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Samples

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.

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44 Responses to Samples

  1. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 17, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    Halos are evidence in favor of MRC compression and against a human forger.

    In fact, just about every artifact trumpeted by the birthers is evidence of algorithmic processing rather than human construction. You have the scientific method (asking if each artifact makes a forgery more or less likely) and the birther method (finding an artifact they don’t understand and calling it proof of forgery).

  2. avatar
    nbc August 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Thanks Doc, I will see what I can do.

  3. avatar
    justlw August 18, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Slartibartfast: finding an artifact they don’t understand and calling it proof of forgery

    I hereby dub this line of thinking the “Gonif of the gaps” argument.

  4. avatar
    Arthur August 18, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    “A forger wouldn’t do all that extra work to create something that looks odd.”

    On the one hand, birthers believe that President Obama is an evil genius, sitting at the center of a decades-long conspiracy involving the intimidation and bribery of all three branches of government and the infiltration of the FBI and CIA, and on the other hand, they believe that he’s too incompetent to secure the services of a first-rate forger.

    It is to laugh.

  5. avatar
    richCares August 18, 2013 at 1:25 am #

    hey, stop it!
    you guys are making Zullo look stupid.
    It is not a fair fight.

  6. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    If anyone wants to see a wide variety of Xerox scans, google the default filename that Xerox WorkCentres create:

    Scanned from a Xerox multifunction device001.pdf

    I receive files with this name from clients often. It occurred to me that it’s common for people to be too lazy to rename the PDF before emailing …. and before posting.

    This will return several thousand instances of files that were, purportedly, scanned on a WorkCentre or some other Xerox printer/scanner. Of course, they may have been resaved after the scan, retaining the default file name. You’d have to dig in to the markup to check out any interesting file’s pedigree.

    Further, not all of these PDFs will be MRC PDFs, as the use of MRC is an option easily enabled/disabled by the device’s users and admins.

    Since the “halos” are white, you’ll have to find a file in which elements selected for highlighting in the form of a foreground layer happen to be on a background other than white*, to find visible instances of haloing.

    After browsing a bit, here’s a few of interest:

    http://piledrivers2404.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Scanned-from-a-Xerox-multifunction-device001.pdf

    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/158359073/Scanned-from-a-Xerox-multifunction-device001

    An interesting scan from a Xerox WorkCentre 7556 … tons of halo’ing, but subtle, having been heavily blended into the overall background:
    http://atmuseum.org/1983_exhibit_pdfs/Scanned%20from%20a%20Xerox%20multifunction%20device001.pdf

    All it takes is sharp lines/text on a non-white background*, and a certain level of contrast between the lines/text and the background. When scanned on a Workcentre on which MRC is enabled, *poof*, “halos”.

    * Of course, any time a foreground layer is created, the “halos” are there regardless of the background color or pattern … it’s just difficult for mere mortals to distinguish white on white.

  7. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    Here’s what I’ve never understood about the halo obsession. Every item that’s been bitmap’d in the WH LFBC PDF matches its own “halo”. If you understand what you’re looking at, how Xerox’s MRC works …. then, well, of course they all match right? Duh.

    But the halos are supposedly signs of text being cut out and replaced.

    The “forger” cut out the text … and replaced it with the exact same text? The same sequence of characters, same size, spacing, position?

    Now that is some seriously subtle forgery!

  8. avatar
    justlw August 18, 2013 at 2:28 am #

    JPotter: This will return several thousand instances of files that were, purportedly, scanned on a WorkCentre or some other Xerox printer/scanner.

    The extent to which the tentacles of The Conspiracy reach boggles the mind.

  9. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 2:50 am #

    Doc, I created this composite in Jan 2012, also from the AP image. Free bonus …. simulated ‘raised’ seal 😛

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwbVB7E55h6GMzY2NzcwYmYtNzMwNi00NDM0LWE4ZGMtYjhiMDI2ZGY5Mjlh/edit

    It’s 8” x 11″, 300dpi, ready for printing.
    Unfortunately saved as a (high quality) JPEG … have to keep the file size down.

    I was hoping to use it to test on a Xerox way back when … but Xeroxes are hard to find around here! It’s all Lanier, Toshiba, and Canon in this burg. Strangely enough, the local Xerox office wasn’t willing to cough up their client list to a random caller. Those guys are so paranoid.

  10. avatar
    Lupin August 18, 2013 at 2:55 am #

    The whole matter is patently absurd.

    No one would forge a birth certificate knowing that the State of HI would eventually expose it as such.

    And if the State of HI was in on the “conspiracy”, then they would issue a perfectly authentic BC. There would be no need to forge anything.

    The whole premise of a forged BC makes absolutely no sense.

  11. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 3:33 am #

    One point about testing from an “AP composite” … being all black line art, the layers generated are going to be different. And, the contrast have been altered, you’ll get halos, but mix of elements reproduced as bitmaps / pass over will be different.

    It’s a good test of whether WorkCentre’s have an uncanny ability to recognize a fraudulent birth certificate and produce “halos” accordingly (hardehar), but it won’t be a perfect, soup-to-nuts recreation.

  12. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    JPotter:
    One point about testing from an “AP composite” … being all black line art, the layers generated are going to be different. And, the contrast have been altered, you’ll get halos, but mix of elements reproduced as bitmaps / pass over will be different.

    It’s a good test of whether WorkCentre’s have an uncanny ability to recognize a fraudulent birth certificate and produce “halos” accordingly (hardehar), but it won’t be a perfect, soup-to-nuts recreation.

    The key is always going to be the “April 25 2001” and the registrar signature stamps.

  13. avatar
    Yoda August 18, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Lupin:
    The whole matter is patently absurd.

    No one would forge a birth certificate knowing that the State of HI would eventually expose it as such.

    And if the State of HI was in on the “conspiracy”, then they would issue a perfectly authentic BC. There would be no need to forge anything.

    The whole premise of a forged BC makes absolutely no sense.

    It is laughably stupid. As has been pointed out a forger would create a new original not piece together a frenkencate from the parts of other pdfs. I am still waiting for the birther explanation as to why a forger would put parts of one word on one layer and parts one another. I don’t profess to understand the technical stuff, but I know what does not make sense from a logical standpoint.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 18, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    What’s really cool about this document is that when viewed in the built-in Firefox PDF viewer, the background appears before the foreground. So if you click the Zoom button [+] a few times you see the background flash on the screen with the white spaces, and then the black text laid in a fraction of a second later. It’s quite a stark visual image.

    JPotter: After browsing a bit, here’s a few of interest:

    http://piledrivers2404.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Scanned-from-a-Xerox-multifunction-device001.pdf

  15. avatar
    Reality Check August 18, 2013 at 9:39 am #

    Someone should send these to Karl Denninger. He was the main proponent of the halos = forgery theory. The guy is a complete jackass. After I proved him wrong he blocked my emails. He did the same with Squeeky after she corrected him on the definition of NBC.

  16. avatar
    OllieOxenFree August 18, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    butterdezillion attempts to weigh in on the Xerox WorkCentre…

    http://butterdezillion.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/disappearing-security-background.pdf

    She seems a tad bit confused in her posting and the words, “way out of your league,” came to mind when I read it. She should stick to tea leaves and crystal gazing to come up with her assumptions about what people are “really” trying to say by pointing out what they did not say.

  17. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG August 18, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Birthers can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that a digital reproduction of anything, is not going to be 100% like the original.
    Vinyl vs MP3 is a perfect example of this.

  18. avatar
    Reality Check August 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    I recently saw an image of a Hawaii birth certificate from 1959 somewhere. It might have been at Free Republic. Does anyone have a link? It was a torn copy. I believe the name was redacted.

  19. avatar
    CarlOrcas August 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

    JPotter: Those guys are so paranoid

    Just part of the conspiracy, no doubt. Does George Soros own Xerox stock?

  20. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

    Reality Check: Does anyone have a link?

    Is this it?

    http://www.wnd.com/2011/05/298537/

  21. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 18, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    There is a torn 1961 certificate at the bottom of page 7 on this pile of crap:

    http://www.wnd.com/files/2013/06/monckton-obama-type13.pdf

    Reality Check:
    I recently saw an image of a Hawaii birth certificate from 1959 somewhere. It might have been at Free Republic. Does anyone have a link? It was a torn copy. I believe the name was redacted.

  22. avatar
    Reality Check August 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Slarti

    Yep, that is it. Someone must have posted on the torn BC image from Monckton’s mess.

    Slartibartfast:
    There is a torn 1961 certificate at the bottom of page 7 on this pile of crap:

    http://www.wnd.com/files/2013/06/monckton-obama-type13.pdf

  23. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Reality Check: Yep, that is it. Someone must have posted on the torn BC image from Monckton’s mess.

    John posted it earlier along with Alan Booth’s stuff to show that Dr. Sinclair should have added M.D. after his name.

    John was wrong as usual.

  24. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    JPotter: An interesting scan from a Xerox WorkCentre 7556 … tons of halo’ing, but subtle, having been heavily blended into the overall background:

    This PDF from the ATMuseum shows evidence of MRC. It consists of one 8-bit layer and a dozen or so 1-bit layers.

    In Illustrator, some of the layers appear to be random. Shut off the color background layer and it clearly separated text from the background.

  25. avatar
    Slartibartfast August 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    The fact that it is ripped actually destroys the argument Mr. Monckton was making (which was pretty thin in any case), although he might not be smart enough to know that…

    Reality Check:
    Slarti

    Yep, that is it. Someone must have posted on the torn BC image from Monckton’s mess.

  26. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    JPotter: An interesting scan from a Xerox WorkCentre 7556 … tons of halo’ing, but subtle, having been heavily blended into the overall background:

    NBC has several posts up about this PDF.

    http://nativeborncitizen.wordpress.com/

    This was a significant find.

  27. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    JPotter: An interesting scan from a Xerox WorkCentre 7556

    NBC has several articles up about this link to the AT Museum.

  28. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    gorefan: NBC has several articles up about this link to the AT Museum.

    The first of many case studies?

  29. avatar
    gorefan August 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

    JPotter: The first of many case studies?

    That was a great find, BTW. IMO, this was significant because it is a website not related to the White House. Before this the main talk has been about the WH LFBC and the President’s tax returns. This shows that there are probably tens of thousands of PDFs out there that have properties like the WH LFBC PDF. And every one is another nail in the CCP’s coffin.

  30. avatar
    JPotter August 18, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    gorefan: That was a great find, BTW.

    There’s plenty of’em out there. I was surprised how many hits that default filename generated … a significant fraction of which will be MRC PDFs. I had also searched in the past for the CreatorTool tag, “Xerox WorkCentre” …. but that just pulls XML files in databases that describe files, not the files themselves. Duh.

    The birfers made a bet, whether intentional or not, that the real explanation could not be identified, much less proven. A foolish bet, based on ignorance; they lost, and lost ugly.

    Of course, Carl Gallups is out there hand-waving, “It is of no concern.” Another attempt to verbalize his own preferred reality. (Reminds me of Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons…”It is beyond my control…”) He also cracked me up when he said that this machine was just suddenly produced after 5 yrs. Really? Considering the PDF in question was released 2.3 years ago, that’s a stretch. And MRC was identified quickly (Fall 2011?), I was pretty sure it was a WorkCentre in Dec 2011, and 100% certain by June 2012, and frequently posting so. I’m just a still small voice, tho. Still, i wasn’t the only one. Birfers and their listening problems 🙄

  31. avatar
    nbc August 19, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    JPotter: The first of many case studies?

    Yeah… so it seems… With every document the CCP is sinking a little deeper 🙂

  32. avatar
    Medici August 19, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    In your scenario, the preprinted items would have the halo added for the sake of consistency. Not because they were pieced together as well. That should be obvious.

    And MRC creates a halo vastly different from what is on Obama’s PDF. It creates much more subtle halos that look visibly different. So if the Xerox didn’t create these halos, what did and why?

  33. avatar
    Medici August 19, 2013 at 2:03 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    Birthers can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that a digital reproduction of anything, is not going to be 100% like the original.
    Vinyl vs MP3 is a perfect example of this.

    So wouldn’t a digital document be easier to manipulate and hide the changes, since it’s being changed by a computer program already? And everyone understands what you are saying. Only in your imagination do birthers believe the things you think they do.

  34. avatar
    Medici August 19, 2013 at 2:05 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    Halos are evidence in favor of MRC compression and against a human forger.

    In fact, just about every artifact trumpeted by the birthers is evidence of algorithmic processing rather than human construction.You have the scientific method (asking if each artifact makes a forgery more or less likely) and the birther method (finding an artifact they don’t understand and calling it proof of forgery).

    So you understand the halo then? Use the Xerox to recreate it. I suspect it won’t turn out to be the magic bullet you had hoped.

  35. avatar
    Medici August 19, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    justlw: I hereby dub this line of thinking the “Gonif of the gaps” argument.

    That would be cute, except the Xerox isn’t going to produce the same halo. Let’s see if NBC will admit that or not after his tests. I bet the lack of halo changes the way the file layers as well. If the results differ, does that mean you will admit the halo existed before any MRC compression took place?

  36. avatar
    Medici August 19, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    JPotter:
    Here’s what I’ve never understood about the halo obsession. Every item that’s been bitmap’d in the WH LFBC PDF matches its own “halo”. If you understand what you’re looking at, how Xerox’s MRC works …. then, well, of course they all match right? Duh.

    But the halos are supposedly signs of text being cut out and replaced.

    The “forger” cut out the text … and replaced it with the exact same text? The same sequence of characters, same size, spacing, position?

    Now that is some seriously subtle forgery!

    But what if the forgery was already complete before optimization and the halo was a preexisting artifact of the previous forgery? If the halo isn’t the same, would you be willing to admit this?

  37. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    And precisely how do you know this? The examples of Xerox WorkCenter documents on the web that have been mentioned in comments here seem to be both not subtle, nor unlike the Obama PDF.

    Medici: And MRC creates a halo vastly different from what is on Obama’s PDF. It creates much more subtle halos that look visibly different. So if the Xerox didn’t create these halos, what did and why?

  38. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    No. Printing and then scanning would be a much more thorough way to hide changes (which we know were not made since the Hawaii Department of Health says it a certified copy of the original).

    Medici: So wouldn’t a digital document be easier to manipulate and hide the changes, since it’s being changed by a computer program already?

  39. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2013 at 8:34 am #

    Your suspicions aren’t evidence, fact, or interesting.

    The facts are:

    1) It is extremely-well established that the White House PDF was created by the Xerox WorkCenter 7655 or another machine from Xerox with the same software (then rotated and saved with Mac Preview). The President’s certificate PDF has halos so one would expect any future scans to have similar halos also.

    2) Other Xerox-created PDFs on the Internet have halos like the Obama PDF.

    I don’t understand why any rational person at this point would suspect that the Xerox scans would magically change their character just to accommodate birther wishes. You can’t START with the premise that the birth certificate is a fake to make conclusions about what the evidence will turn out to be,.

    Medici: So you understand the halo then? Use the Xerox to recreate it. I suspect it won’t turn out to be the magic bullet you had hoped.

  40. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Did the voices in your head tell you that? Basically you have made 5 comments saying essentially the same thing, none of them containing any reason for believing it.

    Medici: That would be cute, except the Xerox isn’t going to produce the same halo.

  41. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    The problem with this is that there’s no reason for there to be halos in a forgery. Any source documents wouldn’t have the MRC compression halos. The “halos” match the text exactly, meaning that they aren’t the result of something “different” being removed. Finally, we’ve seen examples of unquestioned Xerox halos that look like the White House PDF.

    If the halo isn’t the same, then of course I’d be willing to admit that the halo isn’t the same, but given that detail after detail confirm the Xerox hypothesis, there’s no reason to even suspect that the halos will not confirm as well. And a non-matching halo is certainly not proof of a forgery, any more than the dozens of other artifacts that birthers mistakenly relied on the past.

    Poor birthers are grasping as halos after the rest of their theories have fallen apart. Normal people knew already that the document was legitimate because the issuing authority says so. The Hawaii Department of Health FAQ on Obama says:

    “On April 27, 2011 President Barack Obama posted a certified copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth.”

    Medici: But what if the forgery was already complete before optimization and the halo was a preexisting artifact of the previous forgery? If the halo isn’t the same, would you be willing to admit this?

  42. avatar
    Yoda August 19, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    JPotter: Of course, Carl Gallups is out there hand-waving, “It is of no concern.” Another attempt to verbalize his own preferred reality. (Reminds me of Malkovich in Dangerous Liaisons…”It is beyond my control…”) He also cracked me up when he said that this machine was just suddenly produced after 5 yrs. Really? Considering the PDF in question was released 2.3 years ago, that’s a stretch. And MRC was identified quickly (Fall 2011?), I was pretty sure it was a WorkCentre in Dec 2011, and 100% certain by June 2012, and frequently posting so. I’m just a still small voice, tho. Still, i wasn’t the only one. Birfers and their listening problem

    Gallups was telling the truth for a change when he said that “it is of no concern”. That is because Gallups is not interested in the truth. When you are not interested in the truth, the truth is of no concern.

  43. avatar
    JPotter August 19, 2013 at 11:41 am #

    Medici: But what if the forgery was already complete before optimization and the halo was a preexisting artifact of the previous forgery? If the halo isn’t the same, would you be willing to admit this?

    Dear Medici,

    No, I could not, should not agree, as there is no such implication. You clearly failed to understand the point you replied to. Your desperation is fueling nonsense!

    Now, for giggles, please outline your method for objectively measuring “halos” in pixelated imagery; you know, your ‘halometer’.

    Don’t worry, I won’t burden you with any technical assistance. If you can overlook my chuckling, I can overlook the squeaky wheels on your rusty goalpost. 😀

  44. avatar
    JPotter August 19, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    Yoda: Gallups was telling the truth for a change when he said that “it is of no concern”.That is because Gallups is not interested in the truth.When you are not interested in the truth, the truth is of no concern.

    Excellent point. Perhaps the most Yodaesque yet, Yoda!