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Printers Security Whistleblower Defeat Yellow Dots and 3D Objects called Physibles

The future of file pirating when 3-D printed objects called "physibles" become commonplace.



The internet is a copy machine. At its most foundational level, it copies every action, every character, every thought we make while we ride upon it.

Printer Yellow Dots Many printers produce a background of hard to see yellow dots on every page. This pattern is unique to the printer and can be used to identify the printer that produced a page. This is not officially acknowledged by printer manufacturers, but appears to be as a result of a shady deal between government and the manufacturers. the result is a "fingerprint" of a printer that can be used by law enforcement.

Is there a notice/agreement tells customers there are tracking dots before buying? For Example: docucolor "not visible under normal viewing conditions" and here

Funny thing is,
non-free printer firmware
was what first got
Richard Stallman
thinking about
free software.

When a whistle blower needs to share their documents with the press they better get rid of the yellow dots first.

Forensic Analysis and Anonymisation of Printed Documents Timo Richter , Stephan Escher , Dagmar Schönfeld, Thorsten Strufe
they created and made available an app that automates the TDM extraction, analysis, and the creation and implementation of an anonymization pattern. APP
Their papers @ ACM Digital Library 2018

Researchers release app that masks printers' tracking dots

DEDA - Tracking Dots Extraction, Decoding and Anonymisation toolkit
Document Colour Tracking Dots or simply yellow dots are small systematic dots in yellow color which encode information about the printer and/or the printout itself. This process is integrated in almost every commercial colour laser printer. This means that almost every printout contains coded information about the source device, such as the serial number. On the one hand, this tool gives the possibility to read out and decode these forensic features and on the other hand, it allows anonymisation to prevent arbitrary tracking. If you use this software, please cite the paper: Timo Richter, Stephan Escher, Dagmar Schönfeld, and Thorsten Strufe. 2018. Forensic Analysis and Anonymisation of Printed Documents. In Proceedings of the 6th ACM Workshop on Information Hiding and Multimedia Security (IH&MMSec '18). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 127-138.


Researchers release app that masks printers' tracking dots
Zeljka Zorz, Managing EditorJune 27, 2018

Did you know that nearly all modern color laser printers put tracking patterns of tiny yellow dots on each piece of paper they print? Most printer manufacturers include these yellow dot patterns, which reveal information such as the serial number of the printer and the date and time when the document was printed. They are effectively invisible to the naked eye and they are ostensibly used to identify suspects in criminal counterfeit investigations. But they can also be used to track down political dissenters or leakers.
How a few yellow dots burned the Intercept's NSA leaker By providing copy of leak, Intercept likely accelerated ID of contractor.

Masking the tracking dot patterns Computer scientists Timo Richter and Stephan Escher from TU Dresden wanted to decode the various patterns and see whether they can mask them to effectively “anonymize” the printed document and, therefore, the person who printed it. They analyzed documents printed by 141 printer models produced by 18 manufacturers, found the dots in most of them, and mapped four distinct tracking dot patterns/matrixes (TDMs), of which one was unknown to the public before this. They also found a way to completely delete or mask the patterns in a way that don't allow the pattern to be reconstructed. “When scanned documents are being sent via the internet, they might contain tracking information. Tracking dots can mostly be removed from scans by clearing the original document's empty areas,” the scientists TEXT explained. For masking tracking dots on printed documents it's best to add another custom TDM over the printer's one, with the goal of making the decoding ambiguous. Finally, they created and made available an app that automates the TDM extraction, analysis, and the creation and implementation of an anonymization pattern. “We believe that citizens should be aware of the existence of such codes, and the surveillance that they make possible”, said Escher. “The GDPR governs the protection of digital data, but only few people know that they can be observed and identified also with non-digital media”.

3D Printing



3D printing has become one of the most exciting and talked about technologies of 2013. The ability for the masses to make almost any object not only fuels imagination but challenges modern consumerism and its supply chain.

3D Printing; Everything You Need to Know in 2 Minutes


Xi'an-based Hengtong
had 3D printers able to print metal items. In 2011, global 3D printing market revenue reached US $1.7 billion while the figure will hit US$3.7 billion by 2015, according to research firm Wohlers Associates.

Chinese Company Builds Houses Quickly With 3D Printing
build 10 one-story houses in a day — a cheaper, faster and safer alternative to more traditional construction.

A McKinsey & Company report on disruptive technologies estimates the potential economic impact of consumer use of the process could amount to $100 billion to $300 billion by 2025.

7/28/14 Amazon Launches A 3D Printing Store
nclude items that can be customized to change their size, color, material and even aspects of their design. The store covers a range of types of products, including jewelry, electronics, toys and games, home decor and kitchen supplies, and items are supplied by a number of partners including Mixee, Sculpteo and 3DLT. [ need to know & may be useful - 44 Tutorials on How to Shoot Perfect Product Photos for Your Online Shop ]


4/8/14 Micro 3D printer "the first truly consumer 3D printer" comes with easy-to-use software that allows users to search, drag and drop objects to print. Just 7.3in (18.5cm) square and weighing 1kg (2.2lbs), the device will be easy to move around. It can be used with Windows, Mac or Linux. It comes with software that allows users to search and browse objects online. Once they have picked something they would like to print they drag it into the printer and hit print. Designed & Assembled in The USA The Micro was designed for assembly and production in the USA. We will use a combination of imported and domestic components to assemble all of the printers near our Bethesda, MD location.

Free software

Printers / 3-D objects "physibles"

Researchers Build 3-D Structures Out of Liquid Metal 7.09.13 Researchers at NC State have developed a way to print liquid metals into 3D structures at room temperature. The structures are stabilized by a thin oxide 'skin' that forms on the liquid metal. The approaches shown here represent new ways to direct write metals in 3D. In addition, the resulting components can, in principle, self-heal and be ultra-stretchable wires.

Pirate Bay calls 3-D objects "physibles," which are "data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical," and suggests that in the near future it's files of physibles that'll be the hottest pirated data online, in the same way music, movies, and TV shows are nowadays. That's because the file for a physible is effectively the recipe for making the final object--which could quite possibly be a handbag, a mug, or ultimately something as complex as a sneaker.
The legal and intellectual wrangling goes like this: If you've got a sophisticated 3-D printer on your desk, sometime around 2020, say, pirating a physible from a site like Pirate Bay and then printing it out is almost the same as stealing the object from a store. Almost. Because no physical "theft" has happened, and you're merely borrowing the idea, the IP. Yet you are still denying the company that originally came up with the idea any payment.

Sam Cervantes, a former aerospace engineer, spent almost a year as chief of operations for Brooklyn-based 3D printing powerhouse Makerbot before leaving at the end of 2010 under undisclosed circumstances.

NOTE: K12 Education needed to provide shop and home economics in the curriculum at one time but now we need the DIY shop to learn how to make things on our 3D printer.

Other university teams are also in pursuit of extending 3-D printing into the world of electronics and batteries.

  • Engineers at Harvard University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have 3-D printed a tiny working lithium-ion battery as small as a grain of sand.
  • A group of Japanese scientists has developed a conductive photopolymer 3-D printing material for potential use in carbon electrodes for fuel cells and sensors.


Cody Wilson has a simple dream: To design the world's first firearm that can be downloaded from the Internet and built from scratch using only a 3D printer-and then to share it with the world.

2013 This Is The World's First Entirely 3D-Printed Gun (Photos)
Eight months ago, Cody Wilson set out to create the world's first entirely 3D-printable handgun. Now he has.
Early next week, Wilson, a 25-year University of Texas law student and founder of the non-profit group Defense Distributed, plans to release the 3D-printable CAD files for a gun he calls “the Liberator,” pictured in its initial form above. He's agreed to let me document the process of the gun's creation, so long as I don't publish details of its mechanics or its testing until it's been proven to work reliably and the file has been uploaded to Defense Distributed's online collection of printable gun blueprints at
All sixteen pieces of the Liberator prototype were printed in ABS plastic with a Dimension SST printer from 3D printing company Stratasys, with the exception of a single nail that's used as a firing pin. The gun is designed to fire standard handgun rounds, using interchangeable barrels for different calibers of ammunition.
Technically, Defense Distributed's gun has one other non-printed component: the group added a six ounce chunk of steel into the body to make it detectable by metal detectors in order to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act. In March, the group also obtained a federal firearms license, making it a legal gun manufacturer.
Of course, Defcad's users may not adhere to so many rules. Once the file is online, anyone will be able to download and print the gun in the privacy of their garage, legally or not, with no serial number, background check, or other regulatory hurdles. “You can print a lethal device,” Wilson told me last summer. “It's kind of scary, but that's what we're aiming to show.” [snip]
AR lower receiver, the body of that semi-automatic rifle to which off-the-shelf components like a stock and barrel can be attached. 3D printing firm Makerbot removed all gun components from Thingiverse, its popular site for hosting users' printable designs.

Fully 3D Printed Rifle #1 Firing Test



Legally Make your own Gun. 80 Percent Lower.



IP rights - Piracy
3/15/13 In advance of America's move tomorrow, March 16, from a “first-to-invent” to a “first-to-file” patent regime). Our objective is to provide a platform for small innovators to post their ideas for the world before a well-heeled enterprise can file a patent on the same idea with the Patent Office. One consequence of the move from “first to invent” to “first to file” is that it will likely be difficult for small inventors to beat larger enterprises to the patent office with their innovations. First-to-Disclose is an effort to counterbalance the burden imposed on small inventors. Prof. Jonathan Askin Founder/Director Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic Brooklyn Law School


2/2012 SCO, RightHaven, and now Eolas have been relegated to the ash-heap of Internet patent trolls.
The Eolas patents were denounced for years before this week's landmark trial, but managed to survive repeated re-exams at the United States Patent and Trade Office.
Texas Jury Strikes Down Patent Troll's Claim to Own the Interactive Web. Google, Amazon and Adobe defeated a patent claiming ownership over online video, image rotation and search auto-complete.
Eolas maintained its patents entitled the company to royalty payments from just about anyone running a website with “interactive” features, like rotating pictures or streaming video. The chief issue in the case was whether the first computer program that allowed access to an “interactive web” was created by the little-known Chicago biologist Doyle, who runs Eolas out of Chicago. Or was it one of the web pioneers put on the stand by the defendant companies — such as Pei-Yuan Wei and his Viola browser, or Dave Raggett.
In the past: Apple, Argosy Publishing, Blockbuster, Citigroup, eBay, Frito-Lay, JP Morgan Chase, New Frontier Media, Office Depot, Perot Systems, Playboy Enterprises International, Rent-A-Center, Sun Microsystems (bought by Oracle while this litigation was underway), and Texas Instruments, already settled with Eolas.