Email notification by VoIP. Was: Re: Om2008.8: execute script on incoming call

Rod Whitby rod at
Sun Aug 31 12:56:55 CEST 2008

Stroller wrote:
> On 30 Aug 2008, at 05:34, Rod Whitby wrote:
>> Please don't assume that everyone has unlimited data plans.
> "Please don't assume" probably won't prevent developers from doing so.

Nothing can prevent open source developers from taking any world view
they please.  That's their right.  That's why I'm educating them with
the message that unlimited data plans are not available in all parts of
the world.  Whether developers listen to or do anything with that
information is completely up to them.  If it's educated just one of them
who happens to have only lived in a country that has unlimited data
plans, then it has been worth writing.

> It would probably be better to educate readers about WHY we shouldn't  
> assume data transfer via GPRS to be massively cheap & affordable.
> Where are you?


> Are unlimited data plans completely unavailable there? Or just  
> expensive?

Completely unavailable.

> How much does data transfer cost there? (comparison of data cost  
> relative to calls?)

1c per Kb.  Calls are about 30c/min.

> Why is this? A teleco monopoly?

No, there are three major telco's - it's just that none of them offer
unlimited data plans.

> Why is the situation unlikely to change in the foreseeable?

There are no market forces that will make it change, as Australia is a
large country with a relatively sparse population (2.6 people per square

>> It is not
>> as common in many parts of the world as it is in your part of the  
>> world.
> Great, so enlighten me. Saying "please don't assume that everyone has  
> unlimited data plans" just makes me think, "oooh, look! here's  
> someone as cantankerous as I". If you want me to REMEMBER you when  
> developing my hypothetical ultimate mail client then tell me  
> something memorable about data plans in your country.

Things are very different in different parts of the world.  For
instance, in the USA it used to be the case (and may still be) that the
recipient had to pay for incoming mobile calls and SMSs.  Such weird
pricing (where you can be sent poor by someone harrassing you with calls
or SMS messages) has never been seen in Australia.

>> I expect the IMAP client on my openmoko phone to be able to  
>> download all
>> my email for offline reading, deleting, and replying on the bus with
>> *no* internet connectivity, and then sync all those changes seamlessly
>> to the server as soon as I get the next internet connection.
> I expect that, too. Certainly under my data plan this would be  
> essential for foreign holidays.

It's good that our needs are identical then.  Ability to do stuff when
connected, and ability to do stuff when not connected as well.  As
opposed to an assumption that someone is always connected.

-- Rod

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