I just discovered a, possibly optimal, solution to this mess. There is as service called "cups-browsed" which apparently is responsible for going out on the network and finding all the printers it can locate and install them for you (gee - thanks --NOT). Since this is an Upstart job, you can stop the service with:
sudo service cups-browsed stop
Even better, you can prevent the service from ever starting again by adding a simple text file to
/etc/init that contains the single word
manual. The file must be named
So, just start up gedit with
gksudo gedit /etc/init/cups-browsed.override
manual in the first and only line and save the file.
On the next Reboot, the service will not be re-started. However, you need not reboot if you've already stopped the service. Once you've placed this file in /etc/init, the service can only be started manually (if and when you need/want it) using:
sudo service cups-browsed start
sudo service cups-browsed stop`
I have tested this over one reboot. Printing still works fine and so far I am not getting several hundred printers installed anymore after the reboot. Just the ones I installed manually show up.