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PC Magazine

PC Magazine November 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.

United States
Ziff Davis
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12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
standing on the shoulders of geeks

Any measure of professional success is bound to come with an appropriate amount of imposter syndrome. That’s become abundantly clear to me this week. I’m writing these words in a hotel room at the base of the Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan. I’ve spent the last few days talking to local startups, industry leaders, government ministry officials, and students looking to go into the fields of journalism or computer science. I’m here to speak on issues relating to—but not limited to—big data, journalism, social media, personal computing, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, FinTech, digital privacy, and industrial policy in southeast Asian countries. This is silly, of course: Anyone who claims to be an expert in all these subjects is at best a poseur. My presentations are always followed by a Q&A session with the…

2 min.
holding equifax accountable

Equifax's lack of security before the breach and their reaction after the breach are deplorable. Financial restitution should be so great that it buries the company, making it an example so all other corporations take security of consumer data seriously. —zsukm007 Sascha, you nailed it when you said that consumers cannot choose not to use Equifax. Any corporation that collects personal data on consumers must secure that data with the latest and toughest security measures available; it’s the law in many states. Data needs to be compartmentalized so that any single breach will not yield complete data. The fallout from this data breach may wind up damaging the U.S. economy worse than any recession. —Evil_MrM Over the weekend I watched a show I had recorded a couple of weeks back. I was treated to…

2 min.
ibm fits ai wave forecaster on a raspberry pi

Scientists have developed an advanced wave forecasting system that can run speedy simulations on a Raspberry Pi. Using deep learning, analysts at IBM Research Ireland, Baylor University, and the University of Notre Dame built a system that far outpaces existing prediction models. Costly and sluggish traditional platforms require a supercomputer to calculate how tides, winds, and the ocean’s varying depths influence the speed and height of waves. The new deep learning-enhanced framework, however, generates forecasts up to 12,000 percent faster than conventional designs, according to IBM Research member Fearghal O’Donncha, who also tipped “a vastly increased” set of data input. “Accurate forecasts of ocean wave heights and directions are a valuable resource for many marine-based industries,” O’Donncha wrote in a blog post. “Many of these industries operate in harsh environments where power…

2 min.
elon musk could help puerto rico rebuild with solar power

Weeks after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico remains in desperate straits. The island–which is an American territory and whose citizens are full citizens of the United States according to both Supreme Court rulings and acts of Congress–is still almost entirely without power. Virtually every aspect of disaster recovery, from medical treatment to home reconstruction, either requires or is made orders of magnitude easier by electricity. And Maria didn’t just wreck Puerto Rico’s generating stations; it destroyed the entire transmission grid. Elon Musk has offered to help Puerto Rico out, possibly by deploying solar power around the island. Puerto Rico is ideally situated for solar power in many respects. It’s relatively close to the equator—closer than any location in the continental U.S.—and it enjoys high amounts of sunshine for most of the year. Musk’s…

6 min.
it’s time for a digital universal id

In the wake of the massive Equifax data breach, once again a spotlight has been shone on the overuse of the not-so-secret number that passes for a national ID in the United States—the Social Security Number (SSN). Perhaps we have become numb to these hacks and data breaches. What, my credit card number was compromised? The credit card company will cancel it and issue another one. My address information? My cell number? Well that’s already out there in many places. My bank account number? Whatever, I’ll change it. Hold it—someone got my SSN? That’s not an easy one to change. And unfortunately, it’s overused for identity not just by government agencies but also by utilities, telecoms, and financial services companies to identify you and give you credit and access to their…

7 min.
fast forward: nerdwallet’s tim chen on banking, bots, and bitcoin

Fast Forward is a series of conversations with tech leaders hosted by Dan Costa, PCMag’s Editor-in-Chief. Tim Chen is the cofounder and CEO of NerdWallet. He and Dan met at the company’s San Francisco headquarters to talk about making better financial decisions, the prudence of financial literacy, and how the fintech sector is going to evolve over time. Dan Costa: Let’s talk about the world of personal finance and financial technology today. In a lot of ways, it’s never been a better time to be a consumer in this space. I’ve got my phone here. I can check my bank account, I can move money around, I can make stock purchases, all from the palm of my hand. It seems like it’s the best time ever to be managing your personal…