You couldn't make it up: Blogger identifies number-changing glitch in Xerox copying machines
Paul Bignell is an Assistant News Editor at The Independent. He has previously been the acting News Editor of the i Paper, a home news reporter for The Independent for one year and a reporter for the Independent on Sunday for six years.
Tuesday 06 August 2013
Photocopying has always ranked among the more tedious of office chores – and now it seems that some of the machines may have been working against us all along.
A German computer scientist and blogger has identified a glitch in a range of Xerox photocopying and scanning machines which causes them to randomly alter numbers in documents. In a statement issued today, the US firm, which holds a Royal warrant and is over 100 years old, said it took the issue “very seriously”, adding that the problem lay with the factory default settings.
In one example, David Kriesel who is based in Bonn, found copies he had made of construction plans had altered dimensions of some of the rooms. One Xerox printer had enlarged the square meter of a room from 14.13 m² to 17.42m², while another shrunk it from 21.11 m² to 14.13 m². Mr Kriesel found the copier would often change the number 6 into the number 8, and vice versa. He said the issue arose through an “image compression” fault, linked to how the scanners shrink the file size of scans.
Mr Kriesel identified two models affected – the Xerox WorkCentre 7535 and the 7556. However, since then he said other users had reported problems in other machines. On his website, Mr Kriesel complained that Xerox had been slow to issue an explanation for the error: “I learned in the last days that a lot of people worldwide seem to have run into the same trap. I got around 200,000 hits and several mails from people experiencing the same errors without a clue where they come from. A notice to the public would have been nice.”
A Xerox 7500 series WorkCentre
Xerox said: “The problem stems from a combination of compression level and resolution setting. We do not normally see a character substitution issue... However, the defect may be seen at lower quality and resolution settings.”
Life & Style blogs
Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
Fake goats’ cheese found in supermarkets
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
Uber France apologises for sexist promotion offering men free rides with 'incredibly hot chicks' as drivers
Hate your email? Google knows: its new app promises the earth (and a manageable inbox)
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large organisa...
£22000 - £24000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer (1st...