Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 514

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

My lasting memory of my first day as Computeractive editor was how many emails I received from readers. Some were requests for technical help, others made thoughtful comments on the magazine, but most of them contained ingenious tech tips. From the start I learnt that our readers are just as keen to share their computing knowledge as they are to boost their own. Indeed, many readers have told me that they love being the recognised ‘PC expert’ among their family and friends. So it wasn’t surprising that hundreds of you emailed me when I mentioned recently we were planning a special issue of readers’ tips. I was impressed not only by the breadth of topics covered, but also the clarity with which you explained the tips (our plain-English ethos must be…

2 min.
facebook: ‘we don’t listen to your conversations’

The top stories in the world of technology Social-media giant Facebook has once again denied it listens to users’ conversations in order to show relevant adverts. Many users have reported seeing adverts related to recent real-life conversations, suspecting they were triggered by Facebook listening to them through the microphone on their computer, phone or tablet. But in a message on Twitter Rob Goldman, the company’s vice-president of ads, wrote: “We don’t – and have never - used your microphone for ads. Just not true”. He was responding to a tweet by PJ Vogt, who presents the technology podcast Reply All (https://gimletmedia.com/ reply-all): “Call us if you believe that Facebook uses your mic to spy on you for ad reasons”. Vogt received many replies from people who think Facebook might be listening to them. One person, Kelley,…

1 min.
…but iphone can take secret photos

A Google employee has exposed a security flaw in iOS that lets some apps take secret photos and videos of the owner. Felix Krause said hackers could use an iOS privacy setting to take control of apps that are allowed to use the device’s camera. They could even run facial-detection tools to read the owner’s expression, and stream live online what is being recorded. The device would give no indication that it’s being used, leaving its owner unaware of any intrusion. Krause revealed the flaw in his blog (www.snipca.com 26067), saying he has contacted Apple about it. He said users could protect themselves by buying a webcam cover (such as these on Amazon www.snipca.com/26068), or revoking apps’ access to the camera, though this would make it generally harder to take photos and…

1 min.
explore saturn’s moons in google’s solar system tour

You can explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, as well as the planets Mercury, Venus and Mars, in a collection of stunning new images on Google Maps. The images of Saturn’s moons were taken by the Cassini probe, which launched in 1997 and spent 13 years orbiting the planet before crashing into its atmosphere in September. During its mission, run by Nasa, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency, it captured over 500,000 images, which have now been stitched together by scientists. Highlights include the icy Enceladus, Saturn’s sixthlargest moon, where Cassini discovered water beneath the crust. Just as spectacular are the images of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon (see main screenshot), home to methane lakes beneath the thick clouds. In total there are 12 new worlds to explore, including…

1 min.
microsoft exposes chrome flaw in tit-for-tat war with google

Microsoft has slammed Google for not immediately fixing a security flaw in its Chrome browser, in the latest clash between the two tech rivals. In a blog post (www.snipca.com/26009) Microsoft says it found a flaw in Chrome, and notified Google on 14 September, receiving a ‘bounty’ payment of $15,837 (£12,000). Google fixed it within a week in the beta version of Chrome, which Microsoft acknowledged was “impressive”. But Microsoft criticised Google for publishing details of the fix on GitHub (https:// github.com) – where software developers release source code for others to use – before fixing the full version of Chrome, which it failed to do for almost a month. Microsoft said this gave hackers “more than enough time” to exploit it. The company’s comments come after heavy criticism this year from Google’s Project…

1 min.
in brief

WEBSITES PLEDGE TO REMOVE TERROR CONTENT Tech giants – including Facebook, Twitter and Google – have vowed to do more to remove terrorist content online following a meeting with the G7 nations on the Italian island of Ischia. Officials said the aim was to take down extremist content within two hours of it being posted. This was the time limit recommended by Theresa May in September, when she urged tech companies to go “further and faster” to tackle hateful propaganda online. BT SLASHES LANDLINE RENTAL BILLS One million BT customers will pay less for their landline bills after the company bowed to pressure from Ofcom. The regulator has been concerned about a lack of competition in the landline market. The price cut – from £18.99 a month to £11.99 – is for customers…