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Thursday, September 05, 2002
Please Sign the petition against the new Greek Law banning *all* computer games, for both greek citizens and tourists, for gameboys and laptops, everywhere in the country.
Tuesday, September 03, 2002

(Tantek) any time, (Tantek) anywhere, (Tantek) connected

It's 08:30 pm and we are monday the 2nd of september. France 2, the main national TV channel spends two minutes talking of Amélie Poulain (the film) because the café where most of the scenes took place was sold yesterday. Some neighbours were afraid of seeing a fast-junk-food so-called restaurant replace The Famous Café.

France 2 interviews some customers and unknown tourists, who crossed half of the world to take a photo of The Famous Café.

Wait ! Unknown ? But... No, that's impossible ! This face, this voice, these clothes directly imported from the Matrix, this thin digital camera, these fingers pressing the button on the digital camera (not kidding, that was on TV), THIS RUCKSACK SOOOO MADE FOR HIM !!!!


Tantek saying that he saw the film 3 or four times, that he even has the DVD (legend on TV : "An american tourist", ROTFL), Tantek standing in the bar in front of a japanese tourist, and, could you believe it, even TANTEK TYPING ON HIS LAPTOP (just imagine the face of the other customers:-) ! Hey, was he waiting for the two persons next table to start a W3C-related discussion ?-)

Tantek, you are too good, we cannot fight. I understand now fully why Microsoft still has its browser bugging everyone's machine all around the world. You spend 3 days somewhere and the TV is after you.

But wait, perhaps that's another proof that Microsoft is plotting against the whole world ! That's it, you were not really in Paris for the CSS WG meeting, he ? You were here to buy our national TV !!!!


Come on, Tantek, you should relocate from the US to Paris for 2 or 3 years. We could launch together a browser company, or even a company making money, depending on the mood of the day, make a tourist guide of the best expressos in town, or, why not, find all the parisian bars and restaurants used in all french movies.

After such a quest, and an appearance on national TV per bar/restaurant, you would become the most famous person in France : "hey, look Dad, that's the same american tourist again !".

For you that's a new career, a starting point, the certainty of a tremendous success, and in other words : GLORY AND FAME ! Promise me to seriously think about it and let me regret I did not have a tape in my video-recorder.

Monday, September 02, 2002
Ad blocking...

Almost two years ago, I was contacted by a friend from Vivendi Universal. He was looking for a CTO for their web-advertisement division, based in Paris. After a short discussion, he mentioned the salary. $200,000 per year, exclusive of all bonuses, extras and stocks.... Yum.
Above a given amount, and even if the first impression is negative, you open your ears, tell your brain to stop saying "no, no" and continue listening. That's what I did.

Basically, this division of VU was just like everything Jean-Marie Messier, the french ex-tycoon, did in the Internet business : too late, too big, too expensive, with the wrong people.

I clearly remember that at some point the CEO interviewing me mentioned WAP content and his great hopes into WAP ads. I answered "hum, I think you are going to face large disillusions because WAP is, from its very beginning, a dead duck." Of course, he asked me why. Of course, I answered that the technical part was lame, the bandwidth was not enough, the customers' expectations were driven by what they see on a PC, and, worse, that people in Europe don't need to spend 5 minutes on the micro-screen and awful keyboard of a cell phone loosing connection three times to buy flowers on-line when there is a flower store around the corner.

His answer was marvelous : "That's not how feel our experts at Vivendi Universal". Read "you are only going to be the CTO, what the hell do you know about the market ?". That reminds you of something ? Not suprising.

Experts. Like during my glorious days at Electricité de France (EDF), when my managers asked me for a technical study and then required a post-validation from some other experts in the company. But I was the only person really working on web underlying techniques there.

Now, Vivendi Universal is in so bad shape that its name is in France a synonym for corporate failure, its web-ads division closed before summer 2002, and the WAP is - as promised - a dead duck.

Oh, and guess what, the experts are still there, of course.

Sunday, September 01, 2002
In naturalibus Is it possible to be at the same time an excellent QA Engineer, a remarkable standards guy, even a great programmer, and from time to time a very tireseome person ? Absolutely.
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