PC Magazine November 2018

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
showing and telling

When you think of PCMag, do you think of product reviews? That’s understandable, if so, because we do a whole lot of those, as we have since the early days of personal computing. We also write loads of tech news and feature stories. But one of the most important things we do is help readers use their technology products with our how-to guides. Tech changes so rapidly now that it’s nearly impossible to maintain a broad expertise across numerous categories. Fortunately, we know plenty of focused experts who can explain using, troubleshooting, and repairing just about any kind of hardware or software, from the big-picture stuff (“How to Save Money When Shopping Online,” “How to Take a Screenshot on Any Device”) to the extremely detailed (“How to Create and Edit Video…

3 min
protecting your data

What you need to realize is that the world has changed, and whether you give your information to Peter or Paul, you are still sharing your information. This is the information-sharing generation. At this stage of the game, all of us have already, at one time or another, shared more of our personal information than we may have wanted to. It’s out there and you can’t get it back. Learn to live with it and make the best of it. —Norbert Gostischa I see it as another way to further the mass surveillance state by mandating we give up even more personal data to the beast so they can better target, use, abuse, and manipulate us. It provides the user with no added security at all. In turn, it does give the…

4 min
why intel is betting on esports and virtual reality

Near the back of the EGX Expo hall, two players battle it out over a game of Hearthstone. Watching their moves on two large screens is a crowd of maybe 40 people, with commentators discussing each play. Surrounding the players are suits of armor and fake bags of loot from the eSports League and Intel, two organizations looking to push eSports further into the public consciousness. EGX isn’t Intel’s first foray into the eSports market. It’s been hosting much bigger events for 12 years now, starting in 2006 with the first Intel Extreme Masters, a series of international eSports tournaments. This year, there have been Masters’ events in Sydney and Shanghai; later this year, the competition comes to Chicago before stopping in Katowice, Poland, early next year. The phenomenon is only going…

6 min
do i need a vpn at home?

When you use a VPN, you’re adding a layer of obfuscation to your online activities and digging an encrypted tunnel between your traffic and anyone who tries to spy on you. That makes sense when you’re out and about, using Wi-Fi networks that aren’t your own. But at home, a VPN can help protect you from other threats and may let you access streaming content that would be otherwise unavailable. WHAT ARE THE THREATS? Outside your home, it’s hard to tell which networks you encounter are safe. When you’re at a coffee shop, for example, how can you tell which Wi-Fi network is legitimate? Unless the SSID is posted somewhere, you’re just going to have to guess. Clever bad guys will set up access points with familiar names, hoping to trick people…

4 min
ibm releases pretrained watson ai tools

In a significant expansion of the IBM Watson cognitive computing platform, IBM has launched “pretrained” artificial intelligence (AI) tools for a slew of industries, including advertising, agriculture, automotive, building management, customer service, human resources (HR), manufacturing, marketing, and supply chain. “The focus is on how AI can make each professional—across industries—more effective and more efficient,” Kareem Yusuf, Ph.D., General Manager of IBM Watson IoT, told PCMag. Watson is IBM’s series of AI services and applications. By releasing this series of pretrained tools, Yusuf said, IBM aims to help companies change the way they work. “A key business advantage lies in tapping into organizational insights, historical customer data, internal reporting, past transactions, and client interactions,” he said. “These elements are too often underutilized.” Offering pretrained solutions for various industries is a big deal, explained Rob…

1 min
netflix and youtube make up over a quarter of global internet traffic

Video-streaming services are taking over the entertainment world, and the high bandwidth that comes with them is eating up an increasingly massive chunk of internet traffic around the world. According to Sandvine’s 1H2018 Global Internet Phenomena Report, Netflix is now responsible for 15 percent of worldwide downstream traffic by megabytes, followed by YouTube at 11.4 percent. Together, the two streaming-video platforms make up over a quarter of global internet traffic. Amazon Prime Video has carved out a solid chunk as well, at 3.7 percent, a number that comes into clearer focus as you break it down by region. Netflix is the number-one video-streaming traffic source in the Americas and number three in the Asia Pacific region, and Amazon has the number-four spot in both the Americas and in Europe, the Middle East,…