Rik, mate, get a clue!
" But at The Reg, you'll find your humble reporter saying, instead: "People, people, people... Do you think that when you buy a newspaper or magazine you're not paying for ink? It's just that the publisher pays for it, and you pay the publisher." "
Put it like this. For the cost of printing 3 or 4 10x15cm photographs, I can buy an ENTIRE paper. It's a matter of scale, newpaper outfits don't use ooooh-so-sexy Innobella (insert other fancy ink names here) inks at shocking prices to give bestest everest quality. They use mass ink and once in a while they all line up correctly. For the price of 10-12 photos, an entire glossy magazine.
But in the crazy world we live in where chucking away your current printer and buying an entire new one is usually CHEAPER than a legit set of branded refills, I don't think you need me to tell you in exactly which orifice they can insert this idea.
If HP want to make their ink dirt cheap and long life, people might be more accepting to the concept, their small sample must have been a carefully selected group of airheads to give them the impression we're all so used to advertising that we'll happily pay for it.
I'm not anti-advert, with Film4 I see it as a necessary evil (and it isn't too hard to clip 'em out of the MP4s), and world+kitten is free to post me whatever cack they want, most of it is recycled in this cool gadget that takes soggy paper and squeezes them into "bricks" for the fireplace. But woe betide any company that thinks they'll punt their wares on my dime.
HP, nice idea, brilliantly shat upon. Well done, you've gone above and beyond here, haven't you?