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Windows 10: a step back to go forward

October 1st, 2014 by Nicole Kobie

Windows 10

Windows 10 has been announced, and Microsoft has given us a few details about how the new OS will work to hold us over until next year. Understandably, after the mess that was Windows 8, people had their knives ready, and criticism has already started. But really there’s only one thing Microsoft did wrong with Windows 8: it stopped listening to users and started acting like Apple.

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Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century

September 23rd, 2014 by Steve Cassidy

Michael Dell was in a quotable mood at the recent Dell Summit in Brussels. Having retaken control of his vast PC-making empire over the last 18 months or so, he’s developed a bit of an appetite for chats with the IT and business press corps. This time may have lacked some of the theatricality and shock value of last year’s pop-up press conference in Paris, but on the other hand there was a lot more detail flying around, and a lot less hardware to see.

Last time we had the (quite fascinating) presentation from the case designer for almost every product, explaining about paints and metal finishes and the texturing on the back of the Venue Pro 8 tablet. This time, the numbers were well and truly in charge. My notes took a while to become legible, as I realised that this was not going to be a repeat of last year’s highly personal reflection on one of the world’s largest financial deals. This was down-to-business time.

One of the most important shifts in attitude that comes with being a private company is that various arcane and painful American regulations about statements which may affect share prices, can be relaxed. So we were told about double-digit growth since the buyback had taken place – though personally given where we are in the economic cycle right now, I’d not conclude too much from such a loose statistic.

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How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers

September 16th, 2014 by Steve Cassidy

Database breaches, in which giant corporates such as Adobe, eBay, or Sony lose track of copies of their user and billing databases, are becoming almost weekly news items in late 2014.

Sometimes this is given a hacker spin, other times it’s just a dull case of not knowing where all those USB keys or backup tapes have gone.

Consumers are meant to respond to the news – which manages to be simultaneously both worrying and vague – by meekly changing their passwords, even if they don’t think they’re included in the database that’s been stolen. eBay’s alleged database theft triggered a mandatory password change for everyone, right across the system.

I have some problems with this approach, because, to be honest, I have a whole lot of different web identities. Once you’ve signed up to enough services for review, this becomes inevitable: I have a slew of login names and emails, and figuring out which one goes with which service becomes a daily trial. Read more

Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s

September 15th, 2014 by Barry Collins

The stress of last week’s big Apple announcements must be getting to Tim Cook. The man needs a holiday. That can be the only explanation for some bizarre comments he made over the weekend on a US television show, when he was asked about Apple’s TV plans.

“TV is one that we continue to have great interest in – I choose my words carefully there – TV is one of those things that, if we’re really honest, it’s stuck back in the seventies,” Cook said on the Charlie Rose show.

“Think about how much your life has changed, and all the things around you that has changed. And yet TV, when you go in your living room to watch the TV, or wherever it might be, it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock and you’ve entered a time capsule and you’re going backwards. The interface is terrible. I mean, it’s awful!”

Just to jog the Apple boss’s memory, here are a few examples of how television has changed over the past 40 years.

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Posted in: Hardware | 17 Comments »

Westminster wins the .London battle

September 12th, 2014 by Tim Danton

DotLondon heatmap1&1 and Fasthosts have produced an interesting heatmap of successful .London registrations, which would seem to suggest that the hotbed of web-savvy companies isn’t in Shoreditch or East London’s Tech City: it’s the city of Westminster. Read more


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20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation

September 11th, 2014 by Nicole Kobie

If PC Pro had a heart, it would be the Real Worlders, as we call them. Many of our Real World Columnists have been contributing to the magazine since its early days — some, including Davey Winder and Jon Honeyball, from the very first issue.

We asked Paul Ockenden, Steve Cassidy and Davey Winder for their favourite columns that have been published in PC Pro. Here’s what they picked.

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Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold

September 10th, 2014 by Barry Collins

Apple Watch

Darien Graham-Smith and his newlywed wife may be casting admiring glances at the Apple Watch from afar, but I don’t share his enthusiasm.

We’re still at the incubation stage of the smartwatch market, but I was hoping that Apple would provide me with a definitive reason to want one of these devices strapped to my wrist. Last night’s announcement singularly failed to push my easily goaded “Buy Now” buttons. Here’s why the Apple Watch currently leaves me cold.

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Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook’s Apple back with a bang?

September 10th, 2014 by Darien Graham-Smith

You have to hand it to Apple – it knows how to create a buzz. Even though I’m currently honeymooning on the other side of the world, I couldn’t resist sitting up until nearly 3am to watch last night’s announcement.

Of course, this was no ordinary event. Ever since Tim Cook took over the reins, we’ve been waiting for Apple to prove that its vitality hadn’t been lost along with its iconic CEO. The fanfare surrounding last night’s announcement seemed to promise that, at long last, that proof was at hand.

iPhone 6s

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BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed

September 9th, 2014 by Barry Collins

BT Home Hub 5

BT finally got round to installing fibre in my area around a month ago, since when I’ve been enjoying life in the fast lane. However, there’s a distinct problem with the way that BT sets up the router, which wasn’t mentioned in our review of the Home Hub 5 and may prevent you from getting the most out of your fibre connection. Luckily, there’s an easy fix, which I’m going to explain here.

The BT Home Hub 5 is a dual-band router, but the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands share the same SSID by default. In other words, when you go to connect your devices, you’ll see one access point labelled “BT Hub-XXXX” and your device may connect to either of the two bands. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no way of telling a dual-band device to connect to a particular band – although if you know better, please let me know in the comments, below.

This is a problem, since the 5GHz band is much slower than 2.4GHz in my experience, and that of several of my Twitter correspondents. From upstairs, my dual-band laptop can get the full 80Mbits/sec afforded by my Infinity 2 connection over 2.4GHz, but that throughput slumps to around 20Mbits/sec when connected to 5GHz – which is roughly what Jonathan Bray found in his review of the Home Hub 5.

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20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including “the worst tablet we’ve ever seen”)

September 4th, 2014 by Nicole Kobie


There’s nothing like a perfect piece of tech — but even rarer than a six-out-of-six score on a PC Pro review is a one-star rating.

It’s not often we’re so horrified by the uselessness of a piece of kit that we give it our lowest possible score, but here are three times that’s happened in the past ten years. Enjoy. We know we did.

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