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How French media is adapting to Web 2.0 name bans

The BBC has a short video report featuring interviews with French journalists about the recent ban on citing Facebook, Twitter, Google and other social network companies on air. This stems from a French law preventing the promotion of brands on news broadcasts.

So instead of saying “Follow France24 on Twitter and Facebook”, they will have to say “Follow France24 on our social network channels” or something of the like. Not a big change perhaps, but the debate is whether or not these companies have penetrated the social fabric of our culture so deeply that their names are cultural references first, brands second.

What do you think?

You can watch the video here.

Obama, G8 in Normandy, summary of e-G8 summit in Paris

The G8 Summit in France starts today.

Figaro has a special report section dedicated to the summit as well as the G20.

This past Tuesday and Wednesday, there was a precursor, “e-G8” event in Paris bringing together internet experts and goverment ministers to discuss the future of the web, net neutrality, its implications and its role in society. You can check out the official site here. Attendees included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s Eric Schmidt, News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

You can also check out videos on the eG8 YouTube channel.

Is predicted to be a boom for the city and region’s image and tourism

Internet as big as energy in France: 3.7% of GDP in 2010 and growing

French financial daily La Tribune reports that the Internet sector contributed to 3.7% of French GDP last year, worth 72 billion euros. It cites a report by McKinsey which states that the sector has created a net total of 700,000 jobs in France in the past 15 years.

At 14% annual growth, the sector should reach 5.5% of GDP by 2015, or 129 billion euros, creating another 450,000 jobs in France.

Moreover, companies that invest in new technologies (web sites, intranets…) have reaped the awards: “for every euro spent, they generated 2 euros in operating margins”, according to McKinsey.

The study was presented by Eric Besson, the French Minister for Industry, Energy and Digital Economy (Ministre de l’Industrie et du numérique) and co-fnanced by Google, which has participated in similar studies in the UK.

You can read the original article here and get a free PDF of the report (in French) here.

Cloud computing in Europe hampered by privacy laws

September 19th, 2010 1 comment

This interesting New York Times piece touches on differences between the U.S. and EU legal systems governing privacy laws and what they imply for cloud computing – infrastructure storing data, files, documents, etc..online to make sharing information more accessible and flexible and cost efficient. You may think of Google Docs, for example, as a popular form of cloud computing. I’ve seen French concern, for example, over privacy issues, as privacy is considered similar to a human right, whereas in the U.S. it’s more of a consumer issue.

I’m personally in favor of efficiency and the exchange of information, though I understand concerns about companies getting too much access to private information for their benefit.

Excerpts:

“…Global sales of cloud services are poised nearly to double by 2012, to $102.1 billion, Gartner estimates. But Europe is expected to remain a relatively modest user of cloud services, accounting for only $18 billion this year, or about 26 percent of the global total. By 2012, Gartner estimates, Europe’s proportion of global cloud sales will rise to 29 percent, even though the bloc’s economy is larger than that of the United States.

Facing legal obstacles in Europe, the U.S. businesses with the greatest stake in cloud computing — primarily Microsoft, Google, H.P. and Oracle — are lobbying lawmakers to loosen restrictions on cross-border data transfers. Alternatively, some are developing new methods to make cloud computing work within Europe’s complicated legal landscape….In Europe, the legal definition of what constitutes personal data is much broader than it is in the United States, extending to information like names, addresses and phone numbers in phone books….”

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