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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Do-it-Yourself Ransom Notes
I just discovered something very odd and don't know nearly enough about software to understand it. Do these steps. Trust me. It's not harmful; it's just weird.

Open a blank Word document. Now come back here and click on the "comments" link. When the comment window opens, scroll down to the word verification picture (the letters with the crazy fonts you're supposed to decipher to prove you're not a robot). Right-click on the picture, and select "copy" from the menu. (If you're using a Mac, do whatever you do to copy a picture.) Now switch back to the Word document and choose "paste" (either as a keyboard shortcut, or from the "edit" menu, or by right-clicking…).

You pasted a picture into the Word document but it's a different verification word than the one you copy. Odd, no? Now without copying anything else choose paste again. And again. Amuse yourself all day.

No need to thank me.
It doesn't work in OpenOffice. All I get is an empty graphic. I'm disappointed. In paint, I get the same thing every time.

I wanna know why too.
Crap, I am not even able to click on the word. It does nothing.
They are really not keeping you busy enough.
How on earth did you come upon this one?
Um, what's "randsom"?

As for Kiwi, I am guessing that she, like me, didn't want to fork over the cash to Microsoft when a free alternative exists that gets the job done just as well.
KTG: But did you try it in Word?

Stacey: Right-click.

PT: Who's "they"? I don't work for anyone. I'M not keeping me busy enough!

Essie: Just goofing around. A fertile mind and too few distractions...
I'm with Stacey. If I right click, I don't get "copy" as one of my menu options, so I can't try pasting the word into a Word document.

However: I do get "view image" as an option. And if I view the image, you're right! — it's one of those psychedelic words, but not the same one.

This is a remarkable discovery. You aren't paid well enough for making this kind of contribution to blogdom.
Ralphie: We cross posted. Thanks for noticing the typo. And not fixing it yourself. And making fun of me. I fixed it. Happy?

Q: Finally. Some recognition!
I would have corrected it to "Random Notes." So there you have it.

Oddly, your post was right there when I was commenting, which is how I was ableto address your comment to Kiwi. Then somehow it wound up above yours when I submitted.
Doc Bean: I DID right-click! And I don't even get "view image" (as Q did). It must be the version I'm on.
How is this useful for kidnapping? I'm confused.
Stacey: Hmm... I don't know. I'm using IE. Maybe other browsers are different.

Ayelet: I was just thinking you could cut and paste these images to make a modern version of the notes that kidnappers would make out of cut up magazines. KnowhatImean?
Like this?
Exactly like that! You're a genious
This has generated more posts than usual. I guess you "30 somethings" do not have enough to keep you busy. If anyone needs something to do, contact me. There is always lots to do at Blandings.

My guess is, and I am not going to spend any more time on it, that the picture is actually a little program that generates random letters in random fonts whenever it is pasted. But I think most of you knew that.
You don't have to go to a Word document to achieve this magical effect, you can just go to write and write a letter and send it to yourself, or to all your friends.

Thank you so much for inspiring me to embark on this journey of discovery, BTW -- it has made my internet experience so much more delightful and given me a whole new way to waste what remains of my time on earth.
Lord Emsworth: I don't think it's random letters with a random font. I think it's a huge list of individually prepared combinations of letters that they've found are especially difficult for OCR (optical character recognition) software to decifer.

Ms Katz: It's my pleasure!
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