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PC Pro

PC Pro November 2019

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.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
we shouldn’t be afraid of the big good ai

THERE’S BEEN ONLY one point in my life when I was scared of AI. That’s when I read that Stephen Hawking feared for our future, sending chills down my spine with this paragraph: “One can imagine [AI] outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand. Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all.” Hawking was building an argument that we need regulation and oversight of AI developments, and when it comes to military, financial and healthcare applications I couldn’t agree more. Fortunately, in the mundane areas of helping us use our time more wisely, the free market is pretty good at keeping everyone on the right course. There…

1 min.

Barry Collins Barry is a troubled man and, in this case, deepfake videos have him worried. If we can’t trust what we see and hear, only paranoia can save us. See p24 Nicole Kobie If Barry has made you paranoid, turn to p124 where Nicole delves deep into the world of deepfakes and explains why the next battlefield could be spam Steve Cassidy Backups truly get Steve’s back up this month, as he tries to resolve the conflict between Office 365 and his client’s Exchange 2007 server. See p120 Mike Jennings Not content with putting five NVMe SSDs through their paces on p60, Mike also stared down the barrel of 12 monitors to decide a Labs Winner from p76…

3 min.
biometric leak “breaks security for life”

THE THEFT OF fingerprint and face-recognition details of more than a million people could leave victims facing insurmountable security problems for the rest of their lives. The warning comes after researchers from monitoring company vpnMentor found holes in the security platform BioStar 2, which uses biometrics for access control systems on doors in 5,700 organisations around the world, including the Metropolitan Police and banks. “Our team was able to access over a million fingerprint records, as well as facial recognition information,” the report said. “Combined with the personal details, usernames, and passwords, the potential for criminal activity and fraud is massive.” The researchers found that 23GB of data – including actual photos of users, unencrypted usernames and passwords, and personal details of staff and their position within the company – was publicly available. The…

1 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Apple issues warning over self-inflictedbug Red faces all round at Apple as the company managed to reintroduce a security flaw – which was initially fixed in April – with its iOS 12.4 update. The public vulnerability meant attackers could take control of phones or tablets, forcing Apple to warn users to take caution until the issue was resolved. 2 Facebook under fire over deletion tool Facebook faced criticism over a long-awaited tool for deleting data in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. While the company tagged the feature as a “clear history” tool aimed at limiting off-Facebook data use, critics attacked the fact that it merely disconnected data for user accounts and deleted nothing from Facebook’s data trove. 3 KNOB attack on Bluetooth University of Oxford researchers have found a flaw in the…

3 min.

Snap Spectacles 3 Snap announced a limited-availability third generation of its augmented reality (AR) glasses, the Spectacles 3. The main upgrade from the company’s previous attempt (which was around half the price of the latest shades) is the addition of a second HD camera, which provides depth perception and allows for more creative post-shooting effects after syncing to a smartphone. The package also includes a 3D viewer for looking at images once a phone is clipped into the viewer. Spectacles 3 captures photos at a boxy resolution of 1,642 x 1,642, while videos top out at 1,216 x 1,216. Lights surrounding the cameras alert subjects to the fact they’re being filmed. Battery life hasn’t improved since the last version, but users should expect to be able to take 1,200 images with the glasses, with the…

2 min.
fibre faces wireless challenge at last

5G LAUNCHES AND new rules on radio spectrum may finally make wireless broadband for the home a viable option – even if there are still obstacles to overcome in rural areas. Three is the first UK network to tout 5G as a potential replacement for fixed-line fibre connections. Three’s offer has some marked attractions, such as no landline, which means no line rental. Users place an order and once the router with its built-in antenna arrives, users plug it in for instant unlimited broadband access for £35 a month. It’s too early for broadband monitoring firms to have collected any reliable data, and speed projections from Three were markedly absent from the launch marketing material. PC Pro has seen slides from the company that suggest current maximum download speeds of between 220Mbits/sec…