Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Barcodepedia - a Social Network Barcode DB 118

Thor Larholm writes "Barcodepedia is a community-based online barcode database, where everybody can contribute whichever barcodes they have lying around on their crowded desks simply by holding it in front of your webcam. The database is completely free to use, and everyone is invited to participate. The site should be available in French, Russian, German and Swedish within a week, so get all your friends and go to your local store with a laptop for massive fun. Donations of cuecats and other specialized scanners are welcomed." Anyone who's read Bruce Sterling's book Shaping Things may immediately think of Sterling's concept of "spimes" — for those who haven't, Sterling's 2006 SXSW address explains a bit, too. (It's easy to create your own barcodes, too — and then, not quite as easily, you can use them to control your house.)
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Barcodepedia - a Social Network Barcode DB

Comments Filter:
  • by CrazyJim1 ( 809850 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:06PM (#15667576) Journal
    Excuse me while I go back to sleep.
  • There seems to be so many better and easier ways to control my house.
    Now, if I wanted to keep a running total of groceries, or keep a list of items for insurance purposes, then I might consider doing it, but it still seems like an awful lot of work, for little benefit.

  • AAAhhhh CueCats (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Palal ( 836081 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:06PM (#15667580) Homepage
    The Barcode DB is nice, but CueCats were even nicer. I made a lot by selling the modified versions on eBay in High School.... nothing like pure profit :).
    • Re:AAAhhhh CueCats (Score:3, Interesting)

      by daranz ( 914716 )
      This would actually work with most of the modified cuecats... It allows typing in of barcodes, and that's essentially what a modded cuecat does. It'd probably be easier and more realiable than using a webcam, too.

      Personally, I've been using my cuecat to catalog my DVD collection. There are some commercial apps out there that will read a barcode, look it up on several websites, and scrape the info about the particular DVD into a local database. With enough contributions to this barcodepedia website, it'd
      • You don't need specialized software to read barcodes. All keyboard-compatible barcode readers essentially are just 'typing' the barcodes to your keyboard input followed by a carriage return. It's pretty standard stuff, even the big table scanners do it this way.
  • Retarded (Score:3, Funny)

    by rratss ( 893595 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:08PM (#15667595)
    News for nerds, yes. Stuff that matters... to retards.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:08PM (#15667596)
    ...than Paintdrypedia, the community-based online database of images of paint drying. Everybody can contribute by pointing your webcams at freshly painted surfaces.
  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:11PM (#15667618)
    After a long decision process we have decided to change our name from barcoder to barcodepedia. This should hopefully give us a more international feel

    Since when does changing an 'r' to a 'pedia' give you more international feel?
  • This seems so dumb that it must be some kind of evil plot to take over the world using barcodes.
    • Well that "spimes" thing intends to track every object everywhere it goes for the entire lifetime of the object. Just wait for them to come and put a barcode on your forehead, and you'll know that the evil plot is coming to fruition.
  • What do barcodes have to do with "spimes"?
  • by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) * on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:27PM (#15667748)
    # (cur) (last) 15:13, 20 March 2006 BarCodeManiac (Talk | contribs) (rv to BarCodeManiac - germ-fighting capabilities of product stated in NPOV manner)
    # (cur) (last) 13:50, 20 March 2006 KueKatKlepto (Talk | contribs) (rv to superior format as per talk)
    # (cur) (last) 13:24, 20 March 2006 BarCodeManiac (Talk | contribs) (rv POV vandalism from moronic editor.)
    # (cur) (last) 02:56, 20 March 2006 KueKatKlepto (Talk | contribs) (rv)
    # (cur) (last) 20:08, 19 March 2006 BarCodeManiac (Talk | contribs) (rv Klepto's POV edit - see talk)
    # (cur) (last) 18:08, 19 March 2006 KueKatKlepto (Talk | contribs) (rv; please participate in talk. This version has been extensively justified and you have made no argument in favor of your counterintuitive version.)
    # (cur) (last) 12:47, 17 March 2006 BarCodeManiac (Talk | contribs) (rv; KueKatKlepto is censoring valid information that has nothing to do with "clarifying whether or not this product will fight germs that may cause bad breath." Stop the nonsense KueKatKlepto.)
    # (cur) (last) 10:10, 17 March 2006 KueKatKlepto (Talk | contribs) (lets clarify whether or not this product will fight germs that may cause bad breath)
    # (cur) (last) 11:41, 14 March 2006 BarCodeManiac (Talk | contribs) (rv massive POV shift. KueKatKlepto you are erasing valid information in one massive edit -- edit a little at a time so we can discuss please, or produce a list of all changes in talk so they can be addressed.)
    # (cur) (last) 10:24, 14 March 2006 KueKatKlepto (Talk | contribs) (lets be clear about who said what about what and when they said it, not all information about this product comes from the BBB; the BBB is biased and one-sided; restore deleted FOX News link)
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:28PM (#15667757) Homepage Journal
    It's times like this I start to miss the 1990s, and looking at grainy pics of JenniCam's cat sleeping on a bookshelf for three hours.
  • How about some links to images from Flickr or something?
  • A simple question (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Why? Why do we want or need an online barcode database? What good does this do? I can't seem to find this information anywhere on their site.
    • by TheBogie ( 941620 )
      If you dont know, I am not going to tell you.
    • by glitch! ( 57276 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:48PM (#15667925)
      It has a million household uses! Well, uh... You can take inventory of your food and spices, scan them in and out of the refrigerator and cupboards, and let the computer tell you when it is time to make more. Well, you'll have to program that yourself actually. But let's say you have something that is missing _most_ of the label but still has the barcode intact. You can use this database to find out what it is! See how handy this is?

      I have to wonder if these fine folks have heard of an already existing free UPC database? :) []
    • Used in conjunction with receiptopedia you can get a lot of money from Best Buy
  • Is there software for me to use my CueCat with this database? I think I have 3 or 4 left.
    • Re:CueCat? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 ( 468275 )
      Actually if you look on the site's about page, where he has a wish/priority list, CueCat support is on there.

      Unfortunately, it seems like he doesn't have a CueCat, and he's looking for someone to donate one, plus postage to Denmark.

      I only have one, but maybe someone around on Slashdot who cleaned up (the last time these came up in discussion, it seemed like there were people around with dozens of the things) as they were going out of business will be willing to post one to Europe.

      There are several GPLed pro
  • by linvir ( 970218 ) * on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:44PM (#15667888)

    Holy Guacamole, Batman! This is the sort of thing I've dreamed of since the first moment I finally came to understand the enormity of the internet. Years of text chat and popup ad bullshit later, I've been a bit disillusioned about the whole deal lately...

    BUT NO MORE!!!

    Finally, someone has come along and actually put the internet to the sort of use that we've been dreaming of for so long. I mean, Xbox Live was one thing, but man, it just doesn't compare with holding random shit up in front of a webcam and help create a database of barcodes.

    The creation of this site may even come to be known as The Singularity (I know, the word is overused, but it's really warranted in this case). Think of it. How could you even dare to imagine what the world will be like after a social network revolving around barcodes? There's only two things we can truly be sure to find on the other side of The Singularity: sentient robots and faster-than-light space travel. All thanks to the power of a database of barcodes.

    You heard it here first, people. BARCODEPEDIA IS OUR NEW GOD!

    • Too bad CueCat was a few years too early.

      I'm sure there would be an incredible killer app involving using your CueCat to scan barcodes from your screen on Barcodepedia. Maybe we could work Segways into it too.

      I have to admit, this is one Big Web Thing I actually didn't think of before it happened.

  • This is actually kinda neat, but I'm a developer who gets involved with things like this. Where else can you get an index of products, and their barcodes? I had thought of building one, but it looks like there's no longer a need to. I'll certainly be contributing.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:46PM (#15667907) Homepage

    As a hobby, it's silly. As a part of something like "" [], it would be useful. Show your webcam the barcode on any product you've got, and it finds someone who will sell you more of it, then adds it to a portable shopping cart. Grocery and drugstore sites should have had this by now.

    • As a hobby, it's silly.

      About as worthwhile as collecting stamps, plane spotting or paying for the privilege of watching meatheads kick around an airfilled leather sack on TV.

      I'd suggest you broaden your mind; different people have different interests. And there's nothing to suggest this project might not branch off in different directions in future.


      Paid marketers are the worst zealots.

  • Weird Format (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ignoramus ( 544216 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:47PM (#15667922) Homepage
    Too much flash (8!) for my taste, no images... if there was an obvious way to export the data it'd be more useful to me dumped into a MySQL db.
  • by ae ( 16342 )
    But the webcam-based scanner tool won't work on anything besides Mac OS X and Windows because it requires Flash 8. :/
  • Barkopedia (Score:4, Funny)

    by daniil ( 775990 ) <> on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:51PM (#15667941) Journal
    At first I thought it was a collaborative project to decode dog language. Alas, I was mistaken.
  • by RobotRunAmok ( 595286 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:54PM (#15667967)
    Anybody else remember the days when Science Fiction writers actually sat down and wrote some friggin' Science Fiction, instead of travelling around to pretentiously acronymed multi-disciplinary conferences foisting their ridiculously named neologism-wannabe terms around like they thought they were the 21st Century's version of Arthur C. Clarke, sans boys?


    Christ, I want four-armed Martians and time anomalies and big honkin' mechs and sexy androids and crew-cut space marines, and your giving me SPIMES? Hey, if I see Sterling "in concert," will I have to sit through some smug intro where the moderator (from the cable TV industry or NASDAQ, I'll bet) tells us how, despite how "hi-tek" the author is, he still writes all his manuscripts on parchment using the juice of mashed berries and JuJubes? Cuz that's the part I always look forward to...

    WRITE!! Jeezus, God, Mary, and all the goddamn archangels in Heaven, WRITE! A Story! With characters!! and an ending that makes me happy, or leaves me wondering and wanting more, but please, just lock your fuckin' luggage in the attic, lose the key, and WRITE A STORY!

    kk. thanx. better now...

  • For all the critics (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hi all

    For all critics of the page, I just want to clarify that the page is not done yet. As some of you might have noticed its not navigable in the user section when not having JavaScript tuned on and the language translations are not done yet.

    We do however count on having all this fixed in the middle of next month.

    Guess slashdot comes when you least expect it

            -Chris Benjaminsen
  • Wow. Somebody is finally trying to fulfill the Digital Convergence "vision."

  • by Rythie ( 972757 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @12:55PM (#15667987) Homepage
    I love the way the site proclaims to me "you must have flash player 8", well actually, no I don't.
    • "I love the way the site proclaims to me "you must have flash player 8", well actually, no I don't."

      That's what I thought. After seeing that, it was an easy click to close the window.

      Which webmaster in their right mind 'requires' the very latest instally-gadget junk for people to be able to use their website? Is it still the middle of the nineties when everybody with a two week crash course calls themselves a 'html programmer'?

  • Those guys clearly get out even less than slashdotters, so I think they need some help. The question is how best to encode Jenna Jameson in barcode? I think a barcode version of ASCII art would probably work best, I doubt they'll be able to appreciate base64-encoded boobies.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Aside from the obvious yawn factor I have to wonder, at least a little, the worth of such a venture when bc's will be replaced completely by smart chips in probably as little as 10 years.
  • What if google were to implement a sort of barcode scheme where you could use your camera phone to take a picture and get results of nearby locations or competing prices
  • Now hear me out. I have read on various top 100 lists over there years, that barcodes are one of the most important inventions in human history. Reason being because of logisitics. We could simply not have the engineering projects, economic growth, etc with them (or in an alternate universe, some other method). As for my own experience, I used to work at a company that built variable data printers, meaning unlike regular printers, the content could change with each print. So in this case, barcodes was
  • I'm darned if I see how it provides "tools to virtually construct nearly any kind of object," "Ways to rapidly prototype virtual objects into real ones," or implements "'Cradle-to-cradle' life-spans for objects: cheap effective recycling."

    It appears to me to have, by my account, approximate 1-3/8 of the six facets of spimes [].

    This seems more like Where's George. [] But less interesting.
  • But they're all ideas for sites I could make money from, so I won't. This just reaffirms that Slashdot is primarily made up of people without a creative thought in their heads.
  • sounds dull on the surface, but imagine another wiki database interfacing with the barcode database where you can look up company information/product information to determine things like: * what country your product was made in * whether or not they use child labor/sweatshops * what company/parent company the producer is owned by * what political parties those companies give to * what the environmental track record of the company is it could allow people to become smarter consumers.
    • I'm currently wearing Adidas. I can Google "Adidas labor practices" and figure out if I need to be converend fairly quickly (well, OK, I don't think "sweatshops" are necessarily something I need to be concerned about, but even if I shared the politics of the people hyperventilating about them I wouldn't need the barcode to do it). My technology incubator does traceability for beef (using cellphone based barcode readers -- they're a dime a dozen here), where you can look up exactly what farm and processing
  • UPC Database (Score:4, Informative)

    by BlueOtto ( 519047 ) on Thursday July 06, 2006 @01:59PM (#15668696)
    This site [] seems to do the same thing without the nifty webcam-scanner and has been around a lot longer and is cue-cat compatible. It probably has much more in its database.
    • ...but for most of that time, it didn't have any EAN support, making it pretty well useless for much of the population of the planet. Even in the US, the UPC is being phased out in favor of the EAN.
  • Used for Stealing. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by n2art2 ( 945661 )
    This will make it much easier for theives to "legally" steal from stores.

    Let me explain. . . .

    An theif duplicates the barcode of a cheap item, say a pair of jeans that was on clearance at a particular sotre, say Walmart. Then that theif takes his/her duplicated barcodes (on labels) and applies them to a more expensive pair of jeans. Then they proceed to the "newest" clerk at the checkout lines, and proceeds to purchase a number of the jeans at the clearance price instead of at their retail prices.

    Now t
    • I defy you to
      name one technology that
      cannot be abused.
      • Please explain how a database is considered a technology, instead of just a use of technology. Then answer why your comment deserves merit.

        If you didn't like my comment posted on a forum of comments about uses of technology, then state that if you like. I stated how this could be used. Do you see another use? Then state so. If you have a problem with my stated use then state that.

        But as is, Troll you are. So I defy you.
        • I'll go in reverse
          I am not a troll, too bad.
          Don't bunch your undies.

          My point is that all
          'uses' of technology
          are dirtied by thieves.

          Don't be a chicken
          little - are you another
          techno-luddite? geez!
    • It's not as if you can't do this right now, already. Okay, this would give you the images of the barcodes so you could print them out onto label stock yourself, at home, but I think most theives are probably more comfortable with the low-tech method: you rip the tag off of some item, and then either just peel its sticker off (or photocopy it) and put it on the item in the store you want to get at a "discount."

      This is an inherent vunerability of barcodes, and although having a database of UPCs makes the scam
  • crazy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jweller ( 926629 )
    I used to work with a guy who for fun would memorize barcodes. He even informed Crest or Colgate of an error in one of their barcodes and got a big stack of coupons.

    of course, we just called him crazy. I guess we should have called him visionary.

    • I once knew a guy, well actually it was me, that memorized a ton of SKU numbers at the now defunct Ames Department Stores. No one was impressed and the knowledge is useless, but all candy bars were 672 35515.
    • a guy who for fun would memorize barcodes
      I thought they were all the same:-
  • Strike its weak spot for massive damage
  • I, for one, welcome our new barcode overlords.

    Had to be said.
  • At least as it now is, this site doesn't appear to have anything to do with social networks--nor does it claim to. Apparently the submitter either (a) knows something about the site that the admins haven't chosen to release or (b) assumes that any community site must automatically be a "social network" thing.
  • Now with my portable pocket barcode scanner, a laptop, and wifi, I can know what is inside any can, the size of any pair of jeans, or the name of any product ever!

    Or I could just look at the label.
  • The data may be duplicated elsewhere, but some of the statistics are fun. Considering that they're probably Slashdotted right now, the list of latest entries in the database rocks. []

    Latest 25 products

    * SPAM - Hickory Smoke flavor
    * Dr. Pepper
    * Python Pocket Reference, 3rd Edition
    * Kleenex Brand Facial Tissue
    * Windows XP Home Edition Upgrade
  • I don't need Barcodepedia, I can already memorise all barcodes. They start with black, then white black white black white black white black white black white black white black white black white black white black Try, it I'm right!!!! A.M
  • he barcode-scanner-flas-thingy didn't work for me.
    anybody know of any good and free programs that can scan barcodes from a webcam? in the worst case from a snapshot taken from a webcam? the real scanners are just too expensive, if webcams could do the same.
  • I still have about 2,000 of these in my storage unit. I should sell them. Or donate them.
  • It's a ground breaking theory object. It's an unprecedented astonishing piece of my job description, which is to drop lit matches into the wet bog of unrecognizable distributed intelligence of cyberspace. The creator is Frankenstein, running wild with radical atheist poets. The legacy people must become the change I want to see in the european dissident crowd. I am fearless and brilliant. The center does not hold, for its the end of history... Milosevic was a bad leader.
  • Finally, the ultimate weapon! battler/ []

    I knew I held on to it for a reason.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!