PCR Five for Friday (17/03/2017)

Five for Friday is a new feature that we’re running to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missed. Do you like this new feature? Let us know by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

AMD to launch Ryzen 5 chips next month

The California-based Chipmaker announced its latest range of mid-level processors. The Ryzen 5 comes in four SKUs: 1600X, 1600, 1500X and 1400. The 1600 series will feature 6 cores and 12 threads, while the 1500X and 1400 will be 4-core and 8-thread CPUs. AMD says that the 1600X is 69 per cent more powerful than its Intel equivalent (Core i5 7600K). 

Ryzen 5 heads to the shelves on April 11th for between $249 and $169. While UK specifics are yet to be announced, it’s expected that the chips will be available through the company’s UK distributor partners AVNET and VIP

Toshiba calls in bankruptcy lawyers

After missing a earnings deadline for the second consecutive quarter, Toshiba reportedly has called in bankruptcy lawyers. The Japanese juggarnaut is apparently in such a dire financial state that it is ‘actively considering’ selling off its US nuclear unit Westinghouse in order to raise funds. This follows on from the company’s decision to put its memory chip business up for sale in order to cope with an upcoming $6.3 billion (£5.1 billion) loss expected for the nuclear business.

Today it was reported that Toshiba is moving in on a cash injection from the state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ) and state-owned Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), though this is a point of contention as Reuters has claimed that the Japanese government is distancing itself from the company. 

Extent of Snooper’s Charter revealed

A new independent study was released that claims at least 20,395 government employees can view the internet and mobile history of British citizens because of the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) AKA the Snooper’s Charter. According to whoishostingthis.com, which filed almost 100 freedom of information requests, this is a conservative estimate as it is unknown how many employees at MI5, MI6, and GCHQ have access. The site predicts that the 20,395 only accounts for two-thirds of the organisations mentioned in the act. 

The largest amount of access comes from the police force, with Police Inspectors able to view a truncated version of user history. The total of police is 14,756, but this is based on incomplete data and will likely be a much larger number. 

Microsoft responds to pop up controversy

After it was discovered that Windows 10 users were seeing ads for OneDrive within File Explorer, Microsoft issued a response to PCR saying: “The new tips notifications within the File Explorer in Windows 10 were designed to help Windows 10 customers by providing quick, easy information to enhance the experience relative to storage and cloud file management. That said, with Windows 10 customers can easily opt out of receiving these notifications if they choose.”

This comes several days after it was first reported that ads were appearing for users that told them how much cloud storage they could get with an Office 365 subscription. To disable this pop-up, go to View > Options in File Explorer, scroll down and turn off the option for “Show sync provider notifications”.

PCR appoints new Deputy Editor

We were delighted to be joined by our new Deputy Editor Rob Horgan who started this week. Rob is an experienced journalist who joined from The Olive Press newspaper out in the Costa Del Sol where he was news editor across two newspapers and two magazines for just over 18 months. Outside of that, he’s written for the Independent, the Sun and the Daily Mail.

‘It is great to be part of the team at PCR," said Rob. "I am excited to get to work on the magazine and delve into the world of everything IT."

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