Friday, May 30, 2008

French TV recording via Internet

Of possible interest to some readers: TNT, the Télévision Numérique Terrestre, is distributing new software called Wizzgo that allows you to record TNT TV programs for later playback on your computer, iPod, or iPhone.

From CNN International

Dear Arthur Goldhammer

All next week on CNN International, we will be meeting the people rocking the
foundations of France, across politics, business and culture, in a special week
of dedicated live programming.

The Eye On France season, which starts on 2nd June, will see me being joined by
my colleagues Hala Gorani and Fionnuala Sweeney in Paris for seven days to
capture the colour, vitality and exuberance of all aspects of French life.
We'll be interviewing some key names across the areas of sport, film, politics,
fashion, food and business, including exclusives with writer, director and
producer Luc Besson; foreign minister Bernard Kouchner; former professional
footballer Zinedine Zidane; and president of Areva Anne Lauvergeon. Each day
we will be looking at a specific topic and while we are interested in the
French view on being French, we are very keen to capture the global view on
France and the French.

To encourage people to have their say, we've written five key questions for
discussion. Watch Hala presenting these questions on our dedicated Eye On
France website at

The questions are:

- In his victory speech, President Sarkozy said France had turned "a new page"
in its history. Do you agree?

- What do you think most defines France's reputation around the world?

- Is French culture still alive today?

- Who are France's most influential people?

- What do you think is unique or distinctive about the French?

Thanks for your time and I hope you and your visitors find this interesting.

Kind regards,

Jim Bittermann

CNN International Paris correspondent

Should you have any questions please contact: CNN Press Office, Tel: +44 20
7693 0945 Email:

CNN International, Turner House, 16 Great Marlborough Street, London W1F 7HS

The answers.

Shocked, shocked

Christine Lagarde is shocked, shocked to learn that there is gambling in Rick's Bar. To be precise, what really shocks her is that the gamblers' winnings--the excessive compensation of CEOs in the form of generous distribution of stock options--have not been tied to their "performance."

Surely the former chairman of Baker McKenzie, having enjoyed a long and successful career in corporate law before joining the government, was not innocent of the knowledge that "just deserts" is not necessarily the rule of the marketplace. Indeed, at her own firm, Baker McKenzie, an international partner makes upward of $750,000, I gather. Perhaps one or two of them wasn't worth it, or shared a bonus for work done by others. Populist outrage is more credible in the mouths of some politicians than others. I don't think it's Ms. Lagarde's strong suit.

Meanwhile, Noël Forgeard, the former head of EADS, has been formally charged with insider trading and circulation of false or deceptive information to financial markets. The case is likely to reveal a good deal about the cozy relations among leading industrialists. Swollen executive compensation is a direct result of this coziness. Instead of calling for caps on executive pay packages, Lagarde would do better to call for revision of corporate governance regulations. If the public were represented on corporate boards, would the boards be so quick to ratify CEOs' inflated estimates of their own prowess?

On the Representation of Poverty

Serge Paugam on the representation of poverty and the idea of "solidarity" in France.