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Barcode Tatoo as Permanent ID - Arrgh! 245

Anonymous Coward writes "It seems someone has received a patent on tattooing barcodes on people to verify your identity. Check it out at the US government's Patent Site." Yes, it's a real patent. Yes, it's loony. Yes, it's scary. So scary that we might as well laugh at it, because laughter is healthier than tears. (Sigh)
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Barcode Tatoo as Permanent ID - Arrgh!

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  • So, the mark of the beast has been patented? Does that mean the second coming has been delayed pending legal action?
  • by Chuck Milam ( 1998 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:03AM (#1677052) Homepage
    Just ask any holocaust survivor how dehumanized it made them feel to have an ID number tatooed on their arms. This is scary stuff, if you think about it that way...
  • What manner of rough beast is this,
    It's time come around at last
    That slouches toward Redmond to be born again?

    (with apologies to Yeats...)
  • by mrogers ( 85392 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:07AM (#1677055)
    The more insane the US patent office gets, the sooner its insanity will be recognised. I don't think the people of the world are going to be very happy when they work out that a US company owns all the patents from the Human Genome Project, and therefore has intellectual property rights over the DNA of every person on earth.
  • Should stop people having tatoos in their private places... Imagine the scenario - walk into a shop, buy some groceries and in a line of 5 people are asked to reveal your tatoo for scanning... "yes they're sharing a drink they call loniless but it's better than drinking alone..." - Billy Joel.
  • If I wanted to, I could print barcodes out of say, WordPerfect, and hold them up to the scanner.

    All it does is freak people out, those of us who desire privacy and those who have some sort of religious objection to it.

    But maybe that's the point. It might be just to distract from something else...
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:08AM (#1677058) Homepage
    If this person is, say, a Holocaust survivor, then maybe patenting this device is a way of preventing its use for 17 years. Or perhaps, the person is researching it as a way for people to voluntarily go through grocery lanes faster, move through toll booths immediate, etc. Not all the possibilities have to exist purely in the realm of forced control of human beings. The idea, obviously enough, has been out there far longer than this patent. All the patent does is say that this process now has a 'owner'.
  • I am always losing my debit card and I.D.
  • by Mur! ( 19589 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:12AM (#1677060) Journal
    Or, in this case, the cow or the horse or the pig or the goat...

    There are people *now* who have their infants or children tattooed for identification - just in case they get kidnapped or killed or whatnot. Heck, my mom used to threaten to have my lip tattooed if I forgot to take some ID with me in case something bad happened. She never did, but the sentiment is out there - keep our kids safe by marking them perminantly with something that identifies them as *ours*.

    I'm not advocating this, and I'd never do it to my kids, but I can understand the sentiment - especially when there are hundreds of kids stolen or lost every year, and at least twice as many parents who can't stand the not knowing. People have even gone so far as to implant digital tracking devices in dogs and cats - and extrapolate use of them on children!

    It's scary, but it's only symptomatic of the world we live in. That's pretty darn scary, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Onion, that nefarious and now-popular news magazine, has prior work on this topic. Back in the late eighties when I was in school at UW-Madison, The Onion sponsored a contest for the most original tatoo, and would pay to have the winner's tatoo emblazoned on their body.

    The contest winner came up with the idea of tatooing the UPC barcode for Spaghettios on his arm, to save time in the checkout line (he could just wave his arm over the scanner instead of those heavy cans).
  • More prior art: []

  • With biometrics using fingerprint, palm, retina, etc. scanning, what need is there for a barcoded tattoo?
  • by loki7 ( 11496 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:15AM (#1677064) Homepage
    He's not the only one. Check out BME [] for an example. If you do a search for "barcode tattoo" on google [] you get 76 hits.

    It's a stupid idea anyway. A subdermal microship (like those used for pets or small children (no kidding!)) is much more effective, since it's less obtrusive and can hold way more data.
  • Dose this mean the US gov. wil have to pay this guy royalties to use it? Can we patent up most of the other ways of identifing people?

    Seriously, the patent should not have been awarded since it is a trivial (and has even been used in movies).

    Unfortunatly, the U.S. gov. dosn't need any such primitive methods of keeping track of people. All the law abiding people have social security numbers and they take DNA sample from a LARGE number of criminals.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    From the patent:
    Filed: Sept. 5, 1996

  • I'm sure this will be in every right wing christian mag in existance. Im sure that someone will start a Holy War because of these people. Woohoo I just love that R.E.M. song.........
  • Funny, I mentioned this in a comment a month or two ago. I just wish I could search out the comment and also the quote from the movie Naked which someone was so courteous to post for me... Something along the lines of how it is written in the bible that the mark will be required to buy, sell or trade and the mark will appear on all goods and on all people. Scary stuff.
  • Fortunately, the US patent office should hold little authority over the reast of the world.

    besides, we have prior arts, if that's what it's called. We (speaking as German, not about me personally) marked people with a serial ID on their arms during world war two, if you remember that sad story of human history. Barcodes are just another form of representation for numbers.
  • by Nipok Nek ( 87328 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:18AM (#1677071)
    "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." (Revelation 13:16-18.)

    Check out what they have to say about Bar Codes!

  • by schporto ( 20516 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:19AM (#1677072) Homepage
    This was the first thing I thought of. I mean these people just patented what the Nazis did 60yrs ago. That means there's prior art so this thing can get shotdown. Furthermore anybody who tries to make money off of this is gonna be in one heck of a PR battle. You mention the fact that this is how the Nazis treated the Jews and there isn't a sane person who will want this done to themselves or anyone they know. I really can't believe someone had the balls to do this. All sorts of legal groups will be looking for their blood should it be marketed.
  • This is so totally Biblical. Increased natural disasters, the mark of the beast, people going on killing rampages... Better look skyward, people.

    Sounds like the book of Revelations to me...

  • The Terminator. "Branded by laser scan." ;)
  • Even when not mentioning the severe ethical dilemas this creates (branding human-beings, creating goverment DBs and monitoring each and every purchuse, etc...) this is not a really good idea - Bio Identification is much more reliable and accurate, and is tougher to fake (rip an eye out or laser off a tattoo...)

    and a Barcode tattoo is the best tattoo one can get...
  • How the hell can you patent something like this?
  • by BootHead ( 41384 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:20AM (#1677077)

    So wait, does that mean the Barcode I have tatooed on my leg is in breach of a Patent now? And does the fact that it woud "ring me up" as a box of coco pebbles (No I'm not kidding) mean my identity would be that of a box of cereal?

    On a more serious note, I wonder if the patent holder realizes that: 1. You could never get the general populace to agree to tattooed barcodes beacuse a. It's against many religons b. it just plain hurts 2. That they cost an awful lot of money 3. It's just a plain bad idea.

    Ya just got to wonder what's next . . .

  • As scary as this is, this guy might be one smart cookie. If things in North America continue in the same direction they're currently going. Holding a patent like this could be a major financial windfall.

    I'm not saying It's not a bad (read: scary, inhumane, degrading) thing, but with governments steadily eroding our freedoms, this could be a step they'd like to take. Think of it, by barcoding people, and making it a manditory requirement for transactions, the spooks could very easily keep track of you wherever you go. I would hope that the politicians, and the general populous would never go along with such a stupid idea, BUT they could always use a new tactic to "protect the children" right?
  • by SparkyUK ( 10333 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:22AM (#1677079)
    Some time ago, a company I worked for was going through a buy-out. The management (of both companies) wanted the programmers to identify patentable technology in our (software) product.

    When I pointed out that there was nothing truly unique in our software (is there in anything?) and thus nothing patentable the response I got was : "It doesn't matter if it's enforceable, just applying for a patent will increase our value and the threat of a lawsuit will slow down our rivals."

    They didn't get any ideas out of us but it shows how pathetically cynical the whole patent process has become.

    The failure to include a sig., is in itself a sig.
  • It really does make you wonder, what would Brian Boitano do?

  • Hm, Didnt Kyle in the orignal Terminator show a laser-burnt barcode tatto....

    The future is alredy here, i guess....
  • errm I thought the second coming was BEFORE all this marking of people to buy and sell ?-) Maybe its definitely getting closer...

  • Actually, it makes me wonder whether some devoted fan of this whole "Mark of the Beast" thing has gotten tired of waiting for it to happen on its own and decided to go ahead and make it happen.

  • We're living breathing mobile bags of bio-metric data.

    Who is the idiot who figured that we needed tatoos? Anybody could get any tatoo and get it lased off or altered. That's a really, really stupid proposal. Patent offices are no longer the place to nurture budding Einsteins I guess.

    I'm me. Really. Like my wife says sometimes, "Its you allright. I just have to scratch and sniff." :-)

  • I don't think that will be ever of any practical use, since you can have the same effect by having a microchip injected under your skin.

    That said:
    Top 5 reasons to have a barcode tatoo anyway
    • You like bars
    • You can have a tatoo even if your parents forbid it
    • You will never forget your name again ("Oh yes, I am 5346-3175!")
    • You are a numerologist and think it is cool
    • Before going on a date, you already know what your partner is worth.
  • We already have unique fingerprints, facial structures, DNA, retinal patterns, etc ad nauseum whats the big deal with one more?

    I admit barcodes are tacky and associated with holocaust victims, but why not got for a sub-dermal microchip, or even an optional wearable one, like a ring or wristband? I know I would prefer it to a wallet + license +regisitration + insurance card + mac card + credit card yadda yadda yadda.

  • Good point. I'm actually surprised that biometrics hasn't caught on more than it has. I have a woman in one of my classes whose husband's company specializes in installing biometric time and attendance systems based on hand scanners. Seems like the the technology is there, now we just need to implement it.
  • by Bartmoss ( 16109 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:30AM (#1677089) Homepage Journal
    Well, only the American patent office could grant such a patent. It's sad, it's stupid, it pains, and it shows us, that NOONE over there has learnt from history.

    I think they should dump whoever came up with this patent into the deepest depths of the pacific. Someone who has ideas such as those is not only seriously deranged, but a genuine danger to humanity.

    It ALSO makes you wonder, with all the recent control trips, Echelon, and so on that the US has put on, how long will it be until some smart representative/senator/whatever comes up with the idea of really using the system? Maybe only on criminals at first - or child molesters - no once could argue with that... And some day it will creep into everyday usage and then they do it automatically with every newborn child. of course by then, us the people here in Europe get to 'benefit' from the same crap, because afterall, we wouldn't want to disagree with our 'friend', the USA.

    Maybe it's my sarcastic and pessimistic nature coming out, but I wouldn't be surprised if the next Hitler is an American president, let's say, 15 or 20 years down the road.
  • ...The master of shoplifting...

    Temporary tatoo man!

    (Insert Music)
  • First, this cannot be proven to be an original idea. Alien3 used barcodes on the back of prisoner's necks, etc. (I haven't read the patent, /.ed, but I assume they patented a specific method/type/algorithm/place or something along those lines.)

    Second, I can carry a laser barcode scanner that works well past a few hundred feet, scan someone's visible barcode (when they show it to an officer, at the bank, etc) and use it. It is then a simple matter of painting over my own with makeup, and redoing the barcode in makeup.


    What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left.
    -Oscar Levant
  • why not got for a sub-dermal microchip, or even an optional wearable one, like a ring or wristband? I know I would prefer it to a wallet + license +regisitration + insurance card + mac card + credit card

    I'd happily wear an identity bracelet if it meant I could be rid of all those cards I keep having to shuffle every time I want to buy something. I'd not be at all happy about a barcode tattoo or sub-dermal implant though. Having to be physically altered, even in such a minor way, in order to go about my daily business really freaks me out.

    Of course, voluntary physical alteration is fine by me. Where can I get Borg implants from? :-)

  • I believe he is referring to Aliens 3 where all of the prisoners had barcode tatoos.
  • The same woman I mention in a post above (her husband has a biometric time and attendance system) told me a some interesting stories about the problems her husband encountered in the southern bible-belt states. It seems that some of his client's employees were willing to quit, some actually became physically ill out of sheer terror--they truly believed they were about to recieve the mark of the beast. Apparrently, when they are calibrating these hand scanner systems and taking someone's initial measurements, the scanner displays numbers on a screen. One woman, who was already scared of this whole process, fainted when the numbers "666" came up while her hand was being scanned.
  • What makes this worse is that if you look at the referenced patents at the bottom of the page, one patent is for identifying livestock carcasses! What's next?

    I may be wrong about this, but I believe that microchip implantation of cows has been common practice in Ireland for a few years now. It enabled every cow to be tracked and was used to keep track of the ones with BSE so they could be removed from the herd and food chain. Ireland kept BSE well under control.

  • used to be, a lot of products sported the mark "Patent Pending" - which makes it sound "new & improved" to the uninformed, but obviously means, hey we've merely applied for a patent. I'd bet more than a few should have changed the mark to "patent rejected" eventually.

  • There was an article a while back about just such a technology. Someone had demonstrated a very thin, active (as in working, not active-matrix) LCD display embedded just below the surface of the skin in the wrist, about a year ago...

    Can't find a reference to it right now though. Anyone?
  • Since, to be patentable, this "process" must be nonobvious to one "skilled in the art", we don't need prior art to render it invalid.

    If, however, this is deemed "nonobvious" then I'm gonna get patents on barcoding ( or otherwise marking with machine-readable identification ;) livestock, real estate, public lamp posts, and little blue pills. I would list more but I don't want someone to beat me to it. Meanwhile, if anyone tries to patent one of the "processes" listed above, I can still cite this comment as prior art! ;)
  • No to mention fighting Santa - what a totally excellent show that was :-)
  • If this ID tatto ever was forced on me I think I'd get it on my a**. That way I'd at least get the satifaction of mooning anybody that forced me to show it. Just a random thought.
    The two-D barcode is being used by Panasonic as part of their document imaging system. Once this technology is matured, I predict it will be tied into a world wide database to ID everybody. Some states have plans to put it on their drivers licenses. And we all know where digital data in state databases actualy goes, don't we? It won't happen soon, but in the name of 'protecting the children from perverts' or 'protecting the world from terrorists' I can see it happening. I don't like it but what can we do?
  • Arrgh. This brings back too many bad memories.

    Remember the story I posted last week about a neighbor who was in the Polish resistance, and helped some of the Polish Intelligence agents smuggle the Enigma plans to England. His wife has a tatoo on her arm, and she had no problems re-telling what life was like in a concentration camp.

    I have a feeling this guy will soon be the target of a lot of people with some very bad memories of tatoos. I wouldn't want to be the guy who sold him life insurance.

    the AC
  • gee, does this mean that i could copyright water, and then charge a $30 dollar lisencing fee to drink it in Arazona?

  • This should rile up all the Southern Baptists in the readership! They've been preaching this crap for decades. Also, it's funny how our profession draws some of the looniest freaks on earth. Anything to do with conspiracies, big brother, lord knows...these insecurities must stem from not being loved as a child or something.

    Just apply some logic, people: unique indentifiers are only useful if they are UNIQUE. A barcode is one of the most forgeable things on earth, whether on a box of cereals or the head of your penis. No selfrespecting government--let alone the US one--would give it a second thought. Still, this is great stuff for paranoia.

    Paul Radu
  • by Skip666Kent ( 4128 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @12:45AM (#1677107)
    Be wary of the whole 'positive' and 'voluntary' aspect often attributed to this sort of thing. It usually poorly conceals a system in which the alternatives to the 'voluntary ideal' are made so distasteful and inconvenient as to actually 'punish' those who choose not to 'volunteer'.

    Forced control is harder to get away with and easier to rally support to fight.

  • It's just a thought but you don't have to have a visible tattoo and tus suffer from the negative effects of having a number etched onto you.

    I saw a prog on telly once about rave culture, and there was a young woman on who worked for some big firm in a customer facing role. She obviously couldn't go around with a load of facial tattoos in case she freaked out the custo's so she got a really cool Spider web tattoo done on her face in a flourescent dye so you could only see it under UV lighting in clubs or whatever.

    This doesn't mean I'm in favour of this whole idea, but it does mean you don't have to be "disfigured" by a mandatory tattoo...

  • Yes, but CARCASSES? I mean, if they're already dead, you'd want to take em out of the heard anyway, right?
  • If they are going to put the barcode on, say the inside of "your" wrist, I wonder have they thought about what could happen to a checkout person who's barcode just happens to be say "Milk" !!

    Could you then take them to court for damages ? ie you can no longer work at your chosen trade.
  • This "technology" is, right now, used in sweden by farmers for cows and pigs. And that was exactly what the nazists meant the system ; for; for "these human animals", if I got the quote right... Scary, rally scary.
  • People have even gone so far as to implant digital tracking devices in dogs and cats - and extrapolate use of them on children!

    People have been tattooing their SSN or other identification number on valuable animals for years. More recently, chips embedded in the skin at the back of the neck have begun to replace tattooing.

    The chip's ID number is read with a hand-held scanner held near the animal's neck. Most animal shelters and many veterinarians have the scanners. The hope is that the technology will help return more lost animals to their rightful owners. It's hard to argue that this is a bad idea.

    Implanting these chips in children is a whole 'nother thing....

  • There are some identification technologies that are easier to implement than others. If you've got your ID number tattooed on your forearm, you can just wave it over the scanner at the grocery store, and they can deduct the money from your account - really only marginally quicker than swiping your credit/debit card. It would come in handy if you forgot your wallet, though.

    But the point is that barcode scanning technology is ubiquitous - it's been around for years and is easy to implement. Any true biometric would be much harder to implement and would take years to arrive at the same amount of infrastructure.

    Of course, it would be almost absurdly easy to fake a barcode tattoo. I'm sure there's portable barcode scanners. Go someplace where people are baring their barcodes (the beach at last resort), surreptitiously scan in some numbers, then go make yourself a fake tattoo and you're golden.

    Makes me wonder what they'll do to make this more tamper-resistant. Special ink? Holographic type? A watermark?

    Overall, it doesn't seem like it fills any specific need. Definitely raises some spectres though.
  • Why was that anonymous - i wrote that.... AND IM PROUD OF IT
  • I have to wonder if this is a person who is scared to death of this happening, and applied for the patent to attempt to prevent it in the future.

    It reminds me of a stupid rumor going around a couple of years ago about someone going into a Wal-Mart, telling the cashier to scan their hand, and then telling them that they are part of a test of this method of payment. Of course it was a bunch of crap. I wonder if this person thinks that they are going to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
  • If you think everyone should be identifiable, why are you posting anonymously?
  • Only seen it once... a long while ago, but you maybe right. Still, he *did* have a barcode in Terminator ;)
  • Y'know, this technology could replace MedicAlert bracelets. Imagine tattooing/implanting Alzheimer's-disease patients, so if they wander off, they're that much easier to identify. (Before you flame me, I spent a night along with a bunch of my neighbors helping look for one's lost father, whom the cops later found a half mile away on a stranger's porch.)

  • Can you imagine if it really WAS? That'd be wacky! That'd mean that all those kooky Christians were RIGHT! Oh no! Then THEY all get beamed up to Heaven(TM) happy, smiling and high-fives all around, while the ominous music starts and the toads fall in waves from the sky upon the rest of us, and some Charismatic World Leader reaks havoc and destruction upon our wretched souls.

    Would that be stupid or what?

    I'd be so totally disappointed.
  • Maybe only on criminals at first - or child molesters - no once could argue with that...

    The US already has this, its called Megan's Law, Or the sex offender registry.

    You must register "IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN CONVICTED OF A SEX OFFENSE". Which is anything from rape to lewd behavior (such as public nudity).

    Its scary when criminals have to start registering so they can be out casts for the rest of their lives, even after they have served their jail time. If they are so dangerous that they need to register, they should still be in jail.

    Anyways, look for more "registries" soon.

  • If I am not mistaken, Nazi's used numbers not barcodes that deduct money from your bank account. Don't get me wrong I am no way for this, I think it _is_ the mark of the beast, but they are not patenting tatoos, they are patenting the idea of using tatoos for financial transactions.
  • You are a fucking idiot.

    "the only 'victims' are victims of their own stupidity"??

    Please. That's ridiculous. How bout I torture you to death over the next few months? Would YOU be a victim then?

    "The only people who could possibly object to this are people with something to hide: Drug dealers and other criminals."

    And almost everyone else. How many people wouldn't object to this is the real question. I don't know a single person who would go along with this kind of shit.

    Funny this is coming from an AC. Fucking moron!

  • Why the hell do we have to police the Patent Trade Office? There's prior art out the yin-yang on this, not least(*) of which being me wondering, in this forum, about a year ago, if having RSA tattooed on my ass in bar code format would make me illegal to export out of the country (And the answer to that one should be "yes" since it's in machine readible format.)

    * OK, so it really is the least of it.

  • I'm referring, of course, to the character in Neuromancer.
  • Some of the other posters have a point: barcodes are very easily forged. However, just the fact that someone would patent such an idea seems to be a sign of the times.

    The Mark will probably not be a barcode. There are more reliable ways of sticking an ID on a person. But I don't doubt something like this will happen, and probably sooner than you think.


  • You know, there's one other scenario that I haven't seen anyone else bring up here - did they possibly patent this so that it would NOT be used? Think of it, what better way to prevent something from being used then if you own it, and the government agrees? Albeit, I have yet to read the patent, due to the /. effect, so I don't know exactly what it reads, but this is a possibility.
  • > All the law abiding people have social security numbers

    Before you go making generalizations please do some basic law research. There is NO law that REQUIRES a person to have a SSN/SIN.

    There ARE law abiding citizens WITHOUT Slave Identification Numbers. They are the Sui Juris (Free Men), and Sovereigns. ml#sov
  • Didn't they use this idea in Alien3? I seem to recall one opening scene looking at a barcode on the back of the head of the foreman (or whatever title the prison leader had..)
  • As I'm sure you're aware, this is complete bunk. Want to move through grocery and toll queues faster? Think a universal ID is the way to do it? Fine. There's probably some good a universal ID would do. Put it on a laminated card, then.

    Voluntary means choice -- if you don't want to be identified going through the checkpoint this particular time, do you expect there to be tattoo-removal clinics on the side of the road (and matching booths on the opposite side to re-imprint you)?


  • The patent will not old up in court.

    The movie "Forteress" with Christofe Lambert pictured people with bar code as ids. I think also that in Alien 3 there is some bare code ids on the prisonners.

    The patent was filled in 1996 and these movies date before that.

    Look's like the patent office clerk do not watch movies!
  • ...even if they're pets?

    Thus, theft or killing such a tagged animal, renders the perp subject to prosecution for a felony.
  • Well not really My understanding of the law is that the federal gov can take your patent if they want to. (You can't sue them without their OK, its called sovergn immunity).

    Plus I really don't think that would ever happen. There are just a few to many memories of the Holocost.

    But it is kind of Ironic that this comes up durring the high holy days.

    Happy New year 5760 All.
  • Now, if that prior art isn't as clear as day. Man, that patent examiner needs to :)
  • In the movie "Twelve Monkeys" Bruce Willis had bar code tattoo on the back of his neck. I also believe that the movie came out in the summer of 1996. Is the date he registered the patent a coincidence?
  • I shouldn't even respond to this ugly troll, but I can't resist:

    1) "By advocating protecting people from their own stupidity, you are advocating a welfare state."

    2) "Drug dealers and other criminals"

    What is the primary nature of many drug laws? To protect people from their own stupidity! Same with seat belt laws, helmet laws, and all the other pointless, freedom-restricting cruft we have in the legal system.

    Try to think a little more before you spew next time -- if you consider drug dealers criminals, you are advocating a welfare state.
  • How many numbers are currently associated with your body?

    Physical street address, land line telephone, wireless telephone, IP address for your box(es), email address(es), social security number, driver's license number, passport number, school ID numbers, etc, etc..

    Consider eventually having an IPv6 address as an identification number. Emails route to it, snail mail routes to it, you have a small tattoo on the inside of your wrist to scan the large number, and a retinal scan to verify yourself. Local routing tables keep track of a physical locale to leave shipments - updating them when you drop into a hotel for a week, for instance, means packages, bills, whatever could possibly always get to you. The routing table has a permanent address in it as well, and when you sign up for a bill you indicate the floating address or the permanent - and the floating address can change from day to day, updated across the routing system like DNS propogates right now.

    Of course, we'll get mugged - our wrists severed and one eye gouged out. No more 'give me your wallet'.
  • It's not up to the patent office to pass moral judgement in this issue. Their place is to provide the means by which certain disputes over intellectual property can be resolved.

    However, granting this one is absurd because of the existence of large amounts of prior art.

  • As a personal anecdote of dubious value...

    I recently visited an amusement park in Minnesota, and if you wanted to leave the park temporarily (for example, running out to your car to grab a towel for the water park inside), they stamped your hand using special ink that could only be seen under a black light.

  • try67 writes:

    "Bio Identification is much more reliable and accurate, and is tougher to fake (rip an eye out or laser off a tattoo...)"

    Just so nobody comes up with a Patented Method For Fooling Retina Scanners, Wesley Snipes did that already, in _Demolition Man_. (Prior Art, Prior Art! :-)

    Christian R. Conrad
    MY opinions, not my employer's - Hedengren, Finland.
  • When I was a kid I was raised as a Christian. I was forced to attend church, and sunday school. I learned about the mark of the beast in sunday school.

    I was told that nobody would be allowed to buy or sell anything without the mark. Well, if you read the application for patent protection it is a system to very human identity during sales transactions.

    It sounds to me like either

    1. This is the attempt of some well meaning Christian to legally stall or possibly even prevent the apocalypse that he believes is coming, or perhaps even scare some non-practicing Christians into coming back to the church.


    2. I made a mistake when I changed my religion.

    If I were a betting man, I'd bet on 1.

    This system would be highly vulnerable to color copies being used instead of real flesh and blood to authorize transactions.

  • Hmm, prior art:
    • the bible - revelations (?)
    • Heinlein - Friday
    • Hitler - nuff said
    • Hollywood - lots of movies
    • ...
    Plenty of prior art, but the only good that will do is wreck the patent application. It won't stop this sort of thing from happening.
  • Speeking as Jew I have 2 probems with this.

    One the memory of the Holocost is way to fresh in my mind. At the old folks home that my grandparents live at there are way to many folks who can't wear short sleaves as they don't want that number visable.

    Two tatoing is agenst my religion on general pricipals.

    Three, Ick.
  • Just because the movies show the bar-code tattoos, doesn't mean they filed patents for them.
    If I invented a warp drive, the patents would be mine, not Star Trek's.
  • I once ran into a guy at a waterpark (which is why I saw him without a shirt on) who was from an eastern European country. Under his left arm on his chest he had tattooed:
    His Name
    His Religion
    His Blood Type
    A number
    And one or two other things I forgot. Apparently they use it for a more simple reason... war. Its easier to 1. know what kind of blood to put in the soldiers quicker, and 2. what kind of headstone to give them if they are killed.

  • There's no need to be concerned, folks! If someone tatoos a barcode on you against your will, just one-up them: Tatoo barcodes over every inch of your body.

    Just let them try to find the right one!
    *beep!* "Oscar Meyer Weiner...try again."
    *beep!* "Liqd Plumbr...try again."
    *beep!* "Sheryl Crow...try again."

    That'll teach 'em! :)

  • First, yes I am against this idea on moral, technical and common sense grounds....

    But do we know that this would be a traditional tattoo (visible ink injected below the skin with a needle)? I haven't looked up the patent, but it sounds similar to an idea I heard a long while ago.

    A mark that can be painlessly applied that is visible only with ultraviolet or some such. So you can't object for any health or comfort reasons, no religeous or cosmetic objections. And to top it off, it is not compulsory but you get a substantial discount for using it, or you have to pay a huge surcharge if you don't

    Some banks and merchants will insist on it and it will be harder and harder to get by without one. Airlines start to give passengers discounts for using 'ticketless' services, later some carriers simply require it for international travel. After a while, the government decides this would be a great cost-savings for social security, welfare and food stamp programs to reduce costs and fight fraud. Eventually, all public grade schools require that you have one and that your child's immunization records be tied to the code by your private physician. Then, to control overpopulation, everyone must go to carousel by their 30th year, or the red chrystal in their palm starts to blink and Michael York comes and kills you.

    Then I woke up from my nightmare sweating...
  • My grandmother is a nurse who cares for old Jewish people. I've met some holocaust avoiders (people who pretended to be something other than Jewish until they could escape from Europe) and my wife to be (getting married tomorrow, WooHoo!) is also a nurse and when she was in college she worked at a nursing home where there there was one old man who had the tattoo from when he was in one of the Nazi camps.

    There were actually morons there who didn't know what the tattoo was. Some stupid bitch made this old man cry by grabbing his arm and asking "What is this?"

    Many in our generation are totally clueless. In 20 years when all of the holocaust survivors and most of their children are gone, I can see the short attention spanned people in this country (The USA) thinking that shit like this is actually a good idea.

    It's kinda funny (funny as in strange, not is in comedic) that after the holocaust more than hald of all male babies in the USA now get circumcised. I had a Jewish Biology professor who used to joke that this was a Jewish conspiracy to prevent easy visual identification of Jews to avoid a future holocaust here in the USA.

  • by Godin ( 70395 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @03:17AM (#1677199)
    One problem that appears to have been overlooked is the elastic nature of skin. If you barcode a human when thay are an infant, they grow, and the surface area of the hand, forehead, whatever increases. If anyone has ever seen an older person who got a tatoo when thay were young, they know that the ink starts to run after a while. Lines get blurry and wide, and less recognizable. This is something that would cause issues with scanners and identity.

    Also, as the fellow who is a box of cocopuffs will testify, anyone with a tattoo pen (wich can be made easily out of a guitar string and a poorly balanced motor) can forge a tattoo. easy enough to masquerade as someone else.

    No The Mark of the beast will be much more elusive, creative and foolproof. A microchip under the skin is what seems to be the latest (well since the 70's but I think that's classified), and in 5 years it may be something else.
    Guess we won't know till it happens huh?
  • See Cummings v. Missouri (striking down anti-conferderate loyalty oaths) and US v. Brown (excluding communists as officers of unions). The sexual offender was convicted of a crime and served his penalty for that crime. Any additional punishment inflicted retroactively is unconstitutional: Article I, Section 9, "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

    The problem is, no one likes sex offenders, and so no one has any qualms about violating their rights.
  • see, I think barcodes are now outdated and passe. Why would you have a barcode to designate who you are instead of just having an retina scan? the signature of your eye or bio-rythem would be much more difficult to forge, plus it wouldn't involve getting some stupid tattoo burned into your skin that would change when you put on 50 lbs or could get manipulated or put on poorly. And I believe that the mark of the beast is to be put on your forehead or the back of your hand... strange that the two places that are used for ID are the eyes (located next to the forehead) and the finger prints (next to the back of the hand)... but that's just me making weird connections due to the caffeine in me.

    So somebody patented barcode tattoos. And microsoft tried to patent the word processor. And Al Gore tried to say he invented the internet. woopdeedoodah. so when the antichrist comes (assuming he's not here already), do you really think he's going to go up to this dude/dudette and say I need to have a right to use your patent so I can brand everyone and take over the world and lead the world into the Apocalypse and so that the forces of Gog and Magog can have at each other on the Plains of Apocalypse? hmmmm, would be so much easier just to give out those American Express cards that came out the other day and are dumbed-down smartcards. Geez.
  • I've had a barcode tatoo on my right forarm for over 3 years now. The reactions it gets are pretty funny, everything from "that is the coolest thing I have ever seen" to people being noticibly freaked out. Im getting a subdermal tracking implant next.
  • How much spin-off crime(ie: Break & Entering, Mugging, Murder and Petty Theft) can you attibute to Drugs? Doesn't matter if drugs are legal or not!


    How many incidents of "spin-off" crime can you attribute to alcohol? Cigarettes? It makes a big difference if they're legal.

    The criminal mind will do something criminal in order to get enough cash for his/her fix.

    We're *all* criminals. When was the last time you broke the law? I'll confess -- I was speeding on the way back home this morning. Legalization, taxation, and support for those with genuine problems is a much more humane (and realistic) solution than trying to lock up everyone you can get your hands on. The laws are unfair (witness the Cocaine/Crack sentencing disparities), selectively enforced, and are turning our country into a police state.

    Wanna know what's really screwing up this country? The (failed) War on Drugs.

  • by On Lawn ( 1073 ) on Friday September 17, 1999 @06:06AM (#1677235) Journal

    Intuitively, this doesn't seem to be the mark spoken of. Think on this,

    This isn't a very secure individual marking system, any tatoo can be replicated. One can merely have access to your account after taking a picture of your hand. So as a unique identification a mark on your hand is very poor.

    However, taking the reference to Revelations "save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" would denote that one isn't being identified as individual but as part of a society with a mark and two passwords.

    These marks and passwords are used to authenticate that someone can make an economic transaction with another member of a particular society, not as an individual access method to their own money (we will always have cash, or gold or other monitary exchange system. And as long as that is around there is no enforcable "mark" system.

    It has been said that "causing all" is a reference to the government making a law. However this is a hasty reaction since there are many economic and political motivators that such a society can use to "causeth recieve a mark". And by no means does it say that they will be successful in causing "everybody" to get it. But it will entice people in a way that is offencive to God, hence his utter cursing of the mark (boils and blisters).

    In otherwords this isn't a clear reference to government.

    Why some people, in fear of such a society might be motivated to mark themselves to entrust that who they are speaking to are "safe" from the other mark. Others might be setting up a secret economic order where you are essentialy creating a silent monopoly or mafia like order, and you need to know who else is involved so you won't try to steal from them (but will try from everyone else.)

    Also remember, the 144,000 also recieve a mark in there foreheads....

    I'm welcome to further email discussion on the topic. (just remove the SPshieLD)
    ^~~^~^^~~^~^~^~^^~^^~^~^~~^^^~^^~~^~~~^ ~~^~
  • Are you sure about this? The print on the 1998 tax forms reads:

    You are not required to provide the information requested on a form that is subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless the form displays a valid OMB control number.


    If you do not file a return, do not provide the information we ask for, or provide fraudulent information, you may be charged penalties and be subject to criminal prosecution...
    Form 1040 does indeed contain a valid OMB number, and this is the only reference anywhere in the IRS form documentation that mentions anything resembling "voluntary".

    Is there some other place on the form or supporting documents that you're basing this information on?
  • In reference to the barcode conspiracy and in response to an earlier request, here is a transcription of the entire apocalyptic monologue from Mike Leigh's "Naked".

    JOHHNY: Has nobody not told you, Brian, that you've got this kind of gleeful preoccupation with the future? I wouldn't even mind but you don't even 'ave a f*ckin future. I don't 'ave a future. Nobody as a future. The party's over. Take a look around you, man. It's all breakin' up. Are you not familiar with the Book of Revelation of St. John, the final book of the Bible, prophesying the Apocalypse?

    BRIAN: Yes. As it happens, I'm familiar with all of the books of Bible.

    JOHNNY: I'm very happy for you. "He forced everyone to receive a mark on his right hand, or on his forehead, so that no one shall be able to buy or sell, unless he has the mark, which is the name of the Beast. Or the number of his name; and the number of the Beast is six-six-six."

    BRIAN: Six-six-six. I know about it!

    JOHNNY: Great!

    BRIAN: I know about Nostradamus. Nostradamus talked about three brothers. Now, did he mean the Kennedy brothers, or was he talking about three bits of the Soviet Union. You see, you just can't tell.

    JOHNNY: F*ck Nostradamus! I'm not talkin' about Nostradamus or Mother Shipton or Russell Grant or Mystic f*ckin Meg- I'm talkin' about the Holy Book! What can such a SPECIFIC prophecy mean? What is the mark? Well, the mark, Brian, is the bar code- the ubiquitous bar code that you'll find on every bog-roll, on every packet of johnnies, on every pocy pork pie. And every f*ckin' bar code is divided into two parts by three markers. And those three markers are always represented by the number six. Six. Six. Six! Now what does it say? "No one shall be able to buy, or sell, without that mark". And now, what they're plannin' to do in order to eradicate all credit-card fraud, and in order to precipitate a totally cashless society, what they're plannin' to do, what they've already tested on the American troops, they're gonna subcutaneously laser-tatto that mark on to your right hand or forehead. They're gonna replace plastic with flesh. FACT! In the same book of Revelation, when the seven seals are broken open on the Day of Judgement, and the seven angels blow the trumpets, when the third angel blows 'er bugle, "Wormwood will fall from the sky. Woodwood will poison a third part of the waters, and a third part of the land, and many, many, many, many people will die". Now do you know what the Russian translation for "wordwood" is?!

    BRIAN: No.


  • Mad magazine put their UPS barcode on Alfred E. Neuman's forehead when the system was first deployed.

    I've seen barcodes as I.D. tattoos used by a repressive regime in at least one made-for-TV movie years ago, too.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."