Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 525

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
Read More
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

First, an apology. Due to unforeseen circumstances we’ve had to delay our planned investigation into whether technology can help beat dementia. It will now appear in our next issue, out on 25 April. Please email me if there’s anything in particular you’d like us to cover. In its place we’re looking at a subject I’m receiving an increasing number of emails about: how to stay anonymous online. There are many reasons for wanting to do this, not least preventing marketing companies from taking your data then selling it to every Tom, Dick and Facebook. Talking of which, if you want to delete your Facebook account following the Cambridge Analytica revelations, you’ll find instructions on page 11. We thought a scandal like this would break, which is why we explained how to erase…

3 min.
next windows update takes ‘only 30 mins’ says microsoft

Microsoft claims it has slashed the amount of time it takes for Windows updates to install, letting you start using your computer again quicker than before. Its Spring Creators Update, expected on 10 April, will take an average of 30 minutes to install. This is because fewer elements will be installed during ‘offline time’, which is when you can’t use Windows. It means that the ‘online time’ of installation will take longer, though you can use your computer as this happens because the changes take place in the background. During the ‘online time’ Windows downloads the new update, creates a temporary installation folder, and prepares to move data files. Writing on Microsoft’s blog (www.snipca.com/27366), senior program manager Joseph Conway said most users won’t notice the ‘online’ installation because it “won’t have a large…

1 min.
getting medicine online? nearly half of online gps are ‘unsafe’

Almost half of online GPs aren’t safe, with many prescribing dangerous drugs too freely, inspectors have said. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has investigated the private online market over the past 18 months, scrutinising 35 companies running services in England. These services offer video appointments through websites or apps, and enable patients to reorder prescriptions online. During the inspection five companies ceased trading, while 13 broke safety rules, although none were named in the CQC’s report. It identified several problems, including the large amount of opioid-based painkillers prescribed. These can be highly addictive, particularly if not combined with a plan to ease patients off them. Inspectors also said some online GPs handed out antibiotics too readily, and failed to properly check whether medication was appropriate for patients with certain conditions, such as asthma. Moreover,…

1 min.
malware falls as ‘christians give up porn for lent’

Security experts in the US have suggested that Christians giving up porn websites for Lent has led to a sharp fall in malware. The number of malware infections dropped by 17 per cent in the US between 14 February (beginning of Lent) and late March. US cybersecurity firm Enigma Software Group said this could be because fewer people were visiting porn sites, which are believed to be the most common source of malware. Enigma spokesman Ryan Gerding added that many people also give up social-media sites during this period. Malware also dropped during Lent last year (by 14 per cent), lending weight to the theory. “As soon as Easter is over, it goes right back up again,” said Gerding. Enigma also looked at malware trends during Lent for several US cities with high Catholic…

2 min.
in brief

£4M SPENT ONLINE IN 2017 ELECTION Political parties spent over £4m on adverts on Facebook and Google during the 2017 general election campaign, figures from the Electorial Commission show. All parties spent far more on Facebook than on Google. The Conservatives top the list, spending £2.1m on Facebook and £562,000 on Google, dwarfing Labour’s outlay of £577,000 and £255,000. The Lib Dems spent £412,000 and £204,000. Despite their extra spend, the Tories lost 13 seats at the election; Labour gained 33. OLD-LOOK SKYPE AVAILABLE AGAIN Microsoft has made the ‘classic’ version of Skype (7.41) available to download again, after removing its installer in February to fix a security flaw. Many users prefer this older version because it has options newer editions lack, such as opening multiple chat windows, and receiving alerts when your…

1 min.
pensioners shun online shops to keep local stores open

Loyal pensioners are refusing to shop online because they fear it will lead to the closure of their local stores and the loss of jobs, a study has found. Lancaster University’s Dr Bran Knowles, who co-authored the Wisdom of Older Technology (Non)Users report (www.snipca.com/27363), said her results dispel the myth that older people shun technology because it confuses them. She said pensioners “can use any technology they want to use”, but often choose not to for “social” reasons, in particular that it might result in the death of “vibrant town centres in which to socialise with friends”. She added: “They are worried about losing opportunities for social interaction with people, they are worried about people’s jobs being replaced by the internet and losing the sense of community which comes from town centres rather…