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French Response to Google is Microsoft 530

Posted by Zonk
from the le-goog dept.
efp writes "Mark Liberman posted over in the Language Log that, in considering alternatives to Google's library initiative in Europe, French President Jacques Chirac would consider a partnership with Microsoft 'since he has so many views in common with its president, Bill Gates'. This comes out of talks between the French president, the head of the French National Library and the Minister of Culture, in in part 'building an alter ego to the American project, before thinking of an eventual collaboration with Google, so as not to negotiate from a position of weakness' as they plan to digitize their cultural resources."
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French Response to Google is Microsoft

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  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:55PM (#12056561) Journal
    Just see the sig.
    • by mOoZik (698544)
      Wow, you're just so...wow, your wisdom has taken my breath away. I was going to comment, but with a sig like that, just wow.

  • by BaronSprite (651436) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:55PM (#12056562) Homepage
    Karma be damned. France surrendering to what appears to be a superior power? Where have I seen this before...
    • If their battle flag wasn't a white sheet, they might not surrender as often.
      • This isn't a troll, it's the exact same joke as the parent poster. However this joke offers something new by saying "France doesn't mean to surrender, the other side just misunderstands France's battle flag."
    • i think probably here:

      Google search for "French military victories" [albinoblacksheep.com]


      ...which was actually originally a fairly clever prank to trick google... [google-watch.org]


      -----
      Check out the Uncyclopedia.org [uncyclopedia.org]:
      The only wiki source for politically incorrect non-information about things like Kitten Huffing [uncyclopedia.org] and Pong! the Movie [uncyclopedia.org]!
    • by anno1a (575426) <cyrax@b0rkOOOen.dk minus threevowels> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @11:28PM (#12058013) Homepage
      If memory serves right they didn't surrender the last time when a superior power tried to convince them to help invade Iraq illegally.
    • Slashdot FUD (Score:5, Informative)

      by totatis (734475) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @10:51AM (#12059810)
      As usual, the Slashdot headline is pure FUD.

      Here is the snippet from Le Monde's article : Dans l'esprit du chef de l'Etat, il s'agit de bâtir un "alter ego" au projet américain, avant d'envisager une éventuelle collaboration avec Google, pour ne pas discuter en situation de faiblesse. Le président serait-il prêt à s'entretenir avec le concurrent de Google, Microsoft, puisqu'il a tant de convergences de vues avec son président, Bill Gates, qu'il a longuement reçu à l'Elysée ? "Pourquoi pas ?", répondent les conseillers de M. Chirac.

      Translation : "In Chirac's mind, the idea is to build an "alter-ego" to the American project, before thinking about a collaboration with Google, to have a good position in negociations. Would the president be ready to talk with Microsoft, since he has many common ideas with Bill Gates, whom he has met at the Elysée ? "Why not ?" is the answer from Chirac's advisors."

      In summary, Chirac wants to build a French language online library, to have a good collaborative work with google. Should that work be done with Microsoft ? Maybe yes, maybe not. But the stated goal is to work with google, whatever that goal that can be achieved with Microsoft or not.

      If you need to work with Oracle, what do you do ? You call an MS sales man to leverage your negociations with Oracle. Well, France wants to work with Google, so it doesn't forbid itself from working with Microsoft, if that gives it a better negociations position.

      Slashdot has become more and more a FUD machine, with more or less every headline in contradiction with linked article. Worse, since the actual content of the article is from Le Monde, and is in French, many non-French speaking readers won't be able to see the utter non-sense that the Slashdot article is. This is more and more becoming the Fox News for Nerds, and it's starting to seriously upset me.
  • by Godman (767682) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:55PM (#12056567) Homepage Journal
    They are both filthy stinkin rich, hate google, and dream of a new world order?

    • by Guylhem (161858) <slashdot.guylhem@net> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:22PM (#12056747) Homepage
      Oh my god. At this very moment I'm so ashamed of being french. Could someone please pass the cluestick to Chirac?

      It's not because he don't like what's being done by google/gutemberg/whatever that he should pledge alliance to the evil empire. What's the point of going with Microsoft?

      Forget negociations! This is *wrong*, period. Nothing can justify it.

      What's next? An alliance with McDonalds if Jojo [allinfo.net] decides to open restaurants in France ?
    • by jdgeorge (18767) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @12:11AM (#12058173)
      They are both filthy stinkin rich, hate google, and dream of a new world order?

      On one hand, the first item in that list is a documented fact. On the other hand, the comment is, as a whole, a troll. Curiously, most of the posts that follow are even less interested in the facts.

      It is interesting how unapologetically ignorant so many my fellow US citizens are willing to be when they:

      1. Didn't realize that the Slashdot summary misrepresented the nature of Chirac's comment, because they
      2. Obviously didn't read the linked article, and
      3. Have the opportunity to hurl invective at the most popular target of insecure American white trash.

      American journalism, thy name is Slashdot.
  • Soo.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    France is evil. Just as we suspected...
    • by BerntB (584621) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:47PM (#12056888)
      Being Swedish, I've always thought it was quite strange, this attitude from US and English towards the French.

      I've never met anyone from France that was rude and refused to try to speak English -- quite the opposite.

      I've heard it argued that Americans go to Paris to "see France" -- and their opinions about the French is more or less similar to the common French opinion about people living in Paris... :-)

      It has been a bit frustrating, when the "frogs" don't live up to the image I get from being steeped in the literature of English speaking (or mangling) cultures.

      But I'll have to change opinion now. :-(

      It do give a bit of perspective at the local politicians. There are worse examples.

      • it comes from history primarily.

        England has -always- had a rivalry with france and to a lesser extent other european countries.
        this rivalry got transferred to america when it was colonised.
        It doesnt have any real basis , it just exists. Its in the blood so to speak.

        • by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:38PM (#12057180) Journal
          Actually, I think the anti-French thing in the US comes mostly from the second half of the last century, mostly because of Charles de Gaulle [wikipedia.org] (although Churchill, Roosevelt and Ike certainly had problems with him during WW2, but that stuff didn't come to light until later).

          Chirac to my (typically uninformed American) eye seems to be in the mold of de Gaulle, and I'd guess that part of his popularity is from him "standing up" to the US.

          England, otoh, does have a looooong history of conflict with France. The English version of the finger is two fingers held defiantly (with the palm inwards, as opposed to peace or victory, where the palm is outward), from the days when the French would cut off the fingers of any English longbow troops they captured.
          • Chirac is not that popular. The only reason he is still president is to avoid corruption charges. Besides the people of France had him and Le Penn to choose from. Talk about the lesser of two evils. "Le Raciste ou la criminelle" Excuse my French :-) I can understand why Chirac says he thinks they have a lot in common, they are both criminals...
      • by Seumas (6865) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:37PM (#12057173)
        I have always had the impression that, when in France, French people are typically rude and snotty toward Americans.

        However, all of the French people I've dealt with at work and otherwise (in person) have been extremely nice people. Then again, I've never found any group of people from any place in the world that, in general, struck me as stupid, stubborn, snobbish or anything else. There may have been an individual or two that did - but no more so than any general population.

        I think most people adhere to this stereotype of French people simply because it's what they hear on Fox News, talk radio and other random people - with no experience of their own.

        I would probably feel uncomfortable and out of place in France - but I have no doubt that I'd find the people themselves easy to deal with - just as I've found them easy to deal with when they visit my country.
        • by SuperKendall (25149) * on Saturday March 26, 2005 @09:35PM (#12057460)
          The thing is that places do acquire reputations for a reason.

          I'm not saying everyone in France is rude, I'm saying that on average in France you are going to find more people who are seemingly rude (seemingly is key, more in a second) to you than perhaps if you travelled elsewhere.

          I have a few friends who have travelled to France (including outlying regions beyond paris) and the only one who enjoyed the experience is someone whose wife spoke fluent French.

          This effect is aggravated by the "seemingly rude" point - there are some things people do in other cultures that strike Americans as rude. Part of that for my friends was some sort of service issue at restaurants, I forget the detail but some seemingly inconsequential thing they wanted was looked on in outrage by the waiter. Perhaps he also viewed the request as rude, but the response basically discolored my friends opinion of restaurants in France.

          My own example along those lines is from a trip to Barcelona - myself and a few friends (two of which spoke Spanish pretty well) went into a toy store to browse. Now there was this cool thing in the window that I wanted to buy, so I took it from the display to take up to the cash register -well let me tell you the owner of the store flipped out! He was yelling and cursing at me like I had just set fire to his dog. Even after we explained calmly that I had not meant to offend he was incredibly angry and demanded we leave the store that instant! Well no toy is worth an altercation but to this day none of us can figure out what set him off to that degree. While it did not make me think of all Spaniards as lunatics, it certainly made me think a little bit inside that shopkeepers there were on something of a power trip with little respect for customers.

          So reputations of other countries being difficult may stem from the degree of cultural differences between two countries. And to some extent, I have to say that given that the reputation is correct as far as the average person goes. Even though the behavior there might not really be rude, to the traveller it might seem that way and really that's the same thing as far as the traveller is concerned!
          • I can tell you what set off the shopkeeper. It would happen almost anywhere in europe and I think 100 years ago maybe even in US. But since you have all these faceless corporations like Toys'R'Us that don't care much and who's displays are the whole store, you might not understand this.

            In a small store, whatever is on display, is there to bring the customer in. Its not to be touched and many shopkeepers spend hours to arrange the things in the display. He probably had another piece just like this in the b

          • by Lauwenmark (763428) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @05:31AM (#12059163)

            The thing is that places do acquire reputations for a reason.


            The problem is that too often, the reputation is founded on false rumors and very limited experience. That's what - both in French and English - leads to Clichés: caricatural descriptions.


            I have a few friends who have travelled to France (including outlying regions beyond paris) and the only one who enjoyed the experience is someone whose wife spoke fluent French.


            First, it is harder to enjoy a trip in a foreign country when you don't speak its language. It may sound weird to you, but the vast majority of humans do not speak or even understand English. The French popular culture relies heavily on spoken language, so it is hard to enjoy it if you don't understand it.

            Moreover, there has been a strong Anti-Americanism sentiment in France (and more generally in Western Europe) since the start of the war in Iraq, mirroring the Anti-French sentiment in the US. It could have played a role in the bad experience as well.

            Finally, even French citizens recognize that some Parisians are maybe a little too proud of themselves - but that's not a problem specific to Paris or France and certainly cannot be generalized to all the Frenchs.


            This effect is aggravated by the "seemingly rude" point - there are some things people do in other cultures that strike Americans as rude. Part of that for my friends was some sort of service issue at restaurants, I forget the detail but some seemingly inconsequential thing they wanted was looked on in outrage by the waiter. Perhaps he also viewed the request as rude, but the response basically discolored my friends opinion of restaurants in France.


            When travelling to a foreign country, you have to accept its customs and habits. If you step on them, you'll definitely turn people angry or annoyed. If you make a mistake and offend somebody, apologizing solves it in most cases. Unfortunately, I have to admit that I didn't see a lot of american tourists caring much about the local behavior in restaurants, hotels or museums.


            (...)
            While it did not make me think of all Spaniards as lunatics, it certainly made me think a little bit inside that shopkeepers there were on something of a power trip with little respect for customers.


            Never *ever* touch the window display in a shop in Western Europe. That's a *major* mistake. For the shop keeper, it is about as offensive as taking a item exposed in a museum "to better see it" or to touch a XIVth century painting with your fingers "to check what kind of pigment it is". For him, that would be about the same if you threw a stone on his shop's display window.

            Your experience is definitely one of "cultural gap", not a "those people are unfriendly" one. Don't expect the shop keeper to have any respect for a customer who obviously had none for him !


            So reputations of other countries being difficult may stem from the degree of cultural differences between two countries. And to some extent, I have to say that given that the reputation is correct as far as the average person goes. Even though the behavior there might not really be rude, to the traveller it might seem that way and really that's the same thing as far as the traveller is concerned!


            I definitely disagree with your conclusion. *Everybody* in *every* foreign culture will be annoyed, offended or angry when you stomp on their customs. The vast majority of people (at least in Spain and France, which I know pretty well) are very friendly and will be open and helpful - as long as you don't behave as some kind of barbarian from their point of view.

            Before taking conclusions about the friendliness in foreign countries, always think about your own behavior first: did the inhabitants find it offensive ? Did you ask them first when you were uncertain on what was the proper thing to do ? Did you present apologises in the formal way used by the inhabitants ? In most cases, you'll find it very instructive and it will help you to enjoy your future trips much more than any "Those guys are unfriendly" kind of Cliché.
        • by Wiwi Jumbo (105640) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @11:15PM (#12057963) Homepage Journal
          I've come to know of it as the French of Paris are rude and snotty to everyone.

          2 first hand accounts, and 1 second hand.

          I know a French-Canadian girl who just *hates* the people of Paris. She just can't believe how people will talk to her when they hear her accent.

          I know a woman at work who is *from* France, but not Paris, and will tell you that Paris earns it's reputation when it comes to the "rude Frenchman".

          Also at work I've heard a few stories of French-Canadians going to see the "homeland" and are just left dissappointed with the reception they recieve.....

          Two years ago I spent 2 weeks in Paris and although I don't speak French (You should have seen me trying to get McDonald's to go... "Umm....'dans le sac'????") I never really had any trouble... tho I did find the younger people to be more willing (or maybe they just knew more English) to help me.
  • wow (Score:2, Funny)

    by mbrewthx (693182)
    J'utilize Linux
  • Oh well (Score:5, Funny)

    by The-Bus (138060) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:57PM (#12056576)
    If it's anything like my Outlook PST file, it will be able to hold about 1000 documents, then not work as well.

    Sounds fun!
  • by tquinlan (868483) <tom@@@thomasquinlan...com> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:57PM (#12056578) Homepage
    ...a "freedom engine"? ;)

  • What I see (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bogaboga (793279) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:57PM (#12056579)
    I see some kind of retaliation or what I'd call divide & rule, by the French government. "If you do not cooperate, (read `pay for content') I will go to your rival(s)." M$ used this against IBM on a limited level in the 80s and they succeeded to some extent.
    • Re:What I see (Score:5, Informative)

      by Earered (856958) <morel_casimir@h[ ]ail.com ['otm' in gap]> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:48PM (#12056896) Homepage Journal
      Because France (and the rest of Europe) is in a position of weakness when it comes to ebook.

      The BNF http://www.bnf.fr/ [www.bnf.fr] has attempted too early to scan lots of books, without the right plan.

      The result? a bunch of low res image in locked PDF (can't select and copy) of some two hundred years books.

      What google has done, is making a few people think in France: hey! We have completly fucked up our electronic library!
      Given that it has costed several millions to citizen without any results,
      maybe we should try to not suck so that the docile citizen do not notice the millions of euros which have been stupidly spent for a totaly useless project!
  • by alphakappa (687189) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:57PM (#12056581) Homepage
    for all the French+Bill Gates jokes
  • bargaining chip (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kaleco (801384) <greig DOT marsha ... internet DOT com> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:59PM (#12056590)
    'so as not to negotiate from a position of weakness'

    It seems to me that it is unlikely that the French government will align themselves with such a symbol of US cultural imperialism. Therefore, I suspect that the implied use of MS as a bargaining chip with google is correct.

    • 'so as not to negotiate from a position of weakness'

      Hey, there's a first time for everything.

    • Reminds me of another domestic bargaining chip.

      Manager: "Well, our techies say we could move some of our stuff over to linux."

      MS: "How about some fat discounts?"

      You're right, this is negotiation and its part of businesss as well as politics.

      The article is essentially some non-denials from Chirac's advisors. Not exactly a done deal.
    • Aren't there French of european companies that can do something like this? SAP? Seibel? Mandrake?

      I would think there would be at least one company in Europe that is capable of doing something like this and I bet they would love the contract.
    • Re:bargaining chip (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rayonic (462789)
      > such a symbol of US cultural imperialism

      Huh? What culture does Microsoft export? None that I really know of. At least not compared to Disney, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, etc., etc.

      Of course, the whole notion of "Cultural Imperialism" is bullshit anyways, at least when it comes to the United States.
    • Re:bargaining chip (Score:2, Informative)

      by ageforce_ (719072)
      I actually read the article (not just the blog), and it's even less than that.
      I'll try to quote the phrase:
      "Would the president consider a meeting with Google's concurrent Microsoft, as he converges in so many point of views with its president Bill Gates, [...]? 'Why not?' answered the president."

      AFAICS Chirac didn't even say they have so many views in common. And replying "Why not?" from a politician counts next to nothing...

  • by ZackSchil (560462) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @06:59PM (#12056593)
    I have nothing against the French but what's next? France decides SCO's case has merit, claims jurisdiction? I'm just confused. It just seems odd that the country that takes issue with Google's helpful, automated services because they occasionally violate copyright is considering working with Microsoft, the king of anti-trust! No wonder the French people are so jaded.
  • by Qzukk (229616) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:00PM (#12056599) Journal
    When negotiating with Microsoft, is there anyone who can NOT negotiate from a position of weakness?
  • by doktor-hladnjak (650513) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:00PM (#12056602)
    Perhaps the saddest part about France going to Microsoft for this project is that whatever data is produced is more likely to be locked into some proprietary format. That could be particularly unfortunate, since these cultural resources really belong to all the people of France and should therefore be made as accessible as possible.
    • Perhaps the saddest part about France going to Microsoft for this project is that whatever data is produced is more likely to be locked into some proprietary format.

      That's a needlessly harsh way to refer to the French language. The proper term is "an obsolete format".
    • That could be particularly unfortunate, since these cultural resources really belong to all the people of France

      ... and beyond! French is not only spoken in France, but also in Canada, large parts of Africa, Belgium [bitstorm.org], and lots of other places as well.

      Shouldn't these other countries also have a say about what happens to the French culture?

  • from the le-goog dept.

    best. department. evar.

  • The irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CrackedButter (646746) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:01PM (#12056609) Homepage Journal
    is that the french are very nationalist and I would of thought they would of done something with a European or at least a French software outfit. I thought they were scared of globalisation and were worried about their identity being lost on the world stage. So to cure this fear they choose MS.

    • "would of"?

      Do you speak Anglais?
    • You're forgetting that France was a founding member of the EEC, predecessor to the EU, and has been very influential because of that. With the EU aligned with France, France isn't really "scared" of globalization so much as actively looking for ways to exploit it for their own benefit (like everyone else).

      However, if they did look to MS, that would be pretty ironic. That's a big if. Nothing really indicates that they're going to do this, other than statements that they're not ruling it out. The whole under
  • by osewa77 (603622) <{naijasms} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:02PM (#12056610) Homepage
    It is a well known fact that European governments prefer to support the under-dog: "Go Bill, go Bill, go!"
  • Great.... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:05PM (#12056625)
    Now the French can leverage the power of DRM to keep their military failures in the last century a secret!
  • We can't let France do that can we? No more Windows XP, from now on it will be known as FREEDOM XP.
  • The plan is coming together, just a tad slower then they had hoped.
  • Well,,, (Score:5, Funny)

    by mbrewthx (693182) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:07PM (#12056641)
    Moi, j'aime bien nos maitres francais des biblioteque borg.
  • French? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by untouchable (615727) <abyssperl@gm a i l.com> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:08PM (#12056652) Journal

    What's [slashdot.org] wrong [slashdot.org] with [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] french? [slashdot.org]

    French good deeds this year: 2
    French bad deeds this year: 5
    Le sigh . . . .
  • by SweenyTod (47651) <(moc.dotyneews) (ta) (dotyneews)> on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:14PM (#12056685) Homepage
    Wow, it seems you don't need to fire a shot now to get the French to surrender to somebody hell bent on taking over the world!
  • 1760s: The indians can be relied upon to help drive the british from america
    1803: Let's sell the Louisiana Territories
    1934: Let's overlook Germany's military buildup
  • Oooh La La (Score:4, Funny)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:18PM (#12056712)
    So Microsoft has just bought France to go along with their acquisition of evil? [bbspot.com]
    Sounds like a matched set to me.
  • by RedLaggedTeut (216304) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:21PM (#12056734) Homepage Journal
    Something that would make sense would be cooperating with a big canadian software company, since Canadians speak french too.

    The rest has been said by others, I've nothing to add.
  • French President Jacques Chirac would consider a partnership with Microsoft 'since he has so many views in common with its president, Bill Gates'.

    Chirac siding with an American president. Now I've seen it all!
  • If I were Bill Gates, I'd be suing France for defamatory remarks against me. Who wants to be linked to France in the manner of "So many views in common."

    On the other hand, if were Bill, I'd probably just declare war on France instead.

  • And they wonder why.

    Jokes aside, a large part of opensource software devleopers have been french, just read the sourcecode and search for .fr email addresses. That means these actions of France will not be politically supportable.

    In corporate circles, Bill Gates is admired for being a shrewd businessman, books on him are read by managers and enterpreneurs. However rank-and-file software developers know better and admire good product design.
  • so as not to negotiate from a position of weakness

    So, they prefer to negotiate from a position of stupidity?
  • ta mere

    That will solve everything I *assure you!

    * assurance not guaranteed
  • by jp8000 (871057) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:39PM (#12056844)
    Does someone realize that Chirac never actually talked about partnering with Microsoft??? Not even close?
    This post relates to ANOTHER post which translates ANOTHER article in a French newspaper which says that some UNNAMED assistant to Chirac when asked about the possibility of partnering with Microsoft answered "why not?" (which does not seem like a terrible answer..., there is no reason to dismiss anybody before the project is launched...).
  • CHOWDA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Heem (448667) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @07:45PM (#12056882) Homepage Journal
    Say it frenchie! CHOWDA!
  • by Coeurderoy (717228) on Saturday March 26, 2005 @08:20PM (#12057089)

    What happened up to now is that: The president of France said that he'd rather have his own "very large digital library" rather than let google do it all on their own. What some of his "minder" said in answer of a journalists question was: yes Microsoft could be a partner. Most probably if the journalist would have asked if Oracle, or Mysql or any other organisation/person/BEM the answer would have been more or less the same.

    The first issue being: Should the governement fund a public "digital library" The second issue being: How.

    So I do find it very unfortunate that people make a lot of "advertizement" for a mediocre propriaitary software provider (as in you can write good things or bad things about me, but first of all write about me !), based on partial information.

    For the record, I do like the google search engine, but I do think that any government should make the effort of putting as much as possible of cultural content as possible online.

    Of course I do hope that when the project will start it will use Free and Open Source Software, but for the time being there is not even a call for tender

    BTW the french national library is called "La tres grande bibliotheque"/"Bibliotheque François Mitterand", (socialist predecessor of Chirac) no wonder Jacques wants his own.

    For those actually interested in what is there http://gallica.bnf.fr/ [gallica.bnf.fr]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    So the lumbering dinosaur that is the modern Microsoft may ally itself with a backwardly-minded socialist republic that is rapidly being taken over by foreign immigrants because their population refuses to breed.

    France is part of the past. Their role in the future will likely can be compared to the foodcourt in the mall except with a heavier emphasis on Middle Eastern cuisine. They're a dying nation who gave up their chance to be relevant when they started stumbling down the misguided road of nationalist s
    • This is interesting because politically the U.S. is so much like Microsoft - a lumbering dinosaur of stasis that won't engage an evolving world. Instead, it looks to impose it's will by brute force and deceitful stratagems.

      From my travels in France, I've found the people to be as forward-thinking (and well-informed) politically as they are conformist and sycophantic technologically. Chirac's cluelessness doesn't suprise me in this regard.

      The French government has a reputation for opportunism when it come
  • I seem to recall that Chirac was on very friendly terms with Saddam Hussein, so having "views in common" with Billy seems like par for the course to me.
  • Translation Error (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lauwenmark (763428) on Sunday March 27, 2005 @05:39AM (#12059179)
    The translation isn't correct for the first paragraph. That's quite a problem, since it changes the meaning significantly.

    Le président serait-il prêt à s'entretenir avec le concurrent de Google, Microsoft, puisqu'il a tant de convergences de vues avec son président, Bill Gates, qu'il a longuement reçu à l'Elysée? "Pourquoi pas?", répondent les conseillers de M. Chirac.

    The initial translator wrote "Would the president be ready to make a deal with Google's competitor, Microsoft" which is incorrect.

    A correct translation would be:

    Would the president be ready to talk with Google's competitor, Microsoft, since he has so many views in common with its president, Bill Gates, whom he has long welcomed to the Elysée?

    Quite a different meaning, don't you think ?

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