National Security and Printers


March 9, 2023

HP Highlights Progress in Future Ready Plan
But Q1 Earnings Miss Target for the Quarter

Source: HP, Inc.

HP has reported a nearly 19% decline in net revenue year-over-year, missing its target for the quarter. Net revenue fell 18.8% to $13.8 billion, with 67% of net revenue generated by Personal Systems and 33% from Printing. Despite the declines, CEO Enrique Lores focused on the positive aspects of Q1, highlighting the progress made with the company’s Future Ready plan. The Americas region continued to generate the majority of HP’s business, representing 41% of net revenue, while EMEA accounted for 34% and APJ for 25%.

The company’s Industrial Graphics and 3D segment revenue was down due to macroeconomic headwinds, but HP plans to continue investing in these areas for long-term growth. On the other hand, the Consumer Subscriptions segment had double-digit revenue and enrollee growth YoY, with Instant Ink subscribers surpassing 12 million worldwide.

HP’s full-year financial forecast remains unchanged based on the current macroeconomic climate and its Q1 results. The company expects that its Future Ready plan will help maintain profitability and mitigate market volatility while doubling down on services and subscriptions.

– Greg Walters, Head Writer

US States Reconsider $230M On Restricted Lexmark, Lenovo Products
Concerns over National Security Prompt Reconsideration of Deals

Source: Chad Fish (AP)

US states are being urged to review their contracts with Chinese-owned technology companies Lexmark and Lenovo amid concerns over national security. According to a new report from China Tech Threat, 28 states have awarded a total of $230m worth of contracts for products from the two firms since 2015, with individual states spending up to $47m.

The report notes that, as companies either based in China or substantially owned by China-based entities, Lexmark and Lenovo are obligated under the 2017 National Intelligence Law to turn over data to the Chinese government. It adds that these firms, two popular suppliers of printers and laptops, have connections to the Chinese military, nuclear, and cyber espionage programs. The report states that the issue is a matter of “money, ignorance, and political will,” with states disincentivized from choosing more expensive non-Chinese technologies.

Eleven US states are currently working on bills to stop state contracts with Chinese tech companies, following the example set by Georgia and Florida, while the American Legislative Exchange Council has adopted a model policy to help states stop purchasing technology products and services from providers unduly influenced by the People’s Republic of China.

– Greg Walters, Head Writer

Work Trends
Printing in the Modern Era: The Generational Divide
The Divide is Even More Apparent in Shared Spaces

Source: Charles Deluvio (Unsplash)

The Wall Street Journal’s article “No One Wants a Printer, but Everyone Wants to Print” explores the continued importance of printing in the modern era and the differences in print behavior across generations. While younger generations are more likely to prioritize digital solutions over overprinting, older generations continue to see value in owning or having access to a printer.

Despite the ongoing shift away from the printed word, it is expected that 17 million output devices will be sold in the US this year.  But usage seems to be determined by generation.

This generational divide is apparent in shared spaces like apartment buildings, where younger individuals may envision a printer-free life, while older individuals may struggle with connectivity and ink supply issues. At the workplace, personal printers can become a hub for co-workers seeking printing services, which is often more common among older employees.

Technology can be confusing, but only those who have never printed can say they haven’t been confused by unusual print cue names, disappearing print jobs, or the occasional “one word per page” mistake.

No matter what generation, the printer typically challenges each of us at some time.

On the contrary, as print has declined, the importance of print has almost skyrocketed.  Think about it, we no longer require printing every single document in our lives, but when we do want a printer, it is because we need to print.

A fascinating dichotomy.

– Greg Walters, Head Writer

Positively Charged: Copier Art in the Bay Area Since the 1960s
A Look at How a Machine Fueled an Art Movement

Photo Credit, Jennie Hinchcliff

Copier art, a form of artistic expression that emerged in the 1960s and 70s, was embraced by the artistic communities across the Bay Area. Copiers, along with quick printing, provided an accessible medium that allowed for distinctive forms of experimentation, social and political agency, mass distribution, and affordable art-making practices. With copier technology, artists were able to push the boundaries of their existing art practices in new and exciting ways.

In the Bay Area, creative hubs such as North Beach’s Postcard Palace, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Mama Bear’s Bookstore in Oakland provided materials, training, equipment, and opportunities for retail sales. Copy shops and community spaces such as public libraries also played a crucial role as hubs for artistic activity.

By using copiers, artists could create art that provided commentary on social and political issues, global crises, and everyday life. Copier art provided a way for artists to engage with the world in a new way and to make their work accessible to a wider audience.

While copier art reached its peak of popularity in the ’80s and ’90s, its legacy can still be seen today. The Bay Area has an extensive network of copier artists, and the history of copier art in the Bay Area continues to be celebrated and explored by contemporary artists and art institutions. Copier art remains a unique and accessible medium for artists to express themselves and connect with their communities.

Copy shops and community spaces such as public libraries continued to play a significant role in the 1980s and 90s, as copier art expanded in popularity. Copier artists started creating art that provided commentary on Reagan-era politics and larger global crises.

The San Francisco Center for the Book is currently hosting “Positively Charged,” a show that aims to highlight the activities of these art spaces and the artists who founded and ran them, introducing viewers to the extensive network of copier artists and the history of copier art in the Bay Area.

The exhibition showcases how artistic communities across the Bay Area embraced copier art and quick printing during the 1960s and 70s. Venues such as North Beach’s Postcard Palace, the San Francisco Art Institute, and Mama Bear’s Bookstore in Oakland played a crucial role in providing materials, training, equipment, and opportunities for retail sales. Copier technology allowed artists to explore new ways of creating art, experiment with social and political commentary, mass distribution, and affordable art-making practices.

– Greg Walters, Head Writer

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