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PC Magazine

PC Magazine Jan-11

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.
first word lance ulanoff

As the press and pundits pored over the thousands of documents (cable communications) released recently by WikiLeaks—the non-profit media organization that says it strives to “bring important news and information to the public”—I find myself pondering the other lessons this new breach teaches us. The biggest and most obvious is that the digital world is a porous place. Our secrets are only safe for as long as we share them with no one, in no fashion. I’m not just talking about government and diplomatic secrets. The government’s WikiLeaks problem is really the same one we all face: your digital information could become grist for a rumor mill among your friends, family, co-workers or the world at large. Obviously, there’s a difference between what you store locally (on your home computer) and…

1 min.
the decade ahead: an epic app explosion

Mobile apps can transform a phone into a cookbook, a personal trainer, or a financial adviser. The number of mobile apps has grown to 300,000 in just three years, and a report last month from IDC said revenues from mobile app sales are expected to grow more than 60 percent by 2014. “Mobile app developers will ‘appify’ just about every interaction you can think of in your physical and digital worlds,” said Scott Ellison, vice president of mobile and wireless at IDC. “The extension of mobile apps to every aspect of our personal and business lives will be one of the hallmarks of the new decade, with enormous opportunities for virtually every business sector.” IDC said that market growth has been driven by increased demand for devices like tablets and smartphones; growth…

1 min.
best of our blogs

GEArLOG Solar-powered Hornets! The oriental hornet is more active during the day, and tends to become even more active as the temperature rises. And now scientists have discovered the reason: the hornets are solar-powered. It turns out that the distinctive yellow stripe on the hornet’s abdomen is actually full of tiny protrusions that gather sunlight and harness it for energy. The insect also features a special pigment, called xanthopterin, that helps with the process. “Xanthopterin works as a light-harvesting molecule transforming light into electrical energy,” Dr. Marian Plotkin told the BBC. Wasps and hornets tend to be more active during the morning, and this new research explains why the oriental hornet is different: It stays out during the day because there’s more sun. APP SCOUT RunPee App for the Movies If you have an over-active…

1 min.
scientists develop self-healing plastics

Real-life Transformers just got a little closer to reality. Resarchers at Arizona State university have now figured out a way to build plastic material that heals itself. The material, called shape memory polymer, contains a fiber-optic “nervous system” of sorts that can detect and address cracks over time, according to a report by Australia’s IT news. Laboratory testing has shown the material is capable of restoring up to 96 percent of an object’s original strength. Researchers said the material could be used in composite structures that humans can’t normally reach, such as the Mars rovers, or the insides of satellites or wind turbines. Here’s how it works: The fiber-optic network inside the plastic transmits infrared light from a one-watt laser; this highlights any loss of light due to cracks in the plastic. The surrounding…

2 min.
dell xps 15

The Dell XPS 15, a desktop-replacement laptop, is a wonderland of lavish features and cutting-edge components. It is simply one of the best laptops I’ve tested. And it can fit like a glove; most of its parts are customizable, so the XPS 15 can be completely over-the-top if you want, or priced to meet a certain budget. Covered in luxurious aluminum, the XPS 15 has a 15.6-inch widescreen that will blow you away, with its 1080p resolution. The screen itself can take images into another color space, as it’s based on RGB LED technology, providing a wider color gamut. The XPS 15 also has a Skype-certified HD webcam —a laptop first—as well as floor-thumping speakers, and every wireless technology imaginable. Its keyboard, touchpad, and mouse buttons offer a nearly flawless typing and…

1 min.
apple macbook air 13-inch

While its predecessor was thin and beautiful but a disappointment in terms of features, the new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch has added features and performance this time around that set the precedent for what’s to come. The 13-inch version adds an extra USB port and an SD slot—features it desperately needed to compete as a laptop. It completely transitions to flash storage (SSDs), which made room for a bigger 50Wh battery and its over 5 hours of battery life. With a 1.86-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo L9400 processor and just 2GB of DDR3 memory, the MacBook Air 13-inch isn’t going to set the world on fire in terms of performance. But if your demands aren’t outrageous, it’s fast enough to tackle any number of tasks. Compared with laptops like the Toshiba R705-P35,…