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Comment A 40+ year old pipe dream (Score 4, Insightful) 299

PRT's are not novel, they've been an engineering pipe dream for at least 60 years. There was a similar design effort in the 1970s in Paris that was the subject of an excellent book by Bruno Latour called Aramis. TFA says that PRT have been previous unworkable for "a variety of reasons, including the cost of the initial systems and the difficulty of integrating them into existing cities". The Paris project got all the way to physical prototypes, built sections of track, etc., and one of Latour's conclusions is that the PRT concept is itself unworkable. It lives in an inflexible no man's land between private vehicles and mass transit: passengers can't go where they want because the system has tracks and shared "pods", and engineers can't scale it how they want because the vehicles don't have flexible open space inside to cram in more passengers during busy times. Lose-lose, all around.
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Submission + - Interview with Leah Culver: The Making of Pownce (immike.net)

mjmalone writes: Pownce, web wunderkind Kevin Rose's latest online venture, is "a way to send stuff to your friends." The site held up fairly well to a barrage of traffic after its launch, which made me wonder what makes it tick. Lead developer Leah Culver was kind enough to answer some questions via email. Pownce is built on a variation of the LAMP stack: Debian Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Python. But the site uses a number of less mainstream technologies (e.g., Django, Perlbal, and Amazon S3) to speed up development, improve performance, and reduce costs.

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