Tag: printer

HP welds together its printer and PC division

The once famous maker of printer and scanners has decided that its Imaging and Printing Group, should be linked to its less than popular PC-making Personal Systems Group in a restructuring plan.

For a while now, joining the PC division of HP was probably not the best of career moves. HP was thinking of selling the outfit which it thought were made for low margins. However the printer division was still seen as the jewel in the crown. After all, HP made a real killing out of selling printer ink that was more expensive than gold.

According to All Things Digital, printer man Vyomesh “VJ” Joshi, will exit the building and the combined business unit will report to Executive Vice President Todd Bradley.

It is all part of a cunning plan dreamed up by CEO Meg Whitman to save money and simplify the HP dinosaur’s organisation. We think it is unfair that VJ has to go, he had already simplified his name until it was just initials.

But Whitman is desperate to work out more ways of streamlining HP’s operations. She sees that IPG sells printers both to consumers and businesses, and PSG sells PCs to consumers and businesses so they are more or less the same thing, besides the both have the letter “G” in their acronym.

She thinks that if they were one big jam sandwich they would be able to come up with unified product offerings – such as PCs that print and printers that are PCs.

IPG sells more printers than anyone else in the world, but makes most of its money selling ink cartridges . IPG reported that sales fell by 7 percent, to $6.3 billion, while the unit’s earnings from operations fell by 32 percent. Part of that loss was due to the fact that consumers expected HP to sell the unit.

Bradley is the one time CEO of the handset maker Palm and would have been the CEO of the spun-out PC company if HP had done that.

It looks like the streamlining gives Bradley responsibility for what is easily the biggest group inside HP so he probably does not feel the need to go somewhere else for a power kick.

o action.

“WME honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today,” its web site says.

So it looks like Microsoft has put its past behind it and has become a good Vole. One thing that is telling is that Apple, which markets itself as ethical, clean and green, did not even make the list. 

Piezoelectric thin film paves the way for ultrafast printing

Japanese engineers say they have created a piezoelectric thin film that could enable a new generation of high speed printing.

Researchers from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kyoto University and others claim that for the first time they have achieved a switching time of 200 nanoseconds to power ultrafast MEMS printing.

Analysing the structural changes when a high speed electric current is applied to ferroelectric thin film, a type of piezoelectric, they found that they were able to cause a switching time they claim is a world record.

Piezoelectric thin films are able to provide the power for incredibly high resolution MEMS inkjet printers that can print staggeringly quickly.

The researchers say that switching time cannot be controlled adequately with the current generation of piezoelectric thin films and are hoping that their development can lead to greater industrial applications and higher performance products.

This will allow higher speed “fine printing” with a smaller quantity of ink than is possible with conventional technology, with the minute MEMS devices responsible for ink coating in ink jet printers.

According to the researchers, increased performance in MEMS devices will also provide benefits in the automotive world, with more accurate control over fuel consumption in engines by applying the technology to ceramic parts which control fuel use efficiency.

Open source not enough to save WebOS

Open sourcing WebOS is not enough to save it, a leading analyst has warned.

According to Melissa Chau, research manager for client devices at IDC Asia-Pacific, even prior to the open source announcement by HP, WebOS was about as acceptable as trimming your pubic hair in public.

Even handed over to the open saucers to play with, it is about as likely to dominate the market in the future as Britain will succeed outside the EU. Chau told ZDNet that it is possible that a third major mobile OS may emerge, after Apple iOS and Google Android, but WebOS’ current market share is “too far down” to gain traction.

The bronze medal will probably go to Research in Motion’s Blackberry OS or Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7, she said.

It was unlikely WebOS would overtake Windows Phone 7 because of the partnership between Nokia and Microsoft.

She said there was currently a big fight for developers among mobile OS ecosystems. WebOS faces a “chicken and egg” problem. Hardware vendors will not build stuff when there is too little software, and software writers will not write code when there is no hardware.

In short HP’s WebOS is the Norwegian Blue of the mobile software world.

It was pretty dumb for HP to have bought it in the first place, but once stuck with it, it could have done a lot more than it did. Now it will be forgotten . 

EU tariffs on LCD monitors end, at last, late June

After a lengthy dispute the EU has agree to void tariffs placed on a number of products including LCD monitors by 30 June at the latest.

According to a statement by the Taiwanese Ministry of Economic Affairs, the EU has accepted that tax impositions of LCD monitors, set top boxes and multi-functional printers manufactured in Taiwan, Japan and the US contravened World Trade Organisation rules.

The EU had already announced back in September that it will not seek to challenge a ruling made by the WTO in July of last year following a joint suit filed by the three nations over what they perceived to be unfair tax rates on new technology in products.

When the EU announced this it was said that a reasonable period of time to exempt the taxes had been negotiated, a period that it was agreed would exceed no more than 15 months beginning from when the ruling was made.

It is now said that the voiding of tariffs, ranging from 6 to 14 percent, will come into effect before the start of July, writes the Taipei Times.

The finalising of the day marks the culmination of a dispute that has raged since the three nations launched a joined suit claiming that the EU had broken the Information Technology Agreement put in place by the WTO.

The Information Technology Agreement essentially means that tariff-exempt status must be given to products deemed ‘existing technology’ which incorporate new technologies.

The EU had disputed that the products in question could fall under this category. 

For instance, the EU argued that monitors larger than 19-inches which also have DVI and HDMI terminals should be classed as TV products, while printers which have scanning and faxing applications should be titled copiers.

Furthermore, set-top boxes that feature recording and playback with memory storage were claimed to be merely multimedia players.

Canon builds self censoring puritan printer

Printer outfit Canon has created software which stops the great unwashed printing out rude words.

We all know how shocked printers can be when they are forced to print out words which might upset their tiny jets. Printers are delicate things and the use of the odd rude word often sends them into a funk which can last for days.

But the nice people at Canon have the answer to all your puritan printing needs. The Uniflow 5, the latest version of its document management system that can prevent users from printing or copying documents containing specific words.

All printers, scanners, copiers and multifunction devices are managed centrally so it is possible to decide on tablets of stone which words shall be deemed naughty in the sight of the management and enforce it.

The software allows a record to be kept of how many documents have been printed and by whom for billing purposes.

The system requires a Uniflow server and Uniflow-enabled Canon imaging devices. We are not sure if the software can recognise someone’s bottom and refuse to print that out too.

The administrator can prevent a user from attempting to print, scan, copy or fax a document containing other prohibited keyword, such as a client name, project codename or just filth.

The server will email the administrator a PDF copy of the document in question if a user attempts to do so so that the administrator can have the user’s mouth washed out with soap.

The system can optionally inform the user by email that their attempt has been blocked, and give them a chance to exit the building before the filth police catch up with them.

Uniflow 5’s keyword recognition uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology licensed from Belgian OCR firm Iris, technology more commonly used for turning scanned documents into editable text.

If you have a determined user you can get around it by adding 00s so printing out “f00uck 00f admin” will still get printed

Canon has not announced a date that Uniflow 5 will hit the shops or how much it will cost to bring in your very own newspeak machines. 

HP announces printer with detachable tablet PC

HP has announced an electronic printer with a detachable 7-inch tablet that allows remote control of users’ net-based printing.

The all-in-one printer, called the HP Photosmart eStation, contains a detachable touchscreen tablet which allows full access to a variety of printer-based apps, allowing remote printing and management of other essential office tasks.

Users can also access a variety of additional features through the tablet, such as the Barnes & Noble eBookstore, effectively turning the tablet into an eReader, with the potential to then send an ebook to the printer if a hard copy is required.

Yahoo provides a number of additional applications for the tablet, such as Yahoo Mail, Messenger, Search, and Weather, making it more than just a remote control for printing. It will probably need a lot more in the way of apps if this tablet is to become anything more than an office tool, however.

It comes with HP’s ePrint facility, which allows direct printing from other devices, such as Apple’s iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone, providing they are running iOS 4.2. HP may be trying to cut out the middleman, however, by offering its own printer-friendly tablet.

It also has a fax feature which does not require a phone line, but we’re not so sure anyone uses fax anymore.

The printer will launch in the UK on September 28. A UK price has yet to be confirmed, but it will cost $399 in the US, which should work out at around £250.

HP to turn your printer into an advertising machine

Maker of expensive printer ink HP might be getting ready to turn your printer into a spam machine.

For a while we have been wondering what else that HP was planning with its Web-connected printers. Now it seems that the outfit wants to turn your printer against you and make it print out spam advertising.

Hewlett-Packard plans to use Yahoo’s advertising network in a pilot program that will deliver “targeted advertisements” for content printed with its latest line of Web-connected printers.

According to ComputerWorld, HP sees a potential for localized, targeted advertising to go along with internet content.

HP ran two trials where consumers received content from a US national music magazine and major US newspaper along with advertisements.

Stephen Nigro, senior vice president in HP’s Imaging and Printing Group said that people were not bothered by advertisements. Apparently people got used to it.

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. IP addresses can be used to identify an approximate area where the Web-connected device is located, opening the potential for targeted advertisements based on location.

Ads can also be targeted based on a user’s behavior as well as the content, said Vyomesh Joshi, head of the HP’s Imaging and Printing Group. So if you visit a porn site we guess your printer will start spewing out hard copies for all to see.

HP admits there needs to be rules on privacy. However there also needs to be rules for who pays for its expensive printer ink as it prints out adverts I don’t want on a printer I paid for. It is hard to see any company or individual going for this and we think that HP really needs its head examined. 

Samsung launches very small, very quick laser printer

Samsung Electronics has launched what it claims is the world’s smallest monochrome laser printer.

The ML-1665 is targeted at small businesses or home offices, students and households (so that’s everyone then) and gives users a simple printing experience through the number of easy to use one-touch features.
This includes the Samsung Print Screen button, which lets users print exactly what they see on their PC screen.  The printer is also compatible with Samsung’s AnyWeb Print software, which lets users select, drag and drop only the information they need from web pages into a new page on their PC screen. They can then save or print what they need and avoid wasting time or resources such as paper and toner.

Samsung’s new Soft Power button makes it easy to switch the printer off when not in use, rather than leaving it in sleep mode. This, Samsung claims, can help save as much as 9.55 watts per hour . Over a year, this equates to the same amount of energy as leaving a light on for over 18 days.

Additionally the device has print speeds of up to 16 pages-per-minute (ppm) and a first page out time of less than 8.5 seconds. There is also a cover on the output tray to keep noise levels down.

Graham Long, Vice President of IT, UK and Ireland, Samsung Electronics, said: “Samsung understands that consumers don’t want to have to worry about working out how to use their new devices.

“With the new printers, we have incorporated a wide range of features in a stylish and compact device to make printing simple and convenient.”


HP scientists come up with plastic displays

Boffins working for the maker of expensive printer ink HP, think they have come up with something that will make glass displays a thing of the past.

Carl Taussig, the head of HP Labs’ Information Surfaces Lab, has told Cnet that in a decade glass will be as much a memory for displays as cathode ray tubes (CRTs) are today. Plastic substrates are cheaper than glass which is currently used in displays.

Taussig and his team have built super-thin plastic 50 microns thick which is half the thickness of a piece of paper and 40 times lighter than glass.

Since the plastic is flexible, it can be put on spools and put into a machine and have its resistors printed onto it.

So it all ends up being faster, lighter and cheaper than anything that is on the market now.

Of course if it arranges its printing costs using the same model it has for printer ink, each screen will cost a million pounds.