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Archive for November, 2013

November 27, 2013 by

If you use both Microsoft Office and a Windows phone, there is now an app available to turn your phone into a remote control to use with MS Office, specifically with PowerPoint, Excel, and Word.

 

The app is especially useful when giving office presentations using PowerPoint. Your phone can control the slides and presentation from across the room so you no longer need to stay close to your computer or carry a mouse and find a flat surface to use it.

 

You can use the app to bring up supporting documents in Excel or Word in the middle of your presentations. You can scroll through the documents page by page and even line by line. You can also control an on-screen laser pointer. Even those people who aren’t a fan of Microsoft have to admit, this is a great idea.

 

The requirements include a Windows 8 phone, Office 2013(all versions except Office 2013 RT), a Bluetooth-enabled PC, and the installation of the desktop add-in for Office Remote on your PC.

 

The app was released on November 18th, 2013 and you can find it at the Windows Phone Store. Read Microsoft’s full blog post.

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November 25, 2013 by

Good news for those people who still use an older printer and can’t justify buying a new one, just for the use of mobile printing. HP has released an accessory that will allow you to print from your mobile devices on an older printer that generally doesn’t support mobile printing.

 

Priced at $69.99, the device allows your smartphone to connect with the router in a standard HP printer through wireless direct connections. More than 40 million HP printers manufactured after 2008 are suitable candidates for use with this new device.

 

The 1200w Mobile Print Accessory extends the life of your older HP printer by a few years and offers convenience to everyone in your home or office that uses a smartphone. Small Business Trends’ Chief Technology Officer Leland McFarland says that this technology will be added to all future HP models.

 

This technology, while still costly for some, saves a lot of people money who would otherwise have to purchase a new printer to keep up with the demands of needing mobile printing in a fast-paced office environment.

 

Even better, the device allows Near Field Communication so your device can connect with the printer simply by being in close proximity, usually touching each other.

 

Read the full article.

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November 22, 2013 by

Tech Day recently reviewed the Xerox ColorQube 8570 printer and had some interesting things to say about it.

 

Do you remember when the brand Xerox was synonymous with the term “photocopy?” The machines were large, bulky, and noisy. Apparently, the ColorQube 8570 is still a large unit and it is manufactured in everyone’s least favorite peripheral device color, beige. Does your office have a good “hiding spot” for this unattractive printer?

 

We hope it does, because the unit has a lot going for it in terms of speed and low-cost solid ink usage. The ColorQube 8570 prints at a quick 40 pages per minute, after warming up, and it uses solid ink, which is an economical and environmentally friendly choice.

 

The quality of the prints is comparable to that of an inkjet printer, and the unit is equipped with the ability to optimize ink and power consumption by learning your usage habits.

 

One con includes a warning not to move the printer right after you have used it. You should give the ink some time to partially solidify otherwise you may run into issues when you use it again.

 

Xerox has the right idea using solid ink however, it is cheap and results in a lower amount of waste – there is no cartridge and uses less packaging. There is also no microchip dictating how much you can print.

 

The ColorQube 8570 was only given a rating of 6.5/10 by Tech Day, but the only cons were that the unit is beige and that it can’t be moved directly after printing. Xerox will no doubt continue to improve on this technology and bring new models to the market.

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November 20, 2013 by

HP announced that the company would be entering the 3D printing market in mid-2014. Hewlett-Packard is a huge, reputable organization and the news must be making some of the smaller 3D printer companies a bit nervous.

 

I can’t think of many HP failures and their idea of a fast and affordable 3D printer will most likely catch on quickly; most people who would be using printers are familiar with the brand and would choose it over an unknown brand.

 

HP is also a gigantic company with enough resources to push their products through mass advertising campaigns, and to quickly manufacture the printers in bulk to reduce costs. Everyone likes a deal, everyone knows HP, and the lower cost alone is enough to attract buyers.

 

HP also has the ability to manufacture the 3D printers at a speed not easily matched by their smaller counterparts. With facilities all over the world, HP will have no problems keeping up with demand, and may even see business from others who do not want to wait for their chosen products to become available from smaller producers.

 

It remains to be seen whether HP can produce a superior 3D printer, but they are serious about trying. The HP labs are in the process of developing a variant to the models we see today.

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November 19, 2013 by

Canon Solutions America Inc. has been honored with the SGIA (Specialty Graphic & Imaging Association) product-of-the-year award for three printer models in their Océ Arizona® series. Canon wins the award for the 7th year in a row, beginning when the printers in the series first began shipping in 2007.

 

In 2006, the first model in the newly introduced series won the Vision Award, which is an award given to a manufacturer whose product has the best chance of positively affecting the digital imaging industry.

 

Canon is obviously doing something right with the Océ Arizona® series. The Specialty Graphic & Imaging Association hosts an annual convention and exposition, which is where the award was presented in October. They have won 12 product-of-the-year awards for this series in the past seven years.

 

During the competition, a panel of judges reviews the prints of several competing printers using a common test file designed by the SGIA. The judges look at areas such as color, detail and tonality, and how closely the print matches the base test print, before making a final decision.

 

All printers in the series share the same award-winning technology, and the series has won 38 awards from various organizations throughout the world. If you’re looking for high-quality graphics and imaging from your UV flatbed scanner and printer, the Océ Arizona® series may be a great choice.

 

Check out this link to see the details of the award-winning printers.

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November 18, 2013 by

In the United States, Black Friday falls on the Friday after the fourth Thursday in November, so the actual date changes every year. Black Friday is known as a day for low prices and huge savings on retail items, and most retailers participate.

 

If you are thinking about purchasing a new printer, or any other large or expensive office items for your business, Black Friday is the day to do it. This year, the date is November 29th, 2013.

 

Black Friday printer deals are offered at retail outlets as well as online, in most cases. Some stores carry only a limited number of available products at the reduced price so it’s a good idea to do some research and figure out which items you would like to purchase beforehand.

 

Best Buy is starting their sale the day before at 6pm, and many others will do the same. Don’t show up late on Friday and expect everything to still be in stock, you might end up leaving empty handed.

 

Retailers such as Staples have some excellent Black Friday printer deals, check out Staples’ flyer page, which includes very reasonably priced Canon and HP printer models. In many cases, you can save up to 50% or more off the regular price.

 

Pair those savings with the amount you can save by purchasing low-cost compatible ink and toner cartridges and your office or business will be on budget with minimal effort.

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November 15, 2013 by

Xerox has many legally owned patents, which are apparently being infringed upon, and have been for some time. According to Xerox, they are working together with the US Customs and Border Patrol to seize counterfeit products once they cross the border. This has been an ongoing issue and has come up again recently.

 

More patent-infringing counterfeit Xerox products turned up recently during a raid in China and Dubai. Approximately 55,000 boxes of counterfeit Xerox products were found, and this is only a small portion of what is believed to be in circulation.

 

A rewards program has been set up for their customers as a way for Xerox to combat counterfeiters. Purchasers of authentic Xerox products can register and enter a code, gaining rewards points redeemable towards future Xerox purchases. They will start you off at 1000 points when you purchase a new printer.

 

All original equipment manufacturers (OEM) also have issues with compatible cartridges, as they take money away from the manufacturers and most manufacturers make the bulk of their money from selling the OEM ink or toner at an inflated price. However, counterfeit cartridges may pose a risk.

 

If you do not know where or how the ink or toner cartridges were made, it may mean that were not created in a quality facility using quality components. Only buy compatible ink and toner cartridges from a brand you can trust.

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November 13, 2013 by

A Texas company, Solid Concepts, has created the first metal gun using a 3D printer and a public domain design of an M1911. They built it using over thirty 3D-printed parts and boasted an accurate shot from more than 30 yards away. According to their blog, the gun is also capable of shooting at least 50 rounds.

 

The company was quick to quell fears that almost anyone can now 3D print a gun, under the radar of law enforcement. They specified that an ordinary desktop 3D printer and your average person do not possess the capabilities to recreate the product.

 

They mentioned that the industrial printer used cost more than private college tuition, and it was run by expert engineers who study and know 3D printing better than anyone does. They are also a licensed firearm manufacturing facility and any customer wishing to have a part for their firearm printed must be qualified to do so.

 

The point they were trying to make, stated in their blog, is that 3D printing is ready for mainstream manufacturing. Instead of spending time debunking all of the individual myths surrounding 3D printing, they decided a better idea was to produce a viable object, which would accomplish that for them.

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November 12, 2013 by

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez has created and released a free software program designed to hide or damage the true code of 3D blueprints. Only someone with the app and key code can unscramble or reverse the damage on the file to retrieve the contents. He has named the 3D printing encryption app Disarming Corruptor and makes it easy for people to share files under the guise of legal or non-copyrighted items.

 

Law enforcement and patent trolls will both have a difficult time while searching for files that are breaking laws. They must first be able to recognize what the damaged file contains, which is impossible to know. They then need the specific 7-digit code to unlock and repair the file. According to Plummer-Fernandez, any incorrect key codes will only damage the file further.

 

The app is currently only available for Mac OSX, but the creator is busy building Disarming Corruptor exports for both Linux and Windows platforms.

 

This is an ingenious idea, which will no doubt be used by lawbreakers and people wishing to keep their ideas private alike. If you were to invent a 3D blueprint for an object that you wanted to patent, using Disarming Corruptor would keep the idea private and hidden from everyone except the people with whom you wish to share it.

 

There are some interesting photos located on Matthew Plummer-Fernandez’ site. A video also shows the process and the app allows the users to repair the file and start over if the object is not damaged and unrecognizable enough for their liking.

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November 11, 2013 by

This is a major win for Xerox – they have brought facial recognition to a line of printers launching this year. The printer will sense your presence by your body heat, read your face, and wake up to serve you with a tailored menu.

 

The new line of printers will break out of sleep-mode when you are nearby, sensing you by your body heat. When you get closer and the unit reads your face, it will open a personalized menu for you. This can save precious moments as you won’t have to wait for the standard wake-up amount of time, which can be upwards of 10 seconds. Fuji Xerox says that the printers can wake up in 3.1 seconds after you approach the unit so it will be ready to copy or print once you get there.

 

Fuji Xerox has called this innovation the WelcomEyes Advance, and it is the first of its kind in the world. They are releasing 20 different models, which also boast being ultra-quiet.

 

The printer’s innovative technology saves you from having to remember yet another PIN. Perhaps more secure than fingerprint scanning, facial recognition may be more difficult to replicate or hack, although someone will probably try as soon as the printers are out on the market.

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