Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 549

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 cliches of the internet age is that data is the new oil. Companies once made billions striking black gold; now they seek fortunes selling customers’ details. If Dallas was remade now, JR Ewing would own a data-gathering company and swap his stetson for a baseball cap. You soon realise how firms can make so much money when you start checking how much data you’ve left online. As Will Stapley reveals in our Cover Feature (page 50), Google knows everything you’ve searched for online, Amazon shows you adverts based on past purchases, and Facebook keeps tabs on videos you watch. If you’re unsettled by this, follow Will’s advice to minimise your digital footprint as you browse the web. You should also use the tools he recommends to track down and…

2 min.
schools’ 1gbps speeds will ‘boost rural broadband’

More than 100 primary schools in rural England could start using 1Gbps (1,000Mbps) broadband in a bid to improve lessons and spread faster speeds to neighbouring homes and businesses. The Government said it wants the schools to become “broadband hubs” for the local community. Once the faster technology is available to schools, it will be easier to extend it to other buildings nearby. The £3m scheme is part of the Government’s £190m Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme, in which local organisations can bid for funding to boost fibre broadband in their area. Three schools have already been connected to 100Mbps, giving them the potential to upgrade to 1Gbps in future. At this speed, whole classes of children can simultaneously surf the internet on tablets during lessons, the Government claimed. It added that…

1 min.
youtube bans comments on kids videos

YouTube is to prevent users from leaving comments on videos featuring young children, as it aims to “better protect children and families”. It had previously disabled comments only on videos that had received predatory and sexual comments. The site’s decision follows several leading brands, including Nestle and Hasbro, removing their adverts after it was found that paedophiles were trying to groom children by leaving comments. In a blog post (www.snipca.com/30862) YouTube said it will “suspend” comments on all videos of younger children, plus those featuring teenagers that “could be at risk of attracting predatory behaviour”. However, it will let a “small number” of video creators keep comments as long as they constantly check what people say, and remove anything obscene. Andy Burrows from the NSPCC welcomed the move as an “important step”, saying the charity…

1 min.
isps must tell new customers what speed they’ll get

Broadband providers must now tell new customers how fast their speed will be, under tougher rules from regulator Ofcom. If the speed drops below this level, ISPs have to improve performance within 30 days or let customers cancel without charge. This right to cancel also applies to landline and TV services that are part of the broadband package. Companies must also tell customers before they sign their contract how fast speeds will be between 8pm and 10pm, which is when internet activity peaks. Some ISPs reduce speed during this period to keep their service running smoothly. The rules are part of Ofcom’s revised voluntary Code of Practice, which came into force on 1 March and aims to make broadband contracts more “clear and honest”. Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said the stronger…

1 min.
usb 3.0 gets new (confusing) names

Older versions of USB 3.0 are being renamed in a move that is likely to frustrate and confuse many users who are still struggling to understand the existing terms. USB-IF, the organisation that decides USB standards, has announced new categories to mark the launch of USB 3.2, which doubles data-transfer speeds to 20GB/s (20,000Mbps). The previous two standards, USB 3.0 (5GB/s) and 3.1 (10GB/s), will now be known as ‘USB 3.2 Gen 1’ and ‘USB 3.2 Gen 2’ respectively. The latest standard will be officially called USB 3.2 Gen 2x2. Things were much clearer when USB 3.0 was launched back in 2008 because the names of the previous standards, 2.0 (480MB/s) and 1.1 (12MB/s), stayed the same. The idea behind the move is to simplify standards under the ‘USB 3.2’ umbrella. But this will…

3 min.
in brief

BBC TRIALS 5G RADIO BROADCASTS The BBC is running a trial to broadcast radio over 5G mobile networks in Orkney, Scotland, as it continues to extend its rural coverage. The world-first trial is part of the RuralFirst scheme (www.5gruralfirst.org), which is testing the potential of 5G to boost remote communities and businesses around the UK. AMAZON LETS FIRMS REMOVE FAKE GOODS Amazon is letting companies remove fake items from sale without having to report them first, in a bid to tackle the growing problem of counterfeit goods. At first it will invite select brands to take part in the scheme, called Project Zero, before making it more widely available. The company is also using artificial intelligence to scan product listings in order to detect fakes. Read more on Amazon’s blog: www.snipca.com/30860. NHS TO SWAP…