Tech & Gaming
PC Pro

PC Pro February 2020

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.
tim travels back to the robot-filled future of 1957

I’M STILL NOT sure what I think about the novel – it has uncomfortable echoes of Lolita – but Robert A Heinlein’s The Door into Summer is a curious read for technogeeks. Published in 1957, it sets out Heinlein’s vision for two futures: the first in 1970, the second in 2000. Our protagonist is an inventor who has created a domestic robot, but who is forced by his conniving business partners to take the “long sleep” – being cryogenically frozen for 30 years – so they can take charge of the company. You could easily argue that it’s one of the world’s most influential books when it comes to shaping technology. It was certainly one of the inspirations behind Chuck Peddle’s creation of the 6502 processor: Peddle had been a key…

1 min.

Nik Rawlinson Want to improve communication in your business? Nik examines the free and low-cost tools that can help, from 3CX to Facebook to Slack on p104 Steve Cassidy After years of lecturing firms on cyber-resilience, Steve almost gets caught out after being “stranded” in California during the forest fires. See p120 Nicole Kobie Maybe VR isn’t dead after all. Nicole talks to analysts, academics and a man who makes VR experiences for funfair rides to see where VR is going next on p127 Lee Grant At some point in time you’ll have a broken laptop sitting in front of you. Our tame repair shop owner shares his secrets so you can fix it yourself on p30…

4 min.
g.fastis“not fastenough”

G.FAST, THE TECHNOLOGY intended to be a stepping stone to full-fibre broadband, has been dropped by a British ISP amid complaints about its speed and range. G.fast is an interim measure that theoretically pushes the speeds of fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) copper connections into triple figures. It’s being deployed by BT Openreach in lieu of full-fibre connections. During the autumn, Openreach scaled back plans to make the technology available to ten million homes by 2020, with a revised figure of only 2.5 million, and critics believe the technology may never recover. According to ISP Aquiss, continuing with G.fast would be a waste of money as it simply provides “another excuse for Openreach not to deploy full fibre into certain areas”. Aquiss has more concrete concerns over the technology itself. “What we discovered over six months of…

1 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Microsoft pushes out Windows10 improvements Microsoft’s second Windows 10 update of 2019 has landed, with the company promising improved OneDrive integration, easier access to calendars via the taskbar and voice controls for third-party assistants from the lockscreen. However, certain users may have to wait because Microsoft has imposed a “safeguard” feature to delay updates to machines with known compatibility issues. 2 Wikipedia founder eyes socialmedia crusade Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is hoping that a community-funded social media platform could clean up the market. The WT:Social platform will be “news focused” and funded by a pay-what-you-can model to beat the “amplified the voices of bad actors”. Wales says it will never sell user data. 3 Apple lifts lid on 16 in MacBook Pro Apple launched a chunkier MacBook Pro, replacing the existing 15in version with…

1 min.
kaspersky overcharges customer… by seven times

KASPERSKY CUSTOMERS SHOULD check their bank statements if they renew their antivirus packages, after an apparent glitch that saw at least one customer – and possibly many more – being massively overcharged. The issue came to light when PC Pro reader Brian Horisk received an eye-watering £1,558 bill for a year’s renewal for his “Small Business Security 5-7 Users” subscription. Horisk said that he received an email from Kaspersky on 9 October explaining that his subscription was coming up for renewal and that, in order for the software to continue working without interruption, his debit card would be charged £222 a month later. Thirty days later, however, Horisk received another email from Kaspersky explaining that his “protection has been extended for another term and no further action is required”. Only two paragraphs further down…

1 min.
watchlist: all eyes on consumers

Advertising companies have always wanted to know which programmes are the most watched, but smart TV services can turbocharge this data, offering insight into what viewers are watching in real-time. Princeton University’s IoT Inspector research, for example, highlighted how some Samsung smart TV traffic suggested it was using automatic content recognition (ACR) techniques to analyse what viewers were watching. “Three Samsung domains are prevalent for observed smart TVs,” the Princeton researchers found. “Based on the website of these domains, we speculate that Samsung TVs contact them to transmit pixel information from the smart TV screen for ACR, gather data on viewing habits, and/or to serve adverts.” The advertising and TV industries make no secret of their plans to improve their insights and targeting, with a consortium of media and technology companies launching a…