Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Anti-oops fax machine

Fax machine that warns if pages are nearly blank
  [vote for,

In the simplest variation, this would be a fax machine that would examine a scan of an outgoing document and confirm that it had a reasonable amount of information content and provide a warn if it doesn't seem to (probably because the document was facing the wrong way when it was inserted). Depending upon price, a machine could use a number of ways to try to distinguish this.

-1- Include a page-density readout, to indicate whether a page was mostly white. It may be possible to include a VERY low resolution scan of the page (e.g. 0.5-5 dpi) in the fax log. I don't think any confidential information would be compromised by such a scan, but the user could confirm visually that the document that had been transmitted was at least somewhat reasonable. Even a cheap LCD could display a 0.5dpi scan, and even the cheapest graphical display could probably show 1-2dpi.

-2- Incorporate two light sources for scanning--one reflective and one transmissive. If far more content is visible in transmissive mode than reflective mode, that would suggest most of the page content is on the reverse.

-3- Even without special scanning hardware, it should be possible to distinguish ink bleed-through from deliberate content by examining the edge countours, and flag documents which appear to have nothing on them except the former.

supercat, May 14 2007


       Many fax machines will print a summary of the fax sent, including a thumbnail of the first page. That helps after the fact, at least.
DrCurry, May 14 2007

       People still use fax machines?
wagster, May 14 2007

       I was once faxed a paint colour-chart by a decorator who expected me to make a choice from it while I was at work. The information content was low.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 14 2007

       I thought this was a device that prevented one from accidently faxing a job application and resume to one's own boss.
nuclear hobo, May 15 2007


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