"It’s really the government of the United States protecting an outdated, monopolist business model"

MegaUpload founder Kim dotcom’s first interview was just released on a New Zealand TV Channel. I had based my previous opinion of Kim on what I had heard and read about him, but after watching this I think he seems like a clever guy who’s done little wrong. The first version of this video was removed shortly after being posted to Dailymotion (by the DMCA aparently), so I found another version and downloaded it just in case.

My first thought was “Where can I host this that it won’t get removed”, and MegaUpload was the only place that immediately sprang to mind. Maybe thats saying something, but another interesting quote from the interview was that the authorities and record labels had direct delete access to MegaUpload servers, and that they had never brought a claim against Dotcom before. Will be interesting to see where this one goes.

(Source: twitter.com)

Clear is a new to-do app for the iPhone that’s garnered quite a bit of hype recently due to a nicely produced demo video (shown above) of a very unique and sleek UI.

It has just hit the app store at the “introductory sale price” of €0.79, and while I can justify paying this for the app, considering I pay 10x to commute to and from work every day, the question still remains as to whether or not I will continue to use it after the initial novelty period has worn off. I’m doubtful to say the least.

I’m a huge fan of keeping aesthetics as simple and neat as possible, and I do love the UI and touch gestures, but there’s a sweet spot at which functionality meets design, and I think Clear leans too far towards the latter. Maybe added features in future versions will change my mind.

That being said, the feeling amongst the community is that Clear’s UI and UX may cause current app developers to rethink the way they’ve been designing. I’m not sure I share The Next Web’s view that it will Change the way we use our devices forever , but I’m interested to see where it goes.

I recently finished a portfolio site for a good friend and talented photographer - Claire Burge.

Design wise, Claire wanted the site kept as simple and clean as possible, and my job was made a lot easier by the quality of the photography.

Built using rails 3.1, it features an activeadmin powered control panel, which allows Claire to log in to her control panel and add her pictures to the site with ease.

The site uses no flash, which is unusual for a photography site of this nature, but a combination of custom coded jquery for the slideshow and ajax menu links give it that effect.

Head to www.claireburgephotography.com to see it in action.

I also revamped Claire’s blog, which can be seen at http://www.claireburge.com

Resources used in this project were:

Ruby on rails 3.1
Paperclip - with Amazon S3: image processing and hosting
Active Admin

(Source: tonyennis)

What do you do if you’re a single founder, you haven’t launched and you can’t seem to motivate yourself to code right now?

I came across the above question, which was originally posted on Quora, and it resonated with me big time, so I decided to give my thoughts. Click here to read it on Quora, or see below:

I know this feeling all too well. Being a single founder and working from home, you have no one to keep you motivated and no one to let down if you fail. It’s easy to give up or move on to the next project but realistically if you think there’s value in what you’re doing then why wouldn’t you continue.

I would highly recommend getting into some sort of collaborative working environment if possible. For me this was being accepted to a startup accelerator. Not only will they give you seed funding (to possibly employ people and lighten your workload), you’ll also have somewhere to work from and daily interaction with like-minded people. If you’re currently working alone it’s easy to underestimate how valuable this can be.

For now,

  1. Write down a list of things you need to do to get your product to a stage where you can launch it - the Minimal Viable Product. Be as granular as possible here, as another user said - “Minimize the scope as much as possible and think through the whole feature and whether it really needs to be done.” It should take at most 20 minutes. I use Wunderlist - http://www.wunderlist.com
  2. Set yourself a date to have everything finished by - For me, this was the week before our accelerator began. Take a few days break now, then take the items on your list day by day and attack the most difficult ones first. This may be difficult at first but as your workload gets easier and you get closer to your end date your motivation will increase hugely.
  3. Give yourself set hours to work and make a distinction between work time and down time. Stop seeing it as your hobby and start seeing it as your job, but one you enjoy. Remember if you were working for someone else you would be motivated by responsibility to them. Be responsible to yourself.
  4. While you’re working, stay productive. Follow your to-dos and mark them off as you complete them. Track how productive you’re being, stay away from Facebook and Twitter during ‘work’ time if you can, it’ll make it more enjoyable when you’re finished. Use RescueTime to track how much real work you’re doing - http://www.rescuetime.com

This may look daunting now, but I can guarantee you it will be worth it as you see your product progress toward being finished and ready for launch.