Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 550

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

USB sticks are recent additions to that mysterious group of miscellaneous items that clutter up kitchen drawers (scientifically known as bits and bobs). They’ve joined paperclips, string, staples, bottle tops and keys for long-lost padlocks as things you can’t bear to throw away just in case they prove useful one day. In the case of USB sticks, that day is today. I’ve not rummaged through Jonathan Parkyn’s drawers, but I imagine they’re home to significantly fewer USBs than a month ago. In our Cover Feature, he explains 20 ingenious ways to use these sticks (or keys, flash drives, thumb drives, etc). Have a read, and you’ll be glad you never got round to binning them. Next issue: 1,000 amazing things to do with a paperclip. Number one: clip paper. Number two: erm……

2 min.
computer active

EDITORIAL Group Editor Daniel Booth Deputy Editor Will Stapley Production Editor Graham Brown Art Editor Katie Peat Contributors Adam Banks, Dinah Greek, Jane Hoskyn, Jonathan Parkyn, Nick Peers, Nik Rawlinson, Wayne Williams ADVERTISING Advertising Director Charlotte Milligan Advertising Manager Alexa Dracos MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Subscriptions Rachel Hare Marketing Production Manager Gemma Hills For subscription enquiries ring 0330 333 9493 PRODUCTION Group Production Manager Stephen Catherall Production Controller Sophie Griffin MANAGEMENT Managing Director John Garewal MD of Advertising Julian Lloyd-Evans Commercial and Retail Director David Barker CFO/COO Brett Reynolds Chief Executive James Tye Company Founder Felix Dennis BRAND USAGE AND REPRINTS Companies can obtain a licence to use approved quotations from articles, the Computeractive logo and Buy It! logo. Reprints of articles are also available. Please contact Ryan Chambers for more information and rates: 0203 890 4027 Email: ryan_chambers@dennis.co.uk Requests to use quotations from articles will need to be approved by the editor. Please send requests to: editor@computeractive.co.uk OVERSEAS…

1 min.
what we think

If it feels unnerving that Microsoft can yank an update without asking your permission, it’s better than suffering endless restarts as your PC struggles to swallow something it can’t stomach. In the past, Microsoft used to explain these messages after they started appearing, so we’re pleased it’s giving users plenty of warning. As for the Windows 7 warnings, we’re sceptical that saying you don’t want to be notified again will mean nine months of silence. Given Microsoft’s past form, we think it’ll find another way to pester you.…

1 min.
google: upgrade to windows 10

Google is doing Microsoft’s work for it by urging Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10, after discovering a security flaw in the 10-year-old operating system. The company said it told Microsoft about the flaw on 27 February, before going public on 7 March (www.snipca.com/31010). It added that hackers could exploit the flaw, together with a separate bug found in Chrome, to remotely access computers. It released an update on 1 March to fix the Chrome flaw. Chrome updates are applied automatically, so check your version is 72.0.3626.121 or later – click the top-right menu button (three vertical dots), then About Google Chrome. Microsoft said it will release a Windows 7 fix “as soon as possible”.…

2 min.
microsoft to auto-remove broken windows updates

Microsoft will soon start to automatically remove updates that cause problems on your PC, and not attempt to reinstall them for 30 days. It said this will give its developers enough time to investigate the problem and release a fix. If Microsoft removes an update, you’ll see the message “We removed some recently installed updates to recover your device from a startup failure” (see screenshot). It added that it will only do this when your computer has failed to restart and “all other automatic recovery attempts have been unsuccessful”. Users who still want to install an update because they believe it didn’t cause the problem can do so by downloading it from the Windows Update Catalog, as Microsoft explains at www.snipca.com/31009 (you can also use the Catalog to update drivers – see page…

1 min.
1,000 gp surgeries now using new nhs app for patients

Patients at 1,000 GP practices across England can now use the new NHS app to book appointments, view their records and order repeat prescriptions, NHS England has claimed. It announced the milestone in early March, adding that it means 15 per cent of people in England can now access their GP’s services digitally. The app is on track to be “fully functional” in all practices by July, NHS England said, but some digital services are struggling to work with the app. This includes Babylon Health, whose ‘GP at hand’ app (www.gpathand.nhs.uk) is used by 40,000 patients. Dr Farah Jameel, head of IT at the General Practitioners Committee, said that because third-party apps like ‘GP at hand’ use different software to the NHS app, it wasn’t surprising they’ve had difficulties. However, he said he was “pleased…