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HP and Yahoo To Spam Your Printer

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-expense-report-brought-to-you-by... dept.

Advertising 397

An anonymous reader writes "As many suspected when HP announced its web-connected printer, it didn't take long for the company to announce it will send 'targeted' advertisements to your new printer. So you'll get spammed, and you'll pay for the ink to print it. On the bright side, the FCC forbids unsolicited fax ads, so this will probably get HP on a collision course with the Feds."

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397 comments

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Too bad liches aren't real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598100)

... or Bill and Dave would certainly have some, er, input on this matter.

The first planned spam... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598104)

...is a coupon for ink.

Re:The first planned spam... (1)

defaria (741527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598516)

What printer?!? I don't own a printer. Haven't for literally decades. Have you heard of the paperless office?

Re:The first planned spam... (1, Insightful)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598552)

Wow, nice bullshit you're pulling there. Just because YOU see no need to print things out doesn't mean OTHERS see no need.

I own a printer for printing recipes (I really don't want to get spices, oils, other fluids, etc, in a laptop/tablet), application forms that REQUIRE a signature, Photos I want to frame, hell, there's a whole list of things that are needed to be printed.

If you're really that stupid to think that NO ONE needs to print ANYTHING then you really need a reality check.

Re:The first planned spam... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598668)

woooooooosh

Re:The first planned spam... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598558)

Yea I've heard of them. They are a myth.

Re:The first planned spam... (4, Funny)

rhook (943951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598636)

Is that the one with the paperless restroom stalls? Guess that's what the iPad is good for.

Re:The first planned spam... (4, Funny)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598728)

You insensitive clod! I use my printer to get hard copy of pr0n before I fap. It cuts down on the amount of screen wipes I go through in a month.

Re:The first planned spam... (4, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598530)

One of the main reasons I no longer use HP printers is their irritating tendency to spit out a test page every time you turn them on or look at them sideways. That can get through a lot of ink...

Re:The first planned spam... (4, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598560)

Yeh, I wouldn't touch an HP printer if you paid me (apart from an old LaserJet 4).

I went with a Samsung Laser and haven't looked back. 2 years on and I've still got dickloads of toner and it doesn't continually print test pages like the new HPs.

Re:The first planned spam... (2, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598638)

It's not just the new HPs: I had one of their inkjets back in the '90s that did that. Cost me a fortune. Agree about Samsung, though. I've had one for 4 years and still going fine.

Re:The first planned spam... (5, Funny)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598764)

I've still got dickloads of toner

That doesn't sound like very much.

Spammers will LOVE this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598110)

I'm sure HP will do their best job to protect the access to these web-based printers. It will take an entire week for the spammers to get HP's database and start sending ads to your printers.

Also: The article is unclear, but it doesn't sound like HP will just send random print jobs with ads to your printer. It sounds more like *if* you setup the feature to print your newspaper every morning, the ads in the paper will change to be targeted. That is why they can claim "What we discovered is that people were not bothered by it [an advertisement]..." If they truly are sending advertising jobs to the printer unsolicited, then I think that quote is going to turn out to be the dumbest thing said on planet earth for at least the last few years. People would just love to find their already exorbitantly priced ink wasted on an ad.

Lastly: Who would want to print their newspaper in the morning? Physical newspapers are convenient because of their wide format. Electronic news is nice because it is targeted and doesn't waste paper. Printing out your newspaper in the morning seems like the worst of both. You don't get the nice wide format, and you still waste the paper. Ugh.

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598244)

Who would want to print their newspaper in the morning? Physical newspapers are convenient because of their wide format. Electronic news is nice because it is targeted and doesn't waste paper. Printing out your newspaper in the morning seems like the worst of both. You don't get the nice wide format, and you still waste the paper.

I've seen this done at hotels as well as Bed and Breakfasts, particularly if they are off the beaten path. The local paper (if there is one) doesn't cut it and they can't get delivery of a current paper, so they print out an electronic edition formatted to fit on plain paper. It's rather better than no paper at all, and they often include the local weather forecast and calendar of events on another page. Nice to grab off the front desk on the way out to read in the car or shuttle.

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598272)

Lastly: Who would want to print their newspaper in the morning?

If the advertising meant free ink for me, I'd consider it.

Of course, I'm thinking in the mindset of how web-services like GMail work. I doubt reality would work that way and I didn't bother reading the article. :D

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598546)

Reading the article wouldn't help. It was as light on details as the /. summary.

But they aren't talking (currently) about isolated ads being printed. Merely things that include the ads that they choose. ("People weren't bothered"..."I think that's because they're already used to ads".)

If you want to believe that their plans won't go any farther than what they're currently offering, be my guest. But I really doubt that you'd come out ahead, even if they continued to offer coupons for free ink.

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (3, Insightful)

bkpark (1253468) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598366)

Lastly: Who would want to print their newspaper in the morning? Physical newspapers are convenient because of their wide format.

Er, really? I'd kill to have newspaper printed letter-size, two-(or three-)column. The size of most newspapers is unwieldy, and especially if i'm trying to read it while walking (a frequent occasion as I commute on foot and pick up a free local daily on the way), i have to fold it over so that it's letter-size; or the wind blows it all over the place.

As for who would actually want to get newspaper on paper, well, presumably people who are not stuck to their computer all day and don't have a Kindle, iPad, etc. And some quaint people still like things printed on paper, like books; I don't understand them but they do exist.

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598472)

There are two ways to fold a newspaper. You have discovered method one: the broadway show guy-on-a-park-bench method. Most people not about to enter a song and dance number do not read it this way.

The other way is to fold it over till it's about book-sized. the pages are set up so that this is convenient, except for stupid papers that don't break columns on the fold. This is how real people read the newspaper with their breakfast, or on the train. (but not the subway, where you need to keep an eye out for sketchy people and mysterious liquids.)

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (2, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598574)

Mysterious liquids?

I don't think this is what you have in mind, but I am reminded of an occasion on a British Snail train in the early '80s, when a hung-over colleague vomited noisily and copiously into a stockbroker's briefcase. Way to make yourself popular... :-)

Re:Spammers will LOVE this (1)

angus77 (1520151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598816)

I used to work for a hotel in the Rockies that had a lot of Japanese guests. They got a two-page printout of the news every morning.

Dont Know (1)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598116)

Does sending a page to a printer count as a "fax" as far as the law is concerned?

Re:Dont Know (5, Funny)

98 Rezz (912897) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598138)

No, faxes come through a series of wires. These ads come through a series of tubes. Completely different!

Re:Dont Know (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598400)

Unsolicited Fax Legislation?

Four Letters: EULA

You just clicked "Accept".

Re:Dont Know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598652)

if we pour molten copper in the tubes, will they become wires? we need some avenue of legal protection!

Re:Dont Know (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598726)

Hey, isn't, like, fiber just tubes?

Re:Dont Know (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598444)

Or, you could, you know, just NOT BUY such a STUPID printer. This is so not going to be a problem for me, since I won't buy the printer, so I don't give a rip. If you decide to buy this printer, I guess you've chosen how you'll make HP richer.

Post title here (4, Insightful)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598120)

The scheduled delivery sounds kind of cool...course, if I have to walk over to my printer to get it, why wouldn't I just turn on the computer sitting right next to it?
But if you're going to put ads on my paper, you dang well better be paying me for it.

So let me get this straight .... (3, Interesting)

bizitch (546406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598124)

When I am printing my very important sales proposal - and HP/Yahoo inject spam into it - and this costs me my sale .... I can sue their balls off yes?

Re:So let me get this straight .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598226)

How about when you've got something important and urgent to print, and when you finally get the printer working (because the damn thing has refused to print for the past hour) you get a spam instead, and put the little paper wasting fucker through the wall. Printers are already the most hated, most annoying piece of equipment as is. I can only wonder how many people will go Office Space [youtube.com] on them now.

Re:So let me get this straight .... (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598792)

It depends on the printer. A cheap inkjet printer that will eat a set of cartridges on the first color photo, requires special drivers that only that model of printer needs (and are either only available on the driver CD and not for download, or a 4GB lord-king-God executable file that installs all sorts of crap), and only works with a few versions of Windows might be deserving of a choice spot at a "hardware compression" party.

However, there are good printers that don't suck sold today. HP Color Laserjets made in the mid to late 1990s come to mind. Good printers are still available from HP which actually work and don't give you the urge to send the thing sailing towards a hard object. However, printers like the HP CP 4005, CP 4525dtn or others are going to cost $1500 at the minimum, on up. However, with these, you can just use whatever the heck you like. Upload a PDF to the Web interface and print that way. Send it documents via lpr and PostScript Level 3. Feed it a SD card or plug a camera into it that understands EXIF, and let it automatically print. Because these use toner cartridges with decent capacity, you will pay more per cartridge, but they can print out a lot of color photos before it is time to replace them. Plus, toner doesn't dry out over time like cartridges do.

So, there are printers that don't give IT headaches. However, they do cost, and to PHBs, it may not be evident why a workgroup class color laser is far better than an inkjet printer (assuming there are no special needs for the inkjet like printing on transparancies.)

you can suck on cocks (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598338)

dickwad

Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (3, Interesting)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598128)

But really this is Quid pro quo, HP give you access to "free" services - in this case the web elements and in return you have to put up with a few adverts. It is in no way different from how GMail or HotMail operate. Will it cost you ink and make HP money, yes, but will you get the ability to e-mail printed documents to your printer and to automate printing web-content, also - yes.

If you want an honest printer than invest in a Kodak already -- or better yet a laser printer for B&W documents.

Re:Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598286)

When did it become "ok" to "pay" for "free" services by looking at ads? What kind of retarded philosophy is that? Either it's free or it's not. If it's free, there's no justification for including ads. If it's not free, HP should charge something for it, and then they'll see how popular their "feature" really is.

Re:Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598318)

When did it become "ok" to "pay" for "free" services by looking at ads?

About five minutes after Reginald Fessenden figured out how to transmit voice signals over wireless?

Re:Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598320)

I'm thinking it was with the invention of TV. If you change "looking" to "listening," then you can go all the way back to early radio.

Re:Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (1)

jonnat (1168035) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598414)

It is in no way different from how GMail or HotMail operate.

It is quite different. These services do not charge you for their use. If, on the other hand, the HP ads would come with an offer of free ink in exchange for your attention, then your comparison would be reasonable.

Re:Reason #9839 not to buy HP printers... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598582)

HP is pretty much the only company that fully supports Linux. I support them because of that. You can go out right now and buy the latest HP all-in-one printer/scanner/fax and every damn feature will work on Linux just like Windows. You can't say the same of any other printer out there.

Firewall it (3, Interesting)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598130)

Assuming you can't disable the feature I'll be firewalling it's IP address completly

Re:Firewall it (1)

CSFFlame (761318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598186)

It's going to connect outbound I'd bet. Most people have routers with NAT so it's not going to be inbound.

Re:Firewall it (1)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598606)

any decent firewall would allow for blocking outbound connections to said ip's as well

Re:Firewall it (5, Insightful)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598408)

You can easily disable this feature. It's opt-in. Disable it by not opting in. See? Wasn't that easy?

Seriously, is the article that complicated? you have to log into Yahoo's page, ask for content, and the content will be delivered as you ask for it, and Yahoo! will add an advert so they can justify setting up the system that automatically delivers the articles to you.

Personally, I think the idea is asinine - I prefer my articles on-screen and I hate the idea of printing out everything I want to read on paper.

But no one will be sneaking into your house and making your printer print anything you don't ask for.

Yet.

Re:Firewall it (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598570)

Yep, but it really depends on how easy it is opt out for someone who thinks that the harddrive is the big box sitting on his desk (which happens to describe a LOT of people somehow). Knowing marketing people, I envision the process to be something like that ...

Initializing Printer ...
This is your first time. Please answer a few question to setup your new printer correctly ...
What is your full name? ... Martha Grannyapple
What is your phone number? ... 01234987654
Are you behind a Firewall If you don't know the answer, press Y ... Y
Enable HP IntelliAd Professional (tm)? If you don't know the answer, press Y ... ?
If you don't know the answer, press Y. Enable HP IntelliAd Professional (tm)? ... H
If you don't know the answer, press Y. Enable HP IntelliAd Professional (tm)? ... Y
Processing ...
Thank you for enabling HP IntelliAd Professional (tm).
You can easily disable HP IntelliAd Professional (tm) by unchecking the 4rth option from the top in the MAIN->CONFIGURATION->INTERNET->SERVICES->INTELLIAD->SUBSCRIPTION->CONTROLS->OMGPONIES->NOODLYAPPENDAGE->ENABLE menu.
Processing ...
Please choose now which daily content should be used to fill the blanks between the ads ...

Re:Firewall it (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598602)

sigh ... I forgot the most important bit of course. The line stating that forfeiting the ads would be to forfeit the wonderfull new and particularly advanced features of the new printer.

Re:Firewall it (0, Redundant)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598612)

> What is your full name? .

Whenever sites/organizations ask me for such info that really isn't technically necessary, I think of stuff like this: http://xkcd.com/327/ [xkcd.com] :).

Re:Firewall it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598662)

Yep, but it really depends on how easy it is opt out for someone who thinks that the harddrive is the big box sitting on his desk

Isn't that the CPU?

Re:Firewall it (1)

dotgain (630123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598598)

Then the question remains why the blurb gave anything but that impression.

Yeah, I know. Must be new here.

Re:Firewall it (1)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598752)

You might want to think twice.. These things have lasers in them and they could instantly vaporize the entire building if they can't connect to the mothership. Remember what happened when Veeger couldn't find the whales...

Correction ... (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598852)

V'ger was looking for its creator, but it didn't think primitive carbon based life could have built it so it thought that the Humans where preventing the creator from responding.

The probe looking for the whales was from a species that was, to the best of my knowledge, never identified but it was not intentionally trying to kill all the humans, it just didn't care that its comm beam was ionizing the ocean and flooding the land.

But you do have a good point, how will these printers (mis)behave if they can't contact a designated server. Even if you don't opt-in to the adds HP will try and use the Internet to upgrade the printer's firmware, and how many of us have tried to print a plain text document but the printer won't work because it is out of cyan?

I can hear it now;
Me:"Print the document"
Printer:"I can't reach the server to update my firmware and confirm that I have not been stolen from my rightful owner"
Me:"I am your rightful owner, you will do what I tell you to!"
Printer:"I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that."
Me:"I'm not dave!"

LCD Screens (2, Insightful)

Black Perl (12686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598150)

My HP photo printer has a touchscreen LCD. I think most have an LCD of some sort. I can imagine HP thinking they could reserve some of the space for ads...

Re:LCD Screens (0, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598430)

goat tord! goat tored! gote tord! getrtretrgfv uikknjpp;;.;kjk 9009099009tro6flc HOOHOOHOOOOHOOOOO g7i8i 90p09pli ,,,kk kjhbgfj butto 6f7ifkk ffctydt SEWEWEWEWEEEE 6r7 hol,, v goat turds!

No HP For Me (3, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598160)

Me: "Hello, Kodak? Yes, I'd like to buy one of your printers as long as you don't spam me with ads."
Kodak: "Sure, not a problem. We aren't like HP."
Me: "Awesome, I'll take ten."

Of course that wasn't a real conversation, but if I had the money for ten printers, you better believe I'm giving my money to Kodak (or Canon, Canon makes good printers).

Re:No HP For Me (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598184)

Okidata has some nice heavy-duty color laserjets...

Re:No HP For Me (1)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598204)

My mom has a Kodak printer.

When she first got it, it only worked with Windows XP, Vista and OS X Tiger. Nothing else. It wasn't long until Leopard support was added.

To this day I'm not sure if it supports anything else or not, I left my parents on Tiger for classic reasons. It does NOT use any generic standard filters or drivers, Linux printing at last check was just a pipe dream, it might work now, I haven't bothered checking.

I wouldn't mind having a printer that doesn't gouge me on ink, but I'm not changing operating systems to print, and I really want to limit my hacking around the problem time.

Re:No HP For Me (1)

lucifer_666 (662754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598498)

I have my Kodak ESP 5250 working very well on Fedora with the CUPS driver on Sourceforge [sourceforge.net] . Just unpacked the file and then installed the printer (as a network printer over wifi) using the standard Printers icon in the control panel (I think it was called CUPS Printer Configuration Utility.) Worked first time.

Re:No HP For Me (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598508)

I wouldn't mind having a printer that doesn't gouge me on ink, but I'm not changing operating systems to print, and I really want to limit my hacking around the problem time.

Then don't get a printer that uses ink. It's cheaper to use the dye sub machines at the drug store anyway, for the few things you actually want color for.

Re:No HP For Me (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598788)

but if I had the money for ten printers

You don't have $700 bucks? Maybe you could go upstairs and ask your mom if she'll put it on her credit card.
http://www.amazon.com/Photosmart-C4780-Printer-Q8380A-ABA/dp/B0027ISA2S/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1276749250&sr=1-1 [amazon.com]

But by all means, keep posting your deep economic insights to Slashdot.

donotwant! (5, Interesting)

oddTodd123 (1806894) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598166)

I am dumbfounded by HP's decision-making here. "What we discovered is that people were not bothered by it [an advertisement]," Nigro said. "Part of it I think our belief is you're used to it. You're used to seeing things with ads."

That sounds like a ringing endorsement for the printer. "Buy our printer! It will make you feel all warm and cozy because it has ads, like everything else in your life!" Ugh. It's appalling.

Re:donotwant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598264)

Yeah, they are doing this wrong. The proper procedure is to put into your Terms and Conditions a statement that you will never spam their printer. Then wait a year, and spam their printer.

Re:donotwant! (1)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598290)

"What we discovered is that people were not bothered by it [an advertisement],"

Ahh! So that's what it said? I couldn't tell due to a pop-up that appeared on that very page.

Re:donotwant! (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598324)

HP ran two trials where consumers received content from a U.S. national music magazine and major U.S. newspaper along with advertisements, said Stephen Nigro, senior vice president in HP's Imaging and Printing Group.

Notice the word "trials". Now, if this is like any other trial, those people got the ink and paper and even the printer for free - of course they're weren't bothered. They weren't paying for the $10,000/gallon ink.

When these get into the market place, I can guarantee that people will start bitching when they're buying inkjet cartridges all the time to pay for this.

Anyway, when I want something printed, I buy a regular subscription because it's way cheaper to buy it from the publisher - and it a much higher quality than I could ever get from an HP printer or any other consumer grade printer.

Re:donotwant! (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598736)

The problem here is they asked Catherine Tate if she was bothered by it...the conversation went a little like this:

"Am I bothered by it?"
"I'm not bothered by it."
"I said I'm not bothered."
"Look, I'm just not bothered."
"I'M NOT BOTHERED!"

You asked for it (5, Informative)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598180)

From the article it seems that the ads are part of on demand publications that you choose to have sent to you. So this is definitely an opt-in sort of thing. It is conceivable that printers with preview displays could be perverted to show ads as well but that doesn't seem to be in the works yet.

Re:You asked for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598456)

A nickel says you won't be able to prevent (without more than trivial filtering in your firewall) the printer from phoning home to HP. Hell, I'd bet a lot of printers already do. That's valuable information for the printer company!

Re:You asked for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598476)

"From the article it seems that the ads are part of on demand publications that you choose to have sent to you. So this is definitely an opt-in sort of thing."

For now, maybe. Until one of the following happens:

a. Hackers find a way to spam everyone through their printers
b. HP decides this is too good of a marketing opportunity to pass up and start advertising without an opt-in ...which is why I will never buy another HP product. Not to mention that their home-use printers are generally piles of crap and their ink is more expensive by weight than gold.

Re:You asked for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598682)

How long before "opt in" is default? Virtually every purchase I make on line results in spam. Some give you the opt out but most either bury it or don't give you the option. Most of the company spam has an unsubscribe but you have to look hard because it's always buried and most as of the next purchase opt you back in so it's an unending battle. Fortunately I already refuse to buy HP printers but the first spam fax would definitely result in a hammer connecting with the printer and me buying another Epson.

20 minutes. (1)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598192)

That's how long it's going to take the community to figure out how it works and create a proxy for it that allows you to use all the cool services without the advertising. It'll probably even be built right into the next version of CUPS. BTW: Fuck you HP, It is my printer, not yours. That's why I don't print much (and if I do, I use my Epson printer with alternative ink and continuous system)

wasted effort :/ (3, Insightful)

Kathars1s (1804824) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598198)

They'd be wasting the effort sending that garbage to me. I'd refuse to buy into whatever it was just out of principle. Send me an ink allowance and i don't really care as long as it doesn't start printing ads on my school papers. Lol The cost of an ink cartridge is more expensive than half of the printers themselves. Firewall it. :/

First ads.... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598202)

HP Printer Ink, on sale this weekend at Office Depot!

I'm sure they'll be "solicited" somehow (3, Insightful)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598210)

By purchase agreement of the free or subsidized printer? By perhaps getting a request to print on the lcd screen? Or maybe a popup on the computer that offers free coupons?

Not to say it won't be sleazy. Not to say people won't be surprised by the ads.

First let me say, I, like most of slashdot readers absolutely hate this crap. But to play Devil's advocate, suppose some consumers are not opposed to this kind of business relationship. Suppose they actually find value in it (ignoring the fact the you and I may consider it some kind of wrong). Should it be allowed to continue? I see insane ad practices happening time and time again. Sometimes they catch on and become normal. Other times they disappear (often quickly) as consumers revolt against them. Often, the ones that stick don't bother "normal" people. Whether it should or shouldn't is another topic, I guess. Where do you draw the line?

My view is that our outcries against this stuff have their place. Hopefully it makes "normal" consumers more aware. Hopefully. Sometimes these practices stick. Sometimes they don't. Maybe the ones that do are a fair tradeoff. My concern is that the absurdity and intrusion escalates.

There is a problem. Ads want to be targeted. We want to hate ads. Maybe it will always be that way. The best we can don is to keep people conscious so at least they're aware of what they could possibly be giving up when allowing them into their lives.

This printer thing. I don't see how it will stick. But HP and Yahoo! are sure as Hell going to see. Let's just hope it doesn't set a precedent, or at least some kind of civil middle ground can be found.

I absolutely hated Yahoo's new login screen. There was a Chevy Ad that took up the whole page. What I did like was the fact that there was a forum at the top of the screen to provide feedback on the ad. This is a new trend in my opinion. Let's hope our outcries continue to bring about changes like this.

Re:I'm sure they'll be "solicited" somehow (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598344)

It'll just be in the driver EULA and no one will ever read it, but all will agree.

Re:I'm sure they'll be "solicited" somehow (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598464)

My first reaction exactly. My second reaction, this just won't end up taking off. It's that terrible of an idea. Now, that's not to say some watered down form won't come our way soon.

Re:I'm sure they'll be "solicited" somehow (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598604)

You're talking about the driver upgrade and bug fix, which will be released after 3 months, and which won't be accessible except to owners of the printer. So nobody can see it until after they're already committed.

Re:I'm sure they'll be "solicited" somehow (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598348)

Suppose some people in the world (all three of them) find value in being spammed by email. Should we therefore allow spammers to continue operating their "business", or is it still ok to put them in jail?

Re:I'm sure they'll be "solicited" somehow (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598450)

Good point. Sure. Spammers should be allowed to spam "those" people. But not you and me. Of course, you can see how that would be a business model destined for failure. This comes back to what I refer to as "normal" people. "Majority" isn't the best word either, but maybe it's better. If most people actually found value in spam, then, sure. We who hate it would be the outliers. But most don't find value in spam, but most still receive spam.

Again. I made the previous case as a Devil's advocate more or less. My first reaction was to hope on Twitter and sensationalize this. Then I started thinking. By doing that, everyone would cry "OMG, they're making our printers print stuff we didn't ask for. They're wasting our paper". Those outcries would be wrong and right. Right in that "this is aweful." Wrong in that "they are not yet." So when, next year, this "doesn't" happen due to the fact that it's asinine. Those "normal" people who also agreed that it was idiotic will be settling for the "less evil" version that asks them permission before doing so. Who knows. For all I know they declare the intent to do this crap knowing well they'll feel the hate for it. If they do, they don't do it. The do something "less evil". If they hear no outcries. ??? Profit?

HP must have a death wish (2, Insightful)

divide overflow (599608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598238)

This is such an obviously, outrageously bad idea that it boggles the mind. If HP goes ahead with such a plan it will richly deserve the universal drubbing it will receive. HP would have difficulty escaping the wrath of the marketplace and the brand would be severely tarnished for years to come.

Pull out the paper / power? (0, Troll)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598242)

So what's to stop me from pulling out the power or leaving it paper/inkless when I'm not using it?

Re:Pull out the paper / power? (1)

Ammishdave (688623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598356)

HP prioritizing their print jobs over yours.

Firewalled (1)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598268)

Who the hell would put a printer online anyway without a firewall or some kind of IP whitelist?

I mean it's not going to be the first time that hackers will jump into your network from a "bit too intelligent for it's own good" printer.

Also, as a busy system administrator, do we really want another device to add to our security patch weeklies?

Yeah Samsung (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598280)

We've got a color samsung printer at work. I think we got it on sale for $150. That's even affordable for most home users. I think my dad's spent that much in HP ink this year.

Ads aren't supplied with regular jobs. (5, Informative)

Jason Pollock (45537) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598308)

While the article is a little confusing, if you read it a couple of times, it becomes clear that the advertisements are only supplied with their "scheduled delivery" service. Basically, HP is signing up with content providers and Yahoo to provide content in your printer every morning.

The subscriber selects the content (newspaper sections), HP is responsible for fetching + formatting + advertisement insertion. Yahoo provides the localised (through IP address lookup) advertisements.

Basically, this is the Sci-Fi print-on-demand newspaper where the paper includes content from multiple sources.

So, no, advertisements aren't inserted into the middle of your print job.

I would say that the demand for the service is probably dwindling, but who knows. It will probably be a good little money maker for HP and Yahoo.

Re:Ads aren't supplied with regular jobs. (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598500)

And probably the outcry won't be all that great due to the fact that it's mainly to print "web stuff". And we're so used to seeing ads on the web.

Lexmark Lasers Rule (4, Insightful)

EmperorOfCanada (1332175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598312)

My Lexmark printer driver is around 3 bytes long. I dumped HP when their driver crossed the 200MB level and installed a bunch of background processes.

I didn't buy a computer to run HP software I bought it for many things a very small thing being to occasionally print. But HP seems to want to pretty well turn my desktop into an HP dedicated print server.

I have only "Office Spaced" one electronic device in my life and it was my HP all-in-one. It was very satisfying to smash the crap out of it. All that thing was built for was to get me to buy ink. Every time I turned it on to scan the thing would go through this 2 minute cleaning cycle and use up some more ink. I would literally go through more than half an ink cartridge without printing a thing. A printer that uses ink when I am only scanning is just stupid. Then when it ran out of ink the whole menu system basically wouldn't let me get past the no-ink-complaining so that I could do hardly anything else with the printer. It wasn't an all-in-one is was a single purpose ink selling machine.

So no surprise that HP is figuring out a way to screw their customers even harder. "Yes I bought your printer so that you could make money selling advertising." Or maybe people buy printers to print stuff; their own stuff.

Nod to Brother (4, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598424)

I'm sitting next to a Brother ink jet printer right now. I really prefer lasers, but in this case I wanted a large format multi-function machine. My Brother will both print and scan up to 11x17" (equivalent to A3) and it cost me less than $200, shipped to my front door. It shipped with full, high-capacity ink cartridges, not HP's half cartridges. And while it does include some software it's pretty lightweight, and is basically used to handle features like networked scanning and a monitor program to let you know when the ink is low. Both are optional. And yes, Brother explicitly offers drivers for Linux.The print quality is what it is -- could be better, could be a lot worse -- and the build quality seems fairly plasticky, but that seems par for the course with today's printers. Overall my only complaint was that the price was so low it wasn't even a significant tax write-off.

The InkJets rip you off in ink price, though. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598750)

I got rid of a Lexmark because their inkjet printers had ink that was too expensive, though, so pay attention to the model as well as the brand.

I was also unhappy with Lexmark for trying to abuse the DMCA to lock people out from making compatible ink cartridges.

Some assembly required (2, Insightful)

steltho (1121605) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598342)

HP's ePrint printers, some of which will become available next month, are connected to the user's home router, which means they will have an IP address.

Good luck getting your users to correctly configure their routers to make this work.

Re:Some assembly required (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598548)

I'd wager this isn't a push service. I bet there is some 600MB client that has to be installed on a computer on the network. Or perhaps, it uses UPNP and the printer just opens the ports it needs. Most people have all their network gear running with default settings and almost all recent consumer routers have upnp enabled by default.

Power off (1)

balsy2001 (941953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598360)

Just turn the power off when you aren't using the printer. That is what I do with my printer now.

Tray 3? (4, Funny)

Xacid (560407) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598364)

You think if they started advertising for penis enlargement that they'd start going for my 11x17 tray just to prove a point/overcompensate?

Ya who? (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598418)

Who is this "Yahoo!" that you speak of? Sounds like a real jerk to me.

Why print using e-mail?? (0)

JohnWiney (656829) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598426)

Why would anyone want to print using e-mail? If I print something, it is because I want it on paper, and to get it I have to be near the printer. If I am near the printer, I don't need to use e-mail. I can't imagine any reason for using e-mail o print that would compensate for getting spam.

This is bad (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598470)

If you consider the slippery slope theory, it may undermine the whole CAN SPAM Act. It looks like spamming where you cannot really opt out. If you really need internet printing you might be able to just hook the printer up to a computer and configure the computer to be a print server bypassing HP's software.

'Targeted'?? (3, Insightful)

MrMacman2u (831102) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598474)

You mean these printers will ALSO leak out possibly sensitive information to the world (Yahoo) in order to target the advertisements that will be printed using the owner's ink and the owner's paper?

Talk about the mother of all bad ideas. Even if this printer was FREE with these ad subsidies, you still have to pay for ink cartridges that are excessively expensive and the paper as well, so this will also add to waste and user costs.

I guess this is just another in my long (and ever growing) list of reasons why I will never, EVER purchase a HP inkjet printer. I suggest everyone else vote with their wallets and abandon support for HP in favor of another company that doesn't steal information about what their users print in order to make users PAY with the ink they purchased to print advertisements based on information swiped from those very same users!

heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598514)

Just when you thought HP printers couldn't get any worse...

That's out of hand (2, Insightful)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598524)

What fucking bright spark in marketing thought this would be something ANY customer would want their printer to do, and what idiot manager approved it on the basis that people would put up with it? Someone should bill them for the paper, ink and recycling costs. $1000/picoliter isn't it? Fuckers!!!

Port 631, anyone? (2, Informative)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598532)

I've been able to print from off-site for years. I just have to tunnel in through a firewall to get at my printer so that I don't act as the building charity copy center, but how is any of this new?

It won't be bothersome if (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598576)

the way to deliver the printed ads is ONLY done by
+ overwriting your default HP test page image, which you won't care to waste ink for anyway
+ overwriting the annoying cartridge alignment page, which these days doesn't even need user feedback to align each new ink, so I have little idea why it's printed.

BTW: I won't be surprised when home routers start to be used to spew ads per wireless session, seeing how they already have an open connection and control over what your browser sees. Perhaps they'll use timed redirects, popups or frames. Ads are making their way into every form of media we use, including our self-produced stuff.

Sadly, ink itself dries up when stored, and we won't be able to stock it if HP just says "we no longer sell the non-ad printer ink, and our chip tech won't let you refill your old cartridges generically." Other than that, it's time to start a stockpile of "dumb" devices that will just leave us alone.

Re:It won't be bothersome if (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598666)

Ads are making their way into every form of media we use, including our self-produced stuff.

Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Test the laws (2, Interesting)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598608)

and Google out by calling ''targeted' advertisements" a mistake.

RTFA Please :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32598656)

From TFA, it seems that these advertisements would come out only on pages such as scheduled newspaper print jobs, etc. in place of the publisher's non-/less-targeted advertising... No net gain or loss for ink usage as compared to printing whatever ads were on the page in the first place.

If you want news without ads, use an Adblocker, and schedule a cron job for printing.

It's not like the thing is just going to turn on and print ads.

I know I've mentioned this before (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#32598802)

But I had a printer from HP once. At one point when I tried to print the action failed and it gave me an error. Did the error give any hint of why the print failed? Of course not, it just told me "Print failed" which was obvious and useless. So now I'm supposed to believe a company that could even manage to generate a proper error message can handle something like preventing spam? Yeah, I'm not buying it. (Oh for what it's worth it was a network permission issue. I had to set up a guest account so printing over the network was "ok". Of course having an error indicating network security problem would have made that so much simpler.)
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