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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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  • This (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CSFFlame (761318) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:11PM (#32487532) Homepage
    could never ever be abused in any way.
    • Re:This (Score:5, Informative)

      by CarpetShark (865376) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:19PM (#32487694)

      Nope. It's not like printers have been hacked with less [irongeek.com] to work from.

      • Re:This (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Romancer (19668) <romancerNO@SPAMdeathsdoor.com> 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. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/07/technology/07printer.html?ref=technology [nytimes.com]

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          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. :)

          • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by petermgreen (876956)

        Most network printers afaict default to accepting print jobs and even adminitstration control from anyone who can directly connect to them. Usually this isn't too much of a problem because home users and small buisnesses are usually on NATed networks and larger companies hopefully have someone who knows what they are doing.

        These printers OTOH presumablly connect outbound to some HP controlled server that accepts emails on thier behalf. That means if HP don't get this right they could be very vulerable to at

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own -- or someone else's -- printer.

      Let the printer spamming begin!
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by tomhudson (43916)

        The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own -- or someone else's -- printer.

        Let the printer spamming begin!

        You mean it hasn't already?

        It's not like anyone could ever have predicted this from, oh, the FAX SPAM problem?

        How would you like to accidentally staple a printout of this [google.com] to the last page of your report to the boss?

        (nice way to thin out the competition at the office, though)

        • by Obfuscant (592200)
          How would you like to accidentally staple a printout of this to the last page of your report to the boss?

          Oh, dude, how 1980's. As soon as this printer shows up in the office, you're going to be emailing your report to his printer, and HE'LL be accidentally stapling that last page to the report for you.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by CronoCloud (590650)

          Snarl! Hiss!

          For two reasons:

          1. I know about Jennifer Usher from the various transgender oriented USENET newsgroups and am not a fan at all.

          2. Transphobia. Using a picture of a transperson in a derogatory way, is not cool, even if it's Jennifer Usher.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nospam007 (722110) *

        HP is in the ink business, the printers are sold at a loss, so this is actually a good idea for them.
        Every spam message earns them money.

    • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:31PM (#32487940) Journal
      At least all the veterans of the fax machine spam campaigns will feel relevant again...
      • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PPH (736903) on Monday June 07, 2010 @07:30PM (#32490560)

        I can just imagine the first wave pf spam: 8.5x11 color photo quality coupons for printer ink refills.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by skine (1524819)

          This just reminds me of my mother's Gateway laptop that started having popup ads for Gateway after two years.

          There's no reason HP couldn't do something similar with their printers.

          • 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:This (Score:5, Funny)

      by evilbessie (873633) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:35PM (#32487994)

      But think of the new paradigm of email/fax spam, a synergy of such epic proportions as to usher in a new Zeitgeist.

      Sorry.

    • by syousef (465911) on Monday June 07, 2010 @05:36PM (#32489552) Journal

      Dear HP Printer,

      PC Load Letter???? What the @#$!# does that mean?!?!?

      Sincerely,

      Frustrated User.

    • 4Chan? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcrbids (148650)

      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...

  • Please. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JesseL (107722) * on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:12PM (#32487542) Homepage Journal

    Tell me these will use at least a whitelist to determine which emails get printed. I don't need a stack of full color Viagr@ spam in my printer tray.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by conares (1045290)
      Hell no! Goatse for everybody!
    • Re:Please. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CannonballHead (842625) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:17PM (#32487660)
      Because e-mail "from" can't be spoofed ... hm.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Firehed (942385)

        Still, with a whitelist you'd have to know a valid sender. It's by no means foolproof, but it's a tremendous improvement over nothing at all. Well, until you get your email account hacked and spam harvesters know that you@gmail.com has the following three @myhpprinter.com (or whatever) email addresses in its address book.

        That being said, if they just run everything through gmail's spam filter, it would probably be fine. That thing is absurdly accurate - at least in my experience.

      • Re:Please. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday June 07, 2010 @04:20PM (#32488594) Homepage

        Whitelists work because spammers often don't know which "from" address to spoof.

    • Re:Please. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dsavi (1540343) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:25PM (#32487820) Homepage
      Whitelist? Oh no. They're gonna get rich from all the ink this uses!
      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Especially when they start sending the 200Mb attachments...

        • Re:Please. (Score:5, Funny)

          by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday June 07, 2010 @04:34PM (#32488782)

          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner
          WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
          We noticed that you are running low on black toner

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            Surely you mean:

            WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
            We noticed that you are running low on black toner
            WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
            We noticed that you are running low on black toner
            WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
            We noticed that you are running low on black toner
            WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
            We noticed that you are running low on black toner
            WE NOTICED THAT YOU ARE
            RUNNING LOW ON BLACK TONER
            We noticed that you are running low on black t

    • Is whitelisting even necessary? I'm no networking guru, but I can permit or deny internet access, in either direction, on any port(s) or protocol(s), for any machine on my network. Give me one of those silly printers. I'll wrap that bad boy up, snug as a bug in a rug. And, Wireshark will quickly find out if I missed anything, like a "phone home" feature.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EdIII (1114411)

        LOL. Yeah, You missed EVERYTHING on this one.

        Understandable though. You approached it like an IT person. Now go to the wall, bang your head against it furiously 10 times in a row and consider the USER. Banging your head just helps you think like one.

        The user will not care about white listing or security, or any other reasonable consideration we can come up with in 60 seconds on /. about this ridiculously, deliciously, stupid idea.

        This was a marketing exec over at HP that thought of a cool feature and ra

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Pharmboy (216950)

          You know, it is perfectly acceptable for a paragraph to have more than one sentence in it.

    • 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) [wikipedia.org] 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: (Score:3, Funny)

        by zelbinion (442226)

        Why all that hassle? I'm sure any spam message sent to a printer will have the evil bit set (see: RFC3514 [rfc-editor.org]), so you can just tell the printer to ignore those messages... Simple!

  • Spam (Score:2, Redundant)

    by MrEricSir (398214)

    Now HP will finally make money off all those v1@grA ads I keep getting.

  • Too late? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland@gmail. c o m> on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:13PM (#32487576)
    This could have been amazing ten years ago... but printers as a technology on the whole seem to be dying out to me. I knew fewer people that have them, as there is very little that needs to be printed anymore.
    • 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 http://www.thefreelibrary.com/AlphaNet+Hospitality+Systems+and+Loews+Hotels+Expand+Long+Standing...-a020787415 [thefreelibrary.com] 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ChefInnocent (667809)
      I dunno, I found new used for plotters [xyron.com] 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 p
    • 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.

  • Why is this news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by djsmiley (752149) <djsmiley2k@gmail.com> on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:14PM (#32487588) Homepage Journal

    At work we have printers and scanners you can email to, from Ricoh.

    Not sure what this is getting on slashdot for exactly?

  • 1. Spambots sending your printer garbage...
    2. DDOS somebody's printer with a combo of tubgirl / lemonparty / goat.se
    3. ???
    4. Profit?
  • So they will be easier to hack now?

    How long before a bug in the email app is found and mass printers get hacked?

    • How long before a bug in the email app is found and mass printers get hacked?

      I think they'll start with the traditional printers before moving on to your new-fangled mass printers.

  • Faxing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SlamMan (221834) <squigitNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:14PM (#32487606)
    And so now we're back to fax spam? Thanks HP!
    • Re:Faxing (Score:5, Funny)

      by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:20PM (#32487712) Journal
      Now, you'll get a print out from your printer telling you you're out of ink and at the bottom will be a coupon you can cut out... Note: the coupon will be white lettering on a black background and will probably take an entire 8x11 sheet of paper...
    • Re:Faxing (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:28PM (#32487870)

      And so now we're back to fax spam? Thanks HP!

      At least there is a good part.

      How many days until we get a post on TheDailyWTF regarding a PHB asking their employee to send them an email with a blank word document, because their printer is out of paper?

    • by squallbsr (826163)

      So, HP is going retro, they couldn't think of anything new so they re-invented the fax machine!

      Invent! - they need to rethink that tagline...

    • And so now we're back to fax spam? Thanks HP!

      Not to worry. It'll be protected by The Most Secure Windows Evar(tm).

  • fantastic! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thud457 (234763) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:17PM (#32487668) Homepage Journal
    great, another 50MB of bloat on top of the 95MB they currently cram down your throat and insist on updating daily. With their own proprietary update scheduler. For something that requires maybe 20K of actual code, if any.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hedwards (940851)
      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.
      • 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.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Uh, I'm pretty sure this is a printer-side thing. And if it weren't, then that's even dumber than either of us ever conceived.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by value_added (719364)

      You're talking about Windows, yes?

      Dunno about the HP printers used in large firms, but for the networked ones I've used, I can typically just telnet in to change the config, and jobs are magickally printed, without or without CUPS, but certainly without installing a boatload of management software. The one I use at home (an old 4090N) is easier to use and far less trouble than those ubiqitous plastic blue boxes with a Linksys logo that everyone uses. And certainly more reliable.

  • by Coraon (1080675) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:18PM (#32487682)
    A spammers mouth just started salivating uncontrollably.
  • by RollingThunder (88952) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:19PM (#32487684)

    ...and by "congratulations", I mean a nice, hard punch in the crotch.

    What in the hell were they thinking? EMAIL IS NOT A FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL, DAMMIT.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by BobMcD (601576)

      And TCP/IP wasn't designed with Carrier Pigeons in mind, but it can and does work that way...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)

      What in the hell were they thinking? EMAIL IS NOT A FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL, DAMMIT.

      Then what store-and-forward file transfer protocol should ISPs make available to their users to replace e-mail attachments?

      • There's barely any need for store and forward anymore. These days people are interconnected with always on links, for the most part.
  • by Jeng (926980) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:20PM (#32487696)

    Now when you are fired your boss can let your kids and wife know by printing out You're Fired from all the printers in the house.

  • by gilesjuk (604902)

    Now we really can complain how spammers cost us money!

  • 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.

    • Then build an email to IPP gateway, so you can still use the authentication and access control built-in. Why reinvent the wheel?
  • For years I've been looking for a viable replacement for my aging fax machine. Fax... that's short for facsimile for you youngsters.

    I know the rest of you have all been looking for an better way than plain e-mail to exchange physical copies of documents. There's just nothing like holding the document in your hand. Am I right?

    So I'll let *you* decide what I need to have printed. Send me your stuff: tonerlow@anothersillymarketingideanobodyneeds.com

  • by JustNiz (692889)

    Now we keep buying very overpriced ink cartridges just so some spammer can send Viagra ads directly to our printers, or worse, a facebook friend emails their entire set of holiday photos.

    No thanks HP. Terrible idea.

  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:23PM (#32487770)

    For starters this isn't exactly new. It might be new to consumer grade crapware printers, but I believe I setup a Canon office copier that had the ability to receive emails and print them approximately 8 years ago.

    Furthermore, why are we printing photos at home? If they're worth printing they're worth printing really well, which isn't cheap and should be done at a print shop, framed, and hung on the wall. Otherwise, gaze upon it on the screen, add it to your screen saver's image loop, and move on.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Furthermore, why are we printing photos at home? If they're worth printing they're worth printing really well, which isn't cheap and should be done at a print shop, framed, and hung on the wall. Otherwise, gaze upon it on the screen, add it to your screen saver's image loop, and move on.

      Because low quality prints are fine for old people who can't tell the difference. This is the sort of thing that will probably keep some guy's inlaws from pestering him on a weekly basis if they can just get their hands on recent pics of the grandkids without having to work that dang mouse.

    • by Amouth (879122)

      I find this odd to as we have an HP 4600 - and it supports e-mail mailbox support..

    • by jgrahn (181062)

      For starters this isn't exactly new. It might be new to consumer grade crapware printers, but I believe I setup a Canon office copier that had the ability to receive emails and print them approximately 8 years ago.

      I bet people did this in the 1980s. A simple mail-to-printer gateway takes thirty seconds or so to set up in Unix. (But why do it? The line printer spooler protocol was in use already in the early 1980s).

  • by bytesex (112972)

    And scanners must be webservers. I mean, it fits the paradigm completely - small, parametrizable requests, big gobs of response, and done. Why haven't they been built ?

  • SECURITY HOLE? This is going to be the greatest corporate espionage tool since the camera phone!

  • I came here to post this question: What could possibly go wrong?
    And discovered that just about everybody else had exactly the same reaction. There were two or three responses that at first glance seemed to think this was a good idea, then I read them closer and realized they were being sarcastic.
  • Another reason to buy HP's overpriced printer ink [slashdot.org].

  • You have to watch those guys. One day they're innocently printing email so that managers will be able to read it, the next they're urgently requesting your assistance in confidential financial matters.

    What's next? Printers downloading copyrighted material through p2p networks [washington.edu]? Those things are a menace!

  • by ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:36PM (#32488010)
    By ensuring your ink cartridges are changed regularly, we can help make sure your ink will always be fresh. At HP we're making it easier for empty out those old, crusty ink cartridges by printing all your attachments for you. At the same time we're keeping your ink fresh, we're also helping you uphold your document retention policy by automatically generating hard copies of all your email!

    Amazed? Well that's just what we do.

    Love,
    Hewlett-Packard
  • I've had a HP printer that instead of giving me a useful error when things didn't work just failed with a "Nope, that didn't work" error.(Oops, I turned off the guest account when printing over the network.) My brother had an HP printer with scanning functionality but the scanning software had a bug where it would always crash on a scan of the last page. (This was apparently a common issue and last I heard it still hasn't been fixed.) So now they're going to have a printer that uses software so you can e-ma
  • This is great until someone registers your printer's email address with NAMBLA.
  • SMTPS or a new avenue for identity theft? Tonight at 11.

  • Black email (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday June 07, 2010 @03:53PM (#32488236) Journal
    So back to black faxing....
  • From the company with the most expensive and most annoying cartridges on the market. Its a shyster move to try to sell more HP ink products to the stupider members of the business community, not a well needed and clever feature.

  • And?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mweather (1089505) on Monday June 07, 2010 @04:39PM (#32488842)
    I have a 10 year old Xerox printer that has an email address. This isn't new by a long shot.

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