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February 22 2014

January 20 2014

Hershey's 3D Chocolate Printer Will Make Your Mouth Water
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Willy Wonka's wildest dreams might be coming trueHershey's and 3D Systems are teaming up to create a 3D printer that, yes, produces chocolate.

Both companies see the endeavor as an opportunity for advancement. Hersey's believes a 3D printer could act as a new delivery system for its products, and 3D Systems hopes that it will thrust 3D-printing technology into the mainstream, according to CNN.

"Whether it's creating a whole new form of candy or developing a new way to produce it, we embrace new technologies such as 3D printing as a way to keep moving our timeless confectionery treats into the future," William Papa, head of research and development at Hershey's, told CNN. Read more...

More about Print, 3d, Printer, Chocolate, and 3d Printer
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November 30 2011

Can a Hack Force HP Printers to Burst Into Fire? HP Says Hell No


A group of students at Columbia University recently showed how they could hack, with relative ease, an HP LaserJet printer and convince it to overheat.

Naturally, the Internet pounced on such a sensational story, first reported by MSNBC. In full damage-control mode, HP quickly put out a statement, saying the fiery hack couldn’t happen in real life.

The hack works like this: HP printers (indeed, most printers) always scan a print job for a firmware upgrade. If an upgrade is included, it will automatically be applied — without checking what it actually is. Whether it’s an HP-certified piece of software or something more malicious, the printer integrates the update.

You can see where this is going. The students created a firmware update that exploited the vulnerability of the printer’s fuser (the heater that bonds toner to paper), which resulted in the paper turning brown and eventually belching smoke.

Could it happen to you? HP says no way. Although the company doesn’t refute that printers can be hacked, it says every HP laser printer has a “thermal breaker” that’s designed to prevent exactly this kind of overheating. The breaker is hardware fail-safe and can’t be affected by a firmware change, HP said in its statement.

While that’s a relief, it still leaves the uncomfortable reality that HP printers are incredibly easy to hack. (The company says it’s working on a firmware upgrade to “mitigate” the issue). To be fair, the same can be said for most peripherals and simple devices, and as Sebastian Anthony points out over at ExtremeTech, the scenario is not unlike that story about the hackable insulin pump from earlier this year. After all, every electronic device is a computer, and they typically don’t have the same safeguards as the average laptop.

Still, most users shouldn’t need to worry, since office and home printers are typically protected by either a firewall or their home router, which keeps the printer’s specific IP address hidden from potential evildoers on the Internet. This simple fact is probably why, as HP says, there hasn’t been a single user complaint about printer hacking and no one’s heard of a printer botnet.

At least not yet. Now that Columbia has shown the world this potential vulnerability, the Great Printer Hack of 2012 may be in the works right now. Dibs on the movie rights.

More About: hack, hacking, HP, inkjet, laserjet, malware, printer


April 10 2011

January 07 2011

Lady Gaga Shows Off New Polaroid Glasses and Printer [VIDEO]


If you’re a corporation with a long history in imaging like Polaroid, and you want an injection of creativity, one thing you can do is hire one of the most infamously creative (especially when it comes to visual image) artists around – Lady Gaga.

Lady Gaga has been the creative director at Polaroid for exactly one year now, and, judging by its new line of products, the partnership definitely helped Polaroid establish a new direction for the company.

This year at CES Lady Gaga helped the company unveil a new line of products, including the GL20 picture-taking sunglasses, and GL10, a mobile, wireless printer that can be used to print photos directly from your mobile phone.

Despite her reputation for being wild and unpredictable, Lady Gaga did the job quite professionally, save a little trouble with her dark sunglasses which she refuses to take off. Check out the video of the presentation below.

More About: glasses, Lady Gaga, Polariod, printer

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September 20 2010

HP Photosmart eStation Printer Is a Giant Dock for a Little Android Tablet


HP is taking one half-step into tablet computing. Following news that it had axed plans for an Android-based tablet in favor of its newly acquired WebOS, HP announced today the Photosmart eStation, a printer with a very distinct touchscreen.

So distinct, in fact, that little attention will be paid to the fairly robust printer that it sits on. The reason is that this 7-inch touchscreen detaches to become a functional tablet mobile-computing-device-thing. What’s more, is that it runs on the back of Android.

The printer serves as a base station for the tablet, and as far as all-in-one printers go, it’s well spec’d. The eStation will crank out about 30 pages per minute in black or color, while its flatbed scanner is capable of 1200 x 2400 dpi scans. Of course, the eStation is a wireless animal, with built-in 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and as such it’s fully controllable via its detachable tablet.

For the tablet, HP elected to use a special build of Android geared toward printing. It also partnered with Barnes & Noble to quickly amp up its e-reader capabilities. The device doesn’t carry much raw computing power, but it is capable of effectively browsing the web and other basic tasks.

On the surface, the Photosmart eStation is simply an all-in-one with an added bonus, but at its core the eStation marks for HP a leery move into tablet computing. HP maintains one of the largest tech footprints, but its lack of a tablet offering is not insignificant. While this device isn’t running WebOS (which HP recently acquired in its Palm acquisition), HP is cognisant that this holiday season will be crucial to gaining tablet marketshare.

A combo device like the Photosmart eStation is representative of an opportunistic land grab. While it does include a formidable printer and passable tablet, the real purpose for HP is to snatch a share of the tablet market in front of the launch of its WebOS Slate device — which is scheduled for release next year.

Each unit sold will serve to accelerate the adoption of tablet-like devices and, more importantly, amplify HP brand cache in the tablet space — an important factor to consider when its WebOS Slate hits shelves. At its $399 price point, the cost of entry is just low enough that the eStation could very well find itself popular among those who are just curious enough about the whole tablet/e-reader thing, but not sold on Apple’s iPad.

More About: android, apple, e-reader, eStation, HP, ipad, Photosmart, printer, Tablet

For more Tech coverage:


August 01 2010

5 Energy Efficient Office Gadgets


This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

For years now the world has been talking about “going green,” “reducing our carbon footprint,” and simply just being less wasteful. Anyone who runs a business knows that unnecessary waste simply isn’t good business.

Companies who invest in greener or more energy efficient gadgets around the office save on electricity bills, foster an office based on conscious consumption, and know they are doing what they can to help make the world a cleaner, greener place.

To get yourself on track to being energy efficient, start by investing in an energy meter so you can keep track of your office’s level of energy consumption. Once you’re ready to take the next step, check out these five energy efficient office gadgets to help you start saving on every level.


1. Energy Efficient Printer




These days, printing the smallest of documents is seen as an attack on the “green” movement, but sometimes it just has to be done. If your office hasn’t quite made the print-free pledge and you don’t want to feel as bad about embracing paper, you can at least know that your printer is enviro-conscious. The HP LaserJet P4015x Printer reduces energy use by up to 50% with something they call “Instant-on” technology. And of course, you wouldn’t dream of printing on anything besides 100% recycled paper.


2. Water-Powered Calculator




Disposable batteries die and end up rotting away in landfills, but companies can do their part by never having to buy batteries again, resulting in less waste and saved money. Many people use rechargeable batteries, but have you heard of water-powered batteries?

This handy calculator uses water-activated batteries that require moisture to activate the carbon particles needed to produce energy. While water-powered batteries produce about the same amount of energy as common alkaline batteries, they aren’t toxic, because they are made of carbon rather than processed metal. When your calculator is winding down, simply refill the two battery tubes with tap water, and you should be good to go for another two or three months.


3. Desktop Computer




Computers use a lot of energy and it’s hard to cut down on time spent on the computer, especially while at work. So why not invest in machines that use less energy overall? Think of how much your business could save in energy bills by using energy-friendly computers.

Apple’s Mac Mini claims to be the world’s most affordable and energy efficient computer. According to Apple, the “power supply for Mac mini has been reduced from 110W to 85W and is now up to 90% efficient… A built-in power supply means no plastic housing, less weight, and less cable clutter.” The Mac Mini uses less than 10W of power when idle, which is 25W less than the previous generation, and claims to be something no other desktop computer can do.

“Mac mini uses energy efficient hardware components that work hand in hand with the operating system to conserve power… Mac OS X never misses a power-saving opportunity, no matter how small. It even regulates the processor between keystrokes, reducing power between the letters you type. That’s just one of many ways Apple manages small amounts of power that add up to big savings.” The machine gets a gold rating from Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), and meets the low power requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency, who gave it ENERGY STAR qualification.


4. Solar Gadget Charger





This small, portable, solar panel kit can actually power a laptop. The Solar Gorilla’s panels can produced 10W of power in direct sunlight, which is apparently enough to charge any number of electronic goods. While this is marketed as a great travel item, wouldn’t it be great to allow your employees to enjoy some sunshine while working? A happy employee is a productive one, and working in the sun can be fun.


5. The Ecobutton




The Ecobutton is a really easy way for you and your employees to save money (and the world) with almost no effort. This USB device allows you to power down your computer every time you step away, with the simple touch of the Ecobutton. Computers use a lot of energy; you can save money and know you’re doing your part to help conserve energy by easily powering down when you aren’t at your computer.

These gadgets are all paving the way to a more energy efficient future. Tell us which gadgets your office is using to conserve energy in the comments below.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, mbortolino

More About: calculator, chargers, clean energy, eco button, energy efficient, green living, green tech, Mac Mini, office, office gadgets, printer, printers, solar charger

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