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Kluster - Social Networking for Projects

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Kluster is a new effort to harness the power of online social networks to collaborate and work together on projects. At its core, the system involves a virtual currency ("watts") which are invested in projects started by community members. Projects can be "sparked" with ideas, and users collaborate in work phases to build a product online.

Some projects are financed by real-world money, which makes it way back to the community members who invest their time, "watts," and ideas into the project. The site gives the example of a logo design -- I could put up a challenge to design a logo, back it with $500, and let the community go to work for me. At the end, my $500 is distributed among community members who took a stake in the project, and I get the design (or designs) they created. Neat, huh?

Kluster is currently making a splash at TED, creating a brand new product in just 72 hours -- and offering $15,000 in rewards to fund the work. The product is still under development (until tomorrow), and currently it's shaping up to be an educational game. Currently work is proceeding on creating the game cards; the next phase will design the packaging, then the marketing campaign, and so on.

You can sign up for free at Kluster.com. Because there's a lot of lingo involved ("sparks," "amps," "watts," and so on), it's a good idea to take a video tour of the site first. You can also read a bit more about the site's origins at ReadWriteWeb.

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Weather Watch
Make Alexa's Daily Weather Forecasts More Accurate
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iStock

Will you need an umbrella this afternoon? Will a fine day grow sweltering and require flip-flops? Your Amazon Echo Daily Briefing can answer these questions. But, as Taylor Martin at CNET explains, it can answer them better if you make a few quick changes to your account.

Meteorologists are scientists, not fortune-tellers. They analyze the data they have to assemble their best estimate of weather conditions over the next few hours, days, and weeks. These estimates can vary widely depending on the sources of the data and the variables included in the calculation. Some forecasters are just plain better than others.

One of the most popular is Dark Sky, an app that offers hyperlocal weather reports centered on a user’s exact whereabouts. Dark Sky uses its own proprietary weather service, which has been adapted for Alexa by a third-party function called Big Sky.

As CNET explains, this is how you add Big Sky capability to your Echo:

- Go to alexa.amazon.com or tap to open the Alexa app on iOS or Android.

- In the left menu, go to Skills.

- Search for Big Sky.

- Tap or click Enable Skill.

- To create a Big Sky account, select Create One.

- Select a username and password.

- Log in and enter your address.

- Decide how detailed you want your forecast to be.

- Select Fahrenheit or Celsius and click Submit.

To get your forecast for the day, head to your Echo and say "Alexa, open Big Sky." You can also ask Alexa to consult the app with specific questions. "Alexa, ask Big Sky: will it rain in the next six hours?" "Alexa, what’s the high temperature today?"

From there, you'll have to make your fashion and accessory choices yourself.

[h/t CNET]

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ZMP
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Food
Japan Is Getting Sushi Delivery Robots
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ZMP

Japan, home of robots that feed you tomatoes, check you into your hotel, and act as surrogate children, is about to get a sushi delivery bot.

In August, the Japanese robotics company ZMP and the food delivery service Ride On Express are due to launch CarriRo Delivery, an autonomous sushi delivery robot, according to Fast Company and RocketNews24.

The sushi will come from Ride On Express’s sushi restaurant Gin no Sara and be delivered in the red robot, which looks like a cross between an ice cream cart and one of London’s signature red buses. The CarriRo robot can deliver sushi for up to 60 people and is designed to navigate the city on its own with the help of cameras and sensors.

ZMP has aspirations for the robots outside the culinary sphere. The promotional video shows the robots navigating sidewalks to pick up prescription drugs, household supplies, and more, bringing them to people who order from an app on their phone. It has headlights, so it appears you can order at all hours of the day. The robot can run for up to eight hours at a time and can be controlled remotely.

For now, though, the laws governing autonomous robots roving around public sidewalks aren’t super clear, so the CarriRo’s sushi service is debuting on private land only. That means futuristic sushi parties will be confined to office parks and other areas where it won’t run afoul of the law. (It has a top speed of less than 4 mph, so it can’t exactly run away from the police.)

For select office workers, though, this will bring the convenience of conveyor belt sushi to a whole new level.

[h/t Fast Company]

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