Saving, investing and making money with technology

Month: September 2015

Three Ways To Save Money On Technology

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Everyone loves technology. Think about all of the changes that have come along since the internet went world wide, or how much easier life is for many people simply because of the creation of smartphones. Technology has done a lot for the world, keeping people far more connected and creating millions of new jobs.

There are many people that rush right out and buy the newest gadgets the moment that they are available, but if you want to save money you may want to shop for the previous model. Usually prices drop when a new version comes out. This isn’t the only way to get a bargain on electronics though, you just have to know what to look for and where to look for it.

Shop Online

Sometimes you can get far better deals online when it comes to shopping for electronics. Don’t always trust every site online offering a deal though. Take some time to do some research on the price of your chosen item, and brand, to make sure that you are really getting a deal.

The ability to do online research is really one of the biggest bonuses of shopping through the internet. You can research people’s reviews of an item instead of just trusting what a salesperson tells you. Shopping online can really be beneficial, although sometimes you might want to go to an actual store if you want advice on what might work best for your planned projects.

Use Coupons/Codes

You can find a ton of different websites online that are home to all of the coupon deals you’ve ever dreamed of, even on electronics. With some research, or a great app downloaded on your smartphone, you can find the best deals at your favorite stores or even coupon codes for individual items.

Coupon codes are generally for online shopping, and you may find some deals that are strictly for online purchases only. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll never find good indoor deals. You may want to do your electronic shopping on Black Friday or Cyber Monday for some huge bargains.

Price Match

Some stores offer price matching, so sometimes checking out shopping ads, online or from the store, can help you save even more (and keep you from needing to drive from one store to the next). Your smartphone can come in handy with this too, saving you from needing a print copy of a price deal if you just show them on your phone.

Don’t fret if a store doesn’t have price matching, since you can always just make an extra stop for the bargain that you were able to find. Sometimes a little extra gas in the tank can really be worth it, especially when it comes to finding better prices on your favorite gadgets and technology.

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iConsumer Turns Its E-commerce Customers into Stockholders

consumer electronicsiConsumer Gets a Jumpstart Under The JOBS Act

(CHICAGO) iConsumer is the first company of its kind: a coupon and cash back website/app that also rewards customer loyalty by giaway ownership. iConsumer turns their customers into stockholder every time they shop for deals and coupons, earn cash and refer friends to shop.

iConsumer offers access to savings on more than 45,000 brands and cash back from 1600+ stores such as Target, Overstock.com and Expedia in addition to giving away stock in iConsumer.

Founded by Robert Grosshandler, creator of the trailblazing e-philanthropy site iGive, iConsumer is the first company leveraging Title IV, Tier 2 (“Reg. A+”) of the 2012 JOBS Act. Upon iConsumer’s SEC qualification, iConsumer customers will receive freely tradeable stock in this new kind of public company.

“iConsumer is the only company to offer tradeable stock to all of its customers,” says Grosshandler. “We’re building on the premise that ordinary people, the 99%, should have access to the startup economy. Consumers – if they know it or not – help companies grow big, go public and become very valuable; we at iConsumer believe those customers should be rewarded for their contributions.”

Grosshandler adds, “Congress made crowdfunding a startup possible. The SEC’s rules made it practical. We turned it inside out by making every customer a shareholder.”

iConsumer’s innovative features include:

·         Ownership: Sign up as a member on www.iconsumer.com to automatically receive 100 free shares of stock. Referring new users to iConsumer also earns customers 100 more free shares. With every dollar of cash back earned, they also earn a dollar of iConsumer stock.

·         Shopping: With more than 45,000 brands and 1600+ stores offering deals on iConsumer, there is an incredible selection of saving opportunities. Coupons and exclusive sales take place daily on iConsumer with thousands of cash back deals on everything from flowers to hotels. iConsumer also offers in-store coupons and deals for shoppers who prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores.

·         Benefits: Being an iConsumer owner is about more than money, it’s about being part of the iConsumer community – learning about startups, learning about investing and helping to build the business. iConsumer is releasing its Shareholder Academy next quarter, where shareholders and visitors can participate in the growth of a startup, learning about the thrills and opportunities a growing business encounters.

iConsumer filed with the SEC in September. Once SEC qualified, iConsumer Corp. will comply with the heightened transparency and accountability the SEC regulations require. This includes audited financial statements, quarterly and annual reports and management discussions about performance. In keeping with its goal of educating its shareholders, iConsumer will host webinars, provide financial dashboards and opportunities for interaction with management (See Shareholder Academy above). In addition to customers earning stock, accredited and unaccredited investors will be able to invest in iConsumer via StartEngine.com, an equity crowdfunding portal.

ABOUT ICONSUMER: iConsumer is the first company to make every customer a shareholder with tradeable stock. iConsumer offers great savings with deals and coupons from 45,000+ brands, and enables customers to earn cash back from 1600+ stores such as Target, Overstock and Expedia as well as earn stock in iConsumer with each purchase. Founded by e-philanthropy pioneer Robert Grosshandler, iConsumer is designed to help everyday people participate in building their financial future. For more information, visit www.iconsumer.com.

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4 Ways We’re Using Money and Technology To Help Law Enforcement

innovation

Law enforcement is a hot button issue these days, and there’s a lot of negative news about the relationship between police and civilians. However, there are also a lot of advances in law enforcement technology that have been financed lately to help everyone do their jobs more effectively.

Consider the four following ways that money and technology are being used to help law enforcement officials and military personnel to do a better job serving their communities – better training for canines helps law enforcement become more effective, the development of better non-lethal weapons means that fewer people are going to get hurt, better body armor means better  protection when required, and better equipment for surveillance means more accurate detection of people breaking the law.

Training Canines for Police Use

Canines are an integral part of many police outfits. With money and technology going into what are essentially universities for canine use, there are great stories about police dogs that can help you understand why improvements are necessary, and why they are happening with the help of an influx of interest, equipment, and skill from handlers.

Developing Non-Lethal Technology

The military budget is constantly pumping money and technology into developing non-lethal weaponry. If there’s any possible way to handle a situation without killing or harming more people than necessary, then putting our brains and our resources into that equation is one of the smartest things that we can do as a species. Especially with the current prevalence of conflict in the world, it’s more important than ever to handle situations with the least amount of bloodshed possible.

Creating Better Body Armor

Newly developed body armor will help law enforcement and military do their jobs with less fear of harm and failure as well. Reading the latest news on body armor will illustrate just how far the concepts have advanced thanks to financial backing of the government and private institutions.

Inventing Better Methods of Surveillance

Sometimes the key to having law enforcement be able to do their jobs more effectively is the right surveillance equipment. Better technology and more expensive equipment means that they’re going to get the right bad guys that much faster. Processors are smaller and faster. Cameras are smaller and have better resolution. Wi-Fi allows data to be transmitted from places never before possible. Recorded audio has taken on a new level of clarity. The types of watching and listening that law enforcement can do now thanks to the money that goes into experimentation and development has literally changed the way that they can accomplish all of the work necessary during the toughest of imaginable jobs.

 

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4 Tips for Understanding Permissions Technology

There have been some frustrations, some freakouts, and some misconceptions about the idea of ‘permissions’ in several different aspects of current computer technology. The general idea of permission is that you, as a user, are allowing something to happen. But when the idea of permission gets transformed for more specific computer control issues, may people have gotten confused.

To clear up some of these confusions, read the four following tips for understanding how permission fits into a few different aspects of your daily computing life – think about the Facebook messenger debacle that’s happening, remember that permissions affect your ability to install software, you can repair permissions on your hard disks when things to hinky, and you should always take time to read permission agreements when they pop up.

Think About the Facebook Messenger Issue

There was a backlash against the Facebook Messenger program not long ago because people became alarmed when a message showed up saying the program needed permission to look at the camera, look at files, look at contact lists, etc. Ultimately, this was no different of an agreement than the original Facebook app put to users, but the message itself caused consternation. And because people because confused about the language used, there was a specific drop off in popularity for a while. There was literally no privacy issue at stake, it was just confusion about the idea behind the word ‘permission’.

Remember Permissions When Installing Software

On Macs, there are many people who fall into the trap of install applications that get stuck in the bouncing ball stage. In most cases, by installing and using a permissions program, that issue is automatically fixed. A short amount of troubleshooting will lead you to that same conclusion. These permissions apps are even typically free because they’re very simple.

Repair Disk Permissions To Smooth Your Desktop Experience

Computer slowness and app installation issues can also happen because permission on an entire hard disk can be off. By following disk permission repair procedures, you can fix almost all of the issues you’re having in one fell swoop. Once again, it’s the word ‘permission’ and its use in technology that is causing the problem, so it’s up to the end user to make sure he or she takes the time to understand all of the possible permutations in the technology world.

Take The Time To Read Software Agreements

Both on your mobile phone and on your desktop, if you take time to read the application agreements, there are almost almost sections on permissions. If you pay attention to what those segments mean, and try not to get lost in the words themselves, you’ll know how to handle many more troubleshooting matters in the future, and worry less about privacy.

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Top 5 Medical Apps for Doctors and Patients

medical apps

In today’s technologically driven world, there is an app for everything. From discovering new bands and shopping online, to ordering food and booking airplane flights, our lives can be governed with the flick of a finger. But what about the most important item of all – our health?

There are tons of amazing and effective health and medical apps available on the market. Here are some of our top medical app picks for both patients and doctors.

Epocrates

Compatible with both Apple and Android products, Epocrates is the holy grail of medical apps and takes reference apps to a whole new level. Doctors can use the innovative and robust software to look up med info, such as side effects and correct dosage amounts, interactions, find other providers for consults, and easily calculate patient measurements to learn the right dosage needed for a particular person. The app also allows doctors to talk with drug manufacturers directly. Also, if you’re having a difficult time finding your meds, the app can direct you toward providers and insurance info.

Medscape

Created by the popular website WebMD, this free app provides swift and accurate clinical answers at the point-of-care and is a leading resource for tons of doctors, nurses, medical students, and other health professionals around the world. Not only can you use Medscape for point-of-care decision making, but you can also easily identify different types of medical with its easy-to-use Pill ID feature.

Read by QxMD

Read by QxMD provides a central hub to keep abreast of the latest medical and scientific news and research published in the top medical literature and journal. Using a handsome magazine interface, you can efficiently read and download studies with a touch of a button, access articles from a vast source of papers, journals, and linked institutions, and enjoy plenty of free new content daily.

Red Cross First Aid

Consider this free app, for Apple and Android, your handy little helper in case of an accident or emergency. We sometimes don’t know what to do if an accident does occur and that’s where Red Cross First Aid comes into play. It provides users with a simple step-by-step guide for everyday first aid scenarios, including asthma attacks and broken bones.

Virtual Practice for Doctors

In both Apple and Android flavors, this free app is basically a mobile-based EMR where doctors can communicate with patients through video chat, monitor them remotely, and also answer their questions.

As you can see, finding medical technology apps that help you with your medical needs is easy. From talking to a doctor instantly to finding out info on the latest news and prescription side effects, these apps will help you in any scenario.

 

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How Technology Is Saving You Money On The Road And In Your Home

smartcarphones

Technology is continually being upgraded. Maybe you remember back when there were no cell phones, let alone smartphones. With the invention of smartphones so much more has become available to people.

Smartphones aren’t the only technology that has changed the way you do things and changed spending habits as well. Just think of the technologies in your home, and even on the road and what they have done to lower your spending and increase your safety.

Smartphones On The Road

While you really shouldn’t be using your smartphone while you are driving, it can of a lot of good things for you when you are on the road. For one thing, you no longer need to purchase a separate GPS unit to find where you want to go. Your smartphone can do that for you.

You can also use your phone to save money on gas by finding the best prices before you even leave the house. There are numerous gas apps that can do that for you.

Smart Cars And Energy Efficient Ones

Hybrid cars may cost you more on initial purchase, but they’ll save you money on gas. However, if you don’t care about your carbon footprint and don’t want to pay the cost of an electric car, there are some fuel efficient choices out there that are far more affordable, but use gas only.

There are smart cars on the way now as well. Cars that drive themselves, meaning no driver error. This could change the way you pay for car insurance, which is another expensive part of vehicle ownership.

Smartphones In The Home

Smartphones can save you money in your home as well. For one thing, you can buy an attachment that turns your phone into a wifi hotspot, saving you money on internet costs. It also eliminates the need for a home phone.

Your smartphone can also be a lifesaver. You can now find apps that allow you to shut off or turn on the lights and other appliances, control your security system, and even turn off your thermostat from away from home.

Saving On Utilities With Green Energy

Solar energy is the most abundant energy out there, so why not use some at your home. It will help you cut your utility costs and reduce your carbon footprint. Solar isn’t the only alternative, green, energy that there is to help reduce bills.

Solar energy is becoming even more prevalent, which many people can see simply by looking out their windows to see the horizon of wood turbines.

If you want to save some money, use technology to help you get the most out of the technological advances there are out there. You’ll be happy when you start paying out less in utilities and put less cash in your gas tank.

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5 Tips For Saving Money By Using the Right Power

It’s easy to forget that sometimes you can waste money by not thinking about it, simply because you aren’t paying attention to something as basic as the power sources behind your equipment and activities. Yes, power sources. That means batteries, and that means plugs. Just because you don’t see your power sources sucking money away from you doesn’t mean it isn’t happening!

So to help you out in your money-saving endeavors, consider the five following tips to avoid the financial leeches lurking in your batteries and running through your electrical systems – know where to research and find the more atypical batteries, be careful with dollar store special knockoffs, look for tips about when to unplug certain equipment, understand that heating and cooling are money sinks, and share power whenever possible.

Know Where To Research Hard-To-Find Batteries

Have you ever been to a store when you’ve been searching for a battery for some type of device, only to find that not only is that particular battery not there, the employees look at you like you’re crazy for asking? Don’t fear, there are online resources for finding batteries that will solve that problem quite handily. And now that you know where to find them, you can get the right ones right away and not waste time on searching, and money on getting the wrong ones.

Be Careful With Dollar Store Specials

And what is something that they constantly have on sale at dollar stores around the world? Yes, that’s right, batteries. And do you know how long generic batteries last? A very, very short amount of time. So, if you want to save money on energy usage for real, look for name brand power sources on sale. Read about generic batteries if you want more information on the subject.

Look For Tips About When To Unplug

Were you aware that lots of equipment that you leave plugged in to the walls are constantly using a low amount of energy? And with enough things plugged in, those small amounts add up quickly. Find lists of appliances to unplug.

Heating and Cooling Are Money Sinks

New technology may have suggested to you that a good new furnace and an air conditioning system would save you money and energy. This is absolutely true, as long as you have sealed all of your windows and doors. Want to save money? Get all of those seals fixed in order to enjoy your energy efficient heating and cooling.

Share Power Whenever Possible

The last good way to save money on power is by sharing powered appliances whenever possible. For instance, how wasteful is it for two people to be watching the same program on two different TV’s in two different rooms? Simply take that as an analogy for how to prevent waste.

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DXP vs DMP: Why Real-Time Data Exchange is Critical to Customer Understanding

moneyappThe data industry today is filled with consumer data used to target advertising and soon to target much more, but the industry as it stands today is filled with invalid and out of date data. The DXP is designed to ensure data quality, accuracy and timeliness for more efficient results.

View PDF Version: http://goo.gl/7kTKPS

Is there truth behind the statement that we’re all “drowning in data”? Perhaps. However, few marketers or ad agencies would claim they’re drowning in actionable insights. Even fewer would argue that their first and third party data insights have led to an overwhelming excess of banner advertisement conversions, because their insights are so remarkably fresh and accurate.

Gartner reports that sales via a data management platform (DMP) or data exchange (DXP) is the third most-common driver of revenue for marketing organizations. Despite the increasing prevalence of data purchase, Yesmail and Gleanster have found that 80% of consumer-facing companies lack an understanding of their clients beyond “basic demographics and purchase history.” In many cases, linking third and first-party (self-collected) insights within a DMP environment can lead to mixed results. Programmers have long used the term “garbage in, garbage out” (GIGO) to describe the results one can obtain from custom code. This concept holds remarkable truth when it comes to the results obtained from many DMP environments.

While some 36% of brands are using behavioral and attitudinal data, and 41% are using browsing history and online behavioral insights, why is there such a major gap in consumer understanding? The Yesmail report indicates that well over three quarters of marketers believe their ability to effectively segment customers is limited by their data insights. It’s clear that marketers today have data issues that aren’t necessarily related to volume of data available within their data management platforms or the volume available for purchase via traditional vendors. Their issues are likely more related to the quality and comprehensiveness of their data insights.

Data Quality Matters

In a traditional DMP environment, both first and third-party data insights may offer limited value and veracity issues. Just because a consumer was searching for a mortgage six months ago doesn’t mean they’ll convert on targeted banner ads today. If they were well-qualified for traditional home funding sources, they’ve likely received it and closed on a new residence. Additionally, just one piece of behavioral-based data on a customer isn’t enough to develop a robust understanding of customer segments. Traditional DMPs build segments based on a single piece of behavioral data. In a DXP, buyers are able to develop highly-qualified segments by merging data points. You may choose to sort targets based on a combination of qualifications and current activity. Perhaps your target is someone who is searching for a mortgage, but also meets certain income guidelines, drives a luxury vehicle, and lives in a specific region of the country.

Consumer behavior and needs change quickly, and marketers should beware data vendors who aren’t offering comprehensive data insights. Consumers may be lumped into segments based on outdated online behaviors or interests in making purchases that have long been completed.  Without the ability to merge and sort based on both propensity and current activity, you’ll struggle to target the right consumers. BDEX’s data exchange platform is the first to offer truly full-spectrum data exchange. By offering a wealth of seller opportunities, buyers are able to select the right vendor offering insights within the right segments, at a price the seller and buyer determine.

Impartial Data Quality Scoring

While every third-party data vendor will claim their insights represent the best and freshest consumer knowledge available, few offer any genuinely impartial information to back up these claims. There is a necessity for impartial data scoring based on results, not the seller’s claims of recency or efficacy. Without impartial measurement, buyers may find themselves saddled with data sets that are out-of-date, or offer poor fit of consumer behavioral or attitudinal insights within segments. With the help of truly fresh insights, Clorox was recently able to unlock an entirely new series of “micro targets,” or sub-segments within their massive customer base. A recent case study revealed this allowed the brand to realize that their customer perception was decades out of date, which allowed total revision of their online marketing efforts.

The DXP offers a first-of-its-kind algorithm to score data based on buyer’s results. Before you make a data purchase, you’re able to track other buyer’s conversion rates based on the same seller’s offerings. In a world where both consumer behaviors and individual consumer needs can change on a day-to-day basis, being able to obtain unbiased measurement of quality is crucial. Fresh insights can yield improved targeting, conversions, and allow marketers to finally unlock genuine customer understanding.

How Else Does the DXP Differ from the DMP?

Marketing organizations utilizing the DXP can appreciate a number of additional benefits not seen in traditional DMP environments. In addition to the quality measurement and transparency features stored above, BDEX’s DMP offers the benefit of buyer and seller-controlled pricing, instead of pricing controlled entirely by the data broker.

Eight points of comparison between traditional DMP environments and the new DXP are detailed below. Buyer’s can also take advantage of unbiased, built-in tools to determine optimal purchase and selling price points to maximize their existing data resources and marketing budgets.

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Using Technology To Market Your Business: Four Easy To Use Tools

business

Technology and business go hand in hand in our world today.  You usually don’t get to experience one without the other having some sort of part in the whole thing.  You can’t have internet access without paying.  You can’t build a global following quite as easily without technology.  If you’re in the business world, you know the value in the proper integration of business and technology.  If you’re interested in researching a few ways you could implement technology into your marketing plan, here are a few tools to help get you on your way.  

Appy Pie

If you want to consider yourself a savvy business owner, you should know about this product.  Appy Pie is actually a program that will help you to build your own company’s mobile app from scratch.  It’s aimed to assist those of us that are technologically impaired.  It’s easy.  It’s also very affordable and appropriate for small business usage. The plans usually range from twelve to forty dollars, so any type of need you have can be met by one of their flexible packages.  They also provide a plan that will help you create an app that will be available for purchase on GooglePlay or iTunes.  

WordPress

If you’re any sort of serious business owner, you should jump on the blogging bandwagon.  It’s pertinent to your customer relationship.  Your followers need to be able to communicate their thoughts and feel that they are being heard.  Your company should be somewhat transparent.  An active blog will support that image, and boost your customer following.  WordPress is the best program out there to help you manage your blog.  Some of the other programs tend to try to control your content, and WordPress does not do that.  

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is similar to the more popular social networks, but this is considered a business network.  Different businesses around the world can basically build their own little profile page to be viewed by the browsing public.  Big name companies like Park West Gallery and even Toys ‘R’ Us actively maintain their account pages on this network.  You can follow where the different art auctions are going to be and the biggest toy sales of the year all on one network.  

SocialMention

This is a cool, all inclusive, social media monitoring tool.  It basically searches across hundreds of social media sites for certain keywords of your choosing to help you get a better grasp on what your customers might be saying about your products.  It will track how many times you are mentioned, what people are saying, and even give you an idea of what you need to change or improve upon.  

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5 Effective Ways To Handle Cost-Benefit Analysis  

 

cost efficient

Every decision regarding money can accompany some type of cost-benefit analysis. However, because there are different ways of approaching gain and loss, and different ways of viewing income and expense, you may find yourself in conflict with people for each decision as well.

To give you some logical arguments to use on your side of the equation, consider the five effective following ways to make valid points toward your particular perspective – approach the defense of your spending, consider long-term vs. short-term analysis of attitudes, expand the possible metrics of success, recognize the literal value of happiness, and be aware of emotional connections that may be present.

In Defense of Spending       

When you consider something like throwing an event to promote your product, there can be a lot of money that goes into something that seems like it doesn’t have much immediate return. But the fact is, when trying to differentiate yourself between a similar competitor, having people meet you face to face, and having them remember the details of an event, regardless of financial expense, may be the best marketing decision available to get a loyal customer base.

Long-Term Vs. Short-Term Attitudes  

You can work long-term vs. short-term profit both ways on this one, depending on what your personal angle is. Your goal will be to convince someone that the cost on one side of the equation is worth the benefit on the other. So even though there may be an imbalance on one side, the side that is most important will be taken care of effectively. This is the time to put on a show and get your best presentation skills on display.

Expanding the Metrics of Success       

If you need to make a point with someone regarding a cost-benefit analysis, one sort of get out of jail free card is the fact that you can argue to expand the metrics of success. Cost-benefit is not just about money, after all. It’s about anything that goes in, and anything that comes out. Once again, it’s all about your presentation.

Recognize the Value of Happiness      

If a cost-benefit of some sort becomes particularly skewed against you financially, then consider approaching it with a thought for the value of happiness in the workplace. The money you’re putting into an equation will come back out in the quality of work of happy employees.

Be Aware of Emotional Connections  

There are many, many emotional connections to certain types of business arguments and financial agreements. From your perspective, you can either use that to your advantage, or put someone else at a disadvantage by using their approach against them. Cost-benefit may be logic at its core, but there are always ways to bend around human beings who put emotions into their decisions.

 

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