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

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

What a Waste – Our World’s Problem With Electronic Waste

We are living in a materialistic world. We consume so much tech so it’s only natural for companies to produce much as well to keep up with the demand. Thus, it is no wonder that laptops, air conditioners, television sets, headphones, microwaves, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets have ended up as electronic waste, which the world has also been producing at astounding levels. In fact, a 2019 report states that humanity has generated record numbers of e-waste, and as with its non-electronic counterparts, increased wastes will always present a new challenge.  have been

According to the Global E-Waste Monitor, a United Nations University, International Telecommunication Union, and International Solid Waste Association effort, 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste was produced in 2019, which is higher compared to 2014 levels (when the first report was published) by 9.2 million metric tons. Out of this, only 17% of the total has been recycled.

Things have gone better, but still not good enough

Actually, things have improved with the world’s increased efforts in recycling. Whereas during the 1990s and early 200s, people were at a loss on what to do with their old electronics, there have been more efforts in recycling. But then, there is also an increase in the consumption of electronics, so recycling efforts have to keep up.

“Once e-equipment becomes waste, it is hazardous. If you just dumped it in the environment, it would cause a problem,” says Richard Kirkman, chief technology and innovation officer at Veolia. Kirkman has spent the past 20 years working in the waste sector, and has amassed knowledge about seemingly every recycling process out there. But when he started, he says, everything was going to landfill. “Things have got much better [over time].”


What actually happens to e-waste?

E-waste is a huge issue because electronics contain harmful chemicals that when thrown into the landfill and left to rot, may seep into the ground and deeper into water sources that obviously, will poison us all.

Toxic additives also leak into the soil. Around 50 tonnes of mercury are contained in “undocumented flows of e-waste” annually. Mercury can damage the human brain and coordination system in large doses, and often causes soil pollution in areas around landfill.


So, what can we contribute to solving this problem?

As consumers of electronics, we have to be more conscious of throwing broken gadgets. A good number of them can be recycled, so we need to look into ways of throwing our obsolete or gadgets responsibly.

The best way to ensure that your old electronics are not contributing to the e-waste problem is by properly recycling them — a task that can be easier said than done. You can’t simply toss your old computer in the recycling bin and be done with it.


But if your soft copies of documents go missing and cannot be located even in your device's Recycle Bin, then you might have a problem. But not a problem we at Hard Drive Recovery Group cannot solve. See for yourself what we can do here:

The blog article What a Waste – Our World’s Problem With Electronic Waste is available on HDRG


Friday, 7 August 2020

We Got It on Tape – Tape Drives Plod Ahead

Millennials may relate to this piece of news as the nostalgia of their childhood, and Generation Z’s may not relate at all, but tape storage is set to come in capacities of 400 TB. Yes, dear Gen X and baby boomer reader, I am talking about similar technology that brought us such technological advancements as the cassette tape (Remember where we used to listen to our jams to? Mixed tapes for road trips and the format for our boomboxes and Walkmans before the CD rendered them obsolete?) and the VHS (home videos galore before they became “digital”). Apparently, data storage geeks have not given up on that technology and have continuously developed them throughout the years and now, it seems that it will outpace the progress done on the “traditional” hard drives we currently enjoy. How's that for a “revenge of the throwback nerds”?

But before you, movie pirate, data fiend, or storage junkie, rejoice, hold your horses for a bit. The current batch of tape drives, the ones that have the capacity to contain mind-boggling amounts of data is not for personal use. They are currently available for use for data centers only, as their physical formats do not allow them to be connected to PCs and laptops yet, and these are the gadgets that personal users usually connect their hard drives to. So, we still have to exercise a bit of patience and wait for this piece of tech to be available to us in a few years, maybe? In the meantime, let us be happy with the advances being made in storage.

What is this tape drive?

Tape drives use tapes to store data and Fujifilm, a leader in this field recently announced they have produced a tape drive with a capacity of 384 TB! That is 384 times the capacity of the current popular standard of 1 TB in hard drives. That is an astounding amount of music and photo files that can fit in that drive!

At 384TB, a single LTO-13 tape is likely to be the single biggest unit of storage in the world, far outclassing hard disk drives (with capacities stalling, having grown by only 2TB per generation) and solid state drives, which reached 100TB in 2018 and then stopped growing.


No stopping tape technology

And if that’s not enough, pundits predict constant improvements in tape technology with native storage capacities of 12 TB (already impressive, isn’t it?) set to improve in the coming months.

While hardly anyone expects tape-based backup to become the dominant approach it once was, state-of-the-art tape systems now provide a native storage capacity of 12 TB with LTO-8, and even higher with the upcoming LTO-9 -- better than hard disk storage and often faster than the cloud.


Enjoy improvement in the HD sphere

As mentioned earlier, tape drives are not for personal use yet. So, for the meantime, let us appreciate the advancements made with hard drives, which are no joke as well.

Long gone are the days when gigabytes were a precious resource (and terabytes were simply unheard of): Today’s hard drives are bigger and cheaper than ever, and if you’re looking for some additional physical storage for your precious data, then you don’t have to look too far to find a good cheap external hard drive that will meet your needs — without draining your bank account.


And if you have forgotten to back up your important files in an external hard drive and your laptop gets broken, you may be experiencing this: If that scenario is familiar with you, we can help you with data recovery so don't wait, get in touch with us.

We Got It on Tape – Tape Drives Plod Ahead Read more on:


Monday, 3 August 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Shares Zoom Tips

Irvine, California based Hard Drive Recovery Group recently published an informative blog post on video conferencing on apps such as Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom. The company is also pleased to offer their professional data recovery services to those who have accidentally lost their files due to malfunctioning hardware or corrupted software/data.

As noted in the post, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to work from home, so office meetings now have to take place via video conference calls. Many of the technicalities regarding the setup of video conferences are easy and relatively user-friendly. However, there is still the problem of how these video conferences can be done properly. In light of this, the blog post explores video sharing etiquette and clarifies that just because people are at home, it does not mean that they are allowed to act unprofessional. In fact, maintaining credibility and professionalism is of the utmost importance regardless of the setting. In line with this, Hard Drive Recovery Group published three useful tips on video conferencing etiquette, giving advice on what people can do even before the meeting starts.

First, the blog post highlights the importance of having a clear agenda before setting up a virtual meeting. This eliminates the frustrations some people experience when there is a meeting where everybody just sits around, waiting for all attendees to be present. Unfortunately, when the meeting is finally taking place, there may be times when even the presiding officer will take a while to get things in order. Unlike physical meetings, people can find it difficult to express their frustration in virtual meetings because of the lack of physical interaction. Whether a meeting is physical or virtual, however, it is very important to have a clear agenda that outlines what the meeting is all about. With a clear agenda, attendees know what to expect and can estimate how long the video conference will run. Furthermore, if there is an element of participation in the meeting, it gives people an opportunity to prepare talking points as well as manage their time better.

Next, Hard Drive Recovery Group recommends that video call participants get their devices ready even before starting the video call. It is important to check on the hardware and if the internet speeds are stable enough to prevent any problem. Unfortunately, there are some internet connection issues that are not so easy to fix, and if such problems happen, the attendee experiencing difficulties should inform the presiding officer beforehand. Alternatively, asking for everyone’s permission to have the meeting recorded is one of the best solutions to connectivity issues as it allows them to update themselves later on what happened during the meeting. Furthermore, it is important to make sure that all the participants have the correct meeting link, dial-in number and the app downloaded on their phone or computer ahead of time.

People should always prepare a presentable background as well. It is true that not everyone has a home office, but a background full of kitchenware like pots and pans can easily distract other attendees. When attending a virtual meeting, a simple bare wall is acceptable enough to serve as a video call background. Alternatively, some video conference platforms have background features that can help solve this issue. These video conferencing apps include Microsoft Teams and Skype that allows participants to blur their background. Zoom similarly enables users to choose a virtual background.

With the current rapid spread of COVID-19, people have been asked to stay indoors for their own safety and the safety of others. As such, it is important to learn to adapt to this unusual series of circumstances. Hard Drive Recovery Group emphasizes the importance of handling meetings professionally and respectfully, even if it is done online, and also advises employees to take care of their company computers and laptops. Meanwhile, those who have accidentally lost their files while working at home may contact Hard Drive Recovery Group to avail their professional data recovery services. The company has years of experience handling such cases and guarantees the full recovery of damaged or lost files.

Those interested in learning more about Hard Drive Recovery Group may find more information on their website. Customers may connect with Hard Drive Recovery Group via social media to stay up to date with their news and announcements as well.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

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


Data Recovery Expert: How To Celebrate A Holiday In Lockdown

Irvine, CA-based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) is encouraging their community to avoid being disheartened by the fact that they have had ...