Chris McClelland tweeted about a wonderful tool called Fake Name Generator. When testing sites that contain user based info I always like to have real names in the fields, it just makes the site look more real that “TestUser_23423”.The real drag is creating that data, until now…..Fake Name Generator will create all the user data you need in a variety of output types (including sql) and then email it to you. You can create up to 50,000 names via their tool if you want to define your types of users. If you just want users you can download their 1,000,000 users dump. Perfect.
After watching the CNBC interview with Jack Dorsey and his demo of Square for the iPhone. Well I have a couple of concerns. In theory I love it but we are essentially at the start of the adoption curve, chasm, call it what you will. The demo looks pretty slick except for one vital bit of information. The signature.In the demo we see the interviewer sign her transaction for $3.00. All well and good until you picture this senario. I have Square on my iPhone and I find a purse on the floor, pick it up and swipe any cards I find. I actually have to have the authority signing, just a signature of some form (X marks the spot will do). The SMS/Email receipt will go to the signing authority but the transaction has been authorised (in my eyes). There’s no verification of the three digit security code so it won’t fly in the UK until that’s resolved. Finally is there a limit on the upper amount of a transaction, the website suggests “$0 to $60 in under 10 seconds” but that’s no definitive answer.Also, where are the scan details stored? Externally over SSL or on a SQLite database? I can envisage Square hacks coming out to query any saved data on card info.Like I said at Barcamp Derry in October. Paypal was not originally designed as a web payment system, it was to prove the concept of one shot cryptography between two Palm Pilots. It never made it as a Palm Pilot system for the simple reason that no one was prepared to use it. As much as I love the concept I can’t see it flying as the wave of public concern will be too great.I’ll keep an eye on this one.
I personally believe the that tipping point of social networking is upon us. The fad of pushing our every whim, thought and party puking picture (always a hit with interview employers) is slowly coming to an end. It’s easy to pick on Facebook as it’s one of the largest providers. The 350 million user claim, while impressive, doesn’t hit the real detail of those users. Are they active? Is it just registrations? All the while these numbers are bandied about by marketers and social media “experts” (where were you in 2002?)Ultimately these social networks aren’t social at all, in their human nature sense. They are just a series of connections. The quality of that connection is always questionable. It’s easy to get 500 friends on Facebook but it’s always on one level. Linkedin got it right from the start, the acquaintance linkage worked a treat. If I wanted to connect to Bob but had could only do so via Sue and Ted then I had to state my case to them. If they agreed then the connection was made.Me -> Ted -> Sue -> BobThe day Linkedin pretty much dropped this feature is the day that Linkedin died for me. I do still use it, don’t get me wrong. The very heart of it’s core was lost.True social networking is connected via the acquaintance. I only xyz from my knowing abc, not everyone has a true direct connection to everyone else.
The last few weeks have been manic but soooo good.First of all working for a new client. Secondly startup is coming on well for a full launch in the new year. Thirdly, another Belfast Telegraph article due for publication on Tuesday.I never knew that 19 hour days could be so fun. 🙂