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

Stroller stroller at
Tue Sep 2 08:49:25 CEST 2008

On 1 Sep 2008, at 21:27, Ole Kliemann wrote:
> ...
> I just realised why my drop-call solution is so much superior to any
> IMAP-idle or interval checking. It's funny no one thought about this
> yet.
> When using IMAP-idle you can hardly suspend, can you? At least it  
> would
> be necessary to keep the connection open, handle incoming traffic and
> wake in case of new mail. I guess to do so will require the whole  
> system
> to be running.
> When using interval checking you have the extra costs and extra  
> battery
> drainage because of resuming every 3 minutes.

I don't really see what the problem is with this.

An application should be able to wake up the phone from suspend (or  
rather add an entry to the `at` queue saying "wake me at this time")  
and it should be able to fire up a GPRS connection. How long will it  
take to check for new mail? 15 seconds? In that case you're  
effectively going to lose 15 seconds of battery talktime for every  
check. If you check every 5 minutes then for every hour suspended  
you'll use additional battery at a rate equivalent to 3 minutes of  
talktime. Checking every 5 minutes means that you get a message on  
average within 2.5 minutes of it hitting your mailbox; checking every  
15 minutes means that you get a message on average 7.5 minutes after  
it hits your mailbox, which is probably a better battery compromise.

The N95 manages this, why shouldn't the Freerunner? I did ask in one  
of my previous posts whether the Openmoko work on dbus will  
accommodate  a program sleeping (suspending?) the phone &/or  
initialising a GPRS connection, but I got no reply (because I waffled  
too much in that post, apparently). Some kind of standard method is  
surely needed, because I could see it being quite complicated (and  
quite Freerunner-specific) to do this stuff otherwise.

> If you use notification by drop-call, the FR can sleep through - the
> modem handles the wakeup.

I'll be honest, I just don't personally like drop-calling. I dislike  
it when a girl does it to you because she's too tight to buy minutes  
(irrespective of the number she's wasted already this month and  
because she knows a guy will always return a pretty girl's call) and  
I find it a little inelegant for this application.

So please bear in mind my prejudice. It certainly should be possible  
to run an arbitrary program upon incoming call (instead of the  
ringer) based on the incoming number. Personally I'd like to use this  
to ignore people, play an answerphone message to low-priority  
customers & so on - there are lots of applications for this, so if  
it's implemented you should be able to do as you wish.

Another poster mentioned that some cell companies may block the  
number of frequent drop-callers. Presumably it costs one of the call- 
providers money to initiate a call which you are not then billed for?  
So it does seem to be slightly naughty, too.

You're right, though - ideally this should be handled by the phone's  
modem (or by the phone's phone (??)) hardware, because that's already  
handling incoming radio and sleep / wake-up. If only there were a way  
to send a text message to a phone freely over the internet - we could  
use that far more effectively for "pushing" our mail (or anything  
else). The money mobile phone companies make from SMS messages,  
however, I suspect this is a forlorn hope.


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