New dealer MPS solution launched

October 24, 2014

Norm McConkey

Norm McConkey

MPS Toolbox aims to “support office imaging dealerships […] to increase profits and revenue”.

The software, from Canadian company Tangent MTW, features “robust software tools” that help support print management programmes, and is designed for office imaging dealerships as a “unique solution […] architected to leverage existing MPS programme investments and infrastructure”, the company notes.

MPS Toolbox combines device information from a company’s remote monitoring and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software in order to “quickly deliver comprehensive assessments” as well as fleet optimisation, profit identification, proposal generation and analysis of supplies vendors for sales staff to use when looking at customer accounts.

The company also noted that MPS Toolbox “provides business optimisation” through the simplification of “data analysis processes”, and while the software is currently part of Parts Now’s R4 MPS programme, used by “dozens of dealerships within the industry”, it will be available as a software as a service (SaaS) release from $199 (€157) per month.

Norman McConkey, Principal of Tangent MTW and Creator of MPS Toolbox, commented: “There is an abundance of untapped revenue that dealers can access within their existing account base. From new hardware, less expensive service programs, and higher profit margins in their cost per page programs, MPS Toolbox is designed to show dealers how to capture this information and leverage it immediately.

“After years of struggling with flat or declining revenue and managed print programs that have yet to deliver on the cost reduction and revenue promises made, MPS Toolbox offers dealers in our industry something tangible to get excited about. Dealers already have all of the data they need within their remote monitoring systems. MPS Toolbox fits into the equation by answering the question: ‘you have data, now what?’ We’re the ‘now what.’”

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HP launches new wide-format printing app

October 23, 2014

The Latex Mobile app allows mobile printing for the OEM’s Latex 300 machines.

HP's Latex 360

HP’s Latex 360

The app, showcased at the SGIA Expo by the OEM, introduces “smart printing capabilities” to the Latex 300 range of wide-format printers, and allows users to “remotely monitor their printers, track job status and receive printer alerts”, offering an “innovative user experience” for the Latex 310, 330 and 360 devices in the range.

Xavier Garcia, Vice President and General Manager of HP’s Large-Format Sign and Display Division, commented: “Print service providers (PSPs) are under increasing pressure from customers to deliver on-time, urgent jobs while providing guaranteed, industry-leading work. The HP Latex Mobile app marks the beginning of a new era of smart printing, giving customers peace of mind while they are at and away from the print shop, as well as helping them to better address time-sensitive requests and gain customer loyalty.”

Jose María Miñarro, Manager at HP customer Miñarro Impresión, got to try the app, and added: “The HP Latex Mobile application has not only simplified my working processes, its remote monitoring capabilities also give me the confidence to know what’s happening while I’m out of the office.”

The Latex Mobile app will be available for download in January next year for smartphones, and mid-2015 for tablets, with both releases for iOS and Android.

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Ricoh releases new mono machines in USA

October 23, 2014

Ricoh's SP 213SNw

Ricoh’s SP 213SNw

The devices feature wireless connectivity and mobile printing compatibility.

Ricoh USA launched the three new monochrome models, with one single-function and two MFPs making up the release. The SP 213SNw and 212SFNw are the MFPs, whilst the SP 213Nw is the single-function device, and all three offer wireless connectivity, mobile printing compatibility and “environmentally friendly features”.

All three printers also feature the OEM’s all-in-one cartridges, print speeds of 23ppm, Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) standard security and manual duplexing. The all-in-one cartridge is said to be “recyclable”, according to Ricoh, whilst all the printers feature 80 fonts for “creative printing in many styles”, as well as a “fanless” design that “helps keep the printers and MFPs especially quiet”.

Matt Sakauchi, Vice President of Technology Marketing at Ricoh, stated: “With simplified Wi-Fi connectivity you can skip the cables, connections and complicated instructions, and begin printing to your new device in just a few steps. Such simplicity is integral to our mission of delivering information mobility in the new world of work.”

The SP 213Nw is available for $145 (€114), the 213SNw for $195 (€153) and the 213SFNw for $245 (€193).

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Brother releases new monochrome range in Australia

October 22, 2014

Brother's MFC-L2703DW

Brother’s MFC-L2703DW

The eight new printers are said to offer “value and reliability for improved efficiency”.

The range of devices includes four MFPs, or Multi-Function Centres, as well as four single-function machines, with Brother International Australia stating that the printers are designed to deliver “affordable, reliable printing” to SMBs. Value-related features include automatic duplexing and standard and high-yield toner cartridges (1,200 and 2,600 page-yields respectively).

The printers include the HL-L2300D, L2340DW, L2365DW and L2380DW single-function machines, and the MFC-L2700DW, L2703DW, L2720DW and L2740DW MFPs. All printers bar the HL-L2300D feature wireless connectivity and mobile compatibility, allowing users to use Apple’s Air Print and Brother’s mobile printing apps, and each features either an LCD or touchscreen.

All the devices feature a ‘Deep Sleep’ power saving mode “which kicks in when the machine is not in use”, whilst in terms of speed, the HL-L2300D, L2340DW and MFC-L2700DW reach 26ppm, and the remaining five devices reach 30ppm.

Kelly Wilson, Senior Marketing Manager at Brother International Australia, stated: “Brother constantly strives to offer our customers quality printing while keeping costs low. To provide Brother users with greater value, reliability and convenience, every printer and Multi-Function Centre from this new series is feature rich at an affordable price so every customer can enjoy stress free printing.”

The HL-L2300D is available at AU$129 ($113/€89); the L2340DW at AU$149 ($130/€103); the L2365DW at AU$169 ($148/€116); the L2380DW at AU$229 ($201/€158); the MFC-L2700DW and MFC-L2703DW at AU$249 ($218/€172); the MFC-L2720DW at AU$279 ($245/€193); and the MFC-L2740DW at AU$329 ($289/€227).

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Fuji Xerox releases two new A4 MFPs

October 21, 2014

Fuji Xerox' ApeosPort-V C3320

Fuji Xerox’ ApeosPort-V C3320

The colour and monochrome devices feature “high functionality” for “diverse work environments”.

The OEM stated that the “highly customisable” ApeosPort-V C3320 and 4020 have been designed to “cater to the needs of both large corporations and small and medium-sized businesses” in the Asia-Pacific region, with the aim of helping these businesses “optimise performance and drive productivity”.

The A4, digital MFPs are colour (the C3320) and monochrome (the 4020), and utilise controller software to connect to the OEM’s mobile and cloud services, as well as “provide universal operability and software functions” similar to that of an A3 MFD, particularly with a tilt-able seven-inch touchscreen, and warm-up times of 20 seconds and 18 seconds respectively.

In terms of mobile and cloud connectivity, the printers are compatible with Google Cloud Print, Air Print and Print Utility across “various mobile platforms”, and can also be linked to Fuji Xerox’s Working Folder, which allows users to “digitally store scanned documents or upload received faxes automatically”.

Other software features include the ability to add “build-on software” customised to a business’ specifications; utilisation of Fuji Xerox’s server-less On-Demand Print to link with other machines on a network; and the ability to use the OEM’s security solutions to “take total control” of printers fro a central server, “thus enhancing data security”.

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AIOs can be hacked through scanners

October 17, 2014

An AIO with the scanner lid open - the lasers would reflect off the lid into the machine

An AIO with the scanner lid open – the lasers would reflect off the lid into the machine

Researchers hack printers and computers through lasers shone at the printer’s scanner.

PC World reported on the hack, discovered by researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel, which works by “flashing visible or infrared light at the [open] scanner lid” of AIO machines, thereby infecting the printer and by extension the computer attached to it.

The experiment came about after cryptographer Adi Shamir, alongside researchers Yuval Elovici and Moti Guri, aimed to find “methods of controlling malware running on air-gapped systems”. Air-gapping isolates computers from the internet, and is “considered one of the best ways to defend critical systems and their sensitive data from cyberattacks”, but this can be “undermined” using the printer hack method.

The three wanted to “subvert the goal of preventing internet-based attacks”, as if a virus is installed on a computer disconnected from the internet through a USB drive, the hackers would “have a hard time controlling” it or stealing information because “there is no internet connection”. However, if an AIO is connected to a computer with malware, attackers could “issue commands to a malicious programme […] by flashing visible or infrared light at the scanner lid when open”.

Shamir presented the ‘Scangate’ hack at the Black Hat Europe security conference in Amsterdam, with the research finding that “if a source of light is pointed repeatedly at the white coating on the inside of the scanner’s lid” during scanning, the image will “have a series of white lines on darker background[s]”, which match the light hitting the lid.

Using Morse code to send the message in light, and then interpreting the Morse code into binary data, the hacker could then access data on the computer through the malware already on it, as the malware would “interpret the commands” as instructions. Shamir added that “several hundred bits of data” could be sent in one scan, which PC World states is “enough to send small commands that can activate various functionality” in the malware infection.

Additionally, the researchers “successfully” tested such an attack from 200, 900 and 1,200 metres away, using a laser to “flash visible light at the window of the office where the scanner was located”, lighting the room and sending the message. A more powerful laser could “produce reliable results from up to five kilometres away”, with infrared light more likely in this case to work “because it’s invisible to the naked eye”.

Also, instead of waiting for the malware to “initiate a scan”, hackers could wait until the scanner is used, and “then run their attack”, with the lines appearing on the sides of the scanned document. The three researchers again revealed that they “found a way for the malware to send data back to the attackers”, using the light from the scanner to send information back judging by the “amount of time the scanner’s light is on and reflects the open lid”.

Data that could be stolen this way could include encryption keys, though detecting scanner light from a distance “would require very sensitive equipment”, and on a higher floor hackers would “have a hard time getting good visibility”, though a drone could be used “to get closer and observ[e] the scanner from a better angle”.


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Lexmark announces Corporate Cartridges line

October 17, 2014

Lexmark CS310n

Lexmark CS310n

New line of toner cartridges for EMEA region designed to boost sustainability in businesses.

IT Web reported on Lexmark’s release of its new line of Corporate Cartridges designed for businesses in the EMEA region, with the toner cartridges compatible with Lexmark’s A4 CS/CX colour and MS/MX monochrome devices.

The OEM stated that the products are “driven” by the company’s “commitment to corporate social responsibility and guided by the principles of zero waste and the circular economy”, using Unison toner and “advanc[ing] the sustainability benefits of the Unison Print System” through the use of components recovered by the Lexmark Cartridge Collection Program (LCCP). They also have a “robust and durable design to deliver long-term reliability and sustained print quality”.

In order to ensure “consistent product availability” as well as minimise the environmental impact of supply chains, the cartridges are manufactured in the EU, with pricing “equivalent” to the OEM’s Return Program cartridges.

Mark Hiller, Lexmark Regional General Manager South Africa, said: “Lexmark has a strong tradition of innovation and commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability. This new line of corporate cartridges represents our most sustainable supplies offering to date. In addition to the environmental and social aspects, the cartridges are also backed by Lexmark’s limited lifetime supplies warranty.”

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Panasonic launches new MFPs in MEA

October 17, 2014

The OEM has produced the KX-MB2100 series of MFPs.Panasonic2-182x212

AME Info reported on Panasonic Marketing Middle East and Africa’s (PMMAF) launch of MFP duplex printers at the GITEX 2014 event, with the KX-MB2100 series of machines said to help offices “save on paper usage and printing time” as “printing on one side of the page can be wasteful and inefficient”.

The three devices in the range include the KX-MB2170, KX-MB2130 and KX-MB2120, and feature print speeds of up to 24ppm alongside “enhanced” document security and mobile printing compatibility, with the duplexing said to reduce paper consumption “by up to 75 percent”. The machines and their drums are said to have respective lifecycles of 75,000 and 10,000 pages respectively, which Panasonic says means they are “highly durable” printers.

The aforementioned document security comes in the form of the Print Data feature, which “secures print documents from being leaked by protecting them with [a] high level of security”, consisting of a password “temporarily stored” on a connected computer’s hard drive that means the print can only be authorised through entry of the password on the printer.

In turn, mobile printing compatibility is ensured through working alongside Google Cloud Print and Panasonic’s own mobile printing application, whilst a Quick-job setting allows for “frequently-used functions or complicated copy/scan settings” to be programmed to the Quick-job key, “saving users their time and trouble”.

Nelson Edward, Manager of System Networks and Communication for PMMAF, stated: “The KX-MB2100 series is an ideal machine for any office that requires time and energy-saving devices that are user-friendly. Our quick duplex printers not only avoid excessive wastage of paper, which is a growing issue today, but also offer a simple and organised option for printing documents.

“The secure print feature adds an extra advantage to corporates who like to protect their confidential documents from any leakage whatsoever. This multi-function printer is sure to give any company an immediate boost in productivity.”

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Konica Minolta announces Managed Content Services

October 16, 2014

Konica-MinoltaOEM’s new MCS programme designed to streamline document processing by combining printers and software.

Konica Minolta announced the launch of its first Managed Content Services (MCS) programme as it aims to expand business by increasing capabilities to provide services and solutions, with the programme designed to increase the efficiency of customers’ individual digital workflows.

The programme falls under Konica Minolta’s medium-term business plan, ‘TRANSFORM 2016’, and will grow business content management by combining MFPs with software to create “complete” input/output devices to handle the day-to-day business processes of its customers. It will allow companies to “capture, reformat and retrieve documents more quickly to speed workflow”, “scan, save and share documents electronically, reducing paper and energy cost”, “organise and categorise document workflow so all employees stay in the loop from anywhere at any time”, and “safeguard sensitive information and respond to changing compliance demands”.

Dave Robertson, Vice President of Business Intelligence Services at Konica Minolta Business Solutions (Canada) Ltd., said: “No matter which industry you belong to, managing and utilising business content is of utmost concern for all companies. Operational concerns include keeping track of records, getting the correct documents to the right people at the right time, maintaining backup files, and more. As company paperwork, emails and security compliance requirements increase, Konica Minolta’s first MCS program will enable companies to address these challenges by streamlining and optimising business processes around their content.”

The OEM’s MCS portfolio will be available for both local and global customers.

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HP accidentally approves malware

October 14, 2014

800px-Windows_Blue_Screen_on_room_full_of_computersA developer’s infected PC then saw software signed off containing malware.

Ars Technica reported on the mistaken signing off of software on an HP developer’s PC, which was infected with a Trojan horse malware virus, meaning that the “hardware drivers and other software essential to running […] older HP computers” had been given a digital certificate that had signed off on the malware.

The OEM stated that the certificate itself “wasn’t compromised”, but that the malware was “accidentally […] digitally signed” as part of a separate software package, sending a “signed copy of itself back to its point of origin. It added that the Trojan virus “was never shipped to HP customers as part of the software package”, with the virus said to be four years old.

Antivirus company Symantec had alerted HP on discovering the signed malware, which has “since been distributed over the internet while bearing HP’s certificate”, meaning that HP will now have to reissue a “large number of software packages with a new digital signature” – a move that will not “affect systems with the software already installed”, but which will alert users if they attempt “to reinstall software from original media”.

HP added that “regardless of the cause” this will need to be undertaken, and that the “full impact” of revoking the certificate “won’t be known” until after it has been revoked on 21 October. HP’s Global Chief Information Security Officer, Brett Wahlin, told the site that “when people hear this, many will automatically assume we had some sort of compromise within our code signing infrastructure, and that is not the case.

“We can show that we’ve never had a breach on our [certificate authority] and that our code-signing infrastructure is 100 percent intact”.

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