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Webuser 503

Web User is the UK's favourite internet magazine. On sale every fortnight it keeps you up-to-date with all the latest news, views, best new websites, music, film and games downloads, free software, and all the other developments on the Web. If you use the internet, you'll love Web User. Being Britain's best-selling internet read, Web User is, quite simply, the only internet magazine you'll ever need.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
26 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Outsmart your smart devices The novelty of my Google Home speaker has worn off somewhat. Occasionally, I ask it for the weather forecast or to play something on Spotify, or it springs into life when someone mentions Google on TV, but the rest of the time it just sits there waiting – and listening. As we explain in this issue’s cover feature, smart devices are cleverer and more devious than we think, particularly those from Google and Amazon. Their speakers, phones, doorbells and various apps aren’t just collecting and sharing our data to tell us if it will rain later or who’s at the door, but to “improve their services” and, more importantly, target us with ads. Even when you don’t speak aloud to them, these two companies are tracking where you…

5 min.
what’s new online

Play Amazon’s new online game Amazon has launched its first original big-budget online game, which is designed to be as fun to watch as it is to play. The sci-fithemed, team-based action shooter, called Crucible, has been in development for four years, with Amazon Game Studios hoping it will become as popular as Fortnite, Overwatch and League of Legends – particularly with fans of Amazon’s game-streaming service Twitch (www.twitch.tv). You can download Crucible for free from Steam (bit.ly/crucible503), provided you have an account and, ideally, Windows 10. There are some payable options that give you different character skins, in-game credits and Battle Passes, which may help you pit your wits in multiplayer online battle arenas. Fortunately, they’re not essential. As well as playing as one of 10 colourful hunters, you have three main…

12 min.
need to know

Trump and Twitter go head-to-head over free speech What happened? US president Donald Trump has often raised eyebrows with his tweets, but Twitter has now sparked his outrage by putting a fact-check notice on one of his posts and a “glorifying violence” warning on another. Amid conversations about how to manage the imminent US elections during the coronavirus pandemic, Trump tweeted: “There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent” (bit.ly/trumptweet503). Twitter annotated this tweet with a link saying: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” directing readers to a fact-checking resource that stressed there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud. In response, the president accused Twitter of “stifling free speech”. Two days later, Trump addressed the protests against police brutality toward black communities…

3 min.
stay safe online

SECURITY ALERT! What’s been bothering us this fortnight EasyJet to be sued over customer data breach Budget airline carrier EasyJet fell victim to a hack that exposed the personal details of nine million customers. The company admitted that “highly sophisticated” hackers had breached its systems, accessing email addresses and travel details held by the organisation. A “very small subset of users” – up to 2,208 – also had their credit card details exposed. EasyJet said it has seen “no evidence” that the stolen data has been misused, but has contacted affected customers and asked them to be cautious of any unsolicited communications purporting to come from EasyJet or EasyJet Holidays. Commenting on the data breach, EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren said: “We take the cybersecurity of our system very seriously and have robust security measures in…

6 min.
best new websites

Site of the Fortnight FILM Empire at 40 bit.ly/empire503 The Empire Strikes Back is now 40 years old and, to celebrate, the Star Wars franchise’s official website has created a mini site packed with interesting content and fun features. As well as behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with the film’s stars and creator George Lucas, there are videos of key scenes, dozens of photos and sketches, and a look at the original merchandise. You can explore illuminating facts, such as the changes made within weeks of the film’s initial release, and browsing the site is as simple as scrolling down a single page. Despite the age of much of the site’s content, the Force still feels fresh at 40! Our rating BEHIND-THE-SCENES Read interviews, watch featurettes, listen to insights and view images of the film-making process NOSTALGIA There are…

3 min.
essential bookmarks

COVID-19 Sound Map bit.ly/covid503 The coronavirus lockdown has had a striking effect on our audio environment, with muted traffic giving way to birdsong. This marvellous Google Earth map by Professor Pete Stollery captures the COVID-19 soundscape by gathering recordings from across the world, from empty city centres to tannoy announcements and the weekly #clapforourcarers. Click a location name or map marker to zoom in, hear a place’s sound and read a summary of where and when it was captured. Alternatively, click Present for an audio tour of the 168 recordings and submit your own through the Sound Scotland website (bit.ly/sound503). You need to use Chrome or Edge on your desktop, or the Google Earth app on your mobile device to access the sound map. Zedge Ringtones bit.ly/zedge503 Personalised ringtones have thankfully come a long way…