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PC Magazine

PC Magazine December 2010

PC Magazine provides lab-tested reviews, detailed tips and how-tos, insightful feature stories, expert commentary, and the latest tech trends to help you at work, at home, and on the road. And for a limited time, we're offering a copy of Breakout: How Atari 8-Bit Computers Defined a Generation with new subscriptions. This brand-new book is all about what made Atari's computers great: excellent graphics and sound, flexible programming environment, and wide support.

United States
Ziff Davis
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12 Números

en este número

4 min.
leave game choices up to us, not the courts

My 15 year old son has shot monsters, aliens, cops, horses and more. Of course, the weapons he wields are made of pixels and the blood (red, green, yellow) of his victims is made up of millions of lines of code. And yet, any time I see him do it, I wince and know I have only myself to blame. Right now, the Supreme Court is gearing up to decide whether the multi-billion dollar video-game industry should be regulated not like, say, movies, but more like alcohol and cigarettes. Today, if my son wants a “Rated Mature” video game, he needs me or my wife by his side for parental consent and purchase. No GameStop we’ve ever visited has ever freely sold him the equivalent of NC-17 games. If the challenge to…

2 min.
a privacy breach for facebook?

Controversy surrounding the reported sharing of user information by Facebook’s most popular applications—among them, Mafia Wars, Farmville, and Texas Holdem—has forced a policy change by Facebook, despite its denial of any privacy breach to Congress. Facebook will now encrypt user IDs going forward, following a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, which said that many of the applications share the information with advertising networks and other Internet-tracking companies. Tens of millions of Facebook’s 500 million users were affected by the information-sharing, the Journal said. Facebook planned to enable optional encryption for a few weeks and then work with developers to ensure a complete transition to encryption in the future, said Mike Vernal, a Facebook engineer. The Journal report prompted two members of Congress to write to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg and demand…

1 min.
best of our blogs

GEARLOG Move Over, Master Card “This could eventually replace credit cards,” Eric Schmidt told a crowd last month at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, holding up an Android handset. Google’s CE O naturally has big plans for the new version of his company’s mobile OS, codenamed Gingerbread. The executive showed off the upcoming OS on a handset suspected to be Samsung’s rumored Nexus S. It featured Near Field Communication, the same technology that lets credit card owners pay for goods without actually swiping their cards. Android 2.3 handsets with the proper hardware will be able to make payments via stored credit-card numbers.—Bryan Heater App scout Save at the Supermarket If you have an iPhone or an iPod Touch with a camera, the new app Pushpins is a must at the grocery store. If…

1 min.
top blogs of 2010

We spend a lot of time online, sure. And it’s all for work, especially when we’re reading blogs. All of this “research” helps us put together our annual list of our favorite blogs. Some are familiar; some brand new. But what they all have in common is interesting writing (or art or videos) served up on a regular basis for your entertainment or informational pleasure. Following is the first 10 in our top 50; for the rest, click here. 1. 1,000 Awesome Things There are 1,000 awesome things in the universe, and this site gives the daily countdown to number one. 2. All Facebook MediaBistro’s Facebook blog is a great source for just about all the FB news and commentary you can imagine, from the good to the bad to the bizarre. 3.…

2 min.
apple macbook air (11-inch): amazingly thin, short on features

It’s hard to gauge how shockingly thin this laptop is until you pick it up, cradle it, and put it against the thinnest thing you can find in the room. It’s thinner, without a doubt, than any current netbook in the market, and at 2.3 pounds, it’s lighter than many of them, too. The downside is that the MacBook Air (11-inch) is not nearly as feature-packed or as fast as the rest of the MacBook family, yet it will cost you just as much. The MacBook Air’s 11.6-inch widescreen is not the only first for Apple; so is its 1,366-by-768 resolution. It’s the first Apple laptop to conform to the 16:9 aspect ratio, as is the case with practically every Windows-based laptop nowadays. The screen is sharp, and its viewing angles…

1 min.
hp pavilion dv7-4183cl: faster speeds, stronger battery, same price

Whenever a company updates a laptop with faster parts, without jacking up the price, it deserves recognition. HP has done just that with the dv7-4183cl, a Costco laptop. Its many features and gorgeous metallic design are carried over from the previous version, the HP Pavilion dv7-4083cl. But it also boasts a faster Core i5 processor, 6GB of DDR3 memory (from 4GB), a fast 500GB (7,200rpm) hard drive, and even a Blu-ray drive. For this reason, the dv-4183cl unseats the dv7-4083cl as our Editors’ Choice for the desktop-replacement category. Its 17.3-inch widescreen is enormous for a laptop, and its 1,600-by-900 resolution is higher than most other laptops offer, too. The typing experience on the chiclet-style keyboard is pleasing, and there’s also a fullsize numeric keypad. On our performance tests, the dv7-4183cl shined, matching…