So now I need a mobile phone to use Google?

Google's App Engine opened up to the public the other day. App Engine is a platform for creating web-based programs that are hosted by Google. It's free until your program becomes popular, and then they start charging. If you can get past storing data on Google's US-based, Patriot Act-exposed, servers, then it's a neat way to avoid purchasing, configuring, and maintaining your own server infrastructure.

I just happen to have a nifty idea that should net me scads of dough using some business model I'll think up later. Unfortunately, the first step of creating an App Engine site asks me to enter my mobile telephone number so that they can send me an SMS message to verify my identity.

So I guess I finally have a reason to get a mobile phone. Not enough of a reason, but it's the first "pro" amongst the numerous "cons" on my mobile checklist.

Unless some generous reader out there wants to lend me their SMS-capable cell number (assuming they don't intend to register with Google themselves, and also assuming this verification process works north of 60°), there'll be no App Engine fun for me.

(Naturally, I would reimburse you the cost of the SMS transmission, paid out of the first dough-scad of the aforementioned future business model.)