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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    This one is for the web developer. JSFiddle is a really convenient way to build, manage, and share your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code.

    Similar to JS Bin, JSFiddle allows you to test your “fiddle” across various browsers and devices using any number of existing frameworks such as jQuery, Dojo, and Prototype (waiting for them to include Bootstrap by Twitter which I just started tinkering with for an upcoming project).

    JSFiddle is a godsend for the development community, especially those that frequent sites like Stack Overflow. Now there is no excuse to clutter up the forums with “reams” of (faulty) code when asking for help troubleshooting a bug. Create a JSFiddle and provide a public link.

    JSFiddle lets you fine tune, save, and share multiple versions of your code.

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    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog TV Debut

    Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, the Web musical starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion and Felicia Day, made it’s television debut on the CW channel yesterday (in case you prefer to watch your entertainment with commercials). The creators and stars of the show live-tweeted during the broadcast, including Felicia Day (@FeliciaDay) and Nathan Fillion (@NathanFillion), Maurissa Tancharoen (@MoTancharoen), Jed Whedon (@JedWhedon), and Zack Whedon (@ZDubDub)

    Dr. Horrible

    Created by director Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngel and Firefly) during the 2007 WGA writer’s strike, I remember when Dr. Horrible first appeared online July of 2008 in three parts spread out in two day intervals (below is Joss’ hysterical announcement letter); I thought it was the perfect pitch of humor, music, and story wrapped up nicely in 42 minutes.  Others obviously agreed as it was the first original Web series to receive an Emmy.

    Though many cite Dr. Horrible as an example how low-budget Internet content doesn’t have to be poor in production quality or substance. True, but to be honest, not many indie houses have access to a lot on Universal Studios or a cadre of talent willing to work for free, not to mention the collective online fan-base ready to spread the word. Even with this, Joss Whedon still had to put up $200,000 of his own money, but according to Forbes, the series has since grossed over $2.5 millions from iTunes and DVD sales (back in 2009).

    Nevertheless, this was at a time when Web series were relatively new and it was nice to see Hollywood (even a fringe player like Joss Whedon) give credence to the medium. The series still inspires today.

    Dear Friends,

    At last the time has come to reveal to you our Master Plan. BEWARE! Those with weak hearts should log off lest they be terrified by the twisted genius of our schemes! Also pregnant women and the elderly should consider reading only certain sentences. Do not mix with other blogs. Do not operate heavy machinery while reading this blog. You must be this tall to read. ‘Kay?

    It is time for us to change the face of Show Business as we know it. You know the old adage, “It’s Show Business – not Show Friends”? Well now it’s Show Friends. We did that. To Show Business. To show Show Business we mean business. (Also, there are now other businesses like it.)

    ONE WEEK ONLY! AN INTERNET MINISERIES EVENT!

    “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” will be streamed, LIVE (that part’s not true), FREE (sadly, that part is) right on Drhorrible.com, in mid-July. Specifically:

    ACT ONE (Wheee!) will go up Tuesday July 15th.

    ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th.

    ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th.

    All acts will stay up until midnight Sunday July 20th. Then they will vanish into the night, like a phantom (but not THE Phantom – that’s still playing. Like, everywhere.)

    And now to answers a few Frequently (soon to be) Asked Questions:

    1) Why, Joss? Why? Why now, why free, why us? Once upon a time, all the writers in the forest got very mad with the Forest Kings and declared a work-stoppage. The forest creatures were all sad; the mushrooms did not dance, the elderberries gave no juice for the festival wines, and the Teamsters were kinda pissed. (They were very polite about it, though.) During this work-stoppage, many writers tried to form partnerships for outside funding to create new work that circumvented the Forest King system.

    Frustrated with the lack of movement on that front, I finally decided to do something very ambitious, very exciting, very mid-life-crisisy. Aided only by everyone I had worked with, was related to or had ever met, I single-handedly created this unique little epic. A supervillain musical, of which, as we all know, there are far too few.

    The idea was to make it on the fly, on the cheap – but to make it. To turn out a really thrilling, professionalish piece of entertainment specifically for the internet. To show how much could be done with very little. To show the world there is another way. To give the public (and in particular you guys) something for all your support and patience. And to make a lot of silly jokes. Actually, that sentence probably should have come first.

    2) What happens when it goes away? Does it go to a happy farm for always like Fluffy did when mommy was crying and the neighbor kept washing his fender?

    No, Dr horrible will live on. We intend to make it available for download soon after it’s published. This would be for a nominal fee, which we’re hoping people will embrace instead of getting all piratey. We have big dreams, people, and one of them is paying our crew.

    And somewhat later, we will put the complete short epic out on DVD – with the finest and bravest extras in all the land. We’ll go into greater detail about that at Comiccon, but we’re changing the face of Show Friendliness a second time with that crazy DVD.

    3) Joss, you are so kind, and generous, and your forehead is like, huge, like SCARY, like I think I can see Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint hanging off it… what can WE do to help this musical extravanganza?

    What you always do, peeps! What you’re already doing. Spread the word. Rock some banners, widgets, diggs… let people know who wouldn’t ordinarily know. It wouldn’t hurt if this really was an event. Good for the business, good for the community – communitIES: Hollywood, internet, artists around the world, comic-book fans, musical fans (and even the rather vocal community of people who hate both but will still dig on this). Proving we can turn Dr Horrible into a viable economic proposition as well as an awesome goof will only inspire more people to lay themselves out in the same way. It’s time for the dissemination of the artistic process. Create more for less. You are the ones that can make that happen.

    Wow. I had no idea how important you guys were. I’m a little afraid of you.

    4) Joss, do you ever answer a question simply or coherently?

    Shledzguohn?

    There’ll be more questions, and more long, long answers, but for now I’m just excited that we’re actually making this happen. We (and a lot of other people — gushing to commence soon) worked very hard on the show and we hope/think you guys will be pleased.

    Until July 15th , I remain, yours truly, -j, of the firm j, j, m & z.

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    For a quick and clean “online CSS sandbox” to test, share, and download your HTML and CSS code snippets, CSSDesk is the ticket.

    Created by Oregon-based Web and UI designer Josh Pyles of Pixelmatrix Design. While you’re visiting, check out Josh’s other “pet” projects PHP Fog (cloud platform for PHP apps) and Uniform (jQuery styled forms).

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    If you’ve been a fan of  mobile app startup Aviary then you already know that their popular Flash-based photo and audio tools, collectively called The Advanced Suite, have closed down (repost below of CEO and Co-Founder Avi Muchnick’s good-bye). From what I can gather, the company will focus serving up their photo editing SDK to third-party web and mobile app developers. Judging the from the outcry, the company should do the same with their audio editing tool Myna.

    As per this blog post from July, we have officially closed the advanced suite of Flash tools (previously located at advanced.aviary.com) in order to focus on our new company direction powering the photo experience in 3rd party apps. While we hoped that everyone would have taken the time to retrieve their files since our notice, we recognize that the message may not have been seen by everyone.

    Therefore, if you were not able to retrieve all of your files to date, please contact us at support@aviary.com from the email address associated with your account to help retrieve your files. Do this quickly. Please note that after September 30th, 2012, we cannot guarantee that your files will still be available for us to retrieve.

    While the tools will remain offline, we may continue to explore new homes in whole or in part, for specific elements of the suite. If interested in discussing, please contact us at partners@aviary.com with the subject line “Interested in Advanced Suite.”

    I would like to make a few recommendations for alternate tools to try:

    • Advanced Photo Editing (layer based) – GIMP
    • Vector Editing – Inkscape
    • Image Markup – Skitch
    • Audio Editing & Music Creation – GarageBand or Audacity
    • Node-based image editing (like Peacock) – watch this blog for more information…

    I have a number of thank yous to make, but I’ll leave out names because there are so many and I don’t want to risk leaving anyone out:

    Thank you to the Aviary staff who worked on the advanced suite, some still with the team and some not. You are some of the most ridiculously talented people I have ever met and I can honestly say you have set the professional bar higher for me for having gotten the opportunity to work with you.

    Thank you to our wonderful moderation volunteers – our Aviators are amazing people who brought out the creativity in thousands of people, expecting nothing in return. I’ll miss reading the Bird Bath newsletter.

    Thank you to those of you who wrote tutorials, especially those of you who wrote and published 2 books on the advanced suite.  How cool was it to go into a Barnes & Noble, and see it in print!

    Thank you to the dozens of press outlets who covered the advanced suite. The tools would have gotten nowhere without you.

    Thank you to those of you who gave awards to the advanced suite. We have the trophies adorning our coffee table in the office and we’ll never forget the excitement when we won them.

    Thank you to our investors, who helped us turn an idea into a reality and continue to back our vision of democratizing creativity in our current direction.

    Thank you to our advisers who gave us guidance along the way in shaping the advanced suite.

    Thank you to my co-founders, who made the advanced suite their driving mission in life while we worked on it.

    Thank you to our families, who selflessly continue to put up with our long hours. Welcome to the 3 babies who joined our families while we worked on the advanced suite.

    And most importantly, thank you to the millions of users who gave the advanced suite a try, especially those of you who made it your primary form of editing tools and for whom I know today represents a real loss.

    I love all of you and hope we can continue making creative expression accessible for everyone in the world, going forward.

    Best, Avi Muchnick

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    eBay’s Minimalist Logo Redesign

     

    It is hard to believe it but eBay is turning 17.

    To help celebrate, the company is introducing a new logo design.

    A minimalist design… simple Univers Extended font type and fast-food color scheme (popular with companies in the 90s), not a radical departure but better than the old one. Settle down there e-b-a-y and act your age.

    The new logo will roll out to the website and advertising in October but eBay has produced a niffy one page website using HTML5 (clever parallax scrolling effect).

    Now if they did something about their main website. Ugh.

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