stories filed under: "text"
Thu, Jan 15th 2009 8:58pm
The cost of basic fixed-line voice telephony is quickly falling towards zero. Plenty of companies offer free voice calls (with various hoops to jump through), and the cost of VoIP service continues to drop. This is trickling over to mobile voice service, too, as three of the top four US operators now offer unlimited voice and text plans for about $100 per month. But even that price ceiling is under pressure: Cricket and MetroPCS, two smaller operators that focus on the low end of the market (and don't offer the footprint of bigger operators), have been offering unlimited plans for under $50 per month, and today, Sprint's Boost Mobile brand joined them. It's unlikely that the major operators will enthusiastically fall into line, but in the current economic environment, it's hard to imagine these cheaper unlimited offerings won't pull some customers away and put pressure on the bigger operators' prices. The bigger operators still have a number of competitive advantages, including bigger coverage areas and a wider choice of handsets, but they may find those appeal to fewer consumers if the price gap remains.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 26th 2008 4:23am
from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept
It appears some Scottish politicians are putting forth a bill that could put people in jail for up to 10 years for sending a text or email with "sexual content." The goal of the bill is to discourage sexual harassment over email or text messaging -- but it appears to be worded quite broadly. The bill defines the crime as "committed if someone sends an unsolicited text message to someone else which a court finds was designed to give the sender sexual gratification or to humiliate, distress or alarm the receiver." How the court determines what gives the sender "sexual gratification" isn't entirely clear. Does a flirty email count? You can also run afoul of the law by "causing a person to see or hear an indecent communication." Forgot that NSFW tag? You might be in trouble. While you can understand the desire to cut down on harassing messages, this law seems problematic as worded.