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PC Pro

PC Pro June 2020

The UK’s biggest selling PC monthly magazine, and your source of professional IT news, reviews and tests. Combining in–depth industry comment and analysis with rigorous product testing.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
SPECIAL: Get 40% OFF with code: BLACK2020
R 84,16
R 673,03
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
while online services go into meltdown, let’s appreciate the local

OF THE MANY lessons Covid-19 has already delivered, the one that strikes home for me is just how much I’ve taken for granted my entire life. The effect of the virus echoes throughout this magazine. We had the idea for the “Can tech survive without China?” investigation (see p36) soon after the first cases of coronavirus emerged from Wuhan, the heartland of China’s electrical production. Having gone through weeks and months of denial, the Chinese government shut everything down. The result: a sudden halt in production of the technology we love to buy. As you’ll discover when you read the feature, China now effectively owns the production cycle from start to end and we’re almost totally dependent on one nation. And then, almost while we weren’t looking, Europe became the epicentre of…

1 min.

Nik Rawlinson If you have a Windows 7 machine that you want to keep running, Nik has the answer courtesy of eight Linux distros. See p78 Dick Pountain As we move from face-to-face services to their digital twins, Dick explains why learning in particular needs to be treated differently. Turn to p22 Dave Mitchell Buying an office printer is a long-term investment, but luckily Dave is here to help through a mixture of reviews and purchasing advice. See p96 Nicole Kobie Nicole set out to discover how much control China has over the worldwide technology supply chain. The answer is frightening, as you’ll find from p36…

4 min.
digital tax might be scrapped before birth

GOVERNMENT PLANS TO levy a Digital Services Tax (DST) on US technology giants are likely to falter in trade negotiations, experts have told PC Pro. In a Spring Budget containing measures designed to boost digital businesses, the chancellor made several pledges, from a previously peddled £5 billion on fibre broadband to further billions on research and development. However, plans to impose taxes on tech giants could be dropped under pressure from foreign governments and UK businesses, raising questions about how the new initiatives will be funded – even before the coronavirus crisis. Following the lead of several other European countries, the UK laid out plans for a 2% Digital Services Tax to harvest some of the wealth generated in the UK by largely American tech firms. But with the UK seeking a…

2 min.
five stories not to miss

1 Microsoft goes on offensive to take out botnet Microsoft led a strategic international takedown of what was described as the world’s most prolific botnet: the nine million-machine Necurs network blamed for multiple malware and spam attacks. Although supported by industry partners and authorities, the targeted action raised eyebrows as it was led by Microsoft rather than law enforcement and involved the firm pre-emptively blocking six million domains that could be used to spread malware. 2 A Brave battle with Google Google is facing fresh legal action in Europe after the browser firm Brave accused the company of breaching the fundamentals of Europe’s GDPR by sharing data collected across its various platforms between services. According to a complaint from Brave, Google doesn’t ring-fence data collected within different strands of its business and fails…

3 min.

Vecnos 360 camera You may not have heard of Vecnos, but the firm’s fledgling foray into the camera market after flying the nest from parent company Ricoh sees the launch of a 360˚ camera pitched at the consumer market. Leaning on technology first explored at professional-focussed Ricoh with its Theta 360 camera, Vecnos says the new hardware features a four-lens optical system, with three lenses circling the tip of the shaft and another sitting on the device’s head. The main point of difference from competitors, such as the Insta360, lies in its slender pen-like shape, which the company argues makes the device less bulky than rivals. There are only two buttons on the side of the camera. Stitched-together images captured by the quartet of lenses can be edited and manipulated through a…

2 min.
unfixable processor flaws fuel cloud hacking fears

NEWLY DISCOVERED WEAKNESSES in multiple Intel and AMD processors could enable industrial espionage and state hacking, according to security experts. The warning is the latest in a series of “side-channel” weaknesses that emerged in 2017 with the Spectre and Meltdown attacks that target the way processors deal with data passing through memory. While the latest threats are unlikely to impact home users, businesses and cloud computing platforms may be vulnerable, and in the case of Intel’s processors the only surefire solution is to replace them with newer chips. “For side-channel attacks to work, you need to be running software on the same computer so they are more likely in a cloud environment,” said Jethro Beekman, of cloud security specialist Fortanix. According to Beekman, the difficulty of attacks would deter casual hackers, but the flaws…