Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 516

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

editor@computeractive.co.uk I remember the first time I was hacked, about 15 years ago, when my bank told me they had spotted some strange activity on my account. I was shocked, having always assumed I’d be too clever to fall for any scams. Such youthful arrogance! That experience humbled me. Never again would I skip blithely through the internet, complacently ignoring security advice. Now, if anything, I’m probably over-cautious, but it means I’ve not been hacked for 12 years. I want to make that 13, so I’ll be following the advice in our Cover Feature. I urge you to do likewise. On a more festive note, several readers have asked me how late they can order our 2016 Back Issue CD on Amazon so it arrives for Christmas. Fairly late, is the answer. Amazon’s…

2 min.
check your pc now! intel flaw leaves millions at risk

Millions of PC users are at risk of being hacked after Intel admitted that its new processors contain severe security flaws. The fault is so serious that your antivirus would be powerless to block an attack. The vulnerability appears in Intel’s Skylake (6th generation), Kaby Lake (7th) and Coffee Lake (8th) processors, which have been built into some of the world’s bestselling computers since 2015. Intel said that hackers could exploit it to install malware on affected computers. Popular models at risk include laptop ranges such as Dell’s Inspiron and Acer’s Latitude, and desktop PCs including Lenovo’s ThinkCentres. All three manufacturers have listed those devices that are affected (see box below left). The most significant flaws, discovered by researchers at US security firm Positive Technologies, are in the Management Engine (ME) of the…

1 min.
new windows 10 search box floats on screen

Microsoft is testing a new search box that ‘floats’ on your PC’s screen (see screenshot), drawing comparisons to the Spotlight search in Apple Macs. It appears in the latest preview version of Windows 10 (17040), available to users on the Insider Program. The box includes the same results you currently find in the Start Menu or by using Cortana. To open it, press Windows key+S, or click the Cortana button in the taskbar. You can sort the results using several filters, including All, Documents, Settings and Web (through Microsoft’s search engine Bing). You can also search for files, pictures, videos, music, settings and apps. The new search box is likely to be part of the next major Windows update, codenamed Redstone 4, due in March. You’ll like this… Google is clamping down on scammers selling…

2 min.
uk broadband costs more than syria (but cheaper than us)

UK broadband is the eighthcheapest out of 28 countries in western Europe, with lower prices (£30.70 per month) than the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Ireland, according to a new league table of global prices. Italy (£21.72) has the cheapest broadband, ahead of Germany (£25.62) in second. The figures, from research company BDRC Continental and broadband-comparison site Cable.co.uk, show that the UK is the world’s 63rd cheapest country, behind several nations with worse infrastructure, including Syria, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Albania. Iran is home to the world’s cheapest broadband, at just £4.06 a month (see box). Five of the 10 cheapest are countries that were part of the Soviet Union: Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Georgia. Many of the most expensive countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, or the Caribbean, including Haiti, Papua…

2 min.
top teacher: block phone porn to protect teens

A leading teacher has said web companies have a “moral duty” to filter pornography from phones, warning that schools and parents need help to protect children from harmful images. Charlotte Avery (pictured), president of the Girls’ Schools Association (GSA), said that children are being robbed of their innocence by seeing inappropriate content, which is often “just three clicks away”. Talking to the Daily Mail ahead of the GSA annual conference in Manchester, Ms Avery, 47, urged tech companies to “get out advertising campaigns and work very closely with parents, maybe around national days aimed at internet safety or antibullying”. She said anti-porn filters should be automatically turned on, because many parents don’t know how to enable them, or even that they exist. Ms Avery, head of the private St Mary’s School in Cambridge, added…

2 min.
misleading ‘up to’ broadband adverts banned (at last!)

Broadband adverts will finally become more honest under new rules forcing companies to state average speeds. At present, providers can advertise ‘up to’ speeds – as in the Virgin Media advert pictured – as long as 10 per cent of customers can receive them. But from May 2018 companies will have to state the average speed that half of their customers can expect at peak times (8 to 10pm). The rule change follows research by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) showing that many customers don’t realise they won’t get the ‘up to’ speeds advertised. The ASA accused providers of exploiting “low levels of knowledge and understanding of broadband speeds” among customers. It passed its concerns to the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which discussed solutions with providers, consumer groups and regulator Ofcom. Most groups…