Chrome and Cloud Printing. Why go to the cloud?

Discussion in 'Netbooks, Tablets, Slates and eReaders' started by LandSurveyor, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    So my IT wife, who knows lots about Windows systems and nothing about Chrome, has to hook up my in-laws' Chromebook to their new cloud printer.

    It got me to thinking. What is the point of sitting on one's couch and sending a print job out on the internet, into the cloud, and back to a printer within arm's reach? I understand the advantages; one could just as well be half a world away from said printer, although it's hard to see why that's useful. And I also understand that other devices like smartphones can access said printer.

    But why burden the internet when wire or wifi would travel directly a few feet instead of hundreds of miles? Why increase the burden on the internet?

    I think the answer must be in how it benefits Google.

    I hate to be Mr. Paranoia but it seems that Google must be in some way collecting analytics on our print jobs.

    I have to say I'm already assimilated. I have used Google services for a long time now and have had a Yahoo webmail address for much longer.

    Still, are we giving up yet more privacy for the sake of getting something free and convenient?
     
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  2. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get you. :eek:

    Exposed printers


    I don't know anything about cloud printing, but I finally have both a laser and color inject printer in my house available for wireless printing. The all-in-one laser printer just arrived yesterday and isn't completely set up yet, but I'll be so happy when my wife and kids start using it instead of the color inkjet (talk about going broke fast!). I had my desktop laser printer, connected to my computer, shared on our home network, but could not get it to work consistently with my wife's Mac. I'm so excited about having a print station set up in our house for anyone (on our network) to use.

    Back on topic. Are you sure the print jobs are going out over the internet? For a long time, I used Orb to stream media from my desktop to my mobile devices. If I was on my home network, I could configure the Orb applet on my desktop to stream directly to my devices without going over the internet (and through Orb's servers). But once I left my home network, streaming had to pass through Orb's servers. It may be possible that your print jobs are staying within your LAN and not passing through Google's print servers. Maybe? I think it depends in part on whether or not your local computer has the correct printer drivers.
     
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  3. Drillbit

    Drillbit Mobile Deity

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    It means every other device can print to that printer wirelessly, regardless of OS, and regardless of platform, including tablets and smartphones. Your entire family can share that printer whether they are in the house, outside of it, without need for cables, or drivers.

    I am pretty sure Cloud Print has no advertising value for Google. Its there to support Google's platforms.
     
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  4. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    I think Drillbit is right. Google may be about harvesting information for their advertising, but the secondary goal that feeds that indirectly is driving people to their apps and network services. And frankly, the way they do that is by making those services good, usable and something people want. Those sneaky bastards. :rolleyes:
     
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  5. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I'm pretty sure that, considering the name, it does indeed go out into the internet......and back.

    It just seems unnecessary.

    But it does indeed work well.......
     
  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    You're right. I think I'm going to try it at some point. I'm really curious to see how it works.
     
  7. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    It seemed to be a little slow to respond but I've seen even wired networks, like the one where I work, that can be equally slow.

    I suppose that if the threat to privacy is minimal or non-existent, the only problem would be if there is a problem "up there" and your print requests disappear into the ether.

    I think it would be convenient to have my smartphone on such a system. That way, I could be looking at pages on my lunch break at work and print what I chose and have it waiting for me when I got home.
     
  8. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    I think, but I'm not sure, that the print job doesn't go outside the LAN if both the printer and your device are directly connected. It goes to the internet if you're away from home and not connected to the LAN the printer is on. Using cloud printing lets you print to a printer from anywhere, although I don't see the point in most cases. The big draw is that, as mentioned, OS and everything else is immaterial. I use an Android app to print to network printers, and it only goes through the local wifi, even if it's a cloud-enabled printer.

    Regards,

    Stan
     
  9. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    Stan,

    What is the app you use to print with?

    Sent from my Samsung Epic 4g using Tapatalk
     
  10. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I did some more reading on the subject, including Google's own explanation of how it works. Google says they delete the job off their servers as soon as the print is done. Unless one wants to consider them liars the privacy issue is answered.

    Now for an unrelated scenario.

    Suppose I visit a friend or relative and use their cloud printer from my Chromebook or smartphone or whatever. Later and far away, I still have this address in my device and before thinking I print some sort of private document, like a will or maybe some client information.

    Now my last will & testament or bill from my proctologist is laying on Aunt Sally's floor until she walks in and picks it up, thinking "I didn't print anything. What's this?"

    Just something to think about............
     
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  11. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    I use PrinterShare. It's not free, but it works well, and it has a demo with limited capabilities which you can use to insure it will work with your device. I haven't found a networked printer I couldn't print to. It finds the printer and downloads the appropriate driver for it, then prints. It won't print everything, but it will print standard office files plus PDF and most image files.

    Regards,

    Stan
     
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  12. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    Thanks, I'll look into it. So far I had my IT guy at our church set me up with Chrome's Cloud print. It is seeing all the printers at our church's network as well as my home network. I can't believe how easy it was to set up.

    Sent from my Samsung Epic 4g using Tapatalk
     
  13. SGosnell

    SGosnell Palm Pilot

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    PrinterShare is easy to set up. You just tell it to search for printers, and it finds them and offers to download the drivers. That's done automagically, and printing is straightforward.

    LS, I don't know about the Chromebooks, but with an Android device you have to specify the printer you want to use, you can't just "print". It's not as easy as on a PC, since apps don't have print capability built in.

    Regards,

    Stan
     
  14. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    I guess I'm not familiar enough.with it. With our wired network at work, one can select to print to a certain printer but if you don't make a point of selecting, it defaults to the last printer you used, at least on the same program.
     
  15. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    OK, Drillbit has covered the better part of it. All of this goes within the very trend that kickstarted the whole Internet. Make devices compliant to connect, even if they don't even share purpose. Of course that you're right in that it's not what you may call energy-efficient, cause we're talking about a printer at arm's reach, but again, didn't this wonder all of us about Hotmail years ago, when you figured that when you send an email to the guy at the next desk, the email goes all the way to Silicon Valley and back, in order to communicate with somebody at ear reach? Perhaps it is a trip unnecessarily lengthy, but it's intended to simplify the connection method.

    Years ago, with my first Palm, it bundled a PrintMe app. Did you ever use it? It allowed a PalmOS device to connect to a printer via IrDA, but not to any printer (sad thing), it was actually in order to get to this kiosk and order prints from it, a-la-Kodak kiosk, but for assorted prints, not just pictures. And for years, there have been printing businesses that in short receive your printing task through the Internet and wait for you to step IRL and pay for it and get it. Seems to me this subject under discussion is the next, and necessary step. Cause the PrintMe business never had that much success (there were two kiosks in the whole Mexico City).

    In a sideline, I reckon this is not very far from the concept of the virtual printer. You know, those apps that take any printing job and turn it into a .pdf.

    I think that even Google may have a storage issue if they try to keep all the printing jobs that run through them. Unless they have some new data mining software that learns about you and then deletes the printing job :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
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  16. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    Great. I nearly get talked out of the cave and you shoo me back into it again. :p

    As to the infrastructure, there's an old saying about a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. With more cloud dependence, we have much longer infrastructure "tails" than ever. I would hate to think that something as simple as a print job could get botched by a server glitch in Kansas City.

    Or Austin, or Santa Fe, or whatever is between me and Google.

    And all the way back.
     
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  17. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    New schoolkid excuse: "The cloud ate my homework."
     
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  18. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    Just wait till my sister listens to that, Jig :D

    Excellent metaphor, LS (& yet another figure of speech that you people introduce me to :) ) You know something? Somehow I have the feeling that the risks of applicating a new platform for a given usage, has always been there. I'm old enough in order to have lived the transition from typewriters to computers, and sometimes I recall my initial reluctance to such a technological innovation (cause I had it). And, OTOH, I am young enough in order to know what's is a teletype, but have never used one in an occupational environment. AAMOF, from all the business cards I've received throughout my life, only two enlist a TELEX number :p

    Much of your fears of the cloud, are fears that I share. But at some point, we have to admit that our dependence on it will grow with time. We have had the fear to innovation, and to an extent, many of our previous yet unjustified fears, may be justified this time. Whenever a new spammer hits my inbox, and the message includes my IRL name, I can't stop thinking of that TV series, Person of Interest. Just how did the spammer learn my name? Well, it's not impossible to get to it :p At some point, we all have to adopt the same attitude as Hook towards the cloud, either you totally delete your net usage, or you use it with the risks that it involves, and stop thinking about it. And then some, banking accounts and real estate property registries are already clouded, therefore if our most valuable assets are already there, I mean what's the point in hiding many other pieces of information.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  19. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    As far as being "as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs", I've been there before. ;) And I'll be supplying no details. :D
     
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  20. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    <But of course I can imagine>

    <I imagine a very young and lovely Lauren in a long prom dress, trying to find the boyfriend in the middle of a post-football-game party, asking at the turn of every corner "now why should I care">

    :D :D :D
     
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