I'm off to Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen until Sunday and look forward to seeing the city for the first time with my Danish friends Torben, Laerke, Henrik and Michaela. While at the conference, I'll try my hand at live blogging if there are enough power outlets for everyone.
Please take two minutes to reply to the survey on the France Brazil site if you haven't done so already. The survey will run through Tuesday next week, so if you'd like to have your opinion counted regarding the content (including languages) of the site, please complete the survey.
If you are interested in contributing articles or being a guest author, please e-mail me and I will get in touch with you by next week with more details.
It snows infrequently in Paris and in 7 years I've hardly seen it snow as much as yesterday. Here's a link to view the pictures as a slide show.
Technorati Tags: paris
Congratulations are in order to my friends Rupert Carter, Marc Lacouture, Alain Mendonca and the team at Promovacances - Karavel for today's great news ... looks like they made it!
Opodo has bought a leading online French travel company for 60 million euros.
Amadeus-owned Opodo paid the 60 million in cash for Karavel, the owner of Promovacances, an online package holiday retailer that is widely known in France. Karvel [sic] is chaired by Christian Blanc, the former chief executive of Air France.
Angra dos Reis is quite possibly one of the most beautiful spots in Rio, with 365 islands, clear water and countless beaches. This shot is taken from an island TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile) is renting for its promotions. At night, the island turns into a nightclub. If you don't have your own boat, you can catch the last boat to the island at 1 am and will then have to wait until 5 am for the first return boat. A major event is in the works for April, with a world reknowned DJ.
Djavan is a leading contemporary singer in Brazil, along with Gilberto Gil, Milton Nascimento, Jorge ben Jor, Chico Buarque de Hollanda and Vinicius de Moraes.
On January 15th Djavan gave a fantastic live performance at the the Sugar Loaf, at the Noites Carioca event. About 2,000 people gathered on the Morro da Urca, the first stop on the way to the Sugar Loaf, to watch Djavan perform his greatest hits. Afterwards, the amphiteater turned into a nightclub with a DJ playing techno, house and remixed samba.
The nighttime view of Rio was breath taking. In particular, the view of the Christ on Corcovado as the moon set beside it was amazing. Noites Carioca runs on weekends during the summer months and is one of the best options for going out in Rio.
Update: Djavan will hold a concert at Cite de la Musique in Paris on the 26th of March ... don't miss it! Maria Rita, a great female MPB artist, will also sing at the Cite de la Musique on the 20th of March.
For readers of Dan Brown's Angels & Demons, here's a great nighttime picture of Castel Sant'Angelo.
"Take it or leave it" is not an attitude that will bring customers back to your business.
Tom Peter's story about UPS / FedEx highlights the importance of customer service, a concept which still hasn't caught on in most restaurants and bars in Paris!
Case in point: The Barfly -- the swanky restaurant/bar on Av. George V -- lost some customers last night. Here's the story:
The place was pretty crowded and my friends and I were standing close to the bar and had been there for an hour. We had ordered a beer each and had waited a long time to get served. Granted, the place was crowded and it was no big deal. When another friend arrived, we ordered a glass of wine and waited (and then waited, and then waited some more) before being served ... and when it arrived the wine was hot! We pointed this out to the barman, who said he couldn't do anything about it since the wine glass had just been washed. In other words,"take it or leave it"!
Not about to spoil the mood, I paid and kindly pointed out we had waited 20 minutes to be served. He said nothing as he took the money: 20 Euros for an 8 Euro glass of wine. We chatted as we waited for the wine to cool a bit ... but after 10 minutes we pointed out to the barman we still hadn't received our change. His reply?
"You waited 20 minutes for your wine and now you'll wait 20 minutes for your change!"
Needless to say, we returned the wine, got our 20 Euros back and walked out of the place, after complaining to the manager ... who shrugged and did nothing about it.
Adieu, Barfly! The place had been degrading over the last couple of years anyway, so the poor service was not much of a surprise.
Among others, Joi Ito also got lousy service in Paris.
I recently updated comments on the popular Rio photo album, adding some history and local knowledge. I'll soon update the other two albums and will try to add more pictures.
Last year I met Thierry Dagues through a good friend of mine, Olivier T. At the time, they were planning a tandem ocean crossing in a specially designed rowboat. Olivier had to cancel, but Thierry decided to continue the adventure. He found technical and sports partners and sponsors, raised money and worked out intensively to prepare. He finally set off on 15 Novermber at 9AM and has already completed about a third of his voyage, having travelled over 1748km. You can follow his progress in realtime and read his logbook, in three languages: English, French and Spanish.
Good luck and "bon voyage", Thierry!
TDCom provides the satellite communications equipment and services to facilitate his transmissions from the mid-atlantic.