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PC Magazine

PC Magazine November 2015

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

2 min.
first word

Why 3D Printing Matters Trend spotting is all about timing. Earlier this week, I was talking to an editor who works outside tech about the top trends in the industry. I told her about our cover story this month, and she asked if 2016 would be the year that 3D printing goes mainstream. Would consumers start buying printers en masse? Not likely, I told her—most people don’t need one, and probably never will. She was too polite to ask, “So why the heck are you putting it on the cover of your magazine?”, but her skepticism was obvious. Then I heard about a Reddit user going by the name NSA_Listbot who claims to have 3D printed a railgun. For those of you not versed on advanced weaponry, railguns use electromagnetic energy instead…

3 min.
free to be... tv and me

We as consumers should be able to get our point across that we don’t necessarily want to constantly being paying through the nose for everything. A number of years ago, even here in overtaxed Canada I was able to view a lot more TV content by streaming than I can now. Not only are there the restrictions about viewing across international borders, now we are only able to watch a few shows unless we have satellite or cable service. Yes, I am old enough to remember adjusting the rabbit ears on the TV to be able to get a better picture. Plus, I was the remote: Dad would tell me to get up and change the channel or adjust the volume. How things have changed. But at that time we had…

2 min.
disney-themed prosthetics make young patients heroes

Firefighter, police officer, astronaut, superhero: Kids dream big when it comes to the future. But saving the world may not be so far-fetched, thanks to Open Bionics. The Bristol, England–based company is 3D printing robotic arms for children to let them embody some of their favorite characters. A 2015 Disney Accelerator participant, Open Bionics hopes to begin selling its designs next year for less than $500. The start-up’s first three models are Iron Man’s red gauntlet, the sparkling glove of Queen Elsa (from Frozen), and a lightsaber hand inspired by Star Wars—with more to come. “Now kids can get excited about their prosthetics,” the company website reads. “They won’t have to do boring physical therapy, they’ll train to become heroes. They’re not just getting medical devices, they’re getting bionic hands inspired by their favorite…

3 min.
farewell silicon?

Carbon Nanotube Valley doesn’t have the same ring to it as Silicon Valley, but we might have to live with it if IBM’s newest breakthrough has legs. IBM Research has “demonstrated a new way to shrink transistor contacts without reducing performance of carbon nanotube devices, opening a pathway to dramatically faster, smaller, and more powerful computer chips beyond the capabilities of traditional semiconductors,” the company announced in October. This, according to IBM’s VP of Science and Technology, Dario Gil, was “one of the most daunting challenges facing the chip industry.” “Making the switch from silicon to carbon nanotube chips would improve highperformance computers.” According to IBM, making the switch from silicon to carbon nanotube chips would improve high-performance computers, enable faster analysis of Big Data, increase the power and battery life of mobile devices…

4 min.
how cisco is teaching clients to chill

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to get home peripherals to talk to each other. Now imagine that challenge on a massive scale and you have Cisco’s Internet of Things effort—or, as the company calls it, the Internet of Everything (IoE). PC Magazine went to Silicon Valley recently to check out the Cisco Hyperinnovation Living Labs (CHILL) and learn how the company is preparing for the next wave of connectivity. The CHILL lab is in Building 11 of Cisco’s rambling campus outside San Jose. It’s a mad scientist’s playhouse, something that Q of James Bond fame might relish, full of gadgets and drones, telepresence robots, and reusable materials. One lab table is completely given over to an intricate model, built entirely of Lego, of a shipyard with containers and a train set…

9 min.
valve’s movie brats: inside the source filmmaker community

Post-production film artist Adam Palmer sold off all his film equipment to play with a video game program. “I was so confident this was the direction I wanted to go,” said Palmer, who left live-action filmmaking to instead work with gaming company Valve’s 3D animation program Source Filmmaker. “I haven’t looked back since.” A vibrant community of digital artists has been born thanks to Source Filmmaker. Valve fans, already some of the most passionate PC gamers out there, are using the free yet robust software to create everything from high-quality short films to funny animated sketches to truly bizarre videos akin to those you’ll otherwise find only in the deepest, darkest parts of the Internet. But we are only just beginning to see its full potential. Through Source Filmmaker, Valve is…