“We don’t have oil, but we do have ideas” is an expression that French people often use. And there is something to that. Photography, cars, bicycles, cinema, calculators, airplanes, microchips, photographic phones: much of what makes our modern lifestyles possible, had their origins in the clever minds of French engineers. That pioneering spirit also gave France the world’s first public internet connection. It was known as Minitel and was launched in 1978. It’s now a bit of a laughing stock in other countries, but that’s not really fair.
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