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MAIL & GUARDIAN: Friday

Dubai, or not Dubai …

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Dubai is usually shopping -- quality gold and electronic goods at bargain prices, made even cheaper by the fact that it's all tax free -- you never think about the fact that it is in the desert, right? If you can tolerate the heat, don't mind the bigger-is-better mentality and have money to burn, Dubai is the place for you.

Tourism for all to share

The tourism industry, a nascent economic powerhouse, is the latest to catch black economic empowerment (BEE) charter fever. It has given itself six months to draw up a BEE charter to ensure more blacks are brought into the industry. Fourteen mandarins have been appointed to lead the process. The future of tourism, it seems, is sunny, but not pale.

SA Web calls still on hold

Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) has been the subject of much discussion in the international press as services are rolled out in the United Kingdom, the United States and elsewhere. In South Africa, however, the debate has centred not on the numerous benefits that VOIP offers consumers but rather on why VOIP services are still being withheld by the government.

Gone to the dogs

It is not often that you hear of a renowned, five-star hotel going to the dogs. But on the outer reaches of Cape Town, the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa has literally done just that, welcoming guests of the canine variety with special two day Smooch Your Pooch packages.

R30m knock-off movies, games destroyed in Durban

Counterfeit cds, dvds and computer games worth R30-million were destroyed in Durban at the weekend in an operation between the SA Revenue Services (Sars), the police and the SA Federation Against Copyrights Theft. Sars spokesperson Sechaba Nkosi said in a statement on Sunday that 14 people were arrested in raids conducted around Durban at the weekend.

Not the Hamptons, darling

The Rolling Stones used to sit at the table in the corner for breakfast and their first snifter of the day. At 3pm. "That's when their day started," says George Watson, owner of The Dock bar and restaurant in Montauk for 31 years. Officially part of the Hamptons, Montauk is in every sense another planet. Where the Hamptons is Gucci, Montauk is more grunge.

Pulse of a nation

A brave new collection of short stories squares up to the challenges of Africa's current political climate, particularly Zimbabwe's repressive curtailing of the freedom of speech. Sarah Kiguwa dips into <i>Writing Still: New Stories from Zimbabwe</i>.

Love and mystery

In her debut novel, Barbara Adair imaginatively recreates a compelling portrayal of the lives of literary figures Paul and Jane Bowles. Shirley Kossick reviews "this fine book with the powerful story to tell".

The fugitive kind

<b>MOVIE OF THE WEEK:</b> Overlooking a couple of flaws, <i>The Statement</i> is a good thriller -- something of a cross between a police-procedural and a chase movie. Shaun de Waal commends lead actor Michael Caine on a fine performance.

Framed by memory

"When viewing the photographs of Jo Ractliffe one realises that it is not only what the photographer captures within the lens that is of significance, but also that which lies at the edges or just beyond the image which is worthy of contemplation." Curator Warren Siebrits talks to photographer Jo Ractliffe about dogs, donkeys and the CCB.

BA in the pound seats

British Airways (BA) is to increase its London-to-Cape Town schedule by an additional two flights a week this summer to offer a total of 12 weekly services to the Mother City. The additional flights will boost much sought-after capacity on the popular route by almost 12 000 seats over the peak summer period.

Return of the Bionic Man

Call it the ultimate wireless network. From the ends of your fingers to the tips of your toes, the human body is a moving, throbbing collection of tubes and tunnels, filled with salty water and all capable of transmitting the lifeblood of the 21st century: information. And now the computer software giant Microsoft has been granted exclusive rights to this ability of the body to act as a computer network.

Virus warning for cellphones

The latest cellphones come with a whole range of smart tricks, including the ability to catch viruses. They can pick up e-mail, access the Internet, play games, arrange your calendar -- and now the latest ''smart phones'' have moved another step closer to the PC; they, too, can pick up viruses. Recently, the first such cellphone virus was sent to anti-virus companies by a group of hackers.

This Ute is a beaut

General Motors have given us a sneak-peek at the new Opel Corsa Ute, and we think it's a stunner.

Come aboard

''These five collections reflect the energy and craft in the work of local poets. As such, these are but indicators of an extensive writing taking place in the literary realm.'' Michael Gardiner digs into a bounty of new writing by African authors, including Antjie Krog and Mongane Serote.

Pacific isles: Paradise or porn capital?

Two Pacific island countries have become the global centre of the Internet porn industry, according to a report. The report, by United States-based consultants Secure Computing, said Niue and Tonga provide addresses for almost as many pornographic web pages as the whole of Asia and Latin America. It alleges that Niue hosts 2,9-million pornographic pages.

Turn your phone into a friend finder

Ever wondered how often you narrowly miss bumping into a friend in the street or whether anyone you know is in the same cinema, park or airport as you? Finding out could soon be as simple as looking at the screen of your cellphone thanks to Socialight, a phone-based social networking service. Once you've downloaded a small program, Socialight turns your cellphone into a ''friend radar''.

Alter ego issues

NOT THE MOVIE OF THE WEEK: <i>Spider-Man II</i> barely improves upon its disappointing and restrained predecessor. But at least he has an impressive opponent this time round in the form of Dr Octopus, writes Shaun de Waal.

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