TIL of the Machine Identification Code. A series of secret dots that certain printers leave on every piece of paper they print, giving clues to the originator and identification of the device that printed it. It was developed in the 1980s by Canon and Xerox but wasn’t discovered until 2004.

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No. Several of us discovered it in the 80’s and made a huge stink about it. We were called conspiracy theorists and dismissed. Some of us went to enough trouble to prove it, comparing the yellow dots under microscopes/magnification and UV from multiple printers and multiple pages. We proved it. They lied and said no.


There’s a black market for stolen printers in many countries (Africa is particularly bad) to get around the tracking code issue. I mean commercial printers like I use at work (as a printing business). We’re talking about skilled technicians disassembling a multi-ton device that needs a crane and forklift to remove. Like in a hollywood heist movie, but for printing certificates. It’s a waste of time copying banknotes, ID papers and vocational training and qualification certificates are where the money is. Been aware of this tech since the mid 90s. Yellow dot patterns because that’s the human eye is least sensitive to.


And that’s why you need cyan even if you only print a black and white doc.


That’s why you need to dump your printer after printing the ransom note


There is no way my printer does this. Despite not using it, it is always out of colored ink.