Free SMSes through Google Calendar

Right, first of all: don’t do this. Drew commented on Twitter that it ought to be possible to mash up Twitter with Google Calendar to get SMS alerts for Twitter direct messages, because Google will send you SMS reminders for an event in your calendar. (Twitter stopped doing this a while ago, because sending SMSes costs money in the UK and they couldn’t afford it. Google, being a bit better capitalised, can afford it, thus far at least.) So, the idea is that you watch for a direct message in Twitter, then you create a Google calendar event for six minutes from now with the text of the message, and set an SMS reminder on that calendar event for five minutes from now. Then wait one minute, and you get an SMS with the text of the Twitter message, and you didn’t have to pay for it. So, sendsmsviagcal does the latter end of that. Python, requires the Python GData API. It’s not very useful, though. You get an SMS message which has lots of Google calendar stuff in it and so on, and it truncates the actual message you wanted to the first 57 characters. So not all that helpful. It litters your calendar with reminder messages that you have to go and clean up manually (which could be cleaned up automatically without too much difficulty, but you’d have to write a separate thing which fired once an hour or so and cleaned up old messages.) I suspect the Google calendar people will also take a shockingly dim view of their SMS reminder stuff being so flagrantly misused, too, which is why I said to not do it. SMS reminders are pretty nice; don’t make Google turn them off.

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