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iPhone App Causes Google To Shut Down SMS Service

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the free-as-in-no-longer dept.

Google 420

An anonymous reader writes "A few days ago, Inner Fence released a paid iPhone app called Infinite SMS, which let iPhone users employ Google's free SMS gateway to send SMS messages without paying their service providers. The resulting surge in traffic on Google's SMS gateway forced Google to block all third-party applications from using the free SMS feature — including Google's own GTalk client."

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Question for iPhone users (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198623)

Hey fellas,

I got an honest question for you and specifically, I mean my peers who are successful in life being in money, education, or whatever since you understand where I am coming from on this.

First of all, I must admit that a lot of you are better men than me to be able to forgive the fact that our people know more than anyone else that a black male cannot get by in life being mediocre, a dealer, or gangster. He better have DA BOMB skills, knowledage, AND a trade. Yet when black men like me try to improve ourselves, we get nothing but hatred, ridicule, and kicked to the curb by our own black women but are later expected to turn to them for companionship when they:
  • are too overweight to get a thug
  • when they have so many kids there ONLY option is a good man
  • are waaayyy past 35 or 40 years old and just figuring out the error of their ways.
  • all the above

Niggas, how are you able to do that? I mean, God knows that I do not want to stir up more hatred than there already is, but DAYUM! How are you able to even consider mating with them when they did not want you in high school and college because you were not a thug?

Now ladies, I already know what you are thinking. AH, this guy is a reject, he is ugly, blah blah. The truth is that I have always been considered attractive for my beautiful African features. What you ladies have to understand is that it takes guts for men to walk up to you. And you black women are mean as hell to a nigga that does not fit your thug-like standards.

Black nerds have to exercise the concept of strategic approach, but YOU AS WOMEN do not. So to make a long story short, men will ALWAYS approach women that give positive vibes and signals and in my case it has always and consistently been non-black women. The funny thing is that even though this is mostly fact, black women STILL will put you down and call you a reject and this CERTAINLY does not help their cause because as the saying goes,

"You catch more flies with honey than you do with jenkem."

I am a spiritual person, but I will be the first to admit that I have my issues like everyone else, but mentally, I refuse to tolerate this sort of treatment anymore from women that should know by now that exceling is a black males ONLY option.

So, educated black geeks, tell me how you do it? This is VERY consistent behavior amongst our own and I know a lot of you REAL MEN understand me. NO ONE in my circle of friends would even attempt to date black women. I NEVER have dated a black woman and never will, but I am curious about you guys who are successful and do date black women. Do you guys feel like you are dating your enemy?

Please tell me your stories because it is always good to here different perspectives of this.
P.S.- Honest to God I do not mean to offend anyone, I just need to know how you can forgive being put down by your own people your entire life and then be expected to want to date them.

Well, (5, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198627)

that's what you get for abusing a free service. Happy now?

Re:Well, (2, Interesting)

imasu (1008081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198665)

How is this abuse, exactly?

Alll's Well that ended well. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198691)

You had it. Now you don't. Does the definition of abuse really matter since it will not change people's behavior to the point there isn't a repeat.

Re:Alll's Well that ended well. (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199531)

I'd say that since it was the central theme of the comment, it does matter how it was abuse.

Re:Well, (3, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198721)

Charging for a service another entity subsidizes without their approval.

Re:Well, (2, Insightful)

djjockey (1301073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198789)

I don't think they charged for a service that Google provided. They were charging for a piece of software to access the service. It's not like they were taking a fee per SMS.

How is parent insightful when he's wrong? (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198993)

The people who sold this app were not "charging" anyone for Google's service. Would you say that someone who developed and sold a killer browser for iPhone was "charging" people to use the Web?

Re:How is parent insightful when he's wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199085)

In essence you're correct, but at least post a coherent rebuttal. You stress out that "the people who sold this app were not charging anyone for Google's service", but why would it be "abuse" if they did? If the killer browser that I sell also had a monthly fee, then I would be abusing?

Re:How is parent insightful when he's wrong? (3, Informative)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199459)

You had to BUY the app off of the IPhone Store, right? The author of the iPhone app just made money, right? They are using a service Google provides without compensating Google in any fashion, right? So which part of that wouldn't constitute charging people to use Googles' service, since it sure seems you had to BUY the app which gave the iPhone programmers MONEY, and the app used GOOGLES SERVICE to send the SMS MESSAGES...

Re:How is parent insightful when he's wrong? (4, Informative)

SuperAlgae (953330) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199565)

When people buy this app, they are paying for the functionality that comes from the combination of the app's software and Google's service. If a major differentiator for the app is its use of Google's service, then they are effectively charging for that service.

Ask yourself this. Of all the apps people could buy, why would they buy this one? Does its competitive advantage come from the excellence of the app itself or from its use of Google's service?

Does this constitute "abuse"? I'm not sure that it does, and I think even Google has not claimed such. But it is overuse, even if unintentional, and it is a form of "charging".

Re:Well, (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199121)

Does Apple have some way to get refunds from the iPhone store?

What happens if you do a chargeback, do they ban you/your phone like PayPal sometimes do?

Re:Well, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198775)

You go to an all-you-can-eat buffet and eat 500 pounds of food, then you cry about it after they stop refilling the troughs and kick your fat ass out before closing time.

Then the restaraunt gets rid of the all-you-can-eat buffet because a few greedy bastards like you ruined it for everybody else. In other words, trendy dumbfucks like you who are willing to pay for an overpriced iPhone aren't willing to pay the extra 20 bucks for unlimited texting. 1600 text messages per month will run you $10, but even that's not good enough for your banal "LOL OMG he did NOT do THAT!!1!!" 's every 5 seconds.

It's like when niggers buy a brand new Cadillac Escalade but don't pay insurance on it.

Re:Well, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198817)

Your father beat you as a child, didn't he?

Re:Well, (0, Redundant)

Super Jamie (779597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198877)

I cannot BELIEVE you are getting modded down for this. Best post on Slashdot, evar.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199067)

Best post on Slashdot, evar.

Slashdot would have been so much better, if that had been the worst post ever.

Re:Well, (0, Redundant)

dark_knight_ita (995074) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198897)

Sir, you are my new idol. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Re:Well, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198941)

If you're not allowed all you can eat, then it's a lie to call it an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Re:Well, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198971)

Good point, fatass. Way to ruin good deals for those who can show restraint! Guess you'll hope for the next stimulus package, eh?

Re:Well, (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199141)

Yeah, but if you bring tupperware to the buffet, you're cheating.

Re:Well, (5, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199517)

Your obsession with unlimited-service-for-fixed-fee contracts in America is quite frankly puzzling. It's like you have to make every part of your capitalistic society and make it into pseudo-communism.

It's never going to be possible to charge people a flat fee for all-you-can-use X without the bulk of the consumers overpaying for their moderate usage of X to subsidise the few who exploit the service. This holds for values of X such as bandwidth, pasta, text messaging, icecream, whatever.

Re:Well, (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199579)

If they tell us we're paying for unlimited, and we don't get unlimited, we get PO'd. It's no different from paying for 3 and only getting 2.

Re:Well, (1, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198989)

It's like when niggers buy a brand new Cadillac Escalade but don't pay insurance on it.

If you knew there's a good chance that you'ld be assumed to be the one at fault, lose your license, and probably be thrown in jail until they figured out you didn't steal the Escalade to begin with if you were involved in an accident, would you waste money on insurance ?

Re:Well, (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198845)

Making money off of a free service by vastly increasing the cost of running the free service without offering compensation especially when the economy is going to shit.

Re:Well, (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198683)

that's what you get for abusing a free service. Happy now?

No. That's what you get for offering a service without a proper business model behind it.

Re:Well, (5, Insightful)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198707)

that's what you get for abusing a free service. Happy now?

No. That's what you get for offering a service without a proper business model behind it.

Hmmm, yes let's all remember that the next time OSS is discussed.

Re:Well, (5, Insightful)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198787)

OSS stands for Open Source Software, not services. Why would you want to remember Google shutting down a free service when discussing open/free software?

Re:Well, (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198875)

Probably because every /. discussion of how to make a living from creating open source software involves the magic fairy of selling services associated with the software. What people forget to mention is that the magic services fairy is at least as likely to die via gang rape while on its way to your house as it is to successfully deliver the kind of money you'd have gotten from making a closed source piece of software.

(This is not to say there aren't occasions to work on OSS, but most business models revolving around making OSS are dubious.)

Re:Well, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199423)

Probably because every /. discussion of how to make a living from creating open source software involves the magic fairy of selling services associated with the software.

Emphasis mine. Why then would giving away a free service come to play in the discussion? If google charged each user a flat monthly fee (or a one time fee, or a per message fee), I'm sure they would be happy as clams if you 'abused' their service as described.

Re:Well, (1)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199269)

I'm assuming the GP was implying that the business model for most OSS projects is broken, as they spend time working yet give their results for free.

Re:Well, Google HAD a business model! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198819)

SMS is very profitable to service providers.

E.g. when developing SMS games around 2001, the raito of sent/received messages could go up to 4-5 sent by the game server / 1 sent by the user, and the provider would still buy the game.

Google's model was: enable GTalk and other programs to send SMS-es. The SMS-es are delivered to phones.

Now Google could allocate free sending quota from service providers telling them that these messages will be answered, and service providers can get their profit from the ANSWER SMS-es.

Now this where this iPhone program is dangerous to Google.
It cuts the single source of revenue from the providers: the response SMS could be also throught Google...

Just my 2 cents...

Re:Well, Google HAD a business model! (3, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199009)

I hope this AC's insightful comment doesn't get lost in the bloviating. He's absolutely spot-on about how Google sold their free SMS model to the providers.

Re:Well, (2, Interesting)

A1rmanCha1rman (885378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198885)

A "Proper Business Model" in your view obviously means one that calculates for society's philistinism, self-centredness and lack of a group ethic.

Re:Well, (4, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198967)

Whatever happened to politefulness and manners in this world?

Re:Well, (5, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199019)

A tyranasaurus rex stepped on manners when it leaned over to bite politefulnesses' head off.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199087)

Indeed, sadly it appears that politefulnessosity is a thing of the past :(

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199481)

Only if your definition of "past" contains the word "fiction".

That means a per-use charge or limit (1)

hessian (467078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199001)

The only way you keep people from going crazy over a free service is to put in a per-use charge or some kind of hardcoded limit. The former is annoying with commercial cell phone providers and their text message charges, and the latter is really annoying when your ISP flags your account for sending that funny link to 25 friends instead of the 24 you usually email(*).

* - I now have Mailman set up for this purpose, as it's the legal and ethical thing to do. But the point stands.

Re:Well, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199089)

Say 'proper business model' again, motherfucker. I double dare you.

Next time I hear that shit on Slashdot I'm going to get medieval on yo' ass. And by that I mean I'm going to allow the influx of variegated services into a close-knit city-state community to develop a mesh work of autopoedic social evolution that spawns the modern industrial world.

Re:Well, (3, Informative)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198769)

Ive been sending sms messages to sprint users for free for years now. Just add @messaging.sprintpcs.com to then end of their phone number and send it as an email.

Im sure most other providers do something similar.

Re:Well, (3, Informative)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199029)

Lots of carriers have SMS gateways [blogspot.com] . :)

Re:Well, (4, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199445)

Problem is this is AT&T cellular. they charge for every outgoing and INCOMING sms message. So honestly they are not losing any money.

This is the problem with SMS messages. they are overpriced drastically so people are looking for ways to subvert them.

Re:Well, (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198873)

Like you couldn't see this happening.

Free SMS can't exist ATM, too many people will abuse it for whatever reason they can think.

Re:Well, (5, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198995)

In all, it probably only actually had a total infrastructure cost of about $15 USD to support every scrap of traffic across every involved SS7 link. (I pulled $15 bucks from my backside, it was likely even less than that) Millions of messages? Billions? Doesn't really matter, these links are up 24/7 anyway, and if they aren't being used then they just idle. Now the phone companies will have you think that every bit is encapsulated in 24 carrot gold, sent through diamond encrusted tubes, and polished brighter than the sun before being given the privilege of hitting the recipients dirty message queue. It very likely cost google a fair chunk of change though, but the phone companies, virtually nothing. SMS is a very tiny and largely insignificant bit of allocated payload riding on the back of the out of band signalling system. What you have here is a cash cow for the telco, nothing more, nothing less. It's pure genius driven by greed.

Free SMS can actually exist, just so long as the basic fee they charge for the service covers the infrastructure cost to run it each month, then end of story. This is likely not going to happen any time soon, remember, greed, uninformed customer base, cash cow.

Re:Well, (4, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198997)

Not just people, criminal organizations. SMS spam is already a problem, and if the same people sending the same unwanted junk mail manage to get ahold of a free SMS service, then they have the ability to not just hit millions of phones, but attack people they don't like with big phone bills. For example (obligatory car mention), sending someone 30,000 text messages likely will make most people's monthly phone bills cost more than the MSRP of a decent vehicle.

In some ways, SMS spam is worse than E-mail spam. Unless the recipiant has unlimited text messaging, they pay up to a buck just to read about someone's new pharmacy.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199045)

Who on Earth PAYS to RECIEVE an SMS?

Re:Well, (2, Informative)

Sophira (1364317) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199167)

Most people in the US do.

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199297)

He said "on Earth."

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199197)

" Unless the recipiant has unlimited text messaging, they pay up to a buck just to read about someone's new pharmacy."... ... in the US.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is laughing their asses off at the thought of paying to receive phone calls and SMSes.

Re:Well, (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198943)

that's what you get for abusing a free service. Happy now?

This is Text Messages were talking about here.
Providing a free SMS service and then blocking outside access is like supergluing your asshole shut the day after you bent over the pick up the soap in prison.

Abuse? (1, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199305)

So its abuse if you actually use what is offered?

Odd way of thinking.

kenneth (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198631)

great story - free service has limits. who would have thunk it?

Re:kenneth (3, Insightful)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198759)

That's not what TFA says (or the part that I read at least). It says, "Our experimental feature that we didn't widely publicize because we wanted to test it with limited numbers of users suddenly got slammed with traffic and we didn't feel like supporting it". That's a bit different than what you are implying.

Re:kenneth (4, Interesting)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198915)

You just mashed together a bunch of unrelated statements and even made up some of your own.

rupesh (article author) stated, "Google's hardly publicized method for sending free text messages has been revoked ..."

Google stated, "SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs."

Nowhere did anyone state they wanted to "test it with limited numbers of users"

Do note that "hardly publicized method" still means a public API, which I would guess is intended for others to use.

What happened here is just that Google wasn't expecting such a huge surge in usage and had no other choice to disable for 3rd party clients for now. If they can figure out a way they can support it, they would most likely re-enable this service for 3rd parties.

Re:kenneth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199011)

It seems you simply failed to make a meaningful conclusion, while Somenickname did. SMS chat is in experimental stages, therefore SMS chat cannot support an application that significantly increases users, therefore SMS chat was being tested with a limited number of users.

Re:kenneth (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199039)

Right, so it's "in the early testing stages" (i.e. in testing) and not widely publicized in order to keep the number of users down (limited number of users), and when suddenly a lot of people started using it they weren't able to support it so shut off access.

I can sort of see where you're coming from but it seems a very fine distinction to be making with little or no reason to make it. Is there some kind of pedantry festival going on that I wasn't informed about?

Re:kenneth (1)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199209)

I believe you read my post, but didn't understand I was trying to say.

The "hardly publicized" part is from the author of the article, not from Google. What does it even mean to be a hardly publicized method/API? If it's documented and on the web, it's publicized. Does Google have to spam it on their homepage to make it not "hardly publicized"?

If you remove the "hardly publicized" portion (since Google never stated that), calling it an experiment/early testing stage does NOT imply it wants to keep the number of users down. In fact, you'd might even want more testers to help you find issues with your service.

Also do note that Google could've easily controlled which users could use their SMS service. Using Google SMS required a Google account and just like any other Google service (i.e. GrandCentral, early days of GMail, etc.), access can be granted on a per user basis.

Re:kenneth (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199369)

I don't believe you understand how to put 2 + 2 together.

If a business actually wants a large number of beta testers, perhaps they would advertise in some fashion?

It is well within the bounds of logical deduction to conclude Google did not want large numbers of beta testers based on their behaviour.

What does it even mean to be a hardly publicized method/API? If it's documented and on the web, it's publicized. Does Google have to spam it on their homepage to make it not "hardly publicized"?

Well, perhaps you're being thick on purpose. I would expect that if google had wanted to publicize this we might have seen a something like what they did with gmail, buzz generating, invites, etc. So "hardly publicized" fits quite properly.

If you remove the "hardly publicized" portion (since Google never stated that), calling it an experiment/early testing stage does NOT imply it wants to keep the number of users down.

Lastly, factual information is there for synthesis, not for blindly repeating the information. Please try to do so instead of trying to pick apart someone who has done so correctly (IMO).

What implies that they wanted to keep the numbers down is the fact of the lack of massive blitz campaign shouting the service from the rooftops (you know, that "hardly publicized" quote actually does mean something). *That* is the way to get a LARGE number of beta testers.

Regards.

Re:kenneth (3, Interesting)

kylef (196302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199253)

Google does stuff for free when it suits them. If it might get in the way of advertisers or business partners (as is certainly the case here), they back down. Despite the legion of Slashdot fans who don't want to believe otherwise, Google is a business and frequently makes business decisions. Which is fine, as long as people see it for what it is.

What happened here is just that Google wasn't expecting such a huge surge in usage and had no other choice to disable for 3rd party clients for now.

It's a bit ironic that you start your post by blasting someone for reading between the lines, and then you proceed to do the same thing yourself. Unless you work at Google, you have no way to know why this decision was made.

But it's funny that you make it sound like Google is a helpless victim. How much traffic exactly pushed their feeble servers over the capacity limit only 11 days after this software became "popular"? How many iPhone users broke the camel's back?

The reality here is that Google made a policy decision, not a capacity decision. Especially since Google is one of the best in the business at scaling. This message should silence any doubt: "SMS_ERROR_10: Sorry we don't support free SMS messaging through this client. Visit http://gmail.com/sms [gmail.com] for more info."

Re:kenneth (1)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199303)

What happened here is just that Google wasn't expecting such a huge surge in usage and had no other choice to disable for 3rd party clients for now.

It's a bit ironic that you start your post by blasting someone for reading between the lines, and then you proceed to do the same thing yourself. Unless you work at Google, you have no way to know why this decision was made.

That's because Google did in fact state:

While Google is supportive of third party apps, we've decided we can't support this particular usage of our system at this time.

I'm of course taking Google's words at face value here. Like you said, the only people who know what the real reason is are those working at Google and making their decisions.

Re:kenneth (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199389)

rupesh (article author) stated, "Google's hardly publicized method for sending free text messages has been revoked ..."

Google stated, "SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs."

Nowhere did anyone state they wanted to "test it with limited numbers of users"

Not explicitly, no. I just implied it from the exact things you highlighted in bold. When I see "hardly publicized", "experiment" and "early testing stages" to describe something, I don't think it's unreasonable to infer, "test it with limited numbers of users". Regardless, I wasn't aiming for an exact summary of the TFA but a rough rebuttal as to why the GP was nonsense.

Didn't The Register have this... (-1, Offtopic)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198637)

... earlier in the week? Welcome to Wednesday, slashdot...

Re:Didn't The Register have this... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198647)

This is great I'll be able to finish all the stuff I was supposed to do last week.

Re:Didn't The Register have this... (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198935)

I think I'd rather have a few late news on Slashdot, than many early news.

With late news, there's time to verify, find links, understand the points of views, and decide whether to post the news in the first place.

It's not as though a day's delay would hinder our ability to, say, argue for/against bills in congress, or patents under application.

TANSTASFL (2, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198645)

...except that inner fence have presumably sold a lot of now useless copies of their tool. So they are ahead a few bucks.

Re:TANSTASFL (4, Funny)

Inf0phreak (627499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198667)

There Ain't No Such Thing As SMS From... what? Latvia?

Re:TANSTASFL (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198681)

There Ain't No Such Thing As SMS From... what? Latvia?

..A Free Lunch.

Re:TANSTASFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198771)

Look at the subject line again.

Re:TANSTASFL (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198783)

Maybe I should have checked the book first.

Re:TANSTASFL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198785)

You might be thinking of TANSTAAFL?

There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

TANSTAAFL [acronymfinder.com] vs TANSTASFL [acronymfinder.com] - and for good measure TANSTAFL [acronymfinder.com] .

Re:TANSTASFL (5, Interesting)

iamflimflam1 (1369141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198703)

So they were in the top 10 paid apps for 11 days. According to here [joelcomm.com] if you are in the top 15 paid apps you'll be selling at least 2836 units a day. According to my maths, after Apple has taken their cut they'll have made about $20K Not bad...

Re:TANSTASFL (1)

iamflimflam1 (1369141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198737)

Makes my sales statistics [blogspot.com] look a bit rubbish.

Re:TANSTASFL (1)

The Outlander (1279696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198717)

Exactly, What do the people do who have paid for the app just to find all it does is look pretty. I would be looking for a refund straight away but im sure that eventuality is covered in the ULA

Was this useful? (1)

Fumus (1258966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198847)

Huh? I don't know how it's set up in the US, but in Poland all the phone companies have limits set for free internet text messages.
I don't recall the exact limits but each IP has a limit of sending around 20 messages per 24h, and each phone has a limit of receiving around 20 messages per 24h.

Lot's of iPhones out there (3, Interesting)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198713)

This kind of puts the iPhone's market share in perspective doesn't it?

Re:Lot's of iPhones out there (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198725)

err no. maybe this service was already operating at capcaity and the extra couple of % the crap phone added was unexpected?

Re:Lot's of iPhones out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198739)

More likely, It wasn't a capacity problem at all. (how big is an SMS anyway?).
Google just got a phone call from a couple of very upset telcos.

Re:Lot's of iPhones out there (2, Informative)

iamflimflam1 (1369141) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198797)

As I mentioned in an earlier comment. If they got into the top 10 as they say they did and they were there for 11 days there must have been a significant number of downloads of the app: 20-30 thousand maybe? All sending hundreds of free SMS a day (it's free after all!). So that's an extra 2-3 million messages being sent on a daily basis...

Re:Lot's of iPhones out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198921)

3 million messages a day is only 6 kB/s. I think Google could handle that just fine.

Re:Lot's of iPhones out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199225)

How much free time do you think these people have? Granted, the number is pulled from an orifice, but just think about how much time it would take to send out these hundreds of SMSs per person per day.

Re:Lot's of iPhones out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198913)

Maybe they set up the service to serve M people and then M+N started using it. The first thing I ask when designing a system is how many users. Or can I use python I guess htat's more important.

See? (0, Redundant)

catdriver (885089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198741)

See? THIS is why you can't have nice things.

Next target: AOL? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27198763)

AIM has let you send free text messages [aol.com] for ages. Is there any difference between this service and the one Google was just forced to close down?

Re:Next target: AOL? (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198773)

Google haven't closed the service. They have just blocked third party apps from using it. AOL might just do that if a different client starts using this to send messages.

I know somebody who set up an SMS spamming company in about 2000. He was always on the lookout for ways to send tens of thousands of SMS messages for free.

Re:Next target: AOL? (5, Funny)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199007)

I know somebody who set up an SMS spamming company in about 2000

Have you remembered to give him that special kind of "thank you" that we all know he deserves?

Why would Google provide this service anyway? (1)

djjockey (1301073) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198799)

Does Google pay for the SMS's that it sends? I can't imagine the telco's sending them for free.

I'm assuming Google was willing to fund this while they trialled and developed the service, but when the volume went up so did the costs. There would have been little (if any) incremental revenue Google raised from this extra volume - so why should they keep providing the service?

At least from within Gmail they have a chance to display ads.

Re:Why would Google provide this service anyway? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198823)

Um, yes, and they provide ad-free IMAP and POP services. They only cost bandwidth, but they will lure people (such as me) to their ad based web-interfaces, if only to make changes and/or to click on the update button for the external POP interface. Besides that they weaken competition such as hotmail, meaning that M$ will get even less money from the ads.

Sleight of hand (1, Funny)

az1324 (458137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198807)

Google: SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs. By the way, check out our new service Google Voice which is launching with full SMS support.

Inner Fence's and Google's Official Statement (5, Informative)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198891)

Inner Fence's Official Statement [innerfence.com]

Google will soon block Infinite SMS and all other non-Google software from sending free text messages.

For now, Infinite SMS will continue to work, but when the block goes into effect, you'll start getting an error every time you try to send a text message.

If you have comments for Google, you can visit their Text Messaging Google Group [google.com] .

Google has claimed no grievance with Infinite SMS other than its success. Their given reason for the block isn't abuse or wrongdoing; it's that we brought too many users (and thus too much cost) to an experimental service.

We acted in good faith, accessing a feature publicly announced [blogspot.com] by Google over open protocols [google.com] they made available. Other non-Google apps have been able to access the SMS feature since its launch. To us, this was no different from accessing Gmail's near limitless storage over the open IMAP protocol. We never could have guessed that the two of us would write an app too big for Google.

Our first warning was an unexpected call from Google on Monday, 9 March 2009, indicating that the service might be blocked as soon as the very next day.

We asked them to reconsider or at least give us more time to change our program or migrate our users. We scheduled a call for the next morning to hear Google's final time line.

We immediately removed Infinite SMS from sale, since we could not in good conscience continue to sell a product whose lifetime was so likely to be cut short.

This morning, Tuesday, 10 March 2009, our email is overflowing with questions about why Infinite SMS is not available in the app store. We've decided we need to get real information out there for people, despite not having the complete picture yet. We will update this page when we hear from Google again.

We hope that Infinite SMS users will see this announcement and have some warning before they can no longer use our app for messaging.

Apple does not give app developers any way to perform refunds. Hopefully, at 99ï people will feel like our app paid for itself after only a few messages.

Google's free SMS feature isn't entirely gone. They've only blocked non-Google apps like Infinite SMS. You can still send free text messages through the Gmail web interface (but it doesn't seem like it works in Mobile Safari). The instructions are in their original SMS chat announcement [blogspot.com] .

Google's Official Statement

Infinite SMS is a third party app that has been using Google technology to provide free SMS for users, while we were paying for the cost of the text messages. While Google is supportive of third party apps, we've decided we can't support this particular usage of our system at this time. SMS chat is still just an experiment in the early testing stages in Gmail Labs. We're blocking all external XMPP clients from sending SMS; we're not singling out Inner Fence.

Re:Inner Fence's and Google's Official Statement (2, Interesting)

HavocXphere (1208158) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198979)

>>"We acted in good faith" (From Infinite site) That is just pathetic. Google's SMS service was opened up in good faith hoping that no one would abuse it to make money.

Re:Inner Fence's and Google's Official Statement (1)

angrydotnerd (1377713) | more than 5 years ago | (#27198987)

Yeah, kinda like YouTube acting in good faith. There are no good guys when money is concerned.

Re:Inner Fence's and Google's Official Statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199103)

Google's SMS service was opened up in good faith hoping that no one would abuse it to make money.

Actually, if that iphone app had been free, it might have had even more users.

WE WANT OUR FREE SERVICE BACK!! (2, Informative)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199031)

Ohh this is funny, iPhony customers are already bitching on Googe groups http://groups.google.com/group/gmail-labs-help-text-messaging/topics [google.com]

Someone even created an "Online Petition" http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/googlesms/ [ipetitions.com]

We wanz ourz free stuff back!!

lol

Re:WE WANT OUR FREE SERVICE BACK!! (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199373)

I wish you could "anti-sign" online petitions.

Erk, paying for a free service (2, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199069)

Reminds me of NeoOffice. When are these Apple developers going to get the point that freely available things are not so they can make a profit off somebody else's work.

Re:Erk, paying for a free service (1, Funny)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199105)

That's exactly wrong. Free software is designed so that everybody profits.

Re:Erk, paying for a free service (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199247)

How are they going to recoup their losses for their Mac Pro then?

Who cares. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27199169)

The service wasn't available to most of the world to begin with.

Developers seem a bit naive (2, Interesting)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27199477)

I love their comment that they never would have guess they could write an app to big for google.

Did they really never guess that writing an application that allowed you to perform one of the primary functions for a mobile phone that is usually chargeable would cause problems if it was free. The mobile networks would have started moaning at google immediately and since Google are currently trying to get them to sign up to android they were going to have to cave in.

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