Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

USPTO Won't Accept Upside Down Faxes

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the left-handed-reading-glasses dept.

Government 427

bizwriter writes "This may seem like a joke, but it's not. The US Patent and Trademark Office will not accept patent filings faxed in if they arrive upside down. That's right, the home of innovation of the federal government is incapable of rotating an incoming fax file, whether electronically or on paper."

cancel ×

427 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Idea (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021444)

Just send every single tax filing both ways. The right one gets filed, and wrong one gets rejected. Twice the work for the government.

Re:Idea (1)

boneglorious (718907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021476)

And then finally they'll get the bright idea to implement software that recognizes whether it's upside down and only print out the ones that are right-side up!

Re:Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021508)

What if they are left-side up?

Re:Idea (5, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021526)

And then finally they'll get the bright idea to implement software that recognizes whether it's upside down and only print out the ones that are right-side up!

They can't implement that software because a method for doing that has already been patented [freepatentsonline.com] !

Re:Idea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021770)

What if............. they ask the patent holder to issue a patent license.............. You know, the process that is half the point of the USPTO.............. That might work...................

Re:Idea (-1, Flamebait)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021990)

Parent has a point; why is GP being modded up?

Re:Idea (5, Funny)

acoustix (123925) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021522)

Just send every single tax filing both ways. The right one gets filed, and wrong one gets rejected. Twice the work for the government.

I'm not sure why you would want to send your tax papers to the US Patent Office.

Re:Idea (5, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021776)

I'm not sure why you would want to send your tax papers to the US Patent Office.

Because some of my deductions are patently, umm, creative.

Re:Idea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021940)

my kingdom for a mod point

my kingdom for a fucking mod point.

Re:Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021878)

Because maybe they can patent a method for me to read better next time.

Re:Idea (4, Funny)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021880)

I'm not sure why you would want to send your tax papers to the US Patent Office.

Three times the work!

My Personal War: (5, Funny)

boneglorious (718907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021450)

I practice civil disobedience by sneaking into the patent office and quickly rotating the faxes upside down...

Re:My Personal War: (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021524)

While you're there, flush all the toilets at the same time. It'll put the entire patent office in a state of higgldy-piggldy (*).

(*) "higgldy-piggldy" means "a big mess"

  - Milo

Re:My Personal War: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021810)

you're an idiot.

If only... (4, Funny)

daha (1699052) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021454)

If only there were some unique invention they could license that was capable of such a process as rotating a piece of paper or an electronic image... Excuse me, I feel an urgent need to contact a patent attorney.

And when you do (2, Funny)

twisteddk (201366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021482)

Remember to also send the email to him right side up.....

Re:If only... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021496)

I thought this was already invented and called the "Intern", but wasn't patentable due to prior art in the form of slaves and indentured servants?

Re:If only... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021728)

don't forget "gopher" [blogspot.com]

How can they read them anyway? (-1, Flamebait)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021462)

With their heads jammed so far up their asses?

Too bad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021488)

I just subitted a patent for inverted reading glasses.

candy? (5, Funny)

MentlFlos (7345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021490)

When they buy a bag of M&Ms do they throw away all the W, E and 3s too?

Re:candy? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021614)

lol - Sadly, it took me a little while to get it.
I can't mod you up... so I'll spam you up :)

Re:candy? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021824)

When they buy a bag of M&Ms do they throw away all the W, E and 3s too?

Why was that moded 'Funny'?

The other day, I went to Home Depot and bought nails. I get home, open the box, and what do I see?! Over half - HALF- of the fucking nails have the points on the wrong end!

Inconceivable!

Re:candy? (5, Funny)

Obd1Kenobe (1565371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021932)

I hope you didn't throw them away, those are for use on the other side of the boards

Re:candy? (1)

DevConcepts (1194347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021934)

Can't mod up and it's a good thing I have a kbd condom

So if I "black fax" them, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021494)

be sure to put the black page right side up.

Re:So if I "black fax" them, (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021964)

Brilliant.

I bet you printed that page just to fax it to them too.

New application (0, Troll)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021502)

That explains it. I had submitted a process patent describing "the use of the 'rotate image' key as it relates to images that are the result of translation from a Facsimile transmission". I thought it was unique and innovative since no one uses FAX any more, but it was rejected. Similarly, my "application of human digits to vertically reorient sheets of paper that come out of a Facsimile machine in an undesired orientation" was also rejected.

My transmission must have been routed via Australia.

They Would Simply Rotate Them 180 Degrees ... (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021506)

... but unfortunately they granted a patent on that in 1987 and don't have the money for the absurd licensing fee the patent holder is asking. Unfortunately the "novel" method patented covers both clockwise and counterclockwise but they're currently looking into rotating them 179 degrees, making the document slightly slanted but avoiding royalties.

Re:They Would Simply Rotate Them 180 Degrees ... (1)

boneglorious (718907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021538)

Sweet, because I noticed that vertical filing cabinets had been patented, so I just submitted a patent for filing cabinets that stand at a 179 degree angle to the horizontal. Now I'm waiting for orders from the government to roll in...at $50,000 per cabinet.

Re:They Would Simply Rotate Them 180 Degrees ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021822)

OK, maybe I am missing this - but horizontal is the floor right? So you would want 89 degrees to the horizontal, right?

Re:They Would Simply Rotate Them 180 Degrees ... (1)

boneglorious (718907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021894)

I know! That's why I'm so sure it hasn't already been patented!

Re:They Would Simply Rotate Them 180 Degrees ... (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021962)

So you would want 89 degrees to the horizontal?

Only for vertical files. For flat files, you need a cabinet about 180 degrees to the horizontal.

use two reflections (1)

cohomology (111648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31022010)

They can avoid the patent. Rotating through 180 degrees is the same as two reflections, across (any) two perpendicular lines.

Re:They Would Simply Rotate Them 180 Degrees ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021804)

Haha, they could have just rotated the upside down papers 270 degrees, twice.

Family Guy (1, Funny)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021512)

Albert Einstein: And what is it you want to patent, Herr Smith?
Smith: I call it "Smith's Theory of Relativity."
Albert Einstein: Hey, look at this.
Smith: What?
*SMASH SMASH SMASH*
*scribbles out Smith for Einstein*
Albert Einstein: heh heh heh

Re:Family Guy (2, Funny)

Cathoderoytube (1088737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021714)

It's just like reading newspaper comics to other people. None of the effect and none of the humor.

"Y'see in this next panel Garfield is asleep, it's funny because Garfield is lazy and it's typical of his behavior. Now in the next panel he opens one eye and he says 'Mondays'. Which as you recall from last week when I read this comic to you, Garfield expressed his disdain for that particular day of the week. Interesting side note, the name 'Monday' actually comes from 'Moon Day'. Perhaps Garfield used to have some involvement in the space program. SO anyway..."

Re:Family Guy (1)

Wolvenhaven (1521217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021792)

However, for anyone who saw the sketch that I'm referring to, they can remember it in the original presentation and the effect is still there. It's just a memory trigger, it would have been much more descriptive and detailed if it was meant to be a presentation in itself.

Re:Family Guy (2, Funny)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021802)

You will never convince me that there's anything approaching humour in a Garfield comic.

Upside-down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021518)

I fax all my patents upside down, and I've never had one turned down!

How can I get a mail room job there. (1)

TomTraynor (82129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021528)

I would just 'love' to work there now. Check each fax and for anything that is software turn the pages upside down and watch the fun.

Re:How can I get a mail room job there. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021846)

+(X) good idea.

(X) is as close as I can get to rendering the infinity symbol in a normal character set.

A possible explanation: (5, Insightful)

Mashdar (876825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021530)

My guess is that they don't print them any more, and it was a PITA to turn your entire monitor upside down!

professionals (0)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021546)

Do you really want to award a patent to someone that files so many patents that they cannot take the time to send a form right side up? Furthermore, what does it say about the person who files the patent. It is not really that hard to do. I can imagine the patents we are talking about. A patent for a electronic machine to beep when spurious user input is detected. I would say let's make this even more difficult and require a hand written cover sheet.

Then there is the cost. Someone has to correct these mistakes. Sure they are mostly funded by patent fees, but they also have a budget of 2 billion dollars, any deficit covered by the taxpayers.

Re:professionals (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021648)

Yes, because you know exactly which side someone at the patent office is going to pick up the papers from.

Re:professionals (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021836)

The faxes are received electronically so the same side is always up. There is no reason that we should be wasting tax payer dollars for someone to go through the electronic files and rotate every other page, every page, or any other combination of idiocy. If you can't fax a document, then you don't deserve a patent.

Re:professionals (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021780)

This isn't the patent office insisting on professionalism, it is the patent office insisting on bureaucratic nonsense.

That's because... (3, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021552)

...turning the page over would breach US Patent #65535 "Method and process for static image manipulation by manual substrate reorientation" and probably also the nototiously over-broad US Patents #55378008 "Process for Bi-manual gluteous maximus location" and #45056 "Method for organising mass inebriation events at a beverage fermentation facility".

They do have to follow their own rules, you know...

Call the whambulance! (1, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021556)

I'm supposed to feel outrage because a government office wants to save our tax money by requiring people (lawyers) too stupid to use a fax machine to correct their own mistakes?

Re:Call the whambulance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021672)

>>31021556
>I'm supposed to feel outrage because a government office wants to save our tax money by requiring people (lawyers) too stupid to use a fax machine to correct their own mistakes?
>I'm supposed to feel outrage because a government office wants to save our tax money by requiring people (lawyers)
>a government office wants to save our tax money by requiring people (lawyers)
>a government office wants to save our tax money
>people (lawyers)

So many subtle errors.

Re:Call the whambulance! (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021678)

When your tax money is being used to pay for the phone call / ISP fees / time of the staff involved in informing the sender of the issue instead of rotating a piece of paper 180 degrees in their hand, yes.

Yes I do.

Re:Call the whambulance! (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021884)

My guess is they aren't processing them on paper but have some computer system that takes the incoming faxes and for beuracratic reasons they can't get said computer system fixed.

Re:Call the whambulance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021712)

How much money do you think it takes to turn a peice of paper around when you pick it up from the Fax machine? Do you really think this would involve some kind of expensive machinery to accomplish?

Re:Call the whambulance! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021726)

I'm supposed to feel outrage because a government office wants to save our tax money by requiring people (lawyers) too stupid to use a fax machine to correct their own mistakes?

How is this saving our tax money?

Option 1:
  - Find the form letter that says the original FAX was sent upside down (call that 30 seconds if it happens a lot).
  - Fill out the details of the recipient and get the recipient's FAX number (1-2 minutes).
  - FAX out a copy to the recipient (1 minute).
  - Fill out the rejection paperwork (assuming a few minutes).
  - Eventually receive the replacement document.
  - File paperwork.

Option 2:
  - Hit fucking "page rotate". Twice if it's only capable of 90 degrees at a time. On a DOS-based 286SX with 4MB RAM and FAXManager, that used to take me about 5 seconds per keypress, so I expect whatever the USPTO is running might be a tad faster. If not, they are looking at ten seconds, tops.
  - File paperwork.

If this is true (and I hope to [insert deity here] that this is just a joke), the government office is not saving tax money, they are wasting it. They are wasting several minutes of their time, and phone charges to send the replacement FAX out. Assuming it's all electronic, they are also wasting storage space to store the image of the rejected application and the audit trail including the image of their return FAX. Assuming it's paper, they are wasting paper and filing space.

Re:Call the whambulance! (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021900)

While I totally agree with your point, I wonder if maybe they aren't operating under some ridiculous rule that says something like "original submissions must not be modified" and they are unable to use the rotate function because it modifies the document (many systems just do the rotate and save automatically without asking; others will ask if you want to save). I'm just trying to figure out some reason why a person or group of people in that office would come up with something so ludicrous as to NOT just hit rotate. There must be some silly rule that needs to be changed before they can use rotate.

Re:Call the whambulance! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021876)

No. You're supposed to use your brain (some chance) to see that it would be simpler for the patent office to rotate the fax (one click is all it takes) than to throw the thing in the bin and either, inform the sender of the action, or worse, not inform them leaving them to work out for themselves why there has been no reply.

You might lighten up and dig out your sense of humour too. Miserable git.

This really should be filedd undeer "idle.. (4, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021568)

I just can't see any insightful or interesting comments coming from this, much less the story itself.

And I don't mean that in any sort of disrespectful way. This just seems more suited to the "idle" section for its absurdity.

Not for the "idle" section at all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31022000)

No, it's important that people know about this. Maybe then they'll finally understand the rampant stupidity and outright waste that is so prevalent throughout the entire government. You can't truly understand its magnitude if you haven't experienced it first-hand, or at least heard of policies like this.

Imagine if this happened in the private sector. The manager who came up with the policy would be laughed at, and then promptly fired.

In all seriousness... (4, Funny)

boneglorious (718907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021574)

But wait, if you send it upside down, won't it arrive blank?

Re:In all seriousness... (1, Funny)

Selivanow (82869) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021758)

I actually think that is what the form letter is referring to. If more people on /. used their brains, well, it wouldn't be ./

This attitude is becoming standard (1)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021576)

Because the USPTO has all the power, they can decide on anything to cut down on the number of applicants.

The same thing is also happening in the job market with all the power in the hands of employers.

Well now (2, Interesting)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021590)

It all depends on the definition of upside down. Back in the day it meant
the white side of the paper was oriented against the scanning device. All
pages were blank. Your mileage may vary.

Cost of rotating faxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021598)

Maybe they can search through their patent datab^H^H^H^H^H files and find an innovation or two that might work more efficiently than faxes, but of course then they'd have to pay the licensing fees. Maybe they've issued a patent on rotating faxes 180 degrees, and don't want to pay.

Post ideas here. (2, Interesting)

Kludge (13653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021604)

I work at a federal regulatory agency which is having the same issue. They were asking IT/tech/computer people if there was a solution around. Nobody knew of any software that auto rotates images based on text. Anybody? Reply here.

Re:Post ideas here. (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021668)

It's called "convert the file to a PDF" and "hit Ctrl+R and OK" twice.

Re:Post ideas here. (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021696)

Excuse me, it may be "Ctrl+Shift+R". Regardless, it should be a task even a federal bureaucrat can handle without a million dollar study on the project.

Re:Post ideas here. (1)

boneglorious (718907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021708)

Yeah, and it's even easier on a mac, shift-cmd-+ * 2. The files can be converted automatically to a pdf either upon incoming or in a batch. So the first person that looks at it can with two swift and decisive motions, turn it over. The only reason it would need to be automated is if the the initial processing steps are also automated, but I rather doubt that.

Re:Post ideas here. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021814)

its even EASIER on a mac... all I do is press this one giant button on my macbook wheel!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA

Re:Post ideas here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021720)

Easy. It's only annoying to rotate the document if you have to do it every time the document is opened. So solution would be:
-application is opened for the first time on screen
-crap it's upside down.
-press "filed upside down" button.
-the info is saved so the next time the application is opened, the document is shown
upside up.
-fire any clerk that thinks pressing the button to turn upside down document filled upright is hilarious.

Re:Post ideas here. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021724)

Irfanview can rotate image files in batch mode.

Re:Post ideas here. (4, Informative)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021790)

I work at a federal regulatory agency which is having the same issue. They were asking IT/tech/computer people if there was a solution around. Nobody knew of any software that auto rotates images based on text. Anybody? Reply here.

Run gocr on the document (run 1), rotate it 180 degrees and run gocr on that (run 2).

If (no of dictionary words(run 2) > no of dictionary words(run 1)) {
        doc = rotated doc;
}

Re:Post ideas here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021828)

I work at a federal regulatory agency which is having the same issue. They were asking IT/tech/computer people if there was a solution around. Nobody knew of any software that auto rotates images based on text. Anybody? Reply here.

I believe tesseract can do that; however Adobe Acrobat (full version) does this very well with PDF's

Anybody else have any suggestions -- it's been a few years since I had anything to do with document proc

umop apisdn (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021832)

Note the lack of reading comprehension in the replies here so far.

To automatically detect that the document is upside down might also create false positives: documents that are right side up being flagged as being upside down.


The title of this comment, "umop apisdn", is upside down. How many people caught that vs how many thought that it was gibberish?

Re:Post ideas here. (2, Informative)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021856)

Here is a Free software that rotates Jpg files. http://annystudio.com/software/jpeglosslessrotator/ [annystudio.com] You can write a batch script to rotate the images. Hope this helps.

Re:Post ideas here. (2, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021868)

Is rotating the images manually based on text so much view?
In irfanview: [r][r][s][enter]
Or are your clerks too stupid to recognize rotated text and need software to recognize it for them?

Re:Post ideas here. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021908)

read the top 10 lines, if header exist, run OCR, if it doesn't recognize, rotate. If no fax header consider it SPAM and grant no patent.

Re:Post ideas here. (3, Insightful)

Tisha_AH (600987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021986)

A few years ago I worked for a CLEC (phone company) and we received ASR's (service requests) from other phone companies by FAX. It was all electronic documents that were automatically converted by OCR into a standard format.

On occasion we would get an ASR that was sent in upside down (top to bottom) and the OCR program could not cope with it. As we were only dealing with a few dozen of these a day it was easy to rotate the image as they were all stored in PDF format.

The patent office deals with hundreds or thousands of applications a day, some percentage come in by FAX. I imagine that either they do not want to spend the staff hours to rotate documents for storage or reading or this is a holdover from the bureaucratic, arcane ways of the patent process.

If you have ever filed a patent (successfully) you are aware that there are some weird requirements for formatting.

simple reason. (4, Insightful)

will_die (586523) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021610)

Since they have a form letter for this it is more then just turing the paper around. So just applying technical thinking I can think of three quick reasons.
1) The don't print them out and instead file them electronicly. OCR software would have problems with documents that have some parts upside down.
2) They apply some additional printing, barcode, date, etc that is used when storing the documents. Having info upside down would cause the info to be in the wrong place when human start handling it since they would want it in a readable order.
3) Pages are printed on both sides, same basic problems as 2.

Overall a none story unless FAX is the only way they accept the paperwork and in that case it is a matter of WTF are they still using faxes for.

Re:simple reason. (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021904)

So if the OCR step fails, rotate the image and retry the OCR. If it fails again it was unreadable, so you'd need to manually intervene anyway.

Upside down or 180degrees? (4, Interesting)

fiddlesticks (457600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021618)

Reading the FA, it could be that the faxer sent the fax the wrong way up/ down - so the office received a blank fax.

This would seem a perfectly valid reason to reject the submission

Re:Upside down or 180degrees? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021670)

If they recieve blank pages, how would they know who sent it?

Re:Upside down or 180degrees? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021698)

fax machines record incoming number

Re:Upside down or 180degrees? (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021750)

Then wouldn't the reason be "we received a blank page"?

Re:Upside down or 180degrees? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021998)

One of the comments on the article site mentions this. It has been great fun trashing the government for idiocy, but you can't expect people to deal with a blank submission. Just another troll to get people fired up about how the government can't do anything right. They are even getting partially blamed for the Toyota gas pedal recall.

I see the game here... (1)

quadelirus (694946) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021624)

Rather than hire more staff to handle the increasing volume of patent applications the USPTO has decided to lower its volume by requiring that you send your fax right side up. If the volume starts to get back up to normal they'll simply turn their fax machines upside down and claim that everyone needs to stop sending upside down faxes.

It is good to know they cut costs down. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021658)

The standard charge against all government orgs, especially about the Post Office, is that they are staffed by morons who follow the rules and don't pay any attention to cost. They fly a charter plane 200 miles to deliver a single 43 cent first class letter.

I am glad in this instance they are paying attention to costs. Imagine how much it would cost to rotate the entire post office every time a fax comes in the wrong orientation and rotate it back when it comes in the correct orientation. Good for them they refuse to accept such upside down faxes.

Re:It is good to know they cut costs down. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021786)

I don't think I've ever seen a signature that is so perfectly apropos to the subject of the post before. :)

Cost cutting measures (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021682)

Govt is trying to save money due to budget shortfall. Here is the typical steps involved in collecting the fax that came through (Manual operation)
1. Person (Govt Employee) needs to get up from his chair
2. Walk towards the Fax machine
3. Collect the papers
4. Walk back towards his/her cubicle
5. Sit down

If people are sending fax upside down, the person has to perform an extra step of rotating the pages. By cutting that step, the govt is saving enormous amount of money. Also think about dealing with Govt Employee Union if they added this extra step

In a similar fashion (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021686)

next time you're at McDonalds (or whatever), while the person is filling your order, rotate the tray.

What I mean is, they'll probably put the burguer or soda first, then the fries, when there's only the first item in your tray, rotate it.

have fun

Upside down could mean wrong sheet face up (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021700)

Is it possible that the faxes were received face down so they were getting the back of the page? Just a thought...

Re:Upside down could mean wrong sheet face up (2, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021808)

How would they differentiate that from just receiving a blank page (or a transmission error, or their own machine running out of toner or ink if it's a paper FAX machine).

Wouldn't the correct reply simply be "we got a blank page, so there's nothing to file, please resend"?

Is it patented? no, seriously (3, Insightful)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021752)

Everyone's going to make this smart ass joke, but there's actually a serious question here.

The USPTO grants patents for utter nonsense. Then, to maintain credibility, they have to abide by the law saying that all those nonsense things are illegal for 20 years.

If someone during a board meeting pointed out that rotating electronically received data communications was patented, the board would be required to decide to stop doing that (or license the patent, but maybe they can't, or maybe the patent holder said no).

well, duh ! (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021778)

that's because rotating the image of a fax is patented and they can't afford the license !

That is not even funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021796)

My sister tried to refinance her house (she still sick and lost 50% of her income, so according to oBaMa she can refinance). She got a letter rejecting her application because according to them the ink was blue and it was too thick.

Hey the forgot to mention how many microns the ink must be (well is documented but is a secret)

Ciao

Fax? (1)

nashv (1479253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021830)

Am I the only one to ask why the office that is supposed to deal with new innovation is still using fax in the age of the internet?

Laurel and Hardy would Approve! (1)

steelyeyedmissileman (1657583) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021838)

Wow-- this reminds me of a great Laruel and Hardy sketch where Laurel throws half of his nails away because the head is on the wrong side. Oh, I know! They're not accepting the upside down ones because they must have been sent in from Australia!

what do you want to bet (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021862)

They have some kind of automated fax-to-OCR conversion and the OCR doesn't work well on upside-down docs.

Dibs on the patent for adding a converter that rotates the image and retries when the OCR fails.

Good first step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31021890)

Now if they only would start to reject all the other patent submissions as well

That's the trouble with them new-fangled doo-dads (1)

seniorcoder (586717) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021926)

Well gosh darn, I'm surprised they have started to use them fax machines. I reckon it's still OK for me to continue to send it my applications by using smoke signals ain't it? I'm wonderin' why the folks hereabouts didn't tell me they now use fax as I have just purchased one of them telex thingys.

Well I guess they use fax to promote the fact that they are the center of all innovation after all.

Perhaps I should submit a "rotator" device for a patent. You takes the piece of paper in one rotator on the end of your arm. Then, with the help of another rotator on the end of the other arm, you turns the piece of paper through 180 of them degrees. Hot dang I'm on a winner with this one! I hope I submit a patent first on this, but it's a chicken and egg thing. What if I submit it the wrong way round?

low Expectations (1)

codeAlDente (1643257) | more than 4 years ago | (#31021944)

A a recent job fair, the patent office recruiter picked his nose the whole time he was talking to me. And he was really digging in there really deep - not a Seinfeld-style scratch. Even for a good salary, I didn't even consider applying. I'm not surprised that the people who work there can't rotate a document.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>