Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 519

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 are two kinds of arguments I have with my PC. The most common is rather one-sided, as I politely enquire why, of all times, it has chosen to restart now, just as I was in the middle of something more important than it could ever comprehend. The other type is more constructive. These ‘arguments’ are the technical values that define how a computer will perform a particular task. In our Cover Feature, Jonathan Parkyn explains how to use the second kind of argument to schedule tasks on your PC. You can order it to shut down and wake up at set times, and even open your favourites websites as soon as you log on. With the help of software, you can also schedule it to remove junk, perform a backup,…

3 min.
huge processor flaws slow down your pc and phone

Every computing device you own – PC, laptop, phone and tablet – could be slowed down by fixes to two processor flaws that have been described as some of the worst bugs ever found. Tech companies have been racing to fix the flaws, called Meltdown and Spectre by the researchers who discovered them. They affect billions of devices worldwide powered by Intel, AMD, ARM and Qualcomm processors. These include Windows and Linux computers, Android phones and tablets, and iPhones and iPads. The flaws go so deep that updates are not only needed for processor firmware, but also for browsers and operating systems. Intel pledged to release updates in the second week of January. These will be given to manufacturers, who will add them to your computer through Windows Update. If you built your…

1 min.
do you use an hp laptop? check whether it might catch fire

If you’ve bought an HP laptop in the past two years you should urgently check whether its battery could catch fire. The company said that some laptops sold worldwide between December 2015 and December 2017 contain faults that make them overheat. It has recalled the models after eight reports of batteries “overheating, melting or charring”, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. One incident caused a first-degree burn. Visit HP’s site to check whether your laptop is at risk: www.snipca.com/26700. Models affected include those in HP’s ProBook, Envy, Pavilion and x360 range. If your laptop is listed, you need to download HP’s Battery Program Validation Utility by clicking the blue button in the middle of the webpage (see screenshot above). If this tool identifies a dangerous battery, it will issue a…

1 min.
govt to ban touts buying tickets online

The Government has pledged to ban touts using automated software to bulk-buy tickets for concerts and sports events advertised online. Touts often use programs called ‘bots’ to snap up tickets in larger numbers than websites technically allow. They then offer the tickets at rip-off prices on secondaryticketing websites such as Viagogo and StubHub. The Government has told the European Commission it intends to enshrine a ban in law. It says a new criminal offence in the Digital Economy Act will leave touts facing unlimited fines for breaching the rules. Ministers are taking action after tickets for the UK production of the award- winning US musical Hamilton (pictured above) were re-sold for £6,000 last year. Hamilton’s producers are trying to beat the touts by using a paperless ticket system that requires the ticket purchaser to…

2 min.
in brief

MICROSOFT EDGE IS ‘FASTER THAN CHROME’ Microsoft says its Edge browser is 48 per cent faster than Google Chrome, and blocks 18 per cent more phishing sites. The claims appear in a new advert from the company (www.snipca.com/26681). Another advert (www.snipca.com/26682) boasts that Edge uses less of a laptop’s battery when playing videos. It quotes a test run by Microsoft showing that Edge lasted for over 16 hours, beating Chrome’s 13 hours, 31 minutes. REPEAT OFFENDERS USE PHONE WHILE DRIVING Many motorists are repeatedly using phones while driving despite being caught, new figures from the DVLA show. More than 6,000 were stopped at least twice for driving while distracted, over 400 three times, and 20 drivers four times. The RAC said responsible motorists will be “shocked” by the numbers, adding that repeat offenders…

1 min.
want to switch phone network? just send a text under new rules

Switching your phone network will be as easy as sending a text, under new Ofcom rules. The regulator said that from July 2019 you’ll only need to send your existing mobile network a text to tell them you’re leaving. They must reply immediately with a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code), which you have to give to your new network within 30 days. Their text must also include any outstanding costs that you owe, any pay-as-you-go credit you have, and whether you need to pay termination fees. Switching must then take place within one working day. Currently, if you want to switch you have to speak to your provider, which gives them the chance to try to persuade you to stay. Ofcom says the changes mean you’ll always avoid these “unwanted attempts” to keep you…