Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 513

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

While I love getting my hands on new tech, I also derive much pleasure from keeping old devices alive for longer than many would deem normal. For example, I’ve been using the same alarm clock for 25 years. Its familiar ‘brrring!’ has accompanied me through many homes, only occasionally failing to rouse me. With such devices I need to ask just one question: does it still work? If yes, then I’ll carry on using it. What I never need to ask is whether it’s still safe to use. That’s the troubling question you always need to ask about software on your PC. You’re not being paranoid to think it. Hackers know when developers abandon programs, and will strike fast and hard. In this issue’s Cover Feature we expose once-great software that you…

3 min.
upgrade now! microsoft says goodbye to three key tools

• W10 November Update support ends • Office 2007 unsafe • Windows Mobile RIP Microsoft has axed support for three tools that millions of people still use: the Windows 10 November Update, Office 2007 and the Windows Phone mobile operating system. This cull will leave many users at increased risk of being hacked. The end of support for the November Update requires the most urgent attention. Numbered Version 1511, it was the first major update to Windows 10, arriving in November 2015, four months after the operating system launched. It will receive no more security fixes, so anyone running it should update as soon as possible to either of the Creators Updates released in 2017 (see timeline below). Microsoft explained its decision in a blog post (www.snipca.com/25938): “Since version 1511 was released in November 2015,…

2 min.
council scraps home visits for elderly in favour of skype

A council in Essex has come under fire for scrapping face-to-face visits to elderly people in favour of video chats over Skype. In a trial funded by the NHS and the Local Government Association, Essex County Council is giving 40 pensioners a Samsung Galaxy tablet each so they can talk to carers online. John Spence from the council said it will let vulnerable adults live independently, giving them “something that is accessible from the comfort of their own homes”. But charities have criticised the trial. Cliff Rich, head of Contact the Elderly (www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk), said that while technology helps older people stay in touch with family and friends, “nothing can replace the essential human need for face-to-face interaction”. Leading doctors are also sceptical. Dr Helen Stokes- Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners,…

1 min.
dutch tell microsoft to stop spying on w10 users

Dutch privacy regulators have urged Microsoft to stop collecting data on how people use their Windows 10 PCs, saying it breaches the country’s data-protection law. Following an investigation, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) concluded that Microsoft must be more transparent about its telemetry system, which tracks some details of what you do on your computer. The regulator said that Microsoft has indicated it wants to end these “violations”, warning that it could face a “sanction” if nothing changes (read the verdict in full at www.snipca.com/25945). In April, Microsoft revealed what data it collects (www.snipca.com/25946). This includes your user settings, which websites you visit and which Windows Store apps you use. Microsoft says this data helps it to identify problems users are having with Windows 10. But Wilbert Tomesen, vice-chairman of the DPA,…

1 min.
in brief

EQUIFAX HACK AFFECTS 700,000 BRITS Credit agency Equifax has now admitted that hackers stole data from 694,000 UK customers between May and July, much higher than its previous estimate of nearly 400,000. Data stolen included phone numbers, driving licence info and email addresses. It will send a letter to those affected offering help, and has set up a helpline: 0800 587 1584. The theft was part of a worldwide breach in which hackers stole the details of 146 million people in the US. 40TB HARD DRIVES ON THEIR WAY Western Digital (WD) has developed new technology that could lead to hard drives with a capacity of 40TB, almost three times the size of the current maximum. The company’s ‘microwaveassisted magnetic recording’ (MAMR) technique could replace ‘heat-assisted magnetic recording’ (HAMR), which is reaching its…

1 min.
yahoo hack: all three billion accounts were affected

Yahoo has admitted that all three billion user accounts were hacked in August 2013 in the biggest data theft in history. The company, which had previously said one billion users had been hacked, updated the figure after obtaining new information “following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts”. It means that anyone with a Yahoo email account would have had their details exposed. In December 2016, Yahoo said that hackers had stolen names, email addresses, encrypted passwords, birthdays and phone numbers. It has now confirmed that no credit-card and bank details were stolen, nor unencrypted passwords. At the time the company told affected users to change their password. It also invalidated security questions and answers that weren’t encrypted so hackers couldn’t use them. In a new statement (www.snipca.com/25866) Yahoo said it will…