Category Archives: France

Do three, and then change…

This week saw the third VivaTech and for the first time I didn’t go. Things are busy at the moment and I couldn’t see what I’d learn that was new this time. The organisers have spent three years working on the model “if it ain’t broke, do the same but bigger”.

They now have a massive international success on their hands but they’ve salso started to bang up against the events rule of three.

  • Do something once and it’s new, original, interesting and feels like a breath of fresh air.
  • Second time is comfortable, it’s less awkward and you get a ton of value from it. You are less surprised by the rules and you know what you’re doing.
  • You get to the third event and you realise that people are bending the rules and gaming the system. It’s time to do something radically different.

I’ve seen this many times professionally and privately. VivaTech needs a second act and to move away from it’s corporate roots.

Where did I spend Saturday? At Startup for Kids, it was the first year; it’s tiny and they’ve a load to learn but were did get the pirate robot to work in the end!


For future reference…

Écoles, laboratoires, installations sportives, logements étudiants… Naviguez sur la carte pour découvrir les chantiers et projets engagés sur le campus de l’Université Paris-Saclay.

Le campus de l’Université Paris-Saclay : tous les chantiers et projets

Proto204: The hidden jewel…

For those not following along at home, I live outside of Paris. There are no Parisien buildings, no boulevards and there is a single train line that links us to “civilisation”.

A couple of weeks ago I was researching software carpentry and places in France where training was happening and found to my surprise Bures sur Yvette on the list! Even stranger, I’d walk past the entrance to Proto204 without ever going in…

Inside is hidden the world of Proto204. A place for researchers, students, start ups and even us locals to meet and discuss technology.

To kick things off I managed to get a ticket to the session titled “Optimistes Numériques (O.N.)” which thanks for the single train line I turned up to spectacularly late but…

The videos are available here, and are well worth watching:

The end of a meme…


What is the chance that they’re all gone world-wide by the end of the year?

Paris: une grille du pont des Arts est tombée sous le poids des cadenas

Paris: une grille du pont des Arts est tombée sous le poids des cadenas.

Totally Frenched Out: Color me confused…

“I guess it just underlines one of the main differences between Anglo and French cultures….when we meet someone new, we tend to look for anyway possible to connect with them, whereas as the French just….dont.”

Totally Frenched Out: Color me confused.


Or it just shows that in France, personal is personal and not blurted out the first time you meet. Try putting the shoe on the other foot. You’re at a evening class and your supposed to listen to everyone’s personal information and remember it. At least in France you’re not swamped with stuff that isn’t part of what you’re learning about!

Alex Doonesbury…

Doonesbury has grow on me over the years, I first really started reading it in Chicago all those years ago.

This summer as Alex took a massive step in her life my daughter each took massive steps in theirs.

I have a fear that Mike’s experience is a vision of my own future.

“The next day, as Mike prepares to lead his daughter down the aisle, he flashed back for a moment, seeing her not radiant in the wedding dress that brought him up short, but as a little girl with a fistful of wildflowers. “You okay?” Alex asked him. “You seem a little out of it.” “I’m fine,” her father told her. “You go play.”


Alex Doonesbury Succeeds Her Father as ‘Doonesbury’s Main Character | ThinkProgress.

Alex Doonesbury Succeeds Her Father as 'Doonesbury's Main Character | ThinkProgress

Film story???

Why is this not a film? This man was for real!

“La Rouchefoucauld met Hitler, joined the Resistance, and, with the permission of de Gaulle, who told him, “Even allied to the Devil, it’s for La France,” joined the British reconnaissance agency Special Operations Executive (“Churchill’s secret army”). With the S.O.E., he learned how to crack safes and how to “kill a man with the flat of his hand.”

The World’s Most Interesting Obituary? : The New Yorker.