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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    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.

    The New Apple iPad (the Same but Better)

    Apple unveiled the new iPad today (available in stores on 3/14). You can pre-order now, pricing is $499 (16GB), $599 (32GB) and $699 (64GB). Or you can get an iPad2 at a $100 discount.

    This is not the iPad3. It is the new Apple iPad (Apple want’s to be perfectly clear about this).

    It is slightly thicker (from 8.8mm to 9.44mm) and heavier (from 1.33 lbs to 1.44 lbs) but the initial consensus from tech journalists is that this iPad is the same but better. The biggest wows are the 2048 x 1536 Retina Display (264 pixels per inch, bringing it on par with the iPhone 4s) and the 4G support.

    Jon Phillips of Wired was one of those tech journalists who got to spend 15 minutes with the new iPad:

    Very little during our hands-on demo provoked a moment of jaw-dropping awe. The best tablet of 2011 is now undoubtedly better — but for Apple, is this good enough? If anything, we’ve been spoiled by the performance and finesse of Apple’s existing products. We’ve become inured to the company’s unique charms.

    At first glance, the new iPad exudes familiarity — and not just because most of its features were telegraphed via leaks and rumors during the last four months. The new slate’s physical design is nearly identical to that of the iPad 2, and nothing about its Appley comportment screams, “I’m an entirely new tablet!” The home button remains intact, and all but one physical dimension remains the same.

    It’s only when you hold the new iPad in your hands — and then turn on its screen — that you begin to notice two key differences.

    Read the rest of Jon’s first impression here.

    Pinterest, Latest Social Media Darlin’

    Just when you were getting used to organizing your Circles on Google+ a new kid hits the block: Pinterest. This nubile social media site describes itself as a “virtual pinboard” designed to bridge the gap between your real life and your online one. But you can think of it as a sexy blend of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

    In just six months Pinterest has skyrocketed to 11 million strong, making it the latest social media darlin’ on the Web. And it would seem investors are as infatuated as the early adopters, pinning $37 million on the 8-person start-up. For sure, Pinterest is easy to use and easy on the eyes. I’m certainly more eager to go out on a date than I was when my cousin set me up with Tumblr (but that was in ancient times when computers had vacuum tubes, powered by mice in steel wheels).

    Alas, I guess I’ll have to add yet another social icon to this blog.

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    Facebook Timeline for Brands Arrive

    As expected, Facebook officially rolled out the Timeline feature for brand pages yesterday at their Facebook Marketing Conference. There will be plenty of blogging over the next few weeks as companies flesh out their histories online. With the ability to go back 100 years, that’s a whole lot of fleshing. Some brands already fleshed out include Ford, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and Old Spice. Check them out for inspiration for your own brand and then head over to Mashable for Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide.

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    The Web is Full of Talented People

    While ferreting out every Ben Folds song I could find on the Web (circa 2008), I discovered yet another amazing talent in the form of Julia Nunes who did this cover of “Gone” while playing the ukulele (yes, that’s right, the ukulele). Over the years I’ve tuned into her YouTube channel (Jaaaaaaa) to hear as much about her “ride” as her music. You see, Julia Nunes is a force of nature. If her music doesn’t get you then her goofy, exuberant personality and infectious smile most certainly will.

    Julia has been singing and writing songs since she was 14 and has been publishing videos on YouTube since 2006 where she has amass a large, dedicated fanbase. Including Ben Folds, who upon seeing her videos, asked her to open at four of his shows. She has since performed with many other artists (e.g. Weezer, Ben Kweller, The Bacon Brothers), produced three albums under her own label Rude Butler Records, and most recently appeared on Conan (her television debut) to perform her latest single “Stay Awake” (below).

    On June 11th, 2011, Julia launched a Kickstarter page to raise $15,000 for her fourth album Settle Down (due out today). Within 24 hours she had nearly $19,000 and by the time it was over, she had raised $77,888 from 1,685 pledges. As a result, she spent more time in the studio, hired more musicians, and produced several higher quality videos. The three video vignettes below show off her range from playful to sultry.

    You can get her latest album here. Last month, Evan Schlansky on American Songwriter did this interview with Julia Nunes. Worth the read.