Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Nice reporting on wait times in transit

Casey Miner good analysis:

A huge inspiration for new transportation projects – and the Bay Area has a lot of big ones in the works right now – is efficiency. How much more efficient is the Oakland Airport Connector, the BRT or High Speed Rail going to be than what we have now? As it turns out, the answer to that question isn’t as straightforward as you might think. When calculating travel times, planners don’t just calculate how long it actually takes to get from point A to point B. They calculate how long people think it takes. And people think it takes more than twice as long as it actually does.

A recent study by researchers in the Netherlands put a number on it: when asked about how they get around, people perceived transit to take 2.3 times as long as driving a car. Interestingly, that number fell when the people surveyed habitually took transit in addition to driving – they were more familiar with what was involved and planned accordingly.

The perception principle also holds true for time people spend waiting for transit as opposed to being on it: a continuous ride will be perceived as taking less time than one that involves transfers and waiting, even if the second trip is actually shorter. Federal transit planners estimate that penalty to be somewhere between two and three times the actual time – so, a wait time of 10 minutes is perceived as 20-30 minutes. A 2009 report from the University of California’s Institute of Transportation Studies found that a number of factors influence this perception: uncertainty about when the next bus or train will arrive, weather conditions and familiarity with the stop all factor in.

In the Bay Area, we’ve seen this play out in a number of projects as planners try and figure out whether, say, a trip to downtown San Francisco on the planned Central Subway is faster than one on the bus. It’s not logical, but it’s reality. And when you’re trying to convince people to change their habits, especially to use a system that hasn’t been built yet, you have to account for it.

Las Vegas Casinos will rise again

Sin City here we come
The Super BRT constellations bring 200-300 passengers to the very doorstep of casino strip. They bring the vast population of Los Angeles two and a half hours away, they arrive with no change over, a simple ride in the sleek articulated transport, at 130 MPH; along the I-15 corridor.

Google and the Transportation Revolution

That out to get a few more keywords into the webosphere.

But, really, what should Google do?
Answer: Define the standard architecture for land traffic control. Stuff like XML definitions of traffic maps and light control, open software kernel for the vehicles, integration support with communications, development of computer vision standards. Then Google could be the traffic integrator, the IBM of open source traffic management.

On the Newswire

The Split Government Party announced its support today for the Nonpartisan Party. Both parties planned to party.

Revenue backed transportation bonds

How much revenue can the Superhighway generate?
Using my technology architecture, (or others too!) the meridian of the I-15 lane should generate a billion a year in just local LA - LV traffic. We could ramp up to that in five years, the architecture is that simple and flexible. Start building the meridian along flat desert corridors where space supports multiple lanes. Make connects with a single lane if need be, the traffic control will be flexible and optimum. Get with the park and ride to ramp revenue even before it is fully extended.

So, ramp up to a billion in revenue in five years, difficult but the five year rate is very low when these cheap technologies increase density and speed along the right of way.

The trade here is to support a fund the buys meridian and shoulder right of way, create the wholesale traffic space market. There is another market, for traffic light priority, a gift from the technology. Like a virtual Superhighway lane, traffic priority gives you delay protection for a while.

For the tenth time

Pentagon blows an addition $6 billion on a $12 billion software purchase. Have them call me, I know a high school kid who can do this stuff on the Internet. Note the companies below who ride this gravy train:

Pentagon contractors that manage enterprise resource planning contracts include International Business Machines Corp., based in Armonk, New York; Computer Sciences Corp., of Falls Church, Virginia; Northrop Grumman Corp., of Los Angeles; and Falls Church-based General Dynamics Corp.’s Information Technologies unit. The GAO’s testimony didn’t identify which contractors were working on the projects experiencing rising costs and delays.

The Pentagon should completely outsource that function, they are simply incapable of spending wisely.

I have worked for the defense industry. They rarely give a damn and the normal defense contract calls for $20 billion in vu grafs until Congress finds out.

Every Congressman and woman knows this shit is going to happen, yet they continue to vote for these appropriations. Remove all incumbents.

Eric Schmidt spills his guts on the transportation revolution

ZDNet reporter Sam Diaz has the story:
c Schmidt suggested that that’s the way it really should be. During his presentation, he said:

Your car should drive itself. It’s amazing to me that we let humans drive cars. It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers.

Schmidt's comments generated far more interest than Gino, the nonpartisan Nevada governor candidate who suggest pay for speed pricing. Schmidt is no doubt getting all sorts of feel good vibes from his engineers about the amount of software sales that intelligent transportation generates.

More DeliverBot from Brad Templeton

He compares the new Italian TrashBot as a reverse DeliverBot.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I agree with Yglesias on something!

Let the tax cuts expire.

OpenCV: Good News

From the main web site:
  • OpenCV is released under a BSD license, it is free for both academic and commercial use.
  • The library has >500 optimized algorithms (see figure below). It is used around the world, has >2M downloads and >40K people in the user group. Uses range from interactive art, to mine inspection, stitching maps on the web on through advanced robotics.

It is garnering support and provides a common platform to find object around the street for digitally assisted traffic. Open software is important in traffic systems so that all vehicles can agree on what they see.

HT Vision Central

Having trouble with the arsenal of democracy multipliers

I thought the issue was how much does the total economy grow when central government expands spending.  So I look at the [ Blue Line] change in total GDP over the change in central government spending.  During the pre-war period we see the classic result,  just prior to the spending, the ratio is high.  But as soon as the central government spending ramps up, the ratio drops rapidly.  I keep seeing this in the data, and economists actually report this, both Romer and Taylor see this drop off though they disagree on how fast the multiplier drops off.   The drop off is natural, if it never dropped off then it would not be a stimulus, but a validation of socialism.

As reported the drop off in GDP starts in late 1941 when we hit constraints, but just prior to that we have GDP growing in the face of central government spending. Spending starts in 1940, and immediately we see the ratio drop, but it takes a year for GDP to drop.  Remember, the national banking system takes a half a year to equilibriate, and the other sectors take longer.  So, yes, we can con folks into a short term GDP burst, but is is merely a con based on our need to have adaption time.  The rapid drop off in the ratio confirms Taylor and Company more than Romer and Company.

Stock market correlation, likely cause

Technically, the cause is probably the information revolution.  Information technology has suddenly shown us much more and thus moves our thinking and planning farther into the future.  Sudden information reveals imbalances, so yield moves farther to the future as we know the imbalances must be corrected. The obvious future overwhelms opportunities in the present.

Pod cars back in the news

NYT reports, but shows very little substance.
In California’s Silicon Valley, San Jose has just begun a yearlong study to evaluate the use of a P.R.T. system around San Jose airport, with connections to local transit hubs and hotels, said Laura Stuchinsky, the sustainability officer in the city’s transportation department.
Even a co-founder of Google, Larry Page, touted the P.R.T. concept in his 2009 commencement speech at the University of Michigan, his alma mater. In February, the city council of Mountain View, Calif., passed a resolution supporting the concept of personal rapid transit as a “safer quicker and healthier alternative to the automobile.” Google is located in Mountain View.
PRT salemen have scheduled the Pod Car conference in San Jose:
This debate will be one of the topics covered next month when experts from the around the world convene in San Jose for the fourth annual Pod Car City Conference (PCCC4).

I have always liked Pod cars, but they should operate like BRT, they can have specially marked lanes, no problem. Guideways are a nuisance and unnecessary. Also Pod cars need to be speeded up.

Note the interest by a Google exec.
There is a race on between Google, Oracle and IBM to garner business in the intelligent transportation sector. We are all trying to sort out the market at the moment.  Actually it is Cisco that has the momentum because the problem is one of networking cars.  John Chambers (CEO Cisco) hasn't quite got the clue yet, but Cisco does have a transportation networking division.  John doesn';t yet ssee the growth of that market relative to something like social networking.

How does this market achieve economies of scale?
The vehicles need a standard architecture for the navigation brain such that the software chain from passenger to vehicle is exposed for applications.

Friday, September 24, 2010

An actual Ultra High Speed lane guided bus?

The Super Bus, being developed by the Dutch at the TU Delft University.
Superbus is a new concept for sustainable mobility, which consists of a new vehicle, new type of dedicated infrastructure and new logistics. For this new concept, all of the intelligence and innovation is put into the vehicle, whereas the dedicated infrastructure, where the Superbus runs at 250 km/h, is made of relatively cheap concrete roads.

Superbus is 15 meters long and provides seating for 23 passengers. In order to improve comfort and to allow individuality, it has 8 doors per side.

It is an electric drive, which I do not get. And it is a limo service, not a bus though it carries 23 passengers. However, it will work on the new protected high speed lanes, and should make the trip from LA to Las Vegas in about 1.5 hours, short enough to live in Vegas and work in LA; but we will have to add hybrid diesel electric to make that long haul.

This is just one of the many ultra high speed vehicles we will be sending over I-15.  We have seen high speed BRT, this limo, and soon high speed cargo vehicles will be developed.  The variety of vehicles running at speeds of 140 Mph.  The road fee per vehicle between the two towns should be around $1,000; or $50 per passenger if this limo is full.  If that price holds up then we are talking about a 2-3 year payoff for converting the meridian of I-15.

Here, an article about the bus from Economic Times.
Are you listening Nevada?

What is Oracle up to?

John Dvorak asks? John is trying to decipher Ellison's recent statements about acquiring more technology. What does Ellison want?

I will speculate, since speculation is both fun and stimulates the market.

Oracle is part of the Stanford/Volkswagon automotive automation lab, which is expanding. Here is what the director of the lab says:
Huhnke said they wanted to stay in Silicon Valley and be next to Redwood City-based Oracle, with which they partner. They will continue to team with Stanford, which in April opened a $5.75 million research center in conjunction with the Volkswagen lab.

Intelligent transportation systems are all about databases and networks of cars. Oracle lost most of the web database sales to MySql, and Google is incorporating SQLite into their search engines. I am sure that Google sees transportation technology as a natural follow on to their IP networking business.

Regarding the chip business, the ARM processor is gaining a lot of ground int object detection by vision with Mobile Eye using the processor.

Here is an Oracle link to their current transportation management package.

Silicon Valley is gearing up for the transportation revolution. An obvious candidate for Oracle would be Navteq, the navigation map maker. Taking over Navteq would imply they might want a part of NXP also. That puts them at par with Google.
And this partnership between Navteq and Oracle.
So why not? I am sure Oracle executive run across this site and the Antiplanner site.

Bruce Bartlett thinks a little inflation helps

Does anyone see the problem?
More inflation right now will hammer producers because the PPI is much more sensitive to inflated prices on input. The 4% Club cannot succeed as producers will simply contract under pressure, resulting in a worse economy.

Nice curbing machine

From Power Curbers.

Cost per mile for protected lanes:
This study, in 2003, put the cost of a lane of highway at about $1 million per mile. (The full highway was $2-3 million).

High Speed BRT can be had across the LA Las Vegas I-15 for for about a half billion. This price includes only the rural section of I-15, that is 200 miles.

So, High Speed Rail is DOA when we can go faster on asphalt at about 1/5 the cost. After all, most HSR will be limited by freight to speeds of 80 MPH since they share the track. But we can get High Speed BRT up to 140 MPH, easy, with lane guidance and curbing.

Nevada, are you listening? If so, check out Thomas A. Rubin at the Reason foundation, he gets it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New research on transportation networks

Rsearch by Zachary Neal, an assistant professor at Michigan State University
How has the “networking” of towns and small cities changed the way vibrant local economies are developed?
For a long time, it was America’s largest cities that were the home to the most vibrant economies — places like Chicago and New York. But what this study suggests is that size, especially population size, is no longer a major factor in the economic growth of cities. Instead, it seems that networks are significantly more important than size. What that means is that today much smaller cities like Raleigh, North Carolina, or even very small towns like Bentonville, Arkansas, can start to compete with much bigger cities — if they have a number of strong connections to other cities. It calls into question the importance of being a big city for having a big, vibrant, robust economy.

So, let me see...if we build a high speed BRT line from Nevada to California, cutting the commute by half, then Nevada cities become vibrant?
Nevada, are you listening?

The report concludes:
The results I’ve found suggesting networks are more important than size doesn’t necessarily offer a silver bullet for struggling cities. But it does suggest where city planners and officials can start focusing their attention. In the past, the strategy had been attracting new residents and growing the tax base. But this seems to suggest that strategy isn’t going to work anymore. Potentially, a better strategy will be looking for opportunities to connect with both in the regional area and farther away. That may be at least one approach for struggling cities.

In other words, Nevada? Read my blog and you can escape the depression!

Christina Hernandez dug out this gem at Smart Planet.

Why do interest rates drop when Congress spends more?

The most likely reason is that Congressional spending multipliers are less than one, so the real  yield of the economy drops as government spends more.  It is an article of faith among Keynesians that  multipliers must be high because we in the private sector are not spending as much.  I have seen the evidence that Thoma has posted, and multipliers do drop off rapidly and there comes a time when low multipliers require negative stimulus, a reduction in Congressional spending.

Keynesians are in a bind because they want to spend money and can only justify that spending if we suffer some demand shock.   We tested that theory, and oil prices jumped along with oil imports.  We now get less oil because Obama has demonstrated that we use it inefficiently with Keynesian stimulus. That is a real constraint, not psychological.

I also notice that Krugman is back with the bad math, claiming the Taylor rule requires a negative interest rate in a positive definite economy:
Applying the historical Taylor rule right now, with inflation very low and unemployment very high, would mean that the Fed’s main policy rate, the overnight rate at which banks lend reserves to each other, should currently be minus 5 or 6 percent. 
He uses the historical parameters to get that number, so maybe we have the problem right there.  Economists failing to make the same adjustments to inflation that the private sector is making. I suggest that Paul fix the bad math, then redo the numbers and he will find that the good math generates the yield curve we now have, positive definite.

As far as resource constraints what can I say that I have not said before.  We know that we suffer energy shortages, we have looked at that issue from so many angles it is not worth repeating the arguments.  When we suffer an energy constraint, the economy will have lower yields in response to higher spending; unless we increase energy efficiency.

Dean Baker speaks for all economists

Dean in a debate about economic yields:

US deficit problem are all driven by projections of exploding health care costs. If we don't fix our health care system then we will face serious economic problems, one of which will be the budget deficit. However, as all economists know, the real problem is with the health care system.

Well, Dean, I am glad we discovered the cause of the depression, health care. For a while you almost had me convinced of the housing problem.

The top list of towns with housing defaults

ABC lists the eight worst towns for foreclosures, and all but two are commuter towns in Nevada or California.  The price run up was based on high housing demand in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.  Two cities from Florida make the list, but it was mostly a West Coast phenomena.

The problem was the same mismatch that the  Euro has, a yield curve that covers an entire nation while real rates vary from region to region.  Couple that with  the sudden appearance of the on-line mortgage industry and one has a recipe for a 'carry trade', appling low rates where they shouldn't be applied.  Information Shock. As I have pointed out for several years we have a dysfunction between information and transportation. Nevada probably lost $8 billion in mis-allocated housing funds by folks who though they had the commute handled.

The solution is going to be ery High Speed BRT along I-15 and I-80, as I have pointed out.  I can bet $100 that within two to three weeks Very High Speed BRT will be a hot topic among Nevada politicians.

We are back again with Krugman's Stranded in Suburbia

Yes, this is a structural recession

We have less oil to use!

Notice that we have 14% less oil today than we did two years ago?  Notice also that oil imports track the Ceridian index.When we have a 14% reduction in oil allocation then we get structural issues.

The Fed developing an early crisis detector?

Look at this indicator from Apr 2008:
Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world's attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.

"This is the world's big story," said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute.

"The finance ministers were in shock, almost in panic this weekend," he said on CNN's "American Morning," in a reference to top economic officials who gathered in Washington. "There are riots all over the world in the poor countries ... and, of course, our own poor are feeling it in the United States."

This indicator is almost as good as the Baltic Dry Index!

The BDI picked up the Apr 2008 crisis, didn't it?

But the best detector would be the ratio of the CPU to PPI price index.

Intelligent traffic systems news

Frost & Sullivan: In Smarter Transportation Ecosystem, Physical and Digital Networks Are Interconnected

Ground-breaking innovations in transportation technology are difficult for the current system to accommodate, and the system itself has yet to evolve to meet the changed set of fundamental needs and demands placed on it. Whereas the system has not yet completely gridlocked, there clearly exists a need for something that is smarter, more efficient, and better than what is in place now.

Read more: Frost & Sullivan: In Smarter Transportation Ecosystem, Physical and Digital Networks Are Interconnected

They are going to have a webinar on the subject, free I think. I dunno what they can add that Randal O'Toole, or this blog have not been writing about. I should hold a free webinar!

Speaking of free Webinars, here is this:
The purpose of this T3 webinar is to gain insight into an open-source alternative for deploying transportation management systems for state departments of transportation, municipalities, or other agencies. Open-source solutions tend to be less expensive to deploy, maintain, and enhance. In addition, agencies may benefit through collaboration by investing their resources in a common product that is mutually beneficial in function and form.

To illustrate this approach, two state agencies—the California DOT (Caltrans) and the Minnesota DOT (Mn/DOT)—will discuss and demonstrate how each agency derived individual and mutual benefits using the open-source Intelligent Roadway Information System (IRIS) Advanced Transportation Management System (ATMS).

The webinar will explore the IRIS features and enhancements developed by the Advanced Highway Maintenance & Construction Technology Research Center at the University of California, Davis, in order to adapt and expand the IRIS for use within the Caltrans Stockton District 10 Transportation Management Center (TMC).
Open source software, a subject dear to my heart. And the number of job offers in this subject seems to be picking up from my search results. Methinks we are making progress.

And lane guidance is advancing into Volvos:
SANTA ANA, Calif. September 22, 2010; Iteris, Inc., a leader in the traffic management market that focuses on the application and development of advanced technologies, today announced that its partner, Valeo, has succeeded in winning the supply contract to provide Iteris' Lane Departure Warning (LDW) technology to another global, mass-market automotive Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). Iteris' LDW will be integrated into Valeo's multi-function front camera system and will be offered as an option on two new vehicles scheduled to start production in 2011.

While this little company is advancing smart traffic lights:
ENEXA, KANSAS—Sept. 2, 2010— Rhythm Engineering, known for creating artificially intelligent traffic signal technology, is rolling out its newest product, InSync:Fusion. The launch builds on the success of InSyncTM, the top selling, most advanced and most widely deployed adaptive traffic control system in the country.
Another few months and the industry might just start talking about Very High Speed Bus Rapid Transit!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

High Speed Rail hits a roadblock

Jennifer Levitz reporting from WJS:
Opposition from freight railroads is threatening the Obama administration's multibillion-dollar push to make high-speed passenger trains an integral part of the U.S. transportation network.

The standoff demonstrates the difficulties of introducing new passenger service to a rail network that is at least 90% owned by freight railroads and outfitted for slower trains.

To save time and money, government officials want new high-speed rail routes to operate on the vast system of train corridors that already crisscross the U.S., unlike European and Asian countries that have built dedicated tracks for high-speed rail. But Norfolk Southern Corp., Union Pacific Corp. and other railroad companies are balking at sharing their tracks or rights-of-way with trains that would run between 90 and 200-plus miles an hour. They argue that mixing high-speed passenger trains with slower freight trains would create safety risks, prevent future expansion and cause congestion.

Why is the Liberal mantra so tied up in this 1960s technology? This rail system will never happen.

Here we have rich Silicon Valley executives suing to stop the plan:

The Menlo Park City Council on Tuesday night decided to join Palo Alto and Atherton in filing a lawsuit to stop bullet trains from rumbling up and down the Peninsula.

The council voted 4-0 to sue the California High-Speed Rail Authority in a bid to halt its proposed $43 billion San Francisco-to-Los Angeles project. Council Member Andrew Cohen abstained because he lives near the proposed tracks.

"It's the impact, the size of the tracks, the whole design," Mayor Richard Cline said after the decision was made during a closed session before the council's regular meeting.
Mercury News.

Then we have this LuLu from the California legislature:
The State Legislature approved a bill this week that requires companies seeking contracts to build California’s High Speed Rail to publicly disclose their involvement in World War II concentration camp deportations.

Obama fell for a load of horse manure when he backed this plan. Alice in Wonderland material.

Zero Hedge deleted a post on PIMCO?

The post was describing how PIMCO seemed to have inside information on Fed QE moves, thus able to front run the moves. Bill Gross almost admitted to inside information which Zero Hedge posted, then dropped.

BRT success story in Cleveland

In Cleveland, the 7.7-mile HealthLine, which cost $200 million, has helped to spur more than $4 billion in development in the city's Euclid Avenue corridor, according to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.
The system has extra-long silver buses that carry up to 100 passengers and operate in dedicated lanes with separate traffic signals that give them priority over cars.
Passengers pay their fares at 58 stations along the route, before boarding. The service operates around-the-clock, and LED message boards in the stations show the arrival time of the next bus.
The service reduced a formerly 30-minute ride to 18 minutes and boosted ridership nearly 50 percent.

Read more:

Sounds like a multiplier greater than one.

Here is an Econ paper that points ut successful BRT routes use the median lane rather than a curbside lane:
Seoul began implementing curbside bus lanes in 1986 however because of conflicts with traffic entering the main traffic stream these lanes failed to provide significant speed advantages. It was only after the addition of exclusive median lanes in 2004 that buses began to offer significant travel-time savings and win over former motorists.

Who steals the transportation dollars?

Why is more than 20% of the gas tax dollars diverted from road upgrades?  From Ronald Utt at Heritage:

The largest diversion from the $52.7 billion in total spending authorized for fiscal year 2009 from the highway trust fund (including $2.0 billion in general revenues) is the $10.3 billion in direct spending for transit programs (trolleys, buses, commuter rail, etc). Transit riders are also the greatest beneficiary of the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program, which absorbs $1.8 billion of the trust fund. Although transit riders account for only 1.8 percent of surface travel passengers and 5 percent of commuters, they receive a subsidy from the fuel-tax-paying motorists amounting to approximately 20 percent of transportation spending.
HT Peter Gordon
The problem is mainly the Senators, like Oberstar, who want to manage our lives. He creates a problem for transit users, they cannot get the technology they need to upgrade the facilities, because they steal the road dollars and use them for inefficient transit like rail.

We will exit the depression when we implement the intelligent road systems, and that happens when Oberstar leaves office, or when we get a Tea Party rebellion.

Most of the light rail projects are useless, like the Light rail in San Jose CA. For San Jose this will be the second depression in which San Jose rips out steel tracks put in place by nonsensical government planners. Asphalt roads go everywhere and we can make vehicles that pretend to be trains if this is what Oberstar wants.

John Deere produces a totally autonomous vehicle

Paul Grayson at Aiming for Automated Vehicles has the story.  The real payoff is not this military vehicle, but all the farm automation the John Deere will deliver.  Notice that this vehicle can easily be produced in a civilian version.

Market Growth in Intelligent Transportation.

treetInsider reports:
In terms of products, Advanced Traffic Management Systems market is the largest product segment. The Electronic Toll Collection Systems market is the fastest growing product segment, displaying a robust CAGR of about 12.77% over the analysis period. Demand for ETC systems on highways and motorways across the globe is expected to increase substantially in the short to medium term period.

12.8% growth underestimates the future market which should see growth at 30% for a few years.

They give a list of companies:
Major market participants include ADDCO LLC, ARINC Incorporated, Image Sensing Systems Inc., INIT Innovation In Traffic Transportation Systems AG, Magellan Navigation Inc., MARK IV IVHS, NAVTEQ Corporation, Siemens Mobility, Sirit Inc., TransCore Inc., Affiliated Computer Services Inc., Citilog SA, ItraMAS Corporation Sdn Bhd, Q-Free ASA, Swarco Holdings AG, SpeedInfo Inc., Tacel Ltd., Traficon N.V., Transdyn Inc., XATA Corporation, American Traffic Solutions Inc., Bosch Security Systems Inc., Telenav Inc., Wavetronix LLC, Dambach-Werke GmbH, Imago Group, Steria SA, Telvent GIT S.A., Zeus Technology Ltd and International Road Dynamics Inc, among others.

I think this report underestimates the consumer demand for intelligence in our cars.

For example, wireless connectivity will be very popular:
RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2010) - DDS Wireless International Inc. (the "Company" or "DDS Wireless") (TSX:DD) announces today that its Transit business unit, StrataGen Systems, and its Taxi Business Unit, Digital Dispatch, have closed $1.1 million in new orders. Most of these orders will ship this year, including a portion to be shipped in the 3rd quarter of 2010.

The largest order is with Avail Technologies Inc., a long standing StrataGen Systems partner and one of the industry's leading providers of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) technology solutions to small and medium sized transit operators throughout North America. The contract provides for the delivery of a variety of DDS Wireless mobile data terminal configurations as well as related wireless enabling technologies throughout the remainder of this year and into early 2011.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Speculative side bets in action

Bloomberg Business Week posts about the U of California reaching out for cheap money:

The pricing for the 2050 maturity is 250 basis points above 30-year Treasuries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The so-called spread on a 40-year Build America in the university’s sale in December was 225 basis points.

The university hastened its return to the taxable market in order to lock in the current 35 percent federal subsidy, Kim said in an interview yesterday.

‘Huge Consideration’

“That was definitely a huge consideration,” she said. “It’s unclear what the duration of the program will be, but we know it’s not going to be 35 percent.”

The italics are mine. The uncertainty of the Build America bond subsidy causes borrowing before its needed, a term structure mismatch. Much of that money is mal-invested because it gives false signals about the real rate of growth needed for 30 year investments.

Information Shock

Ledbetter at Slate talking about the Internet and loss of sales positions:

But the biggest culprit in killing off sales jobs is right in front of you: the Internet. There was a lot of talk in the dot-com era, mostly positive, about "disintermediation," or creating direct connections between consumers and suppliers. Think of all the purchases you make today online that once would have been accompanied by a salesperson: a sweater, a book, a "compact disc," a small appliance or piece of electronic equipment, shares of a stock or mutual fund, airline tickets, etc.

Getting close to very high speed bus rapid transit.

This BRT is close, having lane guidance and hybrid diesel electric drive.  It needs two more articulated cars to carry large numbers of passengers.  One of these can be souped up to run 120 MPH, good enough for high speed cross county travel.   Versions of this will currently carry 180 passengers.Electric all wheel drive distributes tire friction and avoids tearing up the Fast Lane.  It is called Phileas, developed by the Dutch.

The idea I am interested in is running these at constant 120 MPH  speed from Los Angeles to Vegas,  using a narrow curbed and paved lane along highway 15.  So passengers make the trip in 2 hours, by bus!

What does it cost to take a half lane in the meridian of 15 and curb it?  They have machines that roll along and curb and pave.  Keep costs down to 2 million /mile excluding boarding stations.  Sell tickets at $100, and sell the same carrying capacity to cargo movers.    The Fast Lane should generate $1,000 in road fees per trip.

Compare the efficiency of paving vs track laying, the ability to also use existing roads.  Ultimately, the rubber tire and asphalt road will outperform steel track itself in speed.

Putting these fast BRT on existing interstates will be a proven bond deal, backed by road fees.  Our Congress needs to deregulate the road fee system we have and begin to lease out lane capacity to value added transport companies.  UPS, FedEx, Greyhound will be the greatest supporters, as well as the tourist industry.  This bus makes Las Vegas a potential bedroom city to LA.

The Fast Lane is controlled traffic, and most speeds, even for local jaunts are 100 MPH and digitally controlled.  Traffic control can move these rubber wheeled trams into and out of the Fast Lane with no disruption to expresses service.

The enormous utility of moving  large loads at such high speeds would also make Las Vegas the warehouse for LA, and likely drive Utah to cooperate in finishing a leg up to the Salt lake.  I can see  tolls close to a billion a year on Route 15 from LA to Salt Lake.

High speed pays well

The new private toll road in Texas will have a clause in its contract that allows higher toll revenue for higher speed.
85mph for TTCs

Phil Russell director of the turnpike division of TxDOT says they are working on design standards for the Trans Texas Corridors (TTC) which would make them as safe at 85mph (137km/hr) as regular expressways are at 70mph (113km/hr). If TX130 is incorporated into TTC35 - as seems likely - it might be eligible for 85mph signing though that decision would ultimately be made by the Texas legislature. The concessionaire has no control over speed signing.
Irresponsible not to ask more for taxpayers for higher speed

Russell says that since higher speed on TX130-South would boost the concessionaire's revenue and profitability it would be irresponsible for the state not to seek a share of the extra revenues on behalf of taxpayers - which is what the speed-concession fee/revenue sharing provisions of the concession do.

Safety freaks judge speed according to the technology of 1920. The technology of 2010 allows us to drive cars at speeds of 100 MPH plus. Current technology has lane guidance, collision avoidance and other driver assistance. If the vehicle has the technology then let move at very high speeds for a price.

Also from Toll Road News is a positive financial impact about a Washington DC plan to sell high vehicle occupancy lane space. They project a 50 billion price tag to acquire toll lanes on most expressways in the DC area. Seems like too high a price tag to me, but the reports expects $2.5 billion/yr in tolls with 1,650 lane miles (2580 lane-km) of priced lanes. That is $31 million/mile. Too expensive, someone is rigging the contracts as only 800 miles are new. I would skip the new lanes and just convert existing lanes to toll, and squeeze whatever income can be gained there.

Another TollRoad report shows returns from tolling roads can be 5-8%/yr in mediocre traffic settings.

Hyper wealthy socialists on the attack

Charles Munger, the billionaire vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., defended the U.S. financial-company rescues of 2008 and told students that people in economic distress should “suck it in and cope.”

“You should thank God” for bank bailouts, Munger said in a discussion at the University of Michigan on Sept. 14, according to a video posted on the Internet. “Now, if you talk about bailouts for everybody else, there comes a place where if you just start bailing out all the individuals instead of telling them to adapt, the culture dies.”

“Hit the economy with enough misery and enough disruption, destroy the currency, and God knows what happens,” Munger said. “So I think when you have troubles like that you shouldn’t be bitching about a little bailout. You should have been thinking it should have been bigger.”

Germany was unable to stabilize its financial system in the 1920s, and, Munger said, “We ended up with Adolf Hitler.”

Yes, bailouts for the super wealthy work just fine when marginal taxes are set by lil Bush.

Big HT to Mish.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Roots in economics

They have a definition:  When output today depends only on output yesterday.

In QM Economics we should use the engineering formulation (transaction rate on the X axis, X axis positive right) And we have the yield curve as the frequency spectrum of GDP.  We apply the Zeros and Poles method of undergraduate engineering. If we make the quantum assumptions than I  think we limit ourselves to spectrums positive definite.

So, the question is does Obama have a pole up his sleeve?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

CPI-U thru the Blip

2010 2.63% 2.14% 2.31% 2.24% 2.02% 1.05% 1.24% 1.15% 
2009 0.03% 0.24% -0.38% -0.74% -1.28% -1.43% -2.10% -1.48% -1.29% -0.18% 1.84% 2.72%
2008 4.28% 4.03% 3.98% 3.94% 4.18% 5.02% 5.60% 5.37% 4.94% 3.66% 1.07% 0.09%

Not too worried.  The question is can we find growth before we stall?  Sure.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Congressman Mike Coffman: Defict spending big government conservative

Caught in the act of wanting lower taxes and bigger spending on NASA.

Kenyes required an unjustified demand slump

There has been a secret change in stimulus theory since the crash of 2008.  The claim among Keynesians is that any demand slump can be partially corrected by government fiscal expansion.

Just a reminder, Keynes required a demand slump that was basically hysterical in nature, something Congress might be able to solve.  We do not suffer a psychological demand slump, we suffer a real resource constraint.

Consider this view taken by the Bank of England (HT Scott Sumner):

Judging by this week’s report, the central bank is in no mood to tighten policy and takes the view that the rise in inflation will eventually be doused by spare capacity.

No, there will be relative balance in capacity, under a resource constraint. Say's law still holds (as per the Keynesian formulation of Say's Law), but with longer integration limits. Machines in England are not idle, they are being depreciated over longer intervals as their economy deleverages. Inventory cycles have lengthened, the economy simplified and more resource management handled inside the firm or household rather than the market.

Brian Caplan hints at the problem when he posts about the senile Walrasian.

Audi's Robocar takes to the mountains

Here is a video. One problem, they had a helicopter crash in the vicinity and the trial run has been delayed a bit.

California legislature demonstrates good governance

They have done nothing for the longest period ever.  This is good news when the multipliers are less than one, and they are much less than one in California.  As a result of doing nothing, the legislator has not yet driven the California economy into the dump.
What the Keynesians fail to tell us is that when multipliers are less than one, a reduction in government is a stimulus, yielding  greater productivity from  government and greater private sector growth.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A health care mess reported by Laura Hart

I am in the middle of a story right now which is breaking regarding a Kern County Grand Jury investigation at this public healthcare district. Because of very bad moves on the part of several frightened people I think I will finally get my day in court with these criminals.

My blog is a bog, as there are almost 400 posts and my organizational ability is impaired, but I will give you the best summary I can give.

Past issues: Goldman Sachs did a feasibility study in 1986 which lead to this hospital selling "revenue bonds" to expand the district's property and services. The cost was to be 13,000,000. These bonds had to be insured and the state office of statewide healthcare planning and development along with their other office, Cal Mtg., entered into a contract with this tiny hospital. The contract is incredible really. The construction project was to be a certain size which fit the amount of potential monies it would reap if these services were in place.

Didn't happen. The construction project was not finished by half. But a hospital worth four million now sold more bonds in 1991, which meant the new amount hit 22 million. But they still didn't finish it.

Now, you would think that Cal Mtg. as the insurer being paid premiums would let the hospital off the hook and pay the debt as they have been slowly sinking for the past 20 years. But that's what I don't get: they don't pay off, they shut the hospital down and liquidate it. They also have the power to remove administrators they don't think are doing the job.

And bankruptcy isn't an option as in all information I have read they don't allow it, not in so many words as it is a constitutional right. But they are the only credit as the debt ratio is dramatic at the hospital.

This lead to cutting staff, services, and quality. It also lead the arrival of now criminally charged, ex-CEO, Pamela Ott, whose qualifications consisted of two degrees from "Kennedy Western University" which is a diploma mill. The board in 2003, and Cal Mtg. which has an obligation to oversee their debtors, did not. They even went off contract.

Current issues: In 2005, the hospital cut staff, but only at the lower level, like those pesky nurses' aides who take care of the elderly residents. Stress became a factor and no one, including myself, knew that there was an ominous situation taking place: the people from DHS, Department of Health Services, caught them using physical restraints and patients were losing weight and becoming dehydrated as the staff dried up.

Then in 2006 they made an effort to obtain a GOB to pay for a seismic upgrade mandated by SB1953. We were told the hospital would close if we didn't get the property tax money, twelve million. Well, many election offenses occurred and the CEO and CFO, both with lousy resumes, were trying hard to keep the public from knowing the problems they were having with the state inspections of the nursing home portion of the hospital.

On August 1, 2006, a new Director of Nursing, DON, arrived, her name was Gwen Hughes. We were told she was an "expert" in geriatric medicine.

Instead of using physical restraints which the CEO on tape had said was "recently" changed (the laws were not changed I verified) the new DON began a campaign for the use of psychotropics, or what they call "chemical restraints."

She was part of a team which included the doctor who managed the nursing center and ER, DR. Hoshang Pormir, who at one time was a friend. This team also had a pharmacist, but the pharmacist was told to answer to the DON.

Three people died in the nursing center in those only six months. Actually, that's not complete, that's only what they caught at the attorney general's office. I interviewed many nurses and the state would not listen, they have created their own case. (I'll leave that part for later as Mr. Jerry Brown and I have to talk and soon)

There were more deaths, and I've heard rumors of a class action lawsuit, to add to the others which are mounting at this point. Four more lawsuits were in the closed session portion of this months regular board meeting.

The defendants will be seen Oct. 15 to answer to charges but I'm afraid Matt that the state who screwed up this case and bad, may try to plea deal these three. The pharmacist took a deal to squeal and she has every right as she was a scapegoat. It took me nine months of kicking and screaming before they brought in the CEO, but they finally did.

It's insane and a much longer story, but this gives you a background. But it's not over...

We have the latest CEO and they left the criminal CFO behind to purge the hospital of its money, going again after a general obligation bond, but they have tried to hide from us what this now 22.7 million dollar property tax bailout is really about.

I went to elections and am the argument against the measure, Measure G, it's now called. I also rebutted their argument in favor, but I did something extreme, I named every representative who did nothing to help, including Jerry Brown and Cal Mtg. along with local representatives and law enforcement.

I'm about to lash out at the county as I found out just yesterday that my and others complaints to the grand jury in 2007 were never thoroughly investigated by anyone.

And when I found myself holding a fake contract several months ago, I called the grand jury. This person told me how to lay out a white collar crime case as that is what lead to the elder abuse charges. Though I think it should be murder and will make a point of that after I get more info.

Phew! There you go in a nutshell.

Also, we have a YouTube sight which is going to be built up soon, (I think there are over 50 shorts) but you can find the address on the KVHD under fire site above or simply go to YouTube and try the search, "Ask Bob Jamison" and you can see that they were angry when I caught them with their elder abusing pants down.

There has been bullying, harassment, death threats and I had the luxury of having a gun pointed at me. Gosh am I getting to something or what?

Laura Hart

Vision for Autobots

Yale has developed and demonstrated a vision processor on a single card that creates object maps from digital cameras.

And another Autobot vision system from ETH Zurich. This same group had demonstrated pedestrian detection in another project.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Profit and Loss and Super Highways

Consider a UPS road  rig that carries 10,000 packages that races across the USA on the digital highway.  Two day delivery is $10 for a shoe box, so this really old technology generates $100,000 every two days.

So, the secret here is that if I am a transit manager in say, Nevada, then I want to collect $1,000 of that for a passthru.  In return, I curb off the protected lane, pave it for speed, and sell it.  The US economy would of course boom.  From the center of the USA, I can jump on the nearest BRT and be anywhere else in country, in one day.  There is no change over, just drive the thing into the heart of down town LA.

All of these vehicles have a standard cross sectional area for motor vehicles, but they are a lot longer. The diesel electrics run constant speed, we can refuel them at high speed on the highway.  The other cars are simply variations on trailer bot.

Construction costs along the major interstates?  We could take the long stretches across Nevada and get paving costs close to $200,000 a mile.  $300 million across Nevada gets the money flowing.    But the demand would be nearly 3 million trucks a year, isn't that $3 billion?

That is why I like Utah in this game, they are the interstate crossroads in the west.  I have blogged about the Salt Lake City transit managers, and they are gung ho, a very likely partner to Nevada.

If I were a car makers, say GM, I would have my tiger team working on diesel electric road locomotives.

We would need construction crews right away.  The main job here is allocating at least one median lane, but the more of the median we can get the more we will use.  We will curb off the asynchronous human traffic, then run the center lanes using traffic control technology.

So, you want a jobs program, take your construction workers and get them working with curbing and paving and traffic signal installation and test and sometimes bridging or tunneling.  We guarantee the states income on a per mile basis and they will push it, without much help from central government.  Nevada could easily generate 2-4 billion a year.  But Nevada itself would boom, in fact there would be a real estate boom because any parcel of land is a comfortable BRT ride away from any city.

Boom times, really.  In the future, they will say,about us that we suffered a shortage of sand built into our asphalt.

New Technology Bus Rapid Transit

I don't have photos but I can describe it for you.

The new technology BRT cruises at 100-120 MPH, making a safe trip across the USA in under two days.

They come in four to six car configuration, carrying up to 250 passengers in the four car configuration.

They are generally diesel electric with electric drive and steering on the cars allowing for narrow lane following at high speeds.

They travel at high speeds on the digitally controlled super highways being planned in Nevada, Utah and California. But they can also travel narrow city streets.

The general trip is two days from San Francisco Market Street to downtown Manhattan.

Cargo versions of the vehicles are in high demand by Fedex and UPS.

Most importantly, the new super highway with congestion pricing will bring in multiple billions in income for states like Nevada and Utah.  The new BRT technology will put any Bay Area ,CA resident within 20
minutes of BART, lowering the average commute time across the Bay Area to an hour.  The new technology can move goods across the LA basin in one or two hours, point to point.  Airlines will see their market share drop by 20% as this technology steals increasing passengers from air flight.

I predict that most super highways, with digital control, will pay for themselves within two years from construction because of lower costs in reusing existing asphalt lanes.

Government undergoing restructure

Dave Shulman is reporting about the UCLA/Anderson economic forecast:
In an economy wracked by a post financial bubble environment and living in a theme park of policy uncertainty, we forecast very sluggish growth accompanied by high unemployment. As time passes the economy will naturally heal and the policy uncertainties will resolve themselves to the extent that growth will return to a 3% path and unemployment will begin on its long trajectory downward. We forecast that these more ebullient trends will become noticeable by 2012.

Higher savings and increased imports seem to be one of the key reasons why macroeconomic policy is not working the way the traditional models would have it. Thus if policy is to work it will have to restore the confidence of businesses and consumers to spend and invest in America. A real reduction in policy uncertainty would go a long way toward that end.

The problem was that we never suffered a general glut and Keynesian policies had no effect, two years wasted.

This was never about pump priming the economy, it was always about extending the current central government entitlements and adding on to them before the inevitable Republican surge. It was Rahmism at its worst.

Big Government Conservatives and Progressive to team up?

Here is Nancy, hedging her bet on taxes:
The California Democrat, speaking in the same room House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) appeared in earlier in the day, said that the “only thing I can tell you is the tax cuts for the middle class will be extended this Congress,” leaving open the possibility that cuts for people making more than $250,000 could be extended at some point, too.
She is leaving room for big government conservatives to go on their own deficit spree, making sure the middle class pays for it all..
Read more:

Big Government Reaganism combined with Obama Socialism would result in federal spending gone even more wild.

O'Toole bashes an Yglesias argument

O'Toole's report debunks myths about costs, subsidies, and environmental impacts of driving and public transit.

A popular myth involves highway subsidies, O'Toole said. "Contrary to popular belief, there are no federal subsidies to highways and few state subsidies," he said. "The only real subsidies to North Carolina roads come from local governments. But if you add federal, state, and local numbers together, North Carolina highway users paid about $203 million more in user fees than was spent on roads in 2007. In other words, gas taxes and highway user fees are subsidizing other government programs."

Yglesias is famous for wanting money from gas taxes for other uses, then claiming that gas taxes do not support roads.
O'Toole was referring to the horrid state of finances for NC transit, a generator of waste and greenhouse gases.

Chart of the day

Federal spending, GDP and the dollar deflator

My point here is 1) Reagan and company had a very hard time keeping federal spending growth under 5%. Once Clinton and company raised the marginal rates, federal spending dropped below 5%, hovering near 3%. GDP grew at 5% and the overall inflation rates was down to a couple of points. Under Bush and company the deflator was up, as was GDP and federal spending, unsustainable.

Tax cuts cause economic stress as government grows unsustainably.
When resources are not stressed by federal spending, the central bank has easier control of money.

DSRC Wave technology has arrived

Port of Hood River is the first road operator in the USA to deploy an electronic toll collection (ETC) system based on the advanced 5.9 GHz DSRC WAVE technology platform.

The installation of the equipment provided by Kapsch on the Hood River – White Salmon Interstate Bridge, located between Hood River, Oregon and White Salmon, Washington, was completed on September 8, 2010. Kapsch US managing director, Richard Arce, said: “We are very excited about the Port of Hood River’s decision to be the first agency in the US to deploy a high-performance 5.9 GHz DSRC toll system."
Traffic Technology has the story.

Now we have the communications technology off the shelf to make TrailerBots work!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Greenspan: Multipliers are less than one

The former head of the Federal Reserve said fiscal stimulus efforts have fallen far short of expectations, and the government now needs to get out of the way and allow businesses and markets to power the recovery.
“We have to find a way to simmer down the extent of activism that is going on” with government stimulus spending “and allow the economy to heal” itself, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told a gathering held at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday.
At this point, “we’d probably be better off doing less than more” because “you’d be far better off to allow the normal market forces to operate here,” Greenspan said. That’s largely because stimulus spending is not proving as effective as many had hoped. “To the extent the evidence suggests very large deficits concurrently crowd out capital investment, there is a debit to the stimulus program that is somewhere between a third and a half of what the gross stimulus is,” he said.

And progressives claim everyone knows the stimulus worked.

What Great Moderation?

CPI-U percent change YoY
I see no moderation with respect to price stability.
According to Wiki:
Richard H. Clarida at PIMCO considers the period of the Great Moderation to be roughly between 1987–2007, and it is characterised by "predictable policy, low inflation, and modest business cycles." [5]

I don't think so.  Money has become more unstable during that period.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

High performance traffic

From the Nevada governor's race, more on Gino's idea for selling traffic space.
As we can see, a high performance, digitally assisted super highway along 15 and 80, converging in Utah.  The participating agencies can offer through speeds up to 80 MPH, cargo carriers would pay a thousand per trip.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

OK, I may have cracked a window on a lower floor

Says D'Souza, explaining why  Sunnis like to Belt Bomb us:
First, the cultural left has fostered a decadent American culture that angers and repulses traditional societies, especially those in the Islamic world, that are being overwhelmed with this culture.
I admit to a little debauchery, but I am not taking responsibility for the whole twin towers.

HT Kevin Drum

Peter Orszag seems confused

“We, unfortunately, can’t afford the tax cuts over the medium and long term,” Orszag said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “We face too large a deficit out in 2015, 2018, 2020.”
Orszag called for extending all of the Bush-era cuts for two more years and then letting all of them expire.

That was the original plan, let them expire. Then Peter shows up and demands that we renege on our promise to let them expire.

ISLM makes no sense

Y = C (Y-(T(Y)) + I (i) + G + NX(Y)

It uses one interest rate to represent the entire curve? If it does that, then G is a function of i also, as is NX.
Or is i is meant to be short term rates, then what about home mortgages?  What about exporting short term consumer surpluses?

Otherwise, this equation must assume the curve is at perfect equilibrium such that term rates are independent.  If that is the case, then all it says is that the consumer will put money in savings when monthly money is surplus.

The equation is useless.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nevada gubernatorial hopeful see the light

This link:

Nonpartisan candidate Eugene "Gino" DiSimone believes people would pay for the privilege to drive up to 90 mph on designated highways — and fill the state's depleted coffers.

Absolutely, charge a hundred, use designated lanes and give away the dashboard device. As the state dedicates more lanes to congestion speeding, buses and cargo use dedicated traffic space, cost reductions and time savings occur all around.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another light rail skeptic

Joel Kotkin reports on the Great Train Robbery:

Much of the problem, notes Tom Rubin, a former chief financial officers for the MTA's predecessor agency, [in the LA basin] stems from the shift of funding priorities to trains from the city's more affordable and flexible bus network. Meanwhile, traffic has gotten worse, with delay hours growing from 44 hours a year in 1982 to 70 hours in 2007.
Sadly, this situation is not unique to Los Angeles. In cities across the country where there have been massive investments in light rail--from the Portland area to Dallas and Charlotte, N.C., and a host of others--the percentage of people taking transit has stagnated or even declined. Nationwide, the percentage of people taking transit to work is now lower than it was in 1980.
Much of the problem, notes Tom Rubin, a former chief financial officers for the MTA's predecessor agency, stems from the shift of funding priorities to trains from the city's more affordable and flexible bus network. Meanwhile, traffic has gotten worse, with delay hours growing from 44 hours a year in 1982 to 70 hours in 2007.

Who is right? Fred or Uncle Milt

Here I contrast the math executed by a Fred Javascript vs the words taken from Milt Friedman. (HT Morgan Warstler in a Money Illusion comment.  Here Uncle Milt talks about Reagan and government spending:

Peter Robinson: But we did get a deficit.;
Milton Friedman: Because actual spending, the increase in spending on the military, was offset by reductions in spending in the rest of the budget. Not entirely.
Peter Robinson: Not entirely.
Milton Friedman: Not entirely. But very largely.

So why was federal spending, as a proportion of disposable after-tax income, greater during the Reagan presidency?  With  tax cuts Reagan never managed to get the proportion of central government down. It takes a Deadlocked government, with a tax hike, to make that happen.

Uncle Milt is was altering data to make his world view correct in that interview. Notice the 'Not Entirely', he likes to leave enough wiggle room.  Go back and read the whole interview.  Why is a larger central government as a proportion of the total economy, a good thing in Milt's mind?  He praises Reagan for socialism.

On the other hand, when you read the interview, he says a Deadlocked government is second best to Reagan, in spit of Bubba and Newt  getting the ratio down below .26 when Reagan averages .31.

Why does a deadlocked government work?  Because both sides present their views and upon seeing both sides, public opinion decides nothing is better than anything.

If Macroadvisors think convential wisdom is wrong

Then fix conventional wisdom.
Here they say conventional wisdom on the curve predicts a robust recovery, but their analysis does not.

The solution, thus, is to have the curve predict the probable future, make the curve a little flatter please and quit trying to fool us.

As Krugman says, we can't have it both ways.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A killer app for transportation

See if we can use a protected lane on some LA Freeways, and run large configuration vehicles at speeds up to 100 MPH. Three car BRT, or digitally guided truck and trailers. The idea to to get real immediate gains, like 60% reduction in energy and 60% reduction in time. Deliver a box across the LA basin, within two hours, for less than $10. The economy down there would boom.

Tidbits on Drive by Wire

I am the human search engine.

Drive-by-wire technology promises simpler and safer car control; BMW, DaimlerChrysler develop electronic steering systems; the joystick vs. the wheel

Article Abstract:

BMW and DaimlerChrysler are developing joystick-controlled systems for automobiles. One stick handles steering, the other acceleration and braking. The driver's hand movements are converted to an electronic signal and sent to a microprocessor. The processor factors in other inputs, like speed and traction, and then operates servo motors which control the steering and speed. The joysticks are seen as safer since manual reaction time is lower. Also removing the steering wheel eliminates a hazard to drivers in collisions. Test drivers say they quickly got used to the joystick.

Read more:
A big market in third party control by wire replacement)
My toyota tacoma pre runner 2003, throttle position sensor failed on the freeway and I could not accelerate. Almost crashed because traffic was really going fast and I had no throttle response . I put the truck in neutral and I put my emergency lights on and rolled to the nearest of ramp. If it wasn't for my years of experience driving, this would not have been so easy. This is very common but the repairs are not. 1500 dollars at the dealership. There are several cases of this occurring if you go to toyota forum you will see this is not a unique situation. This started when I first got the truck in august 2009 but who knows if the previous owner new about the problem. I think she did. I cannot fix it because they only sale the entire throttle body which cost 1200 dollars plus labor 160 dollars. Almost 1500 dollars.

The alarming number of safety recalls appearing in headlines of late is worrying enough. Now researchers have shown that it's possible to take away driver control of a moving vehicle by remotely hacking into relatively insecure computer systems common in modern automobiles. The team managed to break into key vehicle systems to kill the engine, apply or disable the brakes and even send cheeky messages to radio or dashboard displays.
EE Times on he subject)
Despite recent setbacks, the steer-by-wire technology is alive and well – at least in specific off-highway markets. In this realm, many X-by-wire solutions are already in production and could easily be adopted by the passenger car industry. The article provides an overview over technologies, standards and players.

My comments:

Jump on this if you are a venture capitalists, I see two or three great companies here. E mail me, I help with due diligence.