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The Almighty Buck

Greenbacks No More 1387

Posted by michael
from the paper-or-plastic dept.
Chacham writes "The Financial Times has an article about the US adding colors to some denominations of US currency. Apparently, with both size and color the same, foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills.I still haven't gotten used to the larger pictures. And now this? As Kermit the frog sang, It's not easy being green." The Federal Reserve has a press release. At least there's no mention of RFID tags.
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Greenbacks No More

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

    by imta11 (129979) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:09PM (#3745534)
    What the hell is paper money? Is that what my parents used to buy things?
  • No more green (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@ ... a - h u dson.com> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:09PM (#3745537) Journal
    Well, here in Canada, we've had funny-looking money for ages. It was supposed to help cut down on counterfeiters, but bubble-jets keep getting better - they're even cloning the $5 bills now!

    • From the linked articles, it seems one of the major motivations for changing the color is to help tourists distinguish between denominations. Is it really that hard to read the big number on any of the corners of the bill? It's also printed out elsewhere on the bill. How are colors going to help if tourists can't make sense of the numbers?
      • by jmd! (111669)
        > to help tourists distinguish between denominations

        Maybe they're tourists from ancient Rome, and can't read Arabic numbers.
    • I'm a Canadian trapped here in the land of dull Greenbacks and I can attest that, while the confusion factor over the domination is not that high, damn, its a dull, ugly currency.

      If only I had a lot more of it.
    • Thats alright, the ink required to make a counterfeit $5 bill costs $7.95.
  • Sight impaired (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Different sizes helps the sight impaired.
  • Damn, I just go my vending machines to accept the new bills. Now I have to do it all again.
  • RFID tags (Score:4, Funny)

    by technomancerX (86975) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:11PM (#3745549) Homepage
    No, they don't mention them, they just put them in without saying anything =)
    • by ackthpt (218170)
      Have you ever noticed that lingering around the outside of operating rooms and dentists offices are these people who would look like spooks, with the right sun glasses and a wire dangling from their ear, and after an operation or dental work where you've been knocked out you always have some weird little sore spot you can't quite associate with the particular surgical/dental work?

      Whoops, someone's just dropped by to

      I have been seeing too many movies and imagined it. Go about your business and have a nice day.

  • Foreigners? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah, cause those Europeans spell "20" as... umm... "20".
  • Trouble? (Score:4, Funny)

    by geekd (14774) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:11PM (#3745553) Homepage
    Apparently, with both size and color the same, foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills.

    One would think the big number in each corner would be a pretty big giveaway as to the bill's value.

    :-)

    I'm all for color on our bills. Our money is pretty boring compared to "exciting" foreign money.

    But then, when it come to money, I'll all for boring. When "exciting" and "money" are used in the same sentence, it usually means I'm losing my ass.

    • It seems to me that the main reason for this is to deter counterfeiting, not saving foreigners from needing to squint to buy a pack of chewing gum.
    • by Torgo's Pizza (547926) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:20PM (#3745640) Homepage Journal
      From the recent episode where The Simpsons go to Brazil, where the kidnappers just receive the ransom money to free Homer.

      Brazilian 1: "Look at all that pink and purple."
      Brazilian 2: "Our money sure is gay."

    • Oddly enough, the headline [bbc.co.uk] on this article is strangely apt.
    • Re:Trouble? (Score:5, Funny)

      by ChaosDiscordSimple (41155) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:46PM (#3745948) Homepage
      Our money is pretty boring compared to "exciting" foreign money.

      That's a feature, darnit! Even with our new, more open, cleaner looking bills, US greenbacks are still the most evil looking money in the world. Black and green with dense and archaic patterns. Thanks to the slightly colored cloth stock they print on, our money starts out looking slightly grimy (crisp, but grimy). Can you picture a suitcase of Euros looking as menacing as a suitcase of US dollars? US bills demand respect. Our money reminds viewers that it is the root of all evil.

    • Re:Trouble? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ocie (6659)
      Hear hear. I think they are barking up the wrong tree. The bigger problem I'd see for foreigners is that none of our coins have a value in arabic numerals. Some don't even spell out the value.
  • "International visitors complain 'We can't tell your denominations apart,'" said the Bureau of Engraving and Printing which will release new versions of the $20, $50 and $100 bills next year.

    What you mean besides having different pictures and a HUGE FUCKING NUMBER on them? This just seems silly to me.
    • Well, it's harder at night, in a club, when you've had a few too many ...
    • by Saige (53303) <evil DOT angela AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:18PM (#3745619) Journal
      Remember, most people from other countries can tell the denominations of bills apart by just a quick glance at their color.

      Imagine growing up, always having color as an identifying mark for currency. Suddenly, you're somewhere else, you pull out your money, and it's all the same color! Sure, they can look at it, but it's more effort than they're used to. Sure, not that much effort overall, but when you're used to one thing, and you have to do a little more, that can really throw you off.

      Go try dialing a rotary phone, and see if you don't find it annoying just because of the time difference.

    • It looks as though you've never travelled or lived outside the U.S. in your entire life.

      Having different colors does make a huge difference for a lot of people. I've lived in four countries (including the U.S. now) and I definitely think that colored foreign currency notes are much easier to handle compared to boring green U.S. notes.
      • by foobar104 (206452) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:37PM (#3745832) Journal
        Right this second, I have a pocketful of Australian and Singaporean money. (Just got back from a trip.) At a glance, I can't tell the Aussie dollars from the Singapore dollars. They're both fairly brightly colored, but they're differently colored in an inconsistent way. In other words, an Aussie $5 bill is easy to distinguish from an Aussie $10 bill, but hard to distinguish-- at a glance-- from a Singapore $5 bill.

        So it's two sides of the same coin, ha ha. It'd be a challenge to make the US dollar bills look different from one another while preventing them from looking like the bills of other countries.
  • About goddamn time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by James_G (71902) <[james] [at] [globalmegacorp.org]> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:14PM (#3745566)
    I've lived in the US for 3 years now, and I'm still incredulous as to how backward the US paper currency is compared to other countries. The anti-counterfeit measures are basically non-existant, and the notes all look absolutely identical. Digging through your wallet it's impossible to know if something is a 5 or a 10 just by glancing at it, so to see how much cash you have is a long winded counting process.

    In the UK, paper notes all have a brightly coloured square/triangle/circle etc. which help people who are partially sighted identify them. They're also slightly different sizes to help completely blind people identify the differences.

    Apparently, up until now people in the US are patriotic to the extreme and can't stand to see their precious 'greenbacks' changed.. so it's about time this happened.. Let's hope they don't encounter too much resistance eh?

    • it's impossible to know if something is a 5 or a 10 just by glancing at it, so to see how much cash you have is a long winded counting process.

      Yah, 'cos you know colors add in your head so much easier than numbers.

    • i've never had any trouble knowing how much money i have in my wallet, even without playstation symbols on it.
    • "The anti-counterfeit measures are basically non-existant"

      Wrong.

      Just because you personally can't see or detect the methods of protection, doesn't mean they aren't there. It's actually EXTREMELY hard to copy $10 and up denonmination bills reliably.
      • by jmv (93421)
        Just because you personally can't see or detect the methods of protection, doesn't mean they aren't there.

        What's the use of having a great copy-protection method when people can't tell the difference just by looking at it. In many places, new bills have a hologram printed on them, so you can see easily if it's been copied (with a color copier or something simple). With US bills, I doubt you can tell quite easily... and how many people/stores check all bills very carefully?
    • by cr@ckwhore (165454) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:26PM (#3745718) Homepage
      "The anti-counterfeit measures are basically non-existant"...

      ... except for the watermarks, microprint, iridescent markings, micro engraved printing process, blue and red fibers embedded in the linen paper, and the micro-thin plastic strip embedded in each bill.
    • by Saige (53303) <evil DOT angela AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:28PM (#3745740) Journal
      Apparently, up until now people in the US are patriotic to the extreme and can't stand to see their precious 'greenbacks' changed.. so it's about time this happened.. Let's hope they don't encounter too much resistance eh?

      They are going to encounter a ton of resitance from US citizens. Heck, just read the messages in this disussion so far, and you'll see that even geeks, the ones you think would be more interested in new things and change, are freaking out, and attacking the idea even though there's not a single valid complaint that I've seen so far.

      It's all been "I don't want a rainbow in my wallet" or accusing non-Americans of being unable to read numbers (though they don't realize most non-Americans don't read the numbers on their currency because they use different colors, so they're not used to it).

      I suspect the public outcry against this will be huge, and people might even try and find some way to work 9/11 and "not surrendering to terrorists" into this.

      It's no wonder that Europe and Japan create fancy new technology and implement it left and right (maglev trains, alternative fuel cars, etc), while America sticks to inventing weapons of war, new food additives, and new ways to patent/copyright information so that nobody can use it - cause new technology requires new ideas and change, and if even the geeks can't accept the color of their money changing, imagine something that could actually be disruptive.
      • >It's no wonder that Europe and Japan create >fancy new technology and implement it left and >right (maglev trains, alternative fuel cars, >etc), while America sticks to inventing weapons >of war, new food additives, and new ways to >patent/copyright information so that nobody can

        Yea, I love those awesome flying cars they have in Japan that run on H2O and cause zero polution!

        Seriously dude, what the heck are you talking about? Do you actually think the rest of the world is lightyears ahead of us in technology? I mean, if there were all these magical things Japan and Europe invented don't you think they would be making a killing selling them to us? Come on.

        There are societal/economical reasons why things like maglev trains don't work as well here. Things like wanting the freedom of your own house and wanting to drive where you want to when you want to.

        As for those evil Americans "inventing weapons of war", well guess what---your using one of those "weapons" right now. The Internet started as DARPANET--A Defense Department network designed to keep communication going during nuclear attack.

        Brian Ellenberger
        • I mean, if there were all these magical things Japan and Europe invented don't you think they would be making a killing selling them to us?
          Um, they have - look at all the Toyotas and Mercs for a start, then look at high tech industries led by Du Pont, Siemens, Fujitsu, Sony etc. Then take a look at American plumbing! That said, conservatism is rife everywhere and it takes a while for good ideas to take hold, and I don't know what this has to do with US cash anyway. Just fix the stuff so that it can't be copied so easily.
    • This is probably a troll, but what the heck...

      The anti-counterfeit measures are basically non-existant

      Not true. Go to the Secret Service's webpage [secretservice.gov] based on the measures they've taken. Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they're not there.

      it's impossible to know if something is a 5 or a 10 just by glancing at it

      You mean, like looking at the big number in each corner of the paper? Different question: Are you telling me that you need a color-based mnemonic to remember a numeric-based mnemonic as to the representation of the value of the currency? IOW, Red=5 is easier to remember than 5=5?
      • by ryanvm (247662) on Friday June 21, 2002 @06:08PM (#3746617)
        Not true. Go to the Secret Service's webpage based on the measures they've taken. Just because you can't see them, doesn't mean they're not there.

        How the hell are you supposed to know if someone's passing you counterfeit bills if the countermeasures are hidden to the naked eye? Maybe this has something to do with the fact that U.S. currency is the most successfully counterfeited money in the world.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:46PM (#3745946) Homepage Journal
      They're also slightly different sizes to help completely blind people identify the differences.

      That's nice. That would also mean that obsessive-compulsives such as myself would be unable to neatly stack the bills in our wallet in order, facing the same direction, pointing upward, and squared away with all the corners touching.

      God help the poor sap waiting behind me at a fast-food drivethrough as I spend 10 minutes trying to get my change back into my wallet.

      Yeah, that's a swell idea.
  • Great... (Score:3, Funny)

    by telstar (236404) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:14PM (#3745568)
    First that damn Sackajewei coin and now rainbow-bright bills?
    Be on the lookout for future security enhancements:
    • -Scratch & Sniff Bills

    • -Hologram Dollars
      -Crystal Dollars
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:14PM (#3745570) Homepage Journal
    Now I can use every color in my ink cartridge.
  • "foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills"

    does the phonecian numbering system still present a problem for some corners of the earth? I wasn't aware that the roman or summerian numerals where still in use.

    Or is the next 'new math' going to be based on adding colors, instead of numbers? Yeah, you gave me two blues ($5) and a yellow ($10), so thats a blue-green ($20.)

    Right. There are better reasons that this.
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by quantaman (517394) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:15PM (#3745578)
    The Treasury and Federal Reserve now changes the design of the currency every seven to 10 years to try to deter counterfeiters.

    I would think that a number of different designs circulating for a single denomination of currency would infact make it easier to get away with counterfeiting. People would be less familiar with the design of the bill and be more likely to discount inconsistencies in the design by the fact that it is a different circulation.
  • by Chris Y Taylor (455585) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:15PM (#3745586) Homepage
    Lets forget these paper bills altogether. If we want to make our money more interesting and easier to distinguish, we should just start using giant round rocks with holes in the middle.
  • doh (Score:5, Funny)

    by theEdgeSMAK (467213) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:16PM (#3745594) Homepage
    Now strippers can tell what I'm throwing on the table at a glance.
  • About time, too (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kafka93 (243640) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:16PM (#3745598)
    Although I'm English, I've lived in the USA for a few years, on and off, and *still* find the homogeneity of the bank notes to be irritating. One shouldn't have to check twice that one isn't handing over a twenty instead of a dollar bill; besides which, it's just a *token* -- it doesn't *mean* anything, really. I say this simply because people get way too caught up on the perceived importance of things like this - the obvious example being those Europeans whose principal argument against the Euro has nothing to do with financial stability, but is instead concerned with such ridiculous notions as "tradition" and "national pride".

    But I digress. Different American bank notes *are* difficult to distinguish between, and I'm not surprised that this is a concern when it comes to the ease of counterfeiting, either.

    And if I'm rambling incoherently, it's because of staying up all night only to watch England lose. Bah.
  • Help? (Score:5, Funny)

    by thefirelane (586885) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:16PM (#3745601)
    Apparently, with both size and color the same, foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills


    The Federal Reserve announced they would also hire outside consultants from Parker Brothers.


    ---Lane
  • by crow (16139) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:19PM (#3745625) Homepage Journal
    The changes are not there to help people differentiate between the different denominations, they're there to make it harder to counterfeit the bills. They've even said that they're keeping the same look and feel, so the changes won't be that dramatic. They're even trying to make them backwards-compatible with vending machines.
  • by gwernol (167574) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:20PM (#3745637)
    Apparently, with both size and color the same, foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills.I still haven't gotten used to the larger pictures

    As one of those "foreigners" who now lives in the US, I've often wondered how blind people operate here? All the bills are the same size. If you can't see what's written on the bill, how do you know if you've just offered a $1 bill or a $100 bill to the checkout clerk? How can you check your change?

    Its not just the blind. Imagine being able to put your hand in your pocket and know how much cash you have just by feel. That's cool. No more standing on a dark street corner in the bad part of town counting through notes to know if you have enough for a beer/cab home/meal/whatever.

    Virtually every other country has different sizes for notes of different amount. This seems like such an obvious and useful thing, I'm amazed that the US hasn't adopted it? Is this the ultimate Not Invented Here syndrome?
  • Jealousy! (Score:2, Funny)

    by JudgeDredd (561957)
    You Americans have always been jealous of us Canadians and our beautiful money!
  • against color (Score:2, Redundant)

    by cr@ckwhore (165454)
    I wish *they* would let us vote on it... I'd vote against adding color to US Currency.

    Although the article states the current bills as a "boon to swindlers" because the bills are hard to distinguish, I disagree. I know the difference between a 1, 5, 10, etc. If you're too stupid to be able to distinguish your money, you deserve to have it stolen.

    Regardless, I believe one of the attributes that makes US currency recognizable around the world is its simple color scheme. Its powerful, and looks like no other currency. When color is added to US currency, I fully expect the value of the dolor to drop because it will no longer have the bold, simple 2 color scheme. It will be just like every other paper currency on the world market.

    I recently watched a documentary on the History Channel, which contained a segment about the federal reserve. A federal reserve employee expressed these very sentiments, even before the idea of adding color to US bills became a serious prospect.
    • Re:against color (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dephex Twin (416238)
      Although the article states the current bills as a "boon to swindlers" because the bills are hard to distinguish, I disagree. I know the difference between a 1, 5, 10, etc. If you're too stupid to be able to distinguish your money, you deserve to have it stolen.

      Yes, I suppose if you are too stupid to have good eyesight, you deserve to lose your money. Honestly, I am embarrassed by the number of Americans that have said "Look at the number you IDIOT." Why is it so hard to realize that coloring money makes it *easier*? Maybe you are a master at telling our money apart at a glance and have great vision. Good for you. How is this an argument against changing the color?

      Do you honestly believe that entire countries that have trouble with our money are just too foolish to get it? Maybe we who live here have adapted with what we have. Is it some sign of weakness-- is adding color for "babies" or what?
      When color is added to US currency, I fully expect the value of the dolor to drop because it will no longer have the bold, simple 2 color scheme.

      Wow, now that's an extreme stance. I *really* doubt this. Other countries have money that looks like no other. Our money isn't famous and worth a lot because it is known for being green... it's the other way around.

      If you take the stance that single color->easier counterfitting is baseless, how can you then make the claim that multi-color->downfall of the dollar? Which one is probably closer to reality?

      mark
  • Australian 'bills' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by YakumoFuji (117808) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:21PM (#3745648) Homepage
    the aussie non coin money i still like! plastic so you can leave it in your pocket when your jeans go in the wash. nice holograms (keeps the simple minded amused). doesnt tear as easy. nice and bright and colourful...

    apparently we were the first country to use polymer notes...

    two good links are here [go.com] and here [questacon.edu.au]

    and this shows all our polymer notes [geocities.com]

    -----

  • Confusing Currency! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vengie (533896) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:21PM (#3745654)
    The problem with currency changes is that you have old currency in circulation. I went to Ray's Pizza in Lower Manhattan and the man behind the counter had recently come here and had not seen the "OLD" 20's -- and thought my bill (gotten from an ATM that morning) was faked. In any situation where new currency is issued, the gov. needs to assure a "waiting period" in which you can freely trade in old bills for new ones and get the old ones off the streets. The whole point of the "new" bills is to prevent fakes -- as of right now, you can still get an old fake, rough it up, and use it on the street. Plus, old greek men will think you're trying to cheat them, even when you arent. (No greeks were harmed in the writing of this post)
  • Apparently, with both size and color the same, foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills.

    Yeah, exactly the opposite of what happens with the british unit system you use. Those are really easy compared to understanding your money...

    (For the humour impaired: This is supposed to be sarcastic.)

  • I've always thought US monochrome money was by far the best looking money in the world. Other countries with all their "pretty" colors look like fake, monopoly money.

    US money, on the other hand, looks like serious money , beefy and substantial. There's no mistaking that US currency is a serious document.

    In fact, I thought the current redesign really took a lot of the "heft" out of the bills. Now color?

    Who's running the federal reserve? Whoever it is needs to get a clue. Next the military will be painting our fighter jets with nice, pastel colors.

  • by Surt (22457) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:24PM (#3745691) Homepage Journal
    I used to work for the treasury department, and back about 10 years ago they were working extensively with the FBI to improve on the ability to track down money laundering and counterfeiting.

    The biggest thing heading our way in that department is a nationally linked serial number scanning system. Basically, since virtually all stores have laser scanners already, and a strong desire to avoid getting fed counterfeits (since they lose the counterfeit money without reparation), stores will be offered the opportunity to scan the money you hand them, and have a unique serial number checked against a national database. Money being used at multiple locations at the same time can be flagged as counterfeit, and refused by the stores.

    The big benefit to the FBI comes when they can then follow money virtually every time it is spent. It can even be correlated with time stamped receipts at the stores to see what was bought.

    A portion of this system is already in place in a number of banks, which have better scanners that work with the existing money supply, but in the next generation of currency, there will be a small bar code on the upper right edge of the currency for this purpose.

    Its a pretty cool system, and should really help to cut down on organized crime.
  • Cold, Hard Sentiment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by donnacha (161610) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:25PM (#3745706) Homepage

    Apparently, with both size and color the same, foreigners have a hard time differenciating between the bills.
    I realize how strange that must seem to Americans but it really is true; I travel all over the world and the U.S. is the only place where I have to really think about what I'm doing, it's insanely easy to make mistakes.

    Given that money is meant to be representational, and given that the different bills represent entirely different amounts, it only makes sense to distinguish them from one another as much as possible.

    I once met someone working within the US treasury and took the opportunity to ask him why they didn't take advantage of color printing. He reckoned that it was politics more than anything else; no politician wanted to be the one to suggest changing something with which Americans identify so strongly. I guess it's a bit like the British being sentimental about the pound despite all the jobs and markets they're losing to Ireland and the other countries who've adopted the Euro.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms@@@infamous...net> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:30PM (#3745765) Homepage

    While they're at it, howsabout some real change in the bills - like changing who's on them?

    Start with the $20. Jackson. How did this genocidal maniac, who laid the seeds of the Trail of Tears, who shattered the Constitutional balance of power by ignoring rulings of the Supreme Court, who appointed Taney (who authored the Dred Scott decision) to that same court, end up honored with a place on our money?

    • by cryptochrome (303529) on Friday June 21, 2002 @05:41PM (#3746446) Journal
      Oddly enough Jackson has an interesting history with money.

      The Second Bank of the United States was established in 1816, and quickly became one of the most influential institutions in the world. Many people regarded the privately owned bank which wielded independent of the government as a dangerous and anti-democratic institution, benefitting the rich at the expense of the working class and heavily tied to foreign interests. Or as banker Meyer Rothschild wrote, "Let me issue and control a nation's currency and I care not who writes its laws." No person fought so hard and so opposed the bank as the populist Andrew Jackson, who once famously remarked "The bank...is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" In 1836 Jackson vetoed the bill to renew it's charter, and considered it one of the greatest accomplishments of his career. However, following the panic of 1907 the Federal Reserve was established, for all intents and purposes identical to it's predecessors.

      It is with considerable irony that Jackson's visage now appears appears on the $20 bill, beneath the words "Federal Reserve Note".
  • by nochops (522181) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:31PM (#3745769)
    Well, with about 100 posts so far, I see about half from non-Americans, with legit reasons why the US should use this system, and about half from Americans, basically saying fsck the foreigners...they need to learn to read the numbers...etc.

    It speaks volumes about our (Americans') culture and attitude towards the rest of the world as a society, and yes, I'm American.
  • by rhiorg (213355) <rhiorg@sarcasmic.net> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:32PM (#3745787)
    Just as I'm about to finish the script for my live-action adaptation of Danger Mouse, I learn that we're changing our money. Great.

    So now the name Silas Greenback will be an antiquated reference and the villainous character will have to be changed to reflect whatever color the government finally chooses. It will change the entire dynamic of the show, since the name "Greenback" made since because he is GREEDY and therefore desires MONEY, and because he is a FROG. A GREEN FROG.

    I just hope they don't choose pink...because then the villain will have to be a Flamingo in order for the name to work. And there's already a bird villain in the show - the nefarious Stiletto! Not to mention Mad Manuel, "the Flamenco assassin", which sounds entirely too much like flamingo.

    Thanks for ruining Danger Mouse, you feds!
  • Terrible idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:33PM (#3745798)
    The last thing I want is multicolored money. I don't want some asshole to know I'm carrying a big note by seeing a certain color in my wallet while I'm at the grocery store.

    There are many situations where it's possible for other people to view my money. I don't want some careful observer 5 meters away to know I'm carrying more than usual because of some colored Monopoly money!
    • Re:Terrible idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kanasta (70274)
      You're a retard.

      Which will expose your money to view longer?

      1) Glancing in your slightly parted wallet and seeing eg 5 red notes, 2 green ones, and 1 blue one?

      2) Taking the wad of cash out of your wallet and viewing each note individually to ascertain its value?

      Who the f*&k is going to count your money before they rob you anyway? You have a fat wallet, they'll take it. If they all happen to be $1s, bad luck, they'll take that risk.

      If you live somewhere where everyone around you is trying to rob you anyway, you should really consider moving to a safer neighborhood.
  • by L. VeGas (580015) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:37PM (#3745835) Homepage Journal
    Boy am I humiliated. Up till now I thought my 6" money was quite adequate.
  • by Quixadhal (45024) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:40PM (#3745875) Homepage Journal
    Now that we're pretty close to having LCD paper, and wireless internet access in every major city, I'm all for the next generation of money having LCD hologram foil that has a full 3-D animation of George W (or whomever is President when it's "printed") waving out from each bill. Whenever you're in range of a wireless network, the hologram can be updated to meet the current political climate, and of course banner ads can scroll between the large flashing colored denomination symbols. (Quickly pulsing red ball means $50, slower green pyramid means $20).

    Now if they can get integrated micro-foil speakers too, we can have money that talks to us and cries "Spend Me!", "I've been in your wallet for 3 days, Don't you need more Cheezy-Poofs?"
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:41PM (#3745893) Journal
    I've seen enough americans here saying "read the fscking number". but what when the bills are inside a wallet, or purse ?

    you have to take all the bills out to read the numbers ? oh, but there's the images, right ? wrong. except for the 1 dolar bill I have no fucking clue of who is in each bill. inside a wallet all of them look the same to me.

    now with colors at least I'll know that they're diferent, and it'll be easier to associate the colors with the face value if I ever go to US.

    face it, from all the so called "civilized" countries, US is way behind in terms of currency printing technology.
  • by mikosullivan (320993) <`miko' `at' `idocs.com'> on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:42PM (#3745900)
    I'm against adding color to the bills. The US dollar is the most accepted, stable currency in the world. It may be "boring", but it's trusted. From a marketing standpoint, the greenish color scheme has fantastic brand awareness. People know it's US currency just by glancing at it. We will do our monetary system a disservice by trashing this brand
  • by Chairboy (88841) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:47PM (#3745958) Homepage
    I imagine that Counterfeiters will nod, smile, then continue counterfeiting bills using the old style. As long as old currency is is wide circulation, IT is the one that'll be copied, not the challenging new stuff.

    If you're a mugger, you target the little old lady, not the big musclular guy w/ a shoulder holster and a black belt.
  • by wompser (165008) on Friday June 21, 2002 @04:56PM (#3746065)
    Personally, I'm all for the change. But there is something that no one has pointed out yet: The enormous cost of new capital machinery.

    Many years ago I worked for Coca-Cola, who had 1 million plus vending machines with dollar bill acceptors in South East Wisconsin. Figuring the hard costs alone of new bill validators at 20 million bucks, you can bet there are going will be some VERY strong lobbying when these proposed changes start getting discussed.

  • Not for foreigners (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RobinH (124750) on Friday June 21, 2002 @05:02PM (#3746118) Homepage
    I don't know where you get the idea that it's deliberately for "foreigners"... I heard this story on the radio a month ago, and the story definitely mentioned it was to make counterfeiting more difficult.

    The newest Canadian bills are not only different colours, but they have braille, a special glossy maple leaf overlay, and a bunch of pressed on 'dots' which, with some difficulty, can be peeled off to prove they are not just printed on. All of these things (except, perhaps, the braille) are primarily to stop counterfeiting.

    ... and guess what: I use both Canadian and U.S. currency every day, and the different colours of Canadian money make it wayyy easier to differentiate different denominations.

    Consider this, many times, you just went to a bank machine and got $100 as five $20 bills. Then you buy a pack of gum to break one of the twenties. Later, when you go to pay for something that's $4.95, and you want to find that $5 bill you know is in your wallet, it's MUCH easier to just look for a blue piece of paper, rather than looking at the writing on each individual bill. Maybe it only saves you 5 or 10 seconds, but if you're in a line with 5 or 10 people, and each person takes 5 or 10 seconds longer, that adds up over the course of a day.

    Besides that, twice in the last two years, someone giving me change in the U.S. has tried to pass off a $1 as a $10. I noticed it, but I wonder how many times they actually succeed?
  • by plcurechax (247883) on Friday June 21, 2002 @05:04PM (#3746138) Homepage
    I think it is a great idea, because it finally allows the US Treasury to put some decent anti-counterfeiting into their bills. I mean you think they would be embarassed to be the most successfully counterfeited currency in the world.


    Not just new hued (i.e. not bright colours, but various hues) bills but magentic inks, water-spots, metal foil sown into the fiber, various printing methods (for a tactial feel to the blind). Other countries such as Canada have introduced braille for the blind.


    The braille is also good for check your pockets at the bars before offering to buy the next round of beer. While in Britian I had my first exposure to different sized bills, and I found it useful to be able to assess at a glance what is in my wallet, and to double check the change from the taxis driver after a night out. Too often you cannot read the bills since it is dark, and taxis are pretty horrid at having burnt out interior lights.


    Of course many people will be distracted by the "national image", the real issues of harder to make a quality counterfeit it to the benefit of the US economy, and just about everyone in the US except criminals and the CIA (who have been accused of counterfeiting, but never proven).


    For those who cannot understand the tourist angle. I suspect that is a PR claim, but visitors are not only dealing with a new currency, they are often using a second, third, or fifth language, and also trying to do currency conversion to their native currency when shopping and trying to budget their trip. There are those shop keepers and tourist industry people who try to take advanage of the similiar appearance. I'm know that there has been more than a couple bait-and-switch cases of people doing much like a card trick when giving back change; to not just tourists but everyday Americians.

  • examples? (Score:4, Funny)

    by brer_rabbit (195413) on Friday June 21, 2002 @05:05PM (#3746150) Journal
    Anyone have a picture of one of the new bills? Preferrably a large tiff image, around 2400 dpi, front and back...something I could print at the local Kinkos?
  • Powers of 2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Friday June 21, 2002 @05:21PM (#3746288) Homepage
    Let's go whole hog and make money in powers of 2.

    $1, $2, $4, $8, etc. denominations.

    It would make it so much easier for geeks to count, and make writing software for ATMs so much simpler.

    ;)

  • by Planetes (6649) on Friday June 21, 2002 @05:21PM (#3746292)
    I was at Mardi Gras in New Orleans (lived there at the time) a few years ago and had a Canadian friend ask me if I knew why Canadian bills were all different colors. With a dead serious expression he said "So you can tell them apart when your drunk.." and walked off. Knowing his drinking habits, I've always got a personal chuckle that in his case I believe it.
  • counterfeit (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cryptnotic (154382) on Friday June 21, 2002 @06:02PM (#3746576) Homepage
    It is very common to find what are known as "raised notes", legitimate bills which have been modified to look like higher-denomination bills. If a clerk, customer or foreign tourist isn't paying attention, they may receive these types of bills. There is [secretservice.gov]
    a page on the Secret Service web page about these type of counterfeit bills. Switching to different sized and different color bills would eliminate this type of fraud.

  • by Eric Damron (553630) on Friday June 21, 2002 @06:39PM (#3746783)
    I think I need practice with really large denomination bills. If the government would just send me a bag full of VERY large denomination bills I could willing to practice.
  • plastic money (Score:3, Interesting)

    by leastsquares (39359) on Friday June 21, 2002 @07:33PM (#3747071) Homepage
    In Scotland, there was a trial with credit card-like replacements for each bill (or each note, as it is called in Britian). I thought it was great - perfectly washable -- for example, I could take my wallet kayaking and not care about getting it wet.

    Unfortunately, everyone else hated the idea, so it was dropped.

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