The funny disease.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Little Yellow Tattlers

Ever get the creepy feeling that the government is watching you? Welcome, Paranoid Delusional! You’re right. Apparently, each page printed with a color laser printers prints itty-bitty yellow dots that contain the serial number of the printer and the time and date the page was printed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation found and cracked the code in color laser printers manufactured by Xerox, HP, Cannon and Lexmark.

Conspiracy Theorists, now you know that printing that Manifesto on your laser printer was a bad idea. I thought the Patriot Act was appalling, but at least the government did that in public. The yellow dots are the result of secret backroom deals with all of the major printer manufactures. It’s all in the name of busting counterfeiters. I certainly don’t want to end up with a fake $50, but there had to be a better way than making technology betray us. I firmly believe that technology should be allowed to betray us the way we always thought it would: robot overlords.

I'm not above making stuff up for a laugh, so the following is a link to an article in the Washington Post:

Sleuths Crack Tracking Code Discovered in Color Printers

To add insult to injury, it seems that the code was cracked with a magnifying glass and a blue light, by some intrepid Intern. That's right, they sent in Timmy, and he came out with invasion of privacy that would make the KGB proud. The U.S. Government doesn’t even respect us enough to try really hard to invade our privacy.

Whenever I print a crazed letter to the President demanding accountability and sagacity, “they” know exactly which printer it came from. It's time to dig the six-year-old ink jet that only prints black out of the garage. This revelation begs the question, “How many other devices are tattling on us?” Get the aluminum foil from the cupboard. I think it's time to make protective hats.

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