Archive for September, 2009

These toys are so lifelike they’re almost real

An exciting venture launched at this year’s TechCrunch50 in San Francisco was by SGN, which  demonstrated how the internet and wireless technology can make a toy animal come alive. Imagine a traveling parent or a grandparent in a city far away being able to interact with a youngster through one of his or her favorite toys. That’s basically the concept of Toybots.

TechCrunch50 — whose goal is to find the best Internet start-ups and launch them in front of the industry’s most influential venture capitalists, companies and press — has an impressive track record., which was a two-person company when it won the grand prize at TechCrunch50 just two years ago, was bought this week by powerhouse personal finance company Intuit (Quicken, QuickBooks, TurboTax, etc.) for $170 million. Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal suggested that the innovative financial start-up had Intuit quaking in its boots.

The Toybots prototype came under some criticism at this week’s TechCrunch50, and ended up winning this year’s grand prize. But it you’ve ever watched Shark Tank on television, you know the brutal nature of entrepreneurial evaluation. And the Toybots technology is certainly worth watching. SGN is betting that the platform will disrupt the gaming, entertainment and toy industries for years to come. Don’t be surprised to see this innovative toy flying off retail shelves in the very near future.

In the meantime, the CEO of the Toybots made a visit to TechCrunch after the conference to show its “improved prototype” (video below). It’s all in good fun, but there’s no better place than Iwanna to find the real things — whether they’re toys or puppies.


Buyer’s market in real estate rages on in Asheville

The buyer’s market rages on for residential real estate in Asheville.

Fresh new data on shows fewer and fewer homes are being sold in the area — to lows not seen in more than 5 years.

The percentage of homes sold in Buncombe County in the past 12 months dropped to just 2.2% in July and 2.5% in Asheville proper. In early 2007, about 10% of all homes in the area were being sold.

Not surprisingly, given the country’s economic woes, over 90% of the homes in Asheville have declined in value over the past year. In 2005, it was under 10%.

The latest data shows about 17% of the homes being sold in Asheville are being purchased for less than the previous owner paid — and that excludes  foreclosure transactions.

Home prices are dropping about 6% every 30 days, according to Zillow’s latest data.

Now may be the time to buy, and you can check out area homes for sale on

UPDATE: 5 reasons you should buy a house now.

Buncombe-Asheville Homes Sold

Buncombe-Asheville Homes Sold

Americans are freely shedding their past

The latest Zogby interactive poll says that Americans continue to shed their material past, and are giving a lot of it away for free.

Even during economic hard times, we find Americans more likely to give things away. I don’t believe that most are doing so in order to make room for new material objects. Instead, people are moving toward a simpler, less materialistic lifestyle. I call them Secular Spiritualists because they are looking for more meaning in their lives, and will seek it through family, friends, volunteering and leisure activities that fulfill their needs.”

via Zogby International.

One of the most popular search terms on is “free” and it returns hundreds of items. You can see what people are giving away on Iwanna just by clicking here.

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September 2009
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