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PC Magazine

PC Magazine November 2016

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.
election time

When I started in journalism, I wanted to cover politics. I got a degree in political science, volunteered on some campaigns, and applied for jobs at the New Republic, the National Review, The New Yorker, The Nation, even the Village Voice. None of them hired me. So I took a job with Mobile Computing magazine, which led me, eventually, to PC Magazine. The tech beat has worked out pretty well for me, but sometimes I still miss being part of our civic conversations. Fortunately, the worlds of technology and politics are always running into each other. In September, we dug into the self-driving car revolution, a development that will profoundly reshape our cities, our economy, and our lives. Then last month, we explored how important encryption technology is to the modern…

3 min.
dvorak’s long, strange tech trip

John C. Dvorak’s reminiscences of the past three decades triggered a lot of readers’ memories, especially of the exciting early days of personal computing. And some of the responses demonstrated that he’s not the only cranky geek around! “MY 30 YEARS AT PCMAG: A BRIEF HISTORY OF PERSONAL COMPUTING” I have very fond memories of those early years of the computing industry. As a child of the 80s, I gobbled up every copy of PC Magazine that my father subscribed to, and after he ended that, I’d go to the library and devour its copy as soon as it became available. I especially liked the technical columns, which delved into arcane commands and techniques, something which one doesn’t see that much of these days in mainstream publications. ([I] also always enjoyed your…

2 min.
the large hadron collider is running out of disk space

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has run into an unanticipated problem: It’s running out of disk space. “This year the LHC is stable and reliable,” says Jorg Wenninger, head of operations at the LHC. “It is working like clockwork. We don’t have much downtime.” That’s actually the problem. When the collider was planned out, scientists expected that it would be running about a third of the time. The rest of the time would be used for maintenance, refilling, rebooting, and other such logistical tasks. But that’s not how it seems to work in practice. This may be the first time in history when technicians have made a bad estimate about uptime and had that result in success. The LHC is actually doing collisions about 70 percent of the time, more than…

2 min.
your next bank card may change numbers every hour

Bank and credit cards are the gatekeepers to our funds, offering access to ATMs, a way to quickly pay for goods over the counter or online, and an essential part of actually dealing with your bank. But they are also the target of fraudsters who have many methods of stealing or copying their details and spending your cash for you. Soon, though, stealing your card details may end up being completely pointless —because an hour after they are stolen, they’ll stop working. Bank cards may become a little bit more intelligent by switching the three-digit card security code (CSC) found next to your signature every 60 minutes. A MOVING TARGET The MotionCode display changes the CSC (card security code) on the back of your bank card every hour, making it more difficult for…

1 min.
google patent tips implantable health device

Google is looking to patent an implantable device that would keep tabs on a person’s health. As first noted by PatentYogi, the patent application describes a method by which a doctor or other healthcare provider would inject a that person with a small chip that would analyze fluids in the skin. Data could then be sent to a reader device so doctors could analyze blood and other fluids. Armed with that knowledge, doctors could make determinations on a person’s blood sugar levels and find out how a diabetic’s level are fluctuating throughout the day. In addition, Google says, the technology could be used to detect heart rates and even body temperatures. Of course, patents don’t always translate into actual products. Google has been working on health-related issues for some time, including its smart contact…

5 min.
bmw’s 100-year vision: a smart motorcycle that won’t tip or crash

Looking ahead to its second century, BMW recently completed the vision for its four groups: BMW, BMW Motorrad (motorcycles), Mini, and Rolls-Royce. It’s now BMW Motorrad’s turn, and the company showed a conceptual bike called the Vision Next 100 that keeps itself upright while driving or standing. Although the BMW concept motorcycle of the future isn’t self-driving, it comes close. The Vision Next 100 helps the rider stay upright and constantly adjusts to road conditions. It’s so safe, BMW says, that the rider doesn’t need a helmet or protective clothing. When the driver turns the handlebar, the frame itself flexes and changes shape, allowing the bike to go left or right. It takes more effort to turn the bike at higher speeds, improving stability. With the Flexframe (BMW’s term), there is also…