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Barcodes: The Number of the Beast 287

Posted by michael
from the 867-5309 dept.
writes "The concept of UPC barcodes on packages at the grocery store is a little pedestrian these days. Much creativity has gone into the use of barcodes for many more applications than originally conceived (don't worry -- no Cuecat diatribe here!). For example, Scott Blake uses barcodes to create large, mosaic works of art. Andy Deck has reinvented classic literature with Bardcode which will stream the entire works of Shakespeare to you as barcodes. If you do nothing else, check out Art Lebedev, a group of Russian artists that manipulates photos to reveal hidden bar codes (The nod to Abbey Road in New Beatles By Robert Dyomkin is especially appealing to an ex-scouser like me). "

Boomzilla continues: Barcodes were first developed in the railroad business to keep track of which cars went with which engine. The barcodes were imprinted on the side of the railway cars. The barcodes on each car could then be read together to compile information on that particular grouping; what station they came from, where they were headed, etc. thus automating the process of marshalling. When the business world realized how well this system worked, these railway barcodes evolved into the UPC system with which we are all familiar. To really be able to take in the wonder that are bar codes, check out the excellent FAQ created by Russ Adams and an article from the BBC.

Coming full circle, the clever folks at Bekonscot Model Railway in the UK have utilized barcodes at every turn of their expansive system. For example, an MP3 player is driven off barcodes attached to trains. The trains are announced before they arrive and when they are leaving, stating their destination, route and at what stations they will call.

Want a barcode of your name?

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Barcodes: The Number of the Beast

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  • Stupid Games (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rwiedower (572254) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:53PM (#5837714) Homepage

    What about all those games that came out a year or so ago with commercials exhorting kids to run around grocery stores ripping things off of shelves in an attempt to "power up" their videogame creatures? Those were cool...er...stupid.

  • by AssFace (118098) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `77znets'> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:56PM (#5837733) Homepage Journal
    I got a big tattoo of my SSN in barcode format right on my forehead.

    That way people know who I am.

    It is unclear from any of those links if this makes me cool or not.
  • Use on railroads (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Smallpond (221300) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:56PM (#5837734) Homepage Journal
    The use on train cars was not without problems. Some roads ran the cars through a sprayer before trying to read the codes. Union Switch & Signal installed competing systems that used inductive loops; obviously more expensive but high reliability.

  • Glad to see those things got a use past Mail in rebates. Never did like sending in those UPCs though, seems like a huge hassle for a little picture of a bunch of bars. Why can't they just be like removeable stamps that you just tape to the envelope or something? oh well, so much for my troll. btw, nice artwork.
    • Because if they could be easily removed for mail in rebates, scumbags would go through the stores, removing them from boxes they are not buying.

      Store employees will however notice someone cutting out little squares from all the cardboard boxes.

      • Re:useful at last (Score:4, Informative)

        by Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:18PM (#5837915)
        At the grocery store where I shop, they put removable UPC codes on the large items like 25# bags of dog food so that you can peel it off to hand the cashier, rather than loading it on the conveyor and watching them try to flop it around to get the UPC side facing the laser and then dragging it quickly enough over the sensor to register. You could theoretically peel the lablel off of the generic dog food and load your cart up with Alpo, but that would be illegal.
      • Re:useful at last (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ciroknight (601098)
        yeah but you still have to have a reciept :-/, and since most plastically sealed things with rebates (cd players, other cheap electronic goods) have the upcs behind the plastic, you have to wrestle the plastic for like an hour before it gives up the item, then you have to hunt through the piles of discard to find and cut out a little barcode, that is if it isnt destroyed in the first process....
  • by Faust7 (314817) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:57PM (#5837745) Homepage
    Barcodes: The Number of the Beast

    It never occurred to me that Satan might be living in my UPC symbols. Now I need a priest to accompany me to the grocery store.
  • This reminds me of a recent escapade that my good friend Julius and I recently blundered through. Our favorite magazine is "Club", a prestigious journalistic wonderworld of intelligence and quality. We decided to have the barcode for that magizine tatoo'd onto our male members. Painful, yet oddly spiritual.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:59PM (#5837758)
    Allow me to explain...

    Standard UPC bar codes consist of a set of lines to mark the start of the code, the left hand part of the code itself, another set of marker lines, the right hand part of the code itself, and a third set of marker lines:
    ] ] IIIIII I I IIIIII [ [
    ] ] IIIIII I I IIIIII [ [
    ] ] IdataI I I IdataI [ [
    ] ] IIIIII I I IIIIII [ [
    ] ] IIIIII I I IIIIII [ [
    ] ] .5023. I I .7173. [ [
    The marker lines are "0101", "01010" and "1010" respectively, where 0 is white and 1 is black.

    Now, the encoding scheme is complicated, but it just so happens that "0101" if treated as data on the left hand side would decode to the digit "6".
    Similarly, "1010" on the right hand side would decode to a "6" if it were data. The middle also has a "1010" or a "0101" depending upon how you want to look at it.

    Hence every UPC bar code has "6...6...6" built into it.

    There are some technical niggles with the theory. The middle marker has that extra white bar on the left, but this can be explained away by saying that a gap is needed before the next coded part starts, or that it is to make the thing scan both ways. Yup, it even reads "666" if you play it backwards.

    In "The Master of Space and Time" Rudy Rucker jokes about this theory by having an alternate universe where people pay for their groceries by having the checkout operator swipe a UPC code that's tattooed on their foreheads.
    • And people complain Slashdotters don't have any hobbies!
    • by delta407 (518868) <.moc.xahjfrel. .ta. .todhsals.> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:23PM (#5837944) Homepage
      Standard UPC bar codes consist of a set of lines to mark the start of the code, the left hand part of the code itself, another set of marker lines, the right hand part of the code itself, and a third set of marker lines:
      True, but there's an important distinction. This only applies to UPC-A, not to other forms of barcodes such as Code 39, Code 128, interleaved 2 of 5, Codabar, etc. (I'm pretty sure it doesn't even apply to UPC-E, for that matter, but I'm not certain.)

      To say that every barcode contains 666 is somewhat misleading.
    • Each number in a UPC barcode is represented by 4 stripes. White/black is irrelevant to the number itself, the barcode has to alternate black and white, and the right half is inverted (or the left depending on your point of view)

      Data is encoded not in the color, but in the width of each bar. There are three (I think, maybe four) bar widths, narrow, medium, and wide. Three narrow bars and a wide one represent a 6. If there is no wide bar, it is not a 6.

      There are four narrow bars on either end, and five
    • Now, the encoding scheme is complicated, but... Hence every UPC bar code has "6...6...6" built into it.

      Um, no. [snopes.com]

    • Gray Code (Score:2, Informative)

      by j0hnfr0g (652153)
      Now, the encoding scheme is complicated, but it just so happens that "0101" if treated as data on the left hand side would decode to the digit "6".

      It appears that the encoding is Gray Code, where successive numbers only differ by one bit.
      Hence:
      0000 = 0
      0001 = 1
      0011 = 2
      0010 = 3
      0110 = 4
      0111 = 5
      0101 = 6
      • close .. but no cigar

        0000 = 0
        0001 = 1
        0010 = 2
        0011 = 3
        0100 = 4
        0101 = 5
        0110 = 6
        0111 = 7

        etc ...
        yes .. i need a new hobby
    • Oh, Puh-leeze!! (Score:5, Informative)

      by ScoLgo (458010) <scolgo@g m a il.com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:43PM (#5838079) Homepage
      This is obviously FUD. From the FAQ link above...

      Is there a hidden 666 in bar code?

      NO! I get this question asked at least once a week. What people really mean is "does UPC found on grocery products have a hidden 666 (mentioned in Revelation 13:16 in the New Testament)?" People have thought that the three guard bars used to specify the start, middle and end of a UPC bar code looked like the bar code sequence for a "6" found in the UPC symbol table. You can find a copy of the symbol table on the UPC/EAN page. These guard bars are not "6" and carry no information. Even if you don't believe that guard bars carry no information and insist on applying the code table, you have to determine whether the digit is on the left side or the right side of the symbol. That's because the sequence of bars and spaces are different depending on whether the digit is on the left of the symbol or the right of the symbol. The LEFT guard bar would have to be smallest space, smallest bar, smallest space, WIDEST BAR in order to be a "6". The guard bar on the left is actually space of undetermined wide (left side digit must always start with a space element), smallest bar, smallest space, smallest bar. That sequence of bars and spaces is undefined and is not a "6" even using the table. The middle guard bar is not on the left or the right ('cause it is used to divide the symbol), so it is undefined by the table. UPC is just one bar code symbology out of over 300 others. The bar code on the backs of some driver licenses, for example, is not UPC and has no guard bars at all. Much better "marks of the beast" would be finger prints, DNA typing, or plain automatic face recognition. These are all "source marking" (marks put on during manufacturing) approaches and are far more cost-effective. "No Hidden Sixes in the UPC Barcode" [virtualsalt.com] by Robert Harris of Southern California College / Vanguard University is good explanation.


      Please try again Mr. AC troll...
      • Oh, you're no fun at all...

      • This is obviously FUD. From the FAQ link above...

        I think you're confusing 'FUD' with 'urban legend.'

        --Jeremy
      • Re:Oh, Puh-leeze!! (Score:4, Informative)

        by mav[LAG] (31387) on Wednesday April 30, 2003 @04:27AM (#5841278)
        Much better "marks of the beast" would be finger prints, DNA typing, or plain automatic face recognition.

        Indeed. The main problem with the Mark of the Beast is that people want to yank it out of context into today's society; seeing 666s behind every bush, worrying about credit cards, tatoos and all kinds of nonsense. But the original recipients of the letter (the Christian Church scattered throughout the known world somewhere around 95 AD) would have known who 666 was. In those days, as in some societies today, it was popular to add the numbers formed from the letters in your name and make a total. So for instance, some Roman graffiti has been found which says "I love her whose name is 545." Hard for us to extrapolate but doubtless the young lady knew :)
        Which brings us to 666. Apart from being a numerical pun (a man's name that represents a being impersonating deity but falling short), John's readers would have known that you get 666 when you add the letters together of "Nero Caesar." In Greek it adds up to 666, in Latin it comes to 616. 616 appears as a variant reading in plenty of the original manuscripts of Revelation which adds quite a lot of weight to this theory. Apocalyptical literature is hard for us to understand today but in those days it was an effective way of painting a picture using symbols and metaphors, all the while making its meaning known to those who were familiar with it. There is nothing in Revelation that would not have been unfamiliar to early Jewish Christians, steeped as they were in the old Testament. And the message they get from that passage is: "you're suffering terrible persecution from a man who thinks he's God. You all know who I mean. He is just a foreshadowing of all corrupt and evil leaders who will persecute the church throughout history. But ultimately you will overcome."
    • Standard UPC bar codes consist of a set of lines to mark the start of the code, the left hand part of the code itself, another set of marker lines, the right hand part of the code itself, and a third set of marker lines:

      True...

      The marker lines are "0101", "01010" and "1010" respectively, where 0 is white and 1 is black.

      True...

      Now, the encoding scheme is complicated, but it just so happens that "0101" if treated as data on the left hand side would decode to the digit "6". Similarly, "1010" on the r
    • Now, the encoding scheme is complicated, but it just so happens that "0101" if treated as data on the left hand side would decode to the digit "6".

      It's so complicted, in fact, that you don't understand it. Every digit in a UPC barcode consists of a total or 7 element widths (X) which are made up of 2 bars and 2 spaces of varying width. The left-side representation of the digit "6" is 0000101 which means a 4-wide space, a 1-wide bar, a 1-wide space, and 1-wide bar (for a total width of 7).

      Using your d

  • Sweet Christ! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FortKnox (169099)
    How did I ever go on in life without know this stuff?

    I'm trying to replace my useless trivia knowledge with something more worthy of knowing. This isn't helping...

    So, seriously, what's up with the barcode expose? Is it that slow of a news day?
  • 666 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gpinzone (531794) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @04:59PM (#5837767) Homepage Journal
    The 666 bugaboo has been attributed to so many different things, it's impossible for anyone to take it seriously. The pope, Ronal Regan, barcodes, socal security numbers, driver's licenses, you name it.
  • by ranolen (581431) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:00PM (#5837775)
    Does anyone remember the game barcode battlers??? You used bar codes from anything you could find and swipe them through a reader and they would give you stats for your character to fight other characters. Really neat idea. Ahh early 90's technology... hehe.
    • Some game did something like that with CDs. You could put a CD in the game system and from it some odd monster would be generated from that data. I think Monster Rancher did that.
    • I've got one of those. I thought they were a great idea, even if the barcode was nothing more than a random number seed.

      Have you seen the "new" Nintendo e-reader [nintendo-e-reader.com]? Original NES games encoded as 2D barcodes and emulated on the GBA.

  • by mahdi13 (660205) <icarus.lnx@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:02PM (#5837793) Journal
    So exactly what does that bar code on the back on my neck mean? I had it scanned at the grocery store, it seems I'm cheap and can be bought for $6.66
  • by muscleman706 (654133) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:03PM (#5837803) Homepage
    Mediachest.com lets you scan in the UPC's and ISBN's on the back of DVDs, Games, CDs, and video games and keep track of your collection. You can even use an CueCat to do this.

    http://www.mediachest.com/
  • by Anonymous Coward

    what does it mean for a person to be able to read and write in user group world, without being able to execute?

    rw-rw-rw-
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ! [kbarcode.net]
  • For anyone who is interested, and doesn't already know: http://www.timandjeni.com/study/upc.html [timandjeni.com]
  • 101 != 6 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ee_moss (635165) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:09PM (#5837850)
    The 666 rumor comes about from illiterate, non-mathematical conspiracy theorists.. On a barcode, the black bars represent 1 and white bars represent 0. Most of us, I hope, understand that. When the barcode scanner reads the barcode, it must know when to start reading and stop reading, and it does this by finding the code "101" you see at the beginning and end of the barcode. Also, in the middle of every UPC is a 01010 combination, which basically tells the scanner that it has reached the middle of the barcode. The beginning, middle, and end lines are longer than the rest, and some people think that these longer lines represent the number 666. Actually, 101 in binary is 5, so if you are that paranoid and into conspiracy theories, the longs lines on the barcode read "555"
    • When the barcode scanner reads the barcode, it must know when to start reading and stop reading, and it does this by finding the code "101" you see at the beginning and end of the barcode. Also, in the middle of every UPC is a 01010 combination, which basically tells the scanner that it has reached the middle of the barcode.

      The code on the ends is *not* 101, neither is the code in the middle 01010. Think of it more as ternary (or maybe base 4, I'm not up on my UPC trivia) encoded in the width of the bars
  • by Savatte (111615) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:11PM (#5837865) Homepage Journal
    Andy Deck has reinvented classic literature with Bardcode

    Did anyone else read that as Andy Dick? I thought the only things andy dick did was get naked and fall down a lot.
  • RFID (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ayanami Rei (621112) <rayanami@NospAm.gmail.com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:17PM (#5837905) Journal
    Even cooler than barcodes is RFID. You don't even have to aim to get it to scan correctly. The only problem is the printers that you let you arbitrarily mark the tags are expensive; about $1000, whereas barcodes can be printed on anything with black ink.

    BUT!!... optical scanners are expenive ($250 and up). Yet you can get a RFID USB reader [hvwtech.com] for about $60. It comes with a few premade tags. You can buy pre-signed RFID tags for less than $1.00 each, and a sheet of them can usually be run through a printer; then you could have barcodes AND RFID.

    We're considering using such a system to do inventory control. Fun!
    • Re:RFID (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 42forty-two42 (532340)
      We're considering using such a system to do inventory control. Fun!
      ...until someone drives up with a jamming transmitter. Panic!
    • Re:RFID (Score:3, Interesting)

      by 2short (466733)
      BUT!!... optical scanners are expenive ($250 and up).

      WTF are you talking about? I bought mine for $29.95. That was a few years back, but still...
    • Re:RFID (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lfourrier (209630)
      barcode and scanning equipement where paid by inflation.
      when they where introduced, in the mid eighties, there was about 12% inflation a year. the fact that the store was able, with barcoded articles, to increase price of articles without having to update the (no longuer present) tags on each articles permitted to finance the investement in about 6 month for a typical store.
      (they buy with a certain target price, they inflate price while stock is in inventory, and they pay providers a few month after the inv
    • Personally, I would have gone with the barcode system. The expensive RFID tagger either has to be moved to the merchandise (and potentially dropped and broken in the process) or have all the merchandise brought to it (which itself could be a nightmare). The barcode reader may be expensive, but you never have to move it.
  • CT drivers license (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BigBir3d (454486) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:17PM (#5837906) Journal
    My new CT driver's license has a bar code like stripe on the back instead of the sensitive magnetic one that other states use(d). Instead of solid vertical lines, the lines are broken into what looks like random segments. Reminds me of the "snow" on a TV with antenna that isn't working properly.
    • by ocelotbob (173602)
      Many "bar" codes are moving to that direction, as providing a second dimension allows users to encode much more information into a smaller area. The new strips are very widely used in the postal industry; UPS, et al can use them to make them more accurate, as they can insert redundant info into the code.
    • by angle_slam (623817)
      AZ has both the 2-d bar code and the magnetic code. For more info on 2-d bar codes, click here [adams1.com].
  • Obligatory crossover (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 42forty-two42 (532340) <bdonlan@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:18PM (#5837913) Homepage Journal
    What about Star wars in ASCII [slashdot.org] in barcode [slashdot.org]?
  • by FunWithHeadlines (644929) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:18PM (#5837917) Homepage
    "If you do nothing else, check out Art Lebedev, a group of Russian artists that manipulates photos to reveal hidden bar codes."

    If you do nothing else, be sure to raise the hair on the heads of these unsuspecting Russian artists as they see the traffic on their server spike beyond reason or expectation...
    -------------

  • by Compulawyer (318018) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:19PM (#5837920)
    but they seem to limit themselves to 1D barcodes. What about 2D codes like PDF417? 2D codes would seem to open up countless more possibilities for artistic use ....

    And Now For Something Completely Different: The definitive book on barcoding is "The Bar Code Book" by Roger C. Palmer (4th ed., (c) 2001 Helmers Publ., Inc., ISBN 0-911261-13-3). How do I know so much about barcodes? Trust me - you don't want to know.

  • by Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:20PM (#5837929)
    ...with the recruitment policy of our local hardware superstore.

    B&Q is a large DIY chain in the UK. They might be in the US, I don't know. They have a policy of only employing people over 95 years of age.

    So you get to the checkout with your self install kitchen. A little old 97 year old lady has now got to try and :

    a) locate the barcode on each item of your self-install kitchen, containing many items that are several orders of magnitude BIGGER THAN SHE IS.

    b) having located the barcode, get her scanner to it.
  • Barcode Hacking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:21PM (#5837937) Homepage Journal
    O.k. - I never thought I'd find a forum where this story might even have the slightest relevance but here we are.

    For a few years I worked for Safeway Food and Drug as a File Maintenance Clerk. I printed pricing labels and hung them on the shelves. I made price signs, applied the batches to change prices, etc.

    Safeway has a system in place on the registers where certain activities require a manager with an override card. Checks of a certain amount, large voids, all kinds of stuff.

    Since I worked on the computers all the time I was the one who changed the message on the bottom of receipt tapes- with the manager name- when we got a new manager. One day I'm moving around in the file that contained that information and I find all these long numbers in one location. They were all the managers override numbers.

    Here's where the barcode part comes in. I wanted my own over ride card. I went into the software I used to print price labels and took a single record and changed the UPC of a product on the label to an override number. When I printed the label- the barcode in the corner for ordering now read the override number.

    I cut the barcode part out, peeled the back and stuck it to a card I carried in my wallet. Now any time I needed an override I could just scan that card over the register scanner.

    On a side note- I called company security and told them that all the manager codes were in plain text where anyone could see them in the machine. They told me it was o.k. because noone would ever look there. Kind of funny. It is probably still that way.
  • OT: "Abbey Road" (Score:3, Informative)

    by MeerCat (5914) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:21PM (#5837938) Homepage
    It is, of course, Abbey Road [abbeyroad.com] not Abby Road and they are alive and well and still playing games with the famous photo (and have a webcam [abbeyroad.com] pointed at the zebra crossing so you too can see loads of tourists getting nearly run over while trying to re-create that photo). Plenty of geek technology there too, for anyone who's into serious playing around with analog and digital sound recording and manipulation.

    Disclaimer: I do have links with people there, and yes it is a nice place to hang out (it's still the best place to record the soundtrack for big movies such as Star Wars, LoTR, etc).

  • bizare != art (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SuperBanana (662181)
    Andy Deck has reinvented classic literature with Bardcode which will stream the entire works of Shakespeare to you as barcodes.

    You know, I'm completely fed up with shit getting dressed up as art. Paint thrown at a canvas- it's just paint, thrown at a canvas. A bathroom sink, dragged out of a dump, is just a effin' sink, dragged out of a dump. I've seen both gussied up as "art", and it's not- it's a no-good, washed out artist, who couldn't think up something creative, got desperate to put the meal on the

    • Got turned down for your grant, eh? I can smell jealousy a mile off.
    • it's art because it means something to someone.

      Looking good != art. If that were true, then water world woudl be art. Despite the fact that the movie sucked ass.
    • Re:bizare != art (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Nept (21497)
      It has no creativity; it adds nothing to the original work; it serves no purpose; it cannot be appreciated or celebrated

      That's pretty much post-modernism by definition, isn't it?

    • Re:bizare != art (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Eric Savage (28245) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @06:42PM (#5838550) Homepage
      ART lacks a satisfactory definition. It is easier to describe it as the way something is done -- "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others" (Britannica Online) -- rather than what it is.

      http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/artartists/artarti st s.html

      By that definition, the barcodes (and the sink) are art. I think you underestimate the amount of art in our world, and simultaneously overvalue your concept of an artist. I personally don't find any reward in looking at a Van Gogh or a Monet, but I can lose myself in an Ansel Adams picture, and all he did was press a button, right?(it took a long time for photography to be considered "art") We each have tastes, and we each value certain things as art or not. And in someone's opinion, we're wrong.
    • so what is art? There have been different styles of art since the beginning of man and about 200 or so years ago people started questioning what art is. Picasso came out there with cubism and all this other weird shit and people said that wasn't art. Then Duchamp came around and started digging up urinals and calling them art and people didn't consider that art. So it all depends on your definition. I for one go to an art school and I've learned to appreciate even the upside down urinal aspect of art becaus
  • According to most slashdot posters: MSFT
  • by adzoox (615327) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:38PM (#5838047) Journal
    I wonder if the randomness of nature does have words to speak? Take this pic for example [artlebedev.com] from the article. I wonder if those patterns from the shade of tress on the snow if converted to barcodes would vaguely spell something out?

    My title to the post makes me think of shamen. Shamen throw bones to tell fortunes and future events. In the Bible they cast urem and thumen to determine selection of elders and clerics. I wonder if either of those are TRUELY read like barcodes or whether Shamen and Biblical figures made things up to suit the task at hand or the situation.

    I had turned my name into a barcode a long time ago after watching THX 1138. They all had barcodes on them that told their names. I have my barcode printed onto a laminated card in my wallet. If I can think of it, I scan it in different stores. If read by a Walmart Barcode scanner I am a bouncy ball from the toy department 99cents.

  • by jcsehak (559709) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:51PM (#5838121) Homepage
    Sally: How'd your research go?
    Harry: Great. I was at the grocery store and... watch this: [holds up a can of corn] fat skinny skinny fat fat skinny fat skinny... $2.49. I cracked the bar code!
    Sally: Good work!
  • How Barcodes Work (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FsG (648587) on Tuesday April 29, 2003 @05:51PM (#5838123)
    This site [howstuffworks.com] has an interesting article that fully explains how classic barcodes work, how you can decode the bars, etc. An interesting read.
  • I HIGHLY recommend everyone check out 'Jennifer Government' and the related simulation website 'NationStates' [nationstates.net]
    An exerpt follows:

    "Welcome to paradise! The world is run by American corporations (except for a few deluded holdouts like the French); taxes are illegal; employees take the last names of the companies they work for; the Police and the NRA are publicly-traded security firms; and the U.S. government only investigates crimes it can bill for.

    Hack Nike is a Merchandising Officer who discovers an al
  • I always thought those PaperByte books with barcode program listings were cute. (I still have my BASEX compiler one.) Of course, nobody had readers back then, and I had to enter 8k in hex, with only 3 keying errors, we had it rough...

    Couldn't find it, I wanted to estimate the size of a Linux distro in Paperbyte form. Ow!

  • The photo (is it a real photo?) "New Windows" by Sergey Pronin [artlebedev.com] could be a very clever example of steganography. Who would read there a barcode.

    But I suspect that after you send the first 2400 pictures of steamy windows to your partner, the authorities will start investigating.

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