Tech & Gaming
PC Pro

PC Pro August 2017

The UK’s biggest selling PC monthly magazine, and your source of professional IT news, reviews and tests. Combining in–depth industry comment and analysis with rigorous product testing.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.

“THAT’S AN INTERESTING pattern,” I said, my attention half on a tennis match on the TV. My son rolled his eyes. “It’s not a pattern, dad. Something’s wrong with the screen.” “Have you tried switching it on and off ag–?” “Yes, dad. I think it’s broken.” Those portentous words finally transported me from the rust-coloured courts of Roland Garros back to my own front room. I took a closer look at my son’s laptop and saw the telltale lines criss-crossing the screen. “That’s cracked,” I told him, genius that I am. He paused for a beat. “I need a new laptop.” It’s a scenario regularly played out in homes, schools and businesses. One bash against a door is all it takes to crack a screen; one drop can destroy a hard disk. The situation is particularly…

1 min.

Jon Honeyball Want to get more from Office 365? Seasoned subscriber Jon Honeyball reveals seven ways to make the most of your subscription from p46 Dick Pountain If some curves are “just sexier than others”, Dick ponders on p26, can humans’ appreciation of beauty be reduced to a set of algorithms? Nicole Kobie Uber is the poster child of the gig economy; Nicole reveals how its disruptive and wide-ranging influence could affect how you work in the future. See p124 Jon Bray The old days of buying a single router could soon be over, discovers Jon, with mesh wireless systems stealing two awards in our router Labs. See p74…

4 min.
internet service providers are braced for “authoritarianism lite”

INTERNET COMPANIES FACE unprecedented levels of government regulation, assuming the Conservatives secured a victory in the recent General Election. In a series of proposals described as “authoritarianism lite” by one leading civil rights group, the Conservatives are planning to tighten regulation on social media, adult content and the internet providers themselves. “Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet… we disagree,” the Conservatives warned. The document cited habitual targets – such as encryption, pornography and age-verification techniques – and boasted the UK would become “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet”. The manifesto outlined renewed measures to prevent children accessing adult content, which the Conservatives have made repeated efforts to curb since they came…

1 min.
five stories not to miss

1 WindowsStoresigns SpotifyandiTunes TheWindowsStorehasbeengivenaboost withthenewsthatSpotifyandiTunesare bothsettoarriveinMicrosoft’sappstore. Theannouncementscoincidewiththelaunch ofWindows10S(seep30). 2 Intelownsuptocorporate hijackthreat Intel revealed a hijacking flaw that had lurked in its chips for seven years would allow attackers to remotely or locally take control of PCs without a password. According to Intel, the authentication bypass vulnerability hit three pieces of firmware – Active Management Technology, Standard Manageability and Small Business Technology – and could impact thousands of corporate computers. 3 BTmayripoutmorecopper BTisopeningaformalconsultationwithtelco customerstoassessafull-fibrerolloutto moreUKhomes.“Wecouldmakefull-fibre connectionsavailabletotenmillionpremises bythemid-2020s,butweneedtounderstand ifthere’ssufficientsupport–acrossindustry, Ofcomandgovernment–tobuildaviable businesscase,”Openreachsaid. 4 Netneutrality backunderthreat FederalofficialsintheUShavebegunwork ontearingapartnetneutralityregulations thatpreventISPsfromcreatingfastlanes forcontentproviderswillingtopaya premium. Netneutralityrules,whichwere putinplaceaftermuchpublicdebatein2015, arepopularwithendusersbuthavebeen repealedafterpressurefrombroadband providers,whichregardprivilegedcontent asapotentialmoneyspinner. 5 Ransomwareattack strikesNHSsystems Hackers wreaked havoc around the world – and particularly in the NHS – with a ransomware attack called WannaCry that locked files and demanded payment. Researchers say that the majority of NHS infections targeted Windows 7 machines, while the attacks also highlighted a…

2 min.
driven to distraction: uber’s track record

2017 SEXUAL HARASSMENT CLAIMS Uber was forced – again – to quell sexism claims after former employee Susan Fowler claimed she was propositioned for sex. Fowler said internal complaints had been dismissed while Uber promised to investigate, with CEO Travis Kalanick tweeting that “anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired”. SELF-DRIVING ALLEGATIONS Getting rid of drivers would definitely help boost Uber’s profits. However, the company faces legal action from Alphabet’s self-driving Waymo unit, which claims that Uber’s Otto self-driving technology benefited from a former Google employee downloading 14,000 files before jumping ship with several colleagues. 2016 WORKER OR CONTRACTOR? Uber claims its drivers are self-employed, which means it has little responsibility for workers’ rights, and has fought the issue in courts internationally. However, a UK employment tribunal ruled that…

2 min.
bt investigating smart hub woes

EXCLUSIVE BT HAS CONFIRMED it is investigating possible faults with its Smart Hub router after a slew of complaints about technical issues with the hardware. The Smart Hub – also known as Home Hub 6 – was officially launched earlier this year, with BT boasting it was the most advanced home router on offer from the major ISPs. Yet, since its launch, online forums and Twitter have seen a spike in complaints about the router frequently rebooting, dropping connections and other performance issues. One particularly common problem appears to be what’s been labelled the “green light of death”, where the router enters a constant reboot cycle but never re-establishes a connection. A member of the PC Pro team has had two Smart Hubs returned to BT for investigation after suffering from the problem. Not only…