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Call more for slightly less

Having a land line phone meant a lot back in the dark ages of a few years ago. But the money given out to middlemen for their tea and biscuits amounted to a bit too much. Recent tariff wars of different cell phone companies have made telecommunications as easy as pressing a few buttons (which incidentally is what you do anyway).

Now people do not bother to get land lines. Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) for competition reasons reduced charges on its different services with effect from November 1.

'Considering the entire Bangladesh as one zone, BTTB fixed the charge at Tk 1.50 per minute for NWD call irrespective of peak and off-peak hours with 30-second pulse each," said a government announcement yesterday.

A local call will be counted 7 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes during off-peak hours within the same district while 5 and 8 minutes respectively in divisional cities.

Hot university degrees
You have a little bit of money and a few rooms to rent, you can start a university. That is up till some time in the future. The interim government is going to formulate the Private University Act, 2007. What this does is make it mandatory for each private university to have a single campus among many other requirements.

This is to deal with allegations that many private universities are selling certificates and offering sub-standard education.

In light of the proposed Act, the authorities have already declared illegal branches of 56 foreign universities, around 100 outer campuses and 40 private medical colleges. No more students can enroll from this year.

Watch where you go
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) raided a bar and a club in the city's Gulshan area last Thursday night and arrested 31 people. The club and bar authorities could not produce any licence of their business so their patrons were also shipped off to jail.

Get the truth or else………
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury yon October 28 urged reporters to seek their own ways to get the correct news without being shackled by the Official Secrets Act and certain other laws and government rules.

"Don't care about `famous or infamous' Official Secrets Act or certain other laws and government rules. Find your own ways to get the correct news… if there is a will, there is a way," he said.
That's all good but it's better we don't say anymore.

By Gokhra and Mood Dude

Are you Unstoppable?”

Seoul, September, 2007 WCGZone (www.wcgzone.com), the year-round 24-hour online gaming site launched by the World Cyber Games (WCG), holds the first regional online tournament presented by “Intel Core 2 Quad processor” from September 15th to December 15th. Officially named “Rampage Asia,” this regional tournament invites all gamers from 15 Asia Pacific countries with total cash prizes amounting to USD $70,000, the biggest prize money ever!

Rampage Asia is open to all gamers from 15 Asia Pacific countries: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Official titles are some of the most popular game titles in the Asia Pacific region: First Person Shooter game Counter Strike 1.6 and Real Time Strategy game WarCraft III. Tournament mechanics follow a ladder system in which gamers receive points according to their 'win/loss' record after each match played, and real-time tournament results updates for gamers will be available after the completion of each match. The leader board ranking allows results to be presented as from an overall regional ranking to domestic ranking. Forums operated by respected gamers will facilitate discussions on gaming strategies and the trading of newest gaming information, while replay file uploading board allows gamers to upload their game replays and to watch and learn from games others have played.

The winners of Rampage Asia will be announced after December 15th when the tournament is completed. For each of the two game titles, there will be a 1st place at US$20,000, a 2nd place at US$10,000 and a 3rd place at US$5,000. For more details on how to participate, visit the official site at http://intel.wcgzone.com

So, where do you live?

Rolex watches, Gucci bags, Armani shirts, ridiculously expensive cell phones...these days people are obsessed with everything that tend to, or desperately try to, indicate our sophistication and sense of class. This obsession with status symbols has reached to an astronomical extreme such that, this attitude of branding oneself has wandered to everyday mundane aspects of life. Even the place we live in is one of immense importance and we'd rather die or lie than reveal that we live in a certain such place that does not host that certain class. Again.

There are those areas people take pride in being the privileged residents of. Gulshan and Baridhara- just the names denote a certain status and give the impression that you are part of the rich or the very rich. It also gives the perfect excuse for everything there to be ludicrously expensive, and, once again it is a matter of pride that you brought a certain dress from Shopper's World rather than from grubbby old Chandni Chawk. Sure, the same thing might have cost twice as low if you did, but that's not the point.

But who wants to boast that they live in Bhooter Goli or Rayer bazaar- even the names are spooky, although they are perfectly normal places to live, and simply not that high profiled. Then there are places like Goran and Badda, which evoke images of waterlogged streets and boats during the monsoon. It is strangely amusing how the citizens of Uttara claim that they're not from Dhaka, and as such are always making a 'trip to Dhaka' every time they head south. Baily road is pictured as the theatre street where you are likely to meet with the artistically inclined. And Purana Paltan or the old part of town still maintains the olden look of Dhaka city back before the expansion.

It really does not matter where you live in most cases, but like all other prejudices which comes with the baggage of modern life your status quo is often dominated by what you wear, where you live and who your friends are, and in that case your home address also becomes so unnecessarily important.

By Subehee Ahmed

RS Mailbox

Dear Rising Stars,
In the 01/11/07 issue, Mashiat Rabbani made a little technical mistake (Jealousy's venom stings more than anaconda's). Majestic and massive as anacondas are, they are not venomous. They are water boas that kill by constriction like pythons. The most venomous snake is actually the 'The Fierce Snake' or Inland Taipan from Australia.
Best wishes,
Alaka Halder

(I) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fierce_Snake

Re: Teen age now from a different angle
I thought the article was very well written .I am the youngest of four sisters, and my elder sisters I think protected me and brought me up in the right ways. I remember going up to my eldest sister and asking her "What is the meaning of sexy?" and she told me I'm not old enough to talk about it. I use to think they were just pushing me away. But now I understand that I was too young back then and whatever they did they did for good and they do knew better then me. You start bonding when you get around the right age like I do now with my sisters. It's true we are going to do what they once did and pushing way too much would not work and trying to restrain them, will just want to make younger siblings more apt to do forbidden things. Now I'm here sitting millions of miles away from my sister in a cold country and reading my favourite Rising Stars, thinking I how much I love my sisters when I thought I did not, and believe me, all you younger sibs out there: what they do, they do it for your good. Sometimes they tend to overdo...but it doesn't really matter.

Looking for slightly used parachutes
Our national airlines Bimna prefers to be fashionably late in cases of departure, boarding and repairs as well. We consider flight delays to be a way of high flying life. Unfortunately many international airports do not share our laid-back approach. Many criticised Bangladesh Biman for its repeated failures to maintain flight schedules and warned of not granting slots if it failed to be punctual. Some even warned of fines.

One official mentioned that Biman needs more aircraft otherwise the situation will not improve. We figure that Biman just need to leave on time. Einstein will surely back us up here.

If this continues Biman may have to just provide passengers with parachutes with which they can drop off at their desired destinations.




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