back to article HP and Yahoo! team up to print ads in your home

There's been some knicker-twisting hubbub coursing the intertubes about ads being served up by HP's email-enabled ePrint printers, announced last week at Internet World New York. Each HP ePrint-enabled printer will have its own email address that will enable users to print by sending an email message to it. The idea is to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Someone should do this properly

    Someone should think this through and do it properly, like the French tried with Minitel and phonebooks.

    Give every premises a decent digital printer, ideally A3, (supplied, owned, and maintained by say the Post Office or other paper-delivery organisation) and a decent broadband link (definitely not supplied owned and maintained by BT, it needs to work reliably and be cost-effective).

    Then rather than organisations paying for a man/woman to walk round to deliver tonnes of paper mail (most of which is junk these days anyway) they can pay to have it delivered digitally instead. Think of the fuel and trees and shoeleather we could save.

    Makes as much sense as most of the stuff we read about, doesn't it?

    1. skellious

      Re: someone should do this properly

      I am all for digitising post, but then why print it at all? I would rather have an LCD on the wall (or a tablet PC) with all my letters. The problem is the post now days, excluding adverts, mainly carries things that cannot be emailed. personal handwritten letters, parcels, presents, hand made cards, legal documents and utility bills all of which by law have to be sent by paper, things like the census and voting cards. Until the law changes these things still need to be hand delivered, which in turn requires a network in place. I would like to see a return to a state post office and banning of commercial unsolicited adverts through my door, but we seem to be heading the opposite way right now. Such is life...

  2. dogged
    Thumb Up

    Simple solution

    Don't buy one of these printers.

  3. Da Weezil
    Thumb Down

    Stupid Journo!

    Just what we need another vector for spammers, one that actually costs us in terms of ink and paper. If the Reg scribe really thinks this will be spammer proof then his/her medications need adjusting... as for the comment about unsolicited messages being outlawed... maybe the author needs to read this site more thoroughly... many spammers DONT take any notice of that law... (Shock horror!)

    Another reason to stick with my trusty Canon then. US companies are fond of calling products and services "solutions".. well for most domestic applications this is a "solution" to a "problem" that doesnt exist!

  4. jake Silver badge


    WTF would anyone need, or want, a personal printer with a routable IP address, much less it's own email address?

    Makes absolutely zero sense, outside of the world of Marketing.

    And never mind THAT ... I have a little thing called a "monitor" that usually has a (couple of) thingie(s) known as (a) "Web Browser(s)" running on it. Why would I want to print anything that has adverts on it? Shirley the proverbial "thinking man" would simply bookmark the page, not print it out? Not that adverts get past my filters to begin with ...

    Likewise, I already HAVE email addresses. Email *ME*, FFS, not my printer! If *I* want to print the email out, I will choose to do so. (Hint: I won't, so don't bother).

    Why is it that the marketers of the world think that irritating >99% of the people they contact in order to sell to <1% of them is a good way to get their message across? Fuckwits, all of 'em ...

  5. heyrick Silver badge

    Rik, mate, get a clue!

    " But at The Reg, you'll find your humble reporter saying, instead: "People, people, people... Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink? It's just that the publisher pays for it, and you pay the publisher." "

    Put it like this. For the cost of printing 3 or 4 10x15cm photographs, I can buy an ENTIRE paper. It's a matter of scale, newpaper outfits don't use ooooh-so-sexy Innobella (insert other fancy ink names here) inks at shocking prices to give bestest everest quality. They use mass ink and once in a while they all line up correctly. For the price of 10-12 photos, an entire glossy magazine.

    But in the crazy world we live in where chucking away your current printer and buying an entire new one is usually CHEAPER than a legit set of branded refills, I don't think you need me to tell you in exactly which orifice they can insert this idea.

    If HP want to make their ink dirt cheap and long life, people might be more accepting to the concept, their small sample must have been a carefully selected group of airheads to give them the impression we're all so used to advertising that we'll happily pay for it.

    I'm not anti-advert, with Film4 I see it as a necessary evil (and it isn't too hard to clip 'em out of the MP4s), and world+kitten is free to post me whatever cack they want, most of it is recycled in this cool gadget that takes soggy paper and squeezes them into "bricks" for the fireplace. But woe betide any company that thinks they'll punt their wares on my dime.

    HP, nice idea, brilliantly shat upon. Well done, you've gone above and beyond here, haven't you?

    1. paulf

      You've nailed the point completely!

      A daily paper might cost 50p-£1 for perhaps 100-150 pages. So probably ~1p/page. Magazines (especially the cheaper ones that leave the ink all over your hands) work on similar pence/page rates.

      A weekend broadsheet paper for £2 contains roughly 1*copse of paper so would be even cheaper again per page.

      But if I'm printing something on my home printer its gonna cost from 10p/page upwards. My Xerox colour laser works at ~15p/page for colour output and that is a fairly good cost for consumables (see recent Reg hardware review of Phaser 6125).

      That's just the ink and doesn't even consider the cost of buying a ream of semi-decent paper for the bloody thing.

      So to respond to the Reg hack view that "Do you think ... you're not paying for ink?" I call a resounding BULLSHIT. Yes I'm paying for ink in both cases, but with mass printed+distributed periodicals that ink [and paper] is a fraction of the cost of home printing.

      The flames have set fire to the Reg tombstone icon.

  6. Robert Heffernan

    SELECT Title FROM `FunnyTitles` ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 1

    But at The Reg, you'll find your humble reporter saying, instead: "People, people, people... Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink? It's just that the publisher pays for it, and you pay the publisher."

    The difference here is, the newspaper publisher buys ink in such vast quantity that it only costs a few cents worth of ink to print the same area as an A4 page. On the other hand, printer ink is so expensive that you are looking at 15 cents or more for a single page of A4 type.

    I myself am a huge believer that advertising should NOT cost the end user a thing, be it cost of ink, bandwidth used, or even ads on pay-tv channels. Basically, if it costs me money, I want a refund!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, please

    According to HP's own print cost calculator* you might only get 14 pages for £1, and that's with a very modest 10% coverage. For the same £1 I can get a newspaper delivered to my door with about 100 pages, many of which will include full colour photos.

    Even if the content is free, this is still going to be more expensive.


  8. Ian 14

    But inkjet ink is a bit pricier than printer's ink.

    "Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink?"

    Printer's process inks cost about $50 per kilo, inkjet ink costs about $3000 a litre. Coverage levels are comparable in the 150-180 m2 per litre region. So inkjet ink costs some 60 times more than the ink on the magazine you buy on the newsstand.

  9. Havin_it

    Just don't get it

    If you actually sign up for these e-print-mag jobbies I don't see anything unreasonable in there being adverts included -- journalism needs funding somehow -- but I just cannot understand why anyone would sign up! Seriously, what content can they offer that's so compelling, so unique, that you can't have the equivalent plonked in your inbox or feedreader and print what you *want* to print?

  10. FARfetched
    Thumb Down

    Bad comparison

    «you'll find your humble reporter saying, instead: "People, people, people... Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink? It's just that the publisher pays for it, and you pay the publisher."»

    The $30 that you and I pay to buy a thimble's worth of ink will get a publisher a 55-gallon drum of it. If my ink were similarly cheap, I'd put up with a few ads… but HP is making out like a bandit on this setup. They get a cut of the ad revenue, and they get more ink sales.

  11. Tom 35

    Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink?

    No I'm not. There are at least 4 free papers here, they range from half ads to one that's a few pages wrapping a ton of inserts from Wallmart, bestbuy and such. The advertisers pay for the paper and ink. Even if I buy a regular daily I'm only paying a fraction of the cost to print the paper. I expect it would cost about $50 to print one of the big weekend papers with HP ink.

    Not that I would touch an HP printer, this is just one more reason to stick with Canon.

    Fax spam is outlawed in Canada too, but we get at least 10 spams a day on our fax at the office, most sent from outside of the country. If there is any way to spam them, (not white list by default) then they will be spammed.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Memo to HP nuts!

    At roughly 100$ a toner cartridge for my home HP color laser printer, it's sure like hell my firewall will have a dedicated rule for blocking Internet access from and to that printer. If HP wants to print ads for me, then they are welcome to print them on their corporate shiny printers and have them delivered to my door on their expenses.

  13. frank ly


    "What we discovered is that people were not bothered by [an advertisement]. Part of it I think our belief is you're used to it. You're used to seeing things with ads."

    You have to laugh. It's that or cry.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The lot of them.

    Bad publicity methods loose customers - simple as that.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nevermind the ads

    They've taken electronic media, and turned it into a way for people to continue wasting paper for no good reason. Why would I want the news printed out for me at home? All that gives me is the burden of having to continue buying and recycling paper.

  16. Matthew Robinson


    Surely that's a Yorkshire term?

    Coat acquisition in progress....

  17. Sarah Davis

    wtf !!!

    astonishingly stupid! It's unbelievable that anyone could be so dumb to think this is a good idea. All this says is don't buy HP and don't use Yahoo.

  18. Mystic Megabyte

    Ink costs money?

    Blimey, are you guys still buying cartridges?

    Do yourselves a favour and Google for "CISS <make of printer>"

    CISS stand for Continuous Ink Supply System

    I've been using a six colour one for my Epson for over three years without any problems.

    Ink costs about £15 a litre, if you were to buy Canon cartridges it would cost around £1000 a litre.

    I just fill up the tanks with a funnel.

    I'm more worried about the cost of the paper!

    As for HP, don't they realise that everyone was totally hacked off with unsolicited faxes. Fail.

  19. Lottie

    Adverts in magazines...

    ... partly subsidize the production costs. If they didn't have ads, the mags would be more expensive. However, if it's using MY ink and MY paper to print out the pages, surely the subsidy part of the equation doesn't exist. I understand that online and print magazines need to run ads to get revenue to pay their staff and running costs, but even so, I'd sooner pay a subscription of a fixed amount that would still end up cheaper in the long run as printer ink is so damned expensive.

  20. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    They've got you coming and going...

    Not only do you pay for the ink with which to print the damned advert, but you pay the costs on the product of distributing that advert, whether you see it or not.

    The comment "What we discovered is that people were not bothered by [an advertisement]. Part of it I think our belief is you're used to it. You're used to seeing things with ads." is simply disingenuous. Used to it? Yes. Inured to it? No. Irritated by it? Yes, constantly. Adverts are a continuous and continuing attempt to steal my time - and I don't have enough of it to waste.

    The fact that the reader may not actually notice the adverts seems rather to contradict the point of them being there, no?

  21. Just Thinking

    Er, no

    But at The Reg, you'll find your humble reporter saying, instead: "People, people, people... Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink? It's just that the publisher pays for it, and you pay the publisher."

    When I buy a newspaper, I am paying for the newspaper. The price is set by the market.

    Sure the cost of the ink features in there somewhere, but I am not paying for the ink used to print the full page, full colour ad for some crap I don't want. Quite the opposite, the advertisers are subsidising my paper. That's why there are so many free papers.

    If you go to the shop and find that your newspaper if 50p more today because it has a few extra pages of ads do you think "That's fine, somebody has to pay for that extra ink"?

  22. Anonymous Coward

    "You're used to seeing things with ads"

    Yeah, and used to blocking them, ignoring them, putting my coffee down on them, turning the page or simply not going near the product or service if it comes to that. Get a clue HP.

  23. Aaron Em

    "US law prohibits unsolicited ads being sent by fax"

    Yes. And, as we all know, the swift and draconian enforcement of that law has *completely stamped out* the problem of junk faxes in the United States.

  24. Mage Silver badge


    Wastes trees and ink.

  25. Harry
    Thumb Down

    "If they give me free ink ..."

    Free ink isn't the answer (even if unlimited free ink was part of the deal, which it would definitely have to be). Printing is wasteful of paper -- and even if it is recycled paper it is still using energy to do the recycling.

    Probably more than half the stuff that's presently printed doesn't need to be -- chances are, everybody here knows at least one twit who routinely prints out emails, even the unimportant ones.

    What's needed is something that doesn't use either paper or ink. Let's invent one, and call it an LCD. And then we can abolish paper, ink and this stupid email printing idea.

    Definitely a big no-no on this silly idea, which any government with more than half a brain would ban long before it happens.

  26. Harry

    "legal documents and utility bills all of which by law have to be sent by paper"

    Is that still the case?

    Far too many backward organisations still insist on sending out paper documents when a PDF would do the job equally well, but wasn't there a ruling some time ago that an electronic document containing a digital signature has the same legal standing as a paper document?

  27. Stu


    So I suppose we just wait for the inevitable hack of the firmware to block all incoming adverts, yet still provide email printing, for what its worth as a feature.

    I agree, adverts are essentially a scourge of modern society - it isn't even proven that they actually work at all.

    HP aren't going to gain any supporters over this, in fact the ads will be extremely costly to us unless they radically reduce the price of the toner / inks : wont happen. The trouble is that your average consumer wont realise the economies of scale advantages that newspaper print has over the exorbitant ink and toner levies, people in general might consider it not that bad a deal and historically companies have gotten away with scams like this.

  28. jubtastic1

    Oh the Naivety!

    For bollocks, I go away for the weekend and some scoundrel has turned £60 pounds worth of ink and a ream of paper into a stack of viagra adverts, how utterly shocking, I am dumbfounded that such a thing could happen in this day and age and so on.


    Many years ago I created an Applescript that printed an email if the subject contained a trigger word. I can't remember what that word is, which is a good indicator of just how often I've ever needed the capability*.

    * standard internet solipsism, but for fucks sake, it's obvious gimmickry isn't it?

  29. PT

    Ah, excuse me..

    The opinions expressed so far appear to be unanimous, both about HP/Yahoo! and Reg hack Myslewski's inane paragraph about newspaper ink. There's no need for someone else to say exactly the same things, so I'll just collect my coat and leave quietly.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I installed AdBlock on mine

    I just need to install a re-formatter to fill in the empty spaces.

  31. Sam Therapy

    Is this partnership called...


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