Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 509

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
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26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

When I was 10 years old I had one ambition in life: to memorise every capital city in the world. Hours were spent staring at the Times World Atlas, repeating the words ‘Belmopan, Belize’. Only when the BBC started broadcasting Pointless did my capital-city crunching become useful. Thirty years on, and I’m almost as hooked on remembering keyboard shortcuts. It’s much harder, of course. Shift+F7 isn’t as memorable as Bujumbura (Burundi), but I’ve used it enough to know that it runs a thesaurus check in Microsoft Word. Our Cover Feature includes many of these, but it also goes much deeper to recommend time-saving tricks that perform more complex tasks. Some may take more effort than a keyboard click, but they save more than a few seconds. Please let me know which…

2 min.
microsoft backs down after kaspersky complains

Microsoft has agreed to make it easier for Windows 10 users to use other companies’ antivirus (AV) products, after Kaspersky Lab lodged official complaints with EU watchdogs. The Russian security company said that Microsoft was forcing other AV companies out in favour of its own built-in security product, Windows Defender. When customers’ subscriptions to antivirus services like Kaspersky and Norton expire, those products are forced to use Windows 10’s notification tool to inform their customers – which Kaspersky claimed was easy to miss – rather than the tool built into the products’ own security software. Kaspersky also pointed out that when upgrading to Windows 10, many users found that the antivirus program they had been using had been removed on the grounds of incompatibility. In other cases, files critical to the running of…

1 min.
new skype arrives on desktop pcs

Microsoft’s brand new, redesigned desktop PC version of Skype has officially been revealed, drawing criticism for the radical departure from the app’s previous interface. The updated app places a stronger emphasis on media sharing, emojis and group chats, and has a much more youthful feel than previous versions. When the update arrived on phones and tablets earlier this year, many reviews criticised its new look. Messages in group chats are now colour-coded in pastel shades; users can react with emojis in video calls and chats; and unread messages are cordoned off in conversations by a blue line. There are some redeeming features, however. Real-time screen-sharing has been added to group calling and gallery view has been added to group chats, letting you easily locate share documents. The new Skype app is currently available in…

1 min.
beware tech-support scams in new emails, warns microsoft

Scammers who try to trick people with fake offers of technical support are using a new tactic – sending phishing emails. The warning comes from Microsoft, whose spam filters in Office 365 and Outlook.com detected the emails. These new scams share the characteristics of traditional phishing emails, but instead of stealing personal information or installing malware, they contain links to websites that try to scare you by claiming there are problems with your computer – often that it’s infected with a virus. The sites claim the only way to fix these problems is by phoning expensive ‘support helplines’ and paying an ‘expert’ for help. This is a new strategy from tech-support scammers, who mostly use cold-calling and adverts containing malware (‘malvertising’). Microsoft said that this latest method shows that fraudsters “don’t stop looking…

1 min.
marketing body launches phone app that blocks nuisance calls

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has launched a new phone app to protect users from unwanted nuisance calls and scams. TPS Protect ( www.tpsprotect.org.uk) has been developed by the creators of the Telephone Preference Service, which lets users opt out of cold-calling databases. The app – available on Android and iOS – makes it easy to identify incoming calls from scammers, marketers and charity fundraisers. Incoming calls are given a ‘trust score’ – a number from one to five indicating how trustworthy the caller is. This score is based on TPS’ database of known fraudsters and nuisance callers, as reported by users. John Mitchison, Head of Preference Services at the DMA, says: “Each rating helps callers decide how trusted an unfamiliar call could be, from scammers with criminal intentions to someone you can…

1 min.
in brief

TALKTALK FINED FOR SCAM ABUSE TalkTalk has been fined £100,000 for failing to protect customers’ private data from scammers. An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office found that “rogue” employees from Indian IT firm Wipro, which ran TalkTalk’s customer service, accessed the names, addresses and phone numbers of 21,000 customers. This led to TalkTalk customers receiving phone calls from fraudsters. UK STUDENT WINS OFFICE CHAMPIONSHIP A British student has won second prize in the Excel 2013 category of the 2017 Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship (http:// moschampionship.com), which tests skills creating spreadsheets, documents and presentations. Sam Millar, a 22-year-old student at University of St Andrews, scooped $3,500 (about £2,700). Around 560,000 people entered what is the only Office competition endorsed by Microsoft.…