This site showcases the (mostly) digital work of Andrew DiFiore from both Virtual Arts Studios and answerYES Interactive as well as random thoughts and experimental projects too volatile to be contained anywhere else.

 
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    Well, it is finally Christmas! And it is still Hanukkah! And the New Year is just around the bend! So click on the Holiday Card above (made especially for you) and have a Happy Everything!

    Make It Snow On Any Google Street View

    I always appreciate online holiday “cards” that push the tech envelope in simple and innovative ways. Producing holiday greetings is something of a tradition for creative agencies around the globe and industry pubs and blogs pick their favs (check out AdWeek/AdFreak Best and Worst Agency Holiday Cards of 2011 to get your Ho Ho Ho on). I suppose I’m contributing to the tradition by posting my favorite this year: Snowify.Me by the Boston-based ad agency Mullen.

    Snowify.Me uses HTML5 Canvas to place snow and other graphic elements on top of Google Maps. According to Edward Boches’ (Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen), the whole thing came about from an accidental collaboration of company resources (he describes the organic process on his blog). This idea does remind me a bit of Pop Art’s Holidize.Me from two years ago but it is still quite clever.

    It is only too bad that Google doesn’t update its Street Views more often so you don’t see people walking around in shorts and Flip Flops but I guess that’s part of the fun.

    So, when you get tired of elfing yourself (again), waste a few extra minutes snowifying the Google Street View of your home or office.

    Dreidel! Dreidel! Dreidel!

    I made this maze originally as a holiday card back in 2002. Many of my puzzles are based on some bit of tradition, history, or trivia, so for Hanukkah I picked one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday: the dreidel!

    Every year I forget the exact rules of the dreidel game so I’m recording them here for the sake of my failing memory as well as for my gentile readers.

    A dreidel (sevivon in Hebrew which means “to turn”) is a four-sided top with a Hebrew letter on each side. The letters are: נ (Nun), ג (Gimmel), ה (Hay) and ש (Shin), which stand for the phrase Nes Gadol Haya Sham which means “A great miracle happened there” (there being Israel).

    Any number of people can play. At the beginning of the game each player is given an equal number of Hanukkah gelt (usually chocolate coins wrapped in gold tin foil but anything can be used).

    At the beginning of each round, every player puts one piece into the center pot. They then take turns spinning the dreidel, with the following meanings assigned to each of the Hebrew letters:

    • Nun or “nichts” which means “nothing” in Yiddish. If the dreidel lands with a nun facing up the spinner does nothing.
    • Gimmel or “ganz” which is means “everything.” If the dreidel lands with the gimmel facing up the spinner gets everything in the pot.
    • Hey or “halb” which means “half”. If the dreidel lands with a hey facing up the spinner gets half of the pot.
    • Shin or “shtel” which means “put in.” If the dreidel lands with a shin facing up the player adds a game piece to the pot.

    If a player runs out of gelt they are out.

    Happy Hanukkah!

    Cool Tool of the Month: FileZilla

    This month’s Cool Tool spot belongs to FileZilla, one of the best open-source FTP, SFTP, and FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) clients available on the market for free (under the GNU General Public License). FileZilla is cross-platform, supporting Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and more. As of this writing the latest stable version of the FileZilla Client is 3.5.2 and for the FileZilla Server it is 0.9.40. Documentation of both the Client and the Server is made available online at the FileZilla Project Wiki.

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    Top 10 Overused Buzzwords in LinkedIn Profiles

    LinkedIn decided to revisit their popular Top 10 Overused Buzzwords, drawing from 135 million profiles, and apparently the economy has produced a lot of “creative” people. This year, LinkedIn compares the Top 10 around the globe.