Thanks to a box office flop turned cult favorite, if someone says to you, “I want to go all Office Space on this printer right now,” you know what it means: beating a printer to death with a baseball bat as an outlet for the frustrations of corporate culture. So it’s not surprising that there are now sanctioned events popping up in the mainstream that let people bash office equipment into oblivion. [More]
Tech Expert Makes Point About (Bad) Security In The Internet Of Things By Hacking A Printer To Run Doom
The more appliances and devices there are out there with internet connections, the more hackers will be able to find security vulnerabilities in those appliances. One security expert found a particular hole that let him remotely install any software onto a whole line of popular printers. How to make a true point about what someone can accomplish with remote access to your devices? Make it run full-fledged video games.
Do you turn your printer off when you’re not using it? You might be wasting electricity…and ink. Our watt-measuring colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports Electronics note that letting your printer enter standby mode often uses less power than turning it off or on. For inkjet printers, the toll also includes ink: some models slorp a bit more ink when priming the jets to print when you turn the printer on rather than letting it wake up from standby mode. [Consumer Reports Electronics]
All-in-one printer/scanner/copiers are nice and all, but everyone knows that you don’t really need ink to scan a picture. That doesn’t stop manufacturers from making our gadgets unable to perform other functions when they’re out of printer ink, an intentional flaw that is wasteful and frustrating. This week, we’ve heard from owners of Epson, Canon, and HP all-in-ones who complain that the devices are a useless lump of plastic without a print cartridge. They aren’t the only companies to pull this trick, but some tipsters have let us know that there are ways around the flaw.
John bought his new Epson printer just a few months ago. He’s now attempted to use it to print photos twice, and neither attempt was successful. He found tech support discouraging: they hung up on him twice, then referred him to another office. Then, mysteriously, he was unable to log in to his Epson.com account: the site told him that it didn’t exist. At this point, he’d rather be rid of the printer entirely.
Brandon’s Epson color inkjet printer/scanner/fax machine is holding his document hostage. Its sole demand: a fresh light cyan ink cartridge. It didn’t matter that he was trying to print the document in grayscale and that there was a perfectly good black cartridge already loaded. If he doesn’t add a new light cyan cartridge, he’ll never get his receipt.
Yesterday, we brought you the story of a team of Columbia University researchers who claim they have discovered a way that hackers could infiltrate any number of networked printers to do anything from steal information to cause your paper to smolder and possibly catch fire. But the folks at HP, which was singled out in the report, have now come out to defend their product and refute the researchers’ claims.
It’s like something out of a movie starring Matthew Broderick. Researchers at Columbia University claim they’ve discovered a vulnerability that could let hackers remotely access your printer for nefarious hijinks, like making said printer go up in flames.
Joe got Kodak to agree to send him a replacement printer when his kept showing “replace the cartridge” error messages, even after installing several completely new cartridges. There was just one problem. Joe lives in Mexico. Kodak, based in the US, doesn’t ship internationally. How to get around this cartridge conundrum? Deb in Kodak’s executive customer service had an ingenious idea…
If a company’s software won’t work with its own products, whose problem is that? Chris reports that HP seems to believe that because their own software won’t work with one of their own products (for which it was recommended) that this is his problem.
Google’s not the only company that wants to put ads on everything you read. HP’s new web-connected printers will let you send pages or photos directly from websites or phones and schedule recurring printouts from content partners–and the company is pilot testing a program with Yahoo’s advertising network to deliver targeted ads on those scheduled printouts.
Ron in Utah tells Consumerist that he purchased what he thought was a brand-new HP printer, but ended up being more of a Box of Crap. The printer inside wasn’t just non-functional, it was so old that the warranty had expired. HP Customer service’s answer? Before they could help him, he had to fax his original receipt within thirty minutes GO NOW NOW NOW TO THE FAX MACHINE NOW!
At the National Conference on Weights and Measures later this month, some states are planning to talk about printer ink cartridge labeling and whether it should be more standardized. “It’s time to sort all of this out,” the Florida Weights & Measures chief told the Kansas City Star. Of course, printer companies aren’t about to go along with any changes quietly–Lexmark has already submitted a letter saying that displaying any information on the cartridges will only confuse consumers, because the cartridges are micro-machines and not just ink containers.
Bob Cringely and his family send out family portrait cards every year for Christmas, and the gimmick is the entire family is nude, but not really nude: all the naughty parts are hidden away behind carefully placed props or accessories. The Fedex Kinko’s in Charleston, SC doesn’t appreciate his family’s sense of humor–the woman there even remembered him from last year, and not in a good way.