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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    Siri: Is that a Rhetorical Question?

    Thank you Anna Baskin of Ad Age, when I first saw the new Samuel L. Jackson TV ad for Apple’s iPhone 4S, I had the very same reaction. The ad makes interaction with Siri seem very colloquial and so I immediately tried it… verbatim (these commercials were carefully scripted).

    Overall, Siri does an okay job as long as you are, well, less colloquial.

    If I say it like Mr. Jackson, “she” sort of gets it right but words like risotto and gazpacho confuse “her” (maybe it’s my accent). But if I say, “Find stores that sell organic mushrooms,” no problem.

    To the statement, “You can take the night off,” Siri has several responses (all valid) but on my third attempt, she did say “If you say so.”  Pretty cool. Nothing elitist about it. But Apple should do a commercial like that… it would really get the Web abuzz.

    Okay, Keenan Cahill’s lip-syncing videos are just a little freaky but that’s why so many people watch them… and there is no arguing with success. Over 50 million views of Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” (since August of 2010) has made BeenerKeeKee19952 not only an instant YouTube sensation but a hot viral commodity.

    Now with over 170 videos, the success is surreal.

    From the likes of Sean Kingston and 50 Cent to the casts of Glee and Nickelodeon’s Victorious, the teenager with MSP (a rare genetic disorder that affects physical and mental development) has stood next to more celebrities than Ryan Seacrest. He has even performed “Go NY Go” with Landry Fields and Andy Rautins of New York Knicks (along with the NY Knicks Cheerleaders).

    He has appeared on Chelsea Handler’s show Chelsea Lately, helped Jennifer Aniston go “viral” for Smartwater, and has his own Web series called Keenan’s Crush featuring the always sexy Jessica Uberuaga. And the endorsement deals keep rolling in… from Julianne Hough promoting her Footloose remake to Axe body spray to Me Undies (there is just nothing wrong with women dancing in their underwear).

    This is the power of the Web, unfettered, dreams can soar. Anyone can be a star. And if you’re an astute marketer paying attention to social media trends, get ready to hitch your wagon to the next Keenan Cahill and sit back (or should I say lean forward).

    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).

    To All the Ass-Hat Jocks…

    To celebrate the launch (4/2) of their new YouTube channel Geek & Sundry (itself a celebration of geek culture), the gang from The Guild made this new music video I’m the One That’s Cool written by Jed Whedon and Felicia Day.

    Oh, no. Don’t pretend I didn’t see
    You roll your eyes at my gaming tee
    Don’t know if you can read or if you’ve seen
    The sweet piece in this week’s Wired magazine
    The latest trend has hit its peak
    They say that geek’s becomin’ chic
    So now you’re out of style as you can be
    And I’m in vogue, so you can bite me

    To all the ass-hat jocks who beat me up in school
    Now I’m the one that’s cool
    I’m the one that’s cool
    To all the prom queen bitches thinking they still rule
    Now I’m the one that’s cool
    I’m the one that’s cool

    Try to cop my style but I’m the real thing
    While you played sports, I played Magic the Gathering
    See you pose a part of nerd society
    My Aquaman pajamas prove my pedigree
    Star Trek: Next Gen every night
    Wore a headgear to fix my overbite
    Your black-rimmed glasses are prescription free, where as me
    I literally can’t see my hand in front of my face

    To all the asshat jocks who beat me up in school
    Now I’m the one that’s cool
    I’m the one that’s cool
    To all the prom queen bitches thinking they still rule
    Now I’m the one that’s cool
    I’m the one that’s cool
    And to my eighth-grade crush who pushed me in the pool
    Now I’m the one that’s cool
    I’m the one that’s cool
    You may be tan and fit and rich but you’re a tool
    And I’m the one that’s cool
    I’m the one that’s cool

    Role reversal must be a total drag
    But there’s no point, no point for me to humblebrag
    I appreciate you for being cruel
    I’m burning bright thanks to your rejection fuel
    Got my in-jokes you won’t get
    Like Honey Badger, Troll Face and Nyan Cat
    So now your ballin’ parties seem so dumb
    You can Evite me, and I’ll say yes, but I won’t really come

    Got my comics
    Got my games
    All the things you thought were lame
    Got my cosplay
    Fanfic too
    Got you pegged
    STFU You

    This is a the third installment of music videos from The Guild, following Game On! and Do You Want to Date My Avatar.

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    Google Play in Play

    Move over iTunes, Google Play has arrived, keeping all your apps, movies, music, and books on the cloud where they belong. Now you can save precious storage space and play (watch and read) any where, any time, on any device. Well, sort of any device, for iPhone or iPad you’re going to need a native iOS app (e.g. gMusic) but I imagine we will see more native iOS support soon.

    Google announced earlier this month the new cloud-based service that consolidates Google Movies, Google Music, Google eBookstore, and the Android Market under one entertainment hub (Play even gets its own spot on the Google menu bar).

    This is a big step forward in Google’s effort to dispel user concerns that offerings are too fragmented. Yes, indeed, they are fragmented, but the company has a plan to bring tighter integration via its social network Google+ while, at the same time, cutting deals with content prividers like Paramount.

    On a related front, Google is waiving its $25 setup fee (from 3/27 through 4/3) to encourage musicians to set up a store page and sell their music on the Google Play Artist Hub. No annual fee and artist get to keep 70% of what they make, paid monthly.