might have been my NyQuil. Here are some great stories for you to enjoy while you relax over the next two days.

  • More drugs, more sports, same old Alex Rodriguez: By now you may have heard about New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez being embroiled in another performance-enhancing drugs scandal. Well, what you might not have done is read the whole 4,500 word piece that started it all. Miami New Times‘ Tim Elfrink in this old-fashioned investigative piece shows you don’t need to have a big budget to write stories that change the game.
  • In conversation with John Cheever: The Paris Review goes back in time and brings to us this conversation with one of America’s beloved writers.
  • Living the American Dream in West Bank: Vice‘s Kiera Feldman goes to hang out with Israel’s illegal homesteaders.
  • Home alone, no really: A Siberian family was cut off from the world for 40 years and lived blissfully unaware of World War II. Great piece.
  • The Art Collector: Steven Cohen, the man behind the hedge fund SAC Capital that is consistently in trouble with prosecutors over issues of insider trading, seems to spend hundreds of millions buying up rare and expensive art. I guess one has to do something with all that money. This is a great profile in n+1 magazine.
  • The parking meters and the coming revolution: Just a great little piece.
  • The spy novelist who knows too much: The New York Times reports on Gérard de Villiers, an 83-year-old Frenchman who writes pulp fiction books — four to five a year — and they are, well, literally ripped from the headlines. Someone please help me get the English translations.

Read more here.

 

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Article from GigaOm.

Despite concerns that Kickstarter wonder Ouya, an Android-based TV gaming console, might not deliver, the project is hitting its deadlines with the release on Friday of 1,200 developer consoles.

Ouya announced that the development kits were being shipped to developers, who can also access the Ouya SDK (ODK) online under a free Apache license.

The release of the hardware and software should give developers time to prepare games for the platform, which is expected to be released to the public around March. That’s still the milestone that everyone will be watching but the signs look good for Ouya to make it there.

Ouya

An early look at the Ouya UI

The company has been under a lot of scrutiny since it debuted as a Kickstarter project in July. The $99 console, built off the Android platform, raised $8.6 million from more than 63,000 backers. That has raised expectations and also concerns about whether the system is for real and can deliver as promised. We chatted with CEO and founder Julie Uhrman shortly after the launch — she assured us that it wasn’t rocket science putting Ouya together and that she was confident Ouya will hit the market by this spring.

The developer console still has plenty of bugs, Ouya has warned developers, and the triggers and D-pad on the controller are not final. Developers will also get a look at an early version of the console UI.

Following a recent CNN report that most of the biggest Kickstarter projects were shipping late, it’s nice to see that Ouya is keeping to its promise. We still don’t know what the quality and experience is like and what the game library will ultimately be. And as Kickstarter has pointed out, it’s not always important that projects ship on time if the end result suffers. But this thing looks like it’s for real.

Read more here.

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Article from TechCrunch.

“We all know that social gaming giant Zynga is one of the fastest growing tech companies of all time and has turned games like FarmVille into a mainstream phenomenon. And via international expansion and deals with Facebook and Google, Zynga has continued its path to domination of the social gaming market. We have an idea of the company’s revenue and other gaming statistics, but there is some data involving the backend of the platform that has not been revealed. Today, Zynga’s CTO Cadir Lee is speaking at Oracle’s OpenWorld conference about the gaming giant’s infrastructure, business and challenges.

Lee offers the following statistics:

  • 10 percent of the world’s internet population (approximately 215 million monthly users) has played a Zynga game.
  • The company adds as many as 1,000 servers every week to accommodate growing traffic.
  • Zynga’s properties move a whopping 1 petabyte of data daily, and the company operates its own data centers; using a hybrid private/public cloud infrastructure.
  • Zynga’s technology supports 3 billion neighbor connections on games like Frontierville and Farmville.

The company itself has been steadily adding employees, through both acquisitions and new hires, and now counts more than 1,200 full time employees and includes 13 game studios.”

Read more here.

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