C'est la guerre

French Legislators Move to Ban Amazon (and Everyone Else) From Offering Free Shipping on Discounted Books

French culture minister chillin' (PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Americans are fond of wringing their hands over Amazon’s seemingly endless, Borg-like growth. Is there any hope for bookstores when Prime membership enables you to get free two-day shipping on cheap, brand-new hardcovers?

France, though, isn’t simply nattering anxiously. No, France is taking action. Legislators from the ruling Socialist Party and the conservative UMP have Read More

U Francey Huh

Convenience-Hating French Prime Minister Cracks Down on Uber

"Allez-vous faire foutre, les startups." (Photo: Getty)

Between the terrible restaurant service, the 1 a.m. Metro closing time and the lack of plumbers, Paris is not a city known for its convenience.

This extends to taxis, which are all but impossible to summon without waiting in line for quite a longtemps, especially if it’s past the Metro’s bedtime. So Frenchies must have been psyched when Uber came to town and offered them the option of ordering up a cab like a dish of frog’s legs. Read More

Beer Me

High-Tech Fridge Denies Beer to Non-Canadians

She thirsty. (Screengrab: YouTube)

It’s a common problem: you’re walking down the street in a European tourist destination and you come upon a giant fridge with a beer logo on it.

But try as you might, you can’t get it to open. Instead of buying a beer elsewhere, you beckon fellow passersby to show them the cruel appliance. A crowd forms. Finally, a Canadian walks up, slides her passport into the high-tech fridge scanner, and the fridge pops open. Free beer for everyone! (Shhh, don’t worry about laws against drinking in public.) Read More

U Francey Huh

Pinterest Adds French Site in Order to Become More Insufferable

(Photo: Pinterest)

Pinterest is taking its well-lit show on the road, expanding eastward to the land of cigarettes, simple carbs and wafting B.O. — France.

The site, which is pretty much Tumblr for basic bitches, can already be accessed in French and a few other languages. The official new froggy version will simply provide more French site links and localized content, according to TechCrunch. That likely means an endless stream of pinned Gauloises, animal liver and American Top 40 hits from the mid-2000s. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Maybe You’d Be More Qualified If You Were a College Dropout

(Photo: flickr.com/kla4067)

In a talk at DLD, Ben Horowitz revealed that his VC firm had closed (non-seed) investments in a mere 24 companies, most of them created by “college dropouts with insane ideas going after tiny markets with no way to monetize.” [TechCrunch]

France is considering creating an Internet tax, levied on the collection of personal information. As far as French ideas go, we prefer the croissant. [New York Times]

Speaking of Waterloo: Atari’s U.S. arm has declared bankruptcy in an attempt to escape its French parent company. The second plank of this plan is presumably to time-travel back to the late 70s. [L.A. Times]

Some poor kid’s been expelled from Montreal College for daring to discover a software vulnerability that left 250,000 students’ information exposed. [National Post]

Graph search is a “privacy test” for Facebook. Given that users of the site freak out at phantom privacy crises, this’ll be fun. [New York Times]

Linkages

Booting Up: Who Made Business Insider’s Silicon Alley 100?

<3 u, Google (Photo: flickr.com/wlappe)

Tim Cook wants you to understand that the iPad mini is, like, totally not just a seven-inch iPad. [The Verge]

You can now legally jailbreak your smartphone. Good luck getting them to honor the warranty once you do, though. [Ars Technica]

“We don’t want to appear as a country that is anti-Google.” — France’s minister of technology. She might have an uphill battle there, as other officials have spoken out in favor of charging Google for linking to French news sites. [Quartz]

Did you make the cut for Business Insider’s Silicon Alley 100, a muy scientific slideshow accounting of the coolest people in New York tech? [Business Insider]

A devoted player of the MMORGP Eve Online was inspired by his ripped avatar to get off his butt and start going to the gym. [CNN]

Linkages

Booting Up: The Mayer Effect Edition

Seemed like a cat pic kind of day. (Photo: Pusheen.com)

Two more execs are leaving Yahoo. Call it the “Mayer effect.” Or is that the term for bringing Googlers to Yahoo? [AllThingsD]

The social media sector has LinkedIn and Yelp to thank for boosting its image by meeting their projected revenues. The rest of y’all look like chumps. [Wall Street Journal]

Hey everyone let’s freak out and say you can’t read Quora anonymously. But psst…you can. Just change your settings. Problem solved! [GigaOm]

Au revoir, piracy police. At least in France, anyway. [PaidContent]

Yes, you can go to jail for admitting to rape on Reddit. Also, you’re a monster. [BuzzFeed]

THE GOOG

Now Google Is Pissing Off the French Authorities

Ms. Falque-Pierrotin (cnil.fr)

Mere weeks after being slapped with a $25,000 fine from America’s own F.C.C., Google is antagonizing yet another government body with its tight-lipped, unhelpful responses.

All Things D reports that France’s C.N.I.L., the data protection organization investigating the company’s privacy policies on behalf of the EU, is none too pleased with the company right now. Whatever answers Google does provide are often “incomplete or approximate,” and that simply won’t do.

The C.N.I.L. sent Google a questionaire back in March; the company returned the questionaire in April. Representatives from the two organizations have also met in person. And yet, the French still don’t have the information they want. And so now C.N.I.L. head Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin has taken to the Internet with a chiding public letter for CEO Larry Page. She writes:  Read More