An idea has no value until it is realised.

Gareth at Hunky Doray writes about ‘ideas and implementation‘:

There was an article a while ago about the value of ideas. And when I say value, the article basically said that ideas are worthless. An idea has no value until it is realised. This is no Platonic ideal we’re living in. Only the concrete has value. There is no need for me to reiterate, but this is a blog, what else is it for? If you have an idea, get your head down and realise it. If you can’t do it, find someone who can. Just get the idea from you head and into a code editor window. Then get it out there. Don’t write about it. Don’t spend time thinking too much about it. Don’t ever think you’re the only person who has thought of it.

Gareth, just write your app and get it out there. If there’s already an app that does the same it proves two things.

  1. There’s a market there.
  2. You can do it better.

I say the first thing because if there’s no product in that space then there’s usually a reason. Granted, we’re in the early days of the App Store so there will be some first timers but if someone else has done the product it shows there’s a recognised need.

I say the latter because you have the advantage of seeing what’s wrong and what’s right with their implementation. Take the plunge.

25K Awards

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the NISP CONNECT 25K Awards.

The overall winner of the awards was Affyon Networks, a company which produces a chip which performs Deep Packet Inspection at wire speed in order to eliminate SPAM and Viruses at the router. End users don’t need to worry about this stuff – it’s aimed at Intel, Cisco and similar companies. I do wonder, however, how it works when email traffic is SSL encrypted. At the moment not everyone uses SSL for email but nearly all good ISPs support it (which says a lot if your ISP doesn’t support it).

Other notables included the solar-powered water purifiers from Clean Tech Global and the Disability Heroes, devised by Kyle Boyd – the latter of which was one of the “Digital Media” category entries and therefore has particular interest to me.

Infurious plans to help Kyle promote Disability Heroes by getting his content onto the iPhone using the Infurious Comic Reader application as well as getting him talking to similar organisations and help him secure funding for bringing his ideas to the next level. It’s my intention to bring this in to also cover not just physical disabilities.

BT and The Cloud part company

The Register writes about todays announcement:

“It’s disappointing for BT Openzone customers that they will no longer be able to benefit from the convenience of our hotspots – we are disappointed that BT could not reach acceptable commercial terms, though we are certain everyone will understand that our service partners, O2, Orange, AT&T, iPass and many others are happy to do business with The Cloud.”

The thing is, selling WiFi like this was never going to be a good business model. For my money I’d rather back community focussed efforts like FON or support grassroots efforts which will pull apart the dependency on third parties selling WiFi for more than pennies an hour.

We can’t consider muni-Wifi in Northern Ireland because public-funded money should not be used to compete against private companies (except in cases where the privately owned service proposition is really bad) but that’s not to say there shouldn’t be alternatives out there.

I’ve got my hands full at the moment with Digital Circle, Infurious and the other things on my plate. I’ll have to return to UKWifi.net at a later date. There’s more shakeouts to happen as 3G dongles take a bite out of commercial WiFi, mark my words.

EyeCandy “Masked Marshall” on the App Store.

So, guys, it’s out. You can buy EyeCandy #1, The Masked Marshall in “Mah Pony Must be Punished” straight from the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch.

We’ve also bagged one video review from Sakura as well as a detailed review from her Dad.

So what’s in the package. It’s an 8 page comic with a bit of humour and great style. It’s also eight pages of colouring-in book with an etch-a-sketch style erase. You can take screenshots of the Comic and print them out for later colouring with pens/crayons. You can peel away the colours and inks with a simple swipe-down so that anyone interested in learning to draw can quickly copy the pencils there and get a neat tutorial in how to draw. Plus there’s a “toy” in the Extras section which shows the pony with googly eyes and makes up to 4 different neighing sounds when shaken. You can see all of this demo’ed on the Infurious web site and you can take it from me, it involves kids like no other game. It’s educational and, best of all, fun!

All this for 59p (or $0.99). We’d really like to hear what people think, what they’d prefer and whether they’d like to see something specific on the store.

And there’s more. It’s going to be monthly at first and we’ve got some top notch artists and writers who are producing content for the platform already so keep your eyes peeled!

TweetSupper

Through a flurry of tweets today, @dressjunkie has organised a Tweetsupper for 10 people for this Saturday night. We have the two of us (@cimota, @dressjunkie) and @theronster, @karenquinn, @goblin and his wife, @goodonpaper and a friend and @pauljholden and his wife.

This is especially relevant considering that an ex-colleague of mine described Twitter as a place for sad geeks to hide behind iApps. Yeah, he’s right. But so fucking what?

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday night.

Android.

The G1 (aka HTC Dream) is out and there’s a lot about it. The Dream is a sleek competitor to the iPhone weighing only 20% more and being only 30% thicker. The shape of the phone makes typing on the physical keys a little awkward but you’ll soon learn new muscle memory to get around that.

The G1 also only comes with a 1 GB memory card so once bought you’re going to have to supplement it’s internal memory with a different card. It supports up to 8 GB cards so you’ll not be plagued with trying to fill a 16 GB phone like you are with the high end iPhone.

In terms of software, you can download some apps from Google’s Android Market which is an analogue to Apple’s App Store though you can be assured that it won’t have the same annoying constraints that have kept the App Store free of low utility apps. At the moment, due to the e-commerce section being unavailable, the applications downloaded will be free but we’re assured this will change in the near future. This is useful because the music player is very basic and there’s no built-in video player so replacements for these apps make the Android Market necessary rather than a nice addition.

Similarly the web browser and photos applications are much more basic than their iPhone comparison but we’re not to consider the 18 months notice that Google had on “how to build a cool mobile phone OS” as wasted.

Android also eschews common proprietary email systems such as Exchange in favour of promoting Google’s own Gmail, Calendar and Contacts services so you’ll be saved from having to configure non-Google services on this device at least until someone else develops a mail program for the operating system.

Like the iPhone, the G1 doesn’t record video or have a complete bluetooth stack which means less features or need for accessories.

Where others, like Walt Mossberg, might consider the G1 to be “less polished and complete than the iPhone“, Gizmodo considers the interface to be “a bit dated and mixed“.

That’s gotta be good, right?

P.S. It does copy/paste.

silliness, laughter and fun

Stephen Fry writes:

Nintendo understands that while play does involve competition, territoriality and rehearsal for war, it also involves silliness, laughter and fun.

I adore silliness, laughter and fun. Maybe it comes with being a parent or maybe with marrying a woman who adores it also but I love that we laugh, we joke and we get along like kids.

Fry’s essay is an exposition on why the Wii continues to outsell the XBox and Playstation despite both of them being vastly more capable and powerful. And this, like the recent surge in gaming handheld interest via the iPhone (and Apple’s repositioning of the iPod touch as a gaming handheld) is why casual gaming is making some people rich and lowering the bar for independent developers.

Saturday morning as I handed out MURDERDROME T-shirts, I spoke to Jonathan Temples of EO Creative. Jonathan made a bit of a splash a few years ago doing graphics work for CodeMasters.

Looking forwards to today and we have Northern Ireland games companies springing up out of the woodwork – like Blue Pilot Software, Craic Design and a couple of others (who I’ll tell you more about if they give me a release to do so) and for more ‘serious’ gaming, Dark Water Studios up in the far north. I’m absolutely sure that this is the tip of the iceberg with regards to development here in Northern Ireland.

The province has a long and chequered history of being in the forefront of media creation and, to a degree, digital content and it’s satisfying to see that return.

Digital Island Meetup: Wednesday 7:30 pm: TenSquare, Belfast

Tomorrow night brings us the Digital Island Meetup (née TechLudd) where a heap of interested techophiles will descend on Ten Square in Belfast around 7:30 pm and spend the evening talking about subjects like social technology, open source, raising venture capital, web 2.0 and, of course, digital content.

If you’re remotely interested in the subjects listed on the link above, then get yourself registered to attend. It’s free, it’s in Belfast (not far from the train stations and main bus routes) and it’s going to have a lot of people talking about interesting things to each other. There’s also still some spaces for the Open Demo slots.

I’ll be there to talk about the Digital Circle and also to chat about iPhone app development especially with regard to the Infurious Comic Reader application. Pop along and say Hi!

Android release today. TIME fairy tales.

Proving that TIME Magazine subscribes to the same dose of “stupid and misinformed” that so many other online publications have a direct tap into, Anita Hamilton exposes her ignorance with regards to the iPhone and Google’s Android offerings in a hilariously titled piece “Google’s Dream, Apple’s Nightmare?” – a play on the news that the first phone offering Android as an operating system is going to be the HTC Dream.

The sweetest part of the Dream is the Android Market — Google’s answer to the Apple App Store. Whereas many Apple apps cost money (typically anywhere from $0.99 to $9.99), at launch all Android Market apps will be free.

Sorry, Anita, but that’s completely wrong. The Market will be a “market” – there will be some apps that are free but some that will cost money. It’s not about free as in price, but freedom as in the ability to put any app you want on there – which has good points and bad points but I’m sure the more astute of you can guess what they are. Helpfully, Anita fleshes this out.

While Apple takes a top-down approach to app development — the company must approve every program that makes it into its App Store — Google will allow creators to upload any application to the Android Market without its review. Sure that means some duds will make it in…

Oh my god. When you see the crap that Apple has permitted into the store (never mind their in explicable removal of some applications which have some real utility or merit), then thinking that the App Store won’t be quickly filled with poorly audited, untested crap which will infest your phone is the wet dream of a naive would-be technology writer. This democratising approach will mean the Android Market will look more like Sourceforge than the App Store – filled with half-baked approaches to applications.

The big announcement is officially today. Won’t it be exciting?