Posts Tagged 'personal'

These toys are so lifelike they’re almost real

An exciting venture launched at this year’s TechCrunch50 in San Francisco was toybots.com 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. Mint.com, 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 RedBeacon.com 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.

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Poll shows Americans adopt a more frugal lifestyle

Zogby International today documented America’s trend toward a more frugal lifestyle with poll results showing that the recession is affecting more than just discretionary spending.

Pollster John Zogby said:

Increasing numbers of people have become less materialistic and more interested in other, simpler forms of personal fulfillment.

via Zogby International.

The survey asked questions about economic lifestyle changes and found that cost-cutting is prevalent in all demographic groups — even those making over $250,000 a year. Americans are not just driving and eating out less, but they are reducing their housing expenses and are purchasing more second-hand apparel.

Iwanna has been the primary source for frugal shoppers in the Carolinas for more than 30 years. Now it is the area’s largest online user-generated shopping network.

How to eat for 33 cents a meal

Eating consumes a lot of your budget, and everyone has tips on how to  feed yourself more cheaply. Yesterday, tech startup enthusiast Andrew Hyde posted his tricks for eating for about 33 cents a meal.

One of the most humbling experiences I have ever had was shopping for two weeks worth of food with a twenty dollar bill. … Hacking your food budget is one of those things that I am surprised more people don’t do.

via How To Live (Comfortably) on $36 A Month For Food | Andrew Hyde – Startups. Start Here.

One of his basic tenets is that if you are serious about sticking to a budget, you have to change your thought process on food. And he rattles off tips from breakfast, lunch and dinner to snacks. Don’t miss the reader comments at the end of his post.

Deep discount grocery shopping is one of his tips, and good local sources of low-cost food are grocery factory outlets such as Go Grocery. Local farmers markets are another source, and calendars can be found in the weekly Iwanna.

Then again, there are even more extreme measures like dumpster diving, which local blogger Ashvegas explored earlier this year. And not surprisingly, Hyde notes that “the smaller your stomach is, the easier this is going to be.”

Asheville vs. Portland debate rages

A long and interesting debate has sprung up on Reddit about the comparative virtues of Asheville vs. Portland, Ore.

A good plug for Asheville:

Portland has trees in the mountains. NC has trees on the way to the grocery store.

A counterpunch by a left-coaster:

Not to say everyone who lives there is weird, but I’ve seen some strange toothless wonders in mountains of NC. So, if you move there don’t leave the city without protection.

via Portland, OR or Asheville, NC. Planning to move to one of them, any advice from reddit? : AskReddit.

Housing costs, music and entertainment scene, employment opportunities, and lifestyle all get touched in the thread on Reddit, a popular social news website. The discussion got started when one member — trying to decide on which place to live — requested advice.

Reddit logo

How to survive without money

Books on personal finance and debt management come in all shapes and sizes — especially in tough economic times like these — and some authors have made fortunes off people who need financial guidance. In fact, a new Gallup poll that shows frugality is the new normal for many Americans.

But there’s a guy out there who could write about frugal living to the extreme. Daniel Suelo literally lives without money in a cave in the Utah wilderness.

Nine years ago, in the autumn of 2000, Suelo decided to stop using money. He just quit it, like a bad drug habit. His dwelling, hidden high in a canyon lined with waterfalls, is an hour by foot from the desert town of Moab, Utah, where people who know him are of two minds: He’s either a latter-day prophet or an irredeemable hobo.

via COULD YOU SURVIVE WITHOUT MONEY?MEET THE GUY WHO DOES: DETAILS Article on men.style.com.

Like financial advice, the concept of frugal living is in the eye of the beholder. But if you’re looking for affordable housing in Asheville that’s not a cave, try the Castles and Coves section of Iwanna.com.

“Priceless” deals around WNC in an iPhone app

Mastercard has released a cool iPhone app that allows you to share the best shopping deals in your area.

[Priceless Picks is] a social app that allows consumers to point out their best deals at their favorite local spots for all to see. The app uses the iPhone location services to figure out where you are. It then shows you on a map and shows all the deals others have placed around you.

via An App To Show You Mastercard “Priceless” Deals: Priceless..

If you’re in the Asheville area, download the application to your iPhone and you’ll find deal alerts from Smiley’s, Cinebarre, TracPhone, Advance Auto Parts, Grove Park Inn, and now Iwanna — Western North Carolina’s home for free classified ads.

TechCrunch adds:

If you want to add you own deal, you simply click the “+” button, and enter the relevant details. It will tag the place at whatever your current location is.

How cats control humans

What’s the saying: Dogs have owners, cats have staff?

According to a new study published at LiveScience.com, that pithy saying may be truer than we think.

The new study says that cats actually manipulate their owners with a unique purr mixed with a high-pitched cry.

Earlier studies have shown the naturally irritating nature of cat meows that mimic infant cries. But the new study emphasizes the manipulative mixture of a purr within a cry.

“The embedding of a cry within a call that we normally associate with contentment is quite a subtle means of eliciting a response,” said researcher Karen McComb of University of Sussex. “Solicitation purring is probably more acceptable to humans than overt meowing, which is likely to get cats ejected from the bedroom.”

via Cats Do Control Humans, Study Finds | LiveScience.

Even worse, the sly felines have learned how “to dramatically exaggerate it when it proves effective,” said McComb.

If you’re looking to be manipulated by a new pet, check out the pet categories on Iwanna.com.


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