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PC Pro September 2019

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PC Pro is the UK’s number one IT monthly magazine and offers readers a healthy variety of tech news updates, tests, reviews, best buys and even bonus software in every issue. The editorial team are experts in their field and they’re dedicated to creating the most authoritative reviews and keeping you up to speed on the latest technology developments.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
editor’s letter

I’VE REACHED THE second point in my life where I find myself traipsing across university campuses hunting out oddly named buildings. “They said it was up the hill and left,” I moan to anyone who will listen, “so where the [muffled] is it?” There! My son and I hurry through the doors, follow the signs and find ourselves in a modern lecture theatre – all bendy tables and weirdly shaped seating, as if Escher and Dalí decided to get out of art and into sadistic furniture design. We throw ourselves into two of the few empty seats and wait for the start. By the time it does, there’s standing room only. The head of faculty enters, wearing his academic-cool mix of jeans and shirt, and begins the sell. “If you’re here,”…

4 min.
nhs data for sale–but at what price?

NHS TRUSTS are selling patient data to research companies, but there’s little oversight over the deals or whether they represent good value for money. The vast data troves stored by the NHS are sought by companies working on AI and machine learning projects that could feed benefits back into healthcare, but the ecosystem remains largely unregulated, with individual trusts striking their own deals with companies. In theory, selling access to datasets is a win-win for the NHS as it receives financial returns and the potential of new life and money-saving tech. But it’s not clear who’s controlling the flow of data and whether the trusts are getting a fair price for the data in this nascent market. “The value of data lies in the way it is used and what it can be…

2 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Facebook to pay for data Facebook is launching an Android app that will pay users for data on how they use other apps and platforms. The Study app – similar to previous data harvesting tools banned by Apple – will pay participants an as-yet undisclosed fee for monitoring what apps they have on board, how long they spend on each app, the device type and where it’s being used. Read what Nicole Kobie thinks of the idea on p23. 2 Google headsback into painful text territory Google was revealed to be planning another crack at a messaging service – following the failures of Google Talk, Hangouts and many others – with the company hoping to oust the phone companies’ ageing SMS system. Rich Communication Services (RCS Chat) has been mooted for years,…

4 min.

Apple Mac Pro Content creators and other data crunching professionals have been crying out for a new Mac Pro for six years – maybe Apple was giving them a chance to save up. The company has finally revealed the 2019 Mac Pro, but with prices starting from $6,000 this machine is aimed squarely at production houses and pros with deep pockets. Perhaps the biggest change for the Mac Pro – due out in September – is that it can be expanded and upgraded to fit user requirements over time. This modular approach – and full access to the Pro’s internals – means users can customise the workstation, taking advantage of features such as the eight PCIe expansion slots. It’s unclear what higher specced machines will cost, but for those with cavernous budgets, the Mac…

2 min.
will anyone trust the bank of facebook?

FACEBOOK IS FACING a battle to win the public’s trust after announcing plans to launch its own banking service based on a new cryptocurrency. Facebook plans to launch the Libra global blockchain currency next year under the guise of a subsidiary called Calibra, with wallets available for WhatsApp, Messenger and via a standalone app. However, the company faces many hurdles before launch, with watchdogs already worried over the risks of Facebook combining data from its social network with transaction records. “I’m definitely concerned about Facebook correlating all your spending behaviour with your identity,” Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at rights group the Consumers Union, told PC Pro. Facebook went to great lengths to stress that it would keep financial and user account information separate, pledging a fire gap between the…

1 min.
mi5 slammed over “undoubtedly unlawful” data practices

THE UK SECURITY service MI5 unlawfully acquired and stored data for years, according to the body responsible for overseeing the service’s work. In evidence revealed during a court case challenging the validity of the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which allows security services to monitor hardware and communications, MI5 was forced to reveal practices that shocked the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO). According to rights group Liberty, which brought the case, court documents show that MI5 had kept data to which it had no right, stored it in insecure places and misled officials to try and cover up its breaches. “These shocking revelations expose how MI5 has been illegally mishandling our data for years, storing it when they have no legal basis to do so,” said Megan Goulding, a lawyer with Liberty. “It is…