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Computeractive 590

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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
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26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

On the first day of lockdown, back in March, I taught myself how to use Zoom. The same week I downloaded Plex and uploaded all my music and videos. More than six months on and I’ve ditched Zoom for Google Meet, but Plex remains the first program I open after booting every morning. It’s transformed how I stay entertained on my computer. It’s always a big statement to devote our Cover Feature to just one program, but Plex deserves it. I’ve never used anything that makes it so easy to organise and stream media. It proved a lifesaver during lockdown. I installed it on my NAS drive so I could stream music to wherever I called my office (loft, sofa, bed, kitchen table). I write as another national lockdown looms, but…

2 min.
office 2022 confirmed but office 2010 no longer safe

Microsoft has confirmed that there will be another version of Office that you can buy once to use forever, ending speculation that it would leave you no choice but to pay a subscription fee in future. It said online (www.snipca.com/36180) that there will be a “perpetual release” of Office in the second half of 2021, the first such edition since Office 2019. ‘Perpetual’ is Microsoft’s way of describing editions of Office that you buy once and download to your computer, meaning you can use them for as long as you like – although Microsoft will eventually stop supporting them. Some analysts had expected Office 2019 to be the final perpetual version because Microsoft increasingly encourages users to subscribe to its 365 suite of tools (from £59.99 a year www.snipca.com/36184). If you unsubscribe…

1 min.
check spread of covid-19 in google maps

You can now check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your area using Google Maps on your phone or tablet. Open the app, zoom into an area, then tap the top-right diamond-shaped layers icon (see screenshot). You’ll see a seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 people for the area chosen, and whether the number is rising or falling. On its blog (www.snipca.com/36187) Google said the data comes from “multiple authoritative sources”, including Wikipedia, which in turn get their information from governments, local health agencies and the World Health Organization. The information is available on both the Android and iOS versions of Google Maps. You’ll like this… Captain Tom Moore has officially launched his charity online (https://captaintom.org) but not this… Scam emails claim you owe a fee for driving in a charging area (www.snipca.com/36177)…

1 min.
council websites ‘still hard for disabled people to use’

Council websites across the UK are still riddled with accessibility problems that make it difficult for disabled people to use them, a leading charity has claimed. Scope tested the websites of county councils and found that nine of the 10 with the biggest populations are failing to meet regulations set by the Government. All public-sector bodies, including local authorities, central government departments, universities and NHS trusts, had until 23 September to update their sites so they’re accessible to disabled people. But a week before this deadline Scope found major problems with many council sites. Researchers tested how easy it is for a blind or visually impaired person to use a service offered on a council’s site, or to access information on important subjects such as coronavirus. The most common problems were confusing layouts, difficulties…

1 min.
microsoft axes ‘new edge’ update that slows pcs

Microsoft has removed a Windows 10 update that was slowing computers down, and making it longer for them to start up. It released the update KB4559309 in June in order to replace the old Edge with the revamped version, which is based on Google’s Chromium source code. However, many users complained that it was cutting their PC’s speed, while others said it was making programs and webpages load slowly. One user wrote on Microsoft’s forums (www.snipca.com/36147) that since installing the update their computer’s performance had “absolutely tanked”, while it was taking three times as long to boot. Another wrote that it takes “several seconds to a minute” after clicking for a command to be carried out on their computer, and that closing programs using Task Manager produces a black screen they can’t get out…

3 min.
in brief

MOVE SPECIFIC ALBUMS FROM GOOGLE PHOTOS Google now lets you move specific albums from its Photos website to Flickr and Microsoft OneDrive. Previously you had to transfer all your photos. Visit Google Takeout (https://takeout.google.com), then click ‘Select data to include’. You’ll see a box titled ‘Google Photos content options’, letting you tick individual albums to transfer (see screenshot). Watch it being done at www.snipca.com/36130. BT DITCHES 5G FOR NEW PHONE CUSTOMERS BT Mobile has removed the 5G option for new customers signing up to phone contracts, leaving only 4G. Instead, the company is recommending customers sign up to a 5G package from EE, which BT bought in 2016. Existing BT Mobile customers on 5G will continue to get it. LISTEN TO PODCASTS IN AMAZON MUSIC Amazon Music has added podcasts to its collection, available if…