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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Facebook QR Code "me"-link [Jul. 10th, 2008|09:40 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
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Facebook's public profile pages don't let you include any links (notably: no XFN "me" links), so you can't setup a bi-direction proof that you own your Facebook account from another page.

I got around that:


Check out my QR code in my profile photo. That QR code says "http://bradfitz.com/".


Update 12:42pm: I made it with Google's new Chart API feature. Make a URL like this:


You can read them with this: http://code.google.com/p/zxing/

[User Picture]From: mart
2008-07-10 05:06 pm (UTC)

Can you really "parse" the QR code after it's been resampled down to such a small size? I know it has error correction, but I'd expect that once you get below a certain image size it all degenerates into garbage.

(Or do you have some clever way of computing the full-size image URL from the thumbnail one?)

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[User Picture]From: muerte
2008-07-10 05:19 pm (UTC)
How did you generate that QR code?
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[User Picture]From: xlerb
2008-07-10 05:27 pm (UTC)
In the absence of a QR decoding tool that isn't full of crack-weasels, I'll just take your word for it.
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[User Picture]From: dblume
2008-07-10 06:08 pm (UTC)
It would be more practical to put a human-readable "bradfitz.com" in the image than the QR code. I doubt anyone would bother to process the QR code, until there's a FireFox plugin to automatically scan them in images and throw up links. (Sort of the opposite of Mobile Barcode.)

What you did is cute, but not very practical.

Edited at 2008-07-10 06:18 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: brad
2008-07-10 07:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I care about machine-readable.
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From: (Anonymous)
2008-07-10 06:29 pm (UTC)


The way they smash your image down to a small thumbnail and encode it as a jpeg, it looks like that QR code might be illegible.

Have you tried to decode the image right from the public listing (which would be required for FOAF spidering)?

Cool hack tho :) Hopefully something similar will catch on.
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[User Picture]From: iamo
2008-07-11 12:58 am (UTC)

Re: Spiderable?

Since this is a pretty facebook-specific hack anyways, translating the s to n in the url to make it a full size image is probably not too much of a stretch.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2008-07-10 06:54 pm (UTC)
Dude, steganographic watermarking.
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From: pathawks.com
2008-07-10 06:55 pm (UTC)

Just... wow

I'm not entirely sure where this sits on the Geeky-Cool spectrum, but more power to ya, man.
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[User Picture]From: taral
2008-07-10 08:13 pm (UTC)

Bah, facebook says "request pending" when I try to add you. :P
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From: astawater
2008-07-10 08:21 pm (UTC)


I love the interesting hack. It will be entertaining to see the social sites attempt to limit these codes in their images.
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From: ext_103406
2008-07-10 08:48 pm (UTC)
lol that's great! I thought fb reviews changed to profile photos...be sure to update if they reject this photo change. :)
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[User Picture]From: paradroid
2008-07-10 09:10 pm (UTC)

Needs borders

I know it seems a little lame, but the white band around the outside of the QR code is required in the spec to give the client/camera/device as little noise as possible.
Therefore your picture is problematic.
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[User Picture]From: brad
2008-07-10 10:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Needs borders

Ah, good to know, thanks! I'll update it later.
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[User Picture]From: d4b
2008-07-11 01:07 am (UTC)
Speaking of account ownership and owner pictures, did you know that Friendster sends out a confirmation email when you create an account, but never actually requires the confirmation to occur? So, I found out that this guy was using one of my rarely-used email accounts as his primary email address, and that meant that I was getting a ton of "your friend did..." notifications. I got his account password, found that his style didn't allow for any display text (for some odd reason) and so instead changed his primary default picture to the one shown here, without making any other changes or deletions. (The background is a lighter version of his original picture.)
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