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Just when you think you've bought the coolest most hippest mobile set in all of Dhaka, you discover that your beloved hippest and the most coolest set isn't cool anymore as your next-door neighbor just got the same gadget. And what's worse, he is showing it off to everybody! Of course it doesn't end there-your own best friend thinks his set is definitely way cooler than yours, even though he has the exact same model! You start scratching your head and decide to get rid of (sell off) your beloved ex-most-hippest-coolest-set-in-the-world for less than half the price you bought in less than half the month.

Well stop scratching your head! It still takes more than that expensive sell-all-you've-got cell phone to make a guy look cool. And in any case, the cell phone is no longer just a gadget to talk to your pals with. In fact, the mobile phone has lost its usefulness as a phone totally in recent years. They are now 3G gadgets that take pictures, shoot and edit videos, play songs, show you the way when you are lost, play games and do many other useless yet unnerving things that you can't even imagine! Here's a rough list of things your cell phone can do these days.

1. Free talking dictionaries: Imagine yourself, hiking through a busy street in Japan. wanting to ask somebody where to get a can of coke but not knowing how to. Why? Simple dummy, you are in Japan, and you DON'T know Japanese! That's where the talking dictionaries come in. All you need to do is type your query in English and it will not only translate it to any language you want but also talk it out loud. Ni Hao (err! I think that's Chinese)!

2. Email Software: If you are like me, and have developed the habit of checking your email every five minutes, then these software are for you. My favorite is MOVAMAIL. It lets you check your hotmail, gmail, yahoo and even your POP3 account (not popcorn account dummy, your ISP email). It also compresses your outgoing and incoming emails to 10 times their size so that they are not heavy on your GPRS bills. Another useful mobile app is Flurrymail, with which you get your own email ID and get the latest updates on weather, news etc.

3. Mobile IM: Now that you can check emails through your phone, there shouldn't be anything keeping you from going online and chatting with your best buddies through it as well! You can download Mig33, the most popular application for logging into MSN. My other favorite is Mobispine, a mobile IM which supports photo and audio transfers. It uses less data transfers, so you don't end up spending a fortune to chat with your girlfriend. Plus, it has its own blog space! Yahoo!

4. Web browsers: Grameen Phone users can use full access GPRS, which means that they can browse the internet just like they would on a real computer. But most phones don't come with a good browser. So all you net addicts should go ahead and download Opera Browser for mobile phones which can browse not only WAP sites but also all possible types of web sites. Citycell, Aktel and Banglalink users can curse their providers now!

5. X Calc: Speaking of nerds, wouldn't it be great if you people had a Texas Instrument calculator handy to beat all those math exams right in your little cell phone? Now you can actually do that with this little application called the X Calc, which not only performs like a normal calculator but can also plot certain equations. Go ahead and cheat Away!

6. Car Tracker: Okay this one is Ronny's favourite! Since he lets nobody drive his car (not even himself at times!) in fear of losing all his meager income in fuel consumption, he could use the Car Tracker. Car Tracker helps you keep track of your car's expenses, consumable changes, fuel usage and other useful information.

7. The World Fact book: Remember that fancy looking round thingie that you bought for ten taka that showed off the world's population, income etc? This is like a mobile version of that same gadget and provides the latest information on almost all the countries in the world (education, per capita income etc.). It's great if you want to go one on one against your geeky friends on world general knowledge!

8. GQ Men: GQ Men is the virtual men's magazine in your tiny display. As the name suggests, it IS by GQ (who else!) and brings you Girls, Films, Gadgets, Motors, Bars and Fashion in its new Mobizine all for free. The client also gives you access to other big brand magazines on your mobile.

9. Remote Desktop for Mobile: This ultra cool software gives you complete access to your computer from your cell phone. You can see you desktop in real time, use the joystick to control your mouse, run applications and also work in MS Word or use Power point projections from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Yes! You read it right. It uses GPRS data stream to connect to your computer and easily becomes the perfect tool to impress your boss with.

All the software is available through various websites or through peers. Most are free. Try www.getjar.com. They have most of these and many more.

So that's it for now guys! Maybe sometime soon, we will do a cover on the various ultra cool games you can download and play from your mobile as well. But until then, these should keep you busy.

By Tanvir Hafiz

Sibling rivalry

A wise man had once said that a perfect family is incomplete unless you have a boy and a girl at the least. Siblings yes that's what I am precisely talking about today in this article of mine. As soon as I was asked to write something related to rivalry between siblings, my mind lit up! Obviously, there are just too many things I know about sibling rivalry and living in a family containing two daughters and two sons (including my self) it's not a surprise. Now, in the books, a brother or a sister is considered to be a gift from heaven! The thing that's never mentioned though, is how irritating or troublesome they can get. You might as well have experienced it. The emotion of anger when your sister embarrasses you in front of people you don't know, the eagerness to beat you elder brother in sports or any other activity or the will to irritate your younger sibling just because you have nothing else to do ! All these are nothing but symptoms of the “Sibling Rivalry”, and I bet most of you or rather a majority of you have already gone through these symptoms.

The tendency to irritate or embarrass your younger sibling is very highly present in every human being. It's just there, you can't help it. It's like a present from the God of mischief. I being the third one in my family, with a huge age gap between me and my elder siblings can tell you countless number of situations when I was literally harassed!

It's even worse when you are embarrassed in front of other people. I remember being, made fun of so many times when all I could do was just give a lame smile in front of everyone, and feel like killing my sibling on the inside. Even now, it's almost like a death penalty to ask my elder sister to introduce me to anyone.

For instance, last week my sister introduced me to a renowned figure in Dhaka by saying; hey this is my “huge baby brother”… Baby?? I mean I wouldn't mind or in fact even care if I was about six years younger, but I am sixteen years old!! And people even say that I look older than my elder brother. Imagine how embarrassing that is? And it gets even worse when people laugh and reply with sheer sarcasm “indeed you do look like a big baby.”

God predicted that my life was going to be like this, and he probably pitied the fact (any sensible person would) and maybe that is the reason as to why he presented my family with a younger sister!

I am not exactly an innocent lamb or some sort of a Sunday school teacher, after all even I am an elder brother and if my younger sister had to write this article, I bet, it would just be about the different million ways on how I irritated her. Like for instance, making a comment on every word that she said, probably because she had pronounced it wrong or with a bit of an accent or emotionally blackmailing her for food! And then again there are the usual television fights, (imagine watching a Barbie movie instead of the Bangladesh vs. Zimbabwe series) computer fights etc.

No matter how much fun it can be irritating your younger siblings, it always feels much better to irritate or more specifically seek revenge on your elder siblings, and being the younger one, I always had the liberty to blame them whenever the situation was brought in front of my parents. For example there was a time when I used to be crazy about stamps and unfortunately so did my elder brother. Exchanging stamps with him was always a battle, if I thought I had a bad deal (which I always did) I always complained and at the end I would get a few extra stamps in addition to the stamps that he had taken. Be it the guitar that I broke, the money that I took from my brothers wallet, the camera that I ruined or the collection of funny pictures of my sister that I plan to mail to all her friends. I don't remember getting into serious trouble.

Thus sibling rivalry has its advantages and disadvantages, it's like two sides of a coin, and you need to be lucky at times to win the battle. To be fair I don't think life would have been the same if there was no rivalry between siblings, because I think it's almost impossible to just sit at home all day with your brothers and sisters, not creating any trouble. Life would have been very boring.

So guys, go ahead and continue the good work that I have been doing till now, if you are an older one, bully your younger siblings, but be careful they might turn out to be little dynamites and if you are a younger one you can do anything you want to, just make sure your parents are always available and incase you don't have any siblings, just read this article, have fun and pray that you never get into this mess!

By Naimul Karim

Where did I go wrong?

I came back to Bangladesh after a 25-year hiatus. Life has been kind to me and maybe I was one of the lucky ones. The first thing I did was meet one of my old friends to see how life has been treating him.

I met him a few days ago at his house where I found him alone.
“My friend, how are you? Where are your wife and kids?”
“I don't have any family,” Deep cried out.
Stunned, I asked him what happened.

“It's been 25 years since you were here last. When my son, Mehran, passed HSC, I sent him to Oxford, so that he could be educated in one of the best educational institutions in the world. My daughter became jealous and nagged me to send here abroad as well. So, we sent her to USA when she was in class nine. I lost all contact with her after about two years. Later, from one of her friend's parent, I found out that she had ditched high school and started living with an African-American person. She called six or eight months later with more shocking news.

She was doing odd jobs to make ends meet to take care of an illegitimate child she was going to give birth to. She left me in peace for 19 years after that phone call. Until recently when she called again to let me know that her boyfriend left her after her child was born. She had been alone with her daughter who has now grown up and is like her mother, living with another person. My daughter feels lonely over there. She wants to come back to Bangladesh. But I told her that she is no longer my daughter, so she will not be able to enter my house.”

As for my son, I had high hopes. After finishing his studies in UK he came back to Bangladesh. I wanted him to take over my business when I get old but he was never interested in doing anything. I suspected that he hadn't studied over there. I thought that he had faked his degrees. After a year or two, I found proof that my suspicions were correct. It was too much for me and I threw him out of the house. I haven't seen him since. I had no wife to share the sorrow. She had died even before she saw what had happened to her son.

My friend ended his sad tale with tears in his eyes. He tried to give his children what they wanted but things went so wrong. All he could ask was, “where did I go wrong? “

By Mahammad Manun


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