Linklist: November 7, 2011

ArrivalStar is a company suing transportation companies (including public transit agencies) for patent violations. I hear many companies are settling rather than facing court cases. See their Patents. One such suit: Hijacked: ArrivalStar’s Patent Suits Regarding Vehicle Tracking and Notification Tools :

“For instance, ArrivalStar’s U.S. Patent No. 6,714,859, entitled “User Definable Communications Methods and Systems,” describes a system for tracking the progress of a vehicle in transit through a GPS or other positioning system, storing collected information on a device, and sending notifications to an individual from the device to signal the status – such as the impending arrival – of the vehicle, be it a package-delivering courier, a bus, or aircraft. ArrivalStar’s other patents describe similar systems and methods, some providing for configurable notification, or for additional detail about the vehicle, potentially allowing an individual to reroute a shipment or otherwise request changes to the vehicle’s route in real time.

Surely someone can show some prior art here. At any rate, not everyone is paying up: Dataflow Systems, Inc. Sues Arrival Star S.A. and Melvino Technologies Limited, Seeking Declaratory Judgment on Vehicle Tracking Patents: “”

The Washington Post Wonkblog asks: Is California’s high-speed rail doomed?

The Guardian suggests “Peak Goods”, which very much would explain “Peak Truck” observed recently. Why is our consumption falling?: “But, according to environment writer Chris Goodall, those stats tell an important story. “What the figures suggest,” Goodall says enthusiastically, “is that 2001 may turn out to be the year that the UK’s consumption of ‘stuff’ – the total weight of everything we use, from food and fuel to flat-pack furniture – reached its peak and began to decline.””

The City of Stillwater is selling Street Signs : “The City of Stillwater is in the process of replacing all of its street name signs. The City is replacing the signs in order to comply with federal requirements which require larger lettering and increased night time reflectivity. Street name signs will be replaced over the next 18 months. ” [I want “Frontage Rd”]

Tim Lee @ Forbes: Freeways: Speed vs. Throughput: “Freeways are a great way to move people around the suburbs, and to move people from one metropolitan area to another. But they’re a poor way to move people into, around, or through the urban core. And it was a huge mistake to destroy thousands of homes and businesses in cities like St. Louis and Minneapolis to make room for urban freeways.”

A simple question: Is the L Train Fucked?