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Nicole Kobie

20 years of PC Pro: our best covers

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

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There are only so many ways you can photograph a laptop — or so you’d think. PC Pro has been blessed with a talented team of designers and photographers in our 20-year-history, who have come up with glorious ways to make bland desktops and black-rectangle tablets into interesting covers, and to translate more esoteric ideas such as broadband and the web into images.

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20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

PC Pro started in 1994, but the A-List — our pick of the best products of the moment — didn’t arrive until three years later, in issue 28.

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If you have a copy of one of our more recent issues to hand, take a flip through the A-List: it’s six pages of 51 product categories, with our main recommendation plus an alternative choice — more than 100 pieces of kit or software we think is worth your money.

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3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

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We’ve been talking about 3D printers for years now, and it’s never made sense to me to buy one of the things: they’re expensive, require serious CAD skills to make anything useful and they smell bad — burning plastic isn’t easy on the nose.

Print shops, on the other hand, always seemed like the perfect home for 3D printers: such businesses could buy better hardware and therefore print higher-quality products than consumers could afford, and offer a chance to make bespoke objects without investing hundreds of pounds first.

Step right up Ryman. The stationery and printing shop has started to offer 3D printing services in two of its London stores, bringing 3D printing to the high street — well, to The Strand and Great Portland Street, at least. We swung round to the latter to see how it works — and get another 3D printed self-portrait to add to our terrifying collection.

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20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

PC Pro cover issue 1

Believe it or not, PC Pro first hit the newsstand in 1994 — and back then it would have landed with a thump. (It was massive.)

As we prepare for our 20th anniversary (issue 241, on sale mid-September), I’ve been flipping through that first issue and marvelling at the sadly spec’d PCs, hilariously cheesy advertising, and interesting design choices. We had a bit of a thing for Word Art, it would seem. (more…)

Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

SamsungTrader

What will the office of the future look like? Samsung has tried to answer that with a recent event showcasing the future of work – and it would appear that next-gen offices will be heavy on Samsung tablets and panel displays.

The first bit of tech on display was pre-event: before I entered the main showcase, a Samsung staffer excitedly asked for the NFC-enabled name tag I’d just been handed. She swiped it on a small device, waited a minute, and swiped again. Then she fiddled with the printer next to her, and swiped the card again, and 30 seconds later a coat-check tag printed out.

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Posted in: Newsdesk

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PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?

Monday, June 16th, 2014

PaperLater cover

The internet is amazing: it’s home to nasty trolls, silly cat photos, and the MailOnline, but it’s so stuffed full of wonderful things that it’s impossible to read it all.

There are — of course — apps to help. By letting me quickly save stories to read later, Pocket has changed my life (and I’m not prone to exaggeration). Install the bookmark in your browser and connect the app to Twitter, and with a quick click you can save the stories behind interesting links to your phone to read offline later, such as when commuting or bored waiting for someone.

Now, PaperLater has taken this a step further. Your saved stories are printed on actual newsprint, which is delivered to your door like your own personal newspaper. It’s printing the internet.

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Posted in: Just in, Newsdesk

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Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

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Amazon has been locked in an epic battle with publishers for control of ebook prices for years now, and the fight has lately taken a nasty turn. Among other things, the retail giant has recently banned pre-orders of Hachette titles, including JK Rowling’s next mystery novel, and today it appears that it’s done the same to Warner Bros movies, refusing to take pre-orders of The Lego Movie.

This is obviously irritating for publishers — and authors, as Stephen Colbert’s amusingly rage-filled reaction highlights — and it has implications for readers too. I expound my thoughts on this in next month’s PC Pro (I’m sure you can’t wait), but the fact that I’m considering switching to a different ebook seller probably gives away the punchline.

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Posted in: Newsdesk, Rant

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Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

A phishing email popped into my inbox this morning. That’s hardly a rare occurrence, but what was unusual about this one is that I really wasn’t sure, for a moment, if it was malicious or not.

Take a look:

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This caught my eye, as I’ve recently returned from overseas travel, and I did (foolishly) log into my account on hotel Wi-Fi without taking any precautions. What if someone had nabbed my login credentials?

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Tech support: your horror stories, tips and tricks

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

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Have a bit of tech savvy? Do your friends and family know it? Then you’re likely used to acting as unofficial tech support, taking calls at all hours to fix wobbly internet connections, or offering step-by-step instructions to turning a laptop on and off again.

You’re the one carefully explaining Heartbleed to confused friends who saw conflicting headlines about password resets, and warning parents to change login details on Ebay.

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Posted in: Random

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Kittens and six other web revelations from Tim Berners-Lee

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

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The web turned 25 yesterday. Well, sort of — it was the 25th anniversary of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s original paper outlining the principles of the web, but let’s roll with it.

To celebrate this first milestone, Berners-Lee was all over the web, giving interviews, posting videos and even taking part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. As someone with a massive professional crush on the man — I once dodged a PR and vaulted a chair to shake his hand; I think I alarmed him — I’ve read through every one of his AMA posts. Here’s a collection of the web creator’s best revelations from the Q&A session.

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Posted in: Random

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