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Boston is one of the oldest, most iconic cities in the United States. It founding predates the founding the USA by well over a century. Beginning in the 1960s, Boston has also been one of the central locations in the United States in which tech companies were brought into being.

Long before the creation of Silicon Valley, Boston was known by (the admittedly less catchy) “America’s Technology Region.” With a variety of highly regarded institutions of higher education in the area, including MIT, Harvard, and Boston University, Boston was a natural location for the birth and nurture of tech startup enterprises.

Boston experienced a bit of a slump when it came to tech startups, a downturn that roughly coincided with the Great Recession that surprised the country in 2008. Boston has moved from that slump and is once again on the road to becoming a prime location for the creation and launch of new tech ventures.

Through the years, Boston has been the launching pad for a number of successful tech startups. Seven of these startups have enjoyed considerable success in the United States and, in some cases, around the world.

Wayfair

Wayfair launched in Boston six years before the Great Recession, in 2002. Wayfair is an online furniture retailer that has turned the world of furniture sales on its head. The company exists completely in cyberspace, with no brick and mortar world presence.

Within recent years, Wayfair has taken the furniture sales marketplace across the United States by storm. The company has amassed an amazing track record utilizing a wide array of web-based resources, particularly social media.

Acquia

In many ways, Acquia become an industry leader when it comes to content management systems for businesses of different types. Indeed, launched in Boston in 2007, Acquia was the content management system before businesses fully understood what these solutions were all about.

Acquia continues to grown. It now includes among its clients a number of major players, including Mercedes Benz and Twitter.

Sure, Twitter and Facebook are fun, but the Web has millions more sites full of other great stuff. More than 4,000 big companies, including Johnson & Johnson and Quicken, use Acquia for their Content Management System to enhance their digital experiences and personalize displays for customers. Clients also include Twitter and Mercedes Benz.

Carbonite

Carbonite was a new startup in Boston in 2005. Carbonite provides cloud-based storage and backup for individuals and small businesses. Carbonite was a pioneer in the realm of cloud backup. Among small businesses, and more than a few individuals, Carbonite has become a household world, synonymous with safe, reliable cloud backup and storage.

Brightcove

2004 brought the birth of Brightcove in Boston. The company was conceived in response to the growing number of people who wanted to share video via the Internet. Brightcove leverages its cloud-based platform as a means to publish and then distribute digital media of all kinds, including video. In point of fact, a live event streamed online very well may have been distributed via Brightcove.

American Well

The medical and healthcare industry is evolving. Since 2006, American Well has been a part of that evolution. A Boston startup, American Well connects doctors with patients for consultations via secure video links Oftentimes, this protocol is referred to as tele-medicine or tele-health.

Level Up

Launched in Boston in 2008, Level Up is a unique, powerful app that allows people on the go the ability to order ahead at many popular restaurants across the country. Not only can they order ahead, but they can pay their tabs via Level Up. Level Up truly has become a powerful application as a majority of consumers now transact online business via mobile devices. Restaurants indicate they have seen a notable jump in their carryout and order ahead business when they connect with prospective patrons via Level Up.

DataXu

DataXu heads the pack when it comes to utilizing science and data to improve targeted ad placements on the internet. In other words, DataXu has designed a system that tremendously enhances the targeting of a business’ digital ads to precisely those consumers who want that particular information. In the end, both advertisers and consumers are fair happier and satisfied. The company started in Boston in 2009 and has been garnering investors and customers ever since.

As mentioned at the outset, the tech startup scene is again powering up in Boston. Industry analysts predict that more than a few of the “next best things” will spring to life in Boston during the coming decade.

Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.

Winter is coming, and that means it’s time to prepare your home, car, and kids. Make sure you load up on ingredients for winter meals and plenty of hot cocoa. Let’s look at a few tips to make winter easier for you and your family.

Keep the Heat In

Winter gets cold, so make sure your heater is in top working order. Schedule a professional maintenance check and avoid costly breakdowns later in the season. It’s also a good time to change out your air filter. A fresh filter ensures that your HVAC system traps the dust and irritants that cause runny noses and coughs.

The south side of your home gets the most sun in the winter, so open the drapes or blinds on that side. At night, close all drapes and blinds to insulate against the cold window glass. Don’t leave kitchen or bath exhaust fans running for extended periods of time. Turn them off when you’re done. Check your vents and make sure nothing like furniture, carpeting, or drapes is blocking the warm air coming into the room.

Stock Essential Supplies

Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients to make soups and stews. There’s nothing like a hot meal to warm the body on a chilly day. Use spices, herbs, and root vegetables to flavor your winter recipes. While you’re at it, stock up on the supplies you need in case a winter storm downs the power lines.

Some food items to keep on hand include bottled water, peanut butter, canned juices, crackers, bread, and baby food if you have a young child. Also, carrots, squash, apples, raisins, and nuts stay fresh a long time. Keep apples in the fridge for up to a month. Other items important during electrical outages include:

  • Diapers
  • Pet food
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Extra blankets
  • Jugs of water
  • Salt and sand to spread on driveways and sidewalks
  • Medication supplies to last several days
  • First-aid kit
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio and clock
  • Cellphone

Keep emergency supplies in your car too in case you get stranded. Check your antifreeze levels, battery, and tires. Always carry jumper cables, small shovels, an ice scraper, and flares in your car.

Bundle up in Layers

Winter means warm clothes, and nothing keeps you warmer better than layers. Make sure your children wear several layers, like t-shirts, sweaters, and jackets, during cold snaps. A good rule for youngsters is to add one more layer than you wear yourself. Keep plenty of hats, gloves, and scarves on hand for bundling up. If you live in an area that expects snow, make sure your family members all have snow boots.

Before the first snowfall, buy a sled. The plastic ones are inexpensive and offer hours of fun for kids and adults. Also, keep plenty of board games on hand and extra batteries for electronic games in anticipation of days when staying indoors is your only choice. Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. If you’re shivering, it’s time to go in.

Follow these tips, and remember to bundle up and stay safe this winter.

New moms live the most blessed and most cursed existences at this time in history. It’s such a beautiful time of your life, but one of the main drawbacks is that new moms tend to be stuck at home and if they’re not careful they can go a little stir-crazy. This is especially true for the mommies who were so used to being all over town, even during their pregnancy. It can be a massive adjustment.

Ideally, you will have your home prepared for this eventuality long in advance of the baby’s arrival.

The one thing you want to get for yourself is a top of the line screen to watch your movies on. Don’t scrimp on this; get something nice for yourself like a Panasonic HDR 4K TV. You’re going to be binge watching a lot of Netflix and other material, and you need the best tools to keep yourself comforted and immersed.

Another thing you are going to want to stock up on are ebooks, because you’re going to get tired of watching movies. Honestly, the whole experience is very different, because baby can and will interrupt you frequently, and this is where ebooks shine, because they are easy to put down and pick up on a dime like that.

It’s also a good idea to have Skype or Whatsapp or a similar app installed, perhaps even hooked up to the TV. Sometimes people can’t make it to your home, or you may have lots of friends and relatives out of town or even overseas, and being able to chat on video with them will be great for you. It’s very easy for a new mom to feel very alone, for hormonal reasons or otherwise. This is normal, but easily counteracted.

Lastly, make sure you do get those people you want to visit you. However, during the first couple of weeks it’s not a good idea, but after that you are going to crave it, and it is good and necessary. Surround yourself with people will help you feel more like a human being again and less of a zombie. And past the two week mark you are going to need external help, because frankly you will not have been sleeping properly at all!

Your new mom experience should be much more of a blessing than a curse, and with the proper planning it almost certainly will be.

Traveling is fun but difficult, especially for families. While you’re planning those scenic outings, museum trips, and hotel stays, you sometimes forget to pay attention to nutrition. Forgetting to drink water or eat foods with the right vitamins can actually make your jet lag worse. A tired, dehydrated family isn’t exactly the fun group of people you want to be on vacation with, so figure out some strategies for staying fed and healthy while away from home.

Road trips can be especially difficult. Your options for eating on the road can be dismal when all you pass on the highway are fast-food restaurants and gas stations. To keep from snacking on candy, bring a cooler filled with goodies like hummus, vegetable sticks, and PB&J sandwiches. If you have to eat at the gas station, buy items like dried fruit or nut mixes instead of candy bars and donuts. Once you get to your hotel room, your strategy for health is simple: get a room with a kitchen and do some of your own healthy cooking!

Eating and drinking in foreign countries can cause GI issues. To prevent diarrhea, brush your teeth with bottled water. To keep from getting heartburn thanks to unfamiliar cuisines, don’t eat large meals. Instead, try new foods in snack quantities and don’t eat a lot before going to bed, since that can make reflux worse. Learn more about staying healthy while traveling from Health IQ. The Eating Hacks: Family Vacations quiz is full of great tips!

About Health IQ

HealthIQ’s mission is to improve the health of the world. In pursuit of this mission, they’ve created over 2,000 quizzes and worked with innovative insurance companies to create financial rewards for health conscious people. To date, Health IQ has helped thousand triathletes, vegans, runners, and other health conscious people secure billions in life insurance coverage, and they hope to expand to other financial rewards in the near future.

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