Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 528

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

I recently took my young daughter to the Natural History Museum, thinking she would be awed by the dinosaur bones. While she was impressed (“Wow, they’re gigantic!”), what most captivated her was an exhibition on learning, particularly a video explaining how children develop skills by making mistakes. It made me wonder whether of all human inventions the internet best encapsulates this trial-and-error approach (though the modern TV remote control comes close). Every day online feels like an experiment in clicking links, installing extensions and tweaking settings, as you work out what improves your browsing and suits your preferences. Twenty years since I first went online, I’m still making mistakes, and I’m still learning from them. I’d like Computeractive to encourage a similar sense of eager curiosity, which is why I asked Jane…

2 min.
new w10 update causes black-screen and ssd crashes

A security fix for the latest Windows 10 Feature update – called the April 2018 Update (version 1803) - is crashing computers, leaving them stuck on black screens. The problem began when Microsoft released its monthly batch of fixes on 8 May - these are the ‘Patch Tuesday’ updates that arrive on the second Tuesday of every month. Microsoft said the update, numbered KB4103721, fixed a problem with the April 2018 Update that caused “some devices to stop responding or working when using applications, such as Cortana or Chrome”. But users on Microsoft’s Community forum (www.snipca.com/27850) complained that it prevented their PCs from starting, showing just a black screen and nothing else. Microsoft has yet to comment on the problem, but it appears to be caused by corrupted files. You can fix it by…

1 min.
copy items using ‘cloud clipboard’

You’ll soon be able to copy and paste items across different computers using Microsoft’s revamped clipboard. It has appeared in a preview build of Redstone 5, the codename for the next Features update of Windows 10, due this autumn. Pressing the Windows key+V opens the ‘cloud clipboard’, in which you can currently save plain text, HTML and images less than 1MB. It also lets you ‘pin’ items you open often, and shows you a history of what you’ve already copied. At the moment it works between computers running Windows 10, but Android and iOS may be added before it’s released fully. To turn on the clipboard you have to click the sliders ‘Save multiple items’ and ‘Sync across devices’ in the Clipboard section in Settings (see screenshot).…

1 min.
ofcom proposes ‘contract ending’ alerts to stop you being ripped off

You’ll soon receive an alert when your phone and broadband contract is about to end, under new rules aimed at preventing loyal customers from being ripped off. Telecoms watchdog Ofcom wants to force companies to “proactively inform” customers when their contract is due to expire, giving them the chance to find a cheaper deal. Currently millions of customers are automatically moved to a higher tariff once their initial contract expires, with many not realising they are paying more. An estimated 15 million households – around a third of all customers – are in this position. In addition, around six million people have remained on phone contracts despite having paid off the cost of their phone. One in five only realise after six months, by which time they’ve paid around £220 extra. Research from price-comparison…

1 min.
new cameras catch drivers using phones

Road-safety campaigners in the UK have urged the Government to consider introducing cutting-edge cameras that catch drivers using phones, after new laws were passed in Australia allowing police to use them. New South Wales police will be the first to use the cameras, which run software that automatically detects a driver using a phone. It follows a 12-hour trial in Sydney in which police detected more than 400 drivers making calls, texting or taking selfie photos. New South Wales minister for roads Melinda Pavey said the cameras could be as “revolutionary” as the breathalyser. The RAC agrees, calling them a potential “game-changer”. Rod Dennis, spokesman for the RAC’s Be Phone Smart campaign (https://bephonesmart.uk), said: “If proven to be accurate in detecting illegal use, it could really help shift behaviour and, in turn, save…

2 min.
in brief

EE’S EARLY? CANCEL FEES EXAMINED Ofcom is investigating the fees EE charges customers for cancelling their contract early. The regulator will examine whether EE’s fees act as a disincentive to switch to another provider, and whether the terms applied to the fees are “clear, comprehensive and easily accessible”. It will complete gathering evidence in August, before publishing an update. Read more on Ofcom’s site www.snipca.com/27771 CHANGE YOUR TWITTER PASSWORD NOW Twitter has advised its 330 million users to change their password after it found a security flaw that exposed them for “several months” on the company’s internal network. To do this, click your top-right profile pic, ‘Settings & privacy’, then Password on the left. Twitter said there was no evidence the passwords had been stolen or misused. MICROSOFT FIXES IE SECURITY FLAW Microsoft has released…