Tech & Gaming
PC Magazine

PC Magazine October 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.
ar you going to get to work?

Google Glass got a bad rap. It was really cool technology that flopped (very) publicly, in part, because it insisted on a seat at the cool kid’s table. But it turns out that Google Glass wasn’t cut out for the runway—it was built for the factory floor. Today, Google Glass has found success as an augmented reality (AR) platform that helps skilled workers get more done. Boeing, GE, and healthcare providers across the nation are using the device to provide hands-free computing access. And this is just the beginning. When Microsoft launched its Hololens AR platform in 2015, the technology blew me away. I was at the event in Seattle, and moments after the announcement, I had a headset on—and was standing on the surface of Mars. Sure, they were just…

2 min.
tips from our readers

“HOW TO DO A REVERSE IMAGE SEARCH FROM YOUR PHONE” (SEPTEMBER) You can actually use the Chrome browser (and perhaps others, I haven’t tried) by going to the images page and then selecting “request desktop site” from the drop menu in the upper right corner. The camera will then show in the search box. This also helps with some (but not all) of those sites that aren’t necessarily mobile friendly. —Jodi L Rob “HOW TO LISTEN TO MUSIC ON YOUR AMAZON ECHO” (SEPTEMBER) The Amazon Echo (original tall version) can play a Bluetooth stream from your phone or other device but does not stream to another device (such as a bluetooth speaker). An Echo Dot cannot accept a Bluetooth stream from your phone or any device, but can stream to another device. It’s a…

3 min.
microsoft, facebook unveil open standard for ai, deep learning networks

As AI and deep learning have gone mainstream, a wide range of companies have announced they’ll bring compatible products to market. Everyone from Google and Nvidia to AMD and Fujitsu have thrown their hats into this particular ring. But the software that runs on deep learning and AI-specific hardware is still typically a custom solution developed by individual companies. Microsoft and Facebook are teaming up to change that, with a new common framework for developing deep learning models. The Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) is described as a standard that will allow developers to move their neural networks from one framework to another, provided both adhere to the ONNX standard. According to the joint press release from the two companies, this isn’t currently the case. Companies must choose the framework they’re…

2 min.
ai-generated reviews easily fool humans

Don’t believe everything you read on the internet: Researchers at the University of Chicago have trained an artificial intelligence system to generate fake Web reviews. Led by Professor Ben Y. Zhao, the team demonstrated how easily a recurrent neural network (RNN) can produce short critiques that are “largely indistinguishable” from real commentary. Can you tell the difference between these two reviews—one of which is real and cited in their paper, the other created by a machine? “My family and I are huge fans of this place. The staff is super nice, and the food is great. The chicken is very good, and the garlic sauce is perfect. Ice cream topped with fruit is delicious too. Highly recommended!” “Excellent pizza, lasagna and some of the best scallops I’ve had. The dessert was also extensive…

3 min.
verizon, at&t may be choking unlimited data users

4G LTE speeds in the U.S. are getting faster, but our wireless networks may be choking down unlimited data users, according to a new report from Ookla Speedtest. That makes T-Mobile the fastest mobile carrier in the U.S., according to crowdsourced speed tests. It isn’t that simple, though. The report notes that T-Mobile is still at the bottom for overall population coverage. Verizon has great coverage and speeds, but is throttling heavy data users. And AT&T and Sprint provide high speeds less consistently than the other two carriers, the report says. Ookla’s new speed score isn’t a sheer measure of megabits downloaded. It incorporates low-end, median and top-end performance for both download and upload speed, to give a bigger picture of overall speed. That’s a similar approach to the one we take…

5 min.
are smartphones hurting our kids?

Fast Forward is a series of conversations with tech leaders hosted by Dan Costa, PCMag’s Editor-in-Chief. Costa’s guest for this episode was Dr. Jean Twenge, who recently wrote a piece for The Atlantic called “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” Dan Costa: Your new book, 'Gen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What That Means for the Rest of Us,' coins yet another term: the 'iGen generation.' I imagine the Simon & Schuster lawyers went back and forth with Apple a little bit on this, perhaps? Apple’s very protective of that little i. Dr. Jean Twenge: Well, you can’t copyright a little i. At least, that’s what I would guess. Not yet. Who is this iGen generation? I still call anybody younger than…