Quick and always available FPO Images

When creating LOTS of websites, it is often not nearly as seamless a handoff as the project plan would hope for. Often times developers need to use For Placement Only (FPO) images to complete the build before the actual creative assets are finalized and approved. These are images that are meant only to hold open a space in designs and be obvious about it.

A risk that developer run into is that if they are missing an image (say a picture of a product in an ecommerce store), they will often just re-use the same images so that something shows up. The risk here is that if the images are similar, it becomes very easy to overlook details and believe that the developer has all the assets they need when they are actually missing some.

FPOImg has a great solve for this. It allows developers to put in FPO images without actually needing the creative asset files. Just drop the URL in as the source, adjust the dimensions (WxH) and voila! An instant, custom sized FPO image. This makes much easier to spot missing creative assets during internal reviews while providing developers the assets the exact size they need.



As an example, you can even add custom text to the FPO image!


The only thing to note here is that this tool should only be used for content images and not for design element images. It’s great to have FPO products all over a catalog while they are still being shot. It is a bad idea to have FPO images for the UI design elements as those are usually structural in nature and changing those may have an impact on the code.

– Randall Noval


Facebook Private Messages are appearing on your Timeline!

Well, not quite. From the looks of it, the whole story is a bit more complicated and serves as a nice illustration of the short-term memory of consumers and how that plays with unvalidated assumptions. Be aware when you change user experiences that people will have made up reasons (that may or may not be true) to explain particular application behaviors. When an old assumption that was not correct is illuminated as such, and there is no pre-emptive information sharing about it, people will be confused and upset.

Update: Facebook Confirms No Private Messages Appearing On Timeline. They’re Old Wall Posts.

Facebook also says in no uncertain terms that there is absolutely no privacy bug. What people are seeing are old Wall postings, not private messages. A spokesperson told Constine:

“Every report we’ve seen, we’ve gone back and checked. We haven’t seen one report that’s been confirmed [of a private message being exposed]. A lot of the confusion is because before 2009 there were no likes and no comments on wall posts. People went back and forth with wall posts instead of having a conversation [in the comments of single wall post.]“

Facebook privacy scare illuminates the evolution of online conversation

Facebook users worldwide today are claiming that private messages sent in 2008 and 2009 are now publicly viewable on their Timeline profile pages. A news story about the issue was first posted by Metro France, and was afterward picked up by sites like The Next Web and TechCrunch.

Facebook said to The Verge:

“A small number of users raised concerns after what they mistakenly believed to be private messages appeared on their Timeline. Our engineers investigated these reports and found that the messages were older wall posts that had always been visible on the users’ profile pages. Facebook is satisfied that there has been no breach of user privacy.”

– Randall Noval

QR Codes in NYC

I recently saw two very interesting developments on the QR code front, both great uses of the technology. First, the Dept. of Buildings is adding QR codes to the permits to let people look up lots of additional information about that construction site. Second, the NYC Council just passed a bill to require restaurants to post QR codes to pull up info like their letter grades issued by the Dept. of Health.

QR Codes Unlocking Secrets of NYC Building Permits




… New Yorkers will be able to scan the QR code of any construction permit and instantly learn details about the ongoing project – including the approved scope of work, identities of the property owner and job applicant, other approved projects associated with the permit, the complaints and violations related to the location and user will have the ability to click a link that will initiate a phone call to 311 to make a complaint…

Includes a sample QR code that takes you here: http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobDetailsMobiServlet?requestid=0&passjobnumber=104921514

New York City Council passes bill to require restaurants to post ‘quick response’ codes so smartphone users can instantly pull up info about business


Sample QR Code URL: http://council.nyc.gov/html/home/cafelayers.html

New York is going to start putting QR codes on city permits


Starting next fall, the data from some city agencies can be accessed with QR codes posted on the permits. Here is what you would find if you scanned those tags:

Construction sites: Scanning a building permit QR code would give the details of the permit as well as any complaints and violations issued against the project.

Restaurants: In addition to the letter grade, the webpage would give the number of times the eatery has been inspected, all the details about past violations.

Day Care Centers: The Department of Health currently lists all the day care centers it certifies on its website. There, parents can find information on violations as well as inspections.

– Randall Noval

Real-time Facebook cover photo

From Zaraguza Digital, they automatically upload a snapshot from an office webcam every time a user visits their page. While automatically updating the FB Cover Photo is supported by the FB API, this may be an involved process to setup all the parts. It’s an interesting concept and though it’s not possible to animate the cover photo, having it automatically update or respond to external events could be interesting.

World’s First Real Time Facebook Cover Image


Zaraguza are claiming to have created the world’s first real time Facebook cover image, which updates at what looks like every minute or so, by posting a new image into a Facebook album which is sucked into the Cover image automatically, and is refreshed when new people hit the page or click the refresh button. Kinda cool, I suspect this will start trending. What do you think?

VIDEO – Real Time Facebook Cover – Zaraguza Digital – BIG

In Zaraguza Digital we experimented a bit. Namely with Facebook cover photo feature and a webcam. After a few tweaks, our regular Facebook cover became a real-time Facebook cover. Zaraguza live cover was launched on July 30th 2012.

NOTE: A cover is the large photo at the top of your timeline right above your profile picture. Facebook found out that people have a better experience viewing yout timeline when they see a cover that is as unique as you are. So now, you can see us, LIVE 🙂

– Randall Noval