EARLY last month, after being shut down by the police for two days for serving underage drinkers, the owners of the West End, a Manhattan bar and restaurant near Columbia University, deployed a new weapon in their continuing battle against fake ID's: an E-Seek scanner, a high-tech age-verification device designed to tell a real driver's license from a fake in a simple swipe.

But if the arrival of this fake-ID devourer -- its manufacturer makes a similar hand-held model called the Buster -- was supposed to strike fear in the hearts of aspiring beer guzzlers in the freshman and sophomore classes at Columbia, it hasn't had quite that effect.

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