Archive for the ‘Paris’ Category

Drones Over Paris

February 28, 2015

Drones Over Paris

Mysterious drones have flown over Paris for two nights, hovering over the Bois de Boulogne, Elysee Palace, Place de la Concorde, Les Invalides, U.S. Embassy, the Eiffel Tower and other landmarks. Reporters are having a field day speculating about the little unmanned aerial vehicles. Reporters from AJ made things even worse with their coverage, flying a camera drone over the City of Light for some POV footage before they were nabbed by panicky gendarmes.

The remote-controlled mini aircraft have been whizzing around France since October, over major roads and nuclear power plants, but these earlier drone flights were by hobbyists. It’s likely these Parisian ones were, too. Flying drones in French cities without a permit is forbidden, even in daylight, and there’s a steep fine. You can see why people would want to do it, though:


Le Grand Frère Vous Regarde à Paris

December 23, 2011

Le Grand Frère Vous Regarde à Paris

Tourists aren’t the only ones in Paris with cameras; les flics have them as well. 200 new surveillance cameras now spy on the streets of the French capital, and by spring there will be 1200 more. Police at video monitors will be on the lookout for crime, terrorists, traffic jams, and inappropriate tutoiement. You have been warned.


Short Link:

Image (“Le Grand Frère Vous Regarde à Paris, after Caillebotte”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Dude, où est mon vélo?

October 16, 2007

Zut alors!

If you haven’t read the previous NotionsCapital post on Washington’s automated bike rental plans, do that now. The rest of us will just talk amongst ourselves.

Hey – read that post, okay?

Fine. Now that we’re all on the same page we can go to Paris. M. Pierre-Yves Geoffard of that city’s Libération newspaper reports that the Velib bike rental scheme is a victim of its own popularity. There are 15,000 bikes at 1,000 kiosks spread out every 1,000 feet throughout the city. The problem is that supply and demand are not distributed equally at all times.

There are Velib rush hours when it is impossible to find a bike at kiosks near residential neighborhoods and business district kiosks are full of bikes so renters can’t park them, and vice versa. Quelle surprise.

Parisians are crazy about the system but report that it may add ten minutes or more to their commutes. Of course this new excuse for tardiness may only enhance the Velib’s popularity: “Sorry I’m late, Boss. The bike kiosks were all full.”

Image par Mike LICHT