Casa Miguel was a Guinness Book sensation, as well as a precursor to food activism

In 1949, when Europe was still recovering from the chaos and destruction unleashed earlier that decade, Maria Codina and her husband had a vision.

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Maria Codina, discussing with journalists in 1981 (Source: ina.fr)

The wanted to help feed people who could not afford the price of a typical restaurant menu, and to do so they decided to open a restaurant. Not any restaurant, mind you. One that for nearly half a century, held the title of France’s cheapest restaurant, and even the Western World, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

At Casa Miguel in the 9th arrondissement, for 5 Francs, you could afford a full menu along with some wine. This was incredibly cheap back then (and still is, considering it was less than a euro), so most of Paris’ underprivileged gladly ate there. From foreign workers to homeless paupers, the restaurant’s clientele was a colorful patchwork of France’s struggling people. …


Respawn Entertainment’s game managed to drastically flesh out Star Wars’ galaxy and its lore.

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EA/Respawn Entertainment

It’s no secret that the recent Star Wars movies were a bit of a mess. Not that they were bad movies, far from that; but the finished products showed a lack of unifying vision that was disturbing, given both Disney’s previous track record in franchise building exercises.

Of the six planned movies (a trilogy following the Skywalker saga along with three spin-off movies), only five were released, and of those five only the first two (The Force Awakens and Rogue One) were universally acclaimed by critics, fans and hardcore fans alike.

What killed the momentum for the movies was both a lack of unifying vision for the main trilogy and a counter-productive risk aversion for the spin-offs. The lack of vision killed any long-term arc for the main characters and the plot, resulting in a series of movies that were just reacting to one another’s plot points, instead of being complementary (and coherent). …


An exploration of the data published by the French Data Protection Authority.

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Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

As we are getting closer to the second anniversary of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), I thought that it would be interesting to explore the data provided by the French Data Protection Authority (the CNIL), and see if it provides us some insights into its enforcement trends.

What was the situation before GDPR’s entry into force ?

Privacy & Data Protection laws have been a thing in France since 1978, the year in which the Informatique & Libertés (IT & Freedoms) law went into effect. …


Apps and tricks to keep as much of your privacy as you can while browsing the internet.

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Photo by chris panas on Unsplash

With the advent of the data-hungry economy, there’s not much of ourselves that is not commodified in some way or another. Our apps and phones fight for our attention, while tracking the highs and lows of our daily lives in order to provide us with personalized ads.

Thankfully, we still have a few ways of exercising some kind of control over what we share over to corporation and other overly curious entities and individuals.

Below is a quick recap of all the best practices I have gathered in regards to privacy. …


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Like a ghastly reminder from the past, or a 110 meters middle-finger to contemporary architectural sensibilities, the Aurore Tower always stood out from the rest of its glass panelled peers.

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Credits : Hugues Mitton (Hugovoyages) — personal photo, CC BY-SA 2.5, source

From the moment I started working in the neighbourhood, I was always fascinated by this pile of concrete and rusty-looking glass, without really understanding why.

Maybe it was the tacky typeface in which the tower branded its name, or the fact that the building has been empty for a few years, being quite literally the shell of its former glory.

Whatever it was, Aurore always acted for me as some kind of anchor in the ever-changing, ever-growing landscape of the Parisian business district. …


Underneath its cold, glass-paneled exterior, the Parisian business district of La Défense hides a few secrets.

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Esplanade de la Défense (Lower part)

One day, while looking for the métro station at La Défense, I decided to try and find an alternate entrance to the station, instead of going up to the one located right in the middle of the Esplanade’s higher part. An old and possibly obsolete sign pointed me towards the end of the avenue I was walking in, right beneath the concrete plateau that is La Défense.

After a quick walk through a sketchy construction site, hidden in the shadows of the Total tower looming above, I began to ponder the inherent stupidity of my logic (“Why the hell am I looking for a metro station in an apparent no man’s land ?”). …


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GDPR, data minimization and storage limitation.

For the past year and a half, I have been trying my best to assist my clients in their GDPR compliance process. Beside the obvious consequences of the General Data Protection Regulation (my inbox is still hurting from all the privacy policy updates it received this summer), one unexpected side-effect of all of these compliance efforts has been to unearth how much of data hoarders we have become.

As the GDPR enforces the limited retention of all collected personal data (basically, throw away all the data which is irrelevant for your present data processing), many companies are scrambling for a clearer vision of where their personal data is stored, in order to proceed with a now required-by-law spring cleaning. And in most cases, the answer to this question is, basically, everywhere. …

Elias Arfi

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