Magazine article Law & Order

Technical Libraries, 2D Bar Codes, Digital Surveillance

Magazine article Law & Order

Technical Libraries, 2D Bar Codes, Digital Surveillance

Article excerpt


'Reilly & Associates puts out the best computer books that I have ever found. If you want to know more about a topic that has anything to do with computers, there is at least one book in the collection to help you. The subject matter runs from the basic (Windows XP: The Missing Manual) to the extremely esoteric (A Look at Multihoming and BJP).

Technical books are relatively costly and go out of date quickly. However, there's no substitute for one when you need to know how to do something and don't have anyone to ask. O'Reilly offers an answer in its Safari Tech Books Online service. Each book of the 800 titles from O'Reilly, New Riders, Peachpit, and Addison-Wesley has a point value. A subscription to five points of books is $10 per month. Once a month, the subscriber can swap any or all titles in the subscription for new ones, so that they never get dated, and advanced books can be substituted for basic ones when your skills improve. The books are online versions that can be searched and annotated with your own notes. Subscribers also get to search multiple books at one time, search books that they don't have subscriptions to and preview sections of books before subscribing to them. If you have a need to maintain a small computer library, this might be your most costeffective option.

High-Density Data

Although there hasn't been a consensus between the states on the format, it won't be long before every driver's license issued in the United States will carry a bar code, magnetic strip, or other data coding to verify the printed information on the license and make forgery and alteration of the document more difficult. One of the problems with this technology so far is the limited amount of information that can be stored in this format. Most state motor vehicle departments have to decide between the demographic text information stored on the card, or a coded fingerprint or a photo, but not all three.

Datastrip has introduced the 2D Superscript two-dimensional bar code format, capable of storing up to 3000 bytes of information in a strip about 3 x 0.75 inches, well within the form factor of a driver's license. Instead of the row of different-sized vertical lines that make up most consumer bar codes, a twodimensional bar code is made up of seemingly random dots, and it's just about impossible for a human to visually decipher the data. …

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