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Gary Edwards

Gary Edwards's Public Library

Aug 27, 15

"Docady, an iOS app that lets you store and manage all your important documents, has been doing well in the App Store since its official launch in mid-July, including being featured by Apple as a ‘best new app’ for the last few weeks. And to help continue with that momentum, the Tel Aviv-based startup has just closed a $1.5 million funding round.

Investors include Pitango Ventures, and Disruptive, the VC fund from Tal Barnoach, Eilon Tirosh and various unnamed former AOL video execs. The new investment will be used to bring the app to more platforms, with Android up next, and for the development of additional ‘smart’ features to make your documents work harder for you."

  • However, it’s Docady’s existing and forthcoming ‘smart’ features that attempt to differentiate the app from potential competitors or simply backing up your documents to a secure cloud storage service manually. The idea is that the app will be able to make sense of the different kinds of data featured in each document to help with things like reminders for when a document needs to be renewed or action taken.

     
      
     

    “Currently, people can scan their documents with one app, store them with other cloud services, or email scans to themselves. As these are plain images of documents, however, they can’t ‘communicate’ with the user to tell them that something – like a renewal – requires their attention,” say the app’s founders.

  • Outlook for iOS now opens Office documents sent as attachments directly in their respective apps, replacing the simple viewers we previously used. We’ve also streamlined the steps required to collaborate on files sent as attachments. These updates, combined with Outlook’s Focused Inbox, tight integration with calendar, customizable swipe gestures and predictive search help you get more done, even on the smallest screen.
  • A common scenario for many is collaborating on attachments and sending edits in email. To date, this activity was almost exclusively done at a computer, due to the many manual and sometimes confusing steps necessary when using the built-in Mail app for iOS. Outlook and the other Office apps make this process a breeze.

     

    With the latest updates, once you’ve opened a file from Outlook and finished making your changes, a single tap on the Back button closes the document and returns you to Outlook, automatically adding the now-updated file as an attachment in your reply.

  • Editing and sharing Office documents doesn’t always start from your inbox. While the best experience for collaborating on a document with others is to save and share the file from OneDrive, sometimes an attachment is necessary. Word, Excel and PowerPoint now include a “Send with Outlook” option in the “Share” menu. This button will bring up the Outlook “Compose New Email” pane with the document attached and ready to share.

  • Why is this? How can it be that software so defiantly unfashionable as “The Microsoft Office for Windows” holds more than 90 percent of the business productivity software market to the tune of more than $20 billion in annual sales?
  • The Office juggernaut keeps rolling thanks to inertia. The companies that drive the global economy use Office. And whatever pain they suffer as a result—the price, the security holes, whining workers—is still a picnic compared to the massive headache of switching to something new.
  • “visual fidelity.”

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  • Building An Infrastructure

     

    For the past two years, Google’s life science efforts have been headed up by Andrew Conrad, previously the chief scientific officer at LabCorp and the co-founder of the National Genetics Institute. He leads more than 150 scientists who come from fields as wide-ranging as astrophysics, theoretical math, and oncology. “Our central thesis was that there’s clearly something amiss in Western medicine,” Conrad told Steven Levy of Backchannel back in October.

  • Sam Gambhir, a professor of radiology, bioengineering, and materials science at Stanford University who has collaborated with Conrad since before Google Life Sciences was a formal division within Google X, says the division isn’t just playing around. Gambhir says projects on which he’s partnered with Google’s life sciences team include the use of nanotechnology to improve diagnostics as well as devices to continuously monitor biomarkers.
  • Other work on the molecular level include a cancer-detecting pill that pairs with a wristband, all part of what Google called its “nanoparticle platform.” Part of getting the wearable to work correctly included understanding how light passed through skin, which led Conrad and his team to make artificial human skin. Life Sciences is looking at other chronic diseases, too. In January, Conrad told Bloomberg that the team planned to partner with multiple sclerosis drugmaker Biogen to study environmental and biological contributors to the disease’s progression.
Aug 19, 15

"GOOGLE BUILDS SOFTWARE in ways that software was never built before.

It builds software that runs across thousands of machines, spread across a worldwide network of computer data centers—a setup that allows it to serve information quickly to millions across the globe, from Search to Gmail to Maps. And it builds this software at an enormously rapid pace, dedicating enormous numbers of coders to each project, the only way to keep pace with the ever-evolving technological landscape.

With the rise of multi-core processors, our individual phones are behaving more and more like collections of machines.
Building such software involves all sorts of new programing tools, including, well, a new programming language. This language is called Go. “We realized that the kind of software we build at Google is not always served well by the languages we had available,” ex-Bell Labs researcher Rob Pike, one of the language’s rather well known creators, told me in 2011. “[We] decided to make a language that would be very good for writing the kinds of programs we write at Google.”"

  • Released as an experimental language in 2009, Go now helps drive the massive services running inside Google. Its influence is also expanding well beyond the company, mainly as a way of building “cloud” services as Google does. It’s at the forefront of a new breed of languages that can rapidly execute code across a large number of systems, while still allowing large teams of coders to build this code at speed. This also includes languages such D, used at Facebook, and Rust, developed at Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox web browser.
  • On Wednesday, Google released a new version of Go. Equipped with a revamped “garbage collector”—a way for programs to automatically clean unused code from machine memory—it’s even more efficient than previous versions, says Russ Cox, one the project’s leading engineers. But what’s most interesting is that the language can now run on various ARM processors, the sort of chips that typically drive our smartphones.
  • Today, we need new languages for building Google-like internet services. And as time goes on, we’ll also need new language for building smartphone software. Apple is building a new language called Swift for the iPhone, hoping to streamline the process in its own way And now, Google is exploring the use of Go on both Apple and Android devices.

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Aug 19, 15

"Considering Salesforce is sitting on top of $1.9 billion in cash, the amount they spent on venture capital is still pretty small.

The $145 million cash they invested last quarter is only a fraction of the $731 million it generated in operating cash flow, too.

But the fact that Salesforce is increasingly looking for ways to find the next future growth engine through these investments sends a positive sign to the market, Stifel’s Rodericks says, especially as Salesforce becomes a more mature company.

“They’re sitting on a ton of money on their balance sheet, so to a certain degree, investors would like to see them make these strategic investments in companies around this space,” Roderick said.

And that could potentially lead to more acquisitions, he noted, as Salesforce Ventures has been more active on the buy side too lately. It acquired sales intelligence software RelateIQ for $390 million last year, after spending $2.5 billion on marketing software ExactTarget two years ago.

“This certainly gives them more visibility in the companies that they might look at as partners or potential acquisitions down the road,” he said.

We should be able to get to find out more about it on Thursday, when Salesforce reports its second quarter earnings. Analyst estimates are pretty much in line with Salesforce's forecasts at $1.6 billion in revenue for an EPS of $0.18."

  • InsideSales.com CEO Dave Elkington
  • VC arm Salesforce Ventures,
  • “Making larger investments is the biggest change recently,” said Menlo Ventures’ managing director Matt Murphy, who invested in the same round for InsideSales when he was general partner at Kleiner Perkins. “They are definitely one of the most active and collaborative corporate VCs in the valley.”

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  • 'Employees working together more collaboratively in person', 'better communication between teams' and a commitment to 'open innovation' are the factors that respondents would expect to have the most profound effect on the profitability of a company. 
Aug 05, 15

""Complexity grows over time," says Bryson Koehler, chief information and technology officer (CITO) of The Weather Company in Atlanta. "Systems are built to do one thing, and then they're modified, morphed and bastardized to do things they were never meant to do."

Complexity occurs when technologies overlap one another -- "when you add new stuff but keep the old instead of getting rid of it," agrees Dee Burger, North America CEO of Capgemini Consulting.

[ Further reading: 5 lessons small IT shops can teach the big guys ]
Even as recently as three years ago, Burger says, "people thought they could do massive replacements of technology" -- say, move everything to SaaS applications in the cloud -- "but now we're seeing way more adding of technology rather than replacing." Just consider how many new collaboration tools the enterprise has embraced without replacing or reducing email.

The result can be a tangle of overlapping, redundant systems that costs money, slows innovation and hinders organizations from identifying new business opportunities."

  • The big win here is that instead of using one language on the front end and another on the back end, as people have been doing, with Meteor you can just use JavaScript. And instead of needing separate codebases for iOS, Android and the web, with Meteor you can have just one and convert to native with PhoneGap. (The first of these is unique to Meteor.)
  • “JavaScript needs to grow up and become a complete platform the way Java and .NET are complete platforms,” says Schmidt. Meteor is building that platform as a centralized solution that can support developers that don’t have access to Facebook-level resources. He uses the analogy of the relational database as a pivotal technology that quickly let expert developers spend time on more interesting things than maintaining databases and gave novice developers the ability to make their own databases in the first place. “When technology has that shape—when there’s a missing piece and it’s not just a matter of integrating a bunch of things that already exist—that’s when there’s an opportunity to get a result like this,” he continues. Meteor, Schmidt contends, is such a missing piece.
  • One of the most compelling slides Schmidt presented to me is the one above. It shows how Meteor is unique among programming platforms in that it is highly valuable to both expert and novice developers. In contrast, C++ or Apple’s Cocoa are for serious coders only and Apple’s Hypercard programming tool was of little use for anyone but a beginner (even in 1987!)  That Meteor is “isomorphic” in this way as well is important for the speed of its adoption. Ease of entry facilitates the initial spreading of the user base. But the enthusiastic approval of power users gives the novices the motivation to invest time in the technology and improve their skills. Meteor handles a ton of things that novice developers don’t even know about and that experienced developers know are really hard.

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  • Meteor is based on one simple principle, “data on the wire.” Unlike traditional web servers, “Meteor doesn’t send HTML over the network. The server sends data and lets the client render it.” From this first principle follow the others that have evolved in the four years since YC.
  • Thin client web browsers receive complete HTML pages—”presentation on the wire”—and just need to draw those pages on a screen. In contrast, a thick client receives data and uses it to compile the view that it draws on a screen. Over time, web browsers have become thicker and thicker as they used Javascript to render parts of pages in intelligent ways. But this has been, at best, a hybrid kludge. It is a major headache to keep track of what the server is sending and then what the browser is rendering on top of it.

     

  • Focusing on “data on the wire” cleans this mess up. Old school web pages are “stateless.” They don’t natively retain data between the calls to the server that refresh the screen (cookies and other devices are used to retain state). Web apps, on the other hand, are “stateful.” The data values present within the app when you close it are still there when you reopen it. Think about an app as a game of tic-tac-toe. The two perpendicular sets of parallel lines define nine squares. Each square can be empty or filled with an X or an O. There are a few rules that define the play. This setup is the app. It will be there reliably when you open the app with no server call required.

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Jul 29, 15

"What is an app? Most people think of them as the little, self-contained bits of software on our phones. They have shiny icons, and we get them through app stores. Sometimes they are useful. Often they are amusing distractions.

But there is another way to think about apps in terms of the data they consume and create. In this view, apps are what will turn the global network of smartphones into a massively distributed computing platform. Everything we know about user experience still applies in this world, but reducing friction for each user is only part of the problem. The bigger issue becomes how to coordinate the data bouncing around between all of these devices and servers in the cloud. This coordination is the primary problem that the JavaScript app platform Meteor has set itself to solve.

In order to scale, the solution must be simple. Skilled app developers and data scientists are already in scarce supply. Software may be eating the world, as Marc Andreessen says, but not, in fact, nearly fast enough to keep pace with global problems it could be solving. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), has invested in both Meteor’s A and B rounds (Matrix Partners led the B round with total funding now more than $30 million). Pointing to the road not taken by the browser company he co-founded, Andreessen has said “Meteor is what we should have built in 1994 at Netscape.”"

  • To adequately understand the opportunity on which Meteor is trying to capitalize, you need a racewalk through the history of computing. Meteor CEO, Geoff Schmidt, put me through these paces in a recent meeting at his HQ in San Francisco. First there were mainframe computers that people accessed through dumb terminals. With the rise of the PC, networks of autonomous machines shared databases on servers over corporate networks. Software companies completely rewrote their applications to create better graphical user interface-based experiences that took advantage of the processing power on people’s desks. Superficially, the web seems to mimic this client-server model. But for most of its history it has resembled the mainframe era with the “cloud” of web servers sending entire web pages to dumb browsers. Web browsers (like the mainframe terminals before them) are “thin” clients in comparison to PCs which are “thick” clients.
  • Web browsers, however, had a “massive distribution advantage,” says Schmidt, which “overwhelmed the user experience advantage” of more powerful desktop app clients. The rise of the smartphone has made the mobile web or app client more and more powerful. 20 years on, we’re back to “thick” clients. That supercomputer in your pocket can do a lot more than render a web page on its screen, and this has shifted the pendulum back towards distributed processing.
  • The astounding scale of this revolution is captured by Benedict Evans, an a16z partner, in his presentation, Mobile: It Changes Everything. “An iPhone6 CPU has 625 times the transistors than a 1995 Pentium,” he points out. And on the launch weekend for the iPhone 6, “Apple sold ~25x more CPU transistors than were in all the PCs on earth in 1995.”

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Jul 29, 15

"he Enterprise File Synchronization and Sharing (EFSS) marketplace is ripe for disruption, but probably not via a huge technological breakthrough of some sort.

EFSS options are maturing quickly and it’s becoming quite commoditized. Consider that, according to Gartner, there are more than 140 vendors in the space — and that’s too many.

Sixteen of them meet the criteria for Gartner’s Magic Quadrant (MQ) for EFSS. That’s probably more than the market needs, but it’s likely to be a problem that solves itself.

Industry Consolidation
Monica Basso, Charles Smulders and Jeffrey Mann, who researched and wrote the Gartner report, expect less than 10 percent of today's stand-alone EFSS offerings will exist by 2018.

To be frank, not every vendor in the MQ wants to be classified as an EFSS player. Alastair Mitchell of Huddle has told me that he thinks of EFSS as an “albatross” and doesn’t want his company to be known for “shuffling files back and forth.” More on that in our next article.

Gartner defines EFSS as a ”range of on-premises or cloud-based capabilities that enables individuals to synchronize and share documents, photos, videos and files across mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and PCs.”

The analysts noted that “sharing” can take place between coworkers, suppliers, customers and others, mobile devices and as content exchange between apps. “Security and collaboration support are critical aspects for enterprises to adopt EFSS,” they wrote.

The Gartner analysts also wrote that beyond standard EFSS functionalities, the vendors they selected might offer additional features around mobility, security, administration and management, back-end server integration via connectors to corporate servers (for example, SharePoint) and cloud services, content manipulation, collaboration and more.

Software EFSS products may or may not have one main repository. Some products integrate with existing third-party repositories that are deployed on-premises or in the cloud.

Cut to the Chase
That being said, who are the Leaders in this year’s Gartner MQ for EFSS?

Either Citrix or Syncplicity takes the top prize, depending on whether you rate “Ability to Execute” (Citrix) or “Completeness of Vision” more important.

Box ranks third in the Leaders Quadrant and Accellion is the fourth and final Leader. It’s worth noting, too, that Egnyte barely missed being ranked a Leader."

  • Why Citrix Rules

     

    Citrix executes on basic EFSS functionalities, is HIPAA and FINRA compliant and provides a “single pane of glass” to view content from almost anywhere, including from repositories like Microsoft’s One Drive for Business, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and others. It also shines in the Citrix ecosystem when integrated with Citrix XenMobile, Citrix Receiver and Citrix Desktop. Better yet, it’s practically a poster child for International compliance via its Restricted Storage Zones feature, which takes care of the concerns that European Enterprises have.

Jul 29, 15

"Does Trump trump?

By Angelo M. Codevilla

“In the land of the blind,” so goes the saying, “the one-eyed man is king.” Donald Trump leapt atop other contenders for the Republican presidential nomination when he acted on the primordial fact in American public life today, from which most of the others hide their eyes, namely: most Americans distrust, fear, are sick and tired of, the elected, appointed, and bureaucratic officials who rule over us, as well as their cronies in the corporate, media, and academic world. Trump’s attraction lies less in his words’ grace or even precision than in the extent to which Americans are searching for someone, anyone, to lead against this ruling class, that is making America less prosperous, less free, and more dangerous.

Trump’s rise reminds this class’s members that they sit atop a rumbling volcano of rejection. Republicans and Democrats hope to exorcise its explosion by telling the public that Trump’s remarks on immigration and on the character of fellow member John McCain (without bothering to try showing that he errs on substance), place him outside the boundaries of their polite society. Thus do they throw Br’er Rabbit into the proverbial briar patch. Now what? The continued rise in Trump’s poll numbers reminds all that Ross Perot – in an era that was far more tolerant of the Establishment than is ours – outdistanced both Bush 41 and Bill Clinton before self-destructing, just by speaking ill of both parties before he self destructed.

Republicans brahmins have the greater reason to fear. Whereas some three fifths of Democratic voters approve the conduct of their officials, only about one fifth of Republican voters approve what theirs do. If Americans in general are primed for revolt, Republican (and independent) voters fairly thirst for it.

Trump’s barest hints about what he opposes (never mind proposes) regarding just a few items on the public agenda have had such effect because they accord with what the public has already concluded about them. For example,Trump remarked, off the cuff, that “Mexico does not send us its best.” The public had long since decided that our ruling class’s handling of immigration (not just from Mexico) has done us harm. The ruling class – officials, corporations, etc.- booed with generalities but did not try to argue that they had improved America by their handling of immigration. The more they would argue that, the more they would lose. At least if someone more able than Trump were leading against them."

Jul 09, 15

"Doug Casey: I don't see a real recovery until they stop debasing the currency, radically cut government spending and taxation and eliminate most regulation. In other words, cease doing the things that caused this depression. And that's not going to happen until there's a collapse of the current order.

Things have cyclically improved since the height of the crisis of 2008-09. The trillions of currency units created by the Federal Reserve have jammed the stock market higher and kept the big banks from going under. What surprises me is that retail prices have not moved as significantly as I would have expected. The reason, I believe, is that most of that money is still sitting in financial institutions. It has gone into cash out of fear, into stocks because they represent real wealth with earning power and into various speculative assets like artwork and collectible cars. Real estate has recovered somewhat, not because of strong fundamentals but strictly because of money creation.

This isn't going to last because the way you get wealthy is by producing more than you consume and saving the difference – not by consuming more than you produce, and borrowing the difference. With the Fed keeping interest rates at artificially low levels, hoping to increase consumption, they're making it very foolish to save – when you get ½% or 1% on your savings. So people are saving less and they're borrowing more than they otherwise would. This is a formula for making things worse, not better. They are, idiotically, doing exactly the opposite of what they should be. Although, I hasten to add, I hate to pontificate on what the Fed "should" do. In point of fact, the Fed should be abolished; the market, not bureaucrats, should determine interest rates. We wouldn't be in this pickle to start with if the government wasn't involved in the economy. In fact, if it wasn't for the state, I suspect we'd all have a vastly higher standard of living, and would be colonizing the Moon, Mars and the asteroid belt.

I expect that we'll go out of the eye of the storm this year; it's overdue, actually. The analogy I like to use is that the leading edge of the storm was in 2007, now we're in the eye of the hurricane, and when we move into the trailing edge it's going to be much, much worse and last much, much longer than it was in the leading edge."

  • This isn't going to last because the way you get wealthy is by producing more than you consume and saving the difference – not by consuming more than you produce, and borrowing the difference. With the Fed keeping interest rates at artificially low levels, hoping to increase consumption, they're making it very foolish to save – when you get ½% or 1% on your savings. So people are saving less and they're borrowing more than they otherwise would. This is a formula for making things worse, not better.
  • They are, idiotically, doing exactly the opposite of what they should be.
  • In point of fact, the Fed should be abolished; the market, not bureaucrats, should determine interest rates. We wouldn't be in this pickle to start with if the government wasn't involved in the economy.

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Jul 09, 15

"During 2015 the attack on bullion prices has intensified, driving the prices lower than they have been for years. During the first quarter of this year there was a huge upward spike in the quantity of precious metal derivatives.

If these were long positions hedging the banks' Comex shorts, why did the price of gold and silver decline?

More evidence of manipulation comes from the continuing fall in the prices of gold and silver as set in paper future markets, although demand for the physical metals continues to rise even to the point that the US Mint has run out of silver coins to sell. Uncertainties arising from the Greek No vote increase systemic uncertainty. The normal response would be rising, not falling, bullion prices.

The circumstantial evidence is that the unregulated OTC derivatives in gold and silver are not really hedges to short positions in Comex but are themselves structured as an additional attack on precious metal prices.

If this supposition is correct, it indicates that seven years of bailing out the big banks that control the Federal Reserve and US Treasury at the expense of the US economy has threatened the US dollar to the extent that the dollar must be protected at all cost, including US regulatory tolerance of illegal activity to suppress gold and silver prices."

Jul 09, 15

"There was “not even a smidgen of corruption” at the IRS, Barack Obama told us in February 2014, though he conceded “there were some bone-headed decisions.” That was a bald-faced lie at the time, and new information only reinforces that conclusion.

While the mainstream media turns a blind eye and deaf ear, Judicial Watch has continued digging for information regarding IRS targeting of Tea Party and Patriot groups leading up to (and almost surely aiding in) Obama’s re-election in 2012. And they discovered some serious collusion that sounds more like something out of Soviet Russia or Red China than here in the U.S.

“Judicial Watch … released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official ‘DOJ Recap’ report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.”

In other words, imprisoning political opponents.

Remember when the IRS initially blamed the whole fiasco on a couple of low-level employees in Cincinnati? Good times.

The documents reveal numerous conversations between the three agencies, including Lois Lerner, about creative ways to charge and jail conservatives for the “crime” of political activity opposing Obama. To do so, the DOJ and FBI needed to illegally obtain taxpayer information from the IRS. So the IRS sent the FBI more than one million pages of taxpayer information on 113,000 non-profit groups."

  • And they wonder why people don’t trust the NSA’s mass metadata collection.

      

    The conversations that began at least in 2010 continued for three years. In fact, two days before Lerner “apologized” and outed the whole conspiracy, she wrote an email to the acting IRS commissioner’s chief of staff detailing ongoing discussions with DOJ officials.

      

    “These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”

  • The answer to that last, albeit rhetorical, question is that they can’t and they aren’t. Any “investigation” by the DOJ or FBI will no doubt exonerate anyone of importance in the Obama administration. If any guilt is unavoidable, it will be hung around the necks of those rascals in Cincinnati or some other unfortunate scapegoat. All while Lerner continues to enjoy her comfortable retirement, and Obama himself remains untouched.

      

    On top of the serious breach of law and abuse of power in targeting Obama’s political opponents, the agencies' carefully crafted stonewall blocked the timely release of information. As with Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Benghazi cover-up, the slow bleed of information leaves the public tired of hearing “old news” and makes it all the more certain the perpetrators won’t face real accountability, much less justice.

  • Finally, we’re reminded of a commencement speech Obama delivered in 2009 at Arizona State University, after university officials declined to give Obama an honorary doctorate. Obama “joked” that “[university president Michael] Crowe and the Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.” Clearly, that wasn’t much of a joke.
Jul 05, 15

"One of the best parts about being in marketing is that most of us can work anywhere and everywhere -- as long as we have an internet connection, it's relatively easy for us to get most our day-to-day work done. To publish that blog post, send that email, or set up that email nurturing workflow, we simply need to connect to Wi-Fi and get to work. 

But an internet connection doesn't solve everything we need to accomplish during the day. Often, we need to communicate with team members, project managers, and freelancers -- and when you're remote, that communication can get a little ... messy. 

To help make it easier for their employees to have flexible work arrangements, many companies are discovering and implementing new tools and resources. To help you figure out which tools might be handy for your team's work arrangement, we compiled some of the best ones my friends on the Inbound.org discussion boards suggested for remote working. Check 'em out below.

When You Need to Stay Organized"

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