And Now, a Very Self-Referential QR Code

A QR code that will take people to Whatever

Google’s latest iteration of the Chrome browser now has a feature that creates QR codes for Web pages, so if for some reason it’s your idea of fun to navigate the Web via your phone camera, now you can do so. The above QR code will take you… here (or, more accurately, to the front page of Whatever). Is this useful? Meh, I guess maybe? Is it cool? Absolutely not, QR codes will never ever be cool, even if they, like this one, have a pixelated T-Rex in them. Is it vaguely neat in a deeply nerdy sort of way? Yeah, a little.

Also, now I feel obliged to post this one, perhaps as a warning against wanton QR code following.

— JS

24 Comments on “And Now, a Very Self-Referential QR Code”

  1. I do information security for a living, which means I’m terrible at parties and everyone leaves the room when certain topics come up.

    But keep in mind a QR code is effectively browsing to a URL under someone else’s control, sight-unseen. Bad things can happen to your computer if you visit the wrong one.

    At the very least, I recommend disabling Javascript in your browser if you’re going to visit a QR-code URL representation and you do not know the code was generated by someone you trust.

  2. Yep, pretty much exactly where I thought it would go.

    I never understood why QR Codes didn’t catch on – I always thought they were really useful. I guess I’m in the minority on that one.

  3. Back in the day I printed up a set of stickers (various sizes) of precisely your second QR code, and would place them on top of any QR codes I came across in the wild, as a warning to others. I also included them in holiday cards.

    No pixelated T-Rexes, though.

  4. Agree with Jamie 100%… I’m scared. Where does the second one go to? Please do tell, cause, I’m not goin’ there to find out…

  5. I’m assuming the second is a rickroll. If that’s still a thing for the lulz.

    Ever since Snowcrash and the scroll, I’m not pointing my camera at any QR codes.

  6. The cool part is when a bricks and mortar store, like your friendly neighbourhood book store, can’t open for business as usual, but can display the latest hot new books, and a large QR code in the window besides those books. The QR takes the window shopper straight to the e-store with the book right in the basket already.

    Store front pickup follows minutes later.

    Seen it in Toronto.

  7. I use an app that shows me the URL behind the QR code, so that I can see where it will take me before I go there. When I saw the URL, I correctly guessed which singer I would soon be seeing.

  8. Yeah, not playing with that.

    Been coping with self-inflicted web pains thanks to overusing Firefox Home on my browser. Freezes up the browser if you use it long enough.

  9. Amusingly enough, when I right-click on one of the QR code images, Chrome gives me the option of creating a QR code of the QR code, but not of decoding it.

  10. This is rather timely for me – I spent yesterday printing out the QR codes for the organisation I work for, as we now have to have QR codes available for my state’s COVID contact tracking app just about everywhere. Which means I’m going to be finding out how the app handles things like being asked to scan QR codes without being connected to data services on my phone (I’m on prepaid mobile, my provider charges like a wounded bull for data, and I’m old enough that I tend to use my phone as a phone rather than as a mobile computing hub). I foresee a lot of writing down my contact details by hand.

  11. I was not disappointed in the second QR code, and I am now printing up to post at work. I’ve also used NATO code to do that to coworkers. :D

  12. Not the Reddit Chris S., Nancie, Paul:

    Yeah, nerds are never gonna give up that joke.

    Okay, that was a Dad Joke.

  13. For the background image on my phone’s lock screen, I use a QR code of a tel: URI giving the phone’s number.
    Sadly, nobody seems to find this useful.

  14. I love QR codes. My business card has one that links to my resume. It’s a shortened URL so that the QR can be as simple as possible. And it works!

  15. Followed the 2nd code. Was not disappointed.

    FYI – Google Lens (part of the camera) will tell you the URL before you go.

  16. QR codes give me the security heebee-jeebies. You don’t really know where the QR going to take you. The opportunities for malware are so vast. Makes me think of the Harry Potter dictum about not trusting anything whose brain you can’t see.

  17. In these covid times some of our local restaurants are using QR codes to take you to their menu. A rather good use of it I think.

  18. @Megpie71 — If it’s a TracFone (what I use), if you’re connected to a wifi network any web usage does not come out of your paid data.

    I still don’t do a lot of browsing on my phone, because I’d rather not set myself up for an eyestrain headache, but it can be handy sometimes to pull up a walkthrough on my phone instead of closing out of the game I’m playing on the laptop, checking said walkthrough, then trying to remember all the steps as I log back into the game.

  19. @Leah TracFone is a US provider :) Are any States in the US even together enough to be doing that level of contact tracing?

  20. Look for the recent Tonight Show (with Jimmy Fallon) on Trump’s second impeachment. The monologue has a rickroll thrown in there.