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HP Gives Printers Email Addresses 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-the-spam dept.
Barence writes "HP is set to unveil a line of printers with their own email addresses, allowing people to print from devices such as smartphones and tablets. The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own — or someone else's — printer. It will also let people more easily share physical documents; rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend's printer. 'HP plans to offer a few of these new printers to consumers this month, and then a few more of the products to small businesses in September.'"
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HP Gives Printers Email Addresses

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  • by Coraon (1080675) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:18PM (#32487682)
    A spammers mouth just started salivating uncontrollably.
  • Open Standard (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hey (83763) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:20PM (#32487708) Journal

    Yes, there are many possible problems with spam, etc. But at least they are using an open standard: email. Perhaps IPP might be better. This means any email user (including any smart phone user) can print which is kinda cool.

  • Re:Too late? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Steve Newall (24926) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:27PM (#32487866)
    We thought it was in 1998 when we did it with our InnMail system [] We had a fax server service that converted e-mail's to faxes. Anyone subscribing to our system received a dedicated e-mail address and a dedicated fax number. This could be forwarded to any fax machine where ever you were. We finally discontinued the service last year.
  • Re:fantastic! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:54PM (#32488256)

    You can blame MS for that. They were after all the ones that popularized the neutered overpriced "designed for Windows" hardware, which was a real piece of hardware with a couple chips removed so that they required Windows only software to work.

    While obviously Microsoft popularized it in the specific "designed for Windows" form in, as I recall, the Win95/NT4-era, I think that the concept of offloading functions from peripherals to software running on the workstation the peripheral was serving as a measure which both saves costs and ties the peripheral to a specific operating system predates its use by Microsoft -- NeXT, for instance, did the same thing with its Canon-manufactured laser printers, as I recall.

  • by billsayswow (1681722) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:57PM (#32488292)
    Aside from the obvious problem of people sending lame pictures to your printer all the time, or spamlists getting a hold of your email address, the thing that bothers me the most is:

    "rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend's printer."

    Am I the only one who sees this as an almost-desperate bid to get people to print more out in an increasingly printless world? Think about all the people you know, and all the random images that you link back and forth. And now imagine if you spent the ink of a full-colour 5x7" on every LOLcats that came to you. And now imagine how much ink you'll be burning through.
  • Re:This (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Romancer (19668) <romancer@deathsd ... 5926com minus pi> on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:59PM (#32488330) Journal

    This is an obvious opportunity to have an open source alternative. A simple program to recieve email from any address the user wants and let them add a custom subject field "password" that allows them to print remotely.

    The idea isn't that great but if there's an HP driver version compared to even the most basic OSS version with the actual options to avoid spam delivery then it's a good thing for us. Not saying that people will print more or that they need to print from a device that they carry with them anyway, but if HP thinks there's a market a quick programmer could show them up very easily.

    And the subject field / sender whitelist combo would be a good alternative to the so far unknown "features" that they fail to mention in the real article. []

  • Re:Please. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by budgenator (254554) on Monday June 07, 2010 @04:49PM (#32488978) Journal

    We know how widely the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) [] on port 631 is used; just because it implements access control, authentication, and encryption, avoiding the inevitable spam problem makes it much better for this purpose than any kludge using email protocols. If we could only teach the crew at geek squad to set it up and teach the clueless users how to use it, we'd be much better off.

  • Re:This (Score:3, Interesting)

    by realityimpaired (1668397) on Monday June 07, 2010 @04:51PM (#32489014)

    that'd actually be pretty easy to set up, using a procmail filter on an incoming mail server. you can already filter by subject line and execute a command on the incoming e-mail if it matches a specified filter. coupled with something like fetchmail if you're not running your own mail server (or more likely, if your mail server isn't on the same network as your printer), you could easily write a set of filters and scripts that would redirect specific e-mails to a printer. :)

  • by mtutty (678367) <> on Monday June 07, 2010 @04:57PM (#32489114) Homepage
    I can do this with an Inbox rule in Outlook today. Why would I want my printer doing it autonomously?
  • Re:Too late? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ChefInnocent (667809) on Monday June 07, 2010 @05:20PM (#32489362)
    I dunno, I found new used for plotters [] recently, and combined with a color printer, I can do new stuff I didn't think about before. I've been making stencils to do wood working. I've also made some stencils for my roommates cakes. Using an inkjet printer, we can substitute the ink cartridges for food coloring cartridges and print onto sugar paper or fondant (very thin). Can also make game pieces using the cutter/plotter and using a laser printer to print onto sticky paper.

    I've stopped thinking about printers in the traditional sense where I print stuff to read on paper, but started to use them in more of a home-fabrication sense. I've been tempted to try to construct one of those 3D resin printer from a kit to print using molding chocolates.
  • Re:This (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hpa (7948) on Monday June 07, 2010 @05:21PM (#32489368) Homepage

    I did exactly this back in 1991 to deal with printing from a computer behind a two-way firewall with extremely restrictive permissions. The easiest protocol which was permitted through the firewall was email, and it automatically meant queueing was handled properly.

  • Re:Too late? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fermion (181285) on Monday June 07, 2010 @05:42PM (#32489614) Homepage Journal
    There is context to what HP is doing. It has to do with smart phones that take pictures but doesn't have built in printing capability. Form what have read, this has lead people to look at pictures but not print them. Sure there are solutions, but they are not really 'plug and play'. If it is hard to print, HP does not sell ink.

    Recall what the printer manufacturers did when everyone started taking digital pictures. They put memory slots in the printer and software that would one-touch print the various picture formats. This was nothing that technical people would use, we all had computer with photo editing suites and high end printers, but for the mom wanting to print pictures of the kids is was a great way to sell ink.

    This is all that is happening now. Someone has some snaps on their smart phone or feature phone with email. They want to print it but they don't really want to mess with the computer. They don't have a memory card that will work with the old printer. They don't want to go the marketplace and download the app and set up the printer. So they email. It works. One touch plug and play printing. They use ink that HP sells.

    The other context to this is that ten years ago houses were not networked the way they are now, and network kit was not so cheap. Ten years ago a card or box to network a printer wold be north of $200, and a networked printer would be north of $1000. Now HP sells a network ready printer for $100 and most houses have a ethernet port to plug it into.

  • 4Chan? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcrbids (148650) on Monday June 07, 2010 @05:51PM (#32489712) Journal

    Did you think of 4chan? For some reason, I did...

    There was the run a while back where somebody discovered the admin page for large industrial printers could be easily searched to find unprotected panels, and that print jobs could be remotely administered... how many million pages of unsavory imagery were printed for the next day or two is anybody's guess...

  • Re:Please. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday June 07, 2010 @06:16PM (#32489964) Journal
    Your post has given me an excellent idea. We create a line of printers containing a small bomb, set to explode after a predetermined time. We advertise this as a feature, but use lots of buzzwords. A short while later, we eliminate the market of people who buy stupid things because they contain buzzwords. Companies will then have to market their products to the survivors by providing actual features.
  • Re:Please. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nine-times (778537) <> on Monday June 07, 2010 @06:21PM (#32490020) Homepage

    So they can find *a* whitelisted address... maybe. And once they have my mom's email address, I can take her off the whitelist. I can call her and say "Yo mom, fix your shit."

    But generally the problem with whitelists is not that spammers are clever enough to spoof whitelisted addresses. The real problem with whitelists is that we all get a lot of email from random unexpected sources, so we usually can't only allow whitelisted email in. A whitelist on a printer like this would probably work fairly well, since you don't want it to receive print jobs from unexpected sources.

  • Re:This (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, 2010 @08:29PM (#32491024)

    Ploy or not, they should have had this a long time ago.

    As others have said, you can set this up yourself. For text, it's probably as simple as show [msgnumber] | lpr -P printername running on a daemon that will execute whenever the inbox gets bigger.

    But on Windows....god I don't even try to program Windows.

  • by hAckz0r (989977) on Monday June 07, 2010 @10:00PM (#32491562)
    A previous car of mine stopped running the day after its warranty expired. Coincidence? While taking that loooong walk home I stopped by the post office, and would you believe I had an advertisement to buy a brand new car from the same dealership and a "really great deal on ANY trade in, just drive or push it in" for $$$ off the new car price. I replaced the 'computer module' with an after market unit and drove it for 7 more years. You can guess how much future business they got from me.
  • Re:Please. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhiestand (157373) on Tuesday June 08, 2010 @04:33AM (#32493448) Journal

    Ok. You have my email address. It's public. What email addresses do I have whitelisted?

    I see a lot of spamming that puts the "to" address in the "from" field. Apparently most people whitelist themselves?

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius