Monday, 14 September 2020

How to Maintain Your Sanity in Relation to the News

Because most of us have been stuck at home, we can’t help (or rather we don’t mind anymore) but be overly informed of everything. By the time we wake up, among the first things we do would be to grab our phones. Once we have successfully unlocked the screen, it is 100% sure that you get drowned with all the information you will encounter. You get updates on how many people in the US and every single country in the world have become positive of the COVID-19 virus, how many have recovered, and how many have perished. You then get told of what your friends are up to, how many plants they have decided to grow, how many of them have signed up for Black Lives Matter initiatives, and how many vacations and nights out have been hidden from you as people are finally posting throwback pictures in abandon.

So, while you read your news alerts and social media feeds, you get lost and fall into a rabbit hole of news and information and before you know it when you look up from your phone’s screen, it’s already noon. You’ve “wasted” half of the day just “reading” all sorts of information. The thing is, chances are high that you will repeat this cycle throughout the day and for days, weeks, and even months to come. And that is definitely not a healthy thing to do. Information overload is not healthy, especially since we also have to deal with the uncertainty of the world’s situation. All of these factors are something we cannot easily handle. There is a need to pace ourselves with this avalanche of information because there is only too much we can handle. How to? There are some ways.

Is social media a good news source?   

It doesn’t take for scientific studies to make us realize that one of the leading sources, if not the number one source of information for people these days is social media. If you want to know something about the developments of the COVID-19 vaccine, you just go to your Google news alerts. Want to be updated with the US government? Just tap on Twitter. Wanna see how your friends have sharpened their culinary skills? Open your Instagram app. But is social media really a reliable source of information, though? Moreover, is it healthy for you to be informed so much with social media as your ultimate information source?

According to a newly published Pew Research Center report 55% of U.S. adults now get their news from social media either "often" or "sometimes" – an 8% increase from last year. About three-in-ten (28%) said they get their news "often," up from 20% in 2018.


Be more discerning

Apart from avoiding getting overwhelmed with the quantity of information you have access to and actually consume, you also need to be careful with the quality of information you accept. You should not allow yourself to take in each and every piece of information you get because that is going to screw up your psyche. Besides, you have to check the quality of your news sources because there are so many so-called media outfits that turn out to be purveyors of fake news.

Standards: What information does this outlet provide about who they are, their mission, and their fact-checking process or standards?

Show me the money: Who is paying for their work, and why? Is this news outlet’s business model dependent to some degree on generating “clicks”? If so, how might that have influenced this story?


Stop the addiction

With the abundance of news and news sources, we also need to realize that with our reliance to social media to “keep us updated” on what’s going on with friends and the rest of the world is actually an addiction. Therefore, our overconsumption of news and the need to know everything is also an addiction. Since we all know that addictive behavior is not good at all, then we need to put a cap on news addiction.

Unless you're ready to drop off the grid and move to a log cabin in the wilderness, cutting tech out of your life completely is unrealistic. What you can do is try consuming tech more mindfully.


Goodbye, news alerts!

One effective way to kick the addiction to news would be to stop getting alerted with news on your gadgets. There is really no need to be updated in real time of how many people have become positive with the coronavirus, right? There is absolutely no point in getting informed that there are now thousands of people in, say Africa, who are now sick with the virus. Thus, your life will not end if you miss an update from Google about a protest in Indonesia or an explosion in Lebanon. They are important of course, but in the current state of your life, not really.

Sick of Google spamming your phone with notifications about news articles? They can be pretty annoying, especially if you have no interest in most of the featured stories. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to stop Google notifications for news articles completely or reduce and refine the news notifications you receive.


Now that you know how to separate valuable and fake news, you may want to focus on other pressing matters, like trying to recover missing files and documents. Here is something that may help you: Take advantage of our expertise and get your files back.

The blog post How to Maintain Your Sanity in Relation to the News was originally published on


Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Shares Videoconferencing Tips

Hard Drive Recovery Group, an Irvine, California based data recovery service is reaching out to the wider community to share video conferencing tips that can help everyone adapt to the new era of video conferencing. The company is dedicated to providing high quality data recovery services to the residents of California and the surrounding areas.

Maureen Davies, a representative for Hard Drive Recovery Group, says, “The sudden onset of the COVID-19 crisis has meant that most, if not all of us, have been forced into staying home. However, life can’t just completely stop in its tracks, which means that we still have to get work done even as we fight this unseen enemy. Thankfully, advances in video conferencing technologies and online workspaces has meant that we are now able to work from home. Since most of us have not had the need for this technology in the past, we could all do with some tips on how to successfully pull off video conferencing meetings, especially since meetings are a large part of the modern working life.”

In a blog post shared on the company website, Hard Drive Recovery Group says the first part of succeeding in video conferences is to look the part. Looking the part in a video meeting will not just present the right image for the attendees of the meeting, but also affect the way one conducts themselves. Getting ready for a virtual meeting just as one would for a real-life meeting will go a long way to ensuring that the professional atmosphere is maintained and that the meeting is successful.

Something else that is very important is to make sure that the background of one’s video does not distract the participants of the meeting. Not everyone has a dedicated home office, which means that video conferences might be held from any place in the house. This could lead to something unflattering or distracting being in the background of the video, unless one takes care to avoid this scenario. One way to avoid this is to just clean everything from the background of where one will conduct the meeting from, but there is also the option to find a place in the house which is reasonably plain. Modern video conferencing software also allow an additional workaround to solve this problem, as they allow users to change the background to something else entirely.

Hard Drive Recovery Group also suggests that running a tech check is very important. In the blog post, the company recommends that everyone double check and make sure that their camera is functioning properly by attempting to record before the meeting even begins. Further, headsets should be in good condition and preferably have a functioning mute button that can be used when not talking. While most of today’s video conferencing software has a mute function, having a mute button on one’s headset can be more convenient.

While on the topic of sound, Hard Drive Recovery Group also touches on background noise. Headsets are purpose-built to make the user’s voice sound clear and eliminate outside noise. However, even with a top-of-the-line headset, there can still be factors outside of one’s control that can disturb meetings. From the neighbor’s lawn mowing to a baby suddenly crying, there are unavoidable things that can happen. However, Hard Drive Recovery Group has a solution: Krisp. This is an AI-powered noise-cancellation technology that can virtually eliminate those kinds of noises. While Krisp is normally a paid program the developers of Krisp have introduced a free tier of service in response to the coronavirus.

Hard Drive Recovery Group are experts in what they do, as evidenced by the company’s reviews. On the Google platform, the company has a perfect rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. In a recent review, Alica MacGeorge says, “My MacBook drive crashed, and these guys were the closest data recovery services company to my house. Real quick drive to their lab (off I-5), and Mike helped me with my case. Good price, excellent service!”

Those who want to learn more about Hard Drive Recovery Group and their services are welcome to visit the company's website to get started. They encourage interested parties to get in touch with Maureen Davies directly via email or phone, and the company can also be reached through the contact form on their website. Hard Drive Recovery Group maintains a presence on Facebook where they frequently post updates, share media and communicate with their customers.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

What to Do With Google Play Music’s Departure

Not exactly sure if this is COVID19 related or not, but Google in the first week of August announced that it is in the process of closing its music platform, Google Play Music. Currently, Google Play Music users can stream music, as well as purchase full albums or single music files from the platform. Unfortunately, this will not be the case anyway as Google has rolled out a schedule for the impending closure of its music platform. In the last weeks of August, the Music Manager function of Google Play Music will not allow users to buy, pre-order, upload, or download music from Google Play Music anymore.  Then, by October, the Google Play Music app will be rendered useless already as users cannot stream music from the app anymore. By the end of that month, Google will cancel subscriptions at the end of their subscribers' billing cycles, so they should have already migrated their Google Play Music library to a YouTube Music account or use a Google Takeout account to successfully migrate files. What will only be allowed until December in Google Play Music libraries will be uploads, playlists, likes, and purchases (but all those should have been migrated already, eh?).

But then, Google promises to inform users that they will be losing access to all this data by the end of the year. So, as of now, Google is recommending for all users to do the necessary migration and downloading as soon as possible, so that their music files will not get affected.

So, now that Google Play Music is closing shop, will there be other alternatives for its die-hard users? Will YouTube Music be really the only viable option for them? Knowing that YouTube is under the umbrella of the larger Google organization, it would seem to be a bad idea to put all your eggs in one basket, no matter how YouTube seems to be a very stable entity. So, for Google Play Music users who want to look at the larger and very vibrant array of options beyond the world of Google, here are some options to may want to consider keeping a top-notch music library:


Apple Music

Apple is quite aggressive in recruiting new users to its platform, offering access to Apple Music for free in the first three months to new users. Moreover, the company has also been beefing up its app on both Android and Microsoft to make sure all customer bases get enticed to jump ship and join the Apple bandwagon.

Apple Music has a key advantage over Spotify in that you can combine the songs you already own with the Apple Music streaming catalog. Siri users also get more robust voice controls for playback. Like Spotify, Apple Music has playlists that serve up songs based on your listening habits, but you can also listen to the Beats 1 Radio stations with human DJs at the helm.



Most of us who have come across the platform Plex know that it is a popular arena to stream popular movies and TV shows. Well, it seems that Plex has expanded their offerings just in time to possibly get a share of subscribers from Google Play Music. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.

Miss the days when MTV was music videos and not Sweet Sixteen parties? Let Plex fill that longing for the good ol' days through its new partnership with Loop Media. Plex Live TV subscribers are now able to stream music videos from 19 of Loop Media's music channels, which include Top Charting Singles, Hip Hop, and Country.



Who can forget one of the pioneers of music streaming? Spotify continues to be one of the strongest music streaming platforms with one of the largest libraries of music, with even former adversary Taylor Swift back in the fold. So, yes, you can stream Folklore to your heart’s content with a Spotify Premium account.

Spotify now supports video podcasts, starting with a handful of shows that can be viewed by most free and premium users. The company announced the news today, saying that all users where podcasts are supported will be able to not only listen to these shows but also watch them, both on desktop and mobile. For now, though, only certain podcasts are able to post video to Spotify; most podcasters won’t be able to upload their own video footage. Videos will start automatically when someone presses play, and they’ll sync with the audio feed, so if someone exits the app or locks their device while watching, the audio will continue.



Tidal rose in popularity because the music industry’s big names such as the power couple Jay Z and Beyonce have attached their names to it. Another draw of the platform is that artists provide users with exclusive content, so if you want a streaming service with loads of special features, go for Tidal.

As of August 20, 2019, Tidal now includes social features that make it easy for iOS and Android users to share music and video to their Instagram and Facebook stories. This is something we’ve seen with Spotify allowing users to post individual songs to a story. However, Tidal lets users post individual tracks or whole playlists which appear as still images on either social platform.



On the other hand, I bet you weren't able to say a proper goodbye to files in your computer that have suddenly gone missing.  There is good news, though. We can help you recover your files. Read on to know how we can reunite you with your missing files:

What to Do With Google Play Music’s Departure was originally published on


Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Publishes New Blog Post On Document Protection

Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), an Irvine, California based data recovery service, has just published a new blog post titled ‘Don’t Put Your Documents at Risk When Working Remotely.’ The blog post talks about how to keep one’s data safe and secure while working remotely. With a large number of people across the country having to work from home due to COVID-19, concerns surrounding the protection of data are quite prevalent. The pandemic has forced millions to work from home, and this can make it a bit more difficult to ensure that work documents remain safe.

“Other countries have imposed border lockdowns, curfews, and the US included, allow those who can, to work from home,” says the blog post. “As expected, employees will need to utilize company-provided devices in these uncertain times, as there is no timeline yet as to when the crisis will be completely defeated. But then, the ambiguity of the situation has been taken advantage of by cybercriminals who will exploit the paranoia of remote workers and expose data and hardware vulnerabilities in the systems they use.”

There are many ways to keep one’s data safe while working from home, and the blog post explores several. The first method of data protection the post mentions is the use of VPNs. A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows one to connect to a computer safely even when using a network that is not very secure (like most home networks which are not built to withstand sophisticated cyber attacks). A VPN gives one an added layer of privacy by hiding their browser history and other important bits of information from those who may be looking to use said information for nefarious purposes. Through the use of a VPN, one can ensure the safety of company documents.

Another highly effective way to protect company data is to store documents in the cloud. “During this era of remote work, cloud-based services are a great option to use to store and transfer data,” the blog post says. “When documents are stored in a cloud, people with access to it can have copies to them, removing the taxing procedure of emailing documents to those who need to have them. Data loss due to malfunctioning or misplaced computers is reduced, if not avoided altogether.”

USB sticks and memory cards present a very serious problem when it comes to data security. When working from home, many people may find themselves needing to transfer files, and they often use USB sticks to do this. However, these devices can carry malware that can seriously affect the files that one may have stored on their laptop or PC, and Hard Drive Recovery Group’s blog post discourages the use of storage devices like USBs and memory cards.

Using strong passwords is another practice that the Hard Drive recovery service highly recommends. “Hackers are having a field day with so many people working from home as they use less secure networks that do not necessarily have industrial-strength firewalls and anti-hacking software,” says the blog post. “Thus, if you are working from home, your best defense against hackers would be to make sure they can’t infiltrate your accounts with you using super strong and hard-to-guess passwords. With your accounts and devices being unhackable, you can be sure unauthorized people can’t get their hands on your documents easily.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers data recovery service to clients all over the country, and many of them have left great reviews of their work. G. Adams, a Houston Texas resident, says, “Not only was I surprised at the knowledge of Jeff, my technician, but also at the price. I had read a lot of posts on the web about hard drive recovery costing in the multiple thousand dollar area, and I admit I was very skeptical when I was quoted a price. Jeff quickly diagnosed my problem over the phone and emailed me some drive recovery software to try. Within a half an hour, I had my missing files back. That's what I call service!”

For more information on Document Protection, get in touch with Hard Drive Recovery Group. The company is always ready to offer their assistance to customers who are dealing with the possibility of lost data.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Be a Netflix Master!

If there’s anything the COVID-19 pandemic has made us do, that is it has further indulged us in our obsession with that one app that has helped us in maintaining our sanity in these troubled times – the all-powerful and absolutely entertaining… Netflix! The pandemic may have shrunk our world as most of us experienced being on lockdown at any point in the past three months, but thanks to Netflix, it didn’t feel like we’ve not “seen” the outside world as the streaming app exposed us to so many TV shows and movies not only from Hollywood but from all corners of the world. Admit it, you grieved as Nairobi met her untimely death in her team’s second grand robbery outing in Money Heist. Of course, who wouldn’t want to consider staying in the spectacular Hotel del Luna even if we are pretty much alive? Moreover, what made Netflix tick to most users is that when a Netflix Original program premieres, all the episodes are already available on the same day. Honestly, who can say no to a Netflix marathon? The wormhole Netflix takes us to does last for hours and hours, and before you know it, weeks and months have gone by, taking our minds off the harsh realities of the pandemic.

So by now, you must think that most, if not all of us are already experts in operating Netflix. Well, just because we spend so much of our time using the app and having our fill of movies and TV shows doesn’t mean we already know how to maximize its use. Chances are, we are only exploring around 5% of this app that has so much content, we may need at least three lifetimes to finish everything it offers. But then, why not explore ways to maximize our use of the app so that we can thoroughly enjoy ourselves? Here are some Netflix features you may want to know, some of them old, others only recently introduced.

Scrub your viewing history

Just like when we delete our browsing history to make sure that nobody using the family laptop sees that we’ve been poring hours on online shopping sites, there is now a way for you to clean your Netflix viewing history, just so that nobody else knows what programs you watch.

Whether you’re partaking in the Love social media trend, don’t want your family to see 365 dni in your viewing history, or simply watched a particularly cheesy sitcom you’d rather forget about, we’ve got you covered.


Look for “Hidden” Programming

With millions of shows available on the app, Netflix users would never run out of things to watch. So, if you are already losing interest and getting bored with your current movie and TV show selections, you may want to look into other genres, using codes that will open a whole new world of programming for you.

If you weren’t a binge watcher before the pandemic, odds are you’re one now. If you’re a long time binger and you’re looking to take things to the next level, or you’ve been trying it out for the first time over the past few months, we have some advice for you. After all, life hacks aren’t just for weird things to do with lemons.


Can you watch Netflix offline?

TO answer the question, yes. You just need to know how. This is perfect for users who may have intermittent internet connection or if you have mustered enough courage, moving somewhere.

As it turns out, Netflix now allows you to download a lot of their content for offline viewing — this way, you can still bring your favorite TV shows with you on long trips and plane rides.


Netflix with your friends

Nowadays, Netflix and chill is not only a solitary activity we thought it is. Just because we can’t crash into somebody’s couch and have the whole gang watch something doesn’t mean we can’t have our friends watch something on Netflix with us. As popularized by apps like Zoom, virtual gatherings are the best we can do with strict social distancing still the norm. And now, you can host a view party on Netflix!

Netflix Party is a free Google Chrome browser extension that allows users to watch movies and TV shows on the streaming platform together from different devices.

The extension, which is unaffiliated with Netflix, was released in mid-March when local officials had just started implementing coronavirus pandemic lockdown restrictions that have kept friends and family home for months in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.


You may already be a master of Netflix, but of missing files, you are not. But we definitely are. Let Hard Drive Recovery Group help you in getting those missing documents back. Here's a sneak peek of what we can do:

The blog article Be a Netflix Master! Read more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Monday, 17 August 2020

The Search for the Best Earbuds

The earbuds market somehow exponentially boomed at around 2019. While it used to be a joke when earbuds were introduced (remember the Saturday Night Live sketch about earbuds getting lost every time iPhone users dances, requiring them to keep on buying new pairs), but now it seems that those fears of earbuds popping out of restless users have been assuaged because the devices have been more popular than ever. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, which only helped in making earbuds more of a need than just a marketing ploy of some gadget manufacturers. Without cords and wires to disinfect every time you use them outdoors, the convenience and practicality these earbuds provide have indeed become more pronounced.

As the quality of these earbuds, particularly in relaying sound, improve through time, we consumers are spoiled for choices on what to buy. That being said, there is currently not one single set of earbuds that is perfect for all types of users. Those with iPhones and other Apple devices may of course prefer AirProds, while proud Samsung or other Android phone owners may prefer earbuds produced by their own device manufacturers. Then there are also those who want to use earbuds for their early morning walks (can’t go to the gym right now because of coronavirus fears) and those who use earbuds for multitasking. Those users may have specific features that are just about right for their specific needs.

One thing is for sure: All earbuds need to have a good seal in your ear. Make sure they fit your ears. After all, different users have different ear sizes, just like they have different preferences according to their needs. Alas, comfort trumps everything else. How can you really enjoy using your multitasking earbuds if they are too small that you find yourself checking if they’re still in your ear every 10 seconds like a paranoid person, or if they are too big that you feel like you have a huge block of earwax stuck in your ears?

So, without further ado, here are three of the best-reviewed earbuds available in the market today. As mentioned earlier, make sure your test them for comfort, not just for their function and features.

Why earbuds?

They're cool, they're chic, and they don't have messy wires for you to deal with, that's why.

When you make the transition to wireless headphones, the first thing you’ll notice is how convenient they are. Bluetooth technology allows you to be up to 33 feet away from your device without the signal being significantly degraded – this means you have a lot more freedom to move around without picking up your devices every single time.


Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus

Of course, the leader of Android devices has produced a pretty grand pair of earbuds.  Definitely recommended for Android users, not just those with Samsung devices.

Samsung Galaxy smartphone owners and anyone with an Android device should consider the new Galaxy Buds Plus. Although Wireless PowerShare is a Samsung exclusive, other important features including Spotify integration, are available across Android. Plus, even iPhone users will benefit from AAC support for lag-free media playback.


Apple Airpods Pro

Of course, if Android has produced great earbuds, will the House of Steve Jobs be ever far behind? Airpods were the butt of all jokes when it was first introduced (the SNL sketch mentioned earlier featured the 1st generation of Airpods), but now, they are the hottest selling add-on to any music or audio-loving Apple gadget geek.

AirPods are as much a communication tool as they are a way to listen to music and movies. But, much to my surprise, Apple has a legitimately excellent pair of buds here.


Jabra Elite 75t

Those who are allergic to anything that is blatantly branded as Apple or Android should definitely consider this nifty set of earbuds from Jabra.

So how does Jabra's next-generation Elite 75t -- which, unlike the AirPods Pro, doesn't offer active noise cancellation -- stand up to the current competition? Actually, quite well, which surprised me a bit.


Your search for a great pair of earbuds may be over, thanks to us, but your search for files that have gone missing because you accidentally deleted them or your laptop crashed isn't. Don't fret, we can help you. We have experts in data recovery who can get you back your important documents:


The Search for the Best Earbuds was initially seen on HDRG Blog


Friday, 14 August 2020

HDRG Shows Community How To Improve The Remote Work Experience

Irvine, California based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) is reaching out to the community to announce that they have published a new blog article. In this new post, the company touches upon the topic of online working. More specifically, they share their expert advice on ways to improve one's remote working experience, seeking to guide those forced to transition into it by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maureen Davies, a representative of Hard Drive Recovery Group, states, "Transitioning into remote work can be a challenging experience for some people. This is a new environment that you are unfamiliar with, and while you may be uncomfortable at first, you can make your experience much more enjoyable by keeping a positive attitude, an open mind and following some of the tips that we have shared in this article."

The post itself is titled ‘How Do You Ace Working Remotely?' Across the entirety of their blog, however, the local hard drive specialists share advice on a broad range of topics, from how to stay safe on the web to different tools that can facilitate the experience.

The first tip given by the company in this case is to prioritize remote security. Since employees are not within the secure perimeter of their companies, it is difficult to ensure that data protection, privacy and security are properly set up. Common sense and avoiding suspicious sites is no longer enough in these situations, especially for those handling sensitive information. Attempts at security breaches are a common occurrence within companies. It is to be expected that this issue will only be amplified as employees work from their personal computers.

However, this does not mean that there are no precautions that can be taken to prevent such an outcome. Advice and guidance from a cybersecurity expert can help, though Hard Drive Recovery Group states that most companies that require this tend to already have an IT specialist on hand who can help their employees get set up.

The next piece of advice given by the local experts refers to communication. The company advises remote work newcomers to clarify communication policies beforehand. Clear and constant communication is an important factor in the success of a remote team. This can be difficult due to the innate challenges of remote work, though overcoming this should not be too cumbersome with group effort. This can include setting catch ups or checkpoint sessions at least once a day, with the purpose of ensuring that everybody still interacts with the rest of the team, the workload is still manageable and morale remains high.

The communication and teamwork aspect can be facilitated through the use of collaboration tools. Certain tools can help remote teams easily collaborate with each other, hold meetings and share important information and documents. This, combined with a thoughtful and caring attitude can go a long way in terms of improving the remote work experience.

"As difficult as the situation is, it can be made much easier to bear with a positive attitude. In fact, many are discovering that they prefer the remote work experience,” states Davies.

However, with more people working online and using their personal computer for work-related tasks, data loss problems have become a real issue. Fortunately, companies like Hard Drive Recovery Group can help people dealing with this situation. Davies states, “If you are working from home and have lost your valuable data, the only way to recover this information is by hiring data recovery experts. At the Hard Drive Recovery Group, we can help you through this difficult situation, getting your lost data back and leaving you set up and ready to continue working in no time.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group offers free consultations and diagnosis sessions for their clients, showing their outstanding commitment to customer service. They can recover data lost from all operative systems at an affordable price, placing them firmly among the most reliable companies of this kind in California.

The company's website offers more details on Hard Drive Recovery Group and their services. Interested parties may reach out to Maureen Davies to follow up on any inquiries as well. Additionally, the company can be reached through their social media platforms.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

How to Maintain Your Sanity in Relation to the News

Because most of us have been stuck at home, we can’t help (or rather we don’t mind anymore) but be overly informed of everything. By the tim...