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Computeractive 589

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!

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
R 39,83
R 600,19
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

Dropbox. Audible. Spotify. CCleaner. Malwarebytes. It’s taken me just 30 seconds to think of five services that I forgot to cancel after I finished using them. It’s easily done. You sign up for a free trial, use the service enthusiastically every day for a few weeks, then gradually lose interest. But the service doesn’t know that. It just lingers in the background sucking money out of your bank account. Cancelling services comes in two parts. First, you have to actually remember what you’ve signed up to. That’s easy compared with the second part, which is to work through the labyrinth of deliberately confusing links, headings and options to find the hidden ‘Yes, I really, really, really want to cancel so stop trying to trick me into staying’ button. Theseus had it easier…

2 min.
new windows update breaks your pc’s ‘sleep mode’

Arecent update for Windows 10 is breaking the Sleep mode, preventing some computers from going to sleep, and waking others unexpectedly. The problem appears to be triggered by the update KB4571744, which Microsoft released on 3 September. Microsoft said on its Support site (www.snipca.com/36004) that the update fixes several problems including one that was preventing users from reducing the size of windows. But many users have complained that the update makes Sleep mode behave erratically. Specifically, they say that Sleep mode stops working when Windows shows that the KB4571744 update is ‘pending’. The problem also seems to occur when Windows tries to automatically install updates overnight. One frustrated user wrote on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub app: “When I close the lid, press the power button, or select Sleep in the power menu or the Windows+X…

1 min.
councils give ‘top up’ cash for rural broadband vouchers

Sixteen English councils – plus Borderlands across the north of England and south of Scotland – have given £22.2m to the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, meaning rural homes and businesses will be able to apply for more money to get faster speeds. Under the scheme, residents and business owners can apply for up to £1,500 and £3,500 respectively. This amount will increase in the areas given the extra ‘top up’ money. Dorset, for example, has given £1m, which increases the amount homes and businesses can apply for to £2,500 and £6,000 respectively. Kent County Council has pledged the most (£4.8m), followed by Borderlands (£4m) – see the full list at www.snipca.com/36008. The Government says the extra money will cover 250,000 premises. Councils in Wales have also said they’ll give money, while…

1 min.
bt & ee customers hit with inflation-busting price rise

Thousands of BT and EE customers will be hit with bill increases higher than the rate of inflation after BT changed its payment terms and conditions. Last year the company said it would link future prices to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of inflation, which was expected to reduce annual price rises. Then, in February, BT confirmed it would increase prices by 1.3 per cent, in line with inflation. This followed two price rises in 2018, and none in 2019. However, on 1 September it updated its policy (www.snipca.com/35983) to increase prices by 3.9 per cent on top of the rate of inflation. The increase will be based on January 2021’s inflation rate, and kick in from 31 March. If the rate is 1.5 per cent, for instance, BT will add…

1 min.
deaf charities ask youtube not to remove caption tool

Charities for the hard of hearing are asking YouTube to reconsider removing a tool that lets users add subtitles to videos uploaded by other people. YouTube wrote online (www.snipca.com/35982) that it will close its ‘Community captions’ tool on 28 September because “it’s rarely used and had problems with spam/abuse”. Action on Hearing Loss and the British Deaf Association called on YouTube to discuss the decision with the deaf community. Campaigners say YouTube hasn’t promoted the tool strongly enough, and that it’s too hard to find. The site, which is owned by Google, tried to ease concerns by saying that people who upload videos can still add their own captions, or ask YouTube to automatically add captions using speech-recognition software However, charities claim that auto-captioning tools are often inaccurate. The British Deaf Association said: “This…

1 min.
in brief

TAKE SCREENSHOTS IN EDGE MORE EASILY You may soon be able to take screenshots of websites in Edge without having to use browser extensions. Microsoft is testing a ‘Web Capture’ tool in the Canary version of Edge (www.snipca.com/35964) which takes full or cropped screenshots that you can copy to your clipboard. Watch it being used at www.snipca.com/35963. MICROSOFT LAUNCHES FOLDING PHONE Microsoft has launched the Surface Duo folding phone (pictured below), though only in the US for now. Priced $1,399 (around £1,160), it’s a dual-screen device that adapts to how you want to use it. Hold it like a book and you can have two apps open side by side, one on each screen. It runs Android 10 with Microsoft 365 installed. Visit www.snipca.com/35984 for more details. TOMORROW’S WORLD It’s curious how hi-tech patents are…