Perhaps one of the biggest problems with having office printers on network is making sure each computer has the correct drivers for the printers. After all, without those drivers people are left staring at their text on the monitor – unable to print the page. And when you're talking about hundreds of people accessing dozens of printers in a corporation, the problem can become epidemic.
Fortunately now Dell
is releasing a download for their newest printers that lets people forgo drivers entirely. Instead, anyone connected to the network can print instantly from any Dell-produced printer; there's no need even for printer queue names and other details. The download is called Dell Proximity Printing
and – best of all – it's available free starting June 8th. It should save office IT managers a lot of headaches.
For more information visit Dell's website. In the meantime, for Dell ink cartridges at the lowest prices, trust Clickinks.com
People looking to upgrade their printer may find the Lexmark Pinnacle an excellent choice. The printer made waves when Lexmark revealed its ink cartridges cost only $4.99 while printing five hundred pages. In addition, Lexmark offer one of the industry’s longest warranties for the printer: five years. Also, the printer boasts the unique SmartSolutions interface. This enables people to complete any function with a single touch – great for productivity.
Now the Lexmark
Pinnacle has received industry recognition for these great features. Last week the printer was awarded a 2010 Hot Tech Demo Award at the Fifth Annual Small Business Summit. The Lexmark Pinnacle was one of only 6 products to be recognized. Editor of Smallbusinesstechnology.com Ramon Ray commented: “It’s refreshing to see Lexmark’s Pinnacle – a real AIO tool with Web solutions that add a much-desired layer of simplicity to business processes."
The Pinnacle might therefore be in the front running when you upgrade your printer!
Kodak entered the printer market in '07 with a revolutionary business plan: charge slightly more for inkjet printers than other manufacturers, but charge half the price for ink cartridges.
They released the EasyShare 5300
: an inkjet with cartridges 50% cheaper than HP’s equivalent model, the PhotoSmart C5180
. They launched a full ad campaign, warning consumers that ink cartridges sold by other manufacturers cost more than crude oil.
Moreover, Kodak employed a new pigment-based dying process in their printers, which certified their images for 120 years. This contrasted favorably with the single year guaranteed by Hewlett Packard. Finally, Kodak promised they’d save consumers $110 annually.
In 2007 Kodak sold 520,000 printers. Impressive? Not really, when you consider that 61 million inkjet multifunction printers were sold that year.
Yet the Kodak
entry caused red alert at Hewlett Packard headquarters - both because Kodak aimed a stake at the heart of HP’s business model, and because Kodak targeted the most profitable consumers.
After all, Kodak’s promises of incredible savings wouldn’t mean anything to consumers for whom printers are dusty plastic boxes. It’s the printing maniacs – that 20% of inkjet consumers who purchase 80% of cartridges – with whom Kodak’s new strategy might resonate.
Since then, the two brands have been firing back and forth at each other. Kodak designed the (possibly Star Trek influenced) printandprosper.com to accompany their EasyShare
This website details the savings available with Kodak, and explains why other printer brands are soulless profit mongers. Hewlett Packard receives the worst beating from this campaign - arguably because the 63 cartridges types available from HP contrast with the 3 from Kodak.
In reply, Hewlett Packard
launched The Truth About Printing – a site targeted like a cruise missile at Kodak.
It illustrates an infinite queue of frowning Kodak consumers desperate to return their EasyShares, and promises $50 toward an HP printer. That’s the printing equivalent of removing your gloves.
More recently, this tussle has moved off the net and into the courts. Last year HP filed a complaint with the lengthily titled National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus (his friends call him NAD) that Kodak’s claim to save consumers $110 annually was inaccurate.
Kodak failed even to send a representative to the complaints proceeding. Instead, they released a short press statement saying their advertising claims had already been substantiated.
NAD responded by bundling the case off to the Federal Trade Commission.
Last December, the FTC decided that Kodak could claim their $110 savings – but on a minimum of four pages printed daily.
This tweaked text recognizes that consumers must guzzle an ink minimum before Kodak’s claims become viable. Kodak has asserted this alteration to their advertising vindicates them.
On the other hand, Hewlett Packard continues firing back. They most recently quoted a Lyra Research report that 50% of consumers never reach Kodak’s savings threshold.
Who then does provide the cheapest printing
? And do Kodak’s (seemingly) lower priced cartridges compromise quality? Comparisons of Kodak and Hewlett Packard’s printers are available through Google, though they report different things.
Broadly speaking – Kodak’s EasyShares give equal quality to HP’s PhotoSmart
series, so long as Kodak photo paper is employed. This however cuts the potential savings of Kodak’s ink cartridges. By comparison, the PhotoSmarts offer a more vibrant printout – but degrade quickly.
Therefore neither brand is the undisputed champion of printing – putting to one side the minefield of ink cartridge pricing. The division between Kodak and Hewlett Packard will continue - while the consumer watches on, uncertain.
Lexmark has released a fantastic new application for their SmartSolution printers, enabling users to scan documents straight onto the storage website Evernote – without a computer.
The application is designed for 3 wireless Lexmark
printers – the Interact, Prestige and Platinum. Straight from paper, documents and images are uploaded to the user’s Evernote account through the web-connected printer, simply with the press of a button.
For those that haven’t heard, Evernote is a storage service for users to capture and retain information through a range of devices. Stored data then remains available through anything connected to the internet.
Previously Evernote was accessible through devices including the iPhone. Lexmark’s application though is the first available for a printer.
For the SmartSolution printers meanwhile, the Evernote app is one of many available. Programs for MSNBC headlines and Google Calendar – alongside 18 others – come packaged with the wireless Lexmarks.
The Evernote app is available to download from Lexmark’s SmartSolution’s
website.SourcesBen Parr, ‘Evernote Integrates With Lexmark Printers To Sync Your Scans,’ Mashable.com
I admit it, I am a social media enthusiast. I began using Twitter
even before main stream media, I use it both personally and professionally, and I honestly did a happy dance the day Foursquare
opened up in my hometown.
Are we going too far? Last night as I was sitting home alone I saw a tweet from @PleaseRobMe
. They called out my username and said I was not home. Talk about scare tactics. I try to be smart online, do not think the high tech burglars could find my home address to print, do not post anything overly personal and only friend those I know and trust, but are our beloved Foursquare and Twitter postings putting me at risk?
On their website
they even provide search functionality allowing potential criminals to put a location in and hit go for a list of recent empty homes, including mine, that potential criminals could print
Many of us location-sharing social media enthusiasts get so caught up in the novelty and bonuses that we ignore the possible reactions. There have been cases of Twitter burglaries (Israel Hyman) and Facebook burglaries
in the past, now PleaseRobMe alleges that they are making potential targets aware.
Do you think PleaseRobMe is providing a public service by making targets aware? Or is it set up to assist would be criminals further their endeavours?
Recently there was a meeting between labeling regulators and ink cartridge
brands at The National Conference on Weights and Measures.
According we reported in this blog
, the US Conference of Weights and Measures would compel manufacturers to improve their labeling standards.
No longer could Epson cartridges list misleading printout yields. No longer would HP hide the ink volume of their cartridges. Instead consumers would pick up an OEM cartridge – they’d see that it housed 20ml of ink – they’d realize it cost $24.99 – and they’d snort with disgust.
Years later and OEM cartridge profits would plummet an estimated $5 billion.
Of course that was last month, and the brilliant dawn of realization hasn’t happened. There are two possibilities:
(1) the labelling regulators and toner brands are still debating or
(2) The conference was sensationalized.
Post-conference ink labeling standards remain the same, and we must accept that The Weights and Measures Conference solved nothing.
Yet there has been fallout in the blogging world.
On February 2 Taeho Lim at Cartridge News outlined his scheme to help consumers keep track of their toner use. He proposes that consumers who know their rate of ink consumption could make more informed decisions, and that printer software ought display this.
In short, he takes the consumer desire for more information as literal. By doing this Lim misses the point of the labeling furore completely.
The absence of accurate labeling is a problem because OEM brands are hiding the real cost of ink from consumers. That consumers wish to precede each purchase with a quantitative analysis of how the last cartridge fared (as Lam suggests) is unlikely.
Dean Gallea of Consumer Reports even argues that the most useful information
for consumers is that already given by OEM brands: pageyield. To label the volume of ink contained in a cartridge will not tell consumers how many prints the cartridge contains; some printouts use more ink than others.
Instead, stating the volume of ink on the cartridge is important because it tells consumers how much they’re paying per liter. It lets consumers compare what they pay with the cost of production. It reveals OEM brands for the price gougers they (likely) are.
Charles le Compte of Lyra Research puts it best: volume information “sets in motion a dynamic that will drive down cartridge prices over time.” Once the consumer not only complains but proves he’s being overcharged, prices must tumble.
Before The Conference of Weights and Measures, chief Max Gray told American Public Media why he targeted ink cartridge labeling: “All of this lack of clarity… led me to feel that maybe this should be addressed.”
To what end addressed?
Gray may intend that OEM brands give all possible facts, as Lim outlines. He may be launching a covert attack to make OEM brands lower their prices. The conference last month solved nothing: ink cartridge
labels remain unclear.
With any luck what Gray intends will become clear in the near future.
Ready for your iPad? The majority of us do not yet have access to the iPad until late March, and once it is in stores it may take you a while to save up the $500+ for this new device. Solution? Print an iPad and start drooling!
Jess Silverstone, the lead artist for Revolutionary Concepts put together a printable Apple iPad for your viewing pleasure.
The directions are simple: Make sure you have some good color cartridges
for printing, select borderless printing if your printer offers the advanced function, then click here to print the iPad front
and feed the page back in to print the Apple back
As illustrated in the graph above, newspaper ad sales (a.k.a. revenue) have dropped at an accelerating rate since April, 2006. The Newspaper Association of America reported that print ad sales fell by a historic 29.7% to $5.9 billion in the first period of 2009.
What will the future of newspapers look like in 2010? With the wide use of the internet, we can find news we are most interested in, and even print
our own Sunday coupons.
While on Social networking sites like Facebook
you probably read updates shared by friends in the same town or with the same interests, as well straight from news sources such as Associated Press, Wall Street Journal or your hometown news channel. Many are now getting news immediately and at demand with no charge. Facebook
also allows users to share news they are reading with friends, and start a discussion. Users are increasingly heading to Facebook
to get their news and entertainment in one place. Facebook
has an extensive user base, and many social networking users claim news as a primary reason for Facebook and Twitter use. As seen in the graph above, Experian Hitwise conducted a study finding 3.52% of the upstream visits to News and Media websites came directly from Facebook
last week. Compared to 1.39% from Google News and a decline in printed newspapers, Facebook
looks to be the most popular news source. Facebook
has a huge lead in that everybody is already there, and they're spending more and more time there checking their live feed, playing games, sharing photos and posting status updates. If news is right in your live feed, you are going to see news articles there frequently without having to search for it. Have you subscribed to your favorite news source yet?
There has been much discussion lately regarding the cost of ink. As manufacturers lower their price on printers, they in turn raise the prices on cartridges that allow you to continue printing. If only you could compare how much ink is contained in a cartridge prior to purchase.
The National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) 95th Interim Meeting is being held January 24 - 27, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. The NCWM is an organization of weights and measures officials of the states, counties and cities of the United States, federal agencies and private sector representatives. These meetings bring together government officials and representatives of business, industry, trade associations, and consumer organizations on subjects related to the field of weights and measures technology, administration and enforcement. NIST participates to promote uniformity among the states in laws, regulations, methods, and testing equipment that comprise the regulatory control of commercial weighing and measuring devices and other trade and commerce issues.
One of the significant agenda items that will be considered is the Method of Sale of Commodities Regulation, including Packaged Printer Ink and Toner Cartridges. The NCWM Laws and Regulations Committee (L&R Committee) will discuss a proposed method of ink sales that would clarify the labeling requirements for packaged inkjet and toner cartridges to ensure that consumers are informed about the net quantity of contents of these products so that value comparisons can be made.
One recent consumer advocate study estimated that consumers could save billions of dollars a year if they were armed with full information about how much it would cost to operate various printers. The American Consumer Institute, in a study in late 2008, said that consumers were being lured into a bad deal by buying the lower cost printers and then overpaying an estimated $6 billion per year for Original Manufacturers ink cartridges. The push for more exact information, including a "liquid measure" has finally gotten enough attention to urge this meeting between NCWM regulators and manufacturers over how the cartridges are to be labelled.
An attorney for Lexmark
argues that ink use varies due to print quality chosen, and that the cost of the ink is only a small part of the cartridge, a sophisticated micro-machine, and its related cost and therefore disclosing ink volumes would actually be misleading to consumers. NCWM is told to expect a fight from such manufacturers accustomed to being exempt from labelling laws.
Many ink and toner manufacturers and retailers, such as Clickinks.com
, do self regulate, providing customers with an average page yield like shown below. If you are purchasing a new printer it is highly recommended that you do some research to find page yield per cartridge on your own, at least until all manufacturers are required to follow suit, labelling printer ink and toner cartridges with such measurements.
Most couples save the photo album
for after the wedding. But when North Carolina resident Derick Childress stumbled upon a novel way to propose to girlfriend Emily, his Canon 7D digital camera
saw some major use. To generate his light-writing proposal, Derick employed 2 friends and took more than 800 exposures over 3 nights.
Their website, derickandemily.com, hosts a Making Of video
– but (perhaps thanks to links from Neatorama) it’s currently down.
Valentines Day is upon us, what romantic inspiration do you have?