Tech & Gaming
PC Pro

PC Pro No.293 - March 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.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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£4(Incl. tax)
£31.99(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
the google vs microsoft battle has only just begun

WE HUMANS HAVE one fundamental problem: the inability to think long term. I’ll steer clear of a rant about Trump and global warming because this isn’t the place – although we do cover how to be an ethical techie on p36 – but just for a moment let’s load up the timeline of computing, pinch our fingers and zoom out to get a 30-year view. The problem is that our instinctive timescale is, at best, two or three years. We look at where we are now, glance at the latest shiny and new things, and then extrapolate to the near future. But that’s not how things really work. For example, right now, our wireless telecoms infrastructure is rubbish. A significant chunk of the UK’s population doesn’t have any mobile phone reception, and…

1 min.

Max Figgett Most of us rush to buy the latest and greatest gadget, without considering the impact of our choices. Discover how to be more ethical on p36 Stuart Andrews We know that SSDs make your laptop and desktop PC faster, but there’s a bewildering amount of choice. Stuart tests 15 different units from p74 Simon Hudson Find out how Simon went from Microsoft Search cynic to one of its biggest advocates in his introduction to the new technology on p116 Barry Collins Is your phone struggling to last from dawn to dusk? Does your laptop give up on a working day before you? Barry shows how to boost your battery from p30…

4 min.
gchq finds a way around encrypted chat

Background and analysis on all the important news stories GCHQ HAS MOOTED a plan to circumvent encryption “without breaking it”, an assertion dubbed laughable by cryptography experts. Governments – particularly the UK’s “Five Eyes” allies – have been wrestling with ways to read encrypted messages to prevent terrorist and criminal communications. With widespread criticism from tech and other sectors over the idea of creating backdoors to weaken encryption, GCHQ has outlined another method to access messages. In a document published by the national security-focused Lawfare blog, a senior GCHQ official suggested that the method mirrored early phone intercepts where crocodile clips were used to patch security services into a call without the targets knowing. “We’re not talking about weakening encryption or defeating the end-to-end nature of the service,” said Ian Levy, technical director of the…

1 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Huawei under pressure over security fears BT has pledged to pull Huawei gear from its 4G network, amid a range of security fears concerning the Chinese operator. Huawei, whose CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada over alleged sanctions violations with sales to Iran, was in discussions with officials to fight for its ongoing place in UK networks. 2 Deep divisions revealed in Google’s two-tier staffing Documents have revealed petty rules around how Google staffers should treat the temporary workers, vendors and contractors (TVCs) that make up 50% of its workforce. Training materials showed that staff should not offer TVCs gifts such as T-shirts, and that TVCs were blocked from many meetings and schemes. 3 O2 faces fallout of network failure Mobile company O2 is expected to be given around £100 million in damages…

1 min.
razer blade stealth

Razer has updated its Blade Stealth ultraportable, focusing on stripping back bezels, upping battery life and improving graphics performance. The company’s 13.3in screen machines are flanked by 4.9mm bezels, which makes them 60% thinner than previous versions, and there’s a 4K touchscreen option. The other significant upgrades on previous versions of the Blade Stealth are the promise of 13-hour battery life and improved graphics. Surprisingly, it’s the first time the series has featured dedicated Nvidia GeForce graphics, which Razer claims provides a fourfold performance improvement when gaming or editing graphic content. Users opting for this feature get the 25W GeForce MX150 with its 4GB of RAM, as well as 16GB of system RAM, whereas buyers who choose to stick with Intel’s basic UHD Graphics 620 get 8GB of memory. KEY DIGITS AND DETAILS Availability Now in…

1 min.
nvidia titan rtx

Nvidia unveiled what it claims to be the fastest PC graphics card yet in the shape of Titan RTX – but gamers should curb their enthusiasm. The release of graphics hardware is usually monitored most closely by gamers wanting the best performance at highest quality settings, but this card will actually offer relatively little in terms of performanceversus-price for gamers. Instead, the Titan RTX – which, at $2,499, will prove too expensive for all but the keenest hobbyist – targets those customers working on data manipulation, artificial intelligence and videography. According to Nvidia, the release marks its biggest incremental increase in performance for more than a decade and is driven by the new Turing architecture, which has allowed Nvidia to build a card capable of 130 teraflops of deep learning performance. To put that…