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HP Further Expands Recycling Program
HP announced yesterday a range of new products and solutions which make it possible for their printing customers to reduce their environmental impact and at the same time, use HP?s original printing supplies. These latest advances include an complete line of sustainably sourced papers as well as the naming of Office Depot as a partner for HP?s recycling of inkjet and toner recycling.
As part of this shift, HP is partnering with various nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as well as manufacturing and retail companies to achieve their goal. Together HP and the organizations will create ways in which customers can have access to a wide range of products and solutions that are eco-friendly from the design phase all the way to when it gets recycledAnnukka Dickens, director, Americas Environmental Leadership Team, HP states, “‘Our customers want printing solutions that offer quality and reliability, with proven environmental performance. HP?s approach includes innovative and environmentally sustainable product design, and free and easy return and recycling to help customers reach their sustainability goals.’”
“100 percent of HP Everyday Office Papers now FSC-certified”
HP reports that their entire Everyday Paper line in the North America has now been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This sets HP further apart from the competition because very few other OEMs can boast that they have 100% certification for their paper. HP has also achieved this certification for its paper sold in Latin America.
Working in conjunction with their long-time partner, International Paper Company (IPC), HP uses fiber only from those forests which are responsibly managed. At present, over 40% of HP?s total tonnage worldwide has been certified by the FSC and/or is made from at least 30% post-consumer waste. The company?s next goal is to have at least 50% of their HP-branded paper worldwide or have more than 30% post-consumer waste by the end of 2015.
The FSC has a solid reputation worldwide as one of the most stringent and credible independent certification standards available for ensuring that products come from responsibly managed forests. The main goal of the FSC is “meet this generation’s need for forest products without compromising the health of the world’s forests for future generations”.
“Expanded recycling options for customers”
Through HP’s global cartridge return and recycling program, HP Planet Partners, customers are able to responsibly recycle their old HP ink cartridges as well as contribute to the effectiveness of the OEM’s “‘closed loop’” plastics recycling process.
HP’s Planet Partners program now operates in 56 different countries and territories, which makes it easy for customers from all over the globe to properly recycle their used HP ink cartridges. They can choose to visit www.hp.com/recycle or physically go to any HP Authorized Retail Collection locations to turn in their cartridges. Since the beginning of the program, HP says they have recycled over half a billion HP ink and LaserJet toner cartridges. HP says their goal is to have recycled 3.5 billion pounds of electronic products by the end of 2015.
HP has partnerships with big box stores such as Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, and Walmart and now the cartridge collection network reported includes over 9,000 retail outlets worldwide, including 1,100 in the United States. Of the aforementioned stores, Staples who HP has been working with for over five years, last year expanded their efforts to include hardware recycling in North America. With this partnership, HP and Staples have combined to collect and recycle over 40 million pounds of ink, toner, and hardware to be recycled. Walmart represents the largest number of retail locations available to customers with over 3,500 stores.
“Measuring recycling results by the billions”
HP also makes a difference to the globe by offering “‘closed loop’” recycling. With this method, HP uses both Original HP ink and toner cartridges as well as other post-consumer sources to make new Original HP cartridges. They report that to date they have used over 118 million pounds of recycled content, which means that 280 million cartridges as well as 2 billion post-consumer plastic bottles have been kept from going to landfills.
By using recycled plastic to make their ink cartridges since 2010, the company believes they have reduced what the carbon footprint would have been with virgin plastic by as much as 33%. The use of recycled plastics also reduced the amount of water needed by an amazing 89%. Much of the material that HP uses in their packaging is recycled as well. They conclude, “ As the world?s largest provider of information technology (IT) infrastructure, software, services and solutions, HP is in a unique position to respond to the challenge of reducing energy use and waste. HP sees unprecedented opportunities to transform the way the world lives and works while helping its customers thrive.”
HP Releases New App for Android Users
April 16, 2013
Users of Android devices and HP printers in the United States have a new and improved version of SureSupply to use to keep track of their ink levels. This second version (v2.0), includes the ability to locate the closest HP retailer. It is compatible with any Android device, phone or tablet, running version 2.0 or later of their OS and available at no cost.
The ability to check a unit’s ink levels remotely means additional convenience for the user. They are able to simply enter their zip code to find a list of nearby stores. The app also includes the ability to provide directions to the stores and information about each location.
This latest version, according to reports, also features a “‘simplified design and navigation’” in addition to a “‘user-friendly FAQ section, and a direct link to assisted email support’”. If someone is concerned about or wants to check the authenticity of the cartridge, the app covers that as well. Simply scan the security label on the package, and its code will automatically be run against HP’s records. HP would like to protect its users from purchasing counterfeit cartridges. That said, the new app does not have the ability to make a distinction between counterfeit or remanufactured products which has the potential to draw people away from using cartridges which have been remanufactured legally.
HP Announces New Ink and Media Options for Large Format
April 5, 2013
Today at the ISA International Sign Expo HP issued a news advisory which details some the latest changes and advances the company has made in their ink and media options for Large Format environments. The new technology is designed to enable print service providers (PSPs) “increase application value as well as versality”.
The first chance announced is an upgrade to the existing ink options for the HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press with the HP Scitex FB7600/FB7500 Enhanced Color Pack upgrade. The solution allows those companies who provide point-of-purchase applications and need high image quality.p>The color pack offers the convenience of either six, seven, or eight color configurations and the newest inks available are Orange and Light Black Scitex Inks. The Orange Scitex ink is ideal for providing true-to-life skin tones and easier color matching. The Light Black, on the other hand, means that users can get better gray solids and improve neutrality. The ink can be added onto the existing six colors to ensure optimal performance.
Dan Kimmerly, graphics director of KDM P.O.P. Solutions group who has been using the colors said, “‘With the Enhanced Color Pack, our digital color capabilities have achieved a new level in quality with the ability to print true oranges and grays. Since the installation, KDM has been awarded new business solely because we can now match orange brand colors with digital, with one client even commenting that a sample printed using the new HP FB225 Orange Scitex Ink was the ?best digitally printed orange they have ever seen.’”
The color pack and its inks are expected to be available for worldwide distribution beginning May 1, 2013.
The next important news out of HP is the expansion of HP Latex media options. HP chose for this venture to partner with Brand Management Group (BMG) to improve the service quality and availability of HP-branded sign and display media. BMG for their part will source, market, and distribute a select number of HP branded media. These are anticipated to be available May 1, 2013 as well.
HP has already selected a handful of new supplies to continue to develop the technology further. They are Aurora Specialty Textiles Group Inc and Cooley Group. The companies will develop, manufacture, and distribute textile substrates which can be used with the latest HP Latex Inks and non-PVC banner solutions for use with both HP Latex and UV ink solutions, respectively. The new media options should be ready by late summer 2013, says HP.
Lastly, the OEM also announced an additional tool for use with the HP Scitex FB7600 Industrial Press, the metallic colors effect application. For this endeavor, HP worked with HP software partner, Color-Logic. Now, customers are able to produce metallic effects on their prints which are ideal for high-quality retail applications, POP applications, and package prototyping. Available as of April 4, 2013, interested parties will need to obtain the Color-Logic Printers Design Suite & License, HP FB251 Scitex White Ink, and HP-approved media for metallic substrates.Xavier Garcia, vice president and general manager, Sign and Display Business, HP said, “‘To remain competitive, sign and display PSPs are constantly looking for ways to evolve their businesses from a single core specialty to producing a variety of applications under one roof. These application enhancements, new media options and alliances allow our customers to confidently expand into new markets, helping them strategically grow their service offerings.’”
HP Handles Another Security Issue
HP has responded quickly to the third security vulnerability they have had to handle in recent month, according to reports. The latest vulnerability had the potential to be very serious, providing access to sensitive and confidential data says CRN.
The “telnet debug shell flaw” as it is being referred to impacts the following LaserJet Pro units: P1102w; P1606dn; M1212nf; M1213nf; M1214nfh; M1216nfh; M1217nfw; M1218nfs; M1219nf; and the CP1025nw. HP has already issued a firmware update addressing the flaw which is available for download from HP?s Drivers and Software page on the right hand side under the heading of IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
The flaw was discovered by Christoph von Wittich, a German security expert who came across it while performing “‘a routine network scan of his company’s corporate network’“ It is his belief that the issue could have led to denial-of-service attacks by hackers, though he further noted that in cases where the printers were not connected to the internet, no serious problems would occur for end users.
To test his theory, Wittich connected to a telnet port and was granted access to a debug shell which contained passwords for the HP Cloud server connection in plain text as well as the ability to disable SSL communication to the HP ePrint Cloud servers.
HP released the following statement with regards to the issue at hand:
HP takes our customers’ security very seriously. On March 6, HP notified users of select HP LaserJet printers of a firmware update that should be made in order to maintain the highest level of security possible.
HP Inkjet Technology and Pharmaceuticals
A recent story which appeared on the PopSci website reveals how HP’s inkjet technology has applications in pharmaceuticals. According to the report, HP’s own R & D department has been trying to find ways to leverage their impressive array of inkjet technology so it can be used in pharmaceutical labs. Their research has found a culmination in a new “printer” for lack of better description, the Direct Digital Dispenser, a.k.a. the HP D300.
Among the list of companies using this machine are Astra Zeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and SIGA Technologies. With it, they are able to create and test new types of drugs. PopSci says that SIGA used the D300 to create a compound called ST-246 which has the potential to be used on people who have developed smallpox, but would not benefit from the vaccine.
The research is said to go back roughly five years, and was discovered as their Officejet Pro X printhead was under development with its ability to offer high-precision ink droplets. It took some time for the researchers to get the size of the droplets to where they needed to be. HP’s Joe Dody told PopSci that with the first go around, the “Thinkjet” as they called it, used 12 nozzles, each of which dropped 220 picoliters at a time. For some sense of comparison, for high-quality printing, the amount of picoliters in a drop has to be less than 10, says PopSci. In fact, in many cases, printers have been developed that have drop sizes between 1 to 5 picoliters. With the Officejet Pro X printhead, which uses a printhead equal to the width of a page, they are able to get it down to drops of 6 picoliters.
The article goes on to describe the process by which drugs are test under current technology. HP’s Dody says that researchers work from a set of roughly a million molecules which have either been naturally or chemically produced. They are stored in a vial and kept in a freezer. After applying droplets of the chemical compound one by one very carefully, scientists are able to gauge what type of reaction, if any, occurs, and when. The process requires an intense amount of precision which is where HP can make a difference.
PopSci describes the D300 as almost exactly like a printer, however looking more closely would reveal that the printhead is slightly different, and is equipped with digital titration software and thermal-inkjet chips which are the size of a pen-tip. In this particular instance, the drops are 13 picoliters each, equivalent to roughly one–third the width of a single human hair. This amount of substance makes it possible for the scientists using the equipment to test difference concentrations for their reactions with diseased cells.
Though the process sounds straightforward enough, the article notes that it took a lot of time and energy to develop this solution. For starters, HP had to develop the puddling fluid from the compound being tested. Taking what they knew about printers, the OEM developed a 1 x 2mm piece of silicon attached to a cup which is open to the air. It is through this opening that researchers are able to place a larger drop of what they are testing and have it come out in 13 picoliter drops. HP?s team also had to develop a way to keep the fluid from flooding the testing plate and interacting with the compound, which took the team close to a year to perfect.
PopSci says the D300 now handles the puddling with an inert firing chamber, and to avoid cross-contamination as other compounds are test, the small cassette which holds the liquid initially was made to be disposable and can be swapped out easily. Dody concludes his analysis of the process by asserting that HP?s core printing technology has provided the necessary means and expertise for drug companies to reliably test compounds.
Fake HP Supplies Discovered En Route to Ghana
The Recycler reported earlier this week on a story which appeared on the website, GhanaWeb regarding the attempted importation of 20,000 fake HP imaging supplies into the African nation. Working with customs authorities in Tema, the nation&rsquio;s largest sea port, HP discovered 7,000 counterfeit HP printer cartridges and a combination of 13,000 counterfeit boxes, security labels, and empty cartridges for the manufacturing of counterfeit cartridges. The origin of the materials seized was Asia.
According to the article, there were “‘three suspicious consignments’” which were intercepted by authorities on their way into the country from Southeast Asia. Geoff Eyles of HP’s Anti-counterfeiting Investigations and Enforcement team stated, “‘HP appreciates the work of the Ghanaian authorities in protecting consumers against the deceitful and illegal actions of counterfeiters […] We are proud that HP played a vital role in supporting local law enforcement authorities by identifying the seized items as counterfeits on-sited gathering valuable intelligence on the consignors and intended recipients. We welcome the Ghanaian Customs Authorities? commitment to pursuing and prosecuting illegal counterfeiters, whose products contain unknown chemicals which damage printers and could harm the environment. We believe that the intelligence gathered through this seizure will aid further actions against counterfeiting in Africa ’”
As we have noted several times before in this space, the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region is hotbed of this type of illegal activity, and HP is not the only company who has had to invest time and resources into stopping this behavior. Over the last four years, HP reports that they have conducted almost 1,000 investigations which have resulted in more than 800 enforcement actions and the confiscation of close to 9 million counterfeit products and components. It is these types of figures, along with the actions of these criminals that have made it somewhat difficult for legitimate resellers to bring their products to market and confuse the public.
HP Discusses Differences Between Ink Types
In an article which appeared last week on HP’ The Next Bench blog lays out, in HP?s opionion, differences between their original HP ink, remanufactured cartridges, and clone cartridges. According to the author, HP_MichaelB, the entry was written in response to a third party cartridge reseller who was classifying the new, HP compatible cartridges they had made as “remanufactured”.
As the author reports, this action by the reseller prompted HP to file suit against the company in a California federal court. He says that the lawsuit was undertaken “to ensure the marketplace remains a fair and open field of competition”. HP feels that consumers have the right to be fully informed about the products they see before them, thus clarification to the alleged false categorization of the cartridge drew HP?s attention.
For HP, as explained in the entry, makes these distinctions between original HP cartridges, compatible (cloned cartridges), and remanufactured cartridges:
Further, it is HP’s belief that cloned and remanufactured cartridges are not environmentally friendly. They contend that with remanufactured cartridges can only be rebuilt so many times and that the reliability decreases with each successive reconstruction, and will eventually end up in a landfill somewhere. While we certainly can understand HP?s legitimate concerns, it is always been our belief that it is ultimately the actions of the end user and his/her choices that determine where the cartridge ends up. Many companies that collect empties, as they are sometimes referred to, are committed to proper dismantling and recycling of cartridges. This is not to say that there are less honest companies that don?t hold up their end of the bargain, but based on our research, that cannot be broadly applied to everyone.
In conclusion, HP points to their Planet Partners program which handles the processing of used HP cartridges and has reached some incredible environmental milestones. We applaud HP?s efforts at protecting our planet.
HP Releases Official Statement Regarding Printer Threats
As we promised when the news broke last week concerning a potential security issue with HP printer software, here is the official statement, as provided to us by HP:
HP takes our customers? security very seriously. Our team has investigated the security allegations in the InformationWeek article and determined that the claims that someone can bypass built-in biometric defenses and recover previously printed documents are false.
With regards to the denial of service (DOS) claim that machines that are attached to a network are at risk, this can be mitigated by setting a password which HP recommends as part of its best practices for security to all customers. More information can be found at “HP Imaging and Printing Security Best Practices”.
When requiring print authentication, such as with HP Access Control, device connectivity can also be restricted to prevent non-authenticated access. HP Access Control is a suite of printing solution modules that prevent non-authenticated use through authentication, auditing, authorization, accounting and secure ?pull? printing capabilities.
Is HP In Trouble Again?
January 24, 2013
It was just a little over a year ago, back in November 2011 when HP had to respond to a potential threat with the firmware in their LaserJet printers. Now it seems like HP is facing another issue, this time with their popular DirectJet software, according to reports by The Recycler and Information Week. They say that this threat could result in the ability to “‘disable printer, evade physical security checks or recover printed documents’”.
For those not familiar with HP?s software, it can be used with both external and internal printer servers which are sold by OEMs in addition to HP. It allows printers and multifunction devices to handle print requests over a network. As part of the process, the software will add tags like “‘such as UEL (universal exit language), which notes the beginning and end of data streams; PJL (printer job language), to tell the printer what to do; and PCL (printer control language), which formats pages’”. This information is processed in turn by the printer, and the output is produced.
According to the article, a researcher for viaForensics, Sebastian Guerrero, reportedly has tested the JetDirect software and has definitely discovered some areas where nefarious individuals could exploit the systems. He gives the example of changing tags which have been parsed which could generate a “‘persistent denial of service ’” which could infect large numbers of both models and manufacturers. He says hackers could dig deep enough to retrieve even previously printed encrypted documents and reprint them. Guerrero also says that those printers connected to a particular network could be disconnected by the hackers and then local IT administrators or technicians would be forced to reset units manually.
In his analysis, Guerrero did not name any particular printer make or model that would be susceptible to such a hack, he notes that any unit using JetDirect software is potentially at risk.
Regardless of the outcome of any type of investigation by the California OEM, it is only fair to point out that HP is not the only company to have potential trouble with security hacks. Late in 2012, Samsung had to deal with issues regarding their printer security, and earlier in the summer, the dreaded Trojan.Millcenso struck printers across the globe.
Stay tuned for further details regarding the situation. We have reached out to HP for comment and will post any official response in its entirety if/when we receive one.