McDonald’s denies attack on tech-specs Canadian

McDonald's France said on Tuesday that employees at one of its Paris restaurants denied a Canadian inventor's claims they assaulted him for wearing a computer vision system.

McDonald's denies attack on tech-specs Canadian
Photo: Steve Mann

In a statement on its Facebook page, the company said it was investigating the claim and "no statement in relation to a physical assault… was uncovered in the testimonies of the people questioned."

Steve Mann, a professor at the University of Toronto, blogged on Tuesday that he had suffered a "physical assault" by McDonald's "representatives" while on a visit to Paris with his family earlier this month.

"According to the employees, the exchanges with Mr. Mann were carried out with respect and politeness," McDonald's said, adding the investigation was ongoing.

Mann, who invented and has worn the EyeTap computer vision system — similar to the Augmented Reality eyepiece being developed by tech giant Google — for the last 13 years, said he was confronted by three people he believed to be McDonald's workers while eating at a branch on the Champs Elysee.

He said one of the men tried to rip the system from his head and that despite showing them medical and technical documentation on the system, he was ejected from the restaurant.

Mann, who posted photographs of the incident taken with the eyepiece, wrote it was unclear why the men had taken offence.

He said he wanted McDonald's to pay for damage to his eyepiece and to support funding for vision research.

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Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro