Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lost in translation (the Rapunzel security system)


A co-worker happened across an article that puzzled her. The article, by Craig Padilla, is entitled "How Biometric Technology is Used in Video Surveillance." The article ended with this puzzling biography of the author:

Were a first class designer of Fingerprint door head of hair, keyless door locks, plus biometric access control techniques.

Both of us were trying to figure out what a "Fingerprint door head of hair" was supposed to be.

Finally, I figured it out after reading a second article. This one, by Trenton Palmer, is entitled "Advantages and Disadvantages of New Bump Resistant Door Locks." It closes with a similar biography:

About the Author

I am a first class company of Fingerprint door head of hair, keyless door locks, as well as biometric access control systems.

But once I read the third paragraph of Palmer's article, everything made sense.

However, consumers still ought to be very careful of deceptive locksmith companies employing this as an excuse to help you drill every lock they see as a way to price gauge consumers. Locks by using this new technology can conveniently be identified. There are just two vendors with easily obtainable product: Kwikset and Schlage. The Kwikset brand boasts a pin hole next into the main key hole. The Schlage brand is known for a plus sign directly above the important hole. If your hair don't have these identifiers, they have no reason to be drilled. Don't allow anyone to drill locks without all of these identifiers. You will be paying for work that doesn't need to be accomplished and new locks that you don't need.

Did you notice the sentence that began "If you hair don't have these identifiers"?

Have you ever referred to a "lock of hair"?

Apparently Palmer wanted to use the word "lock" but used the word "hair" instead.

For a more blatant example of this confusion, read the article entitled "Fingerprint Entry Tresses and just how Biometric Entrance Hair Function."

It reminds me of the story of Rapunzel. As you recall, Rapunzel's predicament is as follows:

Rapunzel grows up to be the most beautiful child in the world with long golden hair. When Rapunzel reaches her twelfth year, the enchantress shuts her away in a tower in the middle of the woods, with neither stairs nor door, and only one room and one window.

But the enchantress' secret method of entry is discovered by a prince, who repeats the passcode:

Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb the golden stair.

It is uncertain whether Rapunzel's hair was manufactured by Kwikset or Schlage. Or Hair Club. (And no, I don't know the rules of Hair Club.)
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