PC & Tech Authority July 2018

PC & Tech Authority is Australia's premier computer magazine and the ultimate monthly technology buyer’s guide. Every issue is packed with the latest products, reviewed by an expert team of technical writers and guarantees more Aussie exclusives and first looks than any other Australian PC magazine. Delivering expert reviews, group tests and in-depth features we cut through the hype so you know that you’re getting the best tech for your money.

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in this issue

3 min
green is good again

Last month I wrote about Nvidia’s Geforce Partner Program (‘GPP’), under the fetching title ‘The Green Stink’. For those who may have missed it, or the storm that engulfed much of the PC tech internet in its wake, the GPP was a contract Nvidia asked its card partners to sign giving away the right to sell non-Nvidia product under premium video card brands. It took no sleuthing to realise it was aimed directly at AMD, and everything we knew publically gave little or anything back to the partners in return for signing on. The spotlight was solely on Nvidia’s threat to withhold GPUs and technical support for card and driver engineering for noncompliance. Well, between then and now Nvidia has backtracked completely and pulled the plug on the GPP. As it…

4 min

TRUSTING A VPN I read your feature on choosing a VPN with interest (see issue 246, page 30), but it’s left me with questions. First, how do you know that the VPN you’ve chosen is trustworthy? Couldn’t it be capturing and selling your data without your knowledge? And second, doesn’t using a VPN just alert the authorities to the fact you might be up to no good? OSCAR NIK RAWLINSON REPLIES: There are many legitimate uses for a VPN. Crucially, that passes over the air is encrypted, and kept safe “authority” could argue against this. VPNs are outlawed in some countries, but usually as part of state censorship. That said, we wouldn’t recommend using a VPN to cover up misdeeds. If you are doing anything illegal, this could be clocked and reported by your provider,…

2 min
intel gets graphic on security

Intel has devised a new framework that will result in security software running on the graphics chip instead of the potentially overburdened CPU. Intel has laid out two security features under the banner of Intel Threat Detection Technology, in an attempt to shore up its reputation following the recent Meltdown and Spectre breaches. Firstly, it said an “Advanced Memory Scanning” feature will shift the grunt work of antivirus scanning from the CPU to the GPU, reducing the system impact of security scans. This will also allow security software to do a more comprehensive job. According to Intel, some malware evades file-based antivirus software by never writing anything to disk, which makes it hard to spot and means that security software must monitor system memory. Scanning system memory, however, can have a huge hit…

1 min
gmail set for overdue overhaul

Gmail is getting a much-needed facelift. Google sent a message to G Suite administrators highlighting the changes, which includes a host of new features as well as a design refresh. According to the leak, the desktop version of Gmail will incorporate features from the mobile version, such as the artificial intelligence-generated auto responses, but there are also completely new features in the offing. Leaked screengrabs show tools such as a snooze function that will temporarily remove incoming messages when users are too busy to respond immediately. There will be options to make the message reappear an hour, day or week later, rather than being buried below newer messages. Google is expected to make space for Calendar and to-do lists within the interface. With privacy concerns becoming more prevalent, Google is also expected to…

1 min
microsoft launches new adaptive controller for xbox and pc

This is pretty impressive-Microsoft has just announced a neat new controller designed to help gamers with limited mobility to play games with greater ease. The Xbox Adaptive Controller has been designed to work with many of the adaptive switches that many mobility impaired people may already own in an easy-to-use, plug-and-play manner. The controller was designed in partnership with a number of organisations, including The AbleGamers Charity, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and Warfighter Engaged. As well as working with adaptive switches, the controller also features two large buttons already built-in, which can be customised to act as any input from a standard controller. Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, Jenny Lay-Flurrie, said in a blog post: “Today we celebrate the seventh annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day and announce new technology and resources for people with…

1 min
proper multiplayer is hitting no man’s sky at last

No Man’s Sky promised… well, the sky, but what it actually delivered was somewhat less. The game offered no multiplayer, which was always implied to be a big part of the game. But, since launch, No Man’s Sky has crept a lot closer to that initial realisation, and next big update, coming on July 24 for all platforms, will finally add that long-awaited multiplayer content. The update will add random player encounters to the game, and let players join up to explore space, planets, mine, dogfight… the whole shebang. Or, you can be a jerk and turn pirate.…