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PC Pro

PC Pro October 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

1 min.
celebrating 25 years of pc pro

How well do you remember the late summer of 1994? Well, as Can You Feel The Love Tonight emerged from your FM radio, you might just have been one of the first people to read PC Pro. While we spend most of this celebratory issue looking forward to the next 25 years, we’ve reprinted a number of interesting pages from the first issue. Sadly, we have to rely on scans as the original pages were saved to long-lost CDROMs… and created using software that’s now 20 years out of date. Still, we hope you enjoy reading through two news pages from that first issue on p14, an early laptop review on p55, Jon Honeyball’s take on a new PC on p59 and a game review by a certain Charlton Brooker…

3 min.
editor’s letter

THE ODD THING about change is that you rarely notice it happening. Which brings me, naturally, to The West Wing. I’m a big fan of the show and rewatch it every couple of years, but I spend the first few episodes distracted by the technology on people’s desks. “What’s that over there?” my brain whispers. “A CRT monitor? How quaint!” The West Wing was first broadcast in 1999, which in terms of politics doesn’t seem that long ago. Cold, fractious relationship with Russia and China? Still there. Nuclear tensions with North Korea? Oh yes. Suave intellectual US president respected by the world? What’s that you say, PC Pro lawyers? Okay, let’s skip lightly away from that one and head back to the summer of 1994. For that was when the first issue…

4 min.
dr alexa will see you now

A NEW TIE-UP between the NHS and Amazon’s Alexa devices has been accused of putting headline-grabbing gimmicks ahead of patient safety. Brits will soon be able to ask Alexa devices for medical advice, with answers scraped from the NHS site. The hope is this will deliver more accurate advice, rather than relying on a range of less reputable sources. However, experts and clinicians warn that the rush to push the NHS into consumer technology could cause long-term damage and is being done without sufficient clinical oversight. “Clinicians and advocates for the NHS would welcome new tech if – and it’s a big if – it has been reviewed, tested and proven to be effective,” said Samantha Wathen, a spokesperson for the medical campaign group Keep Our NHS Public. “The issue with Amazon and with…

1 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Summer heat puts brakes on 5G handsets 5G handsets could face a summer slowdown as reports emerged that phones were throttling back or switching to 4G services because high temperatures meant that new modems couldn’t dissipate heat. Tests of Qualcomm chips by PCMag found that temperatures of 29°C could send the 5G components into temporary meltdown. 2 Apple reached into Macs to remove Zoom Apple was forced to reach into customers’ Macs to remove a series of hidden web servers related to the videoconferencing app Zoom. The security flaw in Zoom’s software meant websites could initiate video calls on machines running the program. 3 Facebook shrugs off record fine Facebook found itself better off despite being hit by the Federal Trade Commission’s largest ever fine, when the firm largely escaped further sanctions on how…

3 min.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 Qualcomm has good news for parents in the shape of the Snapdragon 215 system on a chip (SoC), which promises significant performance benefits for low-cost smartphones. The “2” series has long been found in cheaper handsets, such as Microsoft’s Lumia 650 (right), but the hardware has proved restrictive. According to Qualcomm, the 215’s four ARM Cortex-A53 cores provide a 50% performance boost over the previous generation, backed up by a move to 64-bit processing, meaning handsets can support 64-bit apps. Aside from raw performance, there are additions that will improve user experience, such as Quick Charge technology for speedier battery top-ups and contactless payments via NFC. The Snapdragon 215 also features dual image sensor processors, another first in the series, which means it can support dual-camera depth sensing and images of up…

3 min.
ir35 bites it contractors again

TAX CHANGES DUE to come into effect in April 2020 could push IT contractors out of business due to increased costs and uncertainty. Despite concerted criticism from many within the IT contracting industry, the government had decided to push ahead with plans to introduce IR35 in the private sector next April as part of its Finance Bill. The unpopular IR35, which previously only applied to the public sector, allows HMRC to tax sole traders as if they were employees, if it deems their working arrangements to be akin to regular staff. According to self-employed IT workers, the changes could force them out of businesses or to seek other work arrangements, because it effectively reduces earnings and ignores the fact that contractors don’t receive benefits such as paid leave and training. “I’ll be paying more…