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Photos: What went down at the LeWeb tech conference

Technology giants and web entrepreneurs get connected and social in Paris
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By Natasha Lomas on
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1 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Technology giants and web entrepreneurs get connected and social in Paris

LeWeb is an annual internet gathering that aims to turn a dingy industrial estate in the north of Paris, France, into a little slice of Silicon Valley for two days in December.

2010's event, which took place last week, drew a crowd of 2,500 entrepreneurs, technologists, investors, bloggers, developers and start-ups looking for that elusive VC.

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2 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Google's Marissa Mayer, VP of geographic and local services, took a turn on the LeWeb stage for a Q&A with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, discussing how the Google's search service is likely to evolve in future.

Mayer also hinted that Chrome OS tablets could be on the cards.

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3 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Loïc Le Meur, entrepreneur and organiser of LeWeb, dressed in a costume from the popular iPhone game Angry Birds as he prepared to interview Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio, the creator of the game.

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4 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Teen entrepreneur and web developer Ricardo Sousa also took to the stage - putting the boot into the education system for failing to encourage innovative thinking. Teenagers make good entrepreneurs because they are willing to take risks, said Sousa.

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5 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Another speaker - Matthias Lüfkens, head of social networks at the World Economic Forum - talked about how a new political diplomacy is linking heads of government around the world via the medium of Twitter, dubbing it "twitplomacy".

"This is more secure than the US diplomatic cables I believe," he quipped.

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6 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Even the North Korean government uses Twitter, said Lüfkens, who noted the regime is fond of posting photos via Twitpic - an app that does not allow comments to be moderated, meaning unmoderated thoughts are added to the regime's imagery, as pictured in the slide above.

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7 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

BlackBerry, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft and PayPal were all at the LeWeb event chasing developers, running workshops and meet-and-greet sessions throughout the two-day event.

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8 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

The world's biggest mobile maker Nokia was also in evidence at LeWeb, encouraging developers to get involved with its Ovi app store.

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9 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Mobile operator Orange chose LeWeb to launch a web portal, pictured above. The portal is aimed at simplifying the app submission process for Android developers who want to get their apps on the Orange App Shop.

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10 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

The service - called Orange Partner Connect - also enables developers to manage apps they have submitted for evaluation to Orange and to track usage.

Orange takes a 30 per cent revenue slice from apps hosted on its App Shop, with developers getting 70 per cent. Payment for the apps is integrated into Orange's customer billing.

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11 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

Another LeWeb attendee was social gaming company Zynga - creator of the FarmVille game for Facebook - whose stand featured a fluorescent model of the Eiffel tower.

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12 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

It wasn't just tech companies seeking to promote themselves at the event. This enterprising attendee advertised his need for an investor by wearing a T-shirt saying, "Have a working prototype, looking for a VC".

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13 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

The spectre of success was never far from delegates' thoughts...

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14 of 14 Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

...and some attendees wore hard hats with their Twitter IDs written on them, hoping to get noticed.

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