Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 534

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’ve always liked the name Control Panel. It makes tweaking Windows feel as important as monitoring a nuclear power station or (more excitingly) the Star Trek bridge. Launch Windows Firewall, Captain Sulu! It’s also easy to use. Everything you need is there. But it’s unlikely to survive much longer – in Windows 10 at least – because Microsoft wants you to use the Settings app instead. Nothing wrong with that in principle, but it has meant getting used to a new nerve centre for your computer. In this Missing Manual (page 50) we take you on a guided tour of the Settings app, explaining what you’ll find in each section, and recommending changes to make. Spock would probably find many of Microsoft’s decisions “highly illogical”, but we’re here to help, boldly going…

2 min.
fix windows 10 updates by paying monthly fee

Microsoft is reportedly working on a version of Windows 10 that users pay a monthly subscription for. As part of the package, called Microsoft Managed Desktop, the company will continuously fix problems with the operating system. Unnamed sources from the company told the website ZDNet that it would lease Windows 10 PCs to users, and then remotely maintain them. It’s thought that by controlling the device and the operating system it runs, Microsoft hopes to fix more quickly bugs that arise following the twice-yearly Feature updates. The rumoured service is seen as Microsoft adopting the ‘Desktop-as-a-Service’ (Daas) concept, in which an operating system is installed on a virtual PC and managed remotely by a tech company. You never actually ‘own’ the device, nor the version of Windows 10 it runs. It’s a similar…

1 min.
windows ‘learns’ to delay updates

Microsoft aims to “alleviate the pain” caused by Windows updates by using machine learning to determine whether it’s a convenient time to install. The latest Preview versions of Windows 10 will postpone an update if it detects that your computer is being used, waiting until it’s switched off, or you take a break. In a blog post (www.snipca.com/28719) the company said it has responded to complaints by training its update process to “accurately predict when the right time to restart the device is”. In machine learning, computer systems learn through experience the best way to perform tasks, without further human input. The new method should mean fewer instances of your computer restarting suddenly to install an update while you’re using it. If trials are successful, it’s likely to be added to the next Feature…

1 min.
the end of road signs? 5g trial beams traffic info to car dashboard

Traffic information such as speed limits, roadworks and delays will be beamed to car dashboards using 5G in a trial of new technology. Highways England says that if the trial is successful, it could eventually lead to the overhead gantries on motorways being pulled down, because the signs they display will be transmitted inside cars instead. It’s been announced four months after a report from the Department for Transport found the number of road signs had doubled in 20 years to 4.3 million, with many so pointless they assume an “insulting degree of stupidity on the part of drivers”. The £20m trial will run from the end of 2018 until 2020 on the busy A2 and M2 roads between London and Dover. It will be powered by a 5G broadband network running down…

1 min.
how many? dixons carphone hack affects 10m

Dixons Carphone has confirmed that a data breach last year may have affected 10 million customers, a huge increase on the first estimate of 1.2 million. The company, which owns Carphone Warehouse and Currys PC World, has been investigating the hack since discovering it in June. It said hackers may have access to customers’ names, addresses and email addresses, which could be used to launch mass phishing attacks. The records of 5.9 million payments cards were also accessed, but most were protected by the chip and pin system. Around 105,000 cards issued outside the EU are at risk because they don’t use chip and pin. There was no evidence that fraud had resulted from the breach, the company said, which means it’s unlikely any compensation will be paid. It plans to apologise to customers…

2 min.
in brief

WEB SAFETY COUNCIL PROTECTS ADULTS The Government is expanding its internet safety council to cover adults as well as children. The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) will prioritise tackling cyber-bullying and sexual exploitation, hate speech, extremism, and violence against women and girls. It will encourage collaboration between 200 organisations. Read Gov.uk for more details: www.snipca.com/28688. GOOGLE ‘MADE YOUTUBE SLOWER ON FIREFOX’ Mozilla, which makes Firefox, has accused Google of slowing down YouTube in all browsers except its own Chrome. Firefox’s Chris Peterson said on Twitter that a redesign of YouTube (owned by Google) means pages on the video site load five times slower in Mozilla’s browser and Microsoft’s Edge. To fix this, he suggests installing the Firefox extension YouTube Classic (www.snipca.com/28689), or Tampermonkey extension (www.snipca.com/28690) in Edge. BBC WEBSITES BECOME MORE POPULAR A greater…