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Computeractive

Computeractive 600

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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

USB sticks have been the unsung heroes of our 600 issues. Other devices grab the headlines, as laptops get lighter and phones get smarter, but these pocket-sized gizmos remain as quietly popular as ever for reasons that stretch far beyond transferring files. In our Cover Feature Will Stapley explains some of the cleverest new ways you can use them. To celebrate reaching 600 not out (beat that, Joe Root), we’ve got a special competition. Turn to page 31 and you’ll see we’re giving away £600 worth of Amazon vouchers to one lucky reader. That’s enough to buy over 100 USB sticks, though we suspect your cupboards and drawers are already bursting with them. We hit 600 in strange times, but one thing is unchanged: we couldn’t do this without you. I know…

2 min.
may 2020 update finally ready for all computers

Microsoft has said that version 2004 of Windows 10, released in May 2020, is now stable enough to be installed on all computers. It announced on 3 February that the 2004 Feature Update had reached the “broad deployment” phase. This means that Microsoft thinks it’s reliable enough for everyone to install, including organisations and businesses as well as home users. If you’re still running version 1909 (released in November 2019), you’ll now be prompted to install 2004, unless Microsoft blocks it because it thinks your hardware isn’t powerful enough to handle it, or that it might clash with your computer’s settings. These blocks are commonly called ‘compatibility holds’ or ‘safeguard holds’. Previously, to get version 2004 you had to click the ‘Check for updates’ button in the Windows Update section of Settings…

1 min.
what we think

The great US physicist Richard Feynman once said: “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics”. We’re tempted to say the same thing about Windows updates. Millions of people have been happily using version 2004 for months without realising that Microsoft still hadn’t given it the final seal of approval. But many others still running 1909 without problems will wonder why this approval took eight months. Back in 2019 Microsoft hinted that it would abandon the ‘broad deployment’ classification, before changing its mind. It was right the first time. It’s confusing and should be scrapped.…

1 min.
facebook sued for ‘losing control’ of personal data

Facebook is being sued in a mass legal action for “losing control” of the data of about one million people in the UK. The lawsuit, filed in the High Court, claims that Facebook’s privacy settings allowed an app called This Is Your Digital Life to gather not only users’ information, but also details about their friends. This Is Your Digital Life was a personality quiz created by US data scientist Aleksandr Kogan. It allegedly transferred information on 87 million people worldwide – one million of whom were in the UK – from Facebook to British political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. The lawsuit alleges that the app had access to users’ information between November 2013 and May 2015, without them or their friends knowing. It claims the app gathered information including name, gender, location,…

1 min.
share websites by qr code in edge

You can now share links to websites you’re browsing In Edge by scanning QR codes with your phone, making it easier than typing the URL and perfect for sharing on WhatsApp or in a text message. You’ll first need to turn on the feature. Do this by typing edge://flags into Edge’s browser bar (1 in our main screenshot right), followed by enable sharing page via QR code 2 in the search bar. Next, select Enabled in the dropdown menu 3 and click Restart at the bottom to relaunch Edge When you visit a site you want to share, right-click it then choose ‘Create QR code for this page’. A code will then appear at the top (see screenshot right). You can then scan the code using a code-reader app on your phone…

1 min.
in brief

CHROME TO STOP WORKING ON OLD PCs Chrome will soon stop working on some 32bit PCs, Google has said. From version 89, due in March, it won’t work on 32bit machines with chips that run Intel’s old SSE2 instructions rather than SSE3. Google says the change will affect only a “small number” of PCs. If yours is one, you’ll see this warning message (pictured – also at www.snipca.com/37336). BT & EE HIKE PRICES ABOVE INFLATION BT and EE have confirmed a rise of 4.5 per cent on their broadband prices, from 31 March. The rise reflects their new policy of increasing prices every year by January’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation plus an extra 3.9 per cent. The rate of inflation in January was 0.6 per cent. However, the increase applies…