Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Advertising Businesses HP Yahoo! Your Rights Online

HP and Yahoo To Spam Your Printer 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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

HP and Yahoo To Spam Your Printer

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:37PM (#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.

  • Post title here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SilverHatHacker ( 1381259 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:39PM (#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.
  • LCD Screens (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Black Perl ( 12686 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:42PM (#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...

  • wasted effort :/ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kathars1s ( 1804824 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:48PM (#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. :/
  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:50PM (#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.

  • by divide overflow ( 599608 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @10:54PM (#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.
  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:04PM (#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.
  • by steltho ( 1121605 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:08PM (#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.

  • by bkpark ( 1253468 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:12PM (#32598366) Homepage

    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:Firewall it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by natehoy ( 1608657 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:19PM (#32598408) Journal

    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.


  • 'Targeted'?? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrMacman2u ( 831102 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:29PM (#32598474) Journal

    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!

  • That's out of hand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:36PM (#32598524) Journal

    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!!!

  • by sortius_nod ( 1080919 ) on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:44PM (#32598552) Homepage

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 16, 2010 @11:45PM (#32598558)

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2010 @12:10AM (#32598668)


  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 17, 2010 @01:09AM (#32598950)

    You just listed all the reasons I swore to never buy another lexmark, bloated barely functional drivers along with "rebate" ink cartridges. You can also tack on the idiotic proprietary scanning methodology and the windows only compatibility.

    Im looking at an epsom A3 next I think, theres no reason you can't refill them indefinitely with the reset tool because the print heads are fixed (i.e. not part of the cartridge), can you imagine having an A3 printer where the cost of ink is 'negligible'

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @01:53AM (#32599124) Homepage

    It's not "your" printer. You don't own the software in the printer, or the driver, or the service that handles spamming you. You're just licensing that. You're renting a printing service, and the landlord controls what you can do with the printer. Read your EULA.

  • by JWSmythe ( 446288 ) <> on Thursday June 17, 2010 @02:57AM (#32599354) Homepage Journal

        Well, unless you need to print invoices, packing slips, shipping labels, airline boarding passes, etc. Nah, that'd never happen.

        Hell, even my car insurance cards were sent to me electronically so I could print them myself. They don't send them to me, I *have* to print them, since they are required by law.

  • by jonwil ( 467024 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @04:09AM (#32599628)

    With all the crap HP are doing lately, you would have to be stupid to buy a HP printer.

    Get a printer from a decent company such as Canon or Epson or Brother.

  • by rarel ( 697734 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @04:18AM (#32599692) Homepage

    you may not LIKE a laptop for recipe's, but it's an option.

    Have you even tried? A laptop in the kitchen is a retarded idea, try flipping/scrolling pages when you got your hands full of stuff you wouldn't want anywhere near electronics... Sure it's an option, just a stupid one like using a Formula 1 race car to go buy some groceries.

    Paper in the kitchen is cheap, just works and can endure a lot of damage. There's no iPad/laptop in the world that can beat that so far.

  • by daveime ( 1253762 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @04:22AM (#32599706)

    It's bad enough that HP printers INSIST on printing a test page seemingly every time you cycle the power, or remove and reinsert a cartridge after shaking it to see how much ink is left.

    It's bad enough that they insist on bundling over 100 fucking meg of software when all you really want is the bloody printer driver.

    It's bad enough (environmentally) that it's probably more economical to buy a new printer that comes with "free" starter cartridges than to buy replacement cartridges for your existing printer ... at least here in Philippines prices about 1500 pesos ($33 USD) for a printer, and 1700 pesos ($37 USD) for a b/w and color cartridge.

    Now they're being allowed to spam your printer with internet ads (full colour of course) ?

    Fuck HP, tired of their bullshit.

  • by Arimus ( 198136 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @04:44AM (#32599798)

    They did sell you something: You own the cardboard box the printer came in and possibly, only possibly mind you, the actual plastic and metal the printer is made of... just don't expect to own the firmware, the drivers or any software bits.

  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @05:41AM (#32600036)

    No. no one NEEDS to print anything. there is not a single thing that REQUIRES paper in todays age.

    You don't have any children, do you? Try gluing two laptop screens together or cutting or folding a laptop screen for arts and crafts. Some things just need printed on paper.

    And then: Some things work better on paper. I can't use a small piece of tape and stick a rack-map up in the server room using an iPad. Or a sign saying "Don't %^#(&@" turn this off again. It needs to stay on."

    Now, if you're talking about NEED as in "food, water, air", then sure, no one needs paper, but no one needs computers, cars, clothing, shelter, entertainment, companionship, a purpose...

  • Can't Firewall it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @06:11AM (#32600164)
    Everyone keeps saying "Firewall it!", but that defeats the purpose of the printer, which is to allow email-printing from HP's servers. If it can't get sent stuff from HP's servers, you can't email to it, but if it can be sent stuff from HP's servers, HP can send SPAM. Unless you've got a computer in between that does image recognition of any postscript attachments coming across the pipe, and edits out HP SPAM, you might as well just buy a model without the email feature.
  • Re:Post title here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @08:28AM (#32600854) Homepage

    > I search for all kinds of weird things as it is...

    So do I.

    > I get all kinds of weird ads as it is...

    I don't. Do you think that just might have something to do with the fact that I block all ads and most cookies and scripts? It's your choice to be "targeted".

  • by gunnk ( 463227 ) <<gunnk> <at> <>> on Thursday June 17, 2010 @09:02AM (#32601142) Homepage

    "Whooosh" is a good summary of the whole article... does anyone actual read the articles that get submitted?

    HP is NOT going to spam printers.

    HP is planning to partner with Yahoo so that you can subscribe to content that would automatically be printed out for you. In other words, the idea is that you can wake up, grab your morning paper off the printer, and sit down to read it with your cup of coffee. The ads IN THE PAPER would be targeted using geolocation from the IP address of your printer so that you would get locally appropriate ads. No ads for department stores that don't exist within a hundred miles of you. Those are the ads they're talking about. Not spam!

    On the other hand... the idea of printing off your morning paper may have made sense in the science fiction of the 1950's, but HP is crazy if they think people actually want to print out content that they are going to read once and recycle.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Thursday June 17, 2010 @09:32AM (#32601394) Homepage Journal

    I can see it now. Your new LCD monitor is sold to you as a 22 inch, but 1/4 of the screen is actually an ad server, so your actual display area is smaller than 22 inches.

    This is the new way.

    I see it happening on TV. Between the logos, the market ticker, the oil gusher cam, and the pop-up ads promoting upcoming shows, all we're left with on TV is a talking head and all you can see of him/her is an eye or nose jiggling about the screen.

A consultant is a person who borrows your watch, tells you what time it is, pockets the watch, and sends you a bill for it.