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Computeractive

Computeractive 596

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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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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Dennis Publishing UK
Frequency:
Biweekly
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26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

Were he alive today, William Avery ‘Devil Bill’ Rockefeller Sr would be flogging software that promised to fix problems your computer doesn’t have. This notorious 19th-century conman peddled ‘Rock Oil’ across the US as a cancer cure. In reality, it was a mix of laxative and petroleum. None of the programs in our Cover Feature leave such a bad taste in the mouth (metaphorically and literally), but plenty make claims they can’t back up, such as promising to perform tasks for free before clobbering you with a hefty fee. We also expose software that spies on you, smuggles junk on to your system, and offers expensive tools that are actually a free part of Windows. Someone whose word you can always trust is Robert Irvine, formerly editor of our sister title Web…

2 min.
windows 10x ‘coming to computers by june’

Microsoft looks set to release Windows 10X, a new lightweight version of the current operating system (OS), in the first half of 2021, according to reports circulating online. Sources in the company said it had finished building the first version of Windows 10X and was ready to release it to computer manufacturers so they could install it on their devices. It’s thought these could go on sale as early as June. The idea behind Windows 10X is to produce a streamlined version of the main OS, with fewer tools, a simpler design and a new-look Start menu (see screenshot) without the ‘Live’ tiles that show updated information in real time. It also has a redesigned Action Centre with new volume, power and battery controls. The company announced the system in October 2019, initially…

1 min.
uninstall snipping tool as ‘snip & sketch’takes over

You’ll soon be able to uninstall Windows 10’s Snipping Tool, as Microsoft encourages people to use ‘Snip & Sketch’ instead. Introduced in Windows Vista, the Snipping Tool offers a fast and simple way to take screenshots, though Microsoft said in 2018 that it will eventually replace the tool with ‘Snip & Sketch’, which has more advanced options. It’s been reminding users with messages that pop up when you launch Snipping Tool, and has now made the tool optional in the latest preview version of Windows 10 (Build 21277), available to Windows Insiders, meaning it can be uninstalled. It signals that Microsoft might be preparing users for the removal of Snipping Tool. To try ‘Snip & Sketch’ press PrtScr on your keyboard, or press Windows key+Shift+S.…

1 min.
coronavirus dominated google searches throughout 2020

The coronavirus pandemic dominated Google searches during 2020, according to its annual ‘Year in Search’ report, which measures search terms that had the biggest spike compared with the previous 12 months. Globally, ‘coronavirus’ was the most searched term, as it was in the UK. Indeed, the spread of the disease prompted such a worldwide desire for information that Google’s report contains a top 10 just for related searches. In the UK, these included ‘coronavirus symptoms’, ‘coronavirus update’ and ‘Eat Out to Help Out’. All three terms also made the UK’s overall search top 10 (see table), alongside the US election, world leaders and famous people who died. The pandemic also featured prominently in the top ‘How to’ searches of 2020, with ‘How to wear a face mask?’ and ‘How to make hand sanitizer?’…

1 min.
bt to keep landline-only prices cheap for five more years

BT has proposed a further five years of cheaper prices for customers who pay for a landline only, without also receiving broadband or a TV service. In April 2018, it cut its monthly line rental for landline-only customers by £7 – from £18.99 a month to £11.99. It also capped any subsequent increases to line rental and call charges to the CPI rate of inflation, which was 0.9 per cent in October. These measures followed Ofcom’s claim that landline-only customers had been “getting poor value for money compared to those who buy bundles of landline, broadband and/or pay-TV services”. BT’s monopoly in the landline-only market allowed it to raise prices, even though it had become cheaper to provide the service. The company has now offered to keep the price of £11.99 for five years…

3 min.
in brief

RENT PHONES ON MUSICMAGPIE MusicMagpie has launched a phone-rental service, letting you upgrade to a new device every 12 months rather than the standard 24. Priced at £9.99 a month, it currently includes more than 10 unlocked Apple and Android (mostly Samsung) phones. The site said it will add more devices soon. For more details visit www.musicmagpie.co.uk/store/rental (pictured above). ADOBE TO BLOCK ALL FLASH CONTENT Adobe released the final update for its Flash plug-in on 8 December, and has announced it will block all Flash content from 12 January. Writing online (www.snipca.com/36951), it said it was proud of the role Flash played in “evolving web content” across the web. Read Issue 594 (page 62) for instructions on avoiding Flash online and uninstalling it from your computer. TOMORROW’S WORLD Zoom is working on ways to make video…