At MozCon last year there were a few presenters who indicated that the shorter the URL the better. You see a lot of retailers using http://example.com/product_id
http://example.com/product_id these days. Evidence has shown that keyword stuffing your URL ex. http://example.com/mens/shoes/opentoed/for/midgets/that/like/boxing/stupid_long_product_name
http://example.com/mens/shoes/opentoed/for/midgets/that/like/boxing/stupid_long_product_name offers no advantage.
Along the same lines, it seems that having a semantic urlURL is important but the article or product name might not be necessary. I need to find some references for this.
As an observation some retailers and magazine use a unique number in the urlURL and title to avoid duplicate title issues. Not sure if this actually works or not.