There has been some chatter about testing the Xerox WorkCentre 7655 to test whether it produces halos scanning a birth certificate. The problem testing with a printout of Obama’s PDF is that it already has halos (white outlines around the letters). Birthers seem to think that no paper document of Obama’s birth certificate exists, never mind that the entire White House Press corps saw it held up, and at least one felt it and took picture. They think that images of existing birth certificates had text cut out, and that these halos were where the prior text was removed. That’s an odd view, because it basically means that ALL the text had to be removed, even the preprinted items on the form.
A forger wouldn’t do all that extra work to create something that looks odd. Let me present an unbiased opinion—my own. You see, back in August of 2009, almost 2 years before Obama released his long form birth certificate in a PDF file, halos and all, on the Internet, I made a reconstruction of what I thought the long form would look like, should it ever be released. That file appears below (click to enlarge):
Do you see any halos? Of course not. I just laid text onto the background. I wasn’t trying to make a forgery and there are all manner of technical faults in my sample document. If I were actually making a forgery, I would get a sample of the basket weave paper, print my fake certificate on it, and scan it back. That is not only the easiest way, but the most similar to an authentic one. (Also note the perfect spacing of the typewriter fonts I added—none of that silly “kerning” that the birthers think is a forgery.) If there ever were an inept forger, I’m that one. But even my essay intended to fool no one doesn’t have the genuine anomalies of a worn typewriter and extreme mixed raster content compression.
To assist testing halo creation with Xerox, I’ve attempted to create a “better” sample certificate. What I did was to make some safety paper by tiling blank areas from the high-resolution scan of Obama’s computer-generated Certification of Live Birth (I didn’t try to line them up) and then using the Associated Press photocopy of the long form, with the blue background changed to white. So if you want to test, just print out the first, the background, and then the second, the form and text. Voila, you have your own long form birth certificate copy, with no halos whatever.
Halos are evidence in favor of MRC compression and against a human forger.