Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bad barcode. Bad!

This story about fake boarding passes would be truly funny if the loophole(s) it highlights weren't so serious. Seems this enterprising young lad had a web-based boarding pass generator complete with counterfeit barcodes.

The FBI wasn't amused.

Barcodes, even Michael Crichton gets it

Next, Michael Crichton
I see Michael Crichton's new book Next features a big barcode on the cover. Further proof that barcodes have mainstreamed into our collective visual vocabulary.

I dunno know what the book is about. Don't care. Probably won't read it. But it has a barcode on the cover. That's what's important. It's further proof that my white paper is on the mark.

Told you so...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another wacky barcode idea

You know why I love working with barcodes? Cuz with predictable regularity someone comes up with a "better mousetrap". Or so they think. Here's someone eager to prove that current barcode technology isn't good enough.

a.) I didn't know I needed to hang that much data on my wall
b.) If I was going to use an auto ID technology I'd use something like PDF417 which allows multiple symbols to be chained together.
c.) I'd also consider using a technique that stood a hope of a prayer of a chance of a possibility of being read by someone else, today and 10 years from now.

I've been publishing barcode software for 18 years now and the stream of new-and-improved technology is neverending, to my continued amusement.

Keep it comin' folks!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Barcode Archaeology

A friend passed this article about bogus barcode patents along to me. This campaign focuses on NeoMedia's claims of inventing scanning barcodes to visit web sites and other online databases. Yeah right...

It struck a chord with me because I have an issue with bogus patents and patent trolls in general but it really hits home when it's about barcodes. Once again, follow the bouncing ball, repeat after me: barcodes are based on open, non-proprietary specifications, global specifications. The system works around the world between trading partners sight unseen because we all agree to and honor open, non-proprietary standards. Misuse of these shared protocals is a grave sin.

I explain things in detail in this white paper, Barcodes: From Jargon to Slang. Don't take my word for it, look at the pictures.

Please support the EFF's The Patent Busting Project.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Yeah. But why?

So this is another barcode scheme that makes me ask "So?".

From what I gather it turns my music collection into PDF 417 barcodes. So dum (sic) I can't even muster a good laugh. This is from someone who's been doing barcode software for almost 18 years, and has an iPod with 3977 songs spanning 48.4 days & 21.13 GB.

And I'm supposed to carry around how many volumes of your barcode books????

Thursday, November 09, 2006

And all for bad beer

Regular readers already know that I'm not a big fan of RFID. I'm not even a small fan. It's also a widely known factoid that I love beer. Good beer. Microbrewed beer as in Dogfish Head.

But this story pairs bad technology with bad beer. An example of two wrongs not making a right.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bogus Barcode = Airport Boarding Pass

Woe be unto those who ignore Bruce Schneier. He speaks about one misguided person's web site that generated fake boarding passes complete with barcodes.

Nothing like having the FBI kick your door in to get your attention.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A novel use for UPC barcodes

I'm sick and tired of me-too cameraphone barcode startups. Repeat after me: NO ONE CARES! If they did the rest of you chuckleheads would be chasing the market leader. THERE AIN'T NO MARKET TO LEAD.

Meanwhile, I find this social hack a relatively unique application of barcode technology if I may say so myself.

Code 128 barcode web site

I'm on a roll now. Just launched a new web site about Code 128 bar codes. You know, sometimes it's the small things in life that bring us such great pleasures. For me, that'd be barcodes.