Archive for August, 2013

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Xerox MFDs are changing number 6 to a number 8? Seriously?

August 7, 2013

I loathe to call an MFD a copier, because it does so much more than make a copy. BUT, at it’s core the essence of an MFD is a “Copier”! Which means by definition it makes a copy! Even when it Scans or Faxes an original the goal is for a copy to show up somewhere that is an accurate representation of the original. A copy means a duplicate – a replica –  a transcript – a reproduction. What a copy doesn’t mean is a modified image or document so that while it may appear at a casual glance to be the same it is in fact NOT an actual representation of the original, and hence NOT a copy.

Here are just a couple of URL links to the Xerox news story. You need to read this for yourself and pay particular attention to Xerox’s response to the issue.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2013/08/06/technology-xerox-copiers-change-text.html

http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/6/4594482/xerox-copiers-randomly-replacing-numbers-in-documents

What are the legal, or financial ramifications of the Xerox producing an interpretation of your original document? Legally “A “duplicate” or copy of a document, produced by methods ensuring accuracy and precision, is given the same status as an original unless there is a question as to its authenticity.” Does this now mean that since Xerox has admitted that sometimes there MFD changes a 6 to an 8 (and maybe other characters as well) that documents scanned on a Xerox MFD are not admissible in court?

Can you imagine the person who get’s arrested on a DUI charge because they blew a .08 on their breathalyzer test. And when they get to court their lawyer challenges the documents because all they have is copies made on a Xerox MFD and we can’t be sure if that was a .06 (= not guilty) or a .08 (=guilty).

What about financial institutions or accounting firms? What are the day to day ramifications of not being able to trust that your Xerox MFD is accurately reproducing your original documents. And once you or your firm knows about this issue do you become responsible if you take no action? I guess you could proof read every document that the Xerox scans.

What if you are building something, a high tech part or even an office building. What are the ramifications of the dimensions being off, so instead of an 6 foot opening for your windows your builder puts in an 8 foot opening. And then the 6 foot windows show up! Normally the manufacturer blames the builder, and the builder blames the manufacturer, maybe they should blame the Xerox copier?

There is “good news” from Xerox though! Xerox already advises customers of this possibility in its software, describing results from normal compression settings as “acceptable” That makes me feel soooooooo much better! Xerox says changing a 6 to an 8 in your business critical documents is acceptable! Did they actually say it with a straight face? Do you think its “acceptable”, because I don’t!

Yes, I rarely call an MFD a “copier” these days, but that is because we all know and expect it to be able to make accurate copies of original documents. And Purchasers have been saying for years now “ALL MFDs are the same, they All COPY, PRINT, SCAN, & FAX the same”. Well maybe MOST MFDs can do an accurate job on these 4 functions. If you can’t trust your Xerox MFD to make an accurate copy of your original document, that (IMHO) makes them unfit for business use. I was going to say they should just use them in Kindergarten but even in kindergarten you have to be able to tell a 6 from an 8. Maybe Xerox should take ownership, and fix the problem, there’s a thought!

That’s my $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@yahoo.com

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