Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Schoolyards, cathedrals, junkyard fences and flat-rate GPRS/EDGE?

It looks like Bite Latvija will launch its much anticipated flat-rate mobile internet service on October 13 (say I, going out on a limb). They have called a press conference concerning some such matter, and are being very cagey (not saying anything) about just what it will be. Knowing myself, I wouldn't talk to me either ....:). Bite already has flat-rate GPRS/EDGE in Lithuania and charges the equivalent of LVL 20 for it. Look for the same or lower here.
I checked their website and it doesn't look like this internet related thing has to do with self-service, because that is already available to anyone who can push back his floppy, oversize backwards baseball/porkpie hat out of his/her eyes and log on as a Toxic prepaid card user.
There are plenty of those now for a good reason -- Bite is handing them out in the schoolyards around Riga, sometimes arriving with a boombox to play the kind of imitation Eminem stuff that the Toxic crowd goes for. Several of my work colleagues with early-teenie kids have reported this.
As for the website, the part for Toxic users contains a Flash sequence showing, among other things, the Riga Russian Orthodox Cathedral behind what appears to be a sheet-metal junkyard fence. The famous Laima clock pillar is also similarly presented. I'm not one of those people who starts frothing at the mouth when irreverance is shown toward so-called national/religious symbols. Indeed, I always say that I prefer living in countries that are so free in terms of individual expression that anyone can burn the national flag without threat of sanctions (assuming fire safety and littering laws are respected). However, I wonder if the priest of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral has seen this art work?. I don't know if the Russian-language version of contains the same stuff, but it might just be a little over the top for a Riga landmark that suffered the «indignity» of being a planetarium, cafe and disco during the Soviet era. Not to mention that someone may be watching over the place. It is reported that a Komsomol activist supervising the removal of the Cathedral's crosses fell to his death. So if lighting hits a few Bite base station towers...

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