PC Magazine January 2019

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
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min
the future is what we make it

Welcome to our first issue of the new year. After all the end-of-the-year stories we see in December, January is a great time to look forward—so we decided to travel about 20 years ahead and predict what might happen in technology by the year 2039. To do so, we queried eight luminaries in the tech world. They come from many different disciplines and attitudes: for example, Jason Silva is a tech-positive futurist and hosts National Geographic’s show Brain Games; Rajen Sheth is director of product management for Google’s Cloud AI (and is known as “the father of Google apps”); and Elizabeth Bear is a remarkable speculative- and science-fiction writer. Despite these widely varying viewpoints, several themes came up more than once. The concept of the smart city was one, and new ways…

2 min
no more passwords

There are two main obstacles that I didn’t really see addressed in the article: First, there are many cases where it’s legitimate for more than one person to have access to an account. Second, accounts need to be accessible from more than one device by the same user (this was mentioned, but only in passing). Until these two points are adequately addressed by the industry, passwords will stick around. —dsliesse When will passwords go away? Hopefully, never. —Jake I hate passwords with a passion. I was one of the “use the same password on every site” types until someone started buying stuff on my Amazon account and sending the items all over the country. Luckily, I was able to cancel all but one delivery, and Amazon changed my password. I then started using a…

3 min
google hits pause on selling facial-recognition tech over abuse fears

The ethical dilemma swirling around facial-recognition technology has prompted Google to hit pause on selling its own system to the public. In mid-December, the company announced that its Cloud business would hold off on offering a facial-recognition system for general purposes, citing the potential for abuse. “We continue to work with many organizations to identify and address these challenges, and unlike some other companies, Google Cloud has chosen not to offer general-purpose facial-recognition APIs before working through important technology and policy questions,” company Vice President of Global Affairs Kent Walker wrote in a blog post. Walker’s statement was likely a subtle jab at Amazon, which has been offering a facial-recognition system to customers including US law enforcement. Amazon’s Rekognition technology can identify people’s faces in digital images and videos, making it useful…

1 min
bing search highlights how to pirate office 2019

Search engines are fighting a constant battle to prevent malicious links from appearing in their search results, but Microsoft seems to have let a rather embarrassing link slip through the net on Bing. Searching for “Office 2019 download” was highlighting a guide on how to pirate the office suite. As ZDNet reports, the search result was first noticed by Jeroen Frijters, who posted the Bing search card. The guide to obtaining and installing a pirate copy of Office 2019 was shown in a Bing search card that appeared when he entered the search term; Microsoft uses search cards to highlight specific search results. So not only was the guide appearing in Bing results, but it was also being recommended by Microsoft’s search engine. The guide explains how to download a torrent of…

3 min
intel shows off new gen11 graphics, teases xe discrete gpu

Intel’s Architecture Day 2018 in December wasn’t just a CPU show. The graphics market is poised to be a significant component of Intel’s strategy going forward, and the company’s Gen11 solution looks like it’ll be a potent improvement over Skylake. These improvements are long overdue. For most of the past twenty years, the phrase “Intel graphics” was a contradiction in terms for those who cared about gaming. But starting in 2011 with Sandy Bridge, that began to change. There was a period of several years in which Intel’s own solutions were improving at a solid pace. From 2011 to 2015, IGP performance improved in real terms, meaning Intel’s GPUs got faster more quickly than games needed them to for additional GPU resources. There were still only a relative handful of titles…

2 min
razer’s terrible new rewards program mines cryptocurrency on your pc

The internet can be a dangerous place, and if you’re not careful, you could end up unknowingly running crypto-miner malware. Alternatively, you could voluntarily install crypto-miner malware to earn fake coins and buy a new keyboard. Seriously, that is Razer’s new rewards program: It seems that Razer thinks its fans would like to donate their spare processing power to mine cryptocurrency for the company. The massively ill-conceived endeavor is known as Razer SoftMiner, a Windows application you can download from Razer’s site. When you’re not using your PC, the software swings into action and uses your GPU to crunch numbers on the blockchain. Razer doesn’t say precisely what currency SoftMiner generates, but it’s probably Bitcoin. You get rewarded for running SoftMiner—but not with the cryptocurrency your machine is generating. No, you get…