Joy would like to contradict Bob’s complaint about updates. He recently advised not doing them, even on an iPhone, because of all the problems they cause. Joy always does updates for security reasons and because some apps require them. A reader wrote us with these words of wisdom:

“My son who is chief programmer and bottle washer in his game company says there are two mandatory rules about updating software: 1.NEVER update software. 2. Be sure your software is always up-to-date.”Bob has an additional rule: No matter what you get, you have to get something else to make it work.

Update on Updates

“Don’t let the door hit you on the backside on your way out,” is a variation on one of Bob’s favorite sayings. But that’s just what Microsoft did with Windows 7.

Support for Windows 7 ended on January 14. That means no more patches for security flaws. But on the way out, Microsoft couldn’t resist doing one more update. This caused some computer screens to go black. They were forced to do one more.

Millions still use Windows 7. Perhaps your doctor does. If so, let’s hope that he or she safeguards your information with security software or doesn’t click on suspicious links and attachments, like Mark Zuckerberg did recently. He opened a video from a Saudi prince and his computer was immediately infected with malware. 

If you want to upgrade, you can still get Windows 10 for free. Search on “BusinessInsider, get Windows 10 for free” or use TechRadar’s guide for more info. When they say you have to have a license to install it, they mean your Windows 7 license. But upgrading may slow your computer down. If you want to go with Windows 10, but miss the look of Windows 7, consider getting “Start10” for $5 from It keeps the look of Windows 7 but uses the power of Windows 10.

Amazon Fury

A reader was so angry about a package that didn’t arrive from Amazon, he wrote us to complain. 

Sometimes, he says, “the vendor doesn’t have the item in stock when he makes a sale. He only claims to have shipped it, so he can get his money.” Then he goes out and buys the item for less and sends it out after some delay.

We encouraged the reader to complain to Amazon but he could only find a chat session with “predigested answers that don’t address my issue.” It looked to him like the “contact us” link was gone. It’s there, but it’s hard to find.

After you sign in to your account, click “help” at the top of the page at Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Need More Help?” Then click “Contact Us.” Finally, click “Start Chatting Now” or “Need More Help? We can call you.” We’ve always had good results with chatting in a text window on the site or talking on the phone. However, this doesn’t always work. For third party sales, you have to contact the vendor first. 

Regarding “free two-day delivery,” a post on the Amazon forum says you need to see the word “guaranteed” or it’s not really two-day. The word “guaranteed” shows up right before you click “place order.” If it’s not guaranteed, it could take much longer than two days. According to a post on their seller support page, “Free two-day shipping” without the guarantee means the item is out of stock and will ship in two days once Amazon gets it. Bob is still waiting for a blazer that was supposed to have arrived last week.

Uber Annoyance

A reader wrote to tell us about the run-around she got from Uber. For starters, she forgot her Uber password. But when she tapped “forgot password?” they sent the reset link to an email address she no longer uses. She called their support number, 808-169- 7335, but they never called back. We suggested doing a Google search on the phrase “update Uber email online.” The second search result, from, takes you to an email-update form. But Uber can be annoying.

We have a friend who calls the intermediary service, “Go Go Grandparent,” when she needs transportation by Uber or Lyft. That way, she never has to deal with either company. And she doesn’t need a smartphone to use it.

However, the company now charges 27 cents per minute for the length of your ride, on top of whatever Uber or Lyft charges you. So if it takes you 15 minutes to get somewhere, the extra charge would be $4.05. That’s almost twice as much as they used to charge, but they do a lot of hand-holding in exchange. After you request a ride, they’ll call you when your driver is less than four minutes away and notify you if better drivers are found. You can text an operator with questions any time. You can also set up automatic requests for fixed appointments.

Internuts On NPR’s Planet Money, we heard about a guy who bought Amazon stock in the early days. Then he didn’t touch his eTrade account for 20 years. When he peeked, it was gone. Money or stock from inactive accounts can go to the government. It collected nearly $8 billion in 2015, the most recent year available. You can find out how to get yours at stands for “CBS Radio Mystery Theater,” which may appeal to fans of old time radio drama.

Comments are closed.