Another Hosted Services Success Story

Sorry, just nearly had a laughing fit at work:

There is a recent fad for Japanese schoolgirls to send each other messages in basically Japanese schoolgirld l33tsp34k.  The problem is that, despite this being very trendy, its very annoying difficult to do well on a cellphone.  Enter a web service which, if you send it a mail, will l33tify it for your friend without having to do any work.  They then charge your phone bill about 5 cents.  (Figure on 2 cents going to the phone company, incidentally).

Sounds like a complete waste of time, right?  Yeah, probably… unless you process 20 million messages a month.  Which apparently one of these companies is doing.  For a service which is, approximately, a 15 line Perl script and a 100 line Japanese-to-gibberish table of rules.

I was *particularly* impressed by the for-pay option to decrypt what your friend was trying to say to you in case you were in no mood to parse it yourself.

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8 Comments on “Another Hosted Services Success Story”

  1. Joshua Volz Says:

    Awesome, simply awesome. That’s somebody who is filling a need (eliminating a pain) and also providing an end to end solution (as opposed to providing a program). The simple things often seem to sell and work the best. 15 lines of Perl is apparently doing the job and making whoever $1M gross a month (based on your figures). I would call that a uISV success story.

    ….ok, I just read the above paragraph and it seems I have now learned how to do web 2.0ish speak, but using uISV cliches (eliminate the pain of your customer by providing a scalable, reliable web service solution). 😦 Crap.

  2. ~ awasu ~ Says:

    […] Maybe all it takes is 15 lines of Perl script… There is a recent fad for Japanese schoolgirls to send each other messages in basically Japanese schoolgirld l33tsp34k. The problem is that, despite this being very trendy, its very annoying difficult to do well on a cellphone. Enter a web service which, if you send it a mail, will l33tify it for your friend without having to do any work. They then charge your phone bill about 5 cents. […]

  3. Jesse Says:

    Can you give an example of “Japanese l33tsp34k”? I did some self-study of Japanese for a while, and always found slang etymology an interesting diversion.

  4. Patrick Says:

    I’m failing to the vast majority of the stuff shown to me by my coworkers. There was significant use of glyphs which only appear on the cell phone. That being said, there was a sentence something like the following:

    ⑤G②駅に来てくダさぃ

    Except imagine it with a lot more changes around the kudasai part, including switching from hankaku to zenkaku characters and back again. There was probably some obfuscation applied to eki, too, I just can’t remember it.

    Guide to reading: If you don’t already read Japanese, I implore you, don’t even think of asking. Its not worth the pain it will cause your brain. If you do, read every character outloud individually. That works for this example, anyhow, there were some I was shown where I would have more luck deciphering the meaning by banging the phone rhythmically on my forehead and hoping the resulting stars resolved themselves into patterns.

  5. Jesse Says:

    Wow, that really *is* l33tsp34k! I suppose some would bemoan this as leading up to the breakdown of the ideogram-based writing system.

    アリが東 ⑤ザEます!! 😉

  6. Patrick Says:

    I don’t know if that will kill the ideogram-based writing system, but it stands a good chance of killing me if I see another one. Thank goodness I’m not friends with anyone who talks like that.

  7. Geirr Says:

    Reminds mne of the game of trying to spell Japanese words with romaji:

    R.E.N.I = ‘unbelievable’

    O. N. suru = to cheer someone on,

    U. N. G. = amusement park,

    Etc.


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