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.

Of course, one can only guess the actual implications the issue might have had or is going to have. This is true both for Xerox and its customers. For Xerox, it is unclear what the implications with respect to their liability and reputation may be. One can hear people talking of class action lawsuits, and it is a winged word that in the US you can get sued for almost everything.

As for the customers, the dimensions might be tremendous at all: I am in touch with a centralized archive of a whole nation (!), and with large enterprises incorporating professional IT support, that have been using the number-mangling “normal” compression mode on lots and lots of xerox devices affected without a fuss. In particular, the archive might painfully have its existence questioned in the future.

Plain and simple, nobody expects a scancopier to be able to substitute characters for others, and some small notifications in the web interface or a 300 page manual do not change this at all. While bad scanning quality is obvious to users and therefore can most easily be corrected, this means of visual inspection cease to be applicable in the present case.

Thus: I highly appreciate Xerox will provide this radical, but nevertheless necessary solution. Has been an interesting Week, thanks to all of you guys for getting in touch :-)

Edit: Let me add something to make you smile to yourself … a pure-gold money quote put by Rick Dastin, Vice President Office and Solutions at Xerox Corporation, in an interview with BBC: “Mr Dastin said that oil rigs, the military and clients in developing markets were among the owners most likely to have switched their copiers to the setting.”

You don't say!! Well, if only the military (!!) and some oil rigs use the “normal” compression mode and, as a consequence, work with possibly invalid data, what's the worst that can happen at all? LOL In this case, I am sorry for all the hazzle I caused. My bad! 8-)


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No one needs to get rid of patch-based compression algorithm (in form of JBIG2) since it has lossless mode which can provide a much better compression results comparing to CCITT4 while preserving exact bit-to-bit image representation (just like Fax Mode 4 CCITT4 or any other B&W image encoding algorithm). They just need to pass a Lossless flag to JBIG2 encoder to resolve that problem once and forever (and it should still provide better compression results than any counterparts hidden under names High and Higher).

1 |
Nik Medved
| 2013/08/08 16:12 | reply

Thanks, Nik! I tried to point that out by writing “patch based lossy compression” :-)

2 |
David Kriesel
| 2013/08/08 16:27 | reply