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How the Merger of Two of its Largest Providers May Transform the French Telco Market

The recent merger between French telcos SFR and Numericable is but another example of the broader trend that dominates  today’s telecommunications market: operators are seeking to integrate their products in order to respond to their business clients’ growing desire for streamlined communications solutions. This merger also threatens the dominance of Orange, which – until now- has enjoyed a privileged position among corporate and business clients. 

The merger is a major operation which is poised to radically transform the corporate telecommunications market. Each of the 2 companies already has a significant individual market presence and there have been no comparable upheavals since 2005, when Cegetel and Neuf Telecom merged to form Neuf Cegetel (which then became a subsidiary of SFR). Since 2010, many players have been ‘merged out’ of the telco market (the Club Internet, AOL, Telecom Italia and Cegetel brands, for example, have all been retired). This has been the market's way of responding to operators’ growing desire to at once be present in both the fixed-line and the mobile markets. The merger between SFR and Numericable falls neatly in line with this trend – it would appear that the companies are trying to merge in order to meet consumer expectations concerning price and simplicity.

This market pattern has also been driven by the fact that operators need to invest heavily in new infrastructure to maintain their quality of service. The SFR-Numericable merger, for example, will help both of the merging companies to meet their needs in this field.  Lionnel Piar, Telecommunications vice-president at CGI Consulting stated :  

Industriellement, ce qui est intéressant dans le rapprochement, c’est qu’on a d’un côté un SFR qui a plutôt des offres mobiles, et de l’autre un Numericable plus sur la partie câble. Avec ce rapprochement, on est plus dans la notion d’opérateur global qui va être capable de proposer l’ensemble des services à une entreprise. 

From an industry perspective, the interesting thing about this merger is that, on the one hand, you have SFR which offers mainly mobile products; and, on the other hand, you have Numericable which is more about cable. With this merger, we are moving towards the notion of a unified operator which can single-handedly offer corporate clients a full suite of services.

And it is precisely this new notion that threatens the hegemonic dominance that Orange currently enjoys on the B-to-B market . Orange currently holds a 70% market share and, while SFR and Numericable currently hold 20% between them, the newly merged entity is hoping to attain 30%.

Spanish Congress Comission Approves AEDE Tax or Google Tax

The Spanish Congress’ Commission of Culture approved the so called AEDE Tax (for the Spanish name of the Association of Editors of Spanish Newspapers), also known as Google Tax as part of the draft bill of the Law of Intellectual Property.

GurusBlog explains what is this tax about:

A tax by which an inalienable right is created so every journalistic update website automatically generates a collection right on any other website that links to it. An organ like a SGAE (for the Spanish name of General Society of Authors and Publishers) will be in charge of the collection and the distribution among its associates.

On Xataca they note:

Unlike Germany, the media group that is lobbying for this legislation -AEDE- gets the “inalienability” to be added so as to avoid to be self-evident: if Google has to pay a medium for linking from Google News, it would suffice to take it out, and after realizing the sudden loss of traffic, that medium might request to get back without any fee.

After some tweets, some netizens are upset:

Angrier than me with the AEDE tax. Überfav, unfortunately.

This AEDE tax is ridiculous and it goes against the nature of Internet itself! LINKING IS NOT A CRIME!

Other users are promoting not linking to the media:

WordPress plugn to block all URLs than link to AEDE y the Spanish Center of Republishing Rights.

Spanish Football Club Presents Peculiar T-Shirt

Spanish football club Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa, presented its new T-shirt on July 22, 2014, with a peculiar design that simulates a tuxedo, with shoulder braids, and even a bow tie just below the neck.

Twitter users were quick to express their opinion, not always favorable:

I can't tell which one is worse. The hideous T-shirts of the Lugo Club and the Cultural Leonesa one.

This is why “Cultural Leonesa” is trending topic.

Initially, the T-shirt was going to be used only during a pre-season friendly match. After the unfavorable opinions on social networks, the club, which founded in the city of Leon in 1923 and plays in the Second Division B – Group 1 of Spain, is considering using it as the alternate shirt or simply discarding it completely. is a sport association 

Lucky 13: Tips for Protecting your Data on Public Computers

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Image from the blog profesoradeinformatica.com, used with permission.

If you are about to go on holiday and you are thinking of taking your computer and get connected to Wi-Fi or using computers that are available in hotels and other public places, you must read this post with 13 tips to protect data, as published by Andrea on her blog:

¿Conoces los riegos de utilizar ordenadores públicos?

Desconoces el “estado de salud” de estos ordenadores, es decir estos pueden tener virus o programas maliciosos instalados para robar tu información (malwares). Entonces si no quieres que el estrés post-vacacional sea más agudo por problemas con tu información, lee con atención.

Do you know the risks of using public computers?

You ignore these computers’ “health condition”, and they can have virus or malware set up to steal your information. So, if you don't want post-holiday stress to be more serious for problems with your information, read carefully.

No doubt about it, now the 13 will be a very lucky number.

This post was part of the seventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on June 16, 2014. 

App Created by Global Voices Contributor Selected to be Developed Online

Lawyer, blogger, digital activist, dreamer and Global Voices Paraguayan Global Voices contributor Gabriela Galilea, was selected by Techpeaks program from European organization Trento Rise, a startup promoter, to develope her online game platform Mr. Patch:

[un] videojuego para tabletas, smartphones, televisores inteligentes y web (PC), que ejercita los músculos de los ojos encargados de realizar los movimientos. El objetivo es ayudar a las personas que tienen deficiencias en la visión.

(a) videogame for tablets, smartphones, smart TV and web (PC), that exercises the eye muscles in charge of the movements. The gola is to help people with impaired eyesight.

Gabriela has been receiving support on Twitter:

Did you know a Paraguayan lady has created a videogame that helps people with eyesight problems?

Gabriela Galilea represents Paraguay in Italy with her videogame for ophtalmology health.

The Demo Day will be held on July 18 in Trento, Italy, where Gabriela will present her app.

Russian Government IP Address Caught Editing German Wikipedia MH17 Article

IP addresses inside the Russian government continue to be active on Wikipedia, where a computer at the Russian Secret Service, the FSO, revised the German entry for Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, changing the word “separatists” into “rebels.” The Twitter bot @RuGovEdits, which automatically logs all Wikipedia edits made from Russian government IP addresses, caught five separate attempts by an FSO computer this morning to make the “rebels” language stick. The effort failed. German Wikipedia editors reverted the article's language to the original text, every time.

German Wikipedia's MH17 makeover, brought to you by the Russian government.

Images of Air Algerie AH5017 Plane Wreckage in Mali Reveals Violent, Abrupt Crash

The first footage of the plane crash are now available thanks to a Burkinabe soldier present on the site of the wreck near Gossi, in Northern Mali. There are no survivors among the 118 people on board, including more than 50 French nationals. Algerian website Algérie Focus reports in French that:

Cette vidéo montre des débris éparpillés et broyés. La zone sablonneuse a été noircie par le crash. Sur cette vidéo, il est pratiquement impossible de repérer les pièces maîtresses de l’avion au milieu des débris.

The video shows scattered and crushed debris. The sand at the site was blackened by the crash. In the video, it is virtually impossible to identify the key components of the aircraft amid the debris.

Football Analysis of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

International football fan Alberto Palmás analyzes the best teams that took part on the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. He remarks the general performance of the national teams, the best players and other topics. He starts with Germany:

Ha ganado el Mundial. Es la mejor y ha sido la mejor en el mundial. Muy superior a sus rivales, gracias a su espectacular juego de toque y a su infalible artillería arriba. Es una máquina casi imposible de ganar. Solo se lo puso difícil Argelia, Francia y en la final Argentina. A los demás equipos los vapuleó.

Germany won the World Cup. they are the best team and has been the best during the tournament. They are superior than its rivals, thanks to their spectacular style and their infallible artillery. It's a machine that's almost impossible to defeat. Only Algeria put things hard on them, France and Argentina on the final match. All other teams just got thrashed.

If your are passionate about international football as Alberto, you can follow him on his blog and on Twitter.

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV, (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014. 

China's National Mahjong Team Loses To Japan

Mahjong, originated from China is considered a national game. The fact that China's national mahjony team lost the the fifth Open Mahjong Championship in France and finished in 37th place out of 51 teams came as a shock to the country. Worse, the individual title was claimed by a Japanese competitor. Nanfang.com translated an article from New Beijing Daily on the reasons behind China's defeat.

German Offensive Beated Argentinian Defense

On El mago del balón (The magician of the ball), Spanish journalist José Eduardo Carratalá analyzes the national teams that played the final match on 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014, Germany and Argentina, where the European crew won, and compares how the German presented a mainly offensive team againt the defense of the South American team, who were finalists because they didn't receive any goals:

Alemania ha marcado 18 goles en 7 partidos (2,57 por encuentro). Suya es la mayor goleada del torneo (7-1 a Brasil en semifinales). También goleó a Portugal (4-0) en su debut. Ha marcado al menos un gol en todos sus partidos. [...]
[Los argentinos] llegaron a la final gracias precisamente al buen hacer de su portero y su defensa. De hecho, el único gol que ha recibido Romero desde la primera fase fue el de Götze en la final. Hasta ese tanto, el meta argentino llevaba 486 minutos sin recibir un gol.

Germany scored 18 goals in 7 matches (2,57 per game). They own the widest margin of the tournament (7-1 with Brazil in semifinals). They also defeated Portugal (4-0) on their debut. They have at least one goal scored in each of their matches. [...]
(Argentinian) made it all the way to the final match due to the good performance by their goalkeeper and their defense. In fact, the only goal Romero got since the group phase was the one by Götze on the final match. Until that goal, the Argentinian goalkeeper hadn't received a goal in 486 minutes.

Among the many records broken on this World Cup there is Miroslav Klose as the highest scorer in World Cups (16 goals) and the crew trained by Joachin Löw becoming the first European country to win in South America.

Follow José Eduardo for more information about sports on his blog and on Twitter.

This post was part of the eleventh #LunesDeBlogsGV (Monday of blogs on GV) on July 14, 2014.

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