Monday, October 04, 2004

There is nothing quite as wonderful as money; there is nothing quite as beautiful as cash

Does it surprise anyone that the vaunted anti-copying and anti-Photoshopping features of the new $50 bill are defeated within minutes? Behold: All it takes is a dumb application like MS Paint, that doesn't jump in with an error message on realizing the contents of the clipboard are somewhat currency-like. I even got the scanned bill into Photoshop, too, though I had to paste the image in five segments to prevent the anti-counterfeiting feature from kicking in. Making these digital copies is getting harder, thanks to secretive anti-counterfeiting technology built into some popular consumer hardware and software products at the request of government regulators and international bankers. It seems, then, to be not just primarily but entirely reliant on this effort of forcing manufacturers to comply with anti-copying measures - and that's not a secure solution at all. (Nor does it even, as I've just demonstrated, work.) This might prevent kids or the terminally idiotic from running off a sheet of counterfeits on a colour photocopier or their home printer, but it's not going to stop the determined professional forger.

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