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Printer Earth Technology

Xerox Demos Self-Erasing, Eco-Friendly Paper 204

Lucas123 writes "The same Xerox lab that brought us Ethernet, the GUI and the mouse has demonstrated paper that can be reused after printed text automatically deletes itself from its surface in a day. Instead of trashing or recycling after one use, a single piece of paper can be reused up to 100 times. 'The paper contains specially coded molecules that create a print after being exposed to ultraviolet light emitted from a thin bar in a printer. The ultraviolet bar itself is very small, so it can be used in mobile printers. The technology could also be useful for network printing.'"
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Xerox Demos Self-Erasing, Eco-Friendly Paper

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  • Hacking the paper? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by niko9 ( 315647 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @07:11PM (#23257770)
    Wonder if you can recover sensitive data much like you can with over written hard disk sectors...
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @07:14PM (#23257800)
    But will the paper start to jam after a few uses?
    100 times is a lot of it to get jammed in the printer after a few uses.
  • by Mc_Anthony ( 181237 ) * on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @07:54PM (#23258192)
    Most (if not all) new paper comes from farmed trees - a renewable resource. We don't cut down virgin forests for paper. It's actually the recycling of paper that is a disaster for the environment. To this day, the paper recycling industry is the largest polluter of water in the US, due to all of the harsh chemicals needed in the process. Not to mention it's very expensive and requires government subsidies.
  • Ultra violet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @08:14PM (#23258364)
    That stuff that comes from the sun? Don't want to take your valuable printings outside then.

    Back in the 1980s we used UV erasable EPROMS. With the correct UV lamps you could erase them in seconds or minutes. If you had natural light coming onto your desk then they'd get erased, but it would take a few days. Many an engineer was stumped as to why his circuit that worked fine yesterday was behaving badly today.

    Now the same problem will extend to accountants!

  • newspaper? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by v1 ( 525388 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @09:20PM (#23258848) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if that would work for newspapers? If they could make the paper more durable, you could read the paper, and when you picked up the next day's paper you could toss them the old one for a "deposit" discount on the next one. They'd just use it again. Save them on paper costs?

  • by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Wednesday April 30, 2008 @09:38PM (#23258950)
    Probably, if i know anything about chemistry its that its rarley absolute, it quite likely that statistical OCR will always be able to read what was printed on the paper.

    OFC if your printing secrets on reusable paper your then given to your enemies, you probably have other problems.

    If they can extend the lifetime of the pages to month or maybe even years, this would really help academic institudes and the such, where lots of stuff gets printed but is rarely needed for more than a couple of weeks.
  • Re:Ultra violet? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fractoid ( 1076465 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @01:35AM (#23260224) Homepage
    Reminds me of an interesting story from my boss at an old job - he'd had a prototype that he had to demonstrate to a potential customer, and it worked perfectly on the workbench but the moment the case was closed, it failed. Turned out that some signals were a little weak or somesuch, and the EPROM-based microprocessor (which, having been repeatedly erased during development, didn't have its cover on) was only detecting these signals when it had an incandescent light shining on its erase window. The product ended up being demoed (and functioning perfectly) with a 12-volt light bulb taped to the inside of the case.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser