Apple today opened the first of a series of stores planned for Paris. The first, located near the famous Louvre art museum, coincided with the release of the Musee du Louvre iPhone app showcasing among other exhibits, Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
The Paris store, first reported in 2008, includes a 7,700-square foot two-story layout with diamond-shaped windows.
Apple will quickly open a series of stores in France, including a location in Montpellier in the southern portion of the country. By the summer of 2010, the Cupertino, Calif. company hopes to open its third location in France, near the Garnier opera house.
Ron Johnson, an Apple retail senior vice president, said France could witness the fastest growth of the company’s chain of stores.
Following Sarkozy’s horribly embarrassing nepotistic naming of his 23 year-old son to the powerful political post inside EPAD, the reactions are numerous. Many college students are requesting to be adopted by Nicolas Sarkozy so they’ll have a better chance at “finding” a good job; people are outraged, defenders are insisting little Sarkozy got elected! Whatever. WHY do you think he was elected? A few words: HIS DAD’S URGING. Duh,people.
Anyway, this one’s my fave. It’s a hilarious spot advertising a fake iPhone app called, “L’application Jean Sarkozy pour L’iPhone.” You don’t need to speak French to understand what that’s all about.
With the 30,000 (give or take 10 to 20 thousand) iphone apps available at the Apple iTunes store, including free, paid and game apps, it can feel no less than overwhelming looking for quality apps. How do you find the needle in a hay stack? Millions of others like you and I browsing the app store feel this pain. The bad side to this is that there are too many poor applications and duplicates, triplicates and quadruplacates (if that’s a word). The good side to having a prodigious amount of apps is that within this sea of apps a significant number of them are really excellent. Yay. Of course, the problem of trying to locate those apps remains pretty elusive. This is why I’m only going to feature apps that stand out of the crowd.
Since apps haven’t really been on my radar, many of the great ones surely slipped by me but I serendipitously stumbled upon this ingenious Paris Metro iPhone App. Seriously, the developers of this one are Gods.
The Paris Metro iPhone App is a must-have app for residents of and tourists traveling in Paris. Forget the clunky paper maps and GPS with a battery life of about 3 minutes. You’ll only need your trusty iPhone 3G because this app takes full advantage of the augmented reality features.
Watch the youtube video of the demonstration (click on the image). It explains how it works. Note: It’s in French but the visual is self-explanatory.
The Paris Metro iPhone App is 99 cents at the iTunes store. Get it now.
Some people come to Paris to take photos of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame and The Arc de Triomphe, but I come here to take photos of game references. I’m strange that way. I love this “Leave us alone!” from the game, Bubble Bobble. If you’re wondering (I know you are!), this one’s at the corner of rue du Temple and rue Rambuteau.
If you happen to be wondering who are the famous French Twitterers or Tweeters or Twits…you get what I mean – just take a look at this subjective metro-ish map by Henri Michel. Click on the map to enlarge it.
There are few things more fun than wandering around toy stores in France to see what they have here that they don’t have in the U.S. In most cases, however, I find few original French games; I suppose it’s much easier to sell games that are translated rather than creating new ones, but that is okay, and even fun, too. Here’s the ever popular board game, “Operation.” Remember that one? I do. I love what the French called it: “Docteur Maboul.” Docteur Maboul means Doctor Crazy (and crazy doctor). It’s not funny but it cracks me up for some stupid reason.
“Anybody entering the word “Eu” in a search engine is likely to get a number of results, but most will be a reference to the past participle of the French verb avoir (to have), not to the pretty market town in Normandy.
The search also brings up pages related to the European Union.
Accordingly, the small town, which boasts a number of attractions, including an impressive château and gardens, is being bypassed.
Marie-Françoise Gaouyer, the local mayor, now has two options – to pay internet giants like Yahoo and Google thousands to put the town at the top of all “Eu” searches, or change the town’s name.
“The second option appears the most sensible,” said Mrs Gaouyer, adding: “As far as the internet is concerned, we have to bring ourselves up to date.” Mrs Gaouyer’s favoured option is Ville d’Eu (Town of Eu), with other possibilities including Eu-le-Château and Eu-en-Normandie.
The mayor, who believes tourism revenues are down by as much as a third because of the town’s current name, now wants all of the alternatives put to the local population of some 8000 in a referendum.
There is likely to be opposition from traditionalists in Eu, who point to a proud history which has seen visitors to the town include Joan of Arc and William the Conqueror.
If a name change is agreed, it will take some five years to become legal, following a Parliamentary Act and government approval.” [link]
“Apple is extending its European reach by confirming the opening of two retail stores in France. One of these we’ve known about for a while, and will be situated in Paris. The other is more of a surprise, as Apple has chosen Montepellier, found on the south coast, as its second store location according to ifoAppleStore.
The exact location of the Paris store has been confirmed as being inside the underground shopping mall, Carousel de Louvre. Apple have gained about 7,700 square feet of floor space from the two previous stores that occupied this space, Lalique and Résonance. Design and construction of this new site has already begun, according to local people around the area, and it’s quite possible they’ll be following the new plans for Apple’s retail stores.
The second location, in Montepellier, has not yet been confirmed. Montepellier has its own university, and we all know how much students like Apple products, whether their student loans can afford them or not. Place de la Comédie, the city-centre features many elegant buildings, that you could see with an backlit Apple logo above the flush glass front.
It is expected that both of these stores will be open at some point over the summer. Whichever is the first one with its doors open will be the first Apple store in France.” [source]
Following the unexpected and disappointing news that beginning 2010 Apple will no longer exhibit at Macworld, which is THE premiere expo for all mac users who’ve been making a yearly pilgrimage to San Francisco since the 80s – show organizers for the Apple Expo Paris announced they’ve cancelled the 2009 event.
The latter news is less of a blow than the former but at least there are more and more Apple stores to get your fix for all things Apple. Of course, no more yearly rumors, gossip and speculation of new products and the end of anticipated keynotes from Steve Jobs, will forever change the lives of Mac geeks worldwide…
Remember Nabaztag, the communicating wifi bunny? The same French company, Violet, is getting ready to launch another very fun new gadget called, “le Mir:ror.”
With Nabaztag, they achieved what they sought out to achieve, which was to create “internet objects,” in this case, rabbits, that could let you know a variety of things with gestures, sounds and light patterns. They also enabled the rabbits to communicate with each other. Their next goal involves le mir:or, which connects everything else….
“French iPhone carrier Orange is offering a killer deal on the iPhone 3G for le Noël, according to a sales flyer turned up by AppleInsider. With a contract, buyers can walk away with a new iPhone for just €99 for an 8GB model, and, according to MacBidouille, Orange is offering the 16GB model for just €129.
Though the fine print is a little hard to read—and my French a little rusty—the promotion runs from November 13 until January 14, and requires a minimum one year contract. Currently, Orange offers the 8GB iPhone at €149 and the 16GB at €199, or $190 and $254 respectively. Of course, carriers pay Apple a fixed price for each phone, estimated around $500, and subsidize a significant amount of the cost when customers sign a service contract.
Though it is unknown why Orange is offering such a sweet deal on the iPhone, O2 and T-mobile did offer steep discounts on previous-gen iPhones leading up to the launch of the 3G. Whatever the reason—higher than expected inventory, l’esprit du Noël—surely French customers are happy for the deal.” [source]
“Edging ever closer to becoming law, France’s “three-strikes” proposals have received support in the French Senate which voted overwhelmingly in favor for these draconian measures to deal with piracy. Now, a new report suggests that online piracy has become something of a ‘national sport’ in France.
The online file-sharing debate is really heating up in France. Contrary to advice from the European Court of Justice, France is pressing ahead with its plan for a controversial “3 strikes” or “graduated response” framework to deal with alleged file-sharers. Now, supported by a Le Figaro headline, “Piracy Has Become a National Sport in France”, a new study from market research company TNS Sofres is set to add fuel to the fire.
According to the poll of 2,011 people over 15 years old, the French use a diverse range of digital media to store or play pirated content. Of those questioned, 34% said their media players contained pirated files, with 20% admitting they go as far as using external hard drives to store illicit content. The USB storage key was used by 8% of respondents to shift illegal content, with 7% admitting to using mutimedia-capable cellphones.
Although the piracy ‘problem’ seems to be massive in France, it is certainly not limited to that one country. Just over the English Channel from France lies the UK, where an estimated 6 million people engage in online piracy – roughly 10% of the population. Across the pond, in the United States, a 2007 study found that 18 percent of the total US online population downloaded at least 1 movie from the Internet, illegally.
The French survey shows that the ‘problem’ is not limited to the younger generation, as is often assumed – it affects the entire population. The report further suggests that the actual numbers might be much greater than reported, but with news of draconian measures to deal with online piracy making headlines regularly, just how many people are prepared to be honest about their piracy habits?” [source]
“France’s second largest mobile operator SFR has announced the launch of a DRM-free all-you-can-eat download service from Nov. 19.
The catalog is limited to a few thousands hits exclusively from the Universal Music Group catalog. Subscribers will have unlimited access to only one of three genres (Rap/R&B, Pop/Rock, Clubbing/Electro) in AAC format on their mobile and in MP3 on their computer, without any restriction on transferring music to devices, according to SFR.
There are no plans to enable users to access the whole Universal catalog on the service. “[This offer] is a way for us to see how consumers react to DRM-free offers,” explains a spokeswoman at SFR. “We are not giving away Universal’s catalog.”
The offer is part of three SFR mobile subscription plans, which range from €22.90 ($29.16) to €56.90 ($72.47) per month. It is limited offer to 60,000 users overall.
SFR and Universal are launching this service in the context of the “Creation and Internet” law debates, which started on Oct. 29 at the French Senate.
The draft law is largely inspired by the conclusions of a commission led at the end of 2007, which proposed a three-strikes system that would cut off copyright infringers. There were also obligations for the industry, as the commission recommended that the industry remove DRM and interoperability barriers.
In Nov. 2007, SFR had launched an all-you-can-eat permanent music download service featuring DRM.” [source]
Monsieur le président must be a money magnet because the same publishers (Pascal Petiot Editions) of the famous Sarkozy Voodoo Doll is ready to release a book of games based on the presidential couple, and their history. In this book of games you’ll find puzzles and games filled with funny and playful references and anecdotes of Nicolas and Carla, etal. I bet you can’t wait to get your hands on this, can you? You’ll have to wait ’til next Monday. It’ll be available on November 6 for 8.5 euros.
“Apparently all that’s necessary to get a lagging country to hop on the high-def bandwagon is to talk bad about ’em, or at least that’s the case here with France. After we heard that the nation wasn’t exactly rushing out to adopt HD, in comes word that four major French channels will soon be available in high-definition on digital terrestrial TV (DTT). TF1 HD, France 2 HD, M6 HD and Arte HD will all begin broadcasting OTA in HD on October 30th, and while all of these are already available on other platforms, we can only imagine that beaming ’em out gratis will greatly increase HD awareness. Any other nations want to follow suit? Oh, and France, way to be a role model out there.” [source]
And to think that we JUST got broadband last week. I’m not kidding. The 2nd to get WIMAX installed in our region – but it’s not actually available to the public yet. Anyway. Back to Alsace. They’ll be the first to switch off their analog tv but all of France is scheduled to do the same. I bet our region will be LAST. Better late than never, I suppose.
“The Alsace region of France will be the first to see analogue television switch-off in late 2009, according to Eric Besson, the country’s secretary of state for development of the digital economy. Before the complete switchover, there will be three small-scale changeovers.
These three pilot changeovers are scheduled to take place in Coulommiers at the end of this year, in Kaysersberg, Alsace, in the second quarter 2009 and in the region of Cherbourg. The pilots will affect approximately 100,000 people and are meant to monitor any problems in the process.
After Alsace, analogue broadcasting will stop in Lorraine, Champagne-Ardenne and Franche – Comté. Also, in 2010 changeover will take place in the west of France, specifically in the regions of Brittany, Pays de la Loire and Basse-Normandie.
The majority of the freed-up spectrum will be allocated to “the services of the future of the audiovisual world,” said Eric Besson, especially for DTT-HD and mobile TV.
The French government plans the creation of a total of 11 multiplexes, with a coverage of 95% of the population, and two networks dedicated to personal mobile services reaching a potential 70% of the population. There will be room for 66 DTT channels.
The plan also assigns the entire band Band III (174-233 MHz), which will be released in late 2010 to digital radio.
At the end of July, about 57.8% of households were equipped for the reception of digital TV, with at least one receiver and 29.9% of homes completely dependent on digital.” [source]
The people over at gizmodo find the new cable box, “le cube” a lot more “stylishly French” than I think it is… I don’t find it stylish nor particularly French, except for the fact that it’s in France. I WANT to like it, but it’s not working for me. Anyway. More about it below.
“French cable provide Canal+ teamed up with touted OLPC and Jawbone designer Yves Behar to produce “Le Cube,” their new, ultra-stylish HD cable box with DVR and video on demand functions. Looking like a Wii all dressed up for a formal event, Le Cube blends simple geometry with simple colors to create something that’s visually striking.
But looks aside, this thing puts all of its interactive electronics and LED display into the black square portion of the box, leaving the rest relatively unscathed. It even comes with a remote control that matches the black and white motif. Call me crazy, but I wouldn’t mind moving to France just to have this in my living room. Le Cube will be available for Canal+ subscribers around November 4.” [source]
Upon first glance, this seems to be a ridiculous attempt to grab attention, but that’s clearly not the case here.
While those seeking a life changing epiphany take pilgrimages to Lourdes, Santiago de Compostela, Mecca, and beyond, Hadrian Rabouin, an 18 year old Breton (guy from Bretagne), has something else in mind and decided that what he needed, was to walk a 1200 kilometer (745 miles) circuit in France with his cow named Camomile, a one and half year old Charolais heifer.
With organic farmers for parents, Hadrien grew up deeply engrained in toxic-free nature, and amidst the mindset of respecting his environment. The goal of his long walk is to discover and catalog plants that have been long forgotten. He plans to learn and live off the land whenever possible, and to meet whomever falls in his path for four months, walking approximately 20 kilometers per day, which is dependent on how Camomile feels, of course. He hopes this experience will give him a better perspective on where his life is going.
He didn’t want to bring any money but his mother insisted he at least bring a credit card and phone home now and again. His parents are comforted a little that he has a companion, albeit a cow for a companion. Reluctantly, he brought a credit card as well as 20 euros, which he apparently hasn’t needed because people along the way so far have given him money and food. He began his so-called pilgrimage on August 1 so he should be about half way through his circuit right about now and finishing in December.
Who knows, maybe this is the start of a new travel trend…
“Network operator Orange will rate the environmental impact of the fixed-line and mobile phones it sells, it said Friday.
The company will publish eco-ratings for the first 30 products on its French Web-site in mid-October and will extend it to all the products it sells next year, it said.
Orange is the brand used by France Télécom for its mobile phone and Internet access activities in France, the U.K. and other European countries. Orange is the exclusive service provider for Apple’s iPhone in France; it also provides iPhone service in Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Liechtenstein, Romania, and Slovakia.
Orange’s ratings initially concern its French stores and networks, and are based on five indicators, compiled by the company BIO Intelligence Service:
* CO2 assessment, a measure of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the phone’s manufacture and use;
* Energy efficiency, a gauge of the phone’s power consumption and of any features that allow consumption to be reduced;
* Resource preservation, a broad rating of whether the materials used to make the product are nonrenewable or whether, like the gold and tantalum used in electrical connections and capacitors, they come from what Orange describes as “sensitive economic or social environments”;
* Limitation of dangerous substances, a measure of whether the phone avoids the use of toxic chemicals—although the most dangerous of these are already prohibited by European Union law;
* Waste reduction, a rating of whether the device can be repaired and whether it or its packaging can be recycled.
Orange’s program, developed in conjunction with environmental group WWF, could give the French government some food for thought.
After the success of an eco-tax to penalize buyers of polluting vehicles and reward purchasers of vehicles with lower CO2 emissions, the government had talked of extending the measures to other products. Those plans were postponed last month because, the government said, there were no clear environmental criteria for products other than cars.
In France mobile phones—and most other electrical and electronic goods—are already subject to a special tax called “eco-participation,” intended to fund recycling of the products at the end of their lives. Although the current eco-tax on mobile phones differs from that for, say, photocopiers, it’s the same for all models of phone, and at just €0.01 (US$.01), is nowhere near enough to influence customers to choose more environmentally friendly products.”
“One of the croissant-snarfing editors at Gizmodo France passed along this article that alleges the Mac Pro gives off toxic vapors. Translating from the language of lose to the language of guns, soccer moms and hot dogs results in a bit of discombobulation, but the gist is that a CNRS lab researcher got a Mac Pro, and after his eyes and respiratory tract were repeatedly agitated by a “stench,” decided to break down the noxious vapor coming off the Mac Pro. They found “seven volatile organic contaminants.” Though the worst they do inhaled is cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation—ingested is another story—benzene is the most troublesome, since inhaling it eight hours a day over could affect one’s bone marrow. Apple’s response?
The researcher says that after first alerting Apple to the issue, “I got the same answer each time, our skate launcher warning: ‘Our engineers are working on the problem.'” (I’m assuming “skate launcher” is a Google Translate cock-up. Giz France editor says “Skate Launcher warning = the guy from the CNRS lab who tried to warn Apple.”) Since publishing the report, Apple has promised “to resolve the problem in eight days.”
I wouldn’t chuck your Mac Pro out the window yet, but if you’re particularly digging that new car smell, I’d probably cut back on huffing it, until this is sorted out.”
Tired of shlepping your guide books around Paris? If you have an iPhone, you might want look into Frommer’s Paris Guide, which fits nicely on your favorite mobile phone from Apple. This is basically the hard copy guide book, but in a digital and more convenient format.
While we’re on the subject of i-things, Apple is rumored to be announcing new iPods next Tuesday, September 9, so keep an eye out for that. By the way, iPod Touches are basically iPhones without the phone (but with internet), so most (if not all) iPhone apps should be able to work on these.
Here’s a new, ultra-handy, free dashboard widget for Mac users who speak and write French. It’s a French dictionary that is much easier to use than the tangible leaf through (with your actual hands!) version, as well as even an online dictionary. Install and off you go. Just hit F12 to access your dashboard and your dictionary will be waiting for you. Download it here. If you use it often, please consider donating to the developer.
“French cellphone carrier Orange has admitted to imposing artificial limits on its 3G broadband network, reports say. The confession comes after complaints from a number of iPhone 3G owners, who in testing their download capacity discovered that they were limited to a maximum of 400Kbps, as compared to the 1.8Mbps possible on T-Mobile’s German network.
Most 3G networks are limited to a peak speed of 3.2Mbps, although some may support 7.2Mbps. Some upset Orange subscribers have been able to get their speeds raised by technicians, who have altered individual accounts to push speeds as high as 3Mbps. Customers have further alleged that the cap may be a violation of Orange’s service agreements, and a petition for proper 3G access has been formed online.
An Orange representative contacted by FranceInfo has stated that the cap is actually pegged at 384Kbps, and applies not just to iPhones but all devices on its 3G network. The limit was aimed at “preserving the stability of the network,” according to the representative, but Orange has since decided it will raise download speeds slightly; by September 15th, the cap should be 1Mbps.”
I haven’t given up on my attempts to support indie game and software developers, particularly those in France, so I’m featuring a small, time waster of the day called, “Hog Pop,” just released by Jean-Philippe Sarda, the same guy who brought you that fun yet infuriating Parallel Parking game.
With Hog Pop, your mission is to pop a required number of bubbles, but I haven’t seen any hogs yet.
A couple of days ago Apple yanked one of the listed iPhone apps from the iTunes store. The app with a $1000 price tag (actually $999.99), brilliant in my opinion and funny to boot, displays an image of a glowing red ruby that would always remind you (and others when you show it to them) that you are rich enough to afford it. That’s all it does. I’m serious.
The kooky thing is: EIGHT people bought it! Really. So the German developer, Armin Heinrich worked for approximately one hour to churn out this app and voila, he made over 5,000 bucks. ($8,000 minus Apple’s commission) And according to the LAtimes, the buyers were 6 Americans, 1 German and 1 French person. (or someone living in France). Did they think they were getting an actual ruby? Or do you think they just wanted it and could kick around a thousand bucks just like that? Did they show it to other people? Are they proud of it?
By now, you’ve probably heard about a correlation between cell phone use and cancer. But geez, you can’t listen to those things because you absolutely love your cell phone. Who doesn’t? You were so freakin’ relieved to find out that those popcorn popping celphones were a hoax. Don’t lie. This love you have for your cute electronic companion has conveniently ousted from your head any negative publicity your mobile beloved has received. You really want to ignore them! Here’s you, “cell phones are dangerous??? NAH….. Don’t be silly! Cancer? Pfff. That is ridiculous. I use mine all the time and I’m fine!”
Do you say that because you don’t WANT it to be true? You can want all you like but just because you don’t want it to be true doesn’t mean it isn’t true.
No one WANTED cigarettes to be the leading cause of death, cancer, heart disease and lung disease (among other things), did they? Many cigarettes smokers said, “they smoked all the time and they were fine!”
No one wanted to believe that the building material called asbestos would kill them. No one wanted to think that anything was wrong with their PVC window frames? Check your hospitals, do they have any PVC? Answer: No. “But the PVC pipes and windows were so cheap,” people say…
Hospitals also don’t allow cell phone use, or wifi for that matter. Do people wonder WHY? I wish they did.
The warnings have been around for a long time but it has been in French news more and more this year. I mean, you can’t let your peeps keep doing harmful things to their bodies, can you France?
French Health Minister Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin also went on France 2 TV and rehashed the well-worn theory connecting cell phone use with cancer.
In the U.S. neurosurgeons can’t admit that cell phones are dangerous and cause brain cancer, but they WILL admit that they NEVER put a cell phone up to their heads. Ever! What do BRAIN SURGEONS know, anyway!??!
Hang on. Aside from being rant-errific, I do have some useful information that might prompt you to reduce the amount of risk to which you subject yourself.
Both Europe and the U.S. have defined safety limits for exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy produced by mobile devices. The SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) or DAS (débit d’absorption spécifique) in France is a measure or index of the rate at which RF energy is absorbed by the body when exposed to radio-frequency electromagnetic field.
In the United States the FCC requires that phones sold have a SAR level at or below 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) taken over a volume of 1 gram of tissue.
In the European Union, the SAR limit is 2 W/kg, averaged over ten grams of tissue. For whole body exposure there is a limit of 0.08 Watt/kg averaged over the whole body.
What you can do: Find out the index of your mobile phone then act accordingly. If it’s too high, get a different phone that is safer. Here’s a chart with a list of phones and their SARs.
As an example, the new 3G iPhone’s SAR (or indice DAS in French) is 1.388 W/kg. The first generation iPhone was 0.974 W/Kg. Other examples: Motorola Razr2 v9 is 0.52. The Samsung SLM is 0.48. As low as some of the phone’s indices are, neurosurgeons STILL won’t put them up to their heads!
What you can do: Like neurosurgeons, DON’T put the cellphone up to your head. Use speaker phone mode. Note: Bluetooth devices and unshielded wired-earphones amplify the signal. In other words, they radiate more, NOT less.
What you can do: Remember that the industries will ALWAYS deny the existence of any dangers. Not only that, they are responsible for those “counter” studies that come out after researchers warn about the dangers of a product. Scientific studies have been suppressed by the cell phone industry and the government to protect their profits. Do not buy that game.
What you can do: Reduce your cell phone use to a bare minimum. Keep conversations short.
What you can do: Don’t let kids use the phone at all if possible. If they must, not for more than a minute at a time. Ideally, they should never use them or use them only for emergency situations.
What you can do: Turn your cell phone off when it isn’t needed and especially when you are driving your car. When driving with your cell phone on, the waves ricochet inside the car because cars are metallic, creating a Faraday Cage.
What you can do: When possible, keep the cell phone as far away from your body as much as possible.
The new iPhone 3Gs were sold out within hours of its availability here in France the other day. Oh well. You waited too long, and didn’t get one? Maybe you can get one of these new, plastic disposable Bic cel phones instead. They’re really ugly, they radiate a lot of un-heathy microwaves and they’re very hazardous to the environment because they end up piling up in the landfills eventually leaching BPAs, dioxins and other carcinogens into the land, air and water. I bet you really want one now.
Bic (yes, the same people who brought you all those hideous plastic florescent lighters and pens that leaked into your backpack and pockets) has teamed up with Orange – to launch the sale of these wonderful mobile phones on August 7. The phone will cost €49 (about $80).