Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 521

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

Here’s a parlour game for those Saturday nights when there’s nothing on TV (which to me seems like every Saturday night). Take a bag of Scrabble tiles, give it a good shake, then reach in and pick three letters. Now, can you make a file format out of them? You’d get nine points for PDF, 12 for MKV and a whopping 14 for ZIP. Can you think of a format that scores higher? For ideas, read our Cover Feature, which recommends the best software, websites and apps for converting files. It’ll help you open videos, photos, music and documents you thought you’d never get to see. Most of the formats wouldn’t be allowed in a proper game of Scrabble, of course. But get lucky with the letters and you can now lay…

2 min.
microsoft disables intel’s spectre fix that ruins pcs

Microsoft has released an emergency security update for Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 to disable a fix from Intel that was causing computers to randomly restart and lose data. Intel’s fix was for the Spectre processor flaw which – like the similar Meltdown bug – affects millions of devices worldwide, leaving them at risk of attack. Days after releasing the fix, Intel admitted it led to “data loss and corruption”. Intel urged users to ignore the fix and wait for the next one, but Microsoft plugged the gap by taking the rare decision to release an unscheduled (called “out-of-band”) update, numbered KB4078130. It’s designed to act only as an interim fix until Intel releases a more extensive update that doesn’t cause problems. Microsoft hasn’t installed the update automatically on PCs because not all…

1 min.
want office 2019? you’ll need windows 10

Microsoft has confirmed that Office 2019 will only run on Windows 10 computers. The company explained its decision on its website (www.snipca.com/26942), saying that old software – including old versions of Windows – is difficult to keep safe, and lacks new features “to help people do their best work”. The company also said it will end support for Office 2019 earlier than with previous versions, which were updated for 10 years. It will stop updating Office 2019 on 10 October 2025, which is also the same day it ends support for Office 2016. A beta version of Office 2019 is expected in the spring, followed by a final release in the second half of the year.…

1 min.
end of the road for old sat-navs as tomtom stops map updates

Thousands of TomTom users have been left fuming after the company said that more than 60 sat-nav models made before 2013 will no longer receive map updates, despite many being sold with a ‘lifetime’ guarantee. The company said that “some of our older-generation navigation devices do not have sufficient resources to run the newest maps and software available”. As an example it said that the map of Europe has grown from 1.6GB in 2010 to 6.5GB today (see page 22). It admitted that while devices will continue to work, maps will “become out of date and as such navigation will be less accurate”. TomTom lists the affected models on its website (www.snipca.com/26897). But it also used the opportunity to push disappointed customers on to newer, more expensive sat-navs, saying: “This may be the…

1 min.
100mbps broadband coming to 3m homes

BT’s Openreach has pledged to deliver ‘ultra-fast’ FTTP broadband of 100Mbps to three million more homes and businesses by 2020, an increase on the previous commitment of two million premises. Openreach says it will re-train existing employees to support the expansion, and hire an extra 3,000 engineers. The first phase will begin this year in eight cities across the UK: Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, London and Manchester. Long term, Openreach’s plan is to provide ultra-fast speeds to “up to 40 UK towns, cities and boroughs”, reaching 10 million premise However, Clive Selley, chief executive of Openreach, said that how quickly and widely the service is provided depends on “the right conditions” being met, such as how soon it can agree the terms of its return on investment. Openreach will need to work…

1 min.
in brief

‘RANSOMWARE’ ADDED TO DICTIONARY ‘Ransomware’ is one of over 1,000 new words that have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. It is defined as a “type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid”. Other computing terms added include ‘e-ink’ and ‘esc’ – as in ‘to press the escape key’. For the full list visit www.snipca.com/26889. AMAZON SMILES ON ALL UK CHARITIES Amazon has invited all UK charities to participate in its online scheme that donates 0.5 per cent of revenue from the sales of eligible goods. Currently 11 major charities are signed up to AmazonSmile, which launched in the UK last year, including Cancer Research and the Royal British Legion. Before shopping at https://smile.amazon.co.uk, you’re asked to select a charity. The…