But of course when I say Chat Roulette now, all of you probably just chuckle inside - because it's a good example of how anonymous things on the internet turn out (for those who don't know, Chat Roulette is pretty NSFW, with many nude men on it... breaking down borders, but not in the way I'd have hoped).
I hope services like this become successful as a way to break down borders and form connections across the world - but I'm not holding my breath.
Edit: Maybe I'm part of the problem because I guess I could say the same thing about having a digital personal assistant (Siri) - and I just end up just asking her things like "How many calories are in a cubic light year of butter"? (5.83 x 10^54 kcals for those on MyFitnessPal)
Of course if you're black, a woman, gay, or any other minority they'll be happy to insult and harass you for their entertainment.
And not to forget all the very mundane people who don't have much to tell you about except for their mind numbing day labor job and how they can't take care of their sick children.
The world is much less poetic and open minded than many techno utopians would like to think.
A short read on news stories or youtube videos reminds me of that. I'm nearly always disappointed. I'm one of those techno utopians. I had great hope for the internet 20 years ago. You know, folks broadening their minds, learning things, not being so racist, finding similarities between places, and so on. And while they have, to an extent, I'm still sorely disappointed.
The problem isn't the world, it's that you're assuming the rest of the world (including the western one) shares your values and aspirations of what should and should not be down to minute details.
A lot of middle- and upper class people expect to talk to middle- and upper class people in other countries.
And in that case, you’d likely get people living by the Knigge, and you’d get awesome results.
Sadly, our society has thrown out etiquette in the recent times.
The one third of girls in the Arab region who marry before their 18th birthday? 
Or the 36% (currently) of Americans who support Trump's policies? 
Or the roughly 30% of French people who support a presidential candidate  whose father and previous party leader was fined for asserting that gassing chambers in world war 2 were just a small historical detail? 
Not sure the right thing is astounding you here.
> Or the 36% (currently) of Americans who support Trump's policies? 
You are making a shortcut. There are probably various reasons why people favor a candidate, and you should not underestimate the "I hate the other one even more" factor.
> French people going on about how muslims should all be imprisoned
This is a preposterous statement. Even the FN's proposed policies is not about putting folks in prison, but to make them leave the country if they had the power to do so. Plus, French prisons are already over-capacity and most prison sentences are not applied because of that. Do you know what you are talking about or do you read tabloids?
I believe we may have gotten drunk together after a HN Kansai meetup last year, but my memory of the night's hazy.
That makes them French, not Arabic then.
The problem is somewhere in that distinction I imagine.
That the French wouldn't be so bothered if people came to France to be French and adopt the local manners and attitudes; instead people seemingly are coming to the liberal and liberated countries with a distant goal of making them as backward and oppressive as the countries they left/fled.
Maybe the non-assimilators wouldn't come to France if the French had not gone to North Africa and convinced them that France is awesome in the first place.
1. Majority of France's Muslim population comes from it's ex-colonies.
part of the colonisers spiel to the colonised is aboyut human rights, freedom and liberty.
Yes, precisely. To recap very roughly: France brought in a lot of cheap labor from North Africa (a lot of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria) to rebuild and develop at low cost after World War 2. These immigrants were housed together, at the periphery of large cities (what are now known as "banlieues"). These neighborhoods still exist, and a lot of the children and grandchildren of these immigrants still live there. These areas are typically poorer than the cities they're next to, have poor education, higher crime rates, etc.
Of course, they're French citizens, but they don't feel particularly French because the rest of French society tends to look down on them and segregate them. And they might speak a bit of Arabic at home (or not), but they don't really feel Arabic because, well, they've spent their whole life in France, and even if they go to Tunisia/Morocco/Algeria/etc. a few weeks in the summer to visit extended family, people there don't see them as belonging there anymore.
It's a thorny situation.
I see this line in "liberal" countries and find it hypocritical.
Part of being liberal is the freedom to adopt any legal practices that makes you happy. If "liberal" countries think XYZ practices are backward or oppressive, make it illegal and file cases against people violating it.
Asking others to follow unwritten rules isn't fair.
Many liberals are unhappy that immigrants haven't integrated and by this, they want immigrants to adopt language, dress, food and religion(mainly Atheism) of the majority. It is hard to make these things illegal and still call yourself as a liberal.
Yes, sort of.
Let's take a slightly extreme example - liberal societies outlaw slavery. Suppose I come to France and want to keep slaves; how hypocritical of the French to talk about liberté and not allow me to keep the slaves that I wish to keep.
I'm not sure it's true hypocrisy; it's just a innate part of liberalism that there are limits to the liberties allowed.
so it is not hypocritical.
It is hypocritical to claim liberalism but outlaw a person right to wear clothing of their choice in public areas...
Yeah, you're probably the best person to talk about France then.
Just remember about 10% of citizens have been voting for FN for the past 30 years with little evolution one way or another (it has been getting a little more votes since the leader isn't the openly racist founder anymore, which is actually a good sign isn't it?). Also, judging someone on one of their parents is very bad form, would you also criticise people for voting for a candidate whose mother was a playmate?
The real difference, the reason why they are getting better scores than they used to, is that most moderate people are stopping voting altogether because the moderate parties are disappointing everyone is every way.
10% of citizens is too little IMO to generalise as "the French", especially if you're not even living in France.
Come on, she took over her dad's party very happily, you know very well that this argument doesn't apply here.
As far as popularity goes, we'll see what happens next year.
It seems that in your eagerness to comment, you missed on the fact that my original post never said that all French people supported FN - just that the French population includes a non trivial subset who do.
> Yeah, you're probably the best person to talk about France then.
I'm glad there are people on this forum who are the best person to talk about anything!
What you can do is, say, talk to a Syrian refugee about cats or pizza.
Although they can't reject too many rides or risk being flagged in the system, at least this gives them the ability to pass on riders who have a bad score, which last time I found out about the rider rating score was anything less than 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Fortunately, for something that the French Number is offering, it doesn't seem that this would be a problem. Hopefully the offering remains uncorrupted in this sense.
 Anecdata warning: Based on a discussion I had with an Uber driver over several months ago.
I used the feature quite a bit. I'm sure it eventually got taken over by predators and scammers, but it lasted quite some time.
Years before that there was microsoft netmeeting, which was built into windows.. and for some crazy reason it had a phone book listing of all of everyone using the app. You could open the phone book and call anyone anywhere in the world.
really it's just all about the balance of well-minded people, and perhaps as the internet grows and the barrier becomes lower for people getting online, the odds end up not working in favor of these sorts of things..
Addressing the edit: That isn't the same sort of thing. Siri gives weird access to information. The idealized version of Chat Roulette (with actual conversation as the norm) gives human interaction, experience, and viewpoint that the digital assistants just can't seem to match yet.
Here's an article discussing it in detail: http://www.ibtimes.com/callbrussels-new-tourism-initiative-d...
There's also some video content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRnybwEvQsU
You linked to a troll version.
Kind of tempted to do it again...
Wrote a bot that generated a name and joined a big public channel.
Stuff like jenny21 tina123 etc.
Then it spammed some generic greetings and waited.
"Hello, anyone wanna private chat?"
When someone started to talk to it it would start another private chat with another person choosen randomly and copy the messages of the first person to the second and vice versa.
Then it copied the whole conversation in a different channel.
Sidenote to newcomers: burn them dvds periodically! (oh, no, ultrabooks...)
We always thought we'd just get told to bugger off. Rarely was that the case.
By some odd coincidence, I've since moved to the other side of the world but I sit and type this message in the old living room in Sunderland where many of those calls were made.
1. Disclosure: I am one of the author
The website has been copied practically wholesale.
They missed the opportunity to call it the Francophone, though.
Yeah, if you only had to speak french with them, but I'm sure a lot of ppl in France know English by now or do they?
This way I could make a lonely commute a lot more interesting by calling a random person also interested in for example Ruby programming
Classic French English "mistakes" on the page.
I don't really have any problem with the concept/idea (if there is an idea in the first place)
but why oh why someone in 2016 thought it was a good idea to call a phone number ?
"The call will be charged as an international call" I mean WTF?
did those guys ever heard of all the way you can connect people on the Internet for free ?
Really if I can stream live a gaming session on Twitch or whatever I should be able to, at least, use bit of that tech to talk for free without having to use an actual phone number right ?
I don't know... something like random Skype or random gtalk or random whatever chat that support voice ...
crazy idea right ? instead of using phone lines let's transfer voice over the Internet ...
so they "rely on digital innovation & UXs to promote tourism in France", so sure let's use phone numbers and pay international charges right ?
and let's make an horrible front page design while we are at it, here the concept put the french flag color everywhere: blue, white, red, simple!
It's look "cute" like that but please the clichés all over the place, like "Our Telephone Ambassadors commit themselves to speak in English (with the French accent of course!)" ...
oh and let's write "French" as a reverse hashtag eg. frenc#, that will make us French look so cool ...
So far I'd say it's probably not justifying it's cost/effort. I don't really understand why the Swedish one (which I understand to be the original) was made - but I understand clones even less. Is it just PR; does the tourism company behind it really think it will be effective?
It's not easy to get peoples attention in the media noise, but the Swedish number was something different and new an got viral globally.
Over 190.000 got so interested they actually interacted and called, many millions have read about it. People called from 186 different countries, so the campaign spread to almost every country in the world. People talked combined for more than one year.
To get such attention globally and so many to interact is really worth a lot, you could not have paid for that in normal ways you do pr.
By the way…
I guess the Swedish number also could have been inspired by one of the official swedish twitter accounts  that is curated by a new Swede every week . It got alot of attention when released, so I think they got inspired on that idea. My guess tho.
[UPDATE] Ah, I see the answer is on the site: no.
EDIT: Just read the disclaimer:
> The call will be charged as an international call. Please check with your phone operator what your calling rates for France are. You may prefer to call from a special number (see if your country is on the list).
Added ten bucks of credit to my Google account, then feverishly dialed the number... "You are about to be connected to a random French." Ooh, how charming. Upbeat hold music, then silence. "Hello?" I call out. Then, my call is dropped. DISAPPOINT.
I asked several locals during my visit about how to deal with this oddity, and all I ever got was laughter. I still don't know what the supposed method is... :)
Their application states "...G & S: series of motion picture films... featuring live-action entertainment. ..." It actually is a series (did you know they made a sequel? I didn't). So it's probably a legit trademark.
But if my film were a romcom set in Paris, I suspect they'd be really challenged to make the case. The defense should probably cite the countless films with identical titles made over the years. Even if many/most of them weren't trademarked it probably still hints that there won't be confusion.
Bonjour. Est-ce que votre réfrigérateur marche ? // Oui... // Ben il faut aller l'attraper alors !
Btw, that blue (#000099) with white is so disturbing.
I'm an agnostic. You talk about how "backwards" various things are. You talk about freedom. Yet you are the one imposing dress code.
To make a parallel to the world of tech, it's a lot like those "cool startups" where "we don't make you wear a suit & tie", but if you show up without jeans people look down on you.
Let people dress however the hell they want already. I don't care if you're wearing a cross necklace and I certainly don't care if you're wearing a giant shirt & cap with a picture of jesus and "I LOVE JESUS" written on the back. And you comparing a traditional clothing to a crusader's robe "that killed hundreds of thousands" is... honestly the most repulsive thing I've read on HN this month.
Our women are free, yes. They're free to dress however they want. And if they want to cover themselves head to toe, they're free to do so. Muslim women are especially modest, and see their hair as private. Some women see their legs as private - we're not banning stockings.
You don't get to talk about freedom any more than americans do when they parade around bombing countries to "export their freedom", as you so nicely put it.
In France (and other countries) we have already been setting specific legal rules on how to dress : for instance it is illegal to wear nazi uniforms or svastika (unless for historical reason). Note that this is for the sake of the argument, to say that there is no such thing as an absolute freedom on how to dress and some reasons may explain that. If a clothing does not respect the conditions then I don't care wether or not it is a religious clothing and disappoint the believers.
What are these conditions ?
There is a safety condition : if a clothing put public safety in danger then it should be banned period. The burqa and niqab ban (late 2010 in France) falls into this one. And I am not talking about terrorism but everyday life : you are supposed to live in the public space with your face uncovered that's all. The burkini and hijab are obviously fine with this.
There is a secularism reason that is invoked by some people and officials for the burkini ban and indeed I find it to be hypocritical since it is more of a circumstance decision (and there are other things than that to do to fight terrorism but whatever) and it can't be justified by secularism which only restricts civil servants clothing. If people want secularism to apply to civilian in the public sphere why not but it must be clear (define precisely what is ostentatious proselytism) and consistent : if we are to ban hijab we must ban kippas and nun's "outfit" too.
Then there is the ideology propaganda and morality question. To say that there is nothing wrong with the burqa is hypocritical too, because it has been and is still a mean to oppress women (watch the numerous photos of women burning burqas recently in Syria or read "Bas les voiles !" by Chahdortt Djavann if you need to be convinced). Stating that "yes maybe in the Middle-East women are forced to wear it but I am in France and just want to decide what to wear" is like saying "yes I know the Nazis ideology is awful but for me the svastika is just a peace symbol from India and I want to wear it because I like it". Ok maybe you are a genuine and sane person but as a natural person evolving in the public space the clothes you wear don't affect only yourself. Ideologies don't stop at boarders.
Criticizing this way of forbidding clothings may make sense from an american point of view where people can wear ku klux klan dress freely. But it is not absurd and not automatically discriminatory in a more european or french spirit.
I'm absolutely in favour of removing female oppression from middle-eastern culture. This is not the way to go about it. I have seen that oppression, second hand, and I despise it... this burqa bullshit is such a red herring, it honestly upsets me so much time is wasted on it. These are societies where there is very little personal freedom, especially for women, and people want to remove one of the freedoms they do have.
And yes, I can see the point re nazi/KKK outfits. My personal opinion on that aside, we're not talking about a handful of people wearing a certain cloth in order to make a political/xenophobic point. We're talking about millions of people, following their faith. Entire countries.
Here's the catch: I dislike burqas. I do think they are a symbol of control rather than faith. But this isn't about my opinion, it's about the right for these women to choose to remove it by themselves rather than have a bunch of ignorants make that choice for them (sounds familiar?). They can wear it, they can burn it, it is not my place to say.
I just hope that the wise decision from the "conseil d'état" (roughly the french supreme court) ended this joke...
Apparently our politicians like Manuel Valls don't agree they want less and less freedom and human rights..
They're the first to show no respect to secularism, when they express public views regarding religions, publicly participate in religious events, and when they try to meddle with religions (ie: fondation des oeuvres de l'islam en france).
A lot of racist hypocrits only care about animal rights when it comes to the muslim ritual slaughtering, and the women's right but just about islamic clothing..
Today secularism is too often anti-muslimism in disguise..
Politicians want the votes from racists, and/or are too happy to divert us from their failure, betrayals, corruption, unkept promises etc.
Dismissing someone's opinion on an emotional pretext, pretending the problem doesn't exist because the initial condition was ill-formulated -- is not.
How much of reactions of French commenters here are due to the complex of french people working abroad (or with people from abroad) -- always feel the need to justify and defend France?
Emotions are a by-product of a brain metabolism. Please, let us leave this sort of defense to the Constitutional Court, it has been doing a pretty good job at it, France still is a free country.
As a non-white individual whose general group is a target of the sort of attacks you are defending against: thank you. Thank you for not thinking that we (and ALL our predecessors) are (were) incapable of self-reflection, or that we all think (thought) the same way because we "look the same".
Vicious comments like that are spreading from the cesspools of reddit and 4chan to a much broader audience, and it can be demoralizing...but that's only if one forgets that most people actually think like you or me.
The world will be okay.
This is the logic I'm getting from you - and please, do correct it if I'm getting it wrong: "Some terrorists are muslim. Muslim women wear hijabs. Hijabs therefore remind you of terrorism."
Need I really explain how that logic is harmful? Does arabic script remind you of terrorism too? What should we do about that?
La France est une République indivisible, laïque, démocratique et sociale. Laïque. Laïcité works both ways - religion stays out of the government, and the government stays out of religion.
> Maybe you drink his cool aid to fast
I stay out of french politics (american ones are just so much more entertaining right now) and I have no particular love for Hollande, but his response to the Paris attacks is burned into my mind because it was the first time in a long time I felt proud of my country and president.
Here our opinions diverge. I think the dress code is like a flag (or a svastika, like @Rasco explained). You defend it isn't. I think a good part of Muslims identify with anti-French causes. You think nothing is going on. I think there's a link between the niqab, the burkini, 8 terrorist attacks by Muslims, Köln's massive "spontaneous" rapes and my 8-years-old goddaughter's rape by a Muslim, all within 2 years. You say there isn't any such relation. I say I'm seeing thousands of Muslims in the street today with conservative outfits they weren't wearing 3 months ago. You say it's peaceful. If all you say is right, then how come we've had terrorist attacks? How can we make sure the niqab/religious support is peaceful?
Well, are Muslims at war against France? Let's see:
Our president chose to say "we are at war" in his speech, like Bush said in 2001. Such as USA in 2001, our country has then decided to destroy each other with racist restrictions and weapons. You say you agreed with "his response to the Paris attacks". I don't. There was another discourse he could have made about "How all French people are going to gather to help poor schools in the suburbs, which happen to be partly Arabic, so we starve off candidates to terrorism - and when there's equal chances for everyone then we'll be safe from terrorist attacks." I think this would have been more efficient for our taxes and more socialist from him. But Hollande didn't tell those words. He chose to say "we are at war against terrorists" and "we're going to spend 6 billion euros on police". See the difference. I didn't decide the war. But the French people massively gathered behind the president like you did, and you didn't say anything (at least, statistically, only 0.003% of you were there) when 3200 Muslims were house-arrested during the État d'Urgence. I was here to demonstrate, but no-one listened to the peaceful camp who wanted more education for poor people (including potential terrorists). Conclusion: I don't know whether the Arabs of France are at war against the whites, but I know France is at war against Radical Islamists, which is a very badly scoped subset of the Arabic population, so if I were Muslim I would feel threatened anyway. So it's totally plausible that random Muslims identify with the Islamist cause, and even moreso those who were agitate Muslim signs on the street.
So, yes, we are at war. Now is the dresscode related to religion and is the behavior related to that war?
Last thing. You say:
> I stay out of French politics
> I have no particular love for Hollande
> I'm an agnostic
Let me address this fallacy. I've seen enough people to see a pattern. People who claim this also believe they are very neutral and moderate. But their opinion is strong and dismissive of others. For example you qualified my opinion as "shameful", you probably often dismiss others' opinions as "stupid". For example what did you say for the Brexit? Let me guess that you qualified voters as "fascist", or you assumed they were too old to think right, or too deep in the countryside to have education. Well maybe you could leave the possibility that they've made the vote they indeed wanted to, based of their own very sound reasoning, and that they;re neither shameful, fascist, stupid, senile nor are rednecks. Maybe others have a right to live and have decent opinions that are different than yours, don't you think?
You may have built this "I'm center and neutral" opinion through many means. For example you may have the feeling that Le Nouvel Obs or Le Monde are neutral magazines and that Le Monde Diplomatique gathers interesting articles from all opinions around the world. But those 3 examples go from leftish (only criticizing Hollande when it's unavoidable) to extreme-left (Le Monde Dipomatique hasn't quoted an article teaching about economics in years, except to paint bankers as thieves and crooks). If you've been in public schools too, then you've been taught all your life by leftish teachers. So this leaves very little room for accepting the existence of valid opinions in other people.
The other side is that in France, beyond what I believe is a djihad, there is also the ambient anti-Christianism that is everywhere, which I'm not sure you're aware of. It may look innocent but when I say I'm a Christian, I've been countless times talked about how "cruisades" or "inquisition" are bad, or I've been answered that "You're Christian, fine, but I'm not, because priests rape children. I completely tolerate your religion, though." - which you don't. Christians in movies are always depicted as stuck-up, and depicted as conservatives in all public litterature. This is where tolerance stops: France has been intolerant about Christians for long, and so-said "agnostic" French people err between not defending us and throwing more prejudices at us. But of course you're all arms up when it's about defending Muslims.
So is niqab about defending the right of Muslims to bring their traditions to France, including the right of Arabic people to burn the French flag or praise terrorism? I say yes. You say no. Let's vote.
First of all, please let me rid of you this opinion that I attend to any of france's political culture. The last time I read the Nouvel Obs was over almost two decades ago, because my father was reading it. I give very, very little attention to french politics and generally care only about European (EU) or American issues. The EU gave me a right to choose my country, so I left mine to find better ones.
Now, I didn't call your opinion shameful, I said I was personally ashamed of it. There is a lot of personal experience that goes into that. I was raised as an agnostic, in a catholic/atheist family. I have made muslim friends and fell in love with one. I've experienced, left and right, religious discrimination against my friends without understanding why people cared to be so hateful. I know by now what that discrimination looks like and I can form an opinion of others without having to hear their story at length. Reading this reply of yours reinforced all the assumptions I made. So yes, I was dismissive.
You are also confusing two things: Islam, and extremism-through-islam. I don't defend extremism.
My opinion on the subject is strong because I despise seeing this xenophobia (here used as, fear/hatred of "the different"). I believe this xenophobia is the root of terrorism. Not islam. Islam may be a vehicle for extremist terrorism, but xenophobia is the fuel that keeps it running. It's convenient for people to pick various parts of the Quran, a massive book, to point and laugh at and say "look how backwards and hateful this is". It's easy to do that with any old book, the Bible just as well; the roles could be reversed and the terrorism would work much the same way. Most religions have the same attributes, yet the west is only ganging up on Islam because it's easy, it's a minority and it's different enough. It also gets that disgusting patriotic hard-on going for the warmongering kinds.
I don't see people calling for a ban against christians when gays get shot in the name of jesus. That little "anti-christian sentiment" you're seeing, do you realize it's a reflection of the anti-muslim sentiment everywhere right now? Do you realize muslims are dying in their home countries, and being massively discriminated against in christian countries? There's a few orders of magnitude difference between those. "Christians are always depicted as uptight in movies" -- really? How about "Muslims are always depicted as terrorists"?
And seriously, you need to stop projecting this bullshit on people defending muslims. I'M not shitting on christians. I'M not the one calling "all christians uptight". I'm defending a bunch of fucking innocent people against what is currently a near-worldwide persecution. I'm not saying "let them into the countro so they can blow shit up", I'm saying "let's not prevent 50% of all muslims from wearing what they want to wear". Fuck. In fact, I didn't say anything against christians, yet here you are talking about how persecuted christianism is. Give me a break.
It baffles me that you complain about anti-christian persecution and are completely oblivious to your own position against muslims. Please do some serious self-reflection here.
Here's the deal: I don't care that you're a christian and I don't care what you're wearing. If people were calling you out, telling you not to wear your "I love jesus" shirt, I would be shitting on their insane logic all the same, and you'd be up in arms about your freedom of speech and clothing. This is my position, and it's consistent with Islam. You should be consistent as well -- if you want people to treat you with respect, then treat others with that same respect. Your religion, no matter which religion that is, doesn't get a free pass over another just because it's "yours". Your free speech doesn't get a free pass over somebody else's free speech.
> do you realize it's a reflection of the anti-muslim sentiment everywhere right now?
I didn't have an opinion on Muslims until a guy raped my goddaughter. Turns out he was Muslim. Bad luck for Muslims! Bad luck, really. Bad luck, or was it because she's the white child of French people? Is it his way to do djihad, at his level? Why would he djihad against me, while I was giving him free programming lessons so he could get a good job and avoid discrimination when he grows up? or is it just bad education from his parents? It echoed very hard with the Köln events. Is rape about bad education on a massive scale? Is it due to poverty, religion or simply traditions?
The answers don't matter. I've done my share. Muslims aren't as peaceful as you depict them. They don't clearly reject terrorism. A lot of them are hateful against France. If you don't acknowledge that, you're naive. There are few exits. Either they restore trust by participating positively to society, either we vote more and more extremist, have riots and racism and France will be in flames at the end of 2017.
What's more, if Muslims rejected extremism, would it be smart to buy a burkini today?
And that you haven't learned correlation vs causation. And are extremely prejudiced.
The question was about burqini, and you disgressed a lot..
Irrational fear, a car accident is the far more likely option to die.