Set up quick SMS reminders with PingMe

pingme.png Web site PingMe operates under a simple concept: You tell it what you need to be doing and when, it pings you when that time comes, reminding you of your task. You can add events to PingMe through the web interface, email, or SMS, and your pings can be organized using tags. Your pings are sent out via email and/or SMS. PingMe makes an obvious allusion to Twitter with its tagline, "What should you be doing?" Of course, you can already set reminders with Twitter (and a whole lot more), but if you want a more robust yet decidedly Twitter-like solution, PingMe has promise. Then again, when it comes to SMS reminders and scheduling, it doesn't get much better than Google Calendar's SMS integration.

Editor's Note: Okay, PingMe might be handy idea, but if you're thinking about checking out the service, check out their terms of service before you sign up! You're not signing over your firstborn, but there were a couple of terms which raised my eyebrows. Follow the click to see some excerpts.

Apart from being written in ALL CAPS (oh my eyes), the folks behind PingMe seem to want rather a lot in return for using their (Beta!) service.

Under the PingMe Terms of Service (let's call 'em the TOS for short), you agree to contact "via email, telephone, or postal mail for the purposes of marketing, advertising, announcing new products and services, or informing you of updates to services you already use." Hmm, ok, but there's no "opt-out" box to tick here. Are we too used to polite online marketing here in Australia, or is this normal?

You also agree to receive advertisements attached to the 'pings' you receive from the service, which is fair enough considering it's a free service and that's how they derive their income. But...

"You grant ZETETIC LLC the right to use your name in promotional materials, interviews, case studies, advertising, customer lists, and other publicity, provided that such use accurately describes the nature of the relationship between ZETETIC LLC and you. You further grant ZETETIC LLC the right to quote and publish excerpts from your communications with us for the purposes of advertising or providing references to the general public or other prospective customers."

I'd probably be happy if they contacted me saying 'hey that email you wrote to use about how much our service rocked/sucked' really helped us and we'd like to reproduce it in our new ad'. But mandating that everyone who signs up for their *beta* service agrees to shill the products seems a little rich.

But this is probably the clause that most got up my nose:

"You agree not to create, cause to be created, or contribute in any way to the creation, development, or marketing of programs or services that provide the same or similar functionality as the service, or would directory or indirectly compete with the service, without the written consent of ZETETIC LLC."

You've... got to be kidding. Under your TOS you're trying to get me to agree to never develop a similar product or service? Right.

And then they get heavy:

"You agree that because of the unique nature of the SERVICE and ZETETIC LLC's proprietary rights therein, that any breach of this Agreement would irreparably harm ZETETIC LLC. In such case, monetary damages would be inadequate compensation, and you therefore agree that ZETETIC LLC will be entitled to preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, as determined by any court of competent jurisdiction, to enforce the provisions of this Agreement. "

Well apart from the fact that SMS calendar alerts aren't exactly unique... Bah, you get the gist. I won't point out the spelling error in the TOS (discression!) because that would just be bitchy. Oops.

Funny the things you find when you're trying to work out if Web companies serve Australia!


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