ONLY   £1.79    ICE IN PLAIN ENG
                                LISH                                    ISSUE 310 7 to 20...
Windows®. Life without Walls™.
Dell recommends Windows 7.




STAR
PERFORMERS
If you’re into film, music, networking and
gr...
POWERFUL
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Simple Clear A
              dvice
           Approved by
                                                  Contents
     ...
ISSUE 310
                                                                                                   7 to 20 Janua...
NEWS
R
R
            VIDEO ON DEMAND



    Harmful advert fears addressed
    Advertisements in on-demand programmes now ...
NEWS                                  R
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NEWS
R
R
     x     IN BRIEF...                           INTERNET                                                        ...
1&1 HAS THE BEST



DOMAIN
 Register new domain names….
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NEWS
 R
 R


     2009                             January
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NEWS                                  R
                                                                                  ...
HOW TO              USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS
     COVER
     STORY


          Work wonders
          with the web          ...
USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS                                   HOW TO

Easy does it
Once you’ve found the add-on you want, insta...
HOW TO                           USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS




     9Accelerator add-ons can be used in IE8 to help you find ...
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  1. 1. ONLY £1.79 ICE IN PLAIN ENG LISH ISSUE 310 7 to 20 JAN 2010 SIMPLE CLEAR ADV INSIDE THIS ISH CAM PA I G N ISSUE N ENGL BY T HE PLAI AP PROVED ORKSHOP S TED HOW TO W TRIED & TES MASTER DISC BURNING Get the best 15 PAGES OF EASY PC WORKSHOPS ENHANCE your Excel spreadsheets LAPLINK PC MOVER Switch IT! from XP from your disc MAKE the most out of Windows Mail BUY burner with DESIGN a club logo with free tools to Windows 7 our expert tips ORGANISE music with Media Monkey the easy way
  2. 2. Windows®. Life without Walls™. Dell recommends Windows 7. STAR PERFORMERS If you’re into film, music, networking and great design, the Studio not only looks good, but delivers great Hi-Def multi- media performance too. Available in a range of colours and designs. Choose your favorite at dell.co.uk. There’s a Studio for everyone this DELL V515W ALL-IN-ONE WIRELESS PRINTER 2 £ 119 AFTER £30 OFF Price Incl. Savings1 & VAT. Exlc Delivery3 15 17 • Intel® Pentium® processor T4300 • Intel® Pentium® processor T4300 • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • 4GB Memory • Memory 4GB (2x2048MB DDR3 1333MHz) • 250GB Hard Drive • 320GB Hard Drive Free Fall Sensor • 15.6” WXGA LED Screen with True-Life™ • 17.3” HD WLED Screen with True-Life™ • 512MB ATI Radeon® HD 4570 Graphic Card • 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570 • Dell 1397 Wireless Card • FREE McAfee® Security Center - 15 Month Protection • 2 MP Webcam • Dell 1397 Wireless Card • 2 MP Webcam DELL SX2210 22” Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, WIDESCREEN MONITOR £ 209 E-Value Code: NPUK01-N0053502 E-Value Code: NPUK01-N0074502 £ 429 Shown in Pink. Upgrade for £29. £215 TOTAL SAVINGS £ 529 Shown in Blue. Upgrade for £29. £90 TOTAL SAVINGS Price Incl. Savings1, VAT & Delivery, Click: www.dell.co.uk/laptops FAST, EASY & INTUITIVE – WINDOWS® 7 OFFERS AN EXCEPTIONAL COMPUTING EXPERIENCE McAfee™ - PROTECT WHAT YOU VALUE. Offers due to end 26/01/2010. Subject to availability, prices and specifications are correct at date of publication and may change without notice. Terms and conditions of Sales, Service and Finance apply and are available on request or at www.dell.co.uk. Delivery charge is £20 Incl. VAT per system (unless otherwise stated). Consumers are entitled to cancel orders within 7 working days beginning the day after the date of delivery; Dell collection charge is £23 Incl. VAT for system purchases and £11.50 Incl. VAT for accessory purchases. One GB = 1 billion bytes; actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less. Dell Inspiron, Studio and XPS laptops and desktops include Microsoft Works 9.0 as standard unless otherwise specified. Promotional offers limited to maximum 5 systems per customer. 1 Saving is difference between price of featured systems when sold as a package versus current standard online sales prices for the basic systems with the promotional components upgraded individually. 2 Dell printers comes with a trial sized cartridge; USB cable not included. 3 Delivery charges range from £5.75 to www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  3. 3. POWERFUL ATTRACTION Precision-built and housed in glistening, high- gloss obsidian black with leather trim and aluminium accents, it’s hard to resist the Studio XPS™. It’s even harder when you experience its sheer power and exhilarating performance. Available in 3 colours: Black Edge-to-edge Premium Backlit (default), Red or White display Styling Keyboard New Year. Go on, Treat Yourself. NEED HELP? ANY PC. ANY PROBLEM. XPS™ 13 XPS™ 16 • Intel® Core™2 Duo processor P7450 • Intel® Core™2 Duo processor P7450 WE CAN HELP! • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit • 4GB Memory (2x2048MB DDR3 1067MHz) • 4GB Memory (2x2048MB DDR3 1067MHz) • 320GB Free Fall Sensor (7200RPM) • 320GB Free Fall Sensor (7200RPM) NO FIX, • 13.3” Widescreen WXGA with True-Life™ • 512MB NVIDIA® GeForce™ 210M Graphics • 15.6” 1080p Full HD WLED Edge to Edge Display with True-Life™ NO FEE. • 2 MP Webcam • FREE McAfee® Security Center - 15 Month Protection • 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics • 2 MP Webcam and Dell Bluetooth Card CALL • Wireless Card 1515 and Dell Bluetooth Card • FREE McAfee® Security Center - 15 Month Protection • Intel® 5100 Wireless Card 0844 444 3122 Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, Price Incl. Total Savings1, VAT & Delivery, E-Value Code: NPUK01-N00X1302 E-Value Code: NPUK01-N00X1602 Help and advice £29 from £ 924 £65 TOTAL SAVINGS Available in Black (default), Red or White. £ 984 £65 TOTAL SAVINGS Available in Black (default), Red or White. Call: 0844 444 3288 8am-9pm Weekdays, 9am-6pm Saturdays, 10am-7pm Sundays Count on the combination of Dell and Windows® 7 to give you fast, intuitive computing for your day-to-day tasks. Less is more with Windows® 7 - fewer interruptions, fewer steps to complete tasks, fewer delays. £14.95 incl. VATper item for items purchased without a system. Price correct at time of print. Celeron, Celeron Inside, Centrino, Centrino Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel Viiv, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, Viiv Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. For more information about the Intel processor feature rating, please refer to www.intel.com/go/rating. ©2009 Dell Products. Dell, the Dell logo, Presto, the Presto logo, Inspiron and UltraSharp are registered trademarks or trademarks of Dell Incl. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and the Windows Vista logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the trademarks or trade names of other entities used to refer to them or their products. Dell Corporation Ltd., Dell House, The Boulevard, Cain Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1LF. If you wish not to receive further marketing material via fax or direct mail please inform us via mail: delluk@clientmail.eu.com; post: Dell - Suppressions. DELL PO Box 659 SOUTHALL UB18 7ZB; or fax: 0800 3283071 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  4. 4. Simple Clear A dvice Approved by Contents INTERACTIVE the Plain English Campaign 6 News 66 The Advertising Standards Authority clamps down on video-on-demand ads FROM THE EDITOR 46 Hints & Tips It is traditional Find missing information and make to start the new remote desktop access easier year with a set of resolutions to live 62 Consumeractive Discover what to do if you received two of well and make the same present for Christmas better use of our time.We can’t 65 CA Investigates help you shed the We investigate the differing standards for festive pounds or high-definition TVs 66 Letters take up the violin Do delivery problems ruin the internet but we can make your PC easier to 46 shopping experience? use. Our cover article explains how a set of free online tools can transform 67 The best of the web your web browser, making it faster Stay safe online and keep up with the latest news and simpler to use while adding new features to help you get more from 71 Competition your time on the internet.Whether Win a Sandberg USB to USB Share Link Kit you use Internet Explorer or Firefox to view web pages, this article provides something for everyone, 71 and the range of tools available is quite staggering.And if you’re looking for a January sale PC bargain, see our pick on page 26. Paul Allen editor@computeractive.co.uk www.twitter.com/computeractive www.computeractive.co.uk/facebook TRIED & TESTED How to contact us 16 Sorry,but because of the huge number of 16 Samsung X420 enquiries we get,we can only give technical A slim laptop with long battery life and help and consumer advice through published an efficient processor replies in the magazine – we cannot take phone calls or answer letters personally. 18 Clickfree Transformer SE For subscription enquiries, A simple and effective backup tool see page 74. Letters page: 23 Oregon Scientific letters@computeractive.co.uk WMR100 Advanced Technical help: Weather Station noproblem@computeractive.co.uk Think you can do better than the BEST BUYS Consumer problems: Met Office? consumeractive@computeractive.co.uk 25 January Ideas for articles and Workshops: sales ideas@computeractive.co.uk 18 A choice of By post: computers Computeractive, to suit all Incisive Media, budgets 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG 4 www.computeractive.co.uk www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  5. 5. ISSUE 310 7 to 20 January 2010 HOW TO COVER STORY Page 12 54 No Problem – we answer your home Work wonders with the web computing questions Bring off-screen programs into view in Windows 7 and check mobile phone network coverage Make your web surfing faster, EXCLUSIVE FREE DOWNLOAD easier and more fun with browser 52 PC Tools add-ons for Internet Registry Explorer and Firefox Mechanic 8 Make your computer run faster 28 FEATURES 28 Windows 7 WORKSHOPS on the go Find out how to make Windows 7 run better on a notebook computer 48 Burn after reading We reveal some handy hidden techniques you can use when burning discs 48 15 EASY TO USE STEP-BY-STEP PAGES - page 31 MASTERCLASS 32 Use conditional 40 Keep music formatting to organised with 58 Multiple choice enhance Excel Mediamonkey Discover how attaching a spreadsheets Organise a digital music storage device to a home Spruce up spreadsheet collection with this free network can make it data with conditional software much easier to formatting access files 44 Make the most and folders 36 Design a logo of Windows Mail with free tools in Vista Give your club or society an Read our tips and tricks 58 image makeover with a free for using Windows Mail logo creator in Vista 7 12 - 25 June 2008 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 5 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  6. 6. NEWS R R VIDEO ON DEMAND Harmful advert fears addressed Advertisements in on-demand programmes now rated and restricted CONCERNS ABOUT inappropriate adverts four and five can be shown after 10pm and appearing on video-on-demand (VoD) 11pm respectively. services have been addressed by a new law. The inclusion of online and on-demand Providers of these services, such as video in the AVMS Directive was Channel 4’s 4OD and the ITV Player, must controversial, as some feared that the now comply with the new Audio Visual European Commission was attempting to Media Services (AVMS) Directive that came extend media regulation to the whole into force on 19 December 2009. internet; for example user-generated videos, AVMS is the successor to the Television such as those posted on Youtube. without Frontiers Directive. It imposes the Clearcast pointed out that the directive is British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion only applicable to mass market TV-like and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) on VoD services. Kristoffer Hammer for Clearcast services. This means that in future the said: “Any display advertisements or Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) can 9The law will prevent violent or otherwise offensive audio-visual ads the viewer will see before act if viewers complain about an advert. adverts being shown alongside children’s shows selecting a VoD programme will not be Although VoD adverts don’t have to be covered by the directive.” cleared in the same way as those appearing on companies, said that because of the nature of traditional TV services (called linear TV), VoD services must abide by certain rules, VoD, timing restrictions currently assigned to linear adverts cannot be carried across. The R THE CAP CODE EXPLAINED including banning product placement in all company said it would assign levels for Until now, the CAP has been the rule book for non- children’s programmes. providers that will indicate whether there is broadcast adverts, sales promotions and marketing To ensure that the standards are adhered to, violence, nudity, or potential harm or offence such as those appearing in newspapers. It imposes VoD providers including Virgin, Sky, ITV, in an advert. Level one will be equivalent to similar rules to those that apply to linear broadcasts Channel 4 and Five began checking adverts on adverts which must not be shown around which fall under the remit of the Broadcast Committee of their services before the AVMS became law. children’s programmes, level two for those Advertising Practice (BCAP) code. Clearcast, which monitors the adverts that can’t be shown before 7.30pm, level three www.asa.org.uk before they have been aired for these adverts can be shown after 9pm, and levels x IN BRIEF... INTERNET I WARNING TO ADOBE USERS Security experts are warning Broadband tax payable on multiple landlines Adobe customers to be extra SOME CONSUMERS may duty is payable on both are on a low income). Some areas of the country not vigilant following the discovery of be in for a bit of a shock if lines,” it said. people have said that to considered commercially an attack that attempts to exploit a they have more than one However, the Treasury avoid paying this tax they viable by the operators. vulnerability in Adobe’s Reader landline to their home. said that if customers would have their phone www.snipca.com/x742 and Acrobat products. Security The Government has receive services from two service disconnected and Have Your Say! researchers for Symantec said admitted it will charge the providers but over the just take broadband; but Who should pay for faster that the attack comes as a 50p per month broadband same local loop, the duty is this won’t work as the tax broadband? Let us know at Trojan hidden in a PDF file tax, now called the payable only once. applies to both broadband letters@computeractive.com attachment in junk emails.The Landline Duty, on every line Virgin Media customers and telephony services. attack attempts to lure email regardless of whether they who receive cable The aim of the 50p recipients into opening the are being used or not. broadband and a landline landline tax is to provide attachment.When the file is According to the phone will be charged next-generation broadband opened, a malicious file disables Treasury, which refers to only once. services by 2017 to the Windows firewall and landlines as“local loops” , In the consultation the downloads software.Adobe the“duty will be payable on Government is currently has since confirmed it is all local loops that are made running on the proposals, it investigating the “reports of available for use by an said around 850,000 vulnerability in Adobe Reader and owner whether or not the households would be Acrobat 9.2 and earlier versions” lines are actually used” . exempt from the tax.These and will issue a fix as soon as it If more than one local are people who qualify for has more information. loop is provided in order what is called a social www.adobe.com for an end-user to receive telephony service (those two distinct services,“the who receive benefits or 6 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  7. 7. NEWS R R R R x IN BRIEF... ECRIME WINDOWS I GOVERNMENT Browser battle PLUGS SERVICES The Government is preparing to spend £5m to persuade the public Criminals target social sites resolved The European Commission to use the electronic services put CYBERCRIMINALS WILL make more However, one of last year’s most (EC) and Microsoft have in place by local authorities, use of social-networking sites such as popular scams, deceiving people to ended their dispute over following evidence that around Facebook and Bebo this year to launch download fake anti-virus tools, could whether people should half the population in England attacks and spread malicious software, become less effective as more people be offered a choice of web were unaware of what was security companies have warned. become aware of it. Such software browsers on new PCs. available.The ‘Lose the Queues’ As 2009 ended, they predicted that presented users with fake scan results Following years of campaign starting this year will hackers will release more malicious and bogus warning messages in an wrangling, with the EC highlight the benefits, such as software using attempt to steal imposing several fines flexibility and convenience, of rootkits and other bank details, against Microsoft for accessing council services online. covert methods collect payment anti-competitive behaviour, www.odpm.gov.uk to avoid detection for a fake security both parties have reached by security product or install an agreement that means I FIX COMPUTER software. other malicious people will have a range of PROBLEMS Security firm software. browsers to choose from. The latest issue of our popular Kaspersky said “The fake anti- Microsoft will now offer a Ultimate Guide To series focuses file-sharing virus market has ‘choice screen’ to users of on troubleshooting.Written in plain services could been saturated Windows. This will present a English, we will show you how to become and profits for list of browsers, making it solve problems on your PC and get increasingly cybercriminals easy for users to install any up and running again with simple popular for have fallen,” one of them. step-by-step launching 9More people are aware of fake anti-virus tools Kaspersky said. It will be added to new workshops and attacks, after they But Symantec computers and the existing guides.And with were used to spread several infections said that criminals have not completely Windows XP,Windows Vista many homes having last year. finished with anti-virus-related fraud. It and Windows 7 computers more than one Joseph Souren, vice president of has noted more sites selling legitimate, in Europe, where Internet computer – running internet security at security company but free, anti-virus software such as AVG. Explorer is set as the different versions of CA, said: “It is a cat and mouse game. “Consumers are still being ripped off default browser, for the Windows – we cover Cybercriminals are evolving and are paying for software they can get free,” next five years. XP,Vista and Windows 7 so there is constantly looking for new the company said. www.microsoft.com something here for everyone. vulnerabilities to exploit.” http://free.avg.com/gb-en/homepage We also provide a CD containing full applications and utilities. SURVEILLANCE Some of these are used in the workshops.This issue is on sale JARGON B U S T E R now for £5.99. www.computeractive- Home Office to regulate use of CCTV Techno babble demystified... direct.co.uk THE GOVERNMENT has enforcement powers so Browser A program used appointed a regulator to they can only act in an to view and interact with I INSURANCE TOOL oversee the use of CCTV advisory capacity websites. ADDS SOFTWARE following concern over the David Hanson, minister of CPP is adding new security increasing intrusion into state for crime and policing, PDF Portable Document software to its Identity Protection people’s lives by public and said:“The Interim CCTV Format. A file format that Alert insurance, which is sold on by private sectors. Regulator will help explain allows pages to be viewed banks to their customers. The UK now has more to the public how they can on any PC. According to Financial Fraud Action CCTVcameras and a bigger complain about intrusive or UK, British online banking fraud national DNAdatabase than ineffective CCTV usage.” Rootkit Malicious losses in the first half of 2009 any other country.Richard Forensic science software that hides itself totalled £39m, a 55 per cent Thomas,the previous regulator Andrew Rennison from security software. increase on the same period in Information Commissioner, will serve as the interim 2008, with the cause primarily warned that the UK risked Government and the CCTV regulator for up to a Social networking attributed to malicious software. “sleep-walking into a public. Lord Goodlad, the year, until Parliament Websites that enable you to The Prevx software claims to surveillance society”. committee’s chairman, appoints a permanent meet new people. protect information such as The House of Lords said:“There can be no replacement. Mr Hanson passwords or credit card details Constitution Committee justification for this gradual said research showed over Trojan A malicious that are entered into or displayed warned last year that but incessant creep 80 per cent of respondents program disguised as a by an internet browser during growing public and private towards every detail about supported the use of CCTV harmless program. online transactions. surveillance was damaging us being recorded and to deal with crime in their www.prevx.com the fundamental pored over by the state.” neighbourhood. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk relationship between The new regulator has no www.snipca.com/x738 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  8. 8. NEWS R R x IN BRIEF... INTERNET PATENT I YOUTUBE MULLS Apple files PAID-FOR SERVICE Youtube is considering launching a subscription service so users can Australia to filter the web Nokia lawsuit Apple has issued a watch TV shows and films online. THE AUSTRALIAN government plans counterclaim to a patent The social networking site has to amend its current legislation to force lawsuit that mobile phone already made deals with a number internet service providers (ISPs) to manufacturer Nokia of broadcasters – including block obscene and illegal websites. has brought against it. Channel 4 and Five – which allow The decision follows a test of Both manufacturers are it to show full-length programmes internet filtering, started in now embroiled in a legal online free of charge. In an 2008 as part of the A$128m battle over technologies interview with Reuters news Plan for Cyber Safety. In a that are fundamental to agency, senior Google executive statement, the Australian making mobile phones David Eun said paid subscription is government said it plans to compatible with one or an option it is considering as it “introduce legislative more standards, including hopes to entice more TV channels amendments to the GSM and 3G. and Hollywood studios to sign up. Broadcasting Services Act to Nokia first sued Apple in www.youtube.com require all ISPs to block RC October last year over 10 (Refused Classification)-rated by website mobile phone-related I MICROSOFT OWNS material hosted on overseas servers. Wikileaks, was patents it said the company UP TO CODE THEFT “RC-rated material includes child sex found to contain had infringed. Now Apple, Microsoft has apologised to a abuse content, sexual violence and the perfectly innocuous sites, including that the computer and iPhone Canadian software developer after detailed instruction of drug use.” of a dentist from Queensland. maker, hit back with a claim admitting that the code used in a Senator Stephen Conroy said the Senator Scott Ludlam, communications that Nokia is infringing 13 new messaging service for the Far scheme “balances safety for families and spokesperson for the Australian Greens Apple patents, and that East was stolen.Work on the the benefits of the digital revolution”. political party, described the policy as even if it were in breach of message exchange service Juku Australian ISPs will use a blacklist of “pointless and simply misguided”. Nokia’s patents, the was suspended after Microsoft restricted sites operated by ACMA, the Last October the UK Government company is itself in breach said one of its employees in China Australian Communications and Media dropped plans to introduce legislation of obligations to allow others had used code from a similar tool, Authority. Critics of the plans have that would force ISPs to block access to reasonable access to them. developed by a company called raised concerns over how this list will be sites hosting images of child abuse and Both suits were filed in a Plurk, without permission.“We are compiled and how easily it can be other illegal content. It said the plans were Federal court in Delaware. obviously very disappointed, but circumvented. They point out that last not needed as self regulation works. www.ded.uscourts.gov we assume responsibility for this year an early version of the list, obtained www.australia.gov.au situation.We apologise to Plurk,” Microsoft said in a statement. MOBILE BROADBAND www.plurk.com JARGON B U S T E R Scandanavia and Slough not so slow Techno babble demystified... SCANDINAVIANS CAN been developed, so people 3G A mobile phone sign up for the world’s first in Norway, Sweden and network that allows fast commercial super-fast Slough will initially have to internet access. mobile broadband service. access the service using a Dubbed 4G (fourth computer. But Samsung GSM Global System for generation) networks, and LG are reportedly Mobile communications. I VIEWBOOK PRO’S download speeds can reach launching handsets capable The digital mobile phone EUROPEAN DEBUT 100Mbits/sec – about 10 of using the new networks system used in the UK and Viewsonic has announced the times that of 3G services. from mid to late 2010. many other countries. European release of its 13.3in Operator Teliasonera, The equipment for the Viewbook Pro and full range of which launched the service Stockholm 4G city network Mbits/sec Megabits per Viewbook laptops. Intel’s newest in Stockholm and Oslo last has been supplied by second. A measure of data ultra-low voltage processors, month, said the service will Ericsson, while Chinese firm transfer speed. There are LED backlight technology and open up new possibilities, Huawei has supplied the 1,024 kilobits in a megabit. other power-saving techniques, including online gaming and adapters needed for Slough the company claimed some web conferencing. and Oslo. LTE, however, is Processor The chip that models of the Viewbook range are UK operator O2 also next major standard in on a roll and a further 17 is the ‘brain’ of the capable of offering an average plans to launch a limited mobile broadband networks are expected to computer. The faster the battery life of 12 hours. Prices for trial to broadband technology and is designed go online this year in the US, processor, the better a the Viewbook Pro range between customers in Slough.The to work alongside existing Canada,Japan, Norway, computer will perform. £699 to £729. networks use Long Term 3G technology. South Korea, South Africa, www.viewsoniceurope.com Evolution (LTE) technology, The only drawback is that Sweden and Armenia. For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk which is considered the no mobile handsets have www.teliasonera.com 8 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
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  10. 10. NEWS R R 2009 January The year in review We cast an eye back over the biggest stories reported by Computeractive over the past year The beginning of the year was dominated by concerns over BT’s plans to use the controversial advertising technology Phorm, which monitors the websites visited by internet users in order to show them more relevant adverts. After the end of a test the company said it expected “to move towards deployment”. Meanwhile, Microsoft released an early testing version of its Windows 7 operating system for the public to try, while Nintendo’s hugely popular Wii games console caused trouble. Molly Elvig of Colorado sued the gaming giant for $5m (£3m) after a Wii controller flew from her son’s 9April: Fake paid-for security software was a major problem in 2009 hand and smashed a television. April February Fake security software that fools users into paying for February saw computer security experts unnecessary ‘virus removal’ was a major problem in warning of rising infections spreading via 2009, and it hit the headlines in April after security USB memory keys. company Finjan claimed scammers could earn $10,800 The Conficker worm, still active almost a (£7,452) per day. year later, was exploiting part of Windows According to another report, some of those tricked by called Autorun to spread via USB devices. dodgy software might not even notice they have lost Meanwhile, Computeractive readers money. Security firm CPP reported that British 9February: A worm spread via alerted us to a website that was cardholders were USB memory keys using the run by Gary Cooper, a then 16-year-old boy unable to account for Windows Autorun feature from Essex. over £10.8bn of GC’s PCs sold mobile phones and other transactions in the gadgets, but some customers complained of preceding year, with unauthorised charges – Terence Warmbier more than a third of was charged an extra £800 after buying those surveyed unable four phones. to account for a fifth of their monthly March transactions. In March children’s charities called on the eMarch: Youtube clashed with Government to take action to limit access May the Performing Right Society to websites showing images of child abuse. Phorm leapt back into over thousands of music videos The NSPCC claimed that around 700,000 the limelight in May households were as the European connected to the Commission internet via internet 9May: Phorm hit back at its critics on a new website, launched legal service providers (ISPs) accusing them of orchestrating a “smear campaign” action against the that did not subscribe to Government for the Internet Watch Foundation failing to ensure the privacy of internet users. block list. The online retail giant Amazon also stepped in, Youtube users found themselves announcing it would not allow its sites to be monitored up against a different block list as a by the system. spat between the video clip website Phorm fought back with a website in which it accused and the Performing Right Society critics of orchestrating a “smear campaign”. (PRS) came to a head. The rather strange website, which mocked the Thousands of music videos were company’s critics as “privacy pirates”, disappeared a made unavailable in the UK. few months later. 10 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  11. 11. NEWS R R R R June This summer saw a 50p tax on landline telephones proposed to pay for next-generation broadband. Lord JARGON B U S T E R Carter’s Digital Britain report said the levy was the Techno babble demystified... “fairest” way to ensure that everyone in the UK could benefit from fibre-optic high-speed broadband services. Broadband A fast internet Meanwhile three people were arrested and released connection, such as ADSL. on police bail in relation to GC’s PCs (see February). Detective Simon Dovaston told Computeractive that Fibre optic Cables that “enquiries are still required to resolve the matter”, but transmit information as two months later we were told that the investigation pulses of light. had been concluded with no charges brought. File sharing Swapping July 9September: BT announced a trial of new broadband technology files over the internet. In July we reported that Microsoft was planning to that could reach homes up to 12km away from phone exchanges slash the cost of Windows 7 in the UK. At the time, the Freeview The UK’s free company said it would not be selling upgrade licences October digital TV service. in the UK, so full copies of Windows 7 Home Premium A nationwide retune of the Freeview television system would cost just £80 until the end of 2009. had sounded the death knell for some older set-top ISP Internet Service The controversial advertising technology Phorm boxes. Other users found channels such as BBC1 and Provider. A company that made the news again, as both BT and Talktalk ITV moved to new channel numbers, while almost half a provides you with an announced they had dropped plans to use million people lost access to ITV3 and ITV4. internet connection. the technology. Of the UK’s In the same month, Shadow Culture major ISPs this left only Virgin Secretary Jeremy Hunt said a Memory key A term to Media in talks with the company. Conservative government would scrap describe thumb-sized USB the 50p levy on landline telephones storage devices. August proposed by the Government to pay for In August we reported an Ofcom next-generation broadband. Operating system study claiming that only one Governs the way hardware person in nine was getting the November and software components in speed advertised for their The ISP Talktalk opened a new front in a computer work together. broadband internet connection. the fight against a law that could see This did not come as a huge illegal file sharers disconnected from the Set-top box A device that surprise as Computeractive internet, warning the Government that it enables a TV set to receive had been campaigning for would refuse to disconnect its customers digital TV broadcasts. clearer broadband advertising unless concrete proof of their guilt was since 2007. provided. It also launched a campaign USB Universal Serial Bus. Microsoft announced that website, asking visitors to petition Allows connection of upgrade editions of Windows against the proposals. peripherals to your PC. would be available to UK Our next issue brought news that the customers, but raised the cost of Digital Economy Bill, which is planned to Virus A malicious the full versions of Windows 7 9August: The price of introduce a ‘three-strikes’ rule, had been computer program Home Premium to £150. Windows 7 Home Premium rose to £150 included in the Queen’s speech. designed to damage computer data. September December The possibility of a ‘three-strikes’ rule that could see Just like January, controversy surrounded an ISP Worm A program that illegal file sharers disconnected from the internet had planning to monitor its users. This time the culprit was transmits and copies itself been looming for months, but after comments that were Virgin Media, which planned to test a technology called over a computer network. made by Communications Minister Stephen Timms in Cview on 40 per cent of its network. August the debate flared The trial was designed to For full definitions visit: www.computeractive.co.uk up again. look for illegally shared Privacy International, music files, but Virgin did not the Open Rights Group and plan to report users to the other organisations warned that it could break copyright owners. Computeractive also got its R SEE ALSO both European and human first look at the Google’s new Top products of 2009 rights legislation. operating system, Chrome OS. www.computeractive.co.uk/ September saw good 2255007 news for would-be Have Your Say! Top software of 2009 broadband customers, as Which events of 2009 interested you the www.computeractive.co.uk/ BT announced a test of a most? Which news stories made you 2255143 new technology that could pleased, happy or annoyed, and what are Complete guide to Windows 7 see broadband reach your hopes and fears for 2010? www.computeractive.co.uk/ homes up to 12km from 9December: Computeractive tested Google’s first operating Let us know by emailing the usual windows7 phone exchanges. system, Chrome OS, which use only online applications address: letters@computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 11 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  12. 12. HOW TO USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS COVER STORY Work wonders with the web Browser add-ons can make your web surfing easier, faster and more fun – we list the very best for Internet Explorer and Firefox Y our internet browser probably works Although there are many add-ons for Internet Explorer, beautifully: both Firefox and Internet and we’ll list some in this article, we’d recommend using Explorer, the two most popular browsers, Firefox if you want the best choice. are fast, stable and simple ways of So what can you do with these small extras for your accessing the internet. browser? The sky is nearly the limit. You can You could, if you wanted, install them download videos from Youtube, keep tabs on and add only the update files that are your email account without needing to login, made available periodically to ensure or block distracting, time-wasting adverts you always had the most up-to-date from view. Alternatively, you can version of your browser of choice. download add-ons that enable you to keep If you did, though, you’d be up to date with social-networking sites missing out. Both Internet Explorer while browsing elsewhere. and Firefox allow you to download Installing add-ons is and install tools, called add-ons that generally simple. can make surfing the web easier, Both Firefox and quicker and more enjoyable. In this issue Internet Explorer have special we’ll list the must-have browser add-ons for websites that gather all the both Firefox and Internet Explorer, and explain add-ons together, allowing you how to install them. to search by keyword or category, and then sort your Useful functions results by the number of The concept of a browser add-on is simple. It’s a tiny downloads they’ve had or program that doesn’t run on its own but instead adds a recommendations they’ve Image: Nick Palmer new function to an existing web browser – normally a received from other users. function that would otherwise require you to install For Firefox, go to yet another program on your computer and run https://addons.mozilla.org, that when required. or visit www.ieaddons.com As they connect to a web browser, for Internet Explorer. add-ons are sometimes known as ‘plug-ins’. Although some add-ons are created by companies, most are created by other users to add a feature that they themselves want. The Firefox web browser has a particularly strong community of add-on authors, thanks partly to the fact that the program is open source, so anyone can examine the code that makes it tick. 9Firefox has a good set of add-ons as the program’s code can be read by anyone 12 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  13. 13. USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS HOW TO Easy does it Once you’ve found the add-on you want, installing it is generally easy. In Firefox, select your chosen add-on and click the green Add to Firefox button. You’ll be given a moment to reflect on your choice, and, once the add-on is installed, you may be asked to restart the browser. This can be postponed until later if you’re in the middle of doing something important. Internet Explorer is slightly more complex, as it divides its add-ons into groups such as toolbars, Accelerators (we’ll explain what this means shortly) and search providers, with a fourth, unmentioned category for everything that works like a Firefox add-on. Installation is a bit more intimidating as well – when you click on most links you’ll be prompted to download an installer that runs as if you were installing a separate application. It’s also not unusual for Windows to 9Annoying website adverts can be banished in Firefox by using Adblock Plus display some stark warnings about your PC’s security, even though you’re downloading from an official Microsoft site. But there is a strong range of add-ons available for the world’s most popular browser, particularly when you consider the role of Internet Explorer’s Accelerators. An Accelerator is an add-on for Internet Explorer 8 that allows you to highlight text and perform a task based on its content. For instance, if you download the Bing Maps accelerator you can highlight a postcode then click the small blue icon that appears and find the postcode on a map without needing to enter it manually. For more on R GET THE BEST BROWSER Accelerators, see our step-by-step guide on page 15. Whichever internet browser you prefer, it’s important to Make surfing faster have the latest version. Using Adobe’s Flash technology is an old copy means missing one of the most important 9IE7 Pro is the best way to stop adverts in Internet Explorer out on new and handy aspects of the internet features, such as Firefox 3’s today. Without it we Each time you see a distracting advert, click on the fantastic address bar, but wouldn’t be able to small ‘Block’ button above it, in the future it – or others more importantly it means watch videos on sites coming from the same company’s server – won’t appear. you’re not protected by the such as Youtube or our For those using Internet Explorer, the best tool for latest security updates. very own blocking adverts is IE7 Pro (www.ie7pro.com). Despite Upgrading Internet Computeractive TV. the name, which suggests compatibility only with an Explorer is simple. To see Sadly, though, Flash older version of Internet Explorer, IE7 Pro also works which version you’re can also be used to well with Internet Explorer 8. It blocks all manner of currently using, open create particularly adverts, including pop-ups and Flash adverts, and also Internet Explorer, click on annoying adverts on adds a number of extra features to Internet Explorer. Help on the menu bar then websites. These often These include mouse gestures, which allow you to choose About Internet take time to load, get in instruct Internet Explorer to perform certain tasks, Explorer, which will show you the way and generally such as going back a page when you draw a shape with the version number. If it’s frustrate you, while some the mouse, and the ability to download videos from less than version eight, go to even include sound effects to websites such as Youtube. www.microsoft.com/ie8 to make the experience even more download and install the infuriating. Browsing engines latest version. Luckily though, both Firefox and The name might sound daunting, but these add-ons can For Firefox users the Internet Explorer offer be very handy. There are many different web browsers latest version of the add-ons that prevent Flash adverts from running. available, and sadly not every website works properly browser is version 3.5. To Firefox’s is the simplest – visit www.snipca.com/x522 with every browser. So if you use Firefox, for example, check your copy click Help and click the green button to install Adblock Plus. you may occasionally come across sites that simply then About Mozilla Firefox, or Firefox needs to restart once the add-on is installed, but refuse to work as you are not using Internet Explorer. to upgrade head to from there you should find visiting heavily advertised An add-on called IE Tab by PCMan, however, can fix www.getfirefox.com. websites a much more restful experience. this. It adds an option to the menu that appears when 7 - 20 January 2010 www.computeractive.co.uk 13 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com
  14. 14. HOW TO USE FREE BROWSER TOOLS 9Accelerator add-ons can be used in IE8 to help you find the information you want much faster 9Browser add-ons can be easily viewed and managed in Internet Explorer you right-click on a web page. If you find a page that on the internet is easy, actually viewing them can be doesn’t display, simply right-click the page and choose harder, and laboriously clicking through an online ‘View Page in IE Tab’. A new tab will open in Firefox, album of dozens of pictures is dull. Again, however, free but this will use the technology from inside Internet add-ons can help. Explorer to display the page properly. It’s faster and Available for both Firefox and Internet Explorer, simpler than opening another browser just for that one Cooliris is both a standard program you can run from page. IE Tab can be found at www.snipca.com/x525. the Start menu and a browser add-on. It can be R A BETTER BROWSER? Internet Explorer doesn’t have the same problem when it comes to compatibility; as long as Internet downloaded from www.snipca.com/x530 for Firefox and www.snipca.com/x532 for Internet Explorer. Once Explorer remains the most popular web browser, just you’ve installed it and restarted your browser, load a Internet Explorer and Firefox about every website will be designed to work with it. It web page with lots of images on it, and then hover the have plenty to recommend can, however, feel slow to load pages in comparison mouse over one of them. A small icon appears which, them, and 90 per cent of with other browsers. In particular, Google’s slimmed- when clicked on, loads a spectacular 3D wall of images internet users prefer one or down Chrome often reveals pages far more quickly. from the page. You can drag the wall around and zoom the other. But what about the Google Chrome Frame does much the same thing for in on image you want to see more closely, or start an other 10 per cent? Five per Internet Explorer as IE Tab does for Firefox, except it automatic slide show, regardless of whether the site the cent of users use Safari, brings Chrome’s speed advantages to Microsoft’s pictures come from offers one itself. which started as a tool for browser. Microsoft is unsurprisingly rather sniffy about Mac computers only but now the prospect of people using someone else’s technology Social networking can be used with Windows. in its browser, so you have to go to Google’s website at The great thing about sites such as Facebook It’s a neat and tidy looking www.snipca.com/x529 to get it. It’s easy to download (www.facebook.com) and Twitter (www.twitter.com) is browser with plenty to and install, however, and runs very well. that they let you see what your friends are doing, but recommend it – particularly constantly going back to the sites to check them, if its speed. If you get Multimedia opportunities you’re waiting for a message, for instance, is tedious. frustrated with the The number of ways to share your digital photos on the There are various standalone programs that allow you performance of powerful internet is mind-boggling. Sites such as www.flickr.com to keep tabs on things, but a simpler solution is to install online applications such as cater for keen amateurs, while social-networking sites an add-on that allows you to check your favourite sites Google Docs, you could find such as Facebook are perfect for sharing family snaps from within your browser. that Safari makes things with friends and family. But while getting your photos A highly automated solution is Yoono, which claims smoother. It’s free to to “socialise your browser”. It’s download from available for both Internet Explorer www.apple.com/safari. (www.snipca.com/x534) and Firefox Another popular (www.snipca.com/x533), and if you have alternative – and one likely accounts at more than one social to grab increasingly frequent networking site it can be a timesaver. It headlines in the future – is connects to Twitter and Facebook, plus Google’s Chrome.Only the Myspace, Flickr and Friendfeed, as well beta (testing) version as instant-messaging services such as supports add-ons, but it’s Live Messenger, AOL Instant impressively fast and will Messenger and Google Talk. As long as appeal to anyone whose your browser is running it keeps you up current browser has become to date with what your contacts are a mess of conflicting menu doing, which is entertaining, if highly bars and alerts. You can get distracting. You can also share things a free copy from you’ve found online on social www.google.co.uk/chrome. networking sites without needing to 9The IE tab opens Internet Explorer-only websites in Firefox open the site in question. 14 www.computeractive.co.uk 7 - 20 January 2010 www.storemags.com & www.fantamag.com

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