Good Spots In Paris

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Wednesday, June 10 2009

After the Jolly Roger

Pirate Party Last weekend where the elections for the European Parliament. I'll spoil the results right now : the conservatives globally won. Now that this is spoiled I can talk about the funny thing I had in mind when writing the title of this article : what happened in Sweden :)

The Pirate Party ("Piratpartiet" in swedish), which is a Swedish political party vaguely related to the Pirate Bay and to cyberpiracy in general, had enough votes to send a deputy to the European Parliament !!! Sounds crazy, don't you think :) ?! Crazy but true : they do have a seat.

This party got arount 7% of the votes in Sweden , and is the first party among voters younger than 30. Funny thing : you can't tell if this party is right of left wing as they have absolutely no program for anything else than :

  • reforming copyrights law
  • protect privacy (both online and in everyday life)
  • improve transparency in the state administration.

And do you know the more astonishing about it ;) ? It's that nobody talks about it in the traditional media in France. You can find articles about it everywhere online, but turn on your french TV to see the news : all that you'll hear about the elections is that the right wing won and the left wing lost hard...Maybe we should see there a political will to deny the existence of "piracy" in the internet...shameful :(

PS : the title "after the jolly roger" refers to the fact that after having used a jolly roger for some times the Pirate Bay adopted a stylized "P" that the Pirate Party adopted just after, you can see it at the top of this article ;)

Wednesday, April 15 2009

Well...same player shot again ?

MazzeYou know the law project I was talking about last week ?...Thanks to some weird tricky legislative procedure it's been rejected at the house of representatives by a vote at the last moment ! Great isn't it :) ? When I learned it I was fucking glad ^^ !...but d'you know what ? The government decided the representatives willl have to vote again (because they were not pleased with the result of the vote)...

So that's official, they postponed a vote for a more severe law against incest so they can, instead, vote this f*cking piece of sh*t again. It's planned for the end of this month. And you know what ? For the first time of my entire life I'm seriously considering the opportunity to demonstrate ! A demonstration is planned 3 days before the vote, in front of the house of representatives and I'm quite sure I'll go !

Anyhow, I'll let you know so keep tuned, and even I don't go (as it's planned on a Saturday evening) I might still hang out around the house of representatives just to take some pictures with my "still new" camera (the area is quite gorgeous). So even if the only thing you care about is planning a touristic trip in Paris (which I understand ^^) you'd better keep tuned here ;) !

Tuesday, April 7 2009

Ludicrous !

shadockI apologize for this post, because it will certainly not be very interesting to you, but I do feel the need to write it ! Last Thursday the parliement voted a new french law called HADOPI, and this law sux

To summarize the thing : this law says that private firms will have the right to track down french people who illegally download musics and films, those firms will have the right to demand the name behind any IP address which they suspect of illegal download (as long as it's a French IP, don't worry foreign friends ;) ). Then, those private firms will have the right to send a warning e-mail to the concerned person. If this person's caught again it's a paper letter that is sent, and if they are caught again they have their internet access shut down for a year (or so)...Yes, it is fucking stupid.

  • Cracking a WEP protected wifi network can be done by my 7 months old nephew...hard luck for his neighbors, they might have their internet connection doomed by the law (and let's not even talk about open wifi networks...)
  • To track down p2p traffic the firms providing internet connection will have to invest in their infrastructure for better performances, therefore they'll raise their prices (yeahh, I love the idea of paying more for my internet connection in order to finance this whole shit)
  • What will they do if we just crypt our downloads :) ?...maybe some magic trick I guess...or maybe they are just to damn stupid for having thought about ir !
  • How the hell will they track down non-p2p download ? Oh yeah : either they can't, or they'll ask for the listing of every website we visit...man we're not China for god sake !
  • In France it is legal to make a private backup of any film or music you legally buy. But how will they know, seeing me downloading a song, if I have legally bought the CD or not ? Because if I have bought it, it's legal for me to download a backup of it you know...Answer : they don't give a shit about it, we will now be presumed guilty (nice isn't it ?)

And do you know the more frustrating about all this ? The thing that really pisses me off ? It's that the population knows, since the beginning, that this law is a piece of shit, and there've been demonstrations, petitions, and associations created just to denounce it...but the big firms who want this law to pass were stronger (well, at least they pay more) so this law was finally voted at the parliement.....at 11pm, by the 16 deputies which were not in there bed at that time (they are supposed to be more than 500 in this parliement !!!...They just were not warned that the vote was planned this day by the government..... at 11pm......bastards !)

Well, it's time for me to apologise for this borring article...but I really needed to write it down :) It cools me down ^^ ...Time to go to bed now (I hope they'll not vote allegiance to Russia while I'm in bed ;) )

Saturday, September 13 2008

The Pope and the Dalai Lama

Yoda This week the Pope is in Paris; last month the Dalai Lama was. One of them was received by the President, not the other one. Any idea of which one was, which one was not, and why ? In this post I'll give you my view on it (and introduce you some good spots in Paris at the same time ;) ).

Last month the Dalai Lama was in France. He basically went there to meet French Buddhists and give some speeches about Buddhism.

Dalai Lama

For those of you who do not know (yet) : the Dalai Lama is not only the head of the Buddhist Church but also a key piece of the political field in Tibet. Let's sum it up quickly : Tibet used to be independent, in the 50's (1950-1951) China invaded it and decided that the Dalai Lama would be the head of it as a province of China. As the Dalai Lama was finally not communist enough rumors about the Chinese army wanting to arrest him spread in 1959 and a huge riot occurred in Tibet. The riot was repressed mercilessly by the Chinese army (unofficial documents relate that about 87000 Tibetans died). Fearing that the Chinese army would kill him the Dalai Lama went to exile in India and asked members of the former government of Tibet to follow him. Since then there is a totally unofficial government of Tibet in India, gathered around the Dalai Lama. Officially the Tibet is still a part of China, and riots are still fiercely repressed (the last one was about 6 months ago).

Knowing this you easily understand that China is not really in love with the Dalai Lama ;) ...at the point that last month, as the Dalai Lama was in France, China officially announced that there might be "big consequences" if the French president was to meet the Dalai Lama...Nice isn't it ? Only a few days before the beginning of the Olympics what a pretty picture of itself China gave. Anyway the French president then said that he would not meet the Dalai Lama during his stay in France and that the Dalai Lama had, very wisely, not asked for such a meeting anyhow. But make no mistake, it's not a complete Chinese victory : the French president added that he would definitely meet the Dalai Lama later, and the French first lady attended a Buddhist ceremony led by the Dalai Lama to inaugurate a big Buddhist temple.

What about the Pope now ?

Benoit XVI

One again let's start about a bit of teaching : In France religion and politics are supposed to be two very very different things (According to google translator the correct word for it is "secularism" ;) ). Politicians, representing the French government, are not supposed to show any obedience to any religion publicly. They must respect every religion but hide as much as possible in public if they believe in one (it's very different than in the US where you hear about "God" every 5mn in every politicians' speeches). It's so true that a little polemic exists now in France because we find that the president shows a little too much that he is catholic (even if catholicism if, by far, the most common religion in France). As an example : although the French president did not meet the Dalai Lama (we explained why earlier) he welcomed the Pope directly at the airport (what he only did before for Nelson Mandela in 2007). Another example : he made the sign of the cross once during an official ceremony (and did not escapology for doing so after...).

Anyway, I think it's a great chance we have, here in France, to have had two great religious leaders teaching peace here in less than two months :) And it's a cool opportunity to have a look at where they've been in Paris, don't you think we could find some good spots within those ;) ?

Let's start with the easiest one : The Pope. He's been to many places, but we'll focus only on two of them : "Notre Dame cathedral", and the "Invalides"". I've already talked a bit about "Notre Dame" cathedral in a post about sightseeing spots you must see if you're in Paris so I won't add to it here. Let's then see what is the "Invalides" ! To be honest, the first thing I think of when talking about the "Invalides" is rollerblading :) ! The Invalides is in fact a nice old military monuments (I believe it was built during the 17th century) which, nowadays, mainly hosts museums. But it's also big lawns and a big place just in front of it, leading you to the nicest bridge in Paris (the bridge "Alexandre III" ). And why do I think "rollerblading" when someone says "Invalides" then ? Simply because the place is quite big and is therefore a great spot to rollerblade on (you'll almost always find people rollerblading there :) ). My advice then : if you have enough time, go and see the Invalides from the outside, and head toward the bridge, it's really a beautiful one (I mean it !) Invalides

Now that's we're briefly done with the Pope, where did the Dalai Lama went ? Well the issue is that he moved a lot :) ! He's been in France for more than twelve days (as far as I know) and moved a lot during his whole journey, so I could not find any exhaustive list of places he's been to. So you know what ? I just won't introduce anymore spots in this post, and I will, instead, add links in this posts when, in the future, I'll talk about places he's been to :) (tip : I think the next one is going to be about the city hall of Paris, which is really worth it...subscribe to the RSS feed, so you won't miss the coming review of good spots in Paris !).

Saturday, August 30 2008

The Olympics, seen from France

Olympics FlagNow that the Olympics are over, I'd like to have my word on it :) I noticed two things that I'd really like to have your view on (two things that are not pure sport, as you may guess seeing this post is in the "politics" category ...)
Firstly one thing surprised me : The official way of ranking countries is by gold medals (at least I've always known this one, and this is the one I found in every official documents, even the ones from 2000 that I've been digging to find just to check if it was not new).

Just to emphasize what I say here are the ranking from the official Olympics website, and one from a french TV website :

Official Ranking

French Ranking

But, I found that on American medias, that's the total number of medals won that's used for the ranking :

CNN ranking

This one's from the CNN website, you may double check if you don't trust me ;)

So I was wondering : Have the US always count that way, or is that just a happy unrelated decision to start ranking this way the very year were it helps changing a very good rank of #2 to a great rank of #1 ;) ? I personally don't know and that's why I ask (I've been digging the CNN website, but all I could found was a dynamic page from the 2004 Olympics with no default ranking, and you have to choose yourself between total or gold for the ranking...useless)

The second thing I'd like to have my say about is....cheating :) If you lurk a bit on the web you know for sure by know that the Chinese team of Gymnastic cheated on the age of some of their athletes ( have a look at this article , or this one from the times , ...) but what surprised me was not that they cheated, it was that we never heard about it on the French TV and that the CIO just decided to play the fool and basically said "We checked the Chinese passport : it says she's old enough" (No way ! To check if the Chinese government cheat I do not agree with the fact that the best way is to go, ask them, and of course be happy with the answer as they say "no we do not cheat, don't you see this brand new official passport ?" ). I guess that politically (or economically) we had to shut up...but well, I was still surprised when I learned it :) Anyhow : have your say ! Leave a comment saying which country you're from and whether or not you've heard about this issue on official media :)