Salon: "A new school of traffic design says we should get rid of stop signs and red lights and let cars, bikes and people mingle together. It sounds insane, but it works." That's what I'm talking about!
Now comes word that Segway is working on a 4-wheel version of its Human Transporter. This is where things really get hairy for pedestrians. I can't see any way that this beast won't be more of a hazard than the two-wheeled Segway. The two-wheeled model just seemed to have something about it that suggested it would sort of bounce off of the accidental collision with a pedestrian. But a 4-wheeler looks like it would bowl the poor walker over. With the disabled community rallying around the Segway, look for more legislative and legal fireworks.
Still think Wal-Mart is the original rags-to-riches American success story? Proof that the suburbs will beat the city any day? Then you might be shocked to learn that the company has benefitted from $1 billion in government subsidies during its lifespan.
Did you ever run across a meme that tied together disparate pieces of your life? This is the first one I've ever found that works for me. What this says to me is: There are commons in our societies. Their value has been sorely underestimated. But because they are commons, the rules governing them have to maximize liberty, without sacrificing accountability. It's everything David Brin said in The Transparent Society in 1998 -- and then some.
This story, Camera Phones Link World to Web, leads one to the Web site of Semacode, where one example application apparently makes it easy to feed info from NextBus into a Java-enabled cell phone. What's cool about this is you might be able to get this info for less than it would cost you through a cellular carrier. Exactly how much less it would cost, I can't say just yet.
Even though the vast majority of street-corner buttons don't work in New York, pedestrians keep pushing them.
Via the New Urbanism list, here's the most chilling, yet believable, appraisal yet of the coming oil shocks. I'm tempted to order the book, but it's not listed on Amazon, or even Powell's, yet; I wonder why?
A cautionary tale from the Power-Assist mailing list: Don't draw too much attention to yourself through your creative mode of transportation. Park an electric bicycle somewhere, and the person who decides to tamper with it, and receives an electric shock, could end up collecting damages from you. Sound far-fetched? Read the story of how what happened to one Corvette owner may set a precedent. I hope it's an urban legend.