Subject: Re: Spam
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 22 Jan 2004 05:14:18 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Joe Marshall
| I'm not familiar with SMS.  What is it?

  Short Message Service.  GSM cell phones are equipped with the ability
  to send and receive text messages, like two-way text pagers, which
  were never popular in countries where GSM is.  Originally designed to
  send GSM phones configuration information and even software updates
  from the operator, SMS messages come in many types, but only innocuous
  text messages (at least as far as modifying the phone's configuration
  is concerned) are sendable from GSM phones, and it was never intended
  to be an integral part of the GSM offering.  (Other types are sent by
  operators and include ringing tones, images to fit the small display
  on the phone, etc, to customize phones, which is surprisingly popular
  and profitable.)  GSM phones can send a request to a provider and pay
  for the returned object.  This is even used for directory assistance
  and a host of other and very useful services, too numerous to mention.
  To give you a hint of the popularity of this service, the largest GSM
  provider in Norway, which serves about 2 million customers, served
  more than 2 billion SMS messages in 2003.  It is not uncommon for a
  GSM phone user here to spend more money on SMS'es than on phone calls.
  Many companies make a healthy living solely from the SMS market, and
  we even have 3 TV stations that host night-time chat and music shows
  where people send in SMS'es at a hefty cost (easily equal in cost to a
  10-minute phone call) to vote for the music they want to hear and a
  lot of other things.  Serious information providers also charge for
  broadcasting selected news items, such as financial market alerts.
  Some newspapers and TV stations offer TV addicts alerts on upcoming TV

  SMS'es are restricted to 160 characters in length and they are often
  hard to type, requiring up to six presses in a row on a single key,
  which has produced new languages that omit characters, and even the
  use of dictionary algorithms that find matching words for the word
  typed with only one keypress, such as the T9 algorithm, causing the
  coinage of the word "teenineonyms", words that have the same sequence
  of keys.  A version of the Bible was published some time ago in the
  peculiar compressed language of teenage SMS messages.  Translation
  dictionaries come with tables of common compressions: THX (thanks) to
  MR6 (merci) or RUBZ (are you busy?) to TOQP (t'es occupé?) or ROFL
  (rolling on the floor laughing) to MDR (mort de rir).  You get the
  idea -- our cultures have never seen such rapid change in the way we
  express ourselves as the 160-character SMS messages affords.  All
  Europeans are familiar with this phenomenon, and SMS'es are used by
  absolutely every owner of cell phones.  Some hospitals and doctors use
  them to optimize their limited resources while avoiding long waits in
  their waiting rooms and wasting time because of absenteeism.

  Think of it as portable e-mail available to the entire population.

Erik Naggum | Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.