September 8, 2011

Yesterday evening I was attending a workshop at Le loop with special guest Benjamin Bayart. The Loop is a moving target, occupying various places at different times. Its current location is a three story high office-building in the middle of Paris with network, electricity, water, etc: quite the perfect spot for a hacker space. Of course (if I understood correctly) they’re currently in court for illegally occupying the place, nothing surprising if you know a little about french laws and occupying empty places. However, I’m always surprised at the way theses places gather brilliant minds, and good will. :)

Thriving on the small buzz around mister Bayart’s presence, the place was a little bit crowded. a journalist from France Inter was here interviewing a few of the core people of The Loop. I hope we get to hear their voices in Daniel Mermet’s Là bas si j’y suis one day or another.

Mister Bayart’s was nice enough to talk about typography, privacy, and network architecture: for those who did not know how BGP work in theory, they now do. However, as always, I’m more interested in the “state of the Internet” in France: how ISP are pushing for a more restrictive model that would inevitably cripple the people (not only geeks mind you), why is that bad for you, etc. Pushing it would be imagining Internet packages that allows you to access either Facebook or Google services, a “special premium” access to Youtube, etc. All things considered, this is just a slide from an “open” connectivity model to something as bad as the mobile providers: if you thought you were accessing Internet from your smartphone, think again, you’ve been trapped in layers of cache every minute ; of course that does not prevent every operator from limiting your connection in bandwidth and volume. Greedy bastards. Next in line: your home connection.

In the end, there are a few things that make me glad I’m leaving for a while to Mexico. I just hope I won’t return to a country with less freedom.