PC & Tech Authority March 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.

Future Publishing Ltd
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in this issue

3 min
and the winner is...

I have a request to make of you. Being, if you don’t mind, some of your time please. That, and for you to share with us your opinions. For it is time to vote in the inaugural Australian PC Awards! If you work in the industry, or have a friend that does, you know just how much blood sweat and tears go into creating a product. The months or even years of design, engineering and production time, potentially involving hundreds or people, all add up to create the thing you use and like. You may have met some of these people, perhaps at one of our Upgrade Australia events. You know their passion, you’ve seen their care and commitment. There are people behind every product and if those people see they’ve won…

4 min

UPDATING DOWNWARDS First up - love the new look. And I don’t miss the DVD! As a regular subscriber (for at least 15 years!), I like to read comparisons between similar products. It makes it easier for future purchases. But here comes the Tablet Megatest! Awesome - until I found out that Samsung only make one tablet now. What!!??? You explain four different iPads (OK not a fan of Apple) and only one Samsung Tablet. Where are the rest of the tablets being compared? Megatest? Minortest maybe. While I like Samsung tablets (fav is the Galaxy Tab S2 8.4) over the others I have used, I’m pretty sure there are more Android tablets out there than Apple... To the Fall Creators Update - or why break things that don’t need fixing? I have had…

4 min
intel’s secretive os comes under attack

THE LATEST TRENDS AND PRODUCTS IN THE WORLD OF TECHNOLOGY In the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, Intel and motherboard makers are also fighting a battle to fix a series of vulnerabilities that have shed light on a secretive, controversial operating system that runs in the background of Windows and Linux machines. The Intel Management Engine (IME) and its server relatives are largely undocumented pieces of software that run outside Windows or Linux, but play a significant role in machines sold since 2008. Researchers from security firm Positive Technologies first discovered some of the vulnerabilities, but kept them quiet until Intel had completed a review and eventually prepared fixes for ten vulnerabilities, eight of them classified as high risk. “The vulnerability [we found] lies in the Intel Management Engine, a subsystem built…

3 min
why battlefield royale is the only logical pubg clone

THE NETCODE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE PUBG has a terrible netcode. Game updates seem to shift between making it markedly better and identifiably worse, but the fact it’s built on a 20Hz tickrate means you take damage (or die) behind cover. It’s impossible to trade kills (unless you throw/drop a grenade before dying), the hit registration is iffy at times, and I swear shotgun ballistics are a single circular projectile instead of a circle of pellets. BATTLEFIELD IS ALREADY DIFFERENT TO PUBG For Battlefield Royale to feel like a Battlefield game, it should have infantry and vehicular combat, destructibility, more of a class-based approach to soldiery, and neat little features like 3D spotting. Out of the gate, a battle royale mode or spin-off would feel different to PUBG than cheeky modes like…

3 min
chip news

CPU MELTDOWN AND SPECTRE Speculation. Every modern processor for the past decade and longer uses it to run multiple possible future code paths simultaneously. The benefit being that whichever decision the software or the user ends up taking the CPU has already calculated the next result and simply discards the wrong/undesired path result, allowing the CPU to effectively run ahead and get ready, making it appear as though it is executing faster. This is a widely used function that is in most architectures and processors from PC’s to your phone. While this is a secure process, two vulnerabilities dubbed Meltdown and Spectre where revealed by Google’s Project Zero that shook that perception. While a CPU is running these speculative paths the state of the processor changes enough that by analysing this it’s possible…

4 min
most wanted

PETCHATZ HD If we don’t occasionally celebrate wanton abasement of technology, how can we appreciate all the good things? PetChatz HD is almost offensively ridiculous, yet in a world where Nissan offers the X-Trail 4Dogs (with built-in dog shower and treat dispenser), PetChatz HD will most likely make a brazilian dollars. MOST WANTED: Does your dog suffer from anxiety? Does it need automated aromatherapy to help alleviate that? Does it need a little remote with a picture of a pawprint on it, so your dumb dog knows if it presses the remote with its own paw, whatever irrelevant non-dog-doting thing you are currently doing will be interrupted by the PetChatz HD app on your smartphone so you will be able to reassure your dog via full colour hd IP video link? Then…