Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 556

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

In all my years writing about computing, I’ve never known a period like the past six months. Every day seemed to bring a new emergency security update hurriedly released to fix the kind of flaws that make hackers drool. Just as overwhelming has been the wave of new privacy settings. After years of ignoring your privacy, during which time they became staggeringly rich, tech companies now realise they can’t get away with it anymore. Cowed by the threat of government regulation, they’re frantically adding tools that let you restrict what they know about you. There are two ways you can find all these updates and settings: 1) spend every second of every day searching online. Not recommended; 2) read Nik Rawlinson’s exhaustive Cover Feature (page 50). Treat it like an essential safety check…

2 min.
your 16gb laptop can get the new may update

Microsoft has confirmed that existing computers with 16GB memory (RAM) will be able to receive Feature updates, after saying in April they’d need at least 32GB. It has clarified that only new computers released in the future will need 32GB, not those in use now. It means PCs with 16GB will be able to install the May Update (version 1903). Before this news, many laptop users feared their devices wouldn’t have the necessary memory to receive the May Update. To find out your machine’s memory, type RAM into the Start menu, click ‘View RAM info’, then look for the number next to ‘Installed RAM’ (see screenshot). Microsoft’s memory restriction for new computers stems from its decision to reserve up to 7GB of storage to allow future updates to install smoothly (see page 62). All…

1 min.
internet reduces our, um, attention span

Using the internet is changing our brains, leading to shorter attention spans and memory loss, a major study has suggested. Academics from Oxford University, King’s College London, Harvard, and Western Sydney University found that the internet has replaced our ability to recall facts, tricking us into thinking we’re cleverer than we are. They reviewed dozens of studies and experiments conducted over the past 30 years on how the internet has influenced our brains. One experiment showed that people searching online found information faster than others flicking through encyclopedias, but were less able to recall the information accurately. People most distracted by streams of notifications online were found to have less grey matter in the areas that govern concentration. They also struggled to devote their attention to tasks after a period of heavy internet use, such…

1 min.
banks to refund scam victims, but many won’t be covered yet

Thousands of people remain at risk of online bank fraud because several banks have failed to sign up to a new scheme designed to refund victims. Until now, many victims who have unintentionally sent money to scammers haven’t been refunded because they actually confirmed the payment. But under new rules introduced on 28 May, banks will reimburse victims from a pot of money that banks will contribute to. Many leading banks have signed up to the voluntary code, including Barclays, First Direct, HSBC, NatWest, RBS and Santander. Those that haven’t include Co-op Bank, Tesco Bank, Virgin Money, and Yorkshire Bank, though they’ve all said they’re planning to join. TSB, meanwhile, has separately announced it will automatically refund all “innocent” victims. The scheme covers victims of authorised push-payment (APP) scams, in which criminals pose as someone…

1 min.
more over-75s using the web

Nearly 50 per cent of people aged 75 and over are regular internet users, more than double the figure in 2011. New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that 47 per cent of over-75s have been online in the past three months. The figure was just 20 per cent eight years ago. The ‘Internet users in the UK’ survey for 2019 (www.snipca.com/31750) reveals that those aged 65-74 are also using the internet more-82 per cent, up from 53 per cent in 2011. Internet use among young people remains almost universal, with 99 per cent of 16-to-44 year olds having used it recently. This drops a little to 93 per cent for those aged 55 to 64. London and the South East has the highest proportion of internet users (93 per cent),…

1 min.
in brief

WANNACRY ‘ART’ LAPTOP SOLD FOR $1.3M A Windows XP laptop infected with six of the deadliest strains of malware ever made has sold at auction for $1.3m (£1m). One of the viruses is WannaCry, which wrecked PCs worldwide in 2017, including thousands in the NHS. The laptop is an artwork by Chinese artist Guo O Dong, who created it to highlight the dangers posed by the web. However, the laptop isn’t dangerous because it has been ‘air-gapped’, meaning it can’t connect to the internet or other networks. GOVT TO SCRAP FEE FOR PHONING 101 The Government is scrapping the 15p fee for calling 101, the non-emergency phone number. From next April it will be free to call the number, which is used to report crimes that don’t require an urgent response, such as…