Category Archives: France Predictions – President Clinton, Google grows, $100 oil, but no US recession…

The FT predicts what will happen in 2008… / Comment & analysis / Comment – President Clinton, Google grows, $100 oil, but no US recession – this is 2008
There are a couple of intersting comments; first Iraq…

Will Iraq disintegrate?

Iraq is a broken country – broken by dictatorship, war, invasion and occupation. For most practical purposes it already has disintegrated: it can no longer properly be considered a unitary state. The best hope is a weak central government whose primary role is to allocate oil revenue on an agreed basis.

That would require a broader rapprochement in the region between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia (which is possible), and the US to bury the past and seek a diplomatic grand bargain with Tehran (which is not – at least in this last year of the Bush administration). David Gardner

Intersting that the obvious is now out in the open. Iraq no longer exists but we continue to pretend that it does.

Now to a good prediction on Sarko.  The main reason that Sarko will survive is that he moves faster than the opposition can organize (he launches a debate, last nights was about the “politics of civilisation”, by the time that the opposition has decided what they think he’ll move to another subject) as long as he keeps that up he’ll survive.

Will Nicolas Sarkozy blow up?

Observing Nicolas Sarkozy governing France is a bit like watching a man striking matches in a warehouse full of fireworks: there is constant colour, noise and excitement but also a nagging fear that the whole thing might explode. His determination to reform the country’s rigid labour laws is the most likely spark. But the country’s civil service, universities and banlieues are also combustible. The French president’s impulsive foreign policy seems yet another accident foretold. That said, Mr Sarkozy has an instinctive understanding of his compatriots and a happy knack of skirting disaster. French voters elected him to change the country. He runs the most risks by taking none. There will be plenty of flashes in 2008, but none is likely to prove fatal. John Thornhill

Fon Fails!

It sucks!

First Fon sent an email offering three Fon routers as Christmas presents! Fantastic idea and I ordered within hours. I started planning who were going to get them; in fact, they were going to three different countries (Holland, the USA and France).

But they didn’t arrive. No word from Fon about if they were shipped. I sent an email to their support but didn’t get a reply. I’m now missing three routers; do I have to pay the 100€ to get them?

This really sucks because I have no idea about what to do now!

When you don’t know your subject; write professionally. When non-technologists write about technology

This post reminds me of something that my Dad used to say; “I’ve never read an article about a subject that I know well that was correct”.  It always made me wonder but I’ve spent years since reading articles about subjects I know looking for the exception; I’ve not found it.

The Economist is an extreme of this, I read it for over a decade and was subscribed for years. Then I realized that all articles about technology, the UK and France annoyed me because of their gross oversimplification and constant application of “Economist hope” over experience. However, the rest of the paper made sense.

Then I got thinking…

If that’s the case, does it mean that the worst written articles were always on the subjects that I knew best, or simply that I agreed with the other articles because I didn’t understand the situation and the Economist was over simplifying it?

In the end I unsubscribed and read more blogs instead!

BusinessWeek: Top 100 Global Brands

It’s time for the annual nonsense list of brands…

BusinessWeek Online: Top 100 Global Brands

Some quick notes;

  • There are no valuable brands in China, India or anywhere outside the western world. I’m sure that Tata, Wipro, Mittal, Haier, CIC and a few others would beg to disagree.
  • When they saw that the Microsoft brand is worth 58 billon dollars, what does it get Microsoft?
    • Since when has anyone bought a product just because it was a Microsoft product?
    • Can these companies lauch into new markets because of the strength of their brand? No. Microsoft has spent a fortune getting over the brand name in video games; Coke has trouble getting out the black sugered water market and Nescafe isn’t going to start selling anything but coffee.

From here the list looks like the Top 100 middle American brands that mean something to the baby boomers.

Great article about Velib

Here is a great summary about what Velib has managed to do.

Re*Move: A lesson in business from the French

I don’t think that people either inside or outside of Paris have really realized what has happened in the last six months. There has been a revolution but nobody seems to have noticed.

If we’re to meet the challenge of climate change I think that we’re going to have to see far more of these hi-tech, low-tech mash-ups. I just can’t imagine what the next one will be!

Review: Le Web 3

Last year it took me a while to recover from Le Web 3. There was the blog war and I never got around to writing what I thought of it all. This year it’s taken a week.

In summary; Le Web 3 has become the best couple of days in the year for me. I loved last year but this year I actually felt comfortable and had a real ball.

There are still areas to improve;

  • the panel discussions are often too laid back and the “on the sofa talks with Loïc” need more preparation. Otherwise, the time time slips by without any real discussion occurring. As good as the discussion with Janus Friis was, Dave Winer’s chat never really got off the ground.
  • Q&As never really happened and the mobile microphones just don’t work. Can’t we just have somewhere to queue? And please limit the number of questions per person otherwise we get the same four people over and over again.

Otherwise, all the organization was better. The speakers were fantastic, although I think that we can invite a politician back; maybe someone from the UK to talk about data privacy!

Special appreciation goes to:

– Scoble for chatting at 8am about his Kindle and being so nice. He’s far nicer in person than via his writing and videos.

– Starck for proving that you don’t need to know a language to speak it!

– Joi Ito for a fascinating talk that I’ve referred to seven times in the last week.

– Evan Williams for reteaching the importance of Zen in design without knowing it.

– JP Rangaswami for proving me wrong about BT.

– June Cohen for reminding me that it’s about the story not the technology. Interestingly, I signed up for LeWeb3 last year after seeing the TED Talks films. Everything is a circle!

I saw him there; but I don’t think he actually arrived…

Jason Calacanis talked about LeWeb3 on the latest episode of TWiT.

Before today I had him down as a generally intelligent person with a big mouth (not that a big mouth is a bad thing; I hope). And then on TWiT he said that about 5% of people at LeWeb3 were French.

Seems he wasn’t at the same event as the rest of us. If he looks LeWeb3 site here he’ll see that over half the people who listened to his talk were French. Or at least came from France.
He also said that Mahalo announced something at the conference but that was it. Erm, didn’t GooJet announce something and win a prize? Didn’t Dave Winer announce something?

If I hadn’t seen him with my own eyes on stage and wandering around on his blackberry I’d have to assume that he’d not attended.

BTW – I was dying to ask him after his talk about if he considers his behavior on the Gillmor Gang as SPAM.

This site is on a 1and1 server somewhere. Then I see this…

kelblog : Un hébergeur à éviter absolument: (in French!)

Look like I should start looking for a new home!

Le Web 3: One Man & H is Blog on the Rose love-in

Having sat through the “interview”, this made me laugh…

Le Web 3: Kevin Rose of Digg – One Man & His Blog

There was no substance in the talk and this was the professional journalist. Cover story of Newsweek no less. It says something that the professionals play such softball.

I predict a wedding before next Christmas!

Winer and the iPhone

I sat and watched Dave Winer tale this photo this morning.

Geraldine and Loic on Flickr

What was great to see was how easy it was; and how natural.

It reminds me of the quote that any sufficiently good technology is indistinguishable from magic. Watching Dave this morning was like watching Merlin.

I however will be posting photos a lot more slowly simply because the Wi-Fi sucks and I need to sync the camera with the PC etc.