Daily Archives: 2022-09-14

HP to pay EU printer customers $1.35 million for disabling third-party ink

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: That's not even a cost-of-doing-business fine, it's below the noise level on what they're making from their behavior. The first-party toner cartridges for my M254DW, which is still a better deal than any inkjet, are $70 for a 202A "standard capacity (read:half-full) or $100 for a 202x that is actually full. The third-party ones disabled by after-sale firmware update are like $20.
Packages of HP ink cartridges ares displayed at a Best Buy store

Enlarge (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

HP continues to pay for abruptly blocking third-party ink from its printers and has agreed to pay compensation to additional customers impacted by the company's use of DRM to prevent third-party ink and toner from working in its printers. The settlement pertaining to customers in Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Portugal comes after the company already agreed to a settlement in the US and was fined in Italy.

HP printer owners were annoyed, to say the least, in 2016, when HP introduced Dynamic Security, a firmware update that prevented ink and toner cartridges lacking an HP chip from working in HP printers. Customers who already owned these printers suddenly faced error messages preventing them from printing with cartridges that were fully functioning before. At the time, HP claimed that the move was about helping customers avoid counterfeit and subpar ink and protecting HP's IP. However, it largely felt like a business tactic aimed at protecting one of HP's biggest profit-drivers at the time, which was tied to a declining industry.

As reported by Bleeping Computer on Monday, Euroconsumers, a European consumer group, announced on September 7 a settlement with HP that would seek to financially compensate customers located in the aforementioned regions. HP agreed to set up a $1,350,000 (about 1,351,147 euro) for "compensation to certain HP printer owners for losses allegedly suffered as a consequence of being unaware that their printers were enabled with Dynamic Security," according to Euroconsumers' announcement. Individuals can receive 20–95 euro, depending on their printer model and consequences suffered.

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EA’s new anti-cheat tools dip into the dreaded “kernel mode”

Source: Ars Technica

Article note: Better let a company with a long record of shipping broken garbage install a rootkit on the machine I do my work and banking on, to make it marginally harder for people to cheat at video games /s
Artist's conception of EA trying to fake out cheaters with its new tools.

Enlarge / Artist's conception of EA trying to fake out cheaters with its new tools.

EA announced its latest salvo in the endless cat-and-mouse battle of PC gaming cheat detection on Tuesday, and the effort prominently features one term sure to raise a red flag for some users: "kernel mode."

The new kernel-level EA Anti-Cheat (EAAC) tools will roll out with the PC version of FIFA 23 this month, EA announced, and will eventually be added to all of its multiplayer games (including those with ranked online leaderboards). But strictly single-player titles "may implement other anti-cheat technology, such as user-mode protections, or even forgo leveraging anti-cheat technology altogether," EA Senior Director of Game Security & Anti-Cheat Elise Murphy wrote in a Tuesday blog post.

Unlike anti-cheat methods operating in an OS's normal "user mode," kernel-level anti-cheat tools provide a low-level, system-wide view of how cheat tools might mess with a game's memory or code from the outside. That allows anti-cheat developers to detect a wider variety of cheating threats, as Murphy explained in an extensive FAQ:

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