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Current Law Students / Re: Laser printer a good investment?
« on: December 14, 2006, 05:26:59 PM »
Next time you make a printout from your color laser printer, shine an LED flashlight beam on it and examine it closely with a magnifying glass. You might be able to see the small, scattered yellow dots printed there that could be used to trace the document back to you. 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.

Peter Crean, a senior research fellow at Xerox, says his company's laser printers, copiers and multifunction workstations, such as its WorkCentre Pro series, put the "serial number of each machine coded in little yellow dots" in every printout. The millimeter-sized dots appear about every inch on a page, nestled within the printed words and margins. "It's a trail back to you, like a license plate," Crean says. The dots' minuscule size, covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along with their color combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the naked eye, Crean says. One way to determine if your color laser is applying this tracking process is to shine a blue LED light--say, from a keychain laser flashlight -- on your page and use a magnifier.

Crime Fighting vs. Privacy

Laser-printing technology makes it incredibly easy to counterfeit money and documents, and Crean says the dots, in use in some printers for decades, allow law enforcement to identify and track down counterfeiters. However, they could also be employed to track a document back to any person or business that printed it. Although the technology has existed for a long time, printer companies have not been required to notify customers of the feature. Lorelei Pagano, a counterfeiting specialist with the U.S. Secret Service, stresses that the government uses the embedded serial numbers only when alerted to a forgery. "The only time any information is gained from these documents is purely in [the case of] a criminal act," she says. John Morris, a lawyer for The Center for Democracy and Technology , says, "That type of assurance doesn't really assure me at all, unless there's some type of statute." He adds, "At a bare minimum, there needs to be a notice to consumers."

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. Neither Crean nor Pagano has an estimate of how many laser printers, copiers, and multifunction devices track documents, but they say that the practice is commonplace among major printer companies.

"The industry absolutely has been extraordinarily helpful [to law enforcement]," Pagano says. According to Pagano, counterfeiting cases are brought to the Secret Service, which checks the documents, determines the brand and serial number of the printer, and contacts the company. Some, like Xerox, have a customer database, and they share the information with the government. Crean says Xerox and the government have a good relationship. "The U.S. government had been on board all along -- they would actually come out to our labs," Crean says.


Unlike ink jet printers, laser printers, fax machines, and copiers fire a laser through a mirror and series of lenses to embed the document or image on a page. Such devices range from a little over $100 to more than $1000, and are designed for both home and office. Crean says Xerox pioneered this technology about 20 years ago, to assuage fears that their color copiers could easily be used to counterfeit bills. "We developed the first (encoding mechanism) in house because several countries had expressed concern about allowing us to sell the printers in their country," Crean says. Since then, he says, many other companies have adopted the practice. The United States is not the only country teaming with private industry to fight counterfeiters. A recent article points to the Dutch government as using similar anticounterfeiting methods, and cites Canon as a company with encoding technology. Canon USA declined to comment.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: University of Chicago Class of 2010
« on: July 08, 2007, 04:54:03 AM »
Because ASW is over, and we need a 2010 thread :)

By the way, I'm going. Who else is in?

So far:


Me :)
LQC Lamar
Randy Savage
That Girl Anon

Regents People - or at least people on the waiting list so far
Again, me - 1BR
Bosco - 1BR
IPWannabe - 1BR
LQC Lamar - 2BR
Pre-Annonymous - 1BR
Buffettologie - 2BR

Ah my beautiful MPark:  Congrats on your decision to attend Chicago!  I wish you the best of luck.  When will you move to the windy city or are you already in the vicinity?

Incoming 1Ls / Re: YLS 2010
« on: July 08, 2007, 04:51:33 AM »
Just wanted to drop in and say hi.  Sorry, but I have not read the 40+ pages that constitute this thread, but just wanted to say that I am looking forward to attending with all of you in New Haven this Fall :) 

I've called UCLA twice and actually stopped by their office on Friday. I think I know why there's the bitchy-ness.

The first time I called, got a woman that promptly gave me my status, telling me that I was complete (thanks for no complete notices UCLA!). She wasn't nice I guess, but she was quick and wasn't particularly mean.

Next time I called, randomly pissed off girl answered the phone, put me on hold, then I talked to some guy who was really nice and even helpful! After trying to figure out if I was still in the running, we actually talked for a while, and he suggested sending in a letter of continued interest even though I haven't been WL yet (or was that just a way to suggest that I will be?....hmmm)

Anyways, on Friday I actually stopped in to hand carry my letter. I found out why UCLA admissions staff are bitchy....they are burried in some basement of some old building - It was downright depressing! And, I even met the girl at the front desk. Looked like an undergrad actually, and totally dumbfounded that I would want her to accept my letter to put in my file. I think I totally stopped her from playing minesweeper.

Heh that's awesome thanks for your firsthand assessment Miles Massey!  Man sounds like whoever gets the dude is going to luck out.

Based on the aggregate of things I've heard about UCLA...why do people apply there?!

Well, there's a myriad of reasons the school (at least for undergrad) is the most applied to school in the country: cheap tuition, great academics, great location, great athletic program, etc. etc. My roommate goes there and loves the place.

Judging a school based on the friendliness of the people manning the phones seems a bit much, don't you think? I mean, it is a public school...

Eh, well part of me is just griping at the glaring incompetence of these people. But at the same time I don't think there's much of an excuse for law school phone people not to know anything at all.  Especially those that work at schools that are ranked fairly high and will be fielding calls from interested, very qualified applicants.  That does send a strong signal.  Whether or not it's strong enough to NOT attend... who knows?!  Guess that will have to be judged in light of all the other options an applicant may have.

Law School Admissions / Re: Accepted TODAY !!
« on: March 19, 2007, 06:50:55 PM »
John, Dude! Awesome!  You definitely deserve to have something good!  'Speically for all luv and support you've given everyone else in this thread!     

Law School Admissions / Re: Michigan Status Update: Decision (Nov 14)
« on: March 19, 2007, 06:47:06 PM »
never got a status update, but got a wl today. will withdraw in a couple days.

Hereshopin, I was auto-dinged at Devry.  Any advice on how I can better my application for next year?  Eh, screw 'em... I should be grateful for the full ride at ITT Tech. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Michigan Status Update: Decision (Nov 14)
« on: March 19, 2007, 06:43:57 PM »
WL by email this morning. This is my 5th waitlist. Someone shoot me.  :'(

Ack pugalicious, I'm so sorry.  Hm, (thinking of an upside) better than a rejection!

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Rejections for Fall 2007
« on: March 19, 2007, 06:36:32 PM »
It seems strange to me that this thread is on page 7 and the acceptances thread is on page 91.
Are there really that few dings, or would this thread be as long if we layered the thread with condolences a la the Acceptance thread.

I'm sure it's a combination of the average LSDer gets more acceptances than dings, the lack of responses to a ding and also, the lack of posting dings.  People, I'm sure, are much more likely to post I GOT INTO... than I GOT DINGED AT...

Just a guess...

Heh, yeah no doubt.  No one wants to broadcast who rejected them!  I know I haven't posted all of mine and those I have are ones that I'm just so beside myself about.  Ok I'll say it, just plain pissed off with.   :D

American and Brooklyn were pretty awful.

Brooklyn should get a prize  :D

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