September 17, 2006

Wells Fargo ATMs

After extensive searching, I've finally found one of these new Wells Fargo ATMs that is capable of scanning checks/cash directly! Check out the row of ATMs at 2460 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA. It looks like they've all been outfitted with this new capability!

Some interesting (or not so interesting) tidbits about this ATM:

  • It took a noticeable amount of time (probably 5 seconds or so) for the ATM machine's OCR algorithm to complete.

  • Upon scanning, the ATM brings up a matrix of check images with dollar amounts as determined from the previous step. You can then verify or correct these values.

  • The check I inserted was handwritten and yet the ATM got the numbers right. The numerical value was written fairly neatly, but the text was cursive and probably a bit challenging to recognize (if this value is used at all in the algorithm that is).

  • The receipt you receive includes a copy of the scanned check as well. It also automatically truncates the portion of the check that contains the corresponding bank account number.

Unfortunately, checks presumably must still be endorsed on the back, thus resulting in only 1/2 annoyances being eliminated for ATM check deposits. Nevertheless, I still found this new ATM interface to be pretty cool. =D

Posted by bnc at 07:14 PM

September 16, 2006

Great White Adventures

Well, it's Fall now and that means it's Great White Shark season time! Why bother with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's 5' 8" Great White when you can watch a 15 footer maul 200 to 300 lb. elephant seals in the open ocean? =P

EDIT: not everyone has had a good experience with this company apparently.

Posted by bnc at 11:57 PM