Wednesday, June 22, 2005

eBay Losing Its Edge

NOTE: I lost a lot of this post on accident so I had to shorten much of it. Sorry.
Before I start I just want to give an update on my personal situation. We spoke to the hit-and-run investigator yesterday and he was very understanding. He realized that it was a minor accident and will not press charges. Thank God! Now we just have to write a check to the other party's insurance company. Anyway, it turns out that eBay is losing a lot of money to alternative marketplaces due to fraud, increased listing fees, and a lack of quality customer services. It seems that people find it more profitable to sell direct from their own sites and advertise on search engines or even on another listing site like Amazon or Overstock. I find this to be significant because eBay is one of those companies that came out of the dotcom boom stronger than it went in and seems to have almost become a part of colloquial language. Can they really bounce back? It's not like they're in the red yet or anything, but if they don't start an overhaul they may start an downhill fall. With the evolution of the internet I just think it's important to realize the kinds of trends that are going on around us.

Not a whole lot of other news items in technology. Microsoft has recently acquired Sybari Software for their anti-virus software needs and has now decided that, contrary to the company's progress up til now, it will not support Unix or Linux. It may sound like a sensible business move for them, but aren't they losing a lot of money just for their pride? They should be more concerned though about the Indian dude who cracked their Genuine Advantage program. A blog has a great interview with Linus Torvalds about open source and proprietary software and I think he provides some great insights. The best point he makes is how different Microsoft's way of doing business is as opposed to other key players inasmuch as how dependent it is on Windows. It turns out that the broadcast flag deal that would've been snuck into a Congressional bill (that I mentioned a couple of days ago) will not go through thanks to thousands of angry e-mails and faxes. Democracy does work!

Now for some movie news. It turns out that Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) will not be bald in Superman Returns, though presumable the hair he has is a toupee. Why would they not want him to have hair? On the X3 side of things, Ian McKellan is not signed on as of yet to play Magneto although his involvement is planned. This goes to show how behind they are. AICN has a first review of Fantastic Four that confirms what I thought: it's only meh. It's too bad that they wasted that license. They also have another review of Land of the Dead corroborating its coolness. It'll be good to have a good zombie movie for our generation. However, Legend of Zorro isn't looking too hot. Yahoo Movies has a trailer for The Brothers Grimm, and I'm curious to see this movie just because Terry Gilliam is directing it. I wonder if the Monty Python veteran still has his touch. You can catch some shots from Speed Racer over here and a Spider-man 3 teaser poster over here, all from the NYC Licensing Fair (an annual international trade show).

He must feel hot

It's time for some Wednesday Mind Humpin' action:

01. Don't be afraid of being a sissypants ... we've ALL lavished love on a stuffed animal at one time or another. What stuffed animal or toy did you just love the stuffin' out of (past or present)
My keyboard! It's so soft and cuddly! Don't you sleep with yours at night? Just kidding, but the only plush animal I ever got attached to was a brown teddy bear a cousin of mine in India gave to me during my visit there when I was 12. I slept with it for a little while, but quickly grew out of it.

02. If Mattel or Fisher-Price were to create a stuffed animal inspired by you, what would it be ... describe the stuffed animal you. If it talked at the pull of a string what things would it say?
Hmm, well it would be cuddly and sweet just like me of course. Not totally sure what it would say when you pull its string tohugh. Of course on Wednesdays it would have to say, "Are you read for some humping?" On weeknights it would likely advise you to do your homework, but on weekends it would egg you on to party hard and do keg stands.

03. What stuffed animal best represents your state or city and explain your choice.
A stuffed Bevo! He's the mascot of UT Austin and being a longhorn would be a great symbol not only for Texas but also for Austin (which I consider my home over Houston even though I was born and raised in Houston).

04. Winnie the Pooh is not just a Disney character ... he is actually the stuffed animal pal of Christopher Robin and comes with a bevy of stuffed animal friends. Which Winne the Pooh character are you most like and why do you think so? If you're not familiar with Winnie the Pooh here is a guide to the characters.
I'd like to say Tigger since I like tigers and I like to be happy, but I'd have to say Rabbit. I'm responsible like he is and also very caring. Rabbit is a he right? It's not like they ever show you any crotch and Rabbit's voice throws me off. It's not like rabbits have boobs either, so how would you know? *shrugs*

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