It will be awhile before Intel releases its upcoming 6-core Core i9 chip, codenamed Gulftown, to the general public, but that doesn't mean you can't get your hands on one sooner. The question is, should you even try?
Engineering samples -- which are pre-release chips primarily intended for reviewers and may or may not sport the same features as the final product -- have already started shipping, and at least one of those chips has made it onto eBay. The chip sold for $1,200, but the cost to the seller be even higher.
All Gulftown chips are bound a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), and technically speaking, ES chips aren't supposed to be sold or traded. In reality, it happens all the time, but selling a pre-release part this early in the game is sure to burn a bridge with Intel, especially since the seller didn't bother to blur out any identification marks, making it super easy for Intel to track the chip.
eBay says it has since fixed the software SNAFU that caused all the ruckus and promises this was a one-time deal, but that doesn't rectify the situation for sellers who were affected by the outage. To make things right, eBay said it plans on compensating vendors in several different ways.
"To minimize the impact, we'e working to ensure that sellers and buyers whose transactions were affected by the disruptions will be made as whole as possible," said president Lorrie Norrington. "This includes listing fee refunds and protection against negative or neutral buyer feedback as well as detailed seller ratings (DSRs) lower than five starts for impacted sellers, and coupons for buyers of items that were impacted by the disruption."
According to eBay, the surge of holiday shoppers caught the site off guard, which led to the crash.
It looks like you can expect Skype to continue functioning as normal. A settlement has finally been reached with the parties, including eBay and Skype founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis. The legal battle started when eBay agreed to sell a 65% stake in Skype to Silver Lake Partners on September 1st. The founders sued, claiming that eBay was engaging in copyright infringement. As it turns out, eBay never actually owned the core technology behind Skype, called Global Index.
According to the settlement, Zennström and Friis, will join the investor group that is purchasing Skype. They will contribute software from their new venture, Joltid. In return, they will receive a 14% stake in Skype. When the sale is completed, eBay will be paid a cool $1.9 billion. Though, this is much less than the original purchase price for Skype. Though, the online auction house will also retain 30% of Skype.
Getting all the technology under one roof again should settle the issue of Skype’s intellectual property once and for all. Do you use Skype on a regular basis? Were you worried about its future?
One the biggest concerns sellers have when using eBay is that a buyer will not cough up the cash for the purchased item. EBay has continually evolved the rules regarding the buyer-seller transactions and has taken another step forward to protect against thievery.
EBay developed a more streamlined and automated unpaid item dispute process. Most of the changes come from sliced-down time windows. Where it used to take up to 60 days to resolve a dispute, they have cut that time down to 30 days. Further, the seller only has 32 days to report the dispute down from 45 days but you can begin filing 4 days (down from 7) after the item was sold. They reduced the number of forms and amount of communication the seller needs to have with the buyer. The new rules take effect immediately.
I am not a power seller on eBay, but I generally do not ship an item until payment has been confirmed and most people I have purchased from work it the same way. One might wonder if they’ll make an equally streamlined process for the item-never-received problems.
Windows 7 party hosts looking to make a quick buck on eBay by selling their "Signature Edition" copy of the OS may want to pay attention to three little words: Not For Resale. It's pretty clear what that means, and likely at the request of Microsoft, eBay has begun shutting down auctions of the OS.
"While we cannot confirm why eBay has removed these specific auctions, Microsoft routinely works with online auction sites such as Ebay to remove infringing auctions," the Redmond company said in a statement. "The Signature Edition of Ultimate that was includied in the Party Packs is clearly marked on the outer wrap Not For Resale."
That doesn't necessarily mean you're out of luck if you didn't host a party but are itching to get your hands on a Signature Edition copy. While Microsoft hasn't said anything, they wouldn't be breaking new ground by making the OS available through select e-tailers. When Vista launched, Microsoft sold a Bill Gates signature copy version through Amazon. And in the meantime, there's still plenty of auctions that have managed to slip under the radar, such as the one offered by 'pcsalemaster,' who's only asking $1,249. o_0
That’s right, End User License Agreements (EULAs) don’t make any sense, even if you do read them. Not only to users, but apparently also to the software makers who write them, as Autodesk just found out in it’s lawsuit against Timothy Vernor. A federal court in the Western District of Washington rejected Autodesk’s claims that its software is licensed and not sold, which gives the (preliminary) green light for Vernor to sell his copies of AutoCAD on Ebay.
The heart of case is whether Autodesk’s EULA gives it the right restrict resales of its software. Autodesk claims this right because in its license it retains title to the “Software and accompanying material.” U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones disagreed. In his view Autodesk’s license is a grab bag of terms that individually support both Autodesk’s contention it is a license and Vernor’s position he can transfer his ownership to another person. Therefore, while Autodesk has a right to the software and accompanying material, Judge Jones concluded, it does not have the right to regain possession of the software and accompanying material.
Judge Jones’s ruling doesn’t end the case as Autodesk is expected to appeal. Further, Judge Jones gives software makers a way out: if the EULA is amended to include the right to demand the return of the software when the license expires, then software buyers would be unable to later transfer ownership. In which case it might be time to start reading those EULAs.
You'll have to kick it old-school and visit a dealership the next time you plan to buy a vehicle from General Motors. That's because the auto maker is puling the plug on its seven-week experiment of selling new cars in California through eBay, the online auction site.
As reported by The New York Times back in August, the eBay venture was considered a "crucial part of GM's effort to return to profitability after five years of heavy losses." Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president for U.S. sales, said the auctions would be attractive to a customers who wish to skip the whole negotiating process, but GM quickly found the opposite to be true. Vehicles were given a 'Buy-it-Now' price equal to GM's supplier price and potential customers could submit a lower offer. Not surprisingly (except to GM), dealers reported receiving low-ball offers. Welcome to eBay.
Had the program succeeded, eBay said it would try to expand it nationally and was open to working with other auto makers. But with GM dealers saying the online marketplace didn't boost sales, eBay may have a tough time drumming up interest from others.
A couple of weeks after eBay agreed to sell 65% of Skype to a group of investors, the founders of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, contrived to gatecrash eBay’s party. Joltid, a company in which the two Skype founders are stakeholders, filed a copyright lawsuit on Wednesday against Skype. Skype's founders retained control over the peer-to-peer technology at the VoIP client’s core even after selling Skype to eBay for $2.6 billion. They had agreed to license the source code to eBay.
Joltid has accused eBay of unlawfully modifying and sharing the source code. An adverse decision could even force eBay to shut down Skype until it can come up with an alternative version. The San Jose-based internet company has said that it is making arrangements to face any such eventuality. However, the presence of a contingency plan should not be construed as a lack of confidence on its part. “We remain on track to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2009,” an eBay spokesperson said.
According to the New York Times, Ebay today is expected to announce a deal to sell off Skype to a group of private investors, which are likely to include Andreessen Horowitz, a new venture capital firm spearheaded by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen. At least two other investors are said to be part of the group.
If it happens, the sale will mark the end of a rather uneventful four-year run since Ebay acquired Skype in 2005. All told, Ebay has forked over more than $3.1 billion on the venture, much higher than what many consider the VoIP service is worth.
An interesting side-story to the potential deal is whether or not Skype's founders -- Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Fiis -- are involved. The two developers had approached private equity firms earlier this year and hoped to make a bid for their old company, but Ebay wanted more than what was being offered. No price has been disclosed on the potential deal now being reported, although Skype has said it wants in the neighborhood of $2 billion.
There are certain things that you expect to find when you buy a used hard drive, personal files, leftover pictures, and sometimes (just sometimes) top secret information. At least, that’s what some recent hard drives sold off of eBay contained.
100 hard drives recently bought on the online auction site contained building blueprints, test launch procedures for Lockheed Martin’s ground to air missile defense system, medical records (including x-ray images and patient photos), confidential letters, and even some confidential corporate information detailing a 50 billion currency exchange. Good. Lord.
Thankfully, those that got the drives weren’t any variety of bad guy, but rather some folks at British Telcom’s Security Research Centre. They purchased the drives for a security study with the University of Glamorgan in Wales, Edith Cowan University in Australia and Longwood University in the US. Needless to say, I’m sure they got more information than they bargained for.
So, let this be a reminder to you! If you do insist on selling a used hard drive, be absolutely sure that you wipe that sucker clean (or, format it, then drive a drill bit through it).