Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 518

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

There’s too much green in my house, and not enough red. That was the result of using Ekahau’s HeatMapper in my home. It shows you where your Wi-Fi signal is strong, and where you’re plagued by dead spots. I’m writing this a few days before Christmas Day, so I may add mesh Wi-Fi to my present list. Wayne Williams, who writes our Cover Feature this issue, has already discovered the signal-boosting joy of mesh routers. He reveals on page 53 how Google now blankets his home in Wi-Fi from cellar to loft. He has spent years trying to make his connection faster, safer and reach further, so his tips are priceless. But if you have an HP laptop, I would urge you to read page 6 first. The company has admitted installing…

2 min.
update your laptop now to remove hp ‘keylogger’

If you own an HP laptop, you need to check whether the company pre-installed secret software that records what you type on your keyboard. The company has admitted that the program was built into more than 460 of its laptop models, stretching back to devices made in 2012. It includes laptops in the EliteBook, ProBook, Pavilion and Envy ranges. It was discovered by security researcher Michael Myng (who blogs as ZwClose at www.snipca.com/26561), when he inspected Synaptics Touchpad drivers on an HP laptop. He described it as a keylogger, but Synaptics called this a “mischaracterisation” in an attempt to dampen the furore. The company said it added the tool to drivers in order to help all manufacturers – not just HP – fix problems with the touchpad as the computer is being made.…

2 min.
fury as y-cam ends free security-camera storage

Y-cam is to end free online-storage on its security cameras, angering many Computeractive readers who bought the devices because they came with a promise of free storage ‘forever’ (see screenshot of manual, online at www.snipca.com/26597). Previously, customers could save their clips online for free for a rolling seven-day period. Under Y-cam’s new terms, this will end a year after the camera is set up, after which customers will be charged £2.99 per camera every month. Customers can’t save their footage on other storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, nor on their own networked hard drive. Until recently Y-cam’s packaging contained the promise: ‘Free Cloud Storage. No Monthly Fees’. Its free storage was one reason we gave the cameras ‘Buy It!’ awards in the past. In an email to customers the company said…

1 min.
vodafone customers can cancel early

Thousands of Vodafone customers will be able to cancel their contracts early without a charge, after Ofcom said the network hadn’t been clear enough about changes to terms and conditions. Between April and May 2017, Vodafone told customers by text message that it was introducing a flat £5-a-day roaming fee for people travelling in 60 non-EU countries In the text Vodafone included a link to its site saying customers could cancel without a penalty. But following complaints, Ofcom questioned the “clarity” of that message, and whether it had been sent to all affected customers. The regulator said that details about exiting a contract should appear “in the main body of the text or email”, rather than linking to a separate web page. Vodafone said its ‘Roam-further’ deal prevents customers from being hit by unexpectedly…

2 min.
in brief

BAN TINY PHONES SNEAKED INTO JAILS Online retailers should stop selling miniature phones that are small enough to be smuggled into prisons, the Justice Secretary has said. David Lidington said the phones, some as small as a cigarette lighter, are designed to “evade detection measures in prisons”. They are nicknamed ‘Beat the Boss’ phones, in reference to ‘body orifice security scanners’ used in prisons. They cost around £25 on Amazon, eBay and Gumtree, but change hands for up to £500 behind bars. AMAZON COULD FACE NEXT-DAY PROBE The Advertising Standards Authority is considering whether to investigate Amazon’s claims of next-day delivery amid a flurry of complaints from customers who claim this deadline is often missed. Amazon’s Prime service offers 24-hour delivery for £7.99 a month, or £79 a year. The company said customers…

1 min.
pm slams twitter for not banning paedophiles

Prime Minister Theresa May has slammed Twitter for not banning paedophiles who share their fantasies on the service. An investigation by The Sun found hundreds of anonymous profiles used by men to discuss their cravings for children. They justify their comments by insisting they never act upon their desires, and therefore aren’t committing a crime. They describe themselves as “non-contact” or “non-offending”, meaning they don’t abuse children physically. But some of them admit that their “AoA” - age of attraction — is as low as five. Many use cartoon characters as their profile picture, seemingly to attract children. Some say they are raising awareness of MAPs (minor-attracted persons), comparing paedophilia to being gay or bisexual because it is a sexual preference they claim they were born with. One user said he was trying…