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

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...