Saturday, 1 August 2020

Is Social Media a Boon or Bane in This Woke World?

Perhaps the biggest contribution of Generation Z in the world of technology is social media. From the current landscape of social networking, it seems that millennials have passed the throne of power, influence, and sheer number of users among all social media platforms to the younger generation. So much so that when the older generations, particularly the Baby Boomers dare ask the young set what their contributions to society are, the young ones would just reply, “OK Boomer” and employer their arsenal of hashtags and followers to prove that what they are busy on the World Wide Web with is providing a huge contribution to contemporary society.

But has social media, used by Gen Z’s and run by Gen Xers and millennials, really made a remarkable difference in the way we live today? With so many movements and happenings in the world right now, can the younger generations rightfully claim that social media platforms have brought in more good in the world by shining a light on these various issues and challenges? Has social media itself been behaving properly?

Is the Big One racist?     

Facebook – the grand daddy of all social media platforms, everyone’s entry level social media platform, has lately been again, subject to speculations of racism. As if the company isn’t in a tough spot already with allegations of the platform tolerating the propagation of fake news is not enough, they have to face this new issue. With the Black Lives Matter gathering so much momentum after the George Floyd incident, Facebook cannot afford this backlash.

Facebook is facing new allegations of racial discrimination by an African American manager and two Black job applicants whose qualifications reportedly exceeded the requirements but were nevertheless rejected, according to the Washington Post.


YouTube stars in hot water

With race relations in America in the spotlight yet again, it can really hurt a social media personality’s career if he or she produced content in the past that may have been deemed as harmless in the past but really inappropriate nowadays. The scary thing about social media is that there are receipts to haunt you of your past actions.

Dawson is one of a number of white YouTube stars who have been attempting to address their past use of racist depictions, characters, and stereotypes in comedic videos this week. Apologies for racist videos have also come from Jenna Marbles and David Dobrik, and responses from viewers have been mixed as fans try to figure out how to hold major creators accountable for their past actions. The timing comes amid ongoing anti-racism protests around the country.


Me Too Goes to Twitter

The Me Too movement, which experienced its heyday in 2019, may have taken a back seat to more popular advocacies currently, namely BLM and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it still continues to create headlines. With former Hollywood bigwig Harvey Weinstein found guilty of multiple sexual misconducts, some women have taken to Twitter to accuse famous Hollywood personalities of misbehaviors. But are they for real, though?

Online celebrities such as Twitter personality Jovan Hill and TikTokers Ondreaz Lopez and Cody Orlove have all responded to accusations of sexual assault and abuse, apologizing to the accusers but also denying the extent of their claims.


Facebook boycott gains traction

Over Facebook’s weak action on hate speech and fake news, some multinationals have taken it to themselves to reduce ad spending on the platform. And the companies including themselves in the boycott is increasing.

For the first time in its history, Facebook is facing an organized boycott from advertisers set to begin July 1st. It’s not from small companies, either — large corporations including Hershey, Honda, and Verizon have stopped their spending.


PSA: Be safe

Amidst all the controversy surrounding them, social media platforms have finally taken concrete action to contribute to the effort to tame the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a Parks and Recreation-style viral clip of Floridians protesting over mask use as a direct attack on the airwaves God gave us, yesterday Facebook announced the launch of an information campaign reminding users to wear a face mask when they go outside.

In a statement the company said it would add messaging to its news feed and Instagram’s homepage to encourage people to cover their faces, and will direct people away from fake news and towards a “COVID-19 Information Centre”, which includes links to the CDC’s advice on infection spread.


In the meantime, if you have problems with lost documents, you need not rant on social media or launch a movement. Hard Drive Recovery Group is here to help you.  Take a look at what we can do here:


Is Social Media a Boon or Bane in This Woke World? is republished from The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Monday, 27 July 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Publishes Article On Cleaning Tips For Gadgets

Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), a data recovery service based out of Irvine, California, recently published a blog post that offers several cleaning tips to ensure one’s gadgets are clean. Hard Drive Recovery Group offers a variety of data recovery solutions in California at affordable prices.

Maureen Davies, a representative for Hard Drive Recovery Group, says, “It’s no exaggeration to say that the coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live. Entire countries have had to stop in their tracks and enter lockdowns, and residents have been instructed to practice social distancing and stay home. While the current situation is worrying, without a doubt, if we are to search for any positive effects of all this, it’s that everyone has become more conscious of personal hygiene. Almost everyone is adhering to sanitation practices, like the 20-second rule of handwashing, keeping our hands away from our faces and maintaining proper coughing and sneezing behavior. But we have to realize that good hygiene also extends to ensuring that our gadgets are kept clean.”

While there is no definitive documentation of the COVID-19 virus being transmitted through surfaces, Hard Drive Recovery Group is right in saying that practicing hygiene with electronic gadgets is an excellent layer of extra protection. Even the CDC suggests that surfaces should be properly cleaned, as recent studies have shown that the virus can actually last between hours to days on some surfaces. It is with this in mind that the company shares tips to clean gadgets without damaging them.

In the blog post, the company writes, “Since phones come from various manufacturers, practices may vary, although there are some common guidelines that you can follow no matter what brand your phone is. To start, make sure your phone is not plugged to any cable and all protective cases are removed. Lint-free, soft cloth, like those made of microfiber or those used in cleaning camera lenses is recommended. A dampened cloth should also be used to wipe any smudges, although you need to make sure there’s no excess moisture that may get into the open ports.”

Hard Drive Recovery Group also writes about the possibility of using soap for cleaning phones and other mobile devices. The blog post reads, “But then, if we’re trying to get rid of germs and viruses, simple wiping will not cut it. Health experts have advised that the coronavirus has a fat coating that can only be destroyed by either soap and water or alcohol. Double check with your phone manufacturer’s website whether you can use soap to clean your phone, though. For example, cloth dampened with soapy water is recommended by Apple, but only for the iPhone 11 line. Meanwhile, Samsung does not recommend soap to clean your handset. Disinfectant wipes are okay with Google, Samsung, and Apple, as long as they do not contain bleach.” The full blog post also contains more tips to clean both phones and other electronic devices, such as laptops and so on.

Hard Drive Recovery Group has established their knowledge and excellence in their field, as is made evident by their positive reviews. On the Google platform, for instance, the data recovery service has a perfect rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. In a recent review, Ramiro Aves says, “Lou and his team really went out of their way to help me, which was great, as I had already been to other data recovery services nearby and all of them said there was nothing they could do. HDRG restored all the data on my hard drive and had it back to me by the end of the week. No nonsense, high quality data recovery!”

Meanwhile, in another review, Hagen Rich shares, “We had a multiple hard drive failure on a RAID 5 Exchange machine, and my boss selected HDRG to do the RAID data recovery. The response was fast (they actually sent someone out to pick up our server), and we had a repaired system within three days. Great, friendly data recovery service that definitely knows what they're doing.”

Those who want to learn more about Hard Drive Recovery Group and their services are welcome to visit the company's website. They encourage interested parties to get in touch with Maureen Davies directly via email or phone. 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

Is It China Versus the World?

This article is in no way trying to promote hate or xenophobia, but when we are to ask which country the world hates on so much the most these days, it has got to be China. For one, the country is believed to be the birthplace of the Wuhan virus, which has since the start of the year infected thousands (if not millions already) of people throughout the world, brought the world economy to a freefall, and is set to change the way everyone in the world lives day to day. The pandemic happened in the middle of a trade war between the United States and China, which has since then been aggravated with the turn of events. Finally, if all of those things are not enough, China has not stopped in pursuing some aggressive actions in its territories and borders, with military clashes between the Chinese and Indian militaries in their shared borders in late June, as well as the Chinese government taking on a firmer stance in Hong Kong.

In the world of technology where China has become a force as well, things have escalated, with the US taking the trade war to the tech front as well. Moreover, other countries have also taken action in the tech frontier, mainly to the disadvantage of the world’s new superpower. Will the rest of the world triumph over China if it takes it disputes to the technological field?

India retaliates through mobile

On June 15, just when the world still continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, India and China had its first border clash in more than 40 years that resulted in deaths. India reported 20 soldiers killed, while China has yet to declare its military casualties. Top level military talks have been taking place since then, but that does not stop the Indian government to deal with the problem in another way. New Delhi has demanded that apps developed by Chinese companies be blocked in India. With India set to become the most populous country and thus, having millions of Internet users, these Chinese app developers may surely feel some sting of this retaliation.

Two days after India blocked 59 apps developed by Chinese firms, Google and Apple have started to comply with New Delhi’s order and are preventing users in the world’s second-largest internet market from accessing those apps.


Chinese tech still gets US cold treatment

Remember last year when Chinese phones like Huawei were banned from installing anything from Google’s Play Store?  Apparently, the ban is up again as the US government is trapping Chinese manufacturers in a corner.

As a result of a ban on trading with the US, Huawei can't preload newly released phones with Google apps like Maps and YouTube, the Play Store or Google Assistant.


Even SG is Freezing China in its 5G Infra

Even Singapore, home to millions of ethnic Chinese, is having second thoughts of making China a major player in its tech advancements. One of Asia’s (and the world’s) most technologically-advanced companies have awarded the building of their 5G infrastructure to European companies, leaving Chinese tech firms scratching their heads. Is this the city-state’s response to the hassle COVID-19 has brought to its shores or is the US also exerting pressure?

The international media has widely reported this development as Huawei losing out to Ericsson and Nokia in Southeast Asia’s most technologically developed country.


EU - China tech relations also lukewarm

Members of the European Union, in response to China’s militaristic actions in the UK’s former colony Hong Kong, have also been disengaging with Chinese tech companies.

Meanwhile, the UK, after declaring a golden era of relations with China, and allowing Huawei technology in its 5G network, performed a volte-face, and has become one of the most vocal countries in Europe against Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and investment screening for Chinese companies.


Taiwan looks elsewhere

Finally, Taiwan, a country which has for years taken advantage of cheap Chinese labor, has pulled out a lot of its investments and is looking elsewhere. The US, which ironically only recognizes China, may have a role in this.

Never before has the Trump administration so forcefully challenged Chinese companies’ access to Taiwan’s high-tech supply chain — and, by extension, Beijing’s influence over the self-governing island democracy, which it claims as part of its territory.


If you feel problematic like China these days with the world seemingly against you because you've important files in your computer, breathe. If your laptop has suddenly gone berserk like this:, we may help. Reach out to us and we'll help you get your important files back.

Is It China Versus the World? is republished from Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Shares Lockdown Tips For Staying Busy

Irvine, California based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) recently published a blog post on their website discussing how people can keep busy while staying at home due to COVID-19 related lockdown orders.

As noted in the blog post, all of humanity is living in a rather ironic time. Just a few months ago, most people were feeling tired and fatigued from work but when COVID-19 came, everyone found that they now have an excessive amount of free time. Unfortunately, while they seemingly have all the time in the world today to do as they please, they can only spend it while staying at home given the strict community quarantine and lockdown orders.

With all of the free time brought upon by the pandemic, Hard Drive Recovery Group suggests three main ways to stay productive during these unusual circumstances.

First and foremost, people should not underestimate the importance of staying fit. With the prevalence of COVID-19, it is crucial to keep the body healthy and the immune system strong. Even if people are indoors, they can still exercise and engage in various physical activities. In line with this, the blog post includes a link to another article that lists exercises that are effective but do not require the use of heavy equipment. They include burpees, body-weight moves (such as push-ups and squats) and other exercises that can be conveniently done at home. In fact, there are numerous exercises involving one’s body weight that target specific areas of the body and can be modified with different degrees of difficulty. People can also be creative in using household items as fitness tools, such as using pails of water as weights or chairs as additional support when doing squats.

The blog post states that another useful way to spend excessive free time is for people to work on their own skills. Whether it is a new skill that they can add to their professional portfolio, upgrade their existing set of talents with or simply learn something more practical (like cooking), taking the opportunity to learn new skills is undoubtedly a constructive way to cope with physical isolation. In line with this, the blog post provides a link to another article that lists good online platforms to learn and study new skills and topics.

The article recommends Udemy, which is an online platform that offers some of the top online courses in the world. It also talks about Skillshare as the platform offers a large number of technical and creative subjects for those with varying interests. Additionally, it highlights LinkedIn Learning, which they assert gives people access to numerous online courses that can help them unlock better career prospects. The article also recommends other online learning platforms such as Coursera and FutureLearn.

Another way to keep busy while staying at home is to clean and organize everything. The blog post points out that, since the lockdown and quarantine orders resulted from a rapidly spreading virus, it only makes sense to clean and disinfect one’s home and surroundings. This is especially valid considering most people are staying in their homes for an extended period of time, so it is vital to always clean the house and all the things in it, like smartphones, keyboards, home furniture, appliances and so on. In addition to cleaning the house physically, people may find themselves digitally cleaning as well, erasing a few unwanted or unnecessary files—or even organizing digital folders.

However, Hard Drive Recovery Group warns of the possibility that people may go overboard and end up deleting important files. If ever that happens, Hard Drive Recovery Group is pleased to offer their comprehensive digital services and is more than willing to help people recover their important files.

Those interested in learning more about Hard Drive Recovery Group may find more information on their website, and clients who are in need of professional data recovery services may connect with Hard Drive Recovery Group online via their preferred social media platforms to stay up to date with the company’s news and announcements.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Hooray to The New PlayStation and News That’s Not COVID-19 Related

Everything from March up to now in the world of news is about COVID. Yes, even in our world of technology and how-tos, everything is still connected to this virus that has dramatically changed our lives.  It is for sure that people have already been suffering from COVID-19 news fatigue that we long for any news item that does not involve getting sick, viruses, hospital, hand washing, and face masks. Seriously, as much as we all want to be free from this, just thinking about it day in day out and not seeing anything but news about COVID-19 has surely taken a toll on our mental health. Surely, there must be something that we can all look forward to aside from assurances that things will be getting better because that is still connected to the pandemic.

The people at Sony have read our minds and delivered us from the coronavirus insanity.

How, of course, by giving us what we badly need and deserve – news about PlayStation 5. The most well-loved product from the Japanese manufacturer since the Walkman and Discman (Sony VAIO fans, get a grip and face the reality that people didn’t get into the bandwagon) will have new versions to be available in the market really soon, and there’s never been a better time for gadget and gaming geeks from around the world to receive this splendid news. So, what else can we do but round up all these fantastic bits of information and bring everyone a huge load of good news about the latest PlayStation to offset the dreariness that this pandemic has brought everyone?

What’s new?

The latest great news about the PlayStation is that not all games will be produced by Sony. Well, Sony is one of the best (the best for some) game producers, don’t get us wrong, but of course, the more game producers will be allowed into introducing games to the platform, the more options for us. And that is what Sony has exactly done as it has welcomed “indie” game developers to their fold and allowed them to produce games for PS5.

Sony's Shuhei Yoshida has announced the PlayStation Indies initiative, which will spotlight new games from smaller developers. During the course of today, 9 new indie games for PS4 and PS5 will be revealed.


What does it look like?

From the pictures that have leaked and from Sony itself, the PlayStation 5 is a looker in sleek and slim white.

When the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X land in stores later this year, they'll be hard to ignore. The new Xbox is shaped like a monolith, with a striking neon green fan at its top.


PS5 and PS5 Digital?

As if by a stroke of Apple inspiration, Sony will not be debuting PS5 only, but a PS5 Digital Edition as well? Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+ much? iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro? Has Sony whetted our appetites?  They surely did.

Sony has reiterated that these two consoles are almost exactly the same. Both PS5 consoles have an immense amount of graphical power, good CPUs, and a highly-custom, super quick solid-state drive (SSD). They both use the new DualSense controller and are compatible with the same accessories. The main difference is the lack of Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray drive.


How much is the damage?

At the end of the day, gamers ask the most important question: How much will it be? Will it be affordable for us who have gotten stung financially by the COVID19 crisis (oops sorry, no mention of the disease)? Not really, but if you’re a fan, then you have to shell out a lot of cash for this one.

Amazon France briefly listed the PlayStation 5’s price and release date before taking that information out of the listing.

This comes via Ben Geskin on Twitter, who stumbled on the listing prior to Amazon scrubbing it. He took screenshots, however, and those aren’t going anywhere.


Now that you've read some exciting news that's not related to the pandemic, let me take you back to a problem you may be experiencing: lost files you need to recover. Has your device broken down: Does this sound familiar to you: Let us at Hard Drive Recovery Group help you get back those lost files.

Hooray to The New PlayStation and News That’s Not COVID-19 Related was originally seen on


Friday, 17 July 2020

Where Do Broken iDevices (and Their Owners) Go?

As someone who owns gadgets, this COVID-19 pandemic sure is a pain in the neck. While you can still get updates on software in the comforts of your home, everything else makes you want to return to the time before March when life was simpler, you can go out of your house, and have gadget stores take your money without you thinking twice. Now, you are left with online shopping to satiate your gadget desires. What if you want to feel the latest gadget in your hands, caress through its curves and know how light it is on the top of your palm? Worse, what will you do when, after turning on your MacBook, you are faced with the blue screen of death? Grab your face mask and drive to the nearest Apple Store? Right, chances are the nearest Apple Store is closed, and you are left with your scary laptop, waxing nostalgic about how everyone had it good just months ago, and singing Madonna’s This Used to Be My Playground (or Closing Time by Semisonic for millennials).

So, how are you supposed to deal with a broken iDevice in this time of closed stores and highly sanitation-conscious people? Well, the options aren’t that limited and catastrophic as we may think. Thank god(s of technology) that before the virus has totally changed our lives, there have been some events that happened that may be benefiting us in the long run. Let’s see what these events are as we count our blessings and consider our options on what to do when our iPhones or Macbooks get damaged during this time.

Close, Open, Close Open Go the iStores

So from March until around May, if your iPhone broke down, then you were seriously screwed, as so many Apple stores were closed due to the lockdown or because they just went out of business. Then in June, several commercial establishments have opened, including Apple Stores, only for them to be closed again in July because of the fluctuating numbers of COVID-19 infections. So, right now, it’s really every iUser for himself or herself when checking if the nearest store to them is open or closed, because the schedules for most, especially those in malls is quite irregular – one day they have reopened, the next day they’re closed, again.

An Apple spokesman said in a statement: “Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”


The New Normal isn’t so normal

For Apple stores that have reopened, the atmosphere is quite different already. For those who are brave enough to go the nearest one to them, which may be miles away, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Malls reopened for the first time since the centers were ordered shut in March to curb the spread of COVID-19. But shopping now looks different — to reopen, malls have introduced an array of new policies to abide by state guidelines aimed at keeping shoppers safe.


What are your options?

As mentioned earlier, if you have an iDevice that needs repairing, you may have more options now that you may have had months ago. You can ship your device to Apple, go to an Apple Store, go to an authorized store, or go to a repair shop.

There are currently three options when you break your screen or other parts of your iPhone. You can go to an Apple store and give your iPhone to Apple employees. You can go to an authorized store (such as Best Buy stores in the U.S.), which means your iPhone will be repaired by Apple-certified technicians. Or you can go to a normal repair shop.


Really? A non-Apple store?

Yes, as of late 2019, Apple has already allowed third party shops to fix your broken iPhone or MacBook. You may have to really be careful of things like your warranty though. So, read up and quadruple check before heading to your neighborhood repair shop (that might be open).

Normally you might pop into a retail store, but in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease, retail stores across the country have closed, including Apple Stores, and wireless carriers have closed the majority of their brick-and-mortar stores, too. So where do you go to get your phone repaired? You still have several options to get it fixed.


Thank goodness you have options for a broken MacBook or iPhone, but what if you need to recover important documents that you may have accidentally deleted? We have a process for that: Don't hesitate; reach out to Hard Drive Recovery and get those important files back.

Where Do Broken iDevices (and Their Owners) Go? Read more on:


Thursday, 16 July 2020

HDRG Shows Computer Users How To Defend Against Ransomware Attacks

Irvine, CA based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) recently published a blog post that seeks to educate readers on the dangers of ransomware attacks as well as how they can keep both their computers and private data safe. The company regularly posts articles that explore how computers can be used to their fullest potential, and they also make it their mission to help their readers stay safe while browsing the internet.

According to HDRG, ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that is designed to force users to pay a fee if they want their personal or company data returned to them in a legible format—hence the name ‘ransomware.’ This is accomplished by encrypting the user’s files in such a way that they cannot access it again by themselves. Attackers that run ransomware campaigns then instruct the user how they can pay a fee in order to unlock access to their files once more, but such fees can range between a few hundred dollars to thousands. Some even accept payment in various cryptocurrencies.

“With the coronavirus pandemic severely affecting healthcare organizations,” HDRG’s post begins, “you would think that cybercriminals would tone down on wreaking havoc on them. A lot of them have actually promised to stop their activities for the meantime until the situation improves, with some of them even offering free service for organizations that have been mistakenly encrypted. But then, there are still some gangs who are not promising anything, with one of them actually threatening to take their actions further especially to big pharma sites, as these organizations allegedly take advantage of the public panic to rake in more profits. For these, let’s take those promises with a bit of salt, shall we?”

In the present climate, many commercial enterprises have found it necessary to relocate their employees' workspaces and have them work from home. Given that many of these employees are in turn obliged to use their own computer systems to work, it is likely that they do not have the usual layers of cyber security protecting them and their work that they previously had in the office. Furthermore, since ransomware attackers do not discriminate between work and personal folders, any attacks that target a user’s home computer will inevitably capture their own files as well as their employer’s.

HDRG adds, “When there is no one in the office to physically assess their systems, the response time of these IT people to any threat will be greatly affected. So, unless all illegal activities against all organizations that ultimately affect individuals and their data come to a halt, then there will always be the threat of events like ransomware on top of every web user’s head.” This often leaves users or businesses with two main options: pay the ransom and hope the attacker’s offer is genuine or seek the advice of consultants who may be able to recover the data. There have been cases, however, where the encrypted files were not returned even after a substantial payment was made—and attempting to decrypt data without a key is a notoriously difficult endeavor.

It follows, then, that the best course of action is to limit one’s exposure to these attackers and close off any digital vulnerabilities a computer may have, thereby helping prevent an attack altogether. Users are warned to be alert for phishing emails, for instance, which imitate legitimate websites and online portals in order to trick a victim into exposing their passwords and other credentials (which can then be used by the attacker to do what they want with the system). In the same way, HDRG advises users to maintain strong passwords that are regularly changed in order to help ensure security.

Those who wish to learn more are welcome to read the blog post in full on Hard Drive Recovery Group’s official website. The company, which specializes in data recovery on damaged hard drives and other digital media, is always looking for new subjects to illuminate that can help their readers make the most of their digital experience. Those who wish to have their hard drives inspected by a professional are similarly welcome to reach out to Maureen Davies of Hard Drive Recovery Group to get started.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Is Social Media a Boon or Bane in This Woke World?

Perhaps the biggest contribution of Generation Z in the world of technology is social media. From the current landscape of social networking...