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!

Color Laser Printers Tracking Everything You Print

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-present-day dept.

Privacy 795

It's not new, but it's getting noticed: Jordan writes "Yahoo! News is reporting that several printer manufacturers are now and have been for some time embedding (nearly) invisible serial numbers in every document you print with their color laser printers, allowing law enforcement to track any such document back to the printer which printed it. The technology, ostensibly created to track down money counterfeiters, was created by Xerox about 20 years ago. A Xerox researcher says that the number-embedding chip lies 'way in the machine, right near the laser' and that 'standard mischief won't get you around it.'"

cancel ×

795 comments

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

But (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893051)

Can they track first posts?

Those rat b--- (0)

BlackMagi (605036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893056)

That just has to break some kind of privacy law ... just has to! fp?

Re:Those rat b--- (1)

coachvince (760294) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893071)

Yet another reason to hold onto old tech- I've got an Apple StyleWriter 1200 just a few feet form me, hooked up to a working PowerBook 540c, with PhotShop, etc.

Re:Those rat b--- (1)

BlackMagi (605036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893104)

I wonder how this deals with issues of international law. I can actually see a kind of usefulness when proving copyright etc which might go beyond simple fascism, and be genuinely useful. It would be nice if it were optional though!

Re:Those rat b--- (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893111)

"That just has to break some kind of privacy law"

What makes you think we still have such archaic things as privacy laws anymore? Dont you know that if you have a private life the terrorists win?

Re:Those rat b--- (2, Interesting)

powerspike (729889) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893122)

not realy, your the one who keeps that infomation, they only way (we'll you'd hope) they'd get there hands on that serial if you done something with the document that was "legaly challanged" =) but this does remind me of the story a few years ago about the printer manafactors having to recall there green inks because it was the same color as dollar bills.

Re:Those rat b--- (5, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893176)

Here's a worse one:

Did you know that every time you touch something, you leave an invisible mark that's unique to you and can be used to track where you've been?

It's a privacy nightmare.

Re:Those rat b--- (0)

Reducer2001 (197985) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893246)

Um, gloves?

Re:Those rat b--- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893198)

is this mean i can no longer cut the letters out from the print out to send them to the ex-girl friend?

Re:Those rat b--- (4, Funny)

BlackMagi (605036) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893261)

All your prints are belong to us

Countermeasures? (5, Interesting)

fdiv(1,0) (68151) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893058)

Anyone know any methods of getting around this short of physically ripping apart the printer and soldering a few wires together?

Re:Countermeasures? (2, Interesting)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893078)

why- do you want to counterfeit cash?

my suggestion? find another same model printer that does this, then DUPLICATE PRECISELY these yellow dots in your final image... two sets, should--- well, supply reasonable doubt at least...

Re:Countermeasures? (4, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893155)

Maybe he just wants to print anonymous, is that a crime nowdays?

Re:Countermeasures? (4, Interesting)

mgv (198488) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893250)

my suggestion? find another same model printer that does this, then DUPLICATE PRECISELY these yellow dots in your final image... two sets, should--- well, supply reasonable doubt at least...


Thinking about it, adding in a speckled yellow pattern as part of your printing algorithm would work - it would just take a little knowledge of what they print.

Does anyone know if the pattern gets printed even on white space? Printing a "blank" page should reveal the pattern and allow a suitable overlay that would stuff up the recognition algorithms.

Michael

yeah (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893139)

print in black and white.

Re:Countermeasures? (5, Funny)

Zen (8377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893175)

Just disconnect the yellow. Who needs all three (or four in some cases) colors anyway?

Re:Countermeasures? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893203)

Steal your printer. Run the page through multiple printers. Encode fake serial numbers in the page along with the real ones.

Re:Countermeasures? (2, Informative)

fireduck (197000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893204)

tinfoil hat time: go to a different city, buy your printer with cash and never send in the warranty card. since it'll never be registered under your name; any documents you print, at best can be traced back to the original store.

Re:Countermeasures? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893245)

I think you mean "at worst" (not "at best"), unless you're a Secret Service agent. : )

Re:Countermeasures? (2, Insightful)

ccharles (799761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893216)

I suspect that if this technology has actually been around for 20 years, it has gotten good enough to be nearly impossible to bypass.

Think about it: if counterfeiters wanted to pay some less-than-moral geek to fix this, wouldn't they be doing it already?

And (to the tinfoil hat club), why is this so bad?

Re:Countermeasures? (4, Insightful)

Phillup (317168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893220)

One word: Kinkos

Two more words: Pay cash

Re:Countermeasures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893257)

Yeah, rewrite your printer drivers to insert randomly spaced yellow dots in every page you print. Wash out the serial number in random noise.

I was right! (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893064)

This is why I always print my ransom letters using an old daisy wheel printer.

That's not a daisy wheel printer (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893170)

It's Microsoft Word. There was no printer available in 1972 that could have printed those....

Oh, sorry. Wrong discussion.

Re:I was right! (2, Funny)

colinemckay (610522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893253)

So that's why I keep running out of yellow ink!

That is loco (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893066)

Me need taxo from Texas!

Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893070)

People try and print money with regular laser printers? WTF?

But can it track slashdot dupes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893074)

Maybe if each story were printed as hardcopy in color?

It's the new model... (3, Funny)

LilMikey (615759) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893077)

Get dazzling colors, the blackest blacks, and the highest resolution from your new HP Ashcroft.

fascists! (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893079)

fascists!

Just another reason... (5, Interesting)

MrDyrden (833392) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893085)

To be lazy and NOT send in your product registration card!

I mean, seriously. How else would they know who bought it and how to get a name from that serial number? I guess maybe if the store kept your credit card info on file or something and associated it with the serial number, but how often would that happen?

Lesson learned, if you want to print hundreds of forged checks or counterfeit bills, pay for the printer in cash!

Re:Just another reason... (2, Informative)

Hott of the World (537284) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893148)

Right.. However, the Serial number will tell the feds right where the printer was sold, then they check the cash register computer to find out exactly when it was sold.

After a quick check of the surveillance camera's, they've got your face (or the person who bought it, if its you) and are coming to raid your house.

They don't keep those tapes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893231)

The total amount of data being fed from all the surveillance cameras around is completely unstorable right now. It's just too vast. They keep the tapes for a certain period, then wipe the ones they don't know to have evidence on them.

Re:Just another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893252)

You give law enforcement far too much credit.

Assuming the store you bought it at hadn't already recorded over the security tape (which happens more than you would think) it would still be rather difficult for the police to find you with just your face (for large cities at least, obviously a small town situation would be different)

Re:Just another reason... (5, Funny)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893164)

Lesson learned, if you want to print hundreds of forged checks or counterfeit bills, pay for the printer in cash!

But not cash that you printed yourself on a printer that wasn't paid for with cash you didn't print yourself. Or something.

Re:Just another reason... (1)

angst_ridden_hipster (23104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893200)

No, no, no!

Cash that you printed yourself on a printer that someone else paid for in whatever way they felt like it.

Just don't let 'em know you're using their printer.

Or something.

Re:Just another reason... (4, Insightful)

bunyip (17018) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893179)

To be lazy and NOT send in your product registration card!

I mean, seriously. How else would they know who bought it and how to get a name from that serial number? I guess maybe if the store kept your credit card info on file or something and associated it with the serial number, but how often would that happen?

Lesson learned, if you want to print hundreds of forged checks or counterfeit bills, pay for the printer in cash!



Actually, if you're going to do anything illegal, cash is king. Just print some up and, well, ....

Anyway, police officer friend of mine once who said that if you're going to do something illegal, do it big, do it once and don't tell anybody.

That "once" part of it is key, you could print up a bunch of cash one afternoon, enough to pay for the next printer (with cash, of course), then dispose of the printer.

Greed will get you in the end.

Alan.

Re:Just another reason... (1)

Zen (8377) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893205)

Fry's associates actual serial numbers with customers (they're listed on the receipts). But I dunno if they do that with all their products, or just the easy to walk off ones (harddrives in particular are done this way). Can any employee verify?

Re:Just another reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893219)

I noticed that on the last high-dollar purchase I made the retail store (best buy) scanned the serial number of the product. (It was on a barcode on the outside of the box.) I would recommend buying it in cash at a store far away from where you live. That way the trail will dead-end at the store. I don't imagine most stores keep their surveilance tapes for longer then a week or so.

Re:Just another reason... (2, Interesting)

over_exposed (623791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893233)

I think the reasoning behind this isn't necessarily that they need you to register the product (but they'd still love you to I'm sure). All this really does is give the police something to compare against when they do a raid on a suspected counterfeiting location.They bust your door down and check the forged bills printed serial number against the serial number your printer embeds in every image. If it matches, say goodbye to your anal virginity and ability to vote for the rest of your life (if you're an American). If it doesn't match, you get a half-assed apology, a really messy apartment and splinters in your carpet in the entry way for weeks.

Although... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893087)

"A Xerox researcher says that the number-embedding chip lies 'way in the machine, right near the laser' and that 'standard mischief won't get you around it.'"

Although I hear not buying a Xerox printer will.

Color Laser? (0)

Luigi30 (656867) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893088)

I use a Canon Bubblejet, you insensitive clod!

Re:Color Laser? (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893152)

I very much doubt my nice old BJ-10ex does this.

Privacy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893091)

Surely this is a huge infringment on my privacy, if i want to send an "Anonymous" letter to someone, for whatever reason, i don't then want somebody else, even with legitimate access to the serial number listings, to be able to track it back to me.

Who didn't know this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893096)

Printer manufacturers have been doing this for a long time.

Epson inkjet printers, for example, supposedly embed serial codes using droplets of yellow ink in black regions. The serial numbers can't be seen by the human eye, but they apparently can be detected somehow.

And all this time I thought I wanted one... (1)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893099)

and just as they were getting cheap enough. Okay, you talked me out of buying a $500+ machine. I'll just stick with my years-old inkie.

Engadget (3, Informative)

Linuxthess (529239) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893100)

Well I'm glad someone else here is reading Engadget [engadget.com] and followed the subsequent link to the PC World [pcworld.com] article [pcworld.com] .

Um, But Engadget Pays Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893240)

Just like Roland Piquepaille does.

What, you didn't know?

Here, read this...

Journalistic Standards in Web News Sites: Are They Adequate?

"...Additionally, there is a valid concern about ego-based censorship at Slashdot. Generally, Rob, Jeff, and most of the other editors are above this sort of thing. Allegations of it crop up from time to time, though, especially in connection with editor Michael Sims, who has been accused of misusing his administrative powers to down-moderate even high-scoring comments to -1 if he didn't like them. Even away from Slashdot, he attracts allegations of misconduct. One recent striking example is Seth Finkelstein's article on the apparent death of the censorware.org site, which Mr. Finkelstein attributes directly to Mr. Sims' out-of-control ego. (Read the article for yourself for details.) This particular example has nothing to do with Slashdot, but it bears on Slashdot to the extent that we may wonder about the integrity of a site that allows such a person on its editorial staff..."

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2001/3/5/44551/245 22

I'm sorry dave, im afraid i cant do that (1)

Breity (611411) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893107)

While we have known about this for a long time, this dosent diminish the fact that I for one dont care! i use a color dot matrix for my counterfiting ;)

LEXMARK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893109)

OMG LEXMARK...

omg (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893110)

frist psot

Easy to bypass (sort of) (0, Flamebait)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893116)

The quality of inkjet printers is actually better than that of lasers. And if you want to commit some dastardly deed, go to your local office outlet or electronics superstore. Pay cash (well under $100), and dispose of the printer in a dumpster in a different part of town when done. Easy!

not quite (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893194)

go to your local "procurer" and get one that fell off the back of a truck. go to a store and they might remem your face or have cameras. Oh, and dont forget to wear your tinfoil hat while you're buying and using the printer :-P

Is it 1998? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893117)

Didn't everyone already know this? It's not like it's a big secret.

This is news from at least 5 years ago.

Re:Is it 1998? (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893161)

Links, please.

I have heard of retrictions in scanners, but I have not heard of this before.

The next thing will be to put serial numbers in manure to make tracking a fertilizer bomb easier... Oh. Never mind...

Re:Is it 1998? (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893258)

Just don't use your own fecal matter and you'll be fine.

Sketchy (0, Offtopic)

comwiz56 (447651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893119)

This is very sketchy in privacy laws, but it probably doesn't violate anything. Also, it sounds like the printer companies are volunteering the information to the authorities.

Any known way to easily disable this? (Or is it only known by the main-stream counterfeiters, and they don't want to share, for fear of it getting made harded to do?)

Countermeasure (1)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893120)

Well now I guess I'll have to go back to making my counterfeit 20's on my kid's magna-doodle.

How effective is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893121)

How hard would this be to get around? If you knew where it was on the paper, wouldn't white-out kill it?

Re:How effective is this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893188)

I somehow think that applying whiteout isn't an acceptable way around the problem for the types of task that this technology is an issue!

"Yeah, it's a hundred dollar bill!"
"What's with the massive amount of tippex on it?" :S

And then what? (3, Interesting)

OpenSourced (323149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893129)

You find some counterfeits, you track the printer, and then what? It's been sold over the counter somewhere to who-knows-whom. That's just a publicity stunt to avoid being ever held responsible for anything done with their printers.

Re:And then what? (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893180)

Well, I remember stories from the first Gulf war claiming laser printers sold to Iraq were capable of emitting some sort of a trackable frequency with which to pinpoint their location.

There are laser printers, then there are currency-grade laser printers. I would be curious whether the secret tracking feature includes some sort of a GIS component.

M

CSI (5, Funny)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893131)

And as we all know very well, CSI has a machine that will read the code and bring up a 3d map with your current location, a recent photo of you, and a list of every cash purchase you've made in the last six months.

Well of course.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893260)

That's just the non-classified access to the DHS computer network. You should see what classified access will bring up.

In the old Soviet Union (4, Interesting)

pherris (314792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893137)

The early photocopiers in the USSR had a state issued serial number eched on the glass so copies could tracked to that machine and possible the user(s). And the tracking wasn't about counterfeiting either.

It seems they were ahead of the US by 30+ years. Another sign of a dying empire.

Re:In the old Soviet Union (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893224)

Dude, finally an on-topic Soviet Russia post, and you wasted it!

In Soviet Russia, printers track you.

odd (5, Funny)

name773 (696972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893138)

The technology... was created by Xerox about 20 years ago.
It was 1984 twenty years ago.

Re:odd (1)

sepluv (641107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893178)

As well as seeing the irony in *that* year, I also find it slightly ironic that /. are now readily admitting in their stories that their stories are 20 years old.

I've known about this for years--not 20 years--but then I wasn't even born then.

Re:odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893208)

Now I'm scared...

Re:odd (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893213)

And?

It never said that a computer was a requirement. Copiers could do this with very limited processing power even in the 1980s

Re:odd (2, Insightful)

John Pliskin (769478) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893215)

At least I'm not the only one who noticed.

John Galt where the hell are you?
$

Re:odd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893236)

I am a XEROX employee and am already in hiding

I did not post this.

I am not here.

aha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893140)

this doesn't surprise me. michael moore is right. our government watches everything we do. praise allah.

FEAR (1)

Commander Trollco (791924) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893142)

"According to experts, several printer companies quietly encode the serial number and the manufacturing code of their color laser printers and color copiers on every document those machines produce. Governments, including the United States, already use the hidden markings to track counterfeiters."

Wow. Anyone else thinking about the massive potential for abuse? I don't mean my NGO criminals, I mean by law enforcement

That was a close one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893144)

I just used real bills to buy my new counterfitting laser printer. My slashdot addiction saved me, for once!

all your posts to this are being monitored (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893150)

All your negative posts about this are being monitored. Even you AC's are being tracked by
hidden technology embedded in that subversive
browser Mozilla.

Ah, those brave reporters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893160)

Yahoo! News is reporting....

I admire those brave and relentless reporters that Yahoo hires. They are always usually the first with the news and manage to cover the events in some podunk countries of this world.

We can turn this to our advantage... (4, Funny)

LegendOfLink (574790) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893162)

...by printing tons of encoded, "dots", so when police read them, they will read, "All Your Base Are Belong to Us!"

The Geek revolution has begun.

Re:We can turn this to our advantage... (1)

nek (534149) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893211)

That's a GREAT idea! Someone write a Photoshop plugin which scatters the same dots randomly across the print so the true serial number is obfuscated....

Re:We can turn this to our advantage... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893234)

Actually this has mileage... just upload fonts (assuming these are postscript printers) that have little yellow dots scattered around them. It'll scramble the data so much as to be useless.

"Standard Mischief" (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893163)

Does that include a Louisville Slugger?

Re:"Standard Mischief" (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893195)

That reminds me of a scene from Office Space [imdb.com] ... "I stole something..."

Standard Mischief (2, Interesting)

softspokenrevolution (644206) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893167)

Ha, they don't know who they're dealing with if they think that they only need to protect their devices against standard mischief.

An easy way to circumvent this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893169)

is to remove the need to have color laser printers encode this is by putting RFID chips in all denominations of currency.

Then we'd just need tin foi hats for our wallets.

Re:An easy way to circumvent this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893209)

and hope that you don't walk through any shop door alarms when you go to buy the tinfoil to coat your wallet in.

Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893182)

Honestly, who is that surprised by this?

warranty registration card (1)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893183)

It's fine until they link the printer serial number to a actual person...

I guess I shouldn't have printed out a copy of the warranty registration card to send in.

Software control (1)

hey (83763) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893185)

I wonder if the "security" dots are placed under software control. If so, it can be hacked.

yay! (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893191)

time for some non-standard mischief! To hell with ISO mischief!

I believe that... (1)

Kjuib (584451) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893196)

"standard mischief" ends when you turn 12.
After that it is deliquency. Then it is called being rich...

standard mischief? (1)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893199)

...and that 'standard mischief won't get you around it.

OK, let me break out my de-soldering iron.

They never learn. . . (4, Interesting)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893214)

A Xerox researcher says that the number-embedding chip lies 'way in the machine, right near the laser' and that 'standard mischief won't get you around it.'

So use substandard mischief. :p

I'm quite serious really. Unless the serial number is tiled, just print a full border and keep whatever stuff you want to cut out away from the serial.

If it is tiled, you have a number of options. You could script a program to 'split' the image so that you print unmarked bands in multiple runthroughs which eventually add up to a full image. You could offset some unknown amount and then surround the serial number with other sequences to disguise the actual serial (would take some knowledge of how serials are assigned to do a good diguise). Both of those would require a little hardware modification. But if you're printing $100 bills. . . .

Anyway, those are just some ideas off the top of my head. The point is that if people know what they're up against, they can find a workaround. Ideally, these kinds of tricks would be kept secret. In the case, the point is trip up ignorant cons who don't account for something they don't realize exists.

Oh well. This will still nail the 16 year old delingquents who decide to pull a fast one on the clerk at their local grocery store.

Nonstandard mischief? (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893221)

If the practice disturbs you, don't bother trying to disable the encoding mechanism--you'll probably just break your printer.

Crean describes the device as a chip located "way in the machine, right near the laser" that embeds the dots when the document "is about 20 billionths of a second" from printing.

"Standard mischief won't get you around it," Crean adds.


"About" 20 billionths of a second from printing, a chip "right near" the laser. Yeah, I don't suppose "standard mischief" will get you around it.

Does a soldering iron and de-soldering wick now count as non-standard mischief?

Back to the old methods (4, Funny)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893223)

Well, looks like it's back to cutting out newspaper headlines to make my blackmail notes.

This has been going on for centuries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893226)

Look at the Declaration of Independence. It gave the ID's of everyone involved so the darned redcoats could round them all up.

Maybe maybe not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893243)

I wouldnt swallow on the word of some guys on internet. While it is plausible, some of the details are a little odd. For example, he says the chip is "20 billionths" of a second away from printing, and that its way hard to defeat. Um..how about removing the yellow ink from the cartridge? Also, how would they track back to the purchaser even if it was bought with a credit card, do they somehow access the totally reliable database at Staples? You might in theory be able to affirm the printer matches if you already are in possession of the printer I suppose, but its seems pretty shaky.

I have heard that dynamite and gunpowder has a signature trace chemical in it, so I guess this sort of thing is not unheard of. But, just because its possible doesnt mean its true in general.

Cash (1)

scowling (215030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893244)

No problem. Buy your printer with cash. They'll trace it back to where it was purchased, with no record of who purchased it.

Cameras in the store? Don't shop there, then. Buy from some little hole-in-the-wall.

Until they outlaw using cash, of course.

Not news (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10893248)

I have known about this for a long time, why is it only coming to surface now? I thought it was common knowlage.

Bullshit alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10893255)

Way to take a study out of context. Original Purdue article: http://news.uns.purdue.edu/UNS/html4ever/2004/0410 11.Delp.forensics.html

All it says is that it's easy to figure out what sort of machine is used to create a counterfeit. There is no "secret chip" tracking you. It's just that the types of defects on the printed page can point to a specific machine type/model.

Eh, Kemosabe... You step in something? Me smell ullshit.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

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>