Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 546

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

One of the laws of computing it’s vital to learn is that you can do many of the tasks (for free) that companies charge for. These firms, whether they’re high-street stores or software developers, rely on people’s fear of technology. “Don’t worry yourself with all that nasty jargon”, they imply, “let us take care of it all”. I suppose you can’t blame them for this tactic because computing still has a reputation for being intimidating. But I know that Computeractive readers prefer to teach themselves skills rather than pay someone else. The money saved is useful of course, but there’s also the satisfaction of mastering something yourself. I hope you get that ‘pat yourself on the back’ feeling reading this issue’s Cover Feature. Please let me know how you get on. Daniel Booth editor@computeractive.co.uk PS:…

3 min.
delay the next windows 10 update (but for only 7 days)

Microsoft may finally start letting Windows 10 Home users delay Feature updates, although for nowhere near as long as the Pro version allows. A preview build of the April 2019 Update (version 1903), released to Windows Insiders in January, lets users pause updates for seven days. This is much shorter than the 365 days offered to Pro users, but is still an improvement on Home’s current options, which let you reschedule a time within six days for your PC to restart and install an update. Home users can also use the ‘Active hours’ option to set a time period (up to 18 hours) during which they don’t want updates to install (follow Microsoft’s instructions at www.snipca.com/30336). Many users set their active hours to daytime (for example, 6am to 12pm), so updates are installed…

1 min.
older people ‘more easily fooled by fake news’

Pensioners are almost seven times more likely to share fake news on Facebook than people aged 18 to 29 - in the US at least. The conclusion comes from a study of 1,750 Facebook users during the 2016 presidential election, carried out by Princeton and New York University researchers. They checked how many users forwarded stories from 21 websites classified as “intentionally or systematically factually inaccurate”. It found that 11 per cent of over-65s shared links to fake stories, much higher than the three per cent of those aged 18-29. Age was a better predictor of whether people shared false stories than any other characteristic, such as gender or education. The researchers said the older generations’ lack of “digital literacy” meant they were less likely to spot fake news. Another possibility, they suggested,…

1 min.
talktalk warns users of ‘rip-off’ 118 calls

TalkTalk is now warning customers of “rip-off” high costs when they phone 118 (Directory Enquiries) numbers, and has taken a swipe at Ofcom’s “inadequate” decision to cap such calls at £3.65 for 90 seconds. The ISP’s Call Whisper feature plays the following message when you ring a 118 number: “This is a message from TalkTalk. Calling 118 numbers such as this one may cost you as much as £19.98 per 90-second call. You may also incur further charges if you’re later connected to the number you need. We strongly recommend that you search for the number for free online. If you hang up now, you won’t be charged for this call”. TalkTalk will presumably have to change this message on 1 April, when Ofcom’s price cap comes into effect. The ISP says…

3 min.
in brief

FIREFOX TO DISABLE FLASH BY DEFAULT Mozilla has said Firefox will stop supporting Adobe’s Flash plug-in by default in September, with the release of the 69th version of the browser. This means you’ll have to activate it to load websites that still rely on Flash. Firefox will stop supporting Flash completely early next year, before Adobe stops making it available to download at the end of December 2020. BT’S PRICE RISES TO MATCH INFLATION BT broadband customers may be hit with smaller price increases every year following the company’s decision to raise prices in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation. It said from next year it will increase prices every March based on what the CPI was in January. With the current rate at 2.3 per cent, it means…

1 min.
773m emails leaked online in biggest ever data breach

You should consider changing your passwords straight away after a security expert discovered the biggest ever data breach online. Nearly 773 million email addresses and 21 million passwords were leaked, exposing more than 1.1 billion unique combinations of email addresses and passwords. The data was found by Australian security researcher Troy Hunt, who runs the Have I Been Pwned? website (see screenshot and box below), on which you can search leaks to see if they contain your email addresses and passwords. He spotted the 87GB stash of data, called ‘Collection #1’, on the popular online-storage service Mega. Later, he also saw it on a “popular hacking forum”. Many of the details were already available to criminals online, he added, though around 140 million previously secure email addresses and 10 million new passwords were…