NY Times: Bigger bar code

Kate Murphy reports in Monday’s New York Times on the conversion retailers face in going from 12-digit to 13-digit bar codes.

Starting Jan. 1, 2005, the 12-digit bar codes retailers use to identify everything from cars to candy bars will go to 13 digits. The additional number (and associated bars and spaces) is enough to make checkout scanners seize up and make computers crash, perhaps disrupting entire supply chains. But many retailers have yet to focus on a problem that will require significant investments in time and capital.

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