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Computeractive 606

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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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
$3.57(Incl. tax)
$53.87(Incl. tax)
26 Issues

in this issue

3 min
why has microsoft abandoned windows 10x?

Never underestimate the power of raising a sceptical eyebrow. As we wrote in January (Issue 596, page 6), that was our response to sources close to Microsoft claiming that Windows 10X would launch by June. We doubted why happy Chromebooks users would want to switch to a “half-baked version of Windows”, and argued that the “millions of people who use Windows do so because of its wide range of settings and features”. There have been plenty of rumours since then about which tools Windows 10X would have and what it would look like, but nothing official from Microsoft. But now, with June almost here, those mysterious sources have spoken again – this time to tech site https://petri.com – and everything’s changed. Windows 10X will definitely not arrive in 2021, and probably…

3 min
update windows defender to fix file-dumping bug

You should check whether you have an update for Windows Defender to fix a bug that was dumping thousands of files on to Windows 10’s system drive. Each file is tiny, and they’re all harmless, but together they can devour a large amount of storage space. The problem, which began with the release in late April of version 1.1.18100.5 of Defender, causes files to clog up the C:\ProgramData\ Microsoft\WindowsDefender\ Scans\History\Store folder. To check whether you’ve been affected, open File Explorer then click the View tab at the top and make sure the ‘Hidden items’ box is ticked (1 in main screenshot). Next, type C:\ProgramData\ Microsoft\ into the address bar, then scroll down and click the Windows Defender folder. Click ‘Continue’ if the folder requests administrator privilege, then click Scans, History, Store. If you’ve been hit…

1 min
digital divide narrowed during lockdown, but 1.6m homes are still offline

The UK’s digital divide narrowed during lockdown, Ofcom says, as the proportion of homes without internet access fell from 11 per cent in March 2020 to six per cent 12 months later. Its annual report on online habits shows that adults with “previously limited digital skills embraced online shopping, digital banking and video calling friends and family”. Younger people offered support, helping “older or less digitally confident friends and relatives get connected”. However, it also says that remaining offline was likely to be “more disempowering than ever” because so much of modern life requires good internet skills. The six per cent of households that don’t use the web amounts to 1.5 million homes. This group is more likely to include over-65s, lower income households, and the most “financially vulnerable”. Ofcom said that almost half…

1 min
brooke reay

With a summer free of lockdowns ahead of us (touch wood!), you may be thinking of booking a holiday. If so, make sure you book through a respectable travel company, or you could end up out of pocket – like one of Brooke Reay’s victims. The 25-year-old from Newcastle tricked people into paying her for non-existent holidays by posing as a fake travel broker on Facebook. She posted bogus ads for bargain breaks in Mexico and Spain as well as destinations within the UK, pocketing more than £2,000 over a four-week period. Her crimes provide a reminder that scammers don’t just use emails and texts to hook their victims – they stalk social networks too. Reay was recently convicted of three fraud offences and is due to be sentenced. It looks like…

2 min
ring video doorbell pro 2

VIDEO DOORBELL | £179 from Amazon www.snipca.com/38174 Pressing the right buttons You’d expect a video doorbell to let you see who’s at the door, talk to visitors and record motion-triggered video clips. However, the new Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 improves on previous models with a wider field of view, higher-resolution video and much more sophisticated motion detection. However, there are a few things worth knowing before you consider buying one. Firstly, this model is only available as a wired doorbell, so needs to be connected to mains power. If you don’t have wiring in place, Ring provides everything an electrician will need to install it for you. Alternatively, if you have an electric socket close to your front door, you can buy the Ring Plug-in adapter (an extra £20) to power it. The…

1 min
4k lossless streaming?

What is it? Sony has just announced a new lossless 4K streaming service for its TVs called Bravia Core, which can supply subscribers with 4K films rendered in much greater detail. How does it work? Services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer all support some 4K content, but streams are digitally compressed, which reduces the quality to ensure you don’t experience any buffering or jerkiness. Lossless streaming removes this compression to ensure a perfect high-quality stream. What’s the catch? There are two. First, it’s only available to customers with a Sony Bravia TV from the Bravia XR range (starting at around £1,250 for a 55in X90J, pictured). Second, while a 4K stream from Netflix only needs a 25Mbps internet connection, Bravia Core requires a minimum of 43Mbps, but recommends 115Mbps. So can I…