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Why we’ve closed the PC Pro forums

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Last night, we reluctantly took the decision to close the PC Pro forums. In short, they had become a security risk and an unpleasant environment due to the amount of spam in them, while the amount of genuine posts had dwindled to a sad few. (more…)

Posted in: Random

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How to turn off Google Location Tracking

Monday, August 25th, 2014

The problem with those crazy ideas about cellphones and Big Brother is that, occasionally, it turns out they were right. If you are an Android phone user the chances are that you have used your Google account to log in to the store, sync your emails, and all that good stuff. I certainly have, on two distinct phones and another brace of Android tablets.

And, I’ve been travelling – oh boy, have I ever been travelling. 50,000 air miles since last September, up and down to Cornwall, over to the Hague a couple of times, down to Switzerland, and in the last couple of weeks, chugging down the Canal de Borgogne at 5km/h. In all those places, my ancient but sturdy Moto XT890 has come with me.

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20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

We review hundreds of products each year at PC Pro, and take pride in the fact we test things properly. We run our own independent benchmarks on laptops and PCs; we test screens in such depth even I get confused by what the reviews guys are talking about sometimes; and we base all our tests on how people will use kit in real life.

But sometimes we get it wrong. As we approach our 20th anniversary edition of the magazine, we thought it was time to own up to three of our worst mistakes… (more…)

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.

ALISTcoverSMALL

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

machine

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…)

How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour

Monday, July 21st, 2014

TimGlass

Lunch with Tim Danton is normally a jolly affair, but today he has decided to wear his Google Glass headset. Things get off to a bad start before we’ve even left the building, as I explain that I need to go via a cashpoint. “OK Glass!” barks Tim abruptly. “Directions to a cashpoint.” There is an awkward pause: I don’t know whether he’s waiting for me to speak, or has been distracted by some terribly important message that I can’t see. His face falls slightly. “It’s giving me directions to an attachment,” he explains, apologetically.

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Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Dell CaterhamHere at Silverstone the preparations for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix are well under way. While the weekend will be full of headlines surrounding Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and the various other British hopefuls, it’s intriguing to see how important the background technology is; and in particular, how virtualisation is giving Caterham Racing a time-saving edge. (more…)

Meet the robots helping teach children

Friday, June 20th, 2014

There are some invitations you don’t turn down, and for me, a room full of robots is on that list. Earlier this week, at a Humanising the Robot Society seminar, I got a sneak-peak at prototypes of robots that could shape our society in the near future. Here’s my pick of three of the most intriguing creations being used to help children learn and get around – although the last one isn’t very “human” looking, despite the name of the group putting on the seminar.

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(more…)

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Posted in: Newsdesk, Random

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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:

natwest

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?

(more…)

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