Tech & Gaming
PC Magazine

PC Magazine May 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
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
tech addiction nation

BY DAN COSTA When Rob Marvin pitched me a feature story on tech addiction, I was skeptical. There’s been so much coverage of this topic already, and so much of it has been terrible. The headlines, the personal anecdotes, the fear-mongering about new, poorly understood technologies; it’s all just a little too perfect for sensation-seeking news media. Was there anything original that we could add to this story? Rob assured me there was. His report in this month’s PC Magazine Digital Edition proves he was right. Our human inability to master the technologies we have created is not new. Back in 1990, the New York Times reported: The proposition that television can be addictive is proving to be more than a glib metaphor. The most intensive scientific studies of people’s viewing habits are finding…

2 min.
fitness trackers changed my life

Great article! Been feeling the same way about the data from my Fitbit Ionic I bought last year, especially the sleep data. The data is neat, but how does it really help me? —ChrisAN82 Ms. Song: loved your article! Mainly, I admire your courage as you use yourself as the example of someone finding something useful in fitness trackers. At the beginning, I wondered what thing all those trackers would reveal that you didn’t know. Then you described polycystic ovary syndrome, and the light bulb went on. Of course! Metrics from the tracker revealed that anomalous weight gain instead of loss couldn’t be the result of anything you did intentionally—it had to be something else. —Ted Thomas These trackers are BS. I use a heart rate monitor with a strap for my running, biking,…

6 min.
why intel’s diane bryant isn’t afraid of ai

Fast Forward is a series of conversations with tech leaders hosted by Dan Costa, PCMag’s Editor-in-Chief. Diane Bryant is EVP and General Manager of Intel’s Data Center Group. She and Dan spoke about artificial intelligence. Dan Costa: Most people think data centers are kind of boring, but you can do incredible things with them. It’s also the most profitable division inside of Intel. People think of Intel as a chip company, but the data center business has exploded in recent years, and part of that is driving this AI revolution. Diane Bryant: Right. Absolutely. The artificial intelligence… discipline was founded in 1956, so we’re talking a long time ago. And so it’s crazy to now think about how that area has simply exploded and is transforming literally all businesses. And it’ll transform…

3 min.
what is nvidia max-q?

Traditionally, gaming laptops have been hulking machines with big screens and short battery lives. They were meant to stay put on a desk. The cooling systems required to run the discrete graphics cards typically make standard gaming laptops large and heavy. Significant strides have been made in the past few years to solve this problem—Razer, for one, deserves a tip of the hat for its sleek and slim Blade line. But if you want a slim gaming laptop, you’ll need to make some sacrifices. The best graphics you can get in the 14-inch Razer Blade is an Nvidia GTX 1060 card, which is a moderate performer when it comes to gaming. But Nvidia is aiming to help solve the problem with its Max-Q initiative. The term Max-Q is borrowed from the aeronautics…

6 min.
how virtual avatars help stroke patients improve motor function

I am hooked up to a 16-channel brain machine interface with 12 channels of EEG on my head and ears and four channels of electromyography (EMG) on my arms. An Oculus Rift VR headset occludes my vision. Two inertial measurement units (IMU) are stuck to my wrists and forearms, tracking the orientation of my arms, while the EMG monitors my electrical impulses and peripheral nerve activity. Dr. Sook-Lei Liew, Director of USC’s Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory, and Julia Anglin, Research Lab Supervisor and Technician, wait to record my baseline activity and observe a monitor with a representation of my real arm and a virtual limb. I see the same image from inside the Rift. “Ready?” asks Dr. Liew. “Don’t move—or think.” I stay still, close my eyes, and let my mind go…

4 min.
want to speed up your users’ internet? look at your dns server

The Domain Name System (DNS) is crucial to how your users experience the internet. Each time users need to reach a website, their PCs need to translate whatever they type in the address bar into an IP address. Since most people can’t remember IP addresses, they type in the name of a website or other internet location. After someone types in something like “PCMag.com,” the computer sends that name out to a DNS server; it looks up the IP address and sends it back to the PC. Once the computer has the IP address, the user can navigate to the website. THE DNS SLOWDOWN As you can imagine, it takes time for a DNS server to look up an IP address. It also takes time for the request to reach the server and…