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: OK, the mystery is solved. One byte of the JPEG was obfuscated; adding 16 to it fixed the whole file. Only problem is, the files on the CD are encoded using arithmetic coding, a Super-Huffman-Coding technique which is patented by IBM. According to the data compression FAQ, this technique offers 5%-10% greater compression than the normal Huffman coding technique. Well, I (or my mother) may have been bilked out of $70, but at least I learned a lot about the JPEG file format.

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