France's plan to legalize mass surveillance will give it the power to spy on the world

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After getting caught breaking its own laws with a mass surveillance program, the French government has introduced legislation that mirrors the NSA's rules, giving it the power to spy on all foreigners -- and any French people who happen to be swept up in the dragnet. Read the rest

Dismaland will be dismantled, used for refugee shelters in Calais

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Banksy's brilliant piss-take on theme-parks has run its course and will now be dismantled, shipped to Calais and turned into temporary shelters for the refugees massed there. Read the rest

Marcel Duchamp's heirs nuke hobbyists' hand-modelled 3D chess-set files

Duchamp -- who gleefully modified others' work and called it his own -- carved a gorgeous art deco chess set (this one) in 1917, which exists now only in grainy archival photos. Read the rest

Universal's agents send Google a censorship demand for "127.0.0.1"

127.0.0.1 is the "loopback" address for your Internet stack, the address you tell your computer to visit when you want it to talk to itself. Read the rest

Not just Germany: the NSA has been spying on France's leaders since at least 1995

A new release of top secret NSA docs by Wikileaks shows the US spy-agency has intercepted the phone conversations of the past three French presidents, the French ambassador to the USA, and others. Read the rest

Last Man 2: epic French manga gets even better

In March 2015, Firstsecond books published its English translation of the first volume of Lastman, the spectacularly successful French martial arts comic; they're bringing out the rest of the books on an aggressive schedule, with Book 2: The Royal Cup coming out today.

WATCH: Paris in 3 Minutes, deft blend of hyperlapse and real-time

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Many hyperlapse videos focus on landmarks and touristy stuff, but Maxime Gaudet's Paris in 3 Minutes blends day-to-day real-time footage with gorgeous timelapse throughout the city. Read the rest

Last Man: France's amazing martial arts fantasy comic comes to the Anglosphere

Lastman, the revolutionary, bestselling French comic created by Bastien Vivès, Michaël Sanlaville and Balak, arrives in the Anglosphere today, thanks to Firstsecond's English language edition of volume 1: The Stranger.

Watch a drone buzz a French lemon party

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The annual Fête du citron in Menton, France is like America's Rose Parade, but with citrus. BirdeyeCam was on hand to give a drone's eye view of this year's artistry. Read the rest

Map of how French genders countries of the world

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Redditor afrofagne created an interesting map of how countries are gendered in French globally. Some interesting patterns: Read the rest

Sharpening the contradictions: why jihadis attack cartoonists

France has one of the least politicized, least religious Muslim populations in Europe, millions who, by and large, don't really think about faith or politics (just like most other people) -- but if the horrific death of cartoonists can inspire reprisals against the rank-and-file, perhaps they will find sympathy for the extremists' cause. Read the rest

Thomas Piketty turns down the Legion of Honor

"I do not think it is the government's role to decide who is honourable." Read the rest

Plush undersea creatures

Parisian crafter Big Stuffed makes beautiful, cuddly, handmade undersea creatures -- the big ones are huge, like the 90 cm whale made from fun-fur and jersey. (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

Clown and cop: ridicule as protest

Remy Gabalda's photo for Agence France-Presse of an anti-Sivens Dam protestor confronting a riot cop is the perfect expression of the moral of Jacob Two-Two: the one thing authoritarianism cannot withstand is laughter. Read the rest

Kleargear ruins customers' credit over online criticism, refuses to honor US judgment

The latest update in the saga of Kleargear (previously) is downright bizarre. Having invoiced unhappy customers for complaining online about their crappy service and then ruined those customers' credit rating, the company now refuses to acknowledge a judgment against them from a US court because they insist that they're located in France and weren't served there. Read the rest

Guest review: my daughter reviews Ariol

I love reading with my daughter, Poesy, who has just turned six. We agree on almost all of her favorites, and re-reading them is one of our best-loved activities, and how we pass the time on boring bus-rides and so forth. However, there are a few books that Poesy loves, but which leave me cold. First among these is are the Ariol books, a long-running French kids' comic series that are being swiftly translated into English by Papercutz (there are three books out so far, and a fourth is due in May). Ariol was co-created by the amazing and talented Emmanuel Guibert, whose other work includes the anarcho-gonzo Sardine kids' comics; the brilliant WWII memoir Alan's War, and the extraordinary memoir of doctors in Soviet-occupied Afghanistan, The Photographer.

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Study: French three-strikes law did not deter or reduce piracy

In Graduated Response Policy and the Behavior of Digital Pirates: Evidence from the French Three-Strike (Hadopi) Law a team of business-school researchers from the University of Delaware and Université de Rennes I examine the impact of the French "three-strikes" rule on the behavior of downloaders. Under the three-strikes law, called "Hadopi," people accused of downloading would be sent a series of threatening letters, and culminating with disconnection from the Internet for a period of a year for everyone in the household. Hadopi is the entertainment industry's model for global legislation, and versions of it have been passed in the UK and New Zealand, and it has also been proposed for inclusion in the global Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty.

The researchers carefully surveyed French Internet users to discover what effect, if any, the Hadopi law had had on their behavior -- specifically, whether they were encouraged to download more from legitimate sites and pay more for music as a result of the threat of Hadopi. Their conclusion: [Hadopi] has not deterred individuals from engaging in digital piracy and that it did not reduce the intensity of illegal activity of those who did engage in piracy. Read the rest

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