Mobile Phone Messaging For Tidy Toilets
The SMS (short message service) is an institution in Scandinavia, and its use is saving time and paper in a number of applications - the Vasttrafik transit system in Sweden lets tram and bus travelers send an SMS (the ticket fee appears on the phone bill) in lieu of paper tickets, while more and more medical organizations are saving time and paper by sending SMS patient appointment reminders. You can even file your taxes in Sweden by SMS.
We've written about one of the downsides of the SMS revolution - lots of shady SMS-based quick loans that put shoppers into instant debt - but here's a happy upside. Rather than close roadside toilets for good due to high vandalism, theft and maintenance costs, the Finnish Road Administration (FRA) has installed SMS-enabled locks. By sending an SMS (usually around $.10 to $.20 cents) a visitor can open the door to tidy toilets at an auto-locking rest stop. We'll leave it to the life-cycle experts to figure out whether this is an environmental plus or minus, but it sure beats a trip to the bushes or driving around to find a clean rest stop. Via ::Helsingen Sanomat