Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 512

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

Normally a bulging inbox means I’ve signed up to something I shouldn’t have, and am being punished with endless spam. But not this time. Since our last issue I’ve received hundreds of emails from readers responding to my request for tech tips. To remind you, we’re planning a special Cover Feature celebrating the best tips that you want to share with your fellow readers. You’ve still got plenty of time to send them – please see page 71 for more details. Several tips refer to converting and restoring old videos, photos and music, the subject of this issue’s Cover Feature. It’s been a hobby of mine since I saw, at a family reunion, Super footage of my parents in their carefree years (ie, before I was born!). Digitising it wasn’t easy, but…

2 min.
yet another start menu change coming to w10

You’ll have to get used to a redesigned Start menu in a forthcoming update to Windows 10. Microsoft has unveiled an early version of Redstone 4, the codename for the major update due in March next year (numbered Version 1803). It reveals more of the company’s new Fluent Design style, which adds depth and transparency effects to icons and folders. The overall feel is more like the Aero design in Windows Vista and 7, rejecting the one-dimensional style of Windows 8. One of the biggest changes is the ‘Reveal’ effect in the Start menu. This is a lighting effect that subtly changes the colour of parts of the menu when you hover your cursor over them. Microsoft shows how it works at www.snipca.com/25793. As the cursor scrolls over a list of US cities, each…

1 min.
paedophile used neighbours’ internet

A paedophile has been jailed after using his neighbours’ internet to download images of child sex abuse. Police initially questioned the neighbours, who had sold an iPad to the sex offender for £20, and given him access to their broadband. Nottingham Crown Court heard that Mark Branson, 38, had been banned from using the internet after being released in 2013 from a three-year jail sentence for offences linked to indecent images of children. Branson admitted breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order, and was jailed for six months. Judge James Sampson said: “The prohibition from using the internet was designed to prevent you from repeating your offending”. He added that one of the “serious aspects” of the case was that suspicion had been thrown on Branson’s innocent neighbours. Samuel Coe, prosecuting, said police found three…

1 min.
‘can i speak to a real person?’ microsoft says, ‘no!’

Microsoft has built a computer system that replaces humans in call centres, meaning you may find it harder to talk to a person when phoning companies’ customer services. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said that tech giant Hewlett-Packard and US retailer Macy’s are already using the so-called ‘chatbot’ technology, which developed from the company’s research into artificial intelligence (AI). The chatbot responds to callers’ enquiries with suggested solutions from a user manual. Should it fail to help, callers can ask to speak to a human. HP says it deals with over 600 million calls annually. Talking to the Wall Street Journal Gurdeep Singh Pall, head of Microsoft’s AI-solutions team, said: “We’re trying to come up with a model we believe is most efficient in terms of how quickly AI can get results”. Despite Microsoft’s high…

2 min.
are police still using xp pcs? most refuse to say

Most police forces have refused a BBC Freedom of Information request asking how many Windows XP computers they are using. This includes the UK’s biggest force, London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), even though in June it revealed it was still running 10,000 XP machines. The MPS’s information manager Paul Mayger said: “Disclosing further information would reveal potential weaknesses and vulnerability”. He added: “This would be damaging as criminals/ terrorists would gain a greater understanding of the MPS’s systems, enabling them to take steps to counter them”. Several forces said that revealing a large figure would put them at risk of attack, while a low number would make others a target. However, Greater Manchester Police (GMP), the UK’s second biggest force, was forthcoming, saying that XP is still running on 20 per cent…

2 min.
in brief

BT TOPS COMPLAINTS TABLE AGAIN BT was the UK’s most complained-about broadband provider for the fifth quarter running, according to Ofcom’s latest data. The regulator said between April and June it received 28 complaints about BT per 100,000 customers. Ofcom’s figures only count complaints it’s received, not those made directly to BT or other ombudsman services. Read Ofcom’s report at www.snipca.com/25730. BBC APP MAPS UK FLU PANDEMIC A new BBC app will help doctors plan for a flu pandemic by tracking how many people you interact with over 24 hours. It’s part of the ‘National Outbreak’ experiment, with results being broadcast in a BBC 4 programme. The app uses GPS and Wi-Fi to anonymously record your approximate movements. The data is used to work out how to deploy NHS resources in an outbreak.…