...Continued from page 1

Meanwhile, the government is supposed to be wrestling with France Telecom to get it to lower its rates so French Websurfers can spend more time reading online French publications - even though they don't exist. 'Logic' is France is about as stiff as a hot noodle.

Marine Things from the Alps

Aquanaute, based in Grenoble, is a collection of sites, all dedicated to telling you about marine life, both on the surface and underwater. My quick glance detected no harmful effects to my browser, so give this one a hit if you like seawater a lot.

Amazon Gets Euro Elephant Competition

Last Monday, European media giant, Bertelsmann, launched 'Books-On-Line' - or BOL for short - in France and Germany without a great deal of fanfare but with a great deal of hard cash behind the effort.

The German-based Bertelsmann is teamed with Havas in France, but on its own has huge operations worldwide, with about a third of its business in the US and a third in Germany. Bertelsmann is also associated with Random House and Barnes & Noble, as well as having a large stake in AOL.

It will be interesting to see if Bertelsmann's expertise with content production and book clubs can be parlayed into a number-one position in e-sales of content. My guess: 'service' to online customers will win and Amazon has a big headstart here.

Milia's 6th Edition - Repeat

From Tuesday, 9. February until Friday, 12. February, this year's edition of the Milia will unrollphoto: retromobile 99 - mathis badge in Cannes. The 'Milia' is to interactive content what the 'Midem' is to music: an international showcase and a trademart. Still, it's the place to see now what you may be buying tomorrow - if you care for multimedia, that is. This year, I believe for the first time, games are featured. This site requires Shockwave, so you too can be - interactive!

In case you are inclined to forget, Retromobile starts this coming Friday. Badge photo: courtesy Marcus Brinker©

Last Chance to Overload the 'Net With Valentines

I feel silly writing this but realize that many readers may not share my views of the expansion plans of the greeting card industry. Therefore, since email Valentines destroy no trees, I logically feel I have to support this annual silliness. Here then, is the URL for sending someone a French "Jevousaime." As my source says, "Non romantiques s'abstenir!"

Paris' 'LiveCam' Shows Changeable Weather

Hitting this site will give you some views of a sky of some sort over Paris these days from TF1-TV's 'LiveCam' if you want to see what typical winter weather looks like - unless it happens to be nighttime here, which it usually is between about 16:00 and 07:30 GMT. If you are in our modest combo 'Euro'-and-'continental' CET zone, nighttime is between about 17:00 and 08:30. The forecast for late today: snow!

This Was Metropole One Year Ago:

count down Eiffel TowerIssue 3.06 - 9. February 1998 - This issue featured the columns - Café Metropole - 'Welcome to Dreamland Paris' and 'Au Bistro' had - 'There Are a Large Number of French in France.' The issue had two features; entitled 'Retromobile: Dreams on Wheels' and 'True Dreams In Montmartre.' A planned new feature, 'Photo Gallery' had a small echo; thereby not becoming regular. There were four 'Posters of the Week' and Ric's Cartoon of the Week was captioned, 'The 2CV - for Some a Collector's Item.' If you look at the 'recent issues' page for 1998 you will see that 'Item' is spelt 'Ttem;' which is a gremlin to fix someday.

The Tour Eiffel Countdown to 31. December 1999:

Only 327 gray and cool days left to go.

Regards, Ric
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