Pokemon Go is available in well over 30 countries already, including major markets such as the US, the UK, Canada and Germany. But Pokemon fans in France have yet to receive the app officially, and there’s an official explanation for Niantic and Nintendo’s decision not to launch the highly popular mobile game in this major market yet. More →
You don’t have to be French to know that Bastille Day is the country’s national holiday. It’s a day for impressive military parades in Paris and fireworks shows across the country. But July 14th will also be remembered henceforward as the day a person took a 25-ton truck and drove it into a crowd in Nice during the celebration. The attack, labeled as terrorism by authorities, left at least 84 people killed, and hundreds of others injured. At least 18 of the injured are in critical condition, officials said. More →
Following the COP21 environmental talks in Paris, France seems determined to take action when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, and one way to do it is to promote eco-friendly products. The country announced that it plans to develop a very cheap electric car that would be far more affordable than alternatives, such as Tesla’s electric Model S.
France’s ecology minister Segolene Royal said that the government will encourage companies to build an electric car priced under $7,000, which is an ambitious project to say the least. More →
France insists it’s not working on a French version of the U.S. Patriot Act that would give the government massive additional surveillance powers, The Verge reports. But the French government is definitely interested in passing a law that would give it more freedom to collect information in its fight against terrorism, even if local businesses and human rights organizations are criticizing the initiative. More →
Popular movie streaming service Netflix is ready to further expand its reach in Europe, as the company has launched in France, one of the many new local markets Netflix is trying to conquer. Even so, Netflix is expected to encounter stiff competition in the country, Reuters reports, as other companies are already offering similar streaming services. More →
The French government has successfully passed an “anti-Amazon” law that prevents booksellers, mainly Amazon, from offering 5% discounts on books and free shipping, The Wall Street Journal reports. The law, meant to protect local bookstores from the giant retail store, isn’t necessarily scaring Amazon, which has already found a clever way of trolling the government — it’s now chargin €0.01 for shipping in the region. More →
Google has been ordered to pay €500,000 to Bottin Cartographes, a French company that filed a lawsuit against Google France after it began providing its free Google Maps services to customers. Google is also responsible for paying an additional €15,000 in fees. The court found Google “guilty of abusing the dominant position of its Google Maps application,” Economic Times said Thursday. “We proved the illegality of [Google’s] strategy to remove its competitors… the court recognized the unfair and abusive character of the methods used and allocated Bottin Cartographes all it claimed,” Botton Cartographes lawyer Jean-David Scemmama said. “This is the first time Google has been convicted for its Google Maps application.” Google said it will appeal the decision. “We remain convinced that a free high-quality mapping tool is beneficial for both Internet users and websites,” a Google spokesperson said. “There remains competition in this sector for us, both in France and internationally.” Google was also fined €100,000 in France last year after a court found it guilty of collecting private information for the Street View feature of Google Maps.
Microsoft will reportedly not launch the highly anticipated follow-up to the Xbox 360 this year. Cedrick Delma, Microsoft’s marketing director in France, recently told Le Point that he was “certain” the Redmond-based company would not release a new Xbox this year. Gamers shouldn’t give up all hope on at least getting a glimpse at Microsoft’s next-generation console this year, though. BGR exclusively reported last June that Microsoft has plans to unveil its Xbox 360 successor during this year’s E3 gaming show in Los Angeles. A few Microsoft patents recently suggested that the “Xbox 720” might double as a set-top box complete with DVR functionality, and a rumor last week also suggested that the new console will be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360. More →
Whether or not competing products do in fact infringe on Apple’s patents, Apple may have another reason to attack its rivals so aggressively in France and Germany: the company is losing ground. New data from Kantar Worldpanel released on Thursday shows that while the launch of the iPhone 4S was a huge hit in the United States and the United Kingdom, smartphone users in key markets like France and Germany were seemingly not as impressed with the handset. Read on for more. More →
Samsung on Monday confirmed that it recently filed a new complaint against Apple in France, alleging that the Cupertino-based company’s iPad and iPhone devices infringe on three Samsung-owned patents. Unlike the case that recently saw a German judge ban sales of Samsung’s GALAXY Tab 10.1 tablet by the company’s local arm, Samsung’s complaint in France covers patents rather than the physical design of the devices in question. The suit targets Apple’s iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G as well as the iPad and iPad 2, and the patents in question cover the UMTS communication standard according to AFP. The complaint was first filed in July and a preliminary hearing will take place in December. More →
In May the World Health Organization published a report that said cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic.” Last month The Economist published a different report suggesting it simply wasn’t possible for the radio waves emitted by a cell phone to cause cells to mutate. Now, another group of research experts from Britain, the United States, and Sweden — who have studied the WHO report — are also arguing that there’s no connection between cell phones and cancer. “Although there remains some uncertainty, the trend in the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumors in adults,” the group said in a recent report published in Environmental Health Perspectives. According to Reuters, a number of other studies have also been unable to find a link between increases in brain tumors and cell phones in the 10 years since cell phones have become commonplace. “This is a really difficult issue to research,” David Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge told Reuters. Spiegelhalter was not part of the study but said that it’s “clear that any risk appears to be so small that it is very hard to detect — even in the masses of people now using mobile phones.” More →
1PlusV, a French search company, has filed a lawsuit against Google asking for 295 million euros ($421 million). “Between 2007 and 2010, no less than 30 vertical search engines created by 1plusV were black-listed, some of which showed significant business potential,” the company said in its lawsuit. According to Reuters, 1PlusV plans to file the official complaint on Tuesday or Wednesday with the Paris commercial court. Google has been taking a lot of legal heat recently. In the United States, Google recently addressed the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s investigation into its business practices, and it has also faced a similar lawsuit in Europe. In March, Microsoft announced that it was filing a complaint against Google with the European Trade Commission. More →
Yankee Group is set to release its European Mobile User Study next month and the research firm has just provided a quick glimpse into its early findings. Reportedly, 40% of European smartphone buyers plan to purchase an iPhone as their next device. 19% plan to purchase an Android powered device, 17% have their eye on a BlackBerry, and 15% plan to buy a Nokia smartphone. “These findings highlight the continued strength of Apple in the European smartphone market and, in particular, its phenomenal brand appeal,” Yankee Group research vice president, Declan Lonergan, said. “The data also highlights the enormous challenges faced by Nokia and RIM to retain mind share and market share in this increasingly dynamic and competitive marketplace.” In addition, the firm found that employees argued they are 58% more productive while on long-distance travel trips when they have a tablet in tow. Yankee Group also argues that consumerization is taking over the workplace and that four times more employees are now using tools designed for the consumer market for work purposes — with IT’s approval, of course. The survey involved 5,000 consumers, 2,250 employees and “IT decision makers” in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Read on for the full press release. More →