Cafe 227

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Coolest Thing Ever

This is pretty cool, but not as cool as this:

DCist just introduced a text-message-based information service called "lastcall." It's kind of like Google text, but much more practical and with a local flavor. Here's how it works...

The system listens for incoming text messages at the mobile number 202-299-7949. You'll send all information requests there, and you'll get replies from the same number. What kind of information does it provide?

First, it can provide Metro times. For instance, to get the scheduled times of the next trains at a particular Metro station, send a message that begins with the word 'metro' and is followed by the station name you have in mind. For example, is you send the following text message:

metro gallery place

You will receive via text message the next train times in each direction from that station. You can also optionally specify a time, which will be interpreted as the nearest matching time in the future. For example:

metro courthouse 10:00p

Will give you times beginning at 10pm.

The service can also provide information on availability at local restaurants that are connected via the OpenTable system. For instance, if you were to send the following text message:

ot dupont 3 700p

The system will reply with all the restaurants in DuPont Circle that can accomodate a party of 3 at 7pm.

The system can also provide movie times, concert listings, and weather reports. Just click here for the full explanation on functionality.

Needless to say, I think this is pretty fucking cool. (So cool that I felt compelled to drop the f-bomb in the previous sentence as an technically unnecessary yet very effective modifier.) Maybe I was premature in calling the internet a "net negative" for society...

So could someone (i.e., Doza) tell me exactly how something like this works?

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