Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 511

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

I’d like to thank all the readers who have answered our survey on what you’d like to see more of in Computeractive. If you’ve not taken part yet, please do so – simply visit www.snipca.com/25504. It’ll only take a few minutes, and you might win a £50 Amazon voucher. Email is one topic you often tell me deserves more coverage. It’s the most popular activity online according to the Office of National Statistics’ 2017 analysis of internet habits, with 82 per cent of UK adults using it. But I bet many of those are missing out on the expert tips in this issue’s Cover Feature. If you’ve used Gmail for some time, I urge you to visit Google’s Dashboard to see how many emails you’ve sent. Anyone have a higher total…

2 min.
better privacy controls for apps in next w10 update

Microsoft is offering you greater control over your privacy options in the next Windows 10 update, in an attempt to prevent more complaints from users and campaigners who claim it collects far too much personal data. After you install the Fall Creators Update, due to be released on 17 October, apps you download from the Windows Store will have to ask your permission to access sensitive parts of your PC, such as your webcam, microphone, calendar and contacts. They will often require this access to work properly, though some apps may ask for more than they need. Currently, Microsoft automatically grants these permissions on your behalf, except when apps request your location. In a blog post explaining the new options (www.snipca.com/25626), Microsoft privacy officer Marisa Rogers said: “It’s important to us that you…

1 min.
amazon and ebay ‘bankrupting uk firms’

UK businesses are going bankrupt because Amazon and eBay are letting taxdodging foreign companies sell on their sites, campaigners have claimed. Experts told MPs in the Commons Public Accounts Committee that non-EU companies, many based in the US and China, admit to not paying 20 per cent VAT, letting them hugely undercut British competitors. Richard Allen from Retailers Against VAT Fraud said it was “easy” to find companies avoiding tax on Amazon’s Marketplace. He added: “I’ve lost count of the number of businesses who have called me saying that they are being affected”. Amazon and eBay told MPs they were clamping down on VAT dodgers. Committee chair Meg Hillier acknowledged this, but added “you are still getting your commission off people who have defrauded the British tax payer”. Amazon said it was requesting VAT numbers…

1 min.
social-media users face jail for ruining court cases

People who cause trials to collapse by writing sensitive or vitriolic comments on Facebook and Twitter could end up behind bars. Attorney General Jeremy Wright, the government’s top legal officer, is worried that the fairness of trials is being undermined by ‘virtual lynching mobs’ online. Many people are unaware that laws restricting the media unfairly reporting court cases also apply to comments made by the public online (see box). Writing anything that might influence a jury could be regarded as contempt of court. Mr Wright called for evidence on whether current laws prevent ‘trial by social media’. It follows a case in which two schoolgirls accused of killing Angela Wrightson, a vulnerable woman from Hartlepool, were widely abused online, leading to the judge ruling that they would not have had a fair trial. The…

1 min.
want bt fibre broadband? you may lose your phone number

BT has admitted that some customers moving to its ‘ultra-fast’ fibrebroadband service can’t keep their landline telephone number. A BT spokesman said it decided to prevent customers from moving their number because it expected “very low” demand, although the option will be introduced “over the next few years”. He added that the problem occurs when customers move into flats, usually new builds, where fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is the only option. In FTTP broadband, fibre cables run from the streetside cabinet to the door, providing much faster speeds than fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services which rely on slower copper cables. BT’s fibre broadband can reach speeds of 300Mbps. BT’s decision is likely to disproportionately affect the elderly, who have typically kept their number for decades. Small businesses also need to change their number, putting them at risk…

2 min.
in brief

BLOCK FACEBOOK FRIENDS FOR 24 HOURS Facebook is testing a ‘snooze’ feature that lets you temporarily block friends, pages and groups for 24 hours, seven days or 30 days. None of their messages will appear in your News Feed during this time. The option seems to be available only in the US at the moment, but is likely to be added worldwide if it proves popular. EU CRACKS DOWN ON ILLEGAL CONTENT It may soon become much harder to find illegal TV and film content online after the EU called for companies like Google and Twitter to do more to remove it. Proposals to be published soon include forcing search engines to use systems that automatically detect prohibited content. The EU also wants sites to pay expert organisations to find illegal content. The…