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PC Pro

PC Pro April 2020

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PC Pro is the UK’s number one IT monthly magazine and offers readers a healthy variety of tech news updates, tests, reviews, best buys and even bonus software in every issue. The editorial team are experts in their field and they’re dedicated to creating the most authoritative reviews and keeping you up to speed on the latest technology developments.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
highlights this month

REVIEW OF THE MONTH Fairphone 3 p70 If you’ve ever wondered about the cost of going green, the Fairphone 3 makes it abundantly clear. Made using conventional methods, this phone would have cost around £150.As it is, you’ll need to spend around £400 to get your hands on a device that uses ethically sourced components made in factories that offer the gold standard in working conditions. Other upsides? This is the most modular and easy-to-fix phone on the market. So the question becomes whether this is a price you’re willing to pay, along with the indisputable fact that you can get so much more for your money if you put ethics to one side. Read our verdict on p70. p36 ADVICE OF THE MONTH #1 Barry Collins has made the switch to Mac after 20 years…

3 min.
why must intel and amd make our lives so hard?

TO SAY THERE’S a bumper crop of laptops from this year’s CES (see p26) would be an insult to the word bumper. I’m genuinely excited about what’s to come, and that’s in no small part down to magnificent work done by engineers at AMD and Intel. What a shame, then, that both firms make it so difficult for people to understand what they’re buying. For example, make a trip to currys.co.uk. It currently offers 13 filters for laptop processors, with the Intel options ranging from a Celeron to a Core i9. Within that, you could buy a laptop toting a Pentium Silver or a Pentium Gold. While we can expect anybody to understand that Gold is superior to Silver, and a Core i9 definitely sounds better than a Core i3, this…

1 min.

Alan Martin Are the Fairphone 3’s ethical credentials worth paying for? Alan grapples with his own conscience in search for an answer on p70 Barry Collins How does a lifelong Windows user switch to a Mac? Newbie Barry taps into the wisdom of Apple old-timer Jon Honeyball from p36 Paul Ockenden In a column that all Barclays customers should read, Paul explains a way to bypass the awful payment apps provided by banks on p113 Jon Bray Microsoft believes its Surface Pro X is the best combination yet of tablet and laptop, but Jon has different ideas. Discover why on p68…

4 min.
all bets off as children’s data is leaked

THE WAY THAT the Department for Education (DfE) handles sensitive data on children and students needs a thorough independent investigation, experts argue, following revelations that one of its datasets had been used to help betting companies target new customers. The data scare was flagged in an investigation by The Sunday Times, but PC Pro can reveal it may be the tip of the iceberg amid accusations that the DfE’s systems aren’t fit for purpose. The Sunday Times reported how one of the DfE’s datasets – the 28-million-file strong Learning Records Service (LRS) – had been used by a company called GBG to help betting firms verify ages. In fact, betting companies did not have access to the data, but GBG allegedly worked with another company, called Trustopia, to check the age…

2 min.
five stories not to miss

1 EU fixes sights on facial recognition Facial recognition faces scrutiny in the EU, with officials mulling over a five-year ban on it in public spaces while potential threats are investigated. Face-recognition systems have been tested in UK train stations, shopping centres and football stadia with little oversight, but continental watchdogs are proposing a three-to-five-year moratorium to assess the risks to privacy from abuse by private and public operators. 2 Number’s up for unlucky lottery hacker A UK hacker felt the full force of computer misuse laws when he was jailed for nine months for his role in an attack on the National Lottery system. Anwar Batson made a life-changing £5 out of the attack, which used readily downloadable tools, but lottery organiser Camelot justified the case saying its response to the attacks…

1 min.
recycling rebbles

Companies might claim that keeping devices running in their twilight years is too expensive, but vigilante self-support groups show it’s possible. Pebble is a good example – a smartwatch firm that was bought by Fitbit, which eventually shut down the servers providing the platform for two million Pebble devices. That could have been the end of the story, but Pebble had a community willing to fight, or at least code, for their watches. Between the acquisition and the servers being turned off 18 months later, the “Rebble Alliance” worked frantically to document critical APIs and development tools. “Pebble didn’t make sense as a Fitbit product, so they did not keep making it, but we’ve had support from Pebblers inside Fitbit, and Fitbit itself,” said Joshua Ward, a coder on the project. “For instance,…