More fun publisher surveillance:
Elsevier embeds a hash in the PDF metadata that is *unique for each time a PDF is downloaded*, this is a diff between metadata from two of the same paper. Combined with access timestamps, they can uniquely identify the source of any shared PDFs.

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@jonny they look kind of meaningful. Not base64. Any ideas what could be in there?

@derwinmcgeary
yeah, I thought so too but don't know where to start reverse engineering it :/

@derwinmcgeary
it decodes with base85, but it's not Unicode. not sure if that's meaningful

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