Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 545

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

Nothing focuses your mind on the future like having children (and I imagine the feeling is just as intense when grandchildren arrive). Since my daughter was born in 2014, I’ve been researching how best to preserve photos and videos so I’ll be able to access them well into my dotage (and she into hers). But I get more worried the more I read. Technology marches on without caring whether you’ve saved your photos in a format or on a device that’ll still work in 10 years. The solution is to save them in as many ways as possible, and never lapse into complacency. Every year or so review your storage options and check how future-proofed they are. Also a father, Will Stapley is just as paranoid as me, and offers excellent…

2 min.
openreach prepares for ‘beast from the east’ part 2

Openreach says it has hired 3,500 new engineers and spent “record amounts” on snow and ice equipment to help its staff fix broadband problems quickly, avoiding the severe delays of previous winters. It claims to have bought 78,000 kilos of rock salt, 1,500 snow shovels and 6,300 ice and snow grips for footwear. Engineers will also have 2,050 sets of snow socks for van tyres, 27,800 litres of screenwash, 29,700 de-icer sprays, and 3,550 kilos of salt solution for thawing frozen manholes. The preparations follow major broadband and phone failures during last February’s ‘Beast from the East’ storm, which covered much of the UK in heavy snow and led to 16 deaths. Engineers trying to fix problems were hampered by the extreme conditions. Openreach, the division of BT that maintains the UK’s broadband infrastructure,…

1 min.
phone zombie? selfie addict? the army needs you!

The British Army is advertising for ‘selfie addicts’ and ‘phone zombies’ in an eye-catching attempt to attract young recruits. Its provocative new campaign sees the positive side in behaviour many people consider an anti-social use of technology. The poster targeting ‘selfie addicts’ says the Army “needs you and your self-confidence”, while ‘phone zombies’ are wanted because of their “focus”. They are based on the influential ‘Your Country Needs You’ World War 1 poster featuring Field Marshal Lord Kitchener. A TV advert that’s part of the campaign shows a young man being criticised by his parents for playing computer games all night, before the Army shows how his obsession with technology could be put to good use. Is the Army right to use these tactics? Let us know: letters@computeractive.co.uk You’ll like this… Mozilla is revamping Thunderbird in…

1 min.
you’ll be able to skype your gp by 2024

By 2024 all patients in England should be given the option to talk to their GP by video on their phone and computer, the Health Secretary has said. Matt Hancock claims the technology would be more convenient for patients and free up GPs’ time, though critics say it will alienate some older people, and may lead to certain symptoms being missed. It’s part of extensive plans to revolutionise the NHS by introducing more modern technology, including a new online service letting doctors and patients access medical records. Mr Hancock said that too often technology used by GPs is out of date, frustrating “staff and patients alike”. He added: “I love the NHS and want to build it to be the most advanced health and care system in the world, so we have to…

1 min.
firefox advert ‘experiments’ prompt anger among users

Mozilla has angered users of its Firefox browser by placing adverts in the page that appears when you open a new tab. In late December, it started showing two versions of an advert for travel and hospitality booking website Booking.com, telling users they would get a free $20 Amazon gift card for booking a hotel. The adverts appeared at the bottom of the page (see screenshot), using Mozilla’s Snippets Service, which usually gives details of new Firefox tools, and has never shown adverts before. However, Mozilla denied it was a “paid placement or advertisement”, instead calling it an “experiment to provide more value to Firefox users through offers provided by a partner”. Mozilla added that no data is shared with a partner until the customer makes a transaction, claiming this sets a “positive…

3 min.
in brief

TALK TO SHOPS THROUGH GOOGLE MAPS Google is testing a tool that lets you send messages to businesses through its Maps website and app. You could use it to ask a shop when it opens, for example, or get contact details from a company. It’s been made available to a small number of users to iron out flaws, before being rolled out to everyone. NEW C64 AND AMIGA EMULATORS OUT You can now download the eighth versions of the C64 Forever and Amiga Forever emulators, which recreate the classic computers on your Windows desktop. C64 Forever (www.c64forever.com, pictured) is available for free, though the ‘Plus’ version priced $14.95 has more features. Amiga Forever (www.amigaforever.com) starts from €9.95. PAY 4K BITCOIN OR WE’LL SEND A HITMAN A new email scam threatens you with a hitman if…