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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    Independence Day 2012

    The United States Census Bureau has been a bit on edge ever since Congress suggested gutting the American Community Survey. So, in an effort to prove their worth, the Census has launched an online PR initiative called How Do We Know, which includes this nifty infographic just in time for Independence Day.

    Infographic describing the key comparisons between the years 1940 and 2010

    May the US Census Bureau and the rest of America have a happy, healthy 4th of July!

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    Chill, The Next Cool Thing

    Chill is like the Hulu’s cooler little brother. But more than just catchup TV, Chill supports just about any video source from YouTube to ESPN.

    Content can be high-def TV shows (supplied by premium content partners like Hulu) to videos taken from your iPhone.

    The site has a sexy Pinterest-like grid layout with Turntable-like social viewing integration, including Path-like emoticons and a Facebook Timeline-like profile covers.

    You sign up using Facebook Connect. Once in, you can start a Chill Lounge or hang out in an existing Lounge (Lounges are like DJ Rooms in Turntable). Chill users can create a livestream Lounge simply by selecting the Live Video Stream option available in the Chill Lounge creation flow. The feature currently supports Ustream, Justin.tv, Livestream, YouTube Live, and Twitch.tv.

    Chill was founded by Brian Norgard and Daniel Gould less than year ago and as of last week has raised $8 million in Series A funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & ByersRedpoint VenturesAtlas VenturePaul KedroskyScience MediaWilliam Morris Endeavor, 500 Startups, Troy Carter, Mike Jones, Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, and Michael Arrington’s CrunchFund. As of this post, Chill claims to have 19 million members.

    How To Be Alone by Tanya Davis

    I like this. Not sure exactly why but felt I should post it here for future reference (though it has been on YouTube since July 28, 2010, and Roger Ebert tweeted about it almost immediately).

    Tanya Davis is a singer-songwriter and poet from Halifax, Nova Scotia. According to her website, she has been performing spoken word poetry since 2000. She published her first book At First, Lonely (a collection of poems) around this time last year. Though I’m a new fan, I find her work familiar, warm, and simply honest.

    The Expressive Web

    HTML5 is the fifth generation of the hypertext markup language standard that is at the core of the World Wide Web. HTML5 combines and improves upon the features of HTML4 (standardized in 1997 by the W3C), XHTML (a “reformulation” of HTML4 and XML), and the DOM Level 2 HTML specifications. And as of this writing, it is still considered under development even as XHTML2 is in the works.

    The mission (perhaps the spirit) of HTML5 is to serve as a unifying multimedia language for both humans and machines.

    The Expressive Web is an HTML5 and CSS3 resource from Adobe that showcases some of the newest and coolest features in use today. Features pushed to the bleeding edge on sites like The Hunger Games’ The Capitol Tour and Project Prometheus Training Center. The fact that this site comes from Adobe (the people who bring you Flash), reinforces the company’s commitment to embracing web standards.

    Both sites mentioned above were a little choppy under Safari and Chrome on my iMac running Lion but both sites also strongly urged the use of Internet Explorer 9 for the best performance (alas, not an option for Mac users). This is due largely to IE9′s support of Canvas which these sites make heavy use of (probably). Despite reports to the contrary, the interactivity is not quite on par with Flash but it is getting impressively close.

    Want to keep abreast of the latest in HTML5 news? I recommend following Mashable’s HTML5 channel. Of course, developers should also check out HTML5 Rocks and  HTML5 Boilerplate (to name two).

    At Mashable’s Christine Erickson’s behest, I installed Blackline app on my iPad, a new satirical magazine that was done entirely in HTML5 (I think entirely, maybe it’s mostly). Besides the edgy wit found throughout (which reminded me of National Lampoon when National Lampoon was funny), the Maya Angelou’s Ice-Box magnetic poetry was a hoot and a perfect example of interactive HTML5 (be sure to listen to the intro by Maya herself).

    Name notwithstanding (yes, understand the publishing term slush pile but it is just too easy to misread as Pubs Lush), Pubslush is Kickstarter (crowdfunding) for aspiring authors.

    Given the state of the publishing industry these days, venturing out into the world of the printed word can be daunting. There was a time not long ago when self-publishing wasn’t respectable (perhaps it still not by some) but the Web and Web-based companies like Amazon (along with technologies like the iPad, Kindle, and Nook) have changed things.

    On Pubslush, authors upload the best 10 pages and a summary of their book, plus a video, and members “support” the ones they like. Once a book reaches 1,000 supporters, Pubslush will edit, design, print, market, and distribute the book. In addition, authors are given tools to spread the word via social media as well as monitor their book’s activity. And for ever book sold a book is donated to kids in need around the world (part of Pubslush Press’s world-wide literacy initiative).

    So, instead of submitting a manuscript to individual publishers or hiring an agent, you can let the masses (your potential readers) decide if you have what it takes… even before you finish the book just to see if your idea is worth the effort (that’s how Piers Anthony does it).

    Is this the future of publishing? Could be. The idea certainly has legs and the timing seems right.

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