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Tech & Gaming
Computeractive

Computeractive 577

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!

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

How quickly life can change. When the Computeractive team first discussed this issue’s Cover Feature, we had no idea we’d be writing, editing and designing it all from home. Our office is closed while the world fights the Coronavirus. It’s disruptive, but we’ll cope. We’ve put in emergency measures to guarantee that issues reach the shops, and subscribers get their copies early in the post. Life must go on. You can be sure that Windows updates will continue amid the crisis. I accept that they may not be your top priority at the moment, but it’s always useful to learn how to manage them. We explain how you can postpone them, install them, remove them and above all stop them messing up your computer. These are strange, unsettling times. Nobody knows when…

10 min.
news ++coronavirus emergency

Microsoft and Google pause updates during crisis Microsoft has postponed all non-security updates for Windows 8.1 and 10 in order to cope with the Coronavirus emergency, while Google has done likewise with its Chrome browser. Both companies are located in US states where non-essential workers have been told to work from home until at least early April – Microsoft is in Seattle, Washington, while Google is based in Mountain View, California. This has severely disrupted their usual working practices. Microsoft said that from May it will pause all optional ‘cumulative’ updates, which are normally released in the third and fourth weeks of the month. Essential security updates will continue, though, meaning that May’s ‘Patch Tuesday’ update scheduled for 12 May will still be released. On its ‘Windows message center’ site (www.snipca.com/34390), the company said:…

1 min.
and now for some good news…

• Sky has made Sky Go Extra free for all its customers: www.snipca.com/34396. • Mobile networks are removing data charges for accessing NHS websites: www.snipca.com/34399. • Audible is providing free audiobooks for children for “as long as schools are closed”: www.snipca.com/34398. • The National Theatre is streaming plays online for free: www.snipca.com/34400. • Smartify is making all audio tours of museums and galleries free for the rest of 2020: https://smartify.org. • Amazon Prime has made all episodes of Fireman Sam and Peppa Pig free to watch: www.amazon.co.uk/amazonprime. • Dashlane is offering free 90-day trials of the Premium version of its password manager: www.snipca.com/34402. • BBC is adding new TV series to iPlayer, including Spooks (pictured), Waking The Dead and Wallander: www.snipca.com/34398.…

1 min.
microsoft fixes defender flaw

Microsoft appears to have fixed a flaw in Windows Defender that was causing the antivirus tool to skip malware when scanning PCs. It was caused by the KB4052623 update, released on 5 March. Microsoft released a new version of the update on 24 March, updating Windows Defender to version 4.18.2003.8. Check whether it’s been updated by going to Settings, ‘Update & Security’, Windows Security, ‘Virus & threat protection’, ‘Virus & threat protection updates’, then ‘Check for updates’. DISNEY LAUNCHES TV-STREAMING SERVICE Disney has launched its TV-streaming service in the UK, offering hundreds of its films and TV shows, plus titles from Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic and more. Called Disney Plus, it costs £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year. There is a free seven-day trial, but you’ll be charged automatically if you…

1 min.
in brief

BILL GATES LEAVES MICROSOFT BOARD Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates (pictured) is stepping down from the company’s board to concentrate on his charity foundation, which he runs with his wife Melinda. Gates founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Paul Allen, who died in 2018. He remained as Microsoft CEO until 2000 when he was succeeded by Steve Ballmer. With a fortune of $103.6bn (£84.4bn), he’s currently the world’s second richest man behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Read his statement at www.snipca.com/34323. CARPHONE WAREHOUSE SHUTS SMALL SHOPS Carphone Warehouse has closed all 531 stores that sell only phones, leaving 2,900 people without a job. It said the decision was not caused by the Coronavirus, but by changes in how people shop. Boss Alex Baldock said customers were increasingly buying phones online, and from…

3 min.
are you eligible to legally request 10mbps broadband?

ou now have the legal right to ask for a minimum broadband speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps. On 20 March, the Government’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) kicked in, giving people who live in areas with poor connections the chance to catch up with the rest of the country. The USO replaces the old one, implemented in 2003, which let you request a basic telephone service that must deliver “data rates that are sufficient to permit functional internet access”. In reality, that meant little more than a paltry dial-up service. Now, 10Mbps isn’t particularly fast, but the Government said it’ll raise the minimum when demand increases to a point when 75 per cent of premises subscribe to at least 30Mbps (it’s 50-60 per cent currently). But 10Mbps will still feel…