Never mind "nickel and diming" -- Indian joint venture Tata DoCoMo
is now rupee and paising (a paise is a hundredth of a rupee) customers who sign up for its new "Diet-SMS" messaging plan. Unlimited and ultra-high-allowance messaging plans are now commonplace in some parts of the world, but on the other end of the spectrum, Diet-SMS is actually a regression from the old practice of charging by the message -- you get charged by the character
. The good news is they don't charge for spaces and characters are just a single paise each, which works out to about two-hundredths of a US cent at current conversion rates -- but still, the fact remains that a 160-character SMS costs Tata DoCoMo exactly the same to handle as a 1-character one. What's worse, you just know this is going to give rise to a new ultra-efficient shorthand notation that makes "LOL" look like a novella.