Comment On No More Paper!

"I received these three letters all on the same day," wrote Martin P., "two were sent October 31st and the other November 1st, and they all said pretty much the exact same thing. At least it's comforting to know we're saving trees." [expand full text]
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Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:13 • by Bellinghman
"the taxes around here charge a bit of a premium during the holidays."
I thought the US was supposed to have been founded as a protest against high taxes?

Oh, Taxis!

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:13 • by mara (unregistered)
Clearly, Dale King photos were so ugly they desperately needed to be photoshopped.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:14 • by Code Dependent
Somebody else do the "badger badger badger" thing with the photoshop pic this time. I did it last time.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:19 • by Mitch (unregistered)
That last screenshot is so photoshopped, I cant believe you didn't notice that Alex

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:25 • by Someone You Know
238069 in reply to 238062
Bellinghman:

Oh, Taxis!


Don't Ever Antagonize The Horn.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:25 • by Someone You Know
I think Ken Cooney may some issues telling left from right.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:28 • by Anon (unregistered)
Guess that explains how Dry Ridge got so dry.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:30 • by Anon (unregistered)
I see you blurred out the addresses on the first one, but doesn't the (clearly visible) bar code at the bottom of the envelope basically encode the same information?

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:31 • by CodeReview (unregistered)
238073 in reply to 238070
Someone You Know:
I think Ken Cooney may some issues telling left from right.


It's always embarassing to be called out by Someone You Know

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:34 • by reader (unregistered)
What is with the temperature measure for Cedar Creek?

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:37 • by reader (unregistered)
238076 in reply to 238074
reader:
What is with the temperature measure for Cedar Creek?


uhm, Grove, Cedar Grove?

captcha: genitus, instant-roflmao

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:39 • by AnonCoward23 (unregistered)
238077 in reply to 238070
Someone You Know:
I think Ken Cooney may some issues telling left from right.

He clearly meant the other left.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:48 • by cthulhu (unregistered)
The realwtf is you have given me his address.

Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.

Oops!

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:50 • by jimlangrunner
238080 in reply to 238070
Someone You Know:
I think Ken Cooney may some issues telling left from right.


Naw, he's a stage actor, and was talking about stage left.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:50 • by Addison (unregistered)
238081 in reply to 238067
Mitch:
That last screenshot is so photoshopped, I cant believe you didn't notice that Alex


Uh, no it really isn't. I've gotten that weirdness myself.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:52 • by Anonymous coward (unregistered)
238084 in reply to 238062
<quote>I thought the US was supposed to have been founded as a protest against high taxes?</quote>

The Real WTF is in the comments, as usual.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:52 • by jimlangrunner
238085 in reply to 238072
Anon:
I see you blurred out the addresses on the first one, but doesn't the (clearly visible) bar code at the bottom of the envelope basically encode the same information?


Not really. The postal bar code is an encode of the zip+4, along with a couple of check-digits.

Too bad they don't do a 2-d barcode like UPS does. Now THAT'S fun stuff.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:53 • by Voodoo Coder
238086 in reply to 238081
Addison:
Mitch:
That last screenshot is so photoshopped, I cant believe you didn't notice that Alex


Uh, no it really isn't. I've gotten that weirdness myself.


Error parsing style: "humor". Please try again.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 08:58 • by Tim (unregistered)
238087 in reply to 238079
cthulhu:
Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.


This is utter nonsense.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:06 • by Nobody You Know (unregistered)
238089 in reply to 238085
Zip+4 will narrow it down to which block and which side of the street. Once you have that, you just go there and find the only house with a properly-configured wireless router and you've found your Daily WTF reader.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:16 • by JPhi
238090 in reply to 238079
cthulhu:

Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.


Whatever... Just because you saw that article on Slashdot or where ever it was doesn't mean you can do it. Also, they used a type of Gaussian blur which preserves shapes whereas the blur on the envelopes is more of a smear/wipe and no shapes are preserved whatsoever.

As for the real snail-mail WTF -- Citibank sending me two letters a month telling my my online statement is available. (they've stopped)

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:19 • by Anon (unregistered)
238091 in reply to 238089
Nobody You Know:
Zip+4 will narrow it down to which block and which side of the street. Once you have that, you just go there and find the only house with a properly-configured wireless router and you've found your Daily WTF reader.


Or just knock on a random door and ask for Martin. Even if it's the wrong door, I'm sure his helpful neighbors will happily tell you that he lives at number 42.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:26 • by Steven (unregistered)
The real WTF here is that I posted the Niagara Falls picture (not "Dale King"), and even gave the description that was used. However, the "FinePix" message did not happen to me, and I did not send that with my post.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:27 • by shepd
I work with busted computers too much.

CMOS CHECKSUM ERROR - DEFAULTS LOADED
Press F2 for setup
Press F1 to continue

Also, D/M/Y on the receipt. WTF!

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:29 • by Voodoo Coder
238094 in reply to 238091
Anon:
Nobody You Know:
Zip+4 will narrow it down to which block and which side of the street. Once you have that, you just go there and find the only house with a properly-configured wireless router and you've found your Daily WTF reader.


Or just knock on a random door and ask for Martin. Even if it's the wrong door, I'm sure his helpful neighbors will happily tell you that he lives at number 42.


Ya know, since you guys all seem to have such a big ol man-crush on this Martin guy, maybe you should just ask him his address...he'd probably be much less freaked out when you showed up and gushed about how funny you thought his pictures on the interwebs were.

(Seriously though, I'm sure this guy would be better off if the address was left untouched...then, at least, no one would try to hack it, and it'd lose its appeal...)

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:37 • by mauhiz (unregistered)
let's save bandwidth, no more comment!
let's save bandwidth, no more comment!
let's save bandwidth, no more comment!

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:37 • by Techzoid (unregistered)
Really? 89 degrees in Cincinnati a few weeks ago?

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 09:53 • by IByte (unregistered)
Perhaps they meant "there's no more paper in our office because we've mailed it all out".

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:16 • by Certified Coward (unregistered)
238106 in reply to 238085
jimlangrunner:

Too bad they don't do a 2-d barcode like UPS does. Now THAT'S fun stuff.


Then what's that bunch of pixels in top right corner?

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:18 • by xxx (unregistered)
238107 in reply to 238087
No. It's called "image processing". You know, stuff invented by smart people who think about problems instead of trolling on Internet forums.

To address another commenter's claim that you can't undo directional smearing, that you can only degauss: on the contrary, this kind of filter is actually *easier* to revert. Learn how blurring is done. The operation is reversible *without loss* if it is a localized filter (which it always is in these kinds of blurrings) and you know its kind and *exact* parameters. Typically, you only know the kind (e.g. here: directional distortion) and you have to guess the parameters (here: speed). That's easy: the values space is small, use binary search.

Recommendation: if you are trying to hide some part of an image, DO NOT blur it. Instead, draw an opaque black (or whatever, e.g. random patter; just don't apply any operation that uses original pixel values as inputs) box over the sensitive part. *That* is guaranteed to be unreversible. And if you absolutely want to use a fancy filter, you better understand the math first.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:18 • by Anon (unregistered)
238108 in reply to 238099
Techzoid:
Really? 89 degrees in Cincinnati a few weeks ago?


Now that you mention it, on the Channel 9 one you can see something about strong storms hitting the tri-state. I wonder if this was around the time that hurricane Ike hit Cincinnati and knocked everybody's power out. That might explain some strange sensor readings due to power being all screwed up.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:21 • by Anon (unregistered)
238109 in reply to 238107
xxx:

Recommendation: if you are trying to hide some part of an image, DO NOT blur it. Instead, draw an opaque black box over the sensitive part.


And TRWTF is that people continue to mess about with blurs when a black box over the sensitive pixels is both easier and more secure.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:22 • by Andy (unregistered)
238110 in reply to 238079
cthulhu:
The realwtf is you have given me his address.

Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.

Oops!


Big talk. Let's see you do it.

Whether or not the data is retrievable depends a lot on the type of blur, the resolution and contrast of the image, and whether or not the images are unadulterated before they're blurred. (It's easy to mangle it before blurring.)

Another important question is whether you can make assumptions about the content. (ie: Getting an account number off of a check printed in OCR font is a lot easier than getting a random address printed in a normal human font.)

Really, if you have to develop custom software to find someone's address, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that he's going to consider it "good enough".

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:23 • by clickey McClicker (unregistered)
Why bother blurring? it takes less CPU time to just draw a few black boxes. Does the blur make it more authentic or something.

I only care because more CPU time means more trees that were burned to make electricity.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:25 • by squeem
238112 in reply to 238090
JPhi:
cthulhu:

Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.


Whatever... Just because you saw that article on Slashdot or where ever it was doesn't mean you can do it.



No, it was one of those evening detective shows. There are 3 steps:
1. Spray window cleaner on a Q-Tip
2. End of Q-tip turns red
3. Murderer's picture appears on computer monitor

This process is called "Forensic Science".

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:42 • by Anon (unregistered)
238115 in reply to 238112
squeem:
JPhi:
cthulhu:

Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.


Whatever... Just because you saw that article on Slashdot or where ever it was doesn't mean you can do it.



No, it was one of those evening detective shows. There are 3 steps:
1. Spray window cleaner on a Q-Tip
2. End of Q-tip turns red
3. Murderer's picture appears on computer monitor

This process is called "Forensic Science".


No, you missed the step where lots of different criminal pictures appear on the screen while the computer searches the database. Because everybody knows, it's important to show the data on the screen as you search it.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:48 • by Bob Dole (unregistered)
238120 in reply to 238115
I hear it speeds up the search considerably to show all the pictures and redraw the interface.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:49 • by Dennis (unregistered)
238122 in reply to 238085
You're confusing Zip+4 with Postnet. The Postnet barcode shown encodes Zip+4 plus the delivery point which is often the last two digits of the numeric part of the street address. DPBC (Delivery Point Bar Code - 11 digit Postnet) is supposed to be unique for every deliverable address.

BTW, Pekin, IL, but I won't get any more specific than that.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:58 • by gravis (unregistered)
I've seen that multiple Photoshop import error pop up quite a bit actually... on client computers with pirated installs of Photoshop. Way to go.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 10:59 • by Squidfood (unregistered)
I work in [unnamed government department]. We like everyone do most things by email, including all departmental memos etc. Imagine my surprise, a few months ago, to find an actual paper memo in my mailbox. Then I noticed there was one in every one of the 250+ mailboxes in the mail room. A colleague later reported the same thing in his building, bringing the total to 1000 (at least).

It was a memo on the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:05 • by evanm
I saw the Niagra Falls one myself, and took a few shots myself. Never got around to submitting it though. Glad someone else did.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:07 • by DeLos
238129 in reply to 238112
squeem:
JPhi:
cthulhu:

Blurring it only works so far. Giving me 3 instances of the same blurred text provides enough info to retrieve the underlying address.


Whatever... Just because you saw that article on Slashdot or where ever it was doesn't mean you can do it.



No, it was one of those evening detective shows. There are 3 steps:
1. Spray window cleaner on a Q-Tip
2. End of Q-tip turns red
3. Murderer's picture appears on computer monitor

This process is called "Forensic Science".


I'll create a gui interface using visual basic and see if I can track an ip address.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:08 • by DeLos
238130 in reply to 238072
Anon:
I see you blurred out the addresses on the first one, but doesn't the (clearly visible) bar code at the bottom of the envelope basically encode the same information?


I decoded the barcode. It turns out that the mails are coming from INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!!

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:20 • by Spectre
The battle for which comment can display the hottest temperature has begun!

1000°.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:21 • by Anon Ymous (unregistered)
238135 in reply to 238122
Dennis:
You're confusing Zip+4 with Postnet. The Postnet barcode shown encodes Zip+4 plus the delivery point which is often the last two digits of the numeric part of the street address. DPBC (Delivery Point Bar Code - 11 digit Postnet) is supposed to be unique for every deliverable address.

BTW, Pekin, IL, but I won't get any more specific than that.


(1300 block) Willow St.
Pekin, IL 61554-2908 delivery point 04.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:26 • by Anon Ymous (unregistered)
238137 in reply to 238135
http://www.fsbolocal.com/propertyPics/11488_0_1190679876441.jpg

O_O

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:29 • by Dennis (unregistered)
238141 in reply to 238135
Anon Ymous:


(1300 block) Willow St.
Pekin, IL 61554-2908 delivery point 04.


I can tell you Martin's last name and show you pictures of his house. It's all out there for anyone to see. Privacy is an illusion.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:29 • by Anon (unregistered)
238142 in reply to 238135
Anon Ymous:
Dennis:
You're confusing Zip+4 with Postnet. The Postnet barcode shown encodes Zip+4 plus the delivery point which is often the last two digits of the numeric part of the street address. DPBC (Delivery Point Bar Code - 11 digit Postnet) is supposed to be unique for every deliverable address.

BTW, Pekin, IL, but I won't get any more specific than that.


(1300 block) Willow St.
Pekin, IL 61554-2908 delivery point 04.


Well, aren't you clever. I'm sure the person who originally submitted the picture really appreciates it.

In a related WTF, why blur the banks address. I'm pretty sure that's not a secret.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:31 • by Dennis (unregistered)
238143 in reply to 238137
Anon Ymous:
http://www.fsbolocal.com/propertyPics/11488_0_1190679876441.jpg

O_O


Oh, I see you've been busy, too.

Re: No More Paper!

2009-01-08 11:45 • by Someone You Know
238144 in reply to 238142
Anon:

In a related WTF, why blur the banks address. I'm pretty sure that's not a secret.


Because the letter may have been sent from a local branch. If so, it'd probably be the one where Martin set up his account, which might give you a clue as to where he lived. Of course, that means little since other, more specific information about where he lives is available elsewhere on the envelope.
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