PC Pro May 2021

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.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
it’s time for an in-depth review offake reviews

I TEST A LOT of products. In this month’s magazine alone, you’ll find my verdict on 24 pieces of equipment; some are fantastic, such as the Dynabook Portégé X30W-J (see p56), while others fall into the grey noise of mediocrity. As a result, much like Jilly Goolden is able to sniff out the delicate tones of blackberries in what to me smells exactly like red wine, my nose is attuned to bad reviews. Reviews where the aroma is fruity, but not in a good way. Some produce such a stench that they’re unmistakably off to any nose. I speak of the paid-for fake reviews that are the scourge of Amazon, although at least you can dampen their whiff by installing browser add-ons such as Fakespot. I almost (but not quite) sympathise with…

1 min

Dizzy Oh, very well, classic 8-bit character Dizzy didn’t really write this month’s Retro – but David Crookes explains why 2021 may see a final outing for the beloved hero on p123 Nik Rawlinson Read Nik’s comprehensive guide to setting up a video surveillance system based on a Raspberry Pi from p32. It’s kind of like Ring, except you keep control of your data Lee Grant Having spent two decades fixing laptops, computer shop owner Lee is increasingly concerned by their lack of repairability. From p26, he explains why we need the right to repair Nicole Kobie AI is here to stay, and rightly so, but it needs to be held accountable for its mistakes. Nicole introduces the prime weapon in our armoury from p126…

3 min
is google dodging app store scrutiny?

On December 8 2020, Apple introduced a major change to its App Store. From that point on, every single new or updated app was obliged to make a privacy declaration to users, explaining what data is collected and how it is used. In what could be a strange coincidence, tech observers have noticed that Google has mysteriously stopped updating the vast majority of its dozens of iOS apps since that very date. This is despite the company having previously maintained a regular schedule of almost weekly updates to its most popular apps, such as Gmail and the Chrome browser. This has led to speculation that Google is worried about revealing how much information its apps are collecting on the people using them. The theory is that the company may be spending time…

3 min
news in brief

Tesla’s decision to purchase $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin has not only led to a surge in the value of the controversial cryptocurrency – it may just have given it some much needed credibility. Tesla boss Elon Musk revealed the firm had invested in the cryptocurrency to form part of the company’s cash reserves. He also claims that Tesla car buyers will soon be able to pay for their new vehicles with Bitcoin. Following the announcement, the exchange price of the currency climbed from around $39,000 per virtual coin to $46,000. This follows a steady and dramatic rise for the cryptocurrency that began last October when the price was around $10,000. So what does this surge in price and interest mean? Is Musk’s vote of confidence a sign that Bitcoin is maturing and…

1 min
how nottingham’s pandemic habits changed

This graph shows the number of actual pedestrian interactions where people passed within two metres, and the seven-day rolling average. No data was collected from the Nottingham cameras for a few days in September, which explains that sudden dip. The graph shows how social-distancing compliance was strong in the early days of lockdown, before suddenly shooting up as lockdown was lifted in the summer. It’s worth stating that increased footfall would have made social distancing more difficult (people may not have been able to avoid close encounters in some instances). The number of near passes detected by Nottingham’s cameras…

7 min
revealed: what britain’s covid cameras saw

When Britain locked down last spring, one of the many unknowns was whether people would comply with the new social distancing rules. Would we all keep our distance? Or would we grow tired of the restrictions and flout the rules as time wore on? The answer was vital, as compliance could have a big impact on the transmission and spread of Covid-19. To find out what was happening on street corners, Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency, awarded a grant to tech firm Vivacity Labs. The company was to use AI-powered cameras, which were installed on the streets of 16 British towns and cities. The devices themselves are relatively simple cameras that are bolted on to existing infrastructure, such as lampposts and traffic lights. The cameras aren’t passively recording images like traditional…