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HP Squashes Ink Rebellion
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HP Squashes Ink Rebellion

Big Brother’s new favorite Silicon Valley stalwart, Hewlett-Packard, has improved its products to be even more ridiculously profitable. Through the magic of mandatory firmware updates and microchip implementation, HP can now guarantee that counterfeit off-brand accessories and ink refills can no longer function in their printers. 

What does this mean for you, comrade consumer?

Well, your ink levels and usage are now being closely monitored. HP uses this information to send timely refills for maximum convenience. And, should you fail to pay for this entitlement or resort to lower-priced alternatives, your printing privileges will be remotely revoked.

That adorable little gap in your otherwise secure and well-watched life has now been filled.  After all, most everything else is already network connected, from your washing machine to your garage door, to your actual wrist. Finally, the printed word, the last bastion of rebelliousness, will be precisely monitored.


  • HP, or Hewlett-Packard, implemented firmware updates to disable printers that were using non-HP ink cartridges. The company cited concerns about malware risks and intellectual property protection.

  • HP printers require cartridges with an HP microchip, priced higher than alternatives, leading to increased costs and limitations.

  • HP's Instant Ink subscription service, claiming to be cost-effective, monitors ink levels and automatically delivers cartridges, but customers may face remote disabling if subscription terms are not upheld.

  • Despite heavy promotion, HP's policy of remotely disabling cartridges upon subscription cancellation is not prominently disclosed to customers.

Sources: Telegraph, Daily Mail, This is Money, and My Broadband.