For a while, voice assistants (not virtual assistants, or actual human beings who are based somewhere in the world and do secretarial jobs) are the toast of the town, romanticized, and a sign of promising times ahead. With movies like Spike Jonze’s Her (remember the movie where Joaquin Phoenix fell in love with Scarlett Johansson’s voice), people were getting so excited about making this technology a part of their everyday lives (perhaps some of us also thought we could be experience love with a voice assistant as well?). But then, there was the backlash of these assistants being dumb as rocks, when all it came down was the technology hasn’t advanced that much to the point that it can decipher requests from all accents.
But that didn’t deter all gadget firms from developing voice technology and integrating them into their gadgets. Fast forward to 2020, we have Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and other voice assistants experiencing a new wave of popularity. Then, COVID-19 happened. Just when we thought that voice assistants have finally arrived, now they are proving to be indispensable. So, the question now is, do we buy into the hype and have all our devices be equipped with a voice assistant?
Thanks, Coronavirus, From Alexa
Voice assistants are at the forefront of the surge in demand for technology that requires little or no physical contact at all. With everyone fearing for their health, it is sure preferred for people to operate stuff with their voices instead of touching surfaces. And voice assistant advocates rejoice!
The Surge a Virus Helped Immensely
With Google’s and Amazon’s huge push for Google Assistant and Alexa in the late part of 2019, many have found voice assistants to be a trendy must-have. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic where everything hands-free is encouraged, voice assistants have turned from things that can be great to have to things that are needed to have. Of course, having a face mask while giving instructions to Siri might muffle your voice and cause a bit of confusion, but it is a small adjustment to make when operating them.
Continuous improvement is the way to go
Because these voice assistants are now must-haves, it has become important for the tech giants behind them to assure users that these voice assistants get updated regularly. Besides, these regular improvements to their product also work to their advantage, lest they deliberately want to get left behind by the competition.
Raise the value of everything
With voice assistants and other hands-free technologies installed in your gadgets, appliances, and even your entire house, you not only get the benefits of having a more convenient way of doing things, but you also get more security. With added security, everything you own with a voice assistant installed will increase in value, making you thank the gods of technology you have this nifty technology in everything you own.
What's great about these voice assistants is that they may just help you with almost everything, although you might still be in trouble if you cannot locate important files on your laptop anymore. But we have expertise on data recovery, as written here: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/mac-data-recovery. Allow us to assist you with things a voice assistant may not be able to. Get in touch with us and we're ready to help.
The blog article Siri, Help Me! is courtesy of www.harddriverecovery.org
So, how was your 4th of July? Did you celebrate our nation’s independence day with such fun and revelry as you used to. I bet $100 you did not. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. July 4, 2020 will be marked in history as an Independence Day that Americans celebrated indoors. Did that sound sad? Yes, it is. For sure, so many of us had to content themselves with scaled-down celebrations that pale in comparison with past celebrations. Well, July 4th came and went and I am sure so many of us have regrets on how we celebrated Independence Day.
But then, there might still be some more holidays to come with everyone still in the comforts of their home while the threat of coronavirus still rages outdoors. Let’s not hope for that to happen, but if projections are correct, we will still have the pandemic until the vaccines go into production until September, which means we will most certainly spend Labor Day in the pandemic period. So, with that in mind, let us remember the lessons we learned in what was possibly the weirdest holiday we experienced in our lifetimes.
Spending the holidays indoors
Holidays, unless we’re talking about Christmas and Thanksgiving, is best spend outdoors. Independence Day has always been connected to outdoor picnics and other activities that are best done out of our houses. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic cramped pretty much everyone’s style, so we had a weird way of celebrating. But the next time, we should be more ready.
Fireworks in a lockdown
Of course, one of the most popular activities during the 4th of July is fireworks displays. This year, there may still have been some of that, but they were done in a more communal setting, and most of us indoors. So, what else can we do but just appreciate the fireworks from inside our homes and take pictures. But do you know how to take fantastic pictures that will give the spectacular firework displays justice?
What better way of spending any holiday indoors than to spend? Shopping is one activity we can now embrace as an indoor as we are being encouraged to stay indoors. So, the indoor shopping frenzy we experienced with websites giving huge discounts during the 4th of July should be a sort of test run for this year’s bigger and better Cyber Monday, as for sure, Black Friday 2020 will be more solemn (imagine shoppers getting their temperature checked and hands disinfected before scrambling for TVs and fridges in Target, and no pushing or shoving to observe physical and social distancing, mind you, which makes you wonder where’s the fun in that?) and will move online.
You might also have lost files and soft copies of important documents on your laptop. Don't panic, because we have a process to help you at: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/data_recovery_process.html. Our experts will get you back your cherished files, so get in touch with us ASAP!
The following blog post Lessons From Celebrating a Holiday in a Lockdown is courtesy of http://www.harddriverecovery.org
Hard Drive Recovery Group, an Irvine, California based hard drive and data recovery company, recently published a new blog post that describes several means by which everyone staying at home can stay busy in the middle of COVID-19 lockdowns.
Maureen Davies, company spokesperson, says, “Just a few months ago, life was a constant cycle of never-ending work and other engagements. We have been feeling so drained and complaining about being overworked, spending hours upon hours in the office or in school and not having the time to pursue our passions because we do not have enough time for them. Then, suddenly, the world stopped. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire world, forcing businesses and schools alike to close down as well as forcing us to slow down our quick-paced lives. Due to this lockdown, we now have all the time in the world but we can’t do a lot outdoors.”
As noted in the blog post, the company states that, even though everyone needs to stay indoors, this does not mean that they have to live a sedentary lifestyle and forget about their health and fitness. People are stuck inside of their houses because of the risk of this disease but experts claim that an individual can endeavor to stay in shape and have good health in order to reduce the chances of them becoming one of the disease’s fatalities.
Thus, Hard Drive Recovery Group states that staying indoors and engaging in physical activity to keep healthy is a great way to keep busy during the lockdown. The company urges the general public to allot a specific time for physical activity, and they recommend enrolling in some online classes where one can follow an exercise routine or a yoga session. “That way, you can develop the habit of constantly staying active and keeping healthy even if you are in isolation,” says Davies.
Meanwhile, another activity that the Hard Drive Recovery Group encourages is conducting a general cleaning of one’s house. In general, cleaning is an activity that takes a lot of time and effort but is worth every bit of effort that is put into it. “Keeping your surroundings clean and tidy is a must to prevent the spread of the disease. Conducting a general cleaning will also ensure that there can be no breeding ground for other types of viruses and bacteria,” says Davies. In addition to house cleaning, it is also important to clean personal objects that are used regularly. She explains that personal effects, such as mobile devices and electronic gadgets, can acquire many germs and viruses (not necessarily COVID-19) from being regularly used and being placed in random places. As such, the general public should give their smartphone, laptop and other devices a thorough and deep cleaning as often as possible.
Hard Drive Recovery Group has also published a number of blog posts on other COVID-19 related topics, such as handling documents while working at home and how to prepare for video conferencing. Davies explains that the company has decided to publish these articles in order to provide guidance and reassurance to the public during these trying times.
As noted on the company’s website, Hard Drive Recovery Group is a data recovery company that specializes in laptops, Mac products and RAID server hard drive repairs and recovery. The company has over 20 years of hard drive recovery experience, and their team has recovered thousands of gigabytes of data since they opened their doors to the public. Davies asserts that the company has dealt with many complicated cases, such as intentional deletions, fire and flood data loss and even accidental deletions that the client thought would be unrecoverable. They have conclusively proved to their customers that data, in the hands of data recovery experts like HDRG, is never beyond reach. “Over the years, we have gained vast knowledge that enables us to not only assess hard drive problems effectively and efficiently, but also provide our customers with the best and most affordable solutions available,” says Davies.
Those interested may find more information on the company’s website. Similarly, social media users may connect with Hard Drive Recovery Group via their preferred platforms in order to stay abreast of their latest news and announcements.
from Hard Drive Recovery Group
Irvine, California based Hard Drive Recovery Group is reaching out to the community to share information on how to monitor one’s internet connection to guarantee it is working at its full potential. The company specializes in data recovery services, which gives them a great deal of experience in most subjects related to computers and other devices.
In their most recently published article, Hard Drive Recovery Group touches upon one of the most common topics of concern among their readers: Internet Speed. With more people working from home and relying on the internet to complete everyday tasks, issues with internet speed have become more apparent. With users seeking a solution to their unbearably slow internet connections, the local tech specialists have taken it upon themselves to inform their community of the most common causes for a slow internet connection—along with advice on how they may fix these issues.
Maureen Davies, a representative of the Hard Drive Recovery Group, states, “From faulty devices, unwanted background updates and even unwelcome guests, there are a number of factors that can affect your internet’s performance. While it can be hard to pinpoint the thing that is slowing down your internet, there are a number of actions you can take to narrow down the options. We invite you to try these before you reach out to your internet provider and file a complaint as these solutions will work in most circumstances, speeding up your internet connection significantly.”
The first, and one of the most simple solutions recommended by Hard Drive Recovery Group to speed up internet connection, is a simple reboot of the internet router. While these devices are designed to work on an uninterrupted basis, a simple reboot goes a long way in terms of speeding up an internet connection. It can help avoid attempts at hacking the network in addition to freeing up limited router memory and even applying important router updates that may have been on hold since the last reboot. Rebooting a device is as simple as unplugging all devices from it and unplugging the router itself from the power source. After a minute or so, plugging everything as it was and turning the router back on should complete the reboot.
If there is no significant improvement after rebooting the device, the company states that the next step is to manage its Wi-Fi channels, which can also help for data protection. It is necessary to figure out whether the router is dual or tri-band as this will determine how much the connections can be spread across different bands. Different bands work better on some devices depending on their proximity to the router.
“While you manage your Wi-Fi channels, you may want to take a look at the different devices that are connected to your network,” says Davies. She remarks that one cause of poor internet performance can often be uninvited guests on the network who are taking up the bandwidth for their own use. This issue can be solved in many different ways, from kicking out unnecessary devices, choosing to slow down particular connections and restricting the length of time some devices can connect to the network. If nothing else works, changing the device’s password will force all devices out and require a manual re-connection, leaving out all unwanted devices.
Hard Drive Recovery Group possesses several customer reviews that attest to the excellence of their services. On the Google platform alone, they enjoy a perfect review score of 5 Stars, which places them among the best-rated data recovery specialists in the area.
One of the most recent comments on this space, shared by Ramiro Ames, 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!”
The company’s website offers more details on the Hard Drive Recovery Group and their services. Interested parties may reach out to Maureen Davies to follow up on any inquiries as well, and more resources on similar tech-related topics can also be found on their blog.
from Hard Drive Recovery Group
As every working person has been adjusting to the new reality of everyone in quarantine due to the COVID19 virus, working from home has changed from being an exception to becoming the norm. There are those of us who have done years in the office, reporting five to six days a week, who are so used to printing documents or manage important data through filing cabinets and in and out trays and thus will have to struggle a bit with dealing with data and information. With this new norm, we may need to embrace email and messaging document hacks. Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too long ago when you had to adjust to document and email management hacks in the office, so you should also be on your way to adapting to your own best practices in managing documents. Who knows, you’ll get your own system up and running efficiently soon, if you haven’t already.
Adapting to email and IM attachments
Since you are now working remotely, you do not have the luxury of printing important documents or storing them in a flash drive and SD card and giving them to your teammates. Thus, distribution of content can only be done through email or instant messaging. However, there are also some concern with document attachments, including difficulties in versioning (as tracking which is the latest versions can be challenging), concurrency (as more than one person can update the document all at the same time), distribution (is everyone who needs the document been given a copy), and of course, security.
Links rather than message attachments
Volleying emails and instant messaging back and forth can be the most popular, but unfortunately a time-consuming and inefficient manner of document or information distribution. Thus, sending links to increase the control you have with the recipients and users of the document is better. By sending links through “collaborative software” like Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive, you can be updated with the most recent and updated version of the document in real time, and you will also know who has seen and who has reviewed and edited the document. Moreover, links allow you to avoid bloated attachments that make email sending a pain in the neck.
Viewing of documents
These collaborative software suites, as mentioned earlier, allow you and your audience access to the documents you want to share. Moreover, they also allow your audience to edit and review the documents online, so there’s really no need to download these documents. This is because these platforms have online apps that allow whoever gets the link to the document to view and edit the documents without having to download them. Your edits also get to be seen by other people who have been given access to said documents.
What about documents you may have lost or accidentally deleted? We can recover them for you. Take a look at the ways we can help you in getting back your missing documents: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/hard-drive-data-recovery.html.
The following blog article Sharing Documents in the Time of Remote Working See more on: http://www.harddriverecovery.org
Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG), an Irvine, CA based hard drive recovery service, would like to announce that they have published a blog post titled ‘Don’t Lose Your Mind (Or Your Files) During This Lockdown.’ The post talks about the most effective ways to pass time during this lockdown, an especially important subject considering that many people are being forced to stay at home and work from there. This, for most, can be very difficult, especially for long periods of time and with visitors being banned as well. Fortunately, the article has a number of tips that one can use to keep busy while stuck at home.
from Hard Drive Recovery Group
The entire world is currently in the throes of the COVID19 pandemic, affecting all facets of our lives. Governments of various countries have imposed lockdowns that have affected companies and office workers, making them miss their offices more. Financial institutions have concluded that the world economy will be on its worst depression since the Second World War. So many people are still being tested positive of the virus, and there seems to be no end in sight as the possibilities for a cure and a vaccine are still months, if not years away.
But then, the government can only hold their lockdowns as long as they can. China has already lifted its lockdown on Wuhan, believed to be the epicenter and origin of the virus, while reporting that its national economy will be contracting for the first time since the 1980s. Other “early adapter” countries like Japan and South Korea still demand their people to maintaining social distancing and prohibit public assemblies but have already allowed people to go back to work. This the question among people is, what will the world be once the dust has settled and we have slightly recovered from the crisis?
Digital and electronic companies will be the biggest winners
As mentioned earlier, the global economy is set to suffer one of its biggest contractions in recorded human history. A number of industries cannot fully operate since their customers are under quarantine. Companies suffering a great deal because of the crisis are tourism, transportation, and hospitality. But there are still some industries that are currently and poised to make a killing precisely because of the nature of their businesses and the consequences of this crisis Because social distancing is encouraged and people are isolated from each other, businesses that provide services and goods that precisely encourage this and discourage physical contact are seen to gain. Thus, cloud computing providers, social media platforms (although not because of ad revenue), logistics and delivery services will prosper. With the consumers’ change in attitudes and a bit of paranoia in what our lives would be after COVID19, there is a promise these businesses will continue to soar.
Working from home will be the norm, not the exception
Employees have for weeks, experienced a change in their style of work as they have been spared of having to dress up and commute to their offices. Many have found this practice favorable for them, and even once the crisis ebbs, it will be difficult for companies to not allow their employees to continue working from home, as they may not afford overhead expenses (office rent, utilities, operating expenses) anew. Moreover, travel restrictions will be stricter, companies may indeed encourage employees to stay at home and still be productive members of the company.
Cooperation may flourish in a different manner
As of the moment, countries are isolating themselves from each other by closing their borders and discouraging foreigners from entering their country. However, once we get past the COVID19 crisis, cooperation will be a norm among countries that will develop best practices on how to monitor, report, coordinate and act effectively to address future catastrophes that will lessen any adverse economic effects and hopefully save lives.
However, you don’t have to wait for the lockdown to be done for help in recovering lost documents. Let our data recovery experts do that for you. Get in touch with us by clicking here https://www.harddriverecovery.org/data-recovery-services.html.
A Changed World After the COVID19 Crisis Read more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog
Hard Drive Recovery Group, a data recovery service based out of Irvine, California, has published a post that explains Wi-Fi security and how Wi-Fi performance may be improved. The company offers a variety of data recovery solutions at affordable prices.
Maureen Davies, a representative for Hard Drive Recovery Group, says, “With the current pandemic growing out of control, people are being encouraged to stay at home and be safe. This major shift in lifestyle has led to American growing more and more dependent on their home Wi-Fi for just about everything—from telecommuting to entertainment. After all, the priority now is to contain the COVID-19 situation so as not to let it affect more people. Similarly, people should not let themselves be exposed to the virus.”
Davies continues, “Considering all this, it is an uncontested fact that reliable internet speeds will be of utmost importance so that people can still work from home, stay up to date with the latest information and continue to be connected with family and friends. Internet service providers will doubtless be overwhelmed in the coming days, if not weeks. However, there are certain things that you can do at home to optimize your Wi-Fi for the best performance.”
In a blog post on their website, Hard Drive Recovery Group explains several methods through which people can maximize their Wi-Fi’s effectiveness. The first piece of advice they share is to move other electrical appliances and lights away from the Wi-Fi router. The company explains that this has to do with the harmless radiation waves that Wi-Fi routers transmit. To the internet, routers send electromagnetic signals that are received by Wi-Fi enabled devices. However,other gadgets, even lights and lamps, also give off electromagnetic waves, which can lead to the router’s signals getting muddled. Certain software can also be an issue.
More than any other electrical appliance, microwaves can be the biggest issue, according to Hard Drive Recovery Group. The company writes in the blog post that, “Your microwave may be one of the biggest causes of your diminishing web speeds. Microwaves give off electromagnetic radiation (more than most appliances we named earlier) that may interfere with the signals given off by your router. Thus, if you are doing something important that would need a strong Wi-Fi signal, like attending a video conference or watching HD videos, don’t operate your microwave at the same time.”
The company also advises that the number of gadgets and devices connected to the Wi-Fi router should be limited. The more devices that are connected to the router, the slower the Wi-Fi speed will be. The blog post also has a number of other tips in it, including moving the router to a better spot, moving the router away from fish tanks, and more.
Hard Drive Recovery Group knows what they are talking about, as proven by the company’s stellar reviews. On the Google platform, 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, Roy Poss shares that they were, “Hugely impressed with Louis and Hard Drive Recovery Group. They took what I thought was going to be a truly horrible situation (a crashed laptop drive), and made it better than all right. You won't find a better data recovery services company out there!”
Those who want to learn more about Hard Drive Recovery Group and their services are welcome to visit the company’s website. Additionally, 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 is also present on multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, where they post regular updates and communicate with their customers.
from Hard Drive Recovery Group
Working With the world population at an estimated 7.9 billion, close to 5 billion people have to work or study from home. With these figures, you would think that the world economy, as a result, would collapse, and rightfully so. Numerous economic analysts are in fact in agreement that we are heading into one of the worst economic contractions in human history, only comparable to the Great Depression in the 1920s and the aftermath of World War II – unless we adapt to this situation.
And adapt most of us have, as working from home has been the saving grace of so many businesses, not to mention entire economies from a total shutdown. Moreover, if done right, working from home cannot just save companies, but allow them to profit. With operating expenses lessened because offices and shops are closed, companies can actually make themselves fiscally strong. Thus, with remote work looking like it’s going to be the norm, how can we maximize it to make it work for our companies? What are the best practices in remote work that will exploit it to its full potential?
Establish a routine
When you go to work, you have a routine that you have established for the days, months, or years you have worked in your company. You get up, commute to work, arrive in the office on time, turn on your laptop, review your emails, have your coffee, get your meeting, have your lunch, do a lot of work, then go home. The same should go with your work from home arrangement. By establishing a routine of what you should do at a certain time, everyone’s (including yours) expectations are set, you get on the grove at work easier and faster every day, and you develop good habits that make your work more streamlined, simpler, and easier.
Have a dedicated work space
As much as possible, you need to have a separate area (with desk and chair) for where you will work remotely. Don’t make it a habit to work from your bed or in an area where you do other activities like watching TV or have your meals. Having a separate area to work puts you in the right frame of mind when it’s time to work and removes you from distractions (i.e., family members who are also under quarantine) and other tempting activities you’d rather do aside from work (because everybody knows a Netflix marathon is way better than working, right?).
Make sure you practice self-care
Along with establishing a routine for work, you should also allocate an amount of time for self-care. These are troubled times and practicing self-care after you get your work done will allow you to maintain your sanity. Make sure you have time for some physical activity like yoga or a home workout; quiet me time for some meditation, scrapbooking or journal writing; and a bit of grooming with a lockdown pedicure, manicure, or facial!
Maintain clear communication with your colleagues
Nothing destroys the momentum of remote teamwork when somebody suddenly goes missing and doesn’t answer instant messages or emails. Conspiracy theories arise, suspicions surface, and soon enough some team members will voice out that some missing people may just be slacking. Thus, it is important to always relay any issues and difficulties to your colleagues and supervisors. We are all experiencing this crisis together, so telling everyone you’ll be logging off to fix internet connectivity issues or 10 minutes to go off the grid and calm your mental state will be easily understood.
Losing important files is absolutely not an efficient way of working remotely. If you need assistance in recovering documents, we can definitely help. To know more about the services we offer, read here: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/repair-hard-drive.html
The following blog article Want to Be Effective While Working Remotely? is available on http://www.harddriverecovery.org
With most of the employed world currently now working at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, apps and programs that make remote work easier have become household names. One such program is Zoom, a platform that facilitates video conferencing. However, with the rise of its popularity, many concerns about its security have also emerged. In just the past month since state and national governments started imposing lockdowns, the number of Zoom downloads has increased by more than 500%. High-profile personalities such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been known to use the platform as they are on quarantine to attend video conferences.
However, many sectors have also expressed concern regarding its use, with online security experts questioning its security features and doubting the safety of users’ data in the platform. New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, has already demanded the company to inform the public of measures it had taken for security concerns to be addressed and whether the sudden ballooning of its users is something the company can cope with. Zoom announced then that all its resources will be focused on addressing safety and security issues raised by its users in recent weeks.
But what issues plague Zoom? Should we as Zoom users look for alternatives or are our concerns being addressed competently?
The rise of ‘Zoom bombing’
The FBI announced it with the recent rise in the use of Zoom, there have also been more incidents of “Zoom bombing” or video hijacking in the platform. According to the FBI, they are investigating increased incidents of hackers infiltrating video meetings, shouting racial slurs and issuing threats. The bureau is looking into connections of these hackers and ransomware hackers who until recently, have also victimized businesses.
Absent end-to-end encryption
While it used to be that Zoom boasted its platform as having end-to-end encryption, apparently it is not. End-to-end encryption is a feature that cybersecurity savvy users are always on the lookout for, as it secures communication platforms so that whatever goes into the platform can only be accessed by the users involved. Zoom has since then confirmed that end-to-end encryption is not yet present on the platform.
Flaws on its security features
As early as 2019, Zoom users were surprised when it was revealed that a hidden web server had been installed on user devices which could add the user to a call without his or her consent. Recently, there has also been a discovery of a bug that could allow hackers to take over a Mac of a Zoom user through the device’s webcam and microphone.
Another feature Zoom has been criticized for is its “attention tracker,” as this allows a meeting host to see if a meeting attendant has clicked away from a Zoom window for 30 seconds or more. While it feels like it could allow meeting hosts to know who among the attendees are paying attention, it could also be viewed as an invasion of user’s privacy, as they shouldn’t feel like they’re under surveillance while supposedly just attending a meeting.
If missing documents also give you a headache as you work remotely, we may help you with that. Read here to know more about our services: https://www.harddriverecovery.org/hard-drive-recovery-service.html.
Is Zoom Helping or Destroying Your Remote Work Efforts? was first published on Hard Drive Recovery Group
Affordably priced Irvine, CA area data recovery services provider. Specializing in Macs, Dell, HP and IBM RAID recovery and damaged hard drive recovery services. Also offers Mac and laptop data recovery, as well as all forms of physical and logical data recovery.