Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 543

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

Misbehaving rock stars of yore used to prove their bad-boy mettle by throwing TVs through hotel windows. That’s one extreme and rumbustious way to ditch your TV, but we can’t condone it, no matter how hedonistic you are. In the 21st century, ‘ditching’ your TV doesn’t have to be taken quite so literally. Rather, it means discovering convenient new ways to watch your favourite programmes, whether on the telly itself, or on your phone, tablet and computer. But with so many different streaming services and devices, it’s hard to know what’s best for your viewing preferences. Let Nik Rawlinson be your guide. His Cover Feature (page 50) is a masterpiece of explanation. By the end I’m confident you’ll know exactly what’s right for you. As 2018 reboots into 2019, I’d like to thank…

11 min.

Edge being rebuilt using Google’s Chrome code Microsoft is rebuilding its Edge browser in a bid to gain more users, following its failure to challenge Chrome and Firefox since launching in 2015. It confirmed it will switch from its own EdgeHTML source code to Google’s Chromium for the revamped version of Edge. Released in 2008, Chromium is the underlying code for Google’s Chrome browser, as well as the less popular but highly respected Opera (www.opera.com) and Vivaldi (https://vivaldi.com). Chromium is open-source, which makes it easier for developers to build compatible websites. By switching to Chromium, Microsoft is hoping to increase the number of websites and hardware that work with Edge, in turn boosting its popularity. As well as changing Edge’s code, Microsoft is making the browser available for Windows 7 and 8.1 for the…

3 min.
in brief

WORLD’S FIRST 16TB HARD DRIVE ARRIVES Seagate has made the world’s first 16TB 3.5in hard drive, boasting enough capacity to hold two billion Word documents (at 10KB per page), or 60,000 hours of Netflix (at 280MB per hour). It’s aimed at businesses for now, with the price expected to be around £500. It uses HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording), which reduces the size of bits, dramatically increasing storage capacity. SKYPE ADDS SUBTITLES TO ONLINE CHATS Microsoft has added subtitles to Skype, transcribing your conversation in real time. They’re available in the latest version of Skype (8), and work in both one-to-one and group chats. You can turn them on for individual chats, or every call you make – follow Microsoft’s instructions at www.snipca.com/29989. NEW TRAIN COMPLAINTS WEBSITE LAUNCHED Train passengers can be awarded up to £2,500…

3 min.
are the police being replaced by online ‘chatbots’?

We all like the reassuring image of the friendly neighbourhood bobby, a local Dixon overseeing our own Dock Green. But times change. As police budgets shrink, forces are looking at ways to save money using technology. One solution is PC chatbot, your friendly neighbourhood automated computing system. The trial is being introduced by Northamptonshire Police in December. If you want to report a non-emergency, instead of phoning 101 you can tap a message to an automated program via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Skype on your phone, and by talking to Alexa on an Amazon Echo. It responds by recording details of offences, providing advice and making appeals for witnesses. Police chiefs say it will save money by reducing the workload of 101 call handlers. It’s more evidence of police becoming more…

1 min.
protect your tech

WATCH OUT FOR… ‘Frozen’ bank account scams What’s the threat? Scammers are claiming they’ve suspended customers’ bank accounts, then ask them to switch their money to a “safe account” – which is owned by the criminals. RBS customers appear to be the primary targets. The bank said fraudsters log into your account and change its name to ‘Frozen’, ‘Locked’ or something similar. Next, they phone you posing as the police, RBS, or another trusted company, and advise you to move your money into an account that’s not suspended. If you do that, you’ve handed your money to the scammers. How can you stay safe? The key to this scam is that the phone call seems genuine because, when you log in, you’ll find your account has been frozen – just as the callers claim. But RBS…

1 min.
new tools

Chrome 71 www.google.co.uk/chrome Click, click, oops. That’s the sound of someone accidentally signing up to a paid-for service online. It’s easily done, particularly when websites hide the price in print so small even the Hubble Telescope would struggle to detect it. It’s the latest scam Google is blocking in its Chrome browser. The new version (71) shows you this warning (pictured) if you’re about to visit a site that doesn’t make its pricing “visible and obvious”. It will appear whether you’re browsing on your phone, tablet or computer. In its blog (www.snipca.com/29901), Google gives the example of “Andrea”, who visits a gaming page that asks for her mobile number. She thinks this is just to register, but the microscopic small print confirms she will be charged “an undisclosed amount per month”. Even larger pricing details…