Comments on PGP5.0 OCR (was Re: fyi, pgp source now available , internationally)

Alan alan at
Sun Aug 17 12:49:57 PDT 1997

At 12:07 PM 8/17/97 -0700, Bill Stewart wrote:
>At 03:21 PM 8/11/97 -0400, tzeruch - at - ceddec - dot - com wrote:
>>Not quite.  If you read closely, the EAR says something about reserving
>>judgment on OCR publications.  You didn't use a specific OCR font, but you
>>did put all kinds of other OCR helps in, which should by itself cloud the
>>issue.  It would be nice if it was resolved.
>Of course they say the "reserve judgement" - they'd really like to
>control it, but they know their chances of getting it past the
>First Amendment are extremely low, so it's just FUD.

It is pretty absurd any way you look at it.

Most text scanning jobs for commercial use are sent off-shore.  For the
government to act like OCR scanning does not exist for those off the
continental US is absurd.

>I thought the PGP source code was printed in nice, friendly OCR-B font,
>but OCR equipment is good enough that Courier 10 or random popular
>fonts from Laserjets will do.  (Proportional spaced is still a bit
>harder to recognize than constant-width, but not by much.)
>Reading text typed on an IBM Selectric was practical 10 years ago,
>when cheap ($10K) 68000-based OCR machines were starting to come out 
>which weren't made by Kurzweil (who made great $30K machines.)
>If they want to block OCR-readable stuff, they're blocking just about
>everything printed today.

I used to work for a company that made CD-ROMs of medical journals.  These
were proportional fonts out of magazines.  (Once in a while we would get
the origianl article information, but that was not always assured.)  Most
of the text would be sent to somewhere in Asia to be scanned and proofread.
 Text scanning is big business in some parts of SE Asia.  (And has for many

Goes to show you just how disconnected from the real world the White House
and its fellow travelers have become.

|              "That'll make it hot for them!" - Guy Grand               |
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