Google a Cab – Intelligent Fleet Services Management

Want to know how far the cable guy is from your house when he’s coming for a service call? Or need a cab for a trip across town? Would you like to painlessly find and rent a moving van to relocate?

Google seems to have taken a shine to providing information about transit and driving directions. Looking at a new patent application from Google gives us a peek at ways they may help folks connect with taxi cabs, shuttles, and limousines, as well as finding local and long haul company transportation for goods and business service vehicles that are part of a fleet:

User location driven identification of service vehicles
Invented by Mark Crady, Michael J. Chu and Russell Y. Shoji
US Patent Application 20060217885
Published September 28, 2006
Filed: March 24, 2005


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New Blog on Internet Startups and Ecommerce Success

The Startup Review focuses upon providing case studies about successful online businesses. It makes for some interesting reading, especially if you run an online business, or are considering starting one.

Companies profiled in case studies so far include Craig’s List,, Newegg,, Flickr, Linkshare, Myspace,, Rotten Tomatoes, and Homegain. The case studies look at things like why the businesses are being profiled, what their key success factors are, launch strategies, exit analysis, a “food for thought” section, and references articles about the businesses.

These are pretty nice, thoughtful looks at online businesses, and the factors that have brought them success.

One of the titles to a business review caught my eye – Rotten Tomatoes Case Study: SEO drives traffic growth. Most of the information in the post about Rotten Tomatoes actual SEO strategies are included in a comment to the post from the in-house team that worked on SEO for Rotten Tomatoes. Here is a brief summary:

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Microsoft Explores Self Organizing Maps and Search Indexes

Take a collection of documents, say about the size of the Web, and try to organize them based upon textual similarities between them. Can that organization provide a useful way to index the web?

A new patent application from Microsoft explores the idea, and points to a paper from the year 2000 on the subject as an influence – Self Organization of a Massive Document Collection. The authors of the paper created an index using this method to organize and index a sample set of documents – a group of 6,840, 568 patent abstracts.

The benefit from this process, the authors note, would be that it do more than rely upon matching keywords in a document. It would allow a closer matching of a searcher’s intent. Here’s an example from the patent application of the issue at hand:

One limitation of keyword searching is the difficulty in providing a context for the keywords.

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