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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    Billions and Billions

    On October 31, 2011, the 7th billionth person was born (give or take six months according to United Nations demographer Gerhard Heilig). It seems like it was just 1999 when we were a mere 6 billion.

    Arriving amidst global recessions, this news may sound a bit scary (apropos for Halloween) but it doesn’t have to be. Hint: It is not about the volume. Watch this video by National Geographic and when you’re done check out the United Nations Population Fund’s 7 Billion Actions for inspiration from individuals and organizations around the world.

    Happy Halloween 2011

    Anytime you’re looking for inspiration, the immensely talented artists that inhabit deviantART never fail to deliver. This piece is called Samantha and the Anatomy of Halloween by Grelin Machin from Montreal.

    Happy Halloween!

    Supply Chain Advocates

    Launched new WordPress CMS website for Supply Chain Advocates, a consultancy that helps match small and mid-sized businesses with supply chain experts in a wide-range of industries.

    Forward This!

    As if spam wasn’t enough, every Tom, Dick, and Grandma seems hellbent of polluting your inbox with tired hoaxes, lame jokes, and celebrity chain letters.

    Well, the godfather of music parodies “Weird Al” Yankovic has composed a suitable anthem in the Gothic style of Jim Steinman (think Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell). Now you can forward this to all them Toms, Dicks, and Grandmas the next time you get a video email of a cat playing keyboard.

    “Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me” is the final track of Weird Al’s latest album Alpocalypse. The video by Koos Dekker is made up of the lyrics in kinetic typography. Enjoy!

    Cool Tool of the Month: Onswipe

    I was actually going to post Onswipe as a Cool Tool back in June but found the start-up was still experiencing some growing pains. Nevertheless, I was optimistic that the good folks at Onswipe (namely co-founders Jason Baptiste Andres Barreto) would grow up fast. And they did, culling $6 million in VC funding for trailblazing.

    Onswipe bills itself as a magazine-style publishing and advertising platform for tablet devices. They have some big name publishers like Ziff Davis, Slate, and Marie Claire. Nice. But the idea I really like is Onswipe makes it “insanely easy” to convert ordinary WordPress blogs into a slick touch-screen friendly e-zines. They do this with open-souce PHP and NodeJS with a MongoDB database on the back-end and HTML5/CSS3 (and their own JavaScript framework called SwipeCore) on the front-end.

    It is pretty simple to get started: create an account, select a layout, and pick a custom URL like touch.virtual-arts.com. You can have Onswipe auto-detect the user’s device and redirect to this URL but you will have to update the primary domain DNS settings with a CNAME record (call your domain registrar to help you with this step). The application also lets you specify a Google Analytics ID for tracking site usage.

    Overall a nice first step in the right direction if you don’t mind relinquishing some design. Clearly the greater advantage is to ad-driven sites with lots of content. I’ve yet to delve that deep into the publication end and suspect there are some limitations but the convenience of delivering content to touch-screen devices without the hassle of redesigning your site is compelling (at least for the short-term). Something to keep an eye on.