Invisible QR Codes Put Printers Ahead Of Counterfeiters

Using a special kind of ink that can only be seen in infrared light, invisible quick-response (QR) codes can now be printed onto regular documents, making them harder for counterfeiters to duplicate.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

You may have seen those odd-looking black and white stamps on an advertisement or similar document. QR codes, as they're called, are similar to barcodes in that they contain data about the object they're stamped on. Now a team from two South Dakota universities have come up with a way to put QR codes on documents that are invisible to the naked eye but visible to a smartphone camera or laser-light reader. The key is in the ink: The nanoparticles in it help it to glow bright blue or green when exposed to near-infrared light.

What's the Big Idea?

Invisible QR codes are just one more way to stop counterfeiters from duplicating sensitive documents. In addition to the code data itself, the researchers figured out a way to embed a microscopic image into the stamp as well, making the document that much more difficult to forge. The ink can be used with a desktop printer to allow printing on ordinary documents, and paper's not its only medium: "[B]ecause the code can be printed on plastic or even glass, manufacturers could use it to authenticate other items."

Photo Credit:

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Scientists just voted to change the definition of a kilogram

The definition of a kilogram will now be fixed to Planck's constant, a fundamental part of quantum physics.

Greg L via Wikipedia
Surprising Science
  • The new definition of a kilogram is based on a physical constant in quantum physics.
  • Unlike the current definition of a kilogram, this measurement will never change.
  • Scientists also voted to update the definitions of several other measurements in physics.
Keep reading Show less