61 HP's Inky Oil Spill

51m | Apr 2, 2024

When Marc saw this article, he knew he'd have to summon Dr. Mike to help him get through it with a bit of levity.

Tonight's one-hour special is about the HP ink cartridge scandal. Not only does HP charge an arm and a leg for their cartridges, but they're now sending out update attacks that turn your printer into a paperweight if you dare try and use a third-party cartridge. Yes, remotely killing their own brand of printers, the printers you bought from them. It's called their "Dynamic Security System".

Outraged yet? This PR "oil spill", or rather "ink spill" is very vindicating. Finally, the world is seeing what Marc's been preachin' in his tech gospel since 2012.

When they were caught doing this, HP claimed it's to protect you from "viruses". They know most people still think viruses happen, and figure they'll be able to get away with that excuse. Security experts have noted that viruses have never been detected in existing ink cartridges, and if so, it would be highly difficult, unlikely, and not worthwhile for the bad guys.

Most companies encourage you to use their usually-superior genuine factory parts, and discourage you from using third-party parts. That's totally fine, but it seems as though HP has removed that choice. Why? Their admitted goal is recurring revenue through vendor lock-in. (Remember when companies used to prioritize customer satisfaction?)

We discuss how to protect yourself from expensive factory cartridges and update attacks, and encourage people to seek other brands that are more ethical.

Finally, we discuss the phenomenon of a group of disgruntled workers walking out of a large corporation and starting their own underdog competitor - and how it usually ends up working well.

Thanks for telling your friends about the show!

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The Computer Exorcist Podcast