5 Facts About Thanksgiving Food That Will Make You Barf

Before you stuff your face-hole with buttery wads of starch this holiday season, you should give thanks for this week’s episode of #5facts, in which we unearth the shocking truth about Thanksgiving food.

Did you know that cranberries aren’t really berries, botanically speaking? Or that before potatoes were domesticated, they were highly poisonous?

Enjoy this heaping bowl of trivia and comedy, and if you dig the show, subscribe to our YouTube channel for new episodes every Wednesday. We’ll see you next week!

On last week’s episode of 5 Facts

5 Adorable Facts About Dogs

Image: iStockphoto, bhofack2

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/11/26/thanksgiving-food-facts/

Nest Is Just the Beginning of Smart Home Tech

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These days, it seems like everyone is innovating for the future. From eco-friendly prefab housing to high-tech city bridges, companies and cities are putting unique and interesting spins on what they believe will change our future. But, think about this for a second: Have you ever thought long and hard about what your thermostat will look like in 10 or 15 years?

Probably not. Turns out that the thermostat, for better or for worse, hasn’t really changed its form or function in the last few decades, aside from a digital interface and more sophisticated temperature-sensing technology. It seems as though there wasn’t much to say about the device until the introduction of the Nest: A high-tech smart thermostat that broke the mold for its minimalist design and mobile, sustainable programming options.

“Before Nest, people didn’t care about their thermostat,” says Matt Rogers, co-founder and VP of engineering at Nest. “We’ve really awoken that frustration by bringing great design, great technology and a great experience to the space.”

Mashable spoke with Rogers about how the Nest broke the mold of digital climate control, and what he thinks is going to be the real thermostat of the future.

What do you think of high-tech climate control? Would you use it in your home? Let us know in the comments.

The Thermostat Speaks

Rogers says that in the year that Nest has officially been on the market, one of the places where the system has had the biggest impact the introduction of a “learning” appliance. Instead of a thermostat that simply controls the temperature in the house, or follows a (complicated) program set based on a timer, Rogers says that the impact of introducing learning into the thermostat has changed the way people view their climate control tendencies.

“If you turn it down before you leave, Nest will learn and turn it down for you,” Rogers adds. “It’s simple.”

He says he expects this sort of learning will lead to an even more personal thermostat of the future: One that will not only be able to recognize patterns in a house, but also be custom-tailored to work with the home’s features (a heated floor, for example, instead of a traditional duct system) to produce an optimized program without any input or jury-rigging from the user.

“People don’t buy ecosystems. People want to buy great things,” Rogers says.

Another mold-breaking feature that has proven a boon for the Nest team is accurate climate reporting month over month. Nest will actually collect heating and cooling analytics — which includes the time it takes to hear or cool a home, how much energy is being used, and the peak times for energy consumption — and send them to the user to track trends. He hopes that this feature becomes an important part of how we control the climate in our homes in the next few years.

“I think we’re just starting to scratch the surface into the things we can do with our data,” Rogers says. “We can understand so much more about the ecosystem as a whole.”

The learning, talking thermostat is bound to be noticed, meaning that consumers who adopt smart thermostats are also able to understand how their energy is working for them.

The Thermostat Goes Green (So You Don’t Have To)

Which brings the thermostat to another core tenet of Nest’s philosophy: sustainability. In 2010, Energy Star — the government program that monitors and rewards appliances that are known to save customers energy — completely killed its program for thermostats. With the thermostat controlling a lion’s share of energy costs and the inefficiency of the system preventing smart conservation, there seemed no feasible way to actually save energy.

Rogers says that the Nest is able to save its consumers energy and money because it does all the heavy lifting.

“Everybody likes to save energy and save money,” Rogers says. “But to ask them to change their lifestyle is a challenge. Instead, we give them all the tools to do it and lead them along the way.”

Nest sets the example because it already knows what temperatures promote energy conservation, and notes when users are saving money by displaying a little green leaf. Rogers says this visual feedback is an easy and simple way for people to know when a temperature is a “good” one that helps curb energy, or a “bad” one that sends it skyrocketing.

“You have that insight as opposed to having no idea and flying blind,” Rogers adds. “You can also do it in a simple way, and the leaf helps people feel that reward.”

He hopes the thermostat of the future will also be accompanied by the heater of the future and the air conditioner of the future — appliances that could talk to each other and take cues from algorithms to work optimally. When the system is cooperative, you’re more likely to see greater efficiency and adjustment throughout warmer and cooler months.

“We can drive a lot of efficiency from the thermostat when we drive communication to it,” Rogers explains.

The Thermostat Grows Up

It’s hard to see the future of digital climate control because it’s only been tackled within the last year, but as Rogers and the rest of the Nest team push forward, it’s easy to see that one thing reigns supreme.

“It has to be dead simple, as simple as possible.”

Don’t bet on any fancy tablet-controllers or a variety of knobs and buttons to control your air conditioner anytime soon: It turns out, sometimes the best solution for the future is also the least complicated.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/12/05/nest-climate-control/

This Is What Happens When You Replace Women In Everyday Situations With Men

“You’re so funny. I usually don’t think guys are funny.” Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/v/MgVvswGSZPo. BuzzFeedVideo / Via youtube.com

2. What would the world be like if all magazines looked like this…..

What would the world be like if all magazines looked like this.....

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BuzzFeedVideo / Via youtube.com

3. Or if guys always heard this….

This Is What Happens When You Replace Women In Everyday Situations With Men

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BuzzFeedVideo / Via youtube.com

4. If these don’t feel right, is it ok in reverse?

This Is What Happens When You Replace Women In Everyday Situations With Men

View this image ›

BuzzFeedVideo / Via youtube.com

Video featuring Nicole Zyana, Gary Curtis, Corey Flaspoehler, Mary Preston, and Becky Harris.

6. Want to make sure you never miss an amazing video? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Video newsletter and we’ll send you the week’s best videos every Saturday!

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Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/beckycatherineharris/this-is-what-happens-when-you-replace-women-in-everyday-situ

Which Thanksgiving Side Dish Wins on Social Media?

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So long, spuds. Catch ya later, yams. Go forth and multiply, green beans. The most popular side dish at Thanksgiving, as rated by the number of mentions on Twitter and Facebook in recent months, is a turkey’s best friend: stuffing.

Out of more than 150,000 tweets and updates about “Thanksgiving dinner” collected by the company Viralheat, the starchy mixture was mentioned in more than 38,000. That’s a full 15,000 mentions ahead of its nearest rival, mashed potatoes. Yams get the bronze medal.

Green beans are an also-ran in mentions, but they can at least boast of their popularity on Pinterest — as the most-pinned side dish this year. On the dessert front, pumpkin pie is the winner, edging out apple pie — but not by much.

Meanwhile, the New York Times, NPR and Men’s Health were the most influential accounts to tweet about holiday food. Check out the details below, and let us know in the comments whether social media has influenced your Thanksgiving meal.

Thumbnail image courtesy iStockphoto

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/11/20/thanksgiving-dish-social-media/

Money-Saving Apps for Black Friday

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Black Friday comes once a year and for most of us, once is enough. The sleep-sucking mega shopping day has morphed into a major shopping weekend. With the growing popularity of Cyber Monday, and brick-and-mortar retailers clamoring for a piece of the pie by offering deals all weekend, it has turned into a four day shopping extravaganza.

For those of you who plan to leave your Thanksgiving parties early to hit the stores at midnight, or maybe wake-up at the crack of dawn with a turkey hangover, you know how packed the stores can be with shoppers, but the deals make it worthwhile.

To make your shopping trip as efficient and hassle-free as possible, use these apps to find the items you’re looking for and additional deals in the stores you visit. Compare prices to the same products online and purchase presents from your smartphone if you can’t find them in-store.

But not everyone thinks Cyber Monday and digital shopping will replace the Black Friday event. Adam Hanft, CEO of marketing firm Hanft Projects tells Mashable he thinks the spectacle of Black Friday won’t be replaced with digital shopping, but apps will become part of the shopping event.

“There’s no doubt that Black Friday apps will be quickly adopted by many consumers. But I don’t foresee Black App-day replacing Black Friday anytime soon,” he said. “Black Friday has always been as much about the social aspect, the participation in a national event (and competition) as much as it has been about getting the lowest price. It’s about scoring a victory. If consumers were just human price comparison engines, they would wait till the season limps on a bit and pick off the best prices as they appear. But everything behavioral psychology tells us is that human beings are not rational economic actors.”

Will you shop on Black Friday and will you shop in-store, in-app or both? Tell us in the comments.

Is Thin-Film Solar Dead?

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When the Chinese energy giant Hanergy decided last week to buy Miasole, a Silicon Valley-based thin-film solar company, at less than a tenth the amount venture capitalists had invested in the firm, it could have been making a savvy move. Though it seems as if thin-film solar panels have no hope of competing with conventional silicon ones under today’s market conditions, the technology might still have a strong future.

In recent years, the price of conventional silicon solar panels has fallen far faster than expected, and once-promising thin-film startups are going bankrupt, delaying manufacturing plans or being bought by Asian companies for pennies on the dollar. (In addition to Hanergy, TFG Radiant, SK Innovation, Taiwan Semiconductor and a few others have bought or taken large stakes in such companies.)

Some analysts think the companies that have been snatching up these bargains know what they’re doing. The poor market conditions that have kept thin-film companies from competing may not last: When demand increases and it comes time to start building solar-panel factories again, the argument goes, the technology might have a significant advantage, because for comparably sized plants, it could cost far less to build a new thin-film factory than a conventional one.

A gigawatt-scale thin-film plant would cost $350 to 450 million, versus $1 billion for a conventional silicon plant, says Travis Bradford, a professor at Columbia University’s school of international and public affairs and president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, a nonprofit research firm. (The cost estimates will vary depending on what’s included in the plant. For example, if you add the cost of producing polysilicon, the equivalent to the raw materials that thin-film solar plants use, the capital cost for a silicon plant goes up to $2 billion or more, he says. But most plants buy silicon from large suppliers.)

So far, the companies with the potentially cheapest thin-film technology have built only relatively small factories that cost far more per watt than large ones, and building larger plants doesn’t make sense in the current market. (Solyndra, the failed thin-film company, was building a large plant, but it had notoriously expensive technology, including unusual tube-shaped solar panels. First Solar, by far the most successful thin-film company, has built large plants, but newer types of thin-film technologies may prove cheaper and more efficient.)

Startups can’t afford to wait until market conditions get better. But large companies like Hanergy might be able to bide their time until the market improves and then build a large plant that could compete with conventional silicon. “Hanergy spent $30 million to get Miasole,” Bradford says. “It will take them a few hundred million dollars to eventually build a large factory and launch the technology. But if they’re right, they’ve got assets that will be worth billions of dollars later. That’s the bet they’ve made.”

Waiting for market conditions to turn, however, is a risky strategy. The market is currently flooded with solar panels — current manufacturing capacity is more than enough to satisfy demand, and that’s driven down prices to the point that many manufacturers are selling at a loss. It’s not clear how long it will take for this situation to change.

Timing the construction of new thin-film factories will be difficult. In the meantime, manufacturers of conventional silicon technology continue to lower the cost of their solar panels and improve their efficiency. And there’s no guarantee that new thin-film panels will perform as expected when produced at a large scale — or that cost targets will be met.

One option could be for large companies to develop and build their own solar power plants. That’s the model used by First Solar, and it seems to be the model Hanergy is adopting.

But many analysts remain skeptical that thin film can compete with silicon, given silicon’s overwhelmingly larger scale of production. Thin film may have had a chance once, but it’s taken it too long to reach large-scale production and lower costs, according to Jenny Chase, manager of the Solar Insight Team at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “That ship has sailed,” she says. She expects that thin-film companies might succeed only in niche markets, such as applications where very lightweight or flexible solar panels are needed.

This article originally published at MIT Technology Review
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/10/thin-film-solar-dead/

Loom Decor Puts Professional Design Materials in Your Hands

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The Fabric World Interiors store in London.
Image: Flickr, Herry Lawford

During her time at a top New York City interior-design firm, Ashley Gensler became frustrated by the exclusivity of the industry; most products are available only “to the trade,” and high fees limit access to great design. Armed with an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a background in design, Gensler set out to change this industry standard, launching Loom Decor in 2012. She and co-founder Nichole Ocepek have built Loom into a comprehensive online resource for high-end custom textile furnishings at prices accessible to customers and designers alike.

Gensler talked with us about why they started the business and what technology made it possible.

BND: What problem were you hoping to solve with your business?

A.G.: Fundamentally, I believe DIY decorators like me should have the same access to gorgeous, high-quality decor as professional designers do, and at an accessible price. Unfortunately, the traditional interior-design market is highly exclusive, offering most products only through professional designers. Antiquated supply chains and structures make most of those products, especially fabrics, too expensive for 99 percent of homeowners. So, I set out to make custom home decor accessible to the masses. Combining easy-to-use online configuration tools, complimentary design assistance, and access to more than 400 designer-quality fabrics and customizable products, Loom offers the same high-end custom textiles highlighted in the professionally designed homes of shelter publications, but at a fraction of the cost.

BND: Could your business have existed 20 years ago?

A.G.: Not in terms of the ease of service and experience we provide, nor to the market we serve. There have been workrooms doing custom decor for interior designers for a hundred years, but empowering consumers to design their own decor was not an option 20 years ago, for several reasons.

The technology for dynamic visualization and online configuration, which is key to customers’ ability to see what they are about to purchase, was not available (at least not at a cost that would have made sense).

Consumers’ interest in personalization and DIY was just evolving at the time. The expectation back then was that you would hire an interior designer (if you could afford it), and if you couldn’t, then you would just have to settle with what was available in stores. Thus, the mentality to want to purchase custom decor specific to your style and vision was not in the consumer psyche. Now, we have a plethora of blogs, DIY shows and online resources that not only educate and empower, but encourage the average homeowner to want to take on their own decorating projects.

While you could likely access some of these services in stores or by calling someone (in which case you would have to know a lot about what you wanted), an online experience 20 years ago would have been so clunky that nobody would have wanted to use it. After all, most people didn’t even like to shop for basic items online 20 years ago, let alone be involved in the design process.

BND: What modern technology (or technologies) has made your business possible?

A.G.: Dynamic visualization software is the No. 1 technology that has enabled our business. This technology is at the crux of the experience of creating or modifying your own furnishing. These are big purchases for homeowners, and they live with them for a long time.
Most people have a very hard time visualizing the choices they are making — like what a certain print will look like as a curtain — and dynamic visualization software allows us to show them exactly what their product will look like before they buy it — not just some unrealistic rendition, but with photorealistic quality. This also allows us to show a catalog of thousands of furnishings. Each product silhouette is available in hundreds of different fabrics. We don’t even need to take inventory or photograph all of those items individually, which would be cost-prohibitive, knowing that we would have to keep up with the latest trends and carry more unique, chic styles than a mass-market ready-made approach can allow.

BND: Is there a technology you can’t live without?

A.G.:My iPhone. As an entrepreneur, I’m so busy that I feel like I have to make use of every little moment. So, I have my smartphone out on my commute into work, emailing away and planning out my day before I ever step foot into the office. Plus, it’s great for jotting down ideas when I’m out and about, and for browsing design mags and Pinterest for creative inspiration. And, let’s be honest — who doesn’t love the games (when I have five minutes to play them)?

BND: If you could hire one extra person right now, what would you have him or her do?

A.G.: Marketing, marketing, marketing. The hardest part of starting up a business is getting in front of your potential customers and breaking through all the noise. Not only are we up against large, established retailers, but as a new company, we don’t have a long history with Google or with the industry, so we have to build credibility to jump-start our SEO, increase our press coverage and build an email list, among many other things. It’s starting from ground zero, and you don’t have a business if you don’t have customers.

BND: What technology do you wish existed?

A.G.: We would really like to be able to show our products in our customers’ homes. I wish there were a much more sophisticated way for users to take photos of their rooms and, with just a few clicks, make a 3D model that they could then start “modifying” as part of their decorating process.

The basic technology exists — larger companies are already using apps and programs that allow them to create 3D modeling and use augmented reality. But it’s the user experience that is still clunky. The imagery is often unrealistic, which can sometimes be a turnoff (for the furnishing you are considering).

BND: What app are you relying on most right now?

A.G.: My Measures & Dimensions on the iPhone and iPad. My husband and I are house hunting, and it’s coming in very handy for recording dimensions during open houses. It lets you snap a picture using your camera and write dimensions directly on the image. Plus, our stylists swear by it for measuring windows for drapery.

BND: What technology do you think is most overrated?

A.G.: Google Glass. First, it kind of freaks me out. Someone once showed me how it works and said, “See? I just blinked and took your picture.” I mean, at least with a cellphone, you can see when someone is being creepy! Second, it’s already bad enough that we are glued to our phones half the time when we are out with friends (me included). Imagine if everyone were staring off into “Terminator” space. Talk about impersonal!

BND: What’s the most valuable non-tech skill an entrepreneur needs?

A.G.: The ability to communicate a vision. As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to not only envision what you want to build (or, better yet, what your customerswant to build), but also describe it in a compelling way not only to investors, but literally everybody you encounter in business. That includes your customers, to get them to purchase and advocate for you, as well as your partners and vendors, to get them to work with you and believe in your concept. And, most importantly in my mind, you need to communicate your vision to your team, not only to convince great people to come work for you, but also to get them all aligned to work toward a common vision.

This article originally published at BusinessNewsDaily
here

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/03/03/ashley-baker-gensler-loom-decor/

Kids With Electronic Devices in the Bedroom Are More Likely to Be Obese

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If your kid spends too much time staring at a TV or another electronic device at night, he’s more likely to be obese and suffer from other health issues.

In what might be the first study that connects the dots between sleep, diet and physical activity among kids, Canadian researchers have found that adding just one hour of extra sleep decreases the chances of being overweight or obese by around 30%.

“If you want your kids to sleep better and live a healthier lifestyle, get the technology out of the bedroom,” said Paul Veugelers, a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta in Canada, and a co-author of the paper.

The scientists surveyed around 3,400 students in fifth grade (ages 9 to 11) and found that half of them had at least one electronic device in their bedrooms. Those were 1.47 times more likely to be overweight than kids with no device in their bedrooms.

To find out more about this study, watch the video above. What do you think of this study? Does your kid have access to electronic devices in his or her bedroom? Tell us what you think in the comments.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/24/kids-with-electronic-devices-in-the-bedroom-are-more-likely-to-be-obese-study/

3 Ways to Simplify Your Offline Errands

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Not being home during business hours is normal, but it can be terribly inconvenient for certain errands. At a time when technology is burgeoning and a large chunk of commerce is done online, it seems like the convenience of online services is wasted once you have to deal with offline nuisances, such as needing to pick up your order from a package facility or rushing to the dry cleaners on your lunch break.

Check out three companies trying to tackle the problem of running errands with city-focused, high-tech solutions.

1. Picking Up Packages With Amazon Lockers

If you worry about a package sitting at your doorstep all day, if you live in an apartment building without a package room or if your service redirects packages to a facility when you aren’t home, ordering items can be more trouble than it’s worth.

You may have found ways around this, such as getting packages delivered to work, etc., but Amazon‘s locker option is a surefire way to know exactly where your package is delivered, and it allows you to easily pick it up whenever you want to.

“Amazon Lockers are self-service pick-up stations located in local neighborhoods,” an Amazon spokesperson told Mashable. “When customers ship Amazon orders to an Amazon Locker, they can pick up their packages at a time and place that’s convenient for them.”

When you reach checkout on your Amazon order, you can choose to have your package delivered directly to a locker at a participating location: supermarkets, convenience stores, 7-Elevens and more. The Amazon Lockers system doesn’t work for very large packages, but you’ll know if your order is eligible for the service before you check out.

Once your package is delivered, you receive an email notification with a special six-digit code and the hours of the business where the lockers are located. When you go to pick up your package, you can type in your code on the touchscreen, and the locker containing your package will open.

Don’t worry if you can’t get to your locker right away. Your package will be kept there for five days, and if you can’t pick it up by then, it will be returned for a full refund.

This shipping feature is currently available for residents of Seattle, New York City, Washington, D.C., and London, but other sets of Amazon Lockers have been popping up in other locations, so keep your eyes open for one in your area.

2. Dry Cleaning With DashLocker

DashLocker Dry CleaningDry cleaning is a useful service for your expensive or delicate clothes, which would be ruined if washed with regular soap and water. But as necessary as this service may be for certain fabrics, the dry cleaning process is unnecessarily inconvenient, whether you’re picking up, dropping off or waiting for home delivery.

For that reason, certain companies have assimilated a locker system into their business models, allowing customers to pick up and drop off their dry cleaning when it’s convenient for them. New York City-based company DashLocker, however, has built its business model around this locker system, and it has a deeper commitment to using technology.

“Dry cleaning still operates on the hours and terms of the dry cleaner, not the customer,” says Bob Hennessy, founder and CEO of DashLocker. “No business can survive in the age of Yelp or TaskRabbit with that kind of service. What DashLocker does with ease is provide customers around-the-clock access to their items — including Sundays and late overnight. By enabling easy access to a secure facility, and backing the service up with highly functional technology, we believe we’re able to make dry cleaning as seamless a chore as withdrawing $40 from the ATM.”

Hennessy says most of DashLocker’s competitors try to use lockers as a way to increase volume in facilities they currently own and operate, which means it’s more of a convenience for existing customers than for potential customers. DashLocker’s dedication to technology sets it apart from the competition.

“We bar-code and photograph each item of dry cleaning we receive. This makes the identification of garments much easier in busy, crowded plants that often have thousands of items circulating at any given time. These photographs are automatically uploaded to customer accounts, and can be viewed instantaneously, since the software we run is web-based,” he explains.

DashLocker’s use of technology will be further amplified by the introduction of the company’s mobile app sometime within the next few months.

So how does the service actually work? Once customers register online, they can drop off their clothes at a DashLocker location, securing them with a special PIN code. Their clothes are returned between 24 and 36 hours in a bar-coded bag that allows for direct billing to customers’ credit cards. Customers are notified via text when their dry cleaning is ready.

It’s also part of DashLocker’s mission to employ green, earth-friendly technology. The company’s dry cleaning partner, Ken Kinzer of Bridgestone Cleaners, operates GreenEarth dry cleaning machines, which use liquid silicone, just like many shampoos, conditioners and lotions. Hennessy described liquid silicone as “basically liquefied sand, and when broken down it deteriorates into sand, water and carbon dioxide — natural elements whose exposure doesn’t put anyone at risk.” For wash and fold services, DashLocker uses Vaska brand products, a green detergent certified as “natural” by the EPA. In fact, Vaska product is safe to drink, although it’s not exactly delicious. These products replace typical perchloroethylene (or “perc”), which is a harmful chemical that’s banned in California.

In between drop-off and pick-up, DashLocker ships the clothes via truck to Bridgestone in DUMBO, Brooklyn, which is an issue of sustainability that the DashLocker team struggles with at this stage in the company’s development.

“Right now our volumes don’t justify building a dedicated plant for ourselves,” Hennessy explains. “They justify focusing on sales, tightening our operational processes and ensuring the mid- to long-term health of the company. This requires the use of wholesale vendors who can do our cleaning for us. Since our commitment is to use GreenEarth, as we believe it to be the best green solution on the market, we are in a bit of bind from a geography standpoint.”

Hennessy added, “We feel strongly that by moving away from perc, we’ve answered the most critical green question, and that in time (hopefully very quickly), we will have the ability to move all of our processes in-house to further shrink our carbon footprint.”

Amid fast-paced city living, DashLocker allows customers to easily integrate dry cleaning into their daily routines. “We’re focused on a few key initiatives, all three of which are, unfortunately, somewhat foreign to the dry cleaning industry: customer service, accountability and round-the-clock convenience,” Hennessy says.

The DashLocker team is trying to take a methodical approach to its expansion, and Hennessy hopes the company serves every neighborhood in Manhattan by the end of 2013.

3. Personal Assistance With Zaarly

It might take a lot to admit that you can’t do everything on your to-do list, but the truth is, everyone needs a little help once in a while.

When you can’t find a service that caters to your specific needs, Zaarly can help you fill in the gaps. Using the site, you can post and ask for just about anything. All you need to do is type in the items or services you’re looking for and wait to receive offers from people in your area.

Need someone to organize a party? Zaarly can help you hire a temporary event planner. Want someone to handle tedious tasks on a busier-than-normal workday? Find a one-time personal assistant. Zaarly users looking for work in your community will offer their services, and you can choose the best offer. You’re not obligated to accept any offers if you don’t like them; if you’re not willing to pay a certain amount, you can move on.

The best thing about Zaarly is that there’s no task too small to ask for, as long as someone’s willing to do it. So, if you’re swamped at work but need to get some toiletries before the store closes, go ahead and use Zaarly to hire someone to run to the drugstore to make your day a little easier.

Which errands do you take care of through technology? Let us know in the comments.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, iPandastudio

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/05/tech-city-errands/