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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    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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    Cool Tool of the Month: Fuelly

    Track your car’s MPG history and compare it to others using Fuelly and Fuelly Mobile. The brainchild of Matt Haughey and Paul Bausch, Fuelly is a simple, easy-to-use (and free) social network designed to help save you money on gas mileage.

    Cool Tool of the Month: Screenr

    Screenr is a clever little web-based application by Articulate (the e-learning software people) that makes it incredibly easy to create instant screencasts. The process of capturing your screen and voice is effortless. If your computer has a mic, you can create a screencast of anything with a click of a button.

    You will need to install Java (one-time but it takes up to 5 minutes). Screenr plays back in hi-def when published and integrates with a number of existing collaboration systems like ZenDesk, SalesForce, and FogBugz. There is even an API.

    It is free to try for 15 days (no credit card required) then you’ll need to decide on one of four monthly plans, ranging from $19/mo (private use with up to 250 screencasts), $49/mo (standard and up to 1,000 screencasts), $99/mo (premium and 2,500 screencasts), and $289/mo (enterprise and 7,500 screencasts).

    Cool Tool of the Month: Pixlr

    Pixlr is a free online photo sharing and editing tool from Autodesk (the folks that bring you AutoCAD and Maya). Actually, it was acquired by Autodesk last July for an undisclosed amount.

    Pixlr is really a suite of Web-based tools that include Pixlr EditorPixlr-O-Matic, the screen-grabber browser extensions Pixlr Grabber, and the photo sharer All designed to empower the non-professional to create, edit, and share images via social networks such as Facebook and Flickr. For Autodesk’s part, the company expands the image formats you can import/export, including formats with layers.

    With Picnik moving under Google+ next month, now is as good of a time as any to check out Pixlr.

    Flippin’ Your Ipsum

    To show a client what their website (brochure, postcard, book design, etc.) might look like with content, designers use placeholder dummy text. Most likely that dummy text is lorem ipsum, seemingly random strings of Latin text that looks something like this…

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Morbi a nibh nunc. Sed lacinia urna et ante consequat ultrices. Suspendisse faucibus elementum erat. Suspendisse tempor convallis nisi, eget porta lectus congue sed. Nunc in enim magna, vitae ultricies metus. Aliquam malesuada enim at massa sagittis porttitor. Sed a tortor diam. Proin tortor quam, consectetur eu venenatis eu, sollicitudin eu tortor.

    It was crafted to simulate size and spacing of English sentences so lorem ipsum is neither random nor truly Latin but it can get kind of boring.

    To help break the monotony, here are some of my favorite alternative lorem ipsum generators:

    Got an ipsum of your own? Do share.