Pollen season: Can hay fever cause tight chest? Is a sore throat a symptom?

Around one in five Brits are affected by seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hayfever. Pollen season, triggering hayfever, has collided with the coronavirus pandemic. This caused anxiety among many hayfever sufferers, who are experiencing symptoms that they think could be either hayfever or coronavirus. So what are the symptoms of hayfever?

What is hayfever?

Hayfever is an allergic reaction that occurs at specific times of the year.

It is known as seasonal allergic rhinitis because has the same symptoms as perennial allergic rhinitis, but mainly happens in the summer months.

If you have hayfever, you are having a reaction to pollen from grass, trees and weeds.

It is caused by your body making allergic antibodies to certain allergens, such as pollen.

Hay Fever can affect anyone, no matter how old you are.

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What are the symptoms of hayfever?

Allergy UK says the symptoms of hayfever are:

  • Itchy eyes/ throat
  • Sneezing, blocked/runny nose
  • Watering, red eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • Headaches, blocked sinuses
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • The sensation of mucus running down the back of the throat, which can also be a symptom, is called ‘post-nasal drip’.

Can hayfever cause tight chest?

Hayfever shouldn’t cause a tight chest in most people.

However, the NHS website lists a tight chest as a symptom of hayfever in asthma sufferers.

If you have asthma, you will experience hayfever differently to others.

Those with asthma may also feel short of breath, and find themselves wheezing or coughing.

If you don’t have asthma and you have these symptoms, you need to contact NHS 111 because these symptoms could imply you are infected with COVID-19 instead.

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Is a sore throat a symptom of hayfever?

No, a sore throat is not a symptom of hayfever.

If you have a sore throat, it is likely that you have a common cold rather than hayfever.

Hayfever is caused by an allergic reaction, but viruses cause colds and coronaviruses.

If you have a sore throat, you should make a list of your other symptoms and visit NHS 111 online for clarification.

How are hayfever symptoms different from coronavirus?

First of all, you need to write down a list of your symptoms.

Hayfever shouldn’t make you feel unwell or cause a high temperature.

If you have a fever, then you may have coronavirus.

If you are experiencing a stuffy and runny nose and itchy eyes, it probably isn’t coronavirus.

These are the top symptoms related to hayfever and aren’t extremely rare in COVID-19 patients.

If you are still worried, ring NHS 111 and find out more information from a medical professional.

How do treat hayfever?

The NHS website gives a long list of things you can do to reduce your symptoms, it reads:

  • put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
  • shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off
  • stay indoors whenever possible
  • keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
  • buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
  • do not cut grass or walk on grass
  • do not spend too much time outside
  • do not keep fresh flowers in the house
  • do not smoke or be around smoke – it makes your symptoms worse
  • do not dry clothes outside – they can catch pollen
  • do not let pets into the house if possible – they can carry pollen indoors

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O2 unleashes changes to all mobile phone customers, following EE, Vodafone, Three

Mobile carrier O2 has announced a number of changes to help customers during the ongoing public health crisis. From today, all pay monthly customers will be upgraded to unlimited calls to UK numbers. That covers both mobile numbers and landlines.

If you’ve refrained from reaching out to friends, family or at-risk neighbours because of the limits on your monthly contract, this should be a huge reassurance. Best of all, you won’t have to do anything to get the upgrade – O2 has applied it automatically to your account.

Unfortunately, those who are on SIM-Only plans are not eligible for the boost, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your monthly allowance before making calls to your nearest and dearest. Enterprise customers are also not included in the upgrade.

Speaking about the free upgrade, which should impact thousands, Mark Evans CEO Telefonica UK (O2) said: “I’m delighted to see the industry and government working together to help the UK at this critical time. At O2 we have long-established policies in place to support our customers, and right now, digital connectivity is more important than ever as we connect our customers to vital services and their loved ones.”

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The upgrade is on top of the previous changes made by O2 to help people throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 937,567 people worldwide and killed more than 47,000 worldwide. EE, O2, Three and other providers already enabled customers to visit NHS resources and Government guidelines on social distancing and the restrictions currently in place in the UK without using any of their mobile data allowance.

So, even if a customer had used all of their 3G, 4G or 4G allowance for the month, they would still be able to access their all-important resources.

O2 and Vodafone have gone further than some other sites, bringing data-free access to a number of charities, including Mind, Calm and other mental health resources. Not only that, but O2 is also bringing data-free access to the Citizens Advice and Money Advice Service online.

And that’s not the only change introduced amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In order to ease some of the pressure on the UK broadband network as millions stay home to stop the spread of the virus, Californian technology companies like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ have all pledged to drop the quality of streaming video to try to keep everyone connected during the lockdown measures. Sony has also limited download speeds for game downloads and patches on its PS3 and PS4.

And broadband companies have agreed a series of industry-wide changes with the UK Government.

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Daily horoscope for April 6: YOUR star sign reading, astrology and zodiac forecast

Monday involves a Virgo Moon, meaning now is the time to get down to business. The start of a new week is consequently the ideal opportunity to analyse the situation and arrive with some practical solutions. With Mars about to Square Uranus, this week holds some big surprises.

The Virgo Moon forms an Opposition with Neptune and Mercury.

The celestial orb then Trines Pluto and gas giant Jupiter.

This means you may be in for a very busy start to the working week.

The Moon is in the Virgo star sign, meaning it is time to look at what is not working and get it mended.


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Virgo’s influence means this is an opportunity to sort out your diet or exercise plan.

Or perhaps Monday is a time to tidy up a room or even your email inbox.

This is because restoring things to working order is what Virgo is all about.

Neptune and Mercury are first up on the Moon’s agenda and this may be slightly disorienting.

There is so much chaos and confusion for months now and nobody knows what is really going on.

Mercury entered Pisces in early February, coinciding with the time coronavirus hit the West.

Mercury Retrograde has not helped matters, adding a further delay in seeing things clearly.

All this confusion will end by this coming weekend, which should provide a welcome relief.

Now is the time to take a moment today to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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Start to organise and you will feel a rush of clarity and dynamism as you do so.

This is because the Virgo Moon trines Pluto and Jupiter.

This aspect should help boost productivity and help you get right down to it.

Come Monday night, the Moon enters Libra, where a trine with Saturn awaits.

This is the final stretch toward Wednesday’s Libra Full Moon.

Now is the time to open up negotiations and to reach out and cooperate.

You may, as a result, be looking out for number one during the day.

Astrologers believe this is the time to take responsibility and lend a hand.

A lunar Trine with Venus means you may hopefully feel so happy you did.

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Windows 10 fans could soon be treated to Microsoft’s biggest upgrade in years

Windows 10 20H1 is Microsoft’s next substantial update for its exponentially popular computer operating system. As is tradition, the Redmond tech giant typically releases two sizeable updates for Windows 10 every year, 20H1 is the first of those for 2020.

So when is Windows 10 20H1 expected to land? Well, if you track Microsoft’s previous update release history, you’ll notice the firm tends to release its first notable Windows 10 updates of the year in either April or May.

Windows 10 fans can usually gauge when a new update is going to land based on the Insider preview builds of the software Microsoft releases beforehand. For the uninitiated, these are essentially beta versions of new Windows 10 versions.

Microsoft sprinted out the gate early with Insider preview builds for Windows 10 20H1, suggesting it kick-started development ahead of updates past. Additionally, the most recent Insider preview builds for 20H1 have introduced few changes, suggesting the final version isn’t far off.

For those reasons, Microsoft has been tipped to release Windows 10 20H1 sometime this month, with some sources indicating it could land in the first two weeks of April.

Of course, one of the biggest question marks hanging over the release of 20H1 is whether Microsoft will delay its release amid the coronavirus that continues to grip the globe. As you may have heard, Google momentarily paused new updates for both Chrome OS and Chrome browser to ensure stability for those working from home. It’s unclear if Microsoft will make a similar move.

That said, the Redmond firm recently held a digital briefing for media where it wasn’t shy about showing off new features for its Office 365 platform, revamped Edge browser and more. So it’s certainly possible Windows 10 20H1 could arrive without delay. Of course, we won’t know until the new computer operating system finally starts rolling out.

In terms of features, Windows 10 20H1 is looking like one of Microsoft’s biggest updates in years. The new operating system will push users to go passwordless, introduce a new version of Cortana that can respond to written commands and deliver the Windows Search improvements you’ve been waiting for.

The upgrades worth shouting about don’t stop there though. 20H1 will also let you reset your PC from the cloud, rename virtual desktops and update File Explorer. Safe to say, a lot of things are changing in Windows 10 20H1.

By far the most interesting initiative of 20H1 is its passwordless push. In a nutshell, Microsoft wants you to ditch traditional combinations of letters and numbers in favour of Windows Hello Face, fingerprint recognition or a PIN.

This, the tech giant argues, will strengthen the security of your device. And, in many cases the methods suggested by Microsoft will actually be quicker than punching in characters and numbers on a keyboard.

Explaining its passwordless initiative, Microsoft said: “For improved security and a more seamless sign-in experience, you can now enable passwordless sign-in for Microsoft accounts on your Windows 10 device by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and selecting ‘On’ under ‘Make your device passwordless’.

“This will strengthen your device sign-in by switching all Microsoft accounts on your device to modern multifactor authentication with Windows Hello Face, Fingerprint, or PIN, and eliminating passwords from Windows.”

Microsoft hasn’t actually announced a precise release date for Windows 10 20H1, but Express.co.uk will let you know the moment it lands.

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How to cook a beef joint

Beef joints make a viable substitute for a roast chicken when it comes to a traditional Sunday roast. Sirloin is slightly higher in fat than the average chicken but is on average quicker to prepare.

How to cook a beef joint

Beef joints come in several different forms, including rib or sirloin, but most chefs advise people to cook beef on the bone.

Cooking joints on the bone often gives them more flavour.

Off-the-bone dishes are easier to carve and can come out just as well, meaning many people prefer them instead.


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Those not cooking meat on the bone should ensure they leave the fat on their joint, as this can add extra flavour.

Before people cook beef, they should make sure their meat stands at room temperature, accomplished by leaving it out of the fridge for roughly 30 minutes.

Once it is ready, people can cook it in one of two ways.

They can choose between cooking at high heat before turning it down, or a low heat throughout with a blast at a higher temperature at the end.

For those using the former method, their joint should cook at 240C for 20 minutes, turning down to 180C.

According to BBC Good Food, people should calculate their desired level of cooking by how much meat they have.

Medium rare outcomes will take 20 minutes per 500g of meat, while medium will take 25 minutes per 500g.

Regardless of how people choose to cook it, they should allow the joint to sit afterwards for a juicier meal.

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Roast beef recipe

Today’s beef recipe comes from one of the nation’s favourite chefs, Jamie Oliver.


  • 1.5g topside of beef
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 bunch of mixed herbs, including thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and sage
  • Olive oil


  • Bring the meat to room temperature and preheat the oven to 240C.
  • Wash and chop vegetables with the skin on/off where preferred and break (unpeeled) garlic into cloves before piling them into a roasting tray drizzled with oil.
  • Place the tray into the oven and turn the heat down to 200C to cook for one hour for medium, 50 to 55 minutes for rare and one hour and 10 to 15 minutes for well done.
  • Baste the beef halfway through cooking and add water to dry looking vegetables if necessary.
  • Allow the beef to rest on the counter once finished cooking.

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How to cook jackfruit

Jackfruit is both enjoyable as a dessert and in savoury meals, with varied use across a range of dishes. However, the way people use it depends on what stage it is at in the ripening process.

How to cook jackfruit

As the name suggests, jackfruit’s first usage is as a fruit, and it is a relative of figs and breadfruit.

People describe the taste of a ripe jackfruit as a mixture of apple, pineapple, mango, and banana.

They go well with sponges such as muffins or upside-down cake.


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The jackfruit’s secondary, and most popular, usage is for vegetarian savoury dishes.

Young, unripened jackfruit maintains a neutral taste and holds a stringy consistency like meat.

Unripe jackfruit takes on the flavour of the sauce its in, making it a perfect addition to curries or barbecue recipes.

The fruit also comes with no saturated fat or cholesterol and is low in calories.

Jackfruit has become more trendy recently, thanks to the long list of potential vegan or vegetarian substitutes for traditional meat dishes.

To cook a whole jackfruit, people should first rinse and drain it before putting it in a recipe.

Once it is ready, it can be cooked in a chilli or stew as one would with beef or chicken.

Jackfruit may also be sautéed in a pan with other ingredients and made into a suitable substitute for pulled pork, and BBC Good Food has supplied an easy recipe.

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Pulled jackfruit


  • Tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons of chipotle Tabasco
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
  • 200g chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400g cans of young jackfruit in salted water


  • Heat oil in a frying pan and cook the chopped onion for 10 to 12 minutes until very soft, before adding cinnamon, paprika and cumin to the mix and cooking for a further two to three minutes.
  • Next, add the Tabasco, barbecue sauce and vinegar before mixing in well with the drained jackfruit, 200ml of water and chopped tomato.
  • The mixture should simmer gently for 30 minutes covered with a lid with stirring every five minutes, before leaving it to cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid off.
  • Once fully cooked, further shred the pulled jackfruit with a fork.

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Houseparty for Windows: Can you get Houseparty on your laptop?

A slew of tech platforms offering an important service for people practising social distancing. Video chat app Houseparty is among those which has surged in popularity since the arrival of the coronavirus chaos.

In these extraordinary times, apps such as Houseparty have come to be viewed as essential services.

There are now numerous apps capable of allowing people to keep in touch with their contacts during coronavirus lockdown, from WhatsApp, Skype and Zoom.

As well as collaborating and conversing, Houseparty additionally lets users to play quizzes and games with friends.

But although Houseparty users can use the app on laptop and PC for free, in addition to iOS and Android – it is not available on Windows.


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How to use Houseparty on laptop and PC:

Houseparty can be used on laptop and PC, although Google Chrome is required.

Users should have Google Chrome installed and used as the laptop’s main browser.

You are next required to either visit the Houseparty website or download the app from the Chrome web store.

Once the app has arrived, users now need to sign-up by following all the onscreen prompts.

Required fields include creating a username and filling in an email address and password.

The smiley face button on the top left gives an overview of friends and notification settings.

The dots on the bottom-left corner suggests three options: Share Screen, Record Facemail, and Disable Camera.

Sharing your screen and disabling the camera do exactly what they suggest.

Another option is to send a Facemail, similar to leaving a video message for someone.

This message will be received by the friend in question when the app is next opened.


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How to start a Houseparty call:

Once you’ve downloaded Houseparty, open the app and you should see the homescreen.

The Houseparty homescreen essentially a video feed of your face with a load of symbols around the outside.

To start a chat or group call, hit the + sign in the top right of your screen.

Select one or several of your mates – you will need to have added one another on the app first and tap Invite to Room.

You are now in a call and can chat to your heart’s content.

Find people to chat with from the + menu, as well we inviting people without the app to download it.

How to play games on Houseparty:

Houseparty also has games you can play with people in your room.

Once you’re in a chat, tap the dice icon in the top right and you’ll be presented with four options.

These free options include Heads Up, Trivia, Chips and Guac and Quick Draw.

Games normally close after one round, but it can be difficult to quit them midway through if you are in a big group.

To do that, you all need to confirm you wish to finish by hitting the X symbol visible in the top right corner of the games screen.

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NCIS season 17: Why weren’t fans happy with this week’s episode of NCIS?

NCIS series 17 had plenty of memorable moments, including the return of Agent Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) as she once again went off but this time to be reunited with Tony Dinozzo (Michael Weatherly) and their daughter Tali. However, the most recent show has got fans’ attention but for the wrong reasons. So what did fans not like about episode 19 of the CBS crime drama?

Warning: This article contains spoilers from NCIS season 17, episode 19.

NCIS returned on Tuesday, March 31, for its penultimate episode which was called Blarney.
Whereas the focus would normally be on the field agents investigating a suspicious death, this time around, everyone was concentrating on forensic scientist Kasie Hines (Diona Reasonover) and medical examiner Jimmy Palmer (Brian Dietzen).
The pair bumped into each before work and decided to have brunch together at a diner.
While there though, a few customers were being rude to the servers and Kasie and Jimmy felt it was only right that they spoke up and told them not to act so horribly.
They left the diner and they thought it was all over but they were very much wrong.
Not too long after, they saw the rude customers were robbing a jewellery store across the road but one of them was injured by an armed guard.
So, with little time to get to their getaway car, they instead ran back over to the diner where they held the staff and customers, including Kasie and Jimmy, hostage.


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Meanwhile, Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and the rest of the team were instructed to find a killer after a body of petty crook Daniel Spagnolo was found in the dumpster by their building.
NCIS soon got wind of what had happened to Kasie and Jimmy as the diner was on the news.
They then worked out it was actually Max (Leif Gantvoort) and his fellow robbers who murdered the man as he was their fourth accomplice.
However, following an argument, they decided to kill him instead just before they robbed the store.
They had also swallowed a condom filled with stolen diamonds each to ensure they would get away with them but this ended up being their downfall.
Jimmy pretended one of the robbers who had died of injuries caused by the armed guard, was actually killed by internal bleeding thanks to the diamonds.
Whereas one of the robbers gave himself in pretty quickly so they could get the diamonds out of his body, Max was thankfully temporarily distracted by this, allowing NCIS to storm in and rescue those at the diner.

Why weren’t fans happy with NCIS season 17’s Blarney?

While Gibbs and the other agents were thrilled to have Kasie and Jimmy back safely, many fans were left unimpressed by the episode.
One of the complaints was in regards to the robbers themselves.
An NCIS fan took to Reddit to list all of their mistakes.
They said: “It’s like the bad guys don’t watch TV and movies to see what mistakes not to make and how the cops might beat them.
“They kept casing the store from the same public place while drawing attention to themselves, especially right before the heist.
“Apparently, they dumped the body not far away.
“The driver didn’t cover his face. They didn’t disable or blind the cameras in the jewellery store.
“Rather than swallowing the diamonds on the way to the airport, they swallowed them immediately in full view of the cameras and left a wrapper behind.”
But another complaint being made about the episode is in regards to the actual writing itself.

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Another Reddit user said: “I love NCIS and I’ve watched it for the last 17 years, but I really thought this last episode was written really poorly.
“The way they wrote Kasie and Jimmy’s responses to the gunman before they rob the jewellery store and the way they had their responses during the whole hostage situation in the diner was written awful, just plain awful.
“I mean, just little things. Like Jimmy would have never said that stuff on the phone. Neither one of them would have talked to the gunman with the attitudes they had.”


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NCIS will be cutting this series shorter than normal due to the coronavirus pandemic so rather than the planned 24 episodes, there will be just 20.
The drama will be taking a one week break from our screens next week but will return after that.
This will then be the last episode in series 17 and will be called The Arizona.
An official synopsis has not yet been released for the episode.
NCIS season 17 continues on Tuesday, April 14, at 9pm on CBS.

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The Office reunion: Will The US Office return for a reunion special? Stars drop huge hint

The Office on NBC has just as many fans today as it did when it was still airing its nine seasons on the network. Over the years since it ended in 2013, there have been endless rumours about the show coming back again. These were ignited recently when two of the series’ stars reunited for the 15th anniversary of the show – here’s what you need to know.

Will The Office return for a reunion?

Fans were thrilled when two of The Office’s main stars reunited over video call recently to celebrate the 15th anniversary since the show began.

Jim Halpert star John Krasinski has launched a new YouTube series called Some Good News.

Back on March 31, he called Steve Carell who played Michael Scott on the show to discuss the anniversary.

They reminisced about some of their favourite memories of the sitcom, as well as dropping a hint about the potential for a reunion.


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Towards the end of the show, Krasinski said: “Listen I know everybody’s talking about a reunion but hopefully one day we just get to reunite as people and just say hi.”

Carell responded: “Just to see your face is so great.”

The moment left fans wondering whether a reunion might be on the cards for the hugely popular show.

In the years since the show ended in 2013, there have been endless rumours about the potential with many of the cast voicing their opinions.


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This includes Krasinski who spoke to Esquire back in February about the possibility.

He said: “The Office was absolutely everything to me. I mean it is my beginning and my end. I’m pretty sure at the end of my career I’ll still be known for Jim.

“That was my first experience with Hollywood. It was the first creative family I’ve ever had.

“In many ways, they will always be the most important people in that most important experience in my career. So yeah, if they did a reunion, I would absolutely love to do it.”

This also follows the confirmation from NBC about how the network was in conversations about how a reboot of the series could work.

In the US, the entire nine seasons of The Office will be airing on the network’s new streaming platform Peacock in 2021 and the former head of streaming Bonnie Hammer told Deadline about her hopes for a reboot.

She said: “It is my hope and goal that we do an Office reboot.

“The Office comes back to us in January 2021. It is my hope that we can figure what that great reboot would be. We are having conversations.”

In aid of the anniversary of the show, bookmakers Ladbrokes has also released new odds about the potential for a reunion special.

These were slashed earlier this week from 10/1 to just 5/1 for a reunion to film in 2020 after fans began celebrating the 15th anniversary.

What’s more, Carell and Krasinski are not the only former castmates to reunite recently after Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey launched a companion podcast at the end of 2019.

Called Office Ladies, the Pam Beesly and Angela Martin actors reveal behind-the-scenes stories from each episode.

They have also interviewed former co-stars like Rainn Wilson and Creed Bratton on there as well as speaking to the creator Greg Daniels.


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Although it seems like Daniels is not as keen on the ideas as some of the others involved, as he revealed to Entertainment Weekly back in October.

He explained: “It was such a perfect thing that I would hesitate to open it up. We got the chance to end it the way we wanted to end it.

“It wasn’t like we were interrupted in the middle of a run or something. So in a sense it’s completely an artistic whole.”

There seem to be a lot of conflicting opinions about the future of the series but it certainly seems like its return is more possible than ever in 2020.

The Office is available on Netflix in the US and Amazon’s Prime Video in the UK.

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New Windows 10 update fixes a vital problem with your PC

With much of the world working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was pretty unfortunate to hear reports of a new Windows 10 bug last month that, in some circumstances, prevented some applications on a user’s device from connecting to the internet.

A post by Microsoft explained the bug appeared to affect users using a manual or auto-configured proxy, but that it seemed to plague those using a virtual private network (VPN) the most.


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That’s a pretty substantial flaw, especially when you consider the sheer popularity of VPNs across the globe. For the uninitiated, VPNs not only make your internet connection more private, they also provide enhanced security overall and, in some circumstances, help deliver better online performance.

Thankfully, the Redmond firm has now released a new Windows 10 update designed to fix the problem in question.

Dubbed KB4554364, the software should ensure a variety of different applications, such as Microsoft Teams, Office 365 and Outlook are still able to connect to the internet, even if you’re using a VPN.

In the changelog for the update, Microsoft explains KB4554364 “updates an issue that might display the wrong internet connection status for certain VPN users or might prevent some applications from connecting to the internet”.

As noted by Bleeping Computer, Windows 10 users are only advised to download the new update if they’ve been affected by the problem in question.

Of course, this certainly isn’t the biggest new update for Windows 10 expected to land in April.

Following the arrival of various Insider preview builds, Microsoft is expected to release its first substantial update of 2020 for Windows 10 this month.

Dubbed 20H1, the new version of Windows 10 will introduce a swathe of new upgrades for fans to get excited about, ranging from vital File Explorer improvements to a new version of Cortana that lets you type questions and commands to the chatty assistant rather than barking them out.

Of course, it’s unclear if the coronavirus pandemic will affect the release of Windows 10 20H1. Assuming Microsoft follows traditional release cycles, the new upgrade should land at some point this month.

Express.co.uk will let you know the moment Windows 10 20H1 lands. Until then, you can read about the features we’re most excited for in the next version of the operating system.

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