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PC Magazine

PC Magazine February 2017

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.

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United States
Ziff Davis
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
on magazine publishing

I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of magazine publishing. I’m the Editor-in-Chief of a brand that stubbornly features “magazine” in its name, so this should come as no surprise. Although PC Magazine ceased publishing a print version in 2011, thousands of subscribers continue to pay for our Digital Edition. The question is, with an almost infinite amount of free content online, why pay for it? The PC Magazine Digital Edition is designed for any type of digital display: laptops, tablets, mobile phones. When PCMag.com publishes an article, it is accompanied by advertisements. That’s how we make money to pay our writers. In the Digital Edition, we have subscribers to help defray our production costs. As a result, we can deliver our content completely ad-free. Considering how targeted ads can…

3 min.
directtv is now a trap!

YOUR RESPONSES: This will be a great service once they add a virtual DVR service and ROKU support. At $35 lousy bucks for 100 channels, grandfathered forever with no expensive cable boxes to rent, who cares that it is basically a cable bundle. 60 odd cable channels have a 3 day rewind feature (not yet fully implemented) where you can watch anything “aired” in the last 3 days. Further, is has all the sports networks, bar none (ok, maybe no NFL Network... no biggie) The real problem with the service is that there is no way to throttle back data usage with the Apple TV app, so if you have a usage cap, be prepared to get threatening emails or pop-ups from your ISP, or big overage charges. Mind you, this isn’t…

8 min.
groundbreaking fmri study finds 4 distinct neurological subtypes of depression

New research from Weill Cornell has isolated four distinct neurotypes of depression. But its knock-on effects are much wider in scope. The work establishes biomarkers for depression, and it sheds new light on the physical underpinnings of psychological disease. The study captured fMRI brain scans from more than a thousand participants in order to answer a question: What’s different between the brains of healthy people and those with depression? What it found is that within the umbrella category of “people who have major depressive disorder,” are (at least) four distinct neurotypes, each with its own cluster of associated symptoms. And the neurotypes aren’t random. They align with their symptom clusters along two major axes: anxiety and anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure). The authors refer to the axes as a shared…

5 min.
how vr holograms can train everyone from hairdressers to astronauts

Wouldn’t it have been amazing to sing backup for Bowie, sit in the front row of a lecture by Einstein, visit the lab with Marie Curie, or gaze into outer space with Buzz Aldrin? Sadly, the first three are no longer with us—but Buzz is. And he’s been digitized as a volumetric hologram by VR/AR startup 8i, so he’s future-proofed for eternity. 8i started in New Zealand and has several staffers, including co-founder and CTO Eugene d’Eon, who worked with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson at Weta Digital. 8i recently opened an L.A. offshoot, in a temporary space on a soundstage at Culver Studios (where Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane and the 1960’s-era Batman TV show were both filmed) while its new office is being constructed. PCMag met up with…

1 min.
mit: uber, lyft vital in reducing congestion

Uber and Lyft are more than just a nuisance to taxi and private-hire firms: They play a vital role in reducing traffic, pollution, and energy usage. A new MIT study suggests ride-sharing services could eliminate 75 percent of the vehicles on public roads without significantly impacting travel time. Led by professor Daniela Rus of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), researchers developed an algorithm that found 3,000 four-person cars could serve 98 percent of taxi demand in New York City, with an average wait time of 2.7 minutes. This theory works only if people are willing to truly share their rides, though—not just with a stranger behind the wheel but also with strangers in the backseat. “Instead of transporting people one at a time, drivers could transport two to four…

4 min.
dealing with pain? ella will see you now

There are many apps in the mHealth category. Most are focused on wellness, but some are directly designed to streamline everyday health needs: providing access to medical data, making appointments, checking refills on medications, and exchanging messages with doctors about test results. Then there’s the emergence of the “Internet of Health,” a digital layer of technology products, often controlled by patients but monitored by medical professionals and underpinned by data. PCMag has written about some of these before, including VR trials with wounded warriors returning from combat suffering from extreme burns or the trauma of PTSD. Newer products, such as Ella, a mindfulness-training and medical-support service for chronic pain sufferers—currently in early hospital trials in Los Angeles—are transforming the relationship between patient and medical professionals. PCMag visited the Techstars Healthcare Accelerator, in…