Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 536

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

One of the first ‘wow’ moments in my long (and mostly positive) relationship with computers came when I first looked inside one. As a teenager, back in the Eighties, I paid more attention to the outside of a computer - specifically, what appeared on screen - than its internal organs. That changed when a teacher dissected a PC in front of a spellbound after-school class. It took me a few months to attempt my own surgery, but ever since I’ve been a regular upgrader, and encouraged many others to follow suit. As I hope this Missing Manual shows, it’s fairly straightforward when you’ve got plain-English instructions to follow. Photos always help, too! I’d like to thank the readers who have emailed me saying they like our new look. The verdict seems to…

2 min.

Microsoft removes Skype ‘clutter’ to win back users Microsoft has redesigned Skype yet again to remove “redundant and underused features that create clutter”, hoping to win back users who have switched to other services in recent months. It follows heavy criticism from users who disliked the design of Skype 8.0, finding it too messy and packed with unwanted features. As a result, Microsoft will remove the Capture and Highlights tools from the desktop version of Skype. Tapping the Capture tool launches the camera, making it easier to take photos and videos. You can then annotate what you captured, or decorate it using digital ‘stickers’. The Highlights tool lets you post a stream of photos and videos that friends can view, and react to by submitting emoticons, such as ‘smiley’ faces. Both tools were added last…

1 min.
investigate burglary? computer says ‘no’

A police force has been criticised for running a trial that lets a computer algorithm decide whether a burglary is worth further investigation. Officers at Norfolk Constabulary submit details about the offence, such as whether the intruder left fingerprints or if there’s evidence caught on CCTV. The algorithm then assesses the crime using 29 factors, including “solvability”, comparing them to other offences in the county. The force said this “generates a recommendation on whether the case should then be allocated for further enquiries”. This method was slammed by campaigners. Harry Fletcher, of the Victims’ Rights Campaign, told the Mail On Sunday: “It’s far better that an individual makes these decisions than a computer, because they can take into account the impact on victims”. However, Norfolk Constabulary said all cases are overseen by officers, who…

1 min.
super-fast broadband boosts uk firms by £9bn

UK businesses have been boosted by £9bn as a result of super-fast broadband being rolled out to rural areas, the Government has claimed. The figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport relate to its scheme to subsidise delivery of 24Mbps broadband. Its report on the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme claims companies have benefitted by £12.28 for every £1 invested by central and local authorities. It also says 49,000 jobs have been created, along with a reduction of almost 9,000 jobseekers-allowance claims. Overall, the scheme has boosted the UK economy by £690m, the report claims, while five million homes and businesses have been connected. These figures follow years of controversy over BDUK, which has been criticised for giving all the contracts to BT. Some analysts accuse BT of using…

1 min.
nhs ‘should stop writing notes’, as 10,000 patient records lost

A report has called for NHS staff to stop making handwritten notes in hospitals as it emerged nearly 10,000 patient records were lost in 2017. It’s prompted fears that criminals could be selling the data to fraudsters on the dark web. Research from think-tank Parliament Street found that 94 per cent of NHS trusts still write notes on paper, rather than save them on electronic devices. Its ‘NHS Data Security’ report, compiled from a Freedom of Information request, says handwritten notes are “no longer fit for purpose”, and should be replaced by tablets and phones. A total of 9,132 patient records were misplaced in the 12 months from April 2017. University Hospital Birmingham alone reported 3,129 missing or lost records, followed by Bolton NHS Trust (2,163 records), and University Hospital Bristol (1,105),…

2 min.
in brief

SEND TEXT MESSAGES THROUGH SKYPE Microsoft is testing a feature in Skype that lets you send and receive text messages on your phone (Android only). Called ‘SMS Connect’, it’s currently available only to users signed up to the Skype Insider Program (www.skype.com/en/insider), which releases new tools for trial before they’re officially launched. Microsoft will respond to feedback from users before adding the tool to the full version of Skype. EU TO FINE SITES FOR EXTREMIST CONTENT The EU is drawing up plans to fine websites like Facebook and YouTube if they don’t remove extremist content within an hour of it being posted. Julian King, the EU’s commissioner for security, told the Financial Times that authorities “cannot afford to relax or become complacent in the face of such a shadowy and destructive phenomenon”. It…