I've got it all figured out.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ask the Magic Internet a Stupid Question No. 0015

Some people say that the government is going to tattoo barcodes on everyone. Like this:

Most of the people that say that look like this:

I’m not really sure what they think the government is going to use the barcodes for. I think it has something to do with your taxes or your healthcare or your freewill or a bunch of other crap that isn’t half as interesting as this Slim Jim based creature exploring a hot dog roller.

One thing I am interested in though is finding out if these barcode tattoos actually work. Has anyone ever tried to scan one? If they do work they could have some useful purposes beyond the mass slavery of the near future’s population.

We could put them on babies so there’s no more mix ups at the hospital.

Or Kevin Federline could get a Coca Cola UPC code sandwiched between some of the regrettable tattoos on his ample frame.

That way he won’t strain his hooker arm lifting the 6 cases of Coke he buys every week up to the self-serve scanner at Wal-Mart.

It could also come in handy for sluts.

File Photo: Sluts.

They could all get barcodes tattooed on their asses that give out their phone number when scanned. Then when whatever douche bag is plowing them that night takes out his iPhone to take a picture of said ass (you know this will happen) he can use the handy iPhone barcode scanner app and booyah, he’s got her digits to(and maybe even her name).

Babies, K-Fed, slut, the possibilities are endless but only if the barcode tattoos work. So Magic Internet…

A one, a two, a you know what to do.

Question 14: Can you actually scan barcode tattoos with a scanner?

Woooooooooooooop. Woop. Woop. Wop. I II I III I II I II IIII I III Zurp. Zurrrrp Ding!

Magic Internet Answer: I dated a 1400i Retail Scanner once. We met at a barcode. Ha. Ha. Ha. Internet make joke!

Sigh. Tough crowd. Let us get right to it then. To answer your question we must first discuss how a barcode works. Here is a typical barcode.

Most see it as a collection of perpendicular black lines. Which is true but the white spaces between the black lines are just as important. A scanner needs to read both the black lines and the white spaces in order to decipher the code. So right away we know that the wearer of a barcode tattoo must have fairly light skin or have had white ink used in the creation of their barcode tattoo in order for it to have any chance of being read by a scanner. White ink used in tattoos does not show up very well, even on darker skinned individuals. So it would seem that the only barcode tattoos with a chance of being read by a scanner would have to be on light skinned people. (That should send those new world order conspiracy nuts back to the kitchen to design a new hat.)

Even on light skinned people, most UPC barcode tattoos (the most common type of barcode) do not scan. This is usually because the barcode is too small. The average tattoo needle line scanned at 300dpi measures at around 7 pixels. If we divide 300 by 7 we get 42. This means that the original barcode design that is to be tattooed on an individual must be at least 42dpi.

Note: This one is too small.

Every UPC barcode is a standard 95 units wide. If we divide 95 by 42 we get 2.26. This tells us that a tattooed barcode must be at least 2.26 inches wide for it to be read by a scanner. Most people that receive barcode tattoos have them done at a size of around 1 to 2 inches. In order for a barcode tattoo to be readable a skilled tattoo artist needs to make the tattoo almost twice the size of a standard barcode. But don’t make it too big as most scanners have maximum input level of 2.5 inches. Perhaps that’s why things didn’t work out between the 1400i and me. I was too big for her. Wink, wink.

Oh my, they’re getting closer! I better wrap this up. To answer your question Johnny, yes under the right circumstances and with some difficulty barcode tattoos can be read by a scanner. Don’t believe me? Have a look.

See. Isn’t math fun!

Well MI, math was fun. Then they stopped selling these babies.

But thanks for answering my question. And you know what? I have another gift for you.

Next time you want to tell a joke, set these guys up first.

I’m outie 5000.

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