Feeds

Patching Xerox's number-changing photocopy phlaw will take weeks

Company publishes a workaround in the meantime

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Xerox has told its customers that their copiers may continue churning out dodgy numbers for a few weeks unless they change the settings on their hardware.

"To hear and see this frustration and confusion goes against all that's core to Xerox's heritage and future," wrote Rick Dastin, president of Xerox's office and solutions business group in a statement. "We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience this has caused our customers. We are working tirelessly to address these issues."

Last week, German computer science student David Kriesel discovered that when copying documents using low resolution and a small font size, two models of Xerox WorkCentre were changing the numeral 6 to an 8; other digits were also being altered. The problem was discovered when Kriesel was copying some building plans and noticed the dimensions of the rooms had changed.

Xerox confirmed Kriesel's suspicions that the problem was in the JBIG2 compression system used on those models, but said that the problem only occurred at low resolutions and was due to "inherent tradeoffs under low resolution and quality settings."

On Wednesday, Xerox issued an update, saying the problem only occurred with a small number of customers and could be fixed if the user changed the scanning settings to the factory default for higher quality output instead of what Xerox lists as normal resolution.

Dastin said that "within a few weeks" Xerox would be pushing out a patch to fix the issue by disabling the highest compression mode used by JBIG2, which should fix the problem.

Dastin told the BBC that 14 models dating back to 2005 use the JBIG2 compression, and that the company had been aware of possible problems with the standard for years. He told the BBC that Xerox has flagged the issue in the user manual, was thus surprised at the furor that broke out after Kriesel's blog post, and insisted this was a minor problem.

"There's zero chance of this happening if you are photocopying and not trying to store a digital image," he said. "You'll never get into this problem if you use the standard fax. ... or if you're just trying to print." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.