PC & Tech Authority May 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
for all to see

Privacy online has recently exploded as a critical issue with Facebook’s ongoing woes. The movement to ‘delete Facebook’ grew quickly and is gaining some very high profile support. It’s not all about Facebook, of course. Everyone that is on the internet is aware of the importance to protect their reputation, their history and their most private details. Some take it more seriously than others but I have a feeling this moment in 2018 is going to be pivotal and force many into action. But it is difficult to know exactly what you should do. For many, taking action may come too late to be effective thanks to years, perhaps decades, of accumulated online activity. But, it’s never too late to start being careful, so we hope that we can play our small…

4 min

DEAR JON Just read Jon Honeyball’s article in the latest magazine where he had isues with Windows converting to German. Well I had a similar situation with my Dell XPS 13 and what I did to fix it was too install the language it insists on using (German in Jon’s case) and then removing it. This sorted my laptop out and not had an issue since. One other issue Jon has is looking for an alternative to Aperture. I have been a long time user of Lightroom (since version 1) and have been searching for a replacement. Like Jon, I believe Lightroom may end up in the cloud. I hate the subscription model and the fact Adobe broke their promise to always have a non-subscription version of Lightroom. In the end the…

3 min
is apple’s security slipping?

Apple’s self-proclaimed reputation for castiron security is faltering after tracts of the company’s all-important source code were posted online. Apple has frequently boasted of how secure its operating systems are compared to Windows and Android, but a series of recent embarrassments have tarnished its image. The company admitted that a key part of the source code for iOS has been posted online after an intern managed to steal the code. Although Apple forced GitHub to remove the post, it’s understood to have been widely distributed. The leak involved iBoot, the part of iOS that’s responsible for ensuring a trusted boot of the operating system. Although the code is two years old and from iOS 9, experts believe it could still offer hackers an insight into how phones could be compromised. “It’s an embarrassment…

1 min
in other news

WINDOWS ON ARM LIMITATIONS REVEALED Microsoft outlined the limitations of Windows 10 running on ARM processors when a company document was accidentally posted online. Although most apps and programs should work as expected on the 64-bit ARM operating system, there are issues with 32-bit and 64-bit x86 drivers on the 64-bit ARM OS, which may mean older hardware and peripherals won’t work with the system. SPOTIFY PLANNING A MOVE INTO HARDWARE Spotify could join the smart speaker crowd after plans for a hardware division were revealed via job adverts. In recruitment documents looking for hardware production engineers, Spotify suggested that it was considering making its own speakers, smartwatches and glasses, and that the company was recruiting staff to “create its first physical products and set up an operational organisation for manufacturing, supply chain,…

2 min
netgear’s new nighthawk pro gaming xr 500 wi-firouter is annoyingly cool

I will freely admit - when someone asked me about this router before I knew much about it, and what made it a gaming router, I told them that it was likely a few random apps and an aggressive physical design. Maybe some RGB lighting. Otherwise, it was just a branding exercise. And then I got to the new NPG XR500 WiFirouter in action and boy howdy, was I wrong! Sure, it does kind of look like it’ll either take off or eat your face at any moment, but it is thankfully free of RGB lighting, and the features it boasts sound legitimately useful for gamers. We’ve not seen one in the Labs yet - though we’ll get one soon for review - but the product demo certainly piqued our interest. First up,…

1 min
real-time raytracing on the way

If you’ve ever wondered why your thousand dollar video card can’t makes games look as pretty as, say, the latest Pixar movie, a lot of it is due to raytracing. This particularly computationally-intensive task renders reflections in great detail, and with precise accuracy. Movie studios have vast render farms and can take their sweet time to render a frame. Meanwhile your video card has to handle lighting and reflections, potentially, several times per second. So, different methods are used in gaming that are computationally ‘cheaper’. But in somewhat of a compromise step in the right direction Microsoft says it’s nearly there with a reasonable solution than brings convincing elements of genuine raytracing to games. We’ll see it in DirectX 12 towards the end of the year. Futuremark announced a raytracing demo will…