Nope, not kidding. I've never googled a prospective employee. I don't know anyone who has. I wouldn't trust the results if I did- how do I know its not someone else with the same name? I certainly don't care about their facebook or twitter feeds- even if I did for some reason do it, I'd just be checking technical sites.
If they specifically mention a site on their resume I may visit it, but that would be the limit.
Sure, a portfolio for a web designer type position is very useful. But they aren't checking to see how often you tweet or what your facebook status is- they're checking how pretty you can make a website and how clean the html is. Not quite the same thing as an online identity.
Nobody's going to even look. All we care about is can you do the job. The only exception is if the job is in marketing, then they may care about your use of social media.
There's tons of stuff they can do on the side that aren't programming related. Study math, physics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering. Build actual stuff. I'd rather hire someone who did any of that instead of program all day, less likely to burn out and more likely to see a non-intuitive answer than someone who only codes.
And watch the best people turn down your offer. I'm not taking a contract to hire position- it means you aren't willing to invest in me. I'll take a job with someone who is.
And the network already exists because it causes profit with other uses. Adding SMSes does not increase the cost of maintenance. So yes, SMSes are still actually free.
And do what? Do you actually read the license plates of cars you pass? And even if you do would you recognize that it was the same as a random string of letters and numbers of your phone?
As for the children- don't get me wrong, if I hear a child screaming "Get away from me, you're not my daddy" or "help I'm being kidnapped" I'll intervene. Short of that- do you stare at every little kid you see to check if they match the very vague description sent to your phone? Do you know the number of false positives and wasted police effort you'd cause if you did?
Nope, the AMBER alert stuff is useless. There's a point in emergency weather notices and major traffic conditions (flash floods, closed roads from earthquakes/rockslides, tornados, a bridge has collapsed, etc). There's a use for presidential (hey, we're at war and China is launching aircraft at us, you guys on the west coast go hide). The amber stuff is just feel good uselessness.
You're perpetuating a fallacy yourself. They aren't building a system to do this- the system already exists. So those fixed costs are already paid for, and would be paid for regardless of this service because it provides other profitable services. So the marginal costs are all that matters, unless we get to the point where the bandwidth used by SMS is enough to require additional hardware to be built (which for SMS is never going to happen).
If they had another way to monetize that small amount of bandwidth used you may have an opportunity cost of using the bandwidth in this. But the fixed costs don't factor in.
Inflation has multiple causes, and existed even before fiat currencies did. Increasing the money supply is one way to cause inflation, but not the only one.
Ideas are easy. I've got dozens. Marketing is hard, it's why I'm not a millionaire. In this case I wrote the app for myself, after having an extended text conversation where a girl I really wanted to talk to was texting me at odd intervals while I was driving, forcing me to stop every two miles and pull over to respond.
Agreed, its better not to text at all. You're at least somewhat distracted when you do. But lets face it, some people won't do that. My belief is to lower the danger as much as possible for those who insist on texting, and since you keep your eyes on the road I do believe its safer.
As for homophones- voice dictation software these days operates on a sentence. 99% of the time you can differentiate between those words based on context. For the 1% you can't, you flip a coin and possibly send the wrong one. Hardly the worst autocorrect mistake you'll ever make. I'd bet on making fewer mistakes with a readback prompt than you make in normal tapping.
It launches itself when it detects an incoming text. In Android you can declare a class (a subclass of BroadcastReceiver) that will have a function on it called when the OS detects certain events (like incoming SMSes). The motion detection algorithms launch at boot.
I wrote my own hands free texting app, that automatically determines when you're driving (based on speed). It solves this in a very simple way- after you speak your response, it repeats it and asks if you're sure you want to send. If you say no, it lets you re-enter your response. No need to look at a phone at all.
Cheap plug: Text Soundly is available at the Play Store here.
No, you don't realize you suffer from it. You won't until it accumulates to the point you need corrective glasses.
"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday