...Continued from page 1

However, the authority charged with watching over this sector of activity - the CSA - has decided that Web sites are none of the above, and can advertise themselves however and wherever they want.

For example, the white-goods and household appliance chain 'Darty' cannot advertise its shops on TV - but has routinely sponsored TV-weather news with its after sales service.

The new ruling means that 'Darty' can advertise its Web site any way it chooses - which has caused an explosion of protest from the newspaper owner's association.

So far, the CSA has taken this into account by saying it will re-examine the question, in 18 months. In the meantime, everything from corner groceries to gigantic hypermarchés to Disney can advertise their 'Web' sites on TV.

'Red' Michelin Turns 100

On Tuesday, Michelin will put the 100th edition of its famous 'Red' guide on sale. The first edition, destined for 3000 motorists and some cyclotourists, was a helpful guide for touring in France in 1900.

While courageous drivers were dodging potholes and seeking the next gasphoto: place st michel stations, the 1901 edition was being prepared to include scenic sights. The guide was a great success and began making money in 1920.

Michelin's first 'stars' appeared in 1925 and it was so impartial that it awarded no 'stars' in its home town of Clermont-Ferrand.

The Place Saint-Michel; cleaned up for a rainy day.

What is new this year is the third star for the Grand Véfour in Paris, and for its chef, Guy Martin - who was already favorably cited by the competing food guides, Gault-Millau and the Bottin Gourmand.

A first mention and a first star was awarded to David Van Laer for his Maxence in Montparnasse, and Jérôme Galidie of 'W' at the Hotel Warwick got a first star too.

Web Page Display Mystery

Many of the references I post here for interesting French Web sites, I get from Internet-Actu's weekly newsletter. This started as a CNRS service, but has since become an independent 'start-up.'

Internet-Actu recently branched out with a new bi-weekly newsletter called Pixel-Actu and I have signed up for this; for its digital imaging news. 'Pixel-Actu' also has a Web site and I have been looking at this - because I've plugged it here, and because it deals with photography.

When I look at this Web site, its text does not display accented French characters correctly. It substitutes a non-character '' for 'é' - for example. Metropole itself does not do this, but some other French and European Web sites do.

I have finally decided to try to find out why. In theory we are all using the 'Latin-1' or 'Western Latin 1' or 'ISO 8859-1' encoding, which enables most western foreign language accents to be displayed correctly.

Not all font sets contain all of the accented characters, but all the main ones certainly do. Besides setting my own 'preferences' to 'ISO 8859-1' and using full-set fonts, my computer system is a French version and this includes the keyboard layout known here as 'AZERTY.'

Thus, I have three bases covered. The remaining unknown factor is my own Internet Access Provider, Worldnet.photo: cour commerce st andre This firm routinely sends me email messages with a 'PS' saying they are sorry to have suppressed French accents, because 'certain computers cannot decipher them.'

'Old' Latin Quarter - in the Cour de Commerce Saint-André.

I have received emails - via this same ISP - from French sources with mangled accents too. What I don't understand - I code and send out accented characters, Metropole contains accented characters; plus I receive many emails with correctly accented characters.

In other words, incorrect characters are coming only from some sources. If any of you suspect what may be the reason for this problem, I would like to know about it.

Both of the newsletters and Web sites mentioned above feature many items that may be familiar to you, but they also include news of developments in Europe. Both are well-written in French, so if you want to build up your techno vocabulary, these newsletters can help.

The Coming 'Fête' de l'Internet

Every year this event is announced with some fanfare, and every year I fail to grasp what it's all about, because it seems to be entirely 'virtual.' In order not to forget it, I'll run this one yet again.

The Fête's organization is non-profit and it is coordinated by the AFI association. This event is not restricted to France; at the European level it is called the Fiesta 2000. The actual Fête/Fiesta will take place from Friday, 17. March to Sunday, 19. March.

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