Hacking QR codes for fun and profit

QR codes are everywhere these days, from being printed onto receipts to chiseled into granite tombstones. [Will] came up with a way to modify existing QR codes, and his hack has the potential to cause quite a bit of harmless mischief.

[Will]‘s hack involves a little photo editing, transparency film, and some white-out/Liquid Paper/Tippex. After the ‘target’ and ‘destination’ QR codes have been imported into Gimp, the differences are found and the result printed out on a transparency sheet. After that,  hang the transparency over the original and the QR code now goes to the URL of your choice.

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Barcode challenge for radio operators

[Scott Harden] came across a few posts about QR code matrix barcodes coming through on the 40m baud radio band. A few operators had captured the signals and assembled them into the code block seen above but they weren’t able to get a clear enough shot for a smartphone to decode the image. [Scott] took on the challenge and decoded the mysterious message himself. He tried some graphic editing to separate and enhance the color channels in order to up the contrasts of the image. This helped, but still couldn’t be read automatically. In a move similar to those seen in Hackaday’s own barcode challenges he dropped the image into Inkscape so that he could manually clean it up. Once it was overlaid on a grid the job was pretty simple. the left side did require some more image manipulation and precision”squinting” to eliminate interference from the vertical banding, but he managed to get the message. We won’t spoil it here in case you want to take on the challenge yourself. Good luck!

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