News

Number mangling reportedly not a Xerox-only issue

The question whether or not the number mangling in scanned documents only occurs at Xerox devices seems to have been answered. I got an eMail of a Brother customer telling me he's able to replicate the issue using my test number sheets on a Brother MFC-9140CDN. He attached the outcoming scan and indeed, there is at least one 6 substituted by a nice, clean 8.

Edit: Brother replied and stated that their devices are not affected by number mangling. At first glance, the Brother MFC seems to substitute a lot less numbers than the Xerox machines. Of course, as I haven't been able to reproduce the error on the machine myself, and additionally, the device ID is not shown in the PDF (there only is to be read “Paperport 12”), so I can't really tell where and how the data has been processed, so please take the information as hearsay. Also, we can never be sure the mails I get are part of some spin doctoring campaign, so be suspicious. I'll be adding potentially affected devices to my “hear-say list of affected devices” though. 8-)

Xerox announces software patch

One day after their first Statement, which in essence contained information already known at the time, Xerox now published a second one.

In this statement, Xerox does announce a software patch to be developed that seems to completely eliminate the compression mode in question from their scan copiers. Pretty nice! Even though it is the most radical option, it is the one I wished for, for as I pointed out several times, patch based lossy compression seems to be uncalled for in document scan copiers. It's also a big leap for Xerox, as in their glossy brochures, they have been praising the compression mode in question as a top notch feature.

Almost nobody is short of disk storage space any more. Aside from this, customers not having legal certainty on anything they scanned using this mode, or others fearing to unburden the pensions office from their monthly payments to ol' grandma by just scanning her medicine prescriptions might not be what Xerox originally intended at all.

The day after

… seems not to be today.

I was a bit of anticipating the Xerox number mangling concern to lose momentum today. This would have been okay, since it is not my goal to inflict any damage to Xerox. I really appreciated how they got in touch and listened, and this is why I tried to help as far as I could.

Only – the internet doesn't forget. Read the sometimes harsh comments below the Xerox statement! People do not seem to agree that some small notice in the web interface only shown when changing the compression level to “normal” (sic!) would make up for possible annual productions of subtly incorrect documents at what may easily be thousands of enterprises world-wide. As a result, and as a result of the mass media kicking in additionally, this web site runs on up to 160 hits a minute the whole day. A friend of mine condensed the issue in a wonderful way I do not want to withhold from you: