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Archive for August 2012

The real story behind NYC’s bike share delay (GOTHAM GAZETTE)

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The Drama Behind the Bike Share Delay

PostDateIconWednesday, August 22, 2012 12:00 AM | PostAuthorIconby Cody Lyon | Print | E-mail


NEW YORK — The firm picked by the city to run what is meant to be the nation’s largest bicycle share program has been dogged by questions about how it got a contract to run a similar system in Chicago, while its partner is being sued by a key software developer.

City officials announced last week that the much-anticipated bike share program would be delayed from its expected roll-out this summer to March 2013. Mayor Michael Bloomberg blamed the system’s software. “The software doesn’t work. Duh,” Bloomberg said on his radio show. “We’re not going to put it out until it does work.”

There may be a good reason why the software doesn’t work: It’s unfinished. According to the city official in charge of the recently launched bike share program in Chattanooga, Tenn., which uses the same platform, the software is undergoing “ongoing development.”

“There’s still work to be done — features to be added — and that’s where we are at the current time,” said Philip Pugliese, of Bike Chattanooga.


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August 22, 2012 at 6:09 pm

ZIMRIDE Expands EAST (from UPSTART- bizjournals)/ How a N.D. candidate is using the web to Campaign ( The Coffee Robot (ABJ)

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Enlarge Image »Tickets to ride
San Francisco-based Zimride is expanding its service from California to the East Coast. Zimride
by Cody LyonAugust 3, 2012  |  2:13pm EDT
For East Coast travelers that prefer ground over air travel, online company Zimride is bringing its new public ride sharing service to New York City and Washington, D.C. this week.The San Francisco-based company offers travelers a chance to “pick up” a ride with a driver going their way online at Drivers can make anywhere from $20 to about $40 per passenger, split the cost of gas and maybe find a new friend in the process. The service has already been a hit on the west coast—in the past year, it’s helped its members share 200 million miles, which is double the shared miles built up over the previous five years—especially on the most popular jaunt between San Francisco and Los Angeles.Link to full story at UPSTART****************


BY Cody Lyon | Friday, August 3 2012

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Joshua Boschee is an openly gay candidate for public office in a socially conservative state, but observers say he’s got a real shot at becoming one of Fargo, North Dakota’s next representatives in the state legislature.

Boschee’s home state of North Dakota has, according to one study, the lowest proportion of same-sex couples in the United States. It’s a conservative state, although “conservative” means something different in the only state in the Union with a state-owned bank and a state-owned grain mill and elevator.



Good to the last robotic drop

Startup automates coffee-making kiosk

From left, Kevin Nater, Charles Studor, Patrick Pierce and John Craparo are behind Briggo LLC.

Nick Simonite

From left, Kevin Nater, Charles Studor, Patrick Pierce and John Craparo are behind Briggo LLC.

Staff writer-Austin Business Journal

Inside a laboratory at Deaton Engineering Inc.’s workspace in Georgetown sits the world’s first intelligent, robotic coffee kiosk.

At 8 feet tall by 16 feet wide, the prototype’s screens flash customer orders and marketing messages across the top amid the hum of a tiny factory behind them. In a few minutes, behind a tiny door, sits a cup of Austin-roasted, Peruvian bean coffee topped with foamed milk.

The coffee robot is the invention of Briggo LLC, a new company formed by three Austin technology and business veterans and a nationally recognized coffee barista.

They plan to open their first robot-based kiosk at the University of Texas Flawn Academic Center in November. After that, their plans envision a worldwide network of automated kiosks, primarily in universities, airports, hospitals, office buildings and other locations.

They also plan to develop a smaller kiosk that can be mass produced. Briggo plans to own, manage and service the initial units, and later hopes to grow the market through franchising after establishing the brand.

Coffee consumption in the United States remains the eighth-highest in the world, with the average American drinking 3.1 cups of coffee each day and fueling an $18 billion U.S. market, according to the National Coffee Association.

Briggo’s founders hope their robot will tap that thirsty crowd by enabling coffee drinkers to order from a kiosk through mobile phones and online, as well as using the kiosk’s touch screen. Besides the type and quantity of coffee, consumers can specify type of milk, syrup or sweetener. They can also establish and personalize their accounts — including individual payment option — with the network of kiosks, which can send a text message when an order is placed by phone.


Link to full story at Austin Business Journal