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Computeractive

Computeractive 604

Computeractive is the UK’s best-selling computer magazine and your friendly guide to PCs, gadgets and the web! It includes regular news updates, project ideas, help and advice on popular reader queries, articles on anti-virus software, features on consumer rights, and a whole lot more to help you get the very best out of your computer. Get PC advice in plain English today – get Computeractive!

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Dennis Publishing UK
Frequency:
Biweekly
$3.57(Incl. tax)
$53.87(Incl. tax)
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

Most apps don’t last very long on my phone or tablet. I’d say it takes me an average of about two minutes to work out whether they’re worth sticking with. If it’s not immediately obvious how you should use an app – what to tap, what to swipe – then I bin it. Robert Irvine did a lot of tapping, swiping and binning when researching which apps to include in this issue’s Cover Feature, and has found 30 that I’m more than happy to install on my devices. My current favourite is BirdNET (see page 55). I’ve recently moved from the suburbs to a more rural area, and find myself serenaded every morning by an exquisite dawn chorus. BirdNET helps me sort the chaffinches from the goldfinches, and the blue tits from…

2 min
windows 10 update fixes file explorer and kills old edge

Microsoft has released an update that fixes a problem with File Explorer that has been annoying users for nearly 18 months. After installing the November 2019 Update (version 1909), some people reported that File Explorer’s search bar (1 in our screenshot) didn’t respond when they tried to filter the results using the ‘Date modified’ 2, Type 3 and Size 4 options. Some users also complained that they were unable to right-click and paste text into the search bar with a mouse. Microsoft said in December 2019 that it was working on a fix, but took until March this year to release it. The update (KB5000842) is for computers running the May 2020 (2004) and October 2020 (20H2) versions of Windows 10. Microsoft had already fixed the problem in a preview build of the next…

1 min
what we think

This problem clearly didn’t strike Microsoft as urgent, but File Explorer is pivotal to how most people use Windows. A glitch that might be slightly irritating in less important tools becomes seriously frustrating when it’s a part of Windows you can’t avoid using. We’ll be generous and assume it slipped through the cracks, as the pandemic forced Microsoft – like many companies – to adapt to a new way of working. But we’ll be less forgiving when normal service resumes, particular with bugs lurking at the heart of the operating system.…

1 min
tweak webcam settings in windows 10

Microsoft is adding Windows options to make it easier to set up and control your webcams. A recent preview version of the Feature update 21H2, due this autumn, lets you adjust the brightness and contrast to improve the image quality. To access the options open Settings, then select Devices followed by Camera. Clicking the ‘Configure’ button (see screenshot) opens the new controls. The update, codenamed Sun Valley, is rumoured to be the biggest since Windows 10 launched in 2015. We’ll reveal more tools as its release approaches. You’ll like this… Three is offering “a special gift” if you sign up by the end of July (www.snipca.com/37901) but not this… 15 per cent of people use easy-to-guess pet names for passwords (www.snipca.com/37900)…

1 min
check whether your phone number is in facebook leak

You can now check whether your phone number was one of 533 million from a Facebook database that was recently leaked online. To do so, visit Have I Been Pwned? (https://haveibeenpwned.com), then type your number into the search box. You should add the international code (eg, 44 for the UK), then remove the zero from the start of the number and click the ‘pwned?’ button. If it has been leaked, you’ll see the message ‘Oh no — pwned!’ (see screenshot) and the number of times it appears in the database. The site, run by Australian security expert Troy Hunt, has previously let you search only for leaked email addresses. On his blog (www.snipca.com/37890), Hunt said he added phone numbers after seeing “near-unprecedented” visits to his site once news of the leak spread. Facebook responded…

1 min
get satellite broadband in new rural vouchers

People in rural areas applying for a Government grant to pay for faster broadband can now choose satellite services. It’s part of the revamped rural voucher scheme intended to boost speeds in remote areas. The Government has allocated £210m in funding, offering homes £1,500 and businesses £3,500 to help cover installation costs. In March the Government outlined the details of Project Gigabit, which aims to connect 85 per cent of the UK to gigabit (1Gbps) speeds by 2025. It acknowledged that connecting the most remote areas will prove difficult, and has suggested satellite broadband as an alternative. Services are likely to come from OneWeb, which the Government now partly owns, and US firm Starlink, run by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk. Satellite broadband has often been touted as a way to get faster speeds in…