Computeractive 610

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!

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

TAKE OUR 2021 READER SURVEY PAGE 31 As well as a coffee stain and a few cookie crumbs, my keyboard is covered with the countless pinches of salt I had to take whenever Microsoft said that Windows 10 would be the last, final, cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die version of the operating system. I never believed Microsoft’s hype. At some point the inescapable rules of marketing would kick in, and it would realise it needed something ‘new’ to sell to the public. And so it has proved. Later this year, probably in October, Windows 11 will arrive. That much we know. Whether your computer will be able to run it is another question entirely. Microsoft’s decision to restrict the new system to machines running TPM 2.0 chips has baffled and outraged many people. We analyse this in our…

3 min
microsoft pulls ‘confusing’ windows 11 compatibility tool

Microsoft has admitted that its tool for checking whether your computer can run Windows 11 caused confusion because it didn’t provide enough information. The company launched its PC Health Check tool in late June, when it unveiled Windows 11, and advised users to download it so they could check whether their computer’s specifications would be advanced enough to cope with Windows 11. But the tool was strongly criticised by frustrated users for not providing details about why their computer wouldn’t be able to run the new operating system. Instead it showed a message with the heading ‘This PC can’t run Windows 11’ (pictured). It continued: ‘While this PC doesn’t meet the system requirements to run Windows 11, you’ll keep getting Windows 10 updates’. Microsoft has since removed the tool, saying it will return in…

1 min
bt working with oneweb to give uk satellite broadband

BT has signed a deal with satellite operator OneWeb to explore how they can bring broadband to remote parts of the UK that won’t be covered by the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit programme. They will also examine whether satellites can link up to new mobile masts in order to improve phone signals. OneWeb, part-owned by the Government, has over 250 satellites in a low-Earth orbit, and says it will start providing services by November. As well as the UK, these will cover Alaska, Canada, northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and the Arctic seas. Long term, it plans to run a system of 648 satellites in order to provide global coverage by around the end of 2022. It will rival Starlink, owned by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, which has launched more than 1,800 satellites and…

1 min
tax phones and tablets to fund the arts, say stars

Smartphones, tablets and other electronic devices should be taxed in order to set up a fund for the arts, leading creative figures have said. In a letter to The Times, more than 100 signatories, including actresses Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton and Celia Imrie, called for a levy of between one to three per cent on devices that “store and download creative content”. They argue that the so-called Smart Fund would compensate artists for lost royalties when their work is downloaded and stored by users, such as when a painting is saved as a phone wallpaper or a film is streamed illegally on a laptop. The campaign is being led by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), which says the levy would bring the UK into line with 44 countries with similar laws. However,…

2 min
in brief

TURN ON GOOGLE SEARCH DARK MODE Google is finally launching a ‘dark’ version of its search page, showing white text on a black background (pictured), after testing it for the past few months. To turn it on, click the ‘Change theme’ icon (a sun) at the top right. If you don’t see it yet, keep checking every few days. SALLY ARMY HACKED BY RANSOMWARE The Salvation Army has admitted that it has been the victim of a ransomware hack, and is contacting people affected, including staff and volunteers. The charity told the Register site that its services for the “vulnerable people who depend on us” continue as normal. It didn’t give any details about the type of data hacked or the identity of the attackers. PEOPLE DON’T KNOW OVENS AFFECT WI-FI Three-quarters of people don’t…

1 min
ee and o2 bring back data-roaming fees within the eu

EE and O2 have reintroduced data-roaming fees for UK customers travelling in the European Union, which means you can be charged extra for using your phone when abroad. These fees were abolished in 2017, but they weren’t included in the UK’s withdrawal agreement from the EU. This meant that from January networks were again allowed to start charging customers for using data in the EU, though until now EE and O2, along with Three and Vodafone, had repeatedly said they had no plans to do so. EE’s new policy charges customers a flat daily fee of £2 for using their phone in 47 European countries – whether or not they’re in the EU – except Ireland. It said the charges will help them invest in their UK-based customer service and network. The change…