Anatole France And Proust

France calls for EU to regulate Web giants to counter dominance

And it is hard to look away. Check out the video at top. How was it done? Some news outlets say it was taken from the back of the eagle with a GoPro, a small camera used for remote photography and video. Scientists design animal backpacks of all sorts for their feathered test subjects, and for many different purposes. Many are GPS-based, so that researchers can track the long-distance trips of migrating birds. Others seek to use the birds as their eyes and ears in the environment. One team at Cornell University is building a removable backpack that draws energy from the birds movements to power a host of sensors. Bird lovers can find beautiful close-up and slow-motion video in PBS’ “Earthflight” series, now airing. The series recently focused on birds in Europe . Next up is the sixth in the series, “Flying High,” which airs Oct. 9.

In an interview published by Liberation newspaper on Thursday, France’s minister for the digital economy, Fleur Pellerin, said Europe needed new regulatory powers to intervene much earlier, to level the playing field in the internet economy and allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants. She said Europe needed to be able to act quickly, as soon as problems are identified, rather than getting tied up in lengthy and costly disputes that did nothing to help consumers. “The current tools of competition law are totally unsuited to the fast-changing world of the Internet,” Pellerin said in the interview conducted in French. “To get out of this impasse, Europe needs a regulatory authority to act on an ex-ante basis, as soon as conflicts and abuse emerge on the part of internet platforms.” The idea is part of a broader proposal laid out by France ahead of an October 24 European summit on the digital economy, the Internet and innovation. Other elements include revamping tax rules to ensure Web companies pay tax on the profits they make in the European Union, an EU source said, as well as stricter rules on the protection of personal data online. The Wall Street Journal, citing French briefing documents ahead of the summit, said France would ask the European Commission to draw up proposals by spring 2014 aimed at “establishing a tax regime for digital companies that ensures that the profits they make on the European market are subject to taxation and that the revenues are shared between the Member States, linking the tax base to the place where the profits are made.” The tax proposals and idea of a new regulatory body are likely to prove controversial with some member states that favor a hands-off approach to the Web, as well as the United States, home to the largest internet companies and already at the center of a debate over surveillance after revelations about the National Security Agency by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. An adviser to Pellerin said that France would ask the European Commission to study how “ex-ante” – or anticipatory regulation – of internet services could function and what sort of agency would be needed. Then the work of passing a regulation or a directive could be carried out by the next EU Commission, which will be in place by early 2015 after parliamentary elections. (Additional reporting by Charlie Dunmore in Brussels; Editing by Eric Walsh)

France Bans Underage Pageants To Protect Girls Under 16

Although he did not know him, he wrote Anatole France a veritable fan letter after reading a nasty review of one of his books. One of Prousts biographers Jean-Yves Tadie reveals that Proust went so far as to plant real France sentences in passages of Bergottes prose. France wasnt of course the only model for Bergotte; its been suggested that he was a composite of France, the orientalist novelist Pierre Loti and John Ruskin and lets not forget that the novelists own powerful imagination was at work. France wrote a brief, rather perfumed preface for Prousts early publication Les Plaisirs et les jours (1896), a collection of stories, poems and observations: Marcel Proust delights equally in describing the desolate splendour of the sunset and the agitated vanities of a snobbish soul. He noted the authors marvellous spirit of observation, and a supple, penetrating and truly subtle intelligence. According to Muhlstein, Prousts enthusiasm for Frances work . . . waned over the years, but their friendship endured, strengthened by their common fight for Dreyfus. Later France was to write of the younger novelist, Ive tried to understand him, and I havent succeeded. It is not his fault. Its mine.

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