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PC Magazine

PC Magazine September 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

4 min.
hitting the home button

Last month, we covered the subtle ways that technology has changed how our kids learn. This month, we’re looking at how it’s changing the way we live. The foundation for the smart home is in place. According to research done by Business Insider’s Intelligence group, almost 80 percent of American homes have wireless Internet, although, troublingly, Wi-Fi adoption has plateaued in recent years. At this moment, there are more than 100 items in your home that could-and eventually will-connect to the Internet. And the technology world is on board as well. Products that use Apple HomeKit are available now, and Google is quickly transforming Nest from a smart thermostat into the foundation of its own smart home platform. But the road to the smart home will not be a smooth one. First of…

1 min.
your emails

Does It Do Windows? I am trying to find out if my Lotus 1-2- 3 (version 9.7) will continue to run under Windows 10. I have been using it for 25-30 years and it runs on Windows 7 Professional. My life depends on it, and I hate Excel. How can I find out if it will run before upgrading? —Joe Sage OUR ANSWER: Windows compatibility can be difficult to judge. During the time I’ve been using Windows 10, I’ve only found one program that doesn’t work on it that worked in Windows 7 (a specialized piece of networking software), and I use a fair number of older software applications myself. If Lotus (or any program) runs in Windows 7, the chances are good it will also run in Windows 10. If it doesn’t right…

3 min.
intel is trying to rein a changing world

Chip giant Intel has traditionally used its annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco to showcase its latest and greatest under-the-hood processor technologies. But this year’s anchoring revision, the 6th-Generation Core (aka “Skylake”) CPU, had a muted presence at best. Unlike in previous years, there were few probing deep-dive sessions covering its wonders, with the individual features (revamped graphics system, new power management) broken out but not exactly highlighted. And few if any new systems were called out by name, let alone displayed publicly, that use Skylake. Indeed, one could progress through the halls and meeting rooms of the Moscone Center and barely be aware Intel was taking this new microarchitecture seriously at all. CEO Brian Krzanich set the tone in his day-one keynote address by stressing three assumptions that…

3 min.
3d xpoint: the next, best memory standard?

For years, researchers have hunted for memory architectures that could address the primary weaknesses of DDR and NAND flash without introducing more problems or simply costing too much money. Intel and Micron have recently announced that they may have created it. The new memory architecture, named 3D Xpoint (pronounced “crosspoint”), is designed in a 3D structure, like some of the more cutting-edge 3D NAND. Unlike NAND, however, 3D Xpoint doesn’t use an electrical charge to store data in cells. According to Intel, the properties of a 3D Xpoint cell change when the cell is written and remain changed for long enough for the device to be classified as nonvolatile memory. In addition, 3D Xpoint memory can write data into much smaller areas; NAND flash must be written in relatively large blocks. The…

9 min.
security social: black hat’s biggest threats

During the first week of August, like-minded individuals converged on Las Vegas to celebrate their shared love of a future deeply imbued with technology and a society improved by science and rational thought. Those people were at the Star Trek convention. A few casinos away, a similar group gathered to talk about all the new and exciting ways they’d discovered to steal information and hack into systems. Those people were at Black Hat. Black Hat bills itself as the premier show for offensive security, and it lived up to its promise. This year, we knew we’d hear about hacking Linux-powered rifles, remotely taking control of cars, and attacking Android phones with malicious text messages. But also tackled were the Stagefright Android vulnerability, another flaw by which a clever attacker could use…

4 min.
a comic portrait of a serious whistle-blower

It’s been more than two years since Edward Snowden revealed the startling scope of the NSA’s programs for spying on the American people. So there’s been enough time to form more substantial responses to Snowdens’ revelations than hot take after hot take. Laura Poitras’ Academy Award–winning documentary Citizenfour showed history being made as Snowden walked reporter Glenn Greenwald through the data. Later this year, Gordon-Levitt will star in Oliver Stone’s Snowden, a dramatization of the whistleblower’s life. Until then, you’ll be able to read Snowden, an illustrated biography by author and editorial cartoonist Ted Rall that turns out to be a darkly funny look at our ongoing surveillance nightmare. SURVEILLANCE STATE OF EMERGENCY In case the immediate comparisons to 1984 are too subtle, Rall’s Snowden argues that PRISM, Stellar Wind, and the…