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August 14, 2014

Parts of internet break as \’512k day\’ reached by routers

Parts of internet break as ‘512k day’ reached by routers

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Internet
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  • Parts of internet break as ‘512k day’ reached by routers

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On Tuesday many internet routers, used to find the pathways to different parts of the web, reached their memory limit of 512,000 entries in the tables they use to store the routes, causing problems for many users.

A router is used to direct a user towards the area of the internet where they will find the content they are looking for, e.g. a web page. The recent problem was caused by the arbitrary memory limit built into the design of many aging routers. A limit was needed to prevent the cost of hardware from becoming prohibitively expensive in the days when physical data storage was still comparatively expensive. This small amount of memory in turn limits the number of directions which can be stored on a single router leading to different parts of the internet. When this limit was reached, it caused outages of services among Internet Service Providers. Many routers, including older ones provided by Cisco Systems Inc., are limited to storing a total of 512,000 routes or paths.

This limit was reached on Tuesday, reported to have been triggered by Verizon publishing another 15,000 paths. Those affected included eBay, LastPass, and clients of the web hosting company Liquid Web, who lost much of their services until Verizon withdrew some of these new paths. Problems nevertheless continued throughout the day, even after the withdrawal.

A longer term fix is possible, but it would require manually replacing old routers with newer, more capable ones. It is hard to tell what issues would temporarily cascade though the internet by taking down routers from part of the internet for maintenance. Many experts have warned that problems could continue until these difficult fixes have been implemented, although the recent switch to a newer form of IP Addresses, IPv6, will temporarily help the issue. Wired News reported that Andre Toonk, a network engineer, had stated that the number of network outages on the internet, typically around 1,500, yesterday peaked at 2,587, enough to become clearly noticeable.



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May 8, 2014

eBay removes Canadian town\’s listing of sperm whale carcass

eBay removes Canadian town’s listing of sperm whale carcass

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

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Citing violations of its policy regarding “Marine mammal items”, eBay terminated an online listing on Monday by the town of Cape St. George, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, for a 40 ft (12 m) sperm whale carcass reportedly beached upon its shores about a week prior.

With an initial asking price of 99 cents, bidding for the carcass reportedly rose to C$238.03 within 15 bids. Reports variously state the final price of the whale, prior to the removal of the listing from the auction site on Monday at about 2:30pm, was C$2,025 or C$2,075. Listed in eBay’s “really weird” category, the carcass was considered by eBay to be an example of “items made from marine mammals regardless of when the product was made”, which are prohibited as per site rules.

Following a council meeting on Sunday in the town of 950 residents, Cape St. George’s mayor, Peter Fenwick, put the whale up on the auction site in a bid to have it removed from the town’s premises, citing a lack of cooperation from provincial and federal government officials on the matter. “It’s your problem, you solve it”, Fenwick recounted to The Globe and Mail (TGaM) as the response he received from them. Apart from eBay, Kijiji was also suggested as another avenue by which to sell the carcass.

Fenwick told CTV News, several years prior another sperm whale measuring 15 ft was beached in the area, but disappeared without incident, an act Fenwick attributed to be the work of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “This time”, he remarked, “the authorities have told us that it’s our whale, it’s our responsibility to get rid of it.”

On putting the carcass for sale, Fenwick remarked, “We knew we had to do something with it and this seemed to be the least expensive way of disposing of it.” In a news release, Fenwick highlighted a possible use for the carcass, particularly its bones. “The 40 foot sperm whale will make a spectacular exhibit once the fat and muscle is removed, and the town is asking museums and other organizations that could use a whale skeleton to contact the town for further details.”

On retaining the whale himself, Fenwick stated, “As a town we would dearly love to keep the whale and put it on exhibit in the town but the cost of such a venture would be hard to justify.” Fenwick told TGaM the whale was “in half decent shape”. “This one looks like it died very recently and hasn’t decomposed much”, which Fenwick suggested elsewhere was due to the whale’s present location, partially submerged in near-freezing water. However, Fenwick noted its close proximity to a residential area, saying homeowners who lived there were “very interested in seeing the whale gone.”

eBay was not the only organization who barred the sale from taking place. “We also got threatened by the federal department of the environment, and told to pull the ad off or they would prosecute us”, said Fenwick on the opposition he said he received from Environment Canada, which viewed the sale as contravening a federal act designed to protect endangered species. “I received a call from the federal department of the environment saying that you’re not allowed to sell any parts of sperm whales, even if they’re dead.” he added. “So I said, ‘Oh that’s very good, I’m glad to hear that, now can you send somebody over here to get rid of it for us?'” Fenwick’s request was met with a negative response from Environment Canada.

“They’ve got to sort it out somehow. The uncertainty means it just sort of sits there and rots.” Once decomposition sets in, Fenwick remarked the carcass would become a “real nuisance”. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a whale that’s been rotting on the beach for a couple of months — actually sometimes you can’t see it for the clouds of flies around it — but you can smell it for about a mile”, he added.

On finding alternate means to dispose of the carcass, Wayne Ledwell, a member of Newfoundland’s Whale Release and Strandings, suggested the whale be towed out to a remote area. “They need to do that right away, when they come in and they’re fresh,” said Ledwell. “No one wants to go touch them … everything becomes gooey and slippery and you can’t stand up on the whale and it gets on your boots and you can’t get the smell off and then you go home and the dog rolls in it and you get it in your kitchen and you curse the whales, and you curse the government and … it becomes a mess.” Fenwick said they’d considered the idea, enlisting a local fisherman who, however, judged his engine too small for the job.

Previously, blue whale carcasses washed ashore in the towns of Trout River and Rocky Harbour, located about 150 km further north, and were taken by Royal Ontario Museum for preservation of the skeletons. Fenwick suggested the sperm whale carcass in his town might also meet a similar fate, as the sperm whale’s status as the largest toothed whale might prove to be a drawing attraction for such a facility.

Regarding what he plans to do next with the carcass, Fenwick said “If we’re not allowed to sell it, we’re willing to drop our 99 cent price down to a zero.” He said he hoped some eBay bidder stays interested in the whale. “We’ll be glad to talk to them about giving them the whale. We’re hoping that’s not illegal.” He also said he hoped the publicity from the town’s predicament, which garnered national attention, and its unusual means of finding a solution, would draw in someone interested in taking the whale off his hands at their own expense.

Should the whale fall under new ownership, Fenwick advised it be moved away from the town to a beach devoid of people, and the blubber left as food for seagulls, insects, and other predators. He estimated “It’ll probably take a year or so to get down to the skeleton.” As monetary gain was reportedly not what the town cared about, Fenwick was willing to offer the carcass for free, though one report noted money raised from the listing could have gone towards the building of a skate park.

The listing on eBay, as put up by Fenwick, read:

Cquote1.svg This 40 foot sperm whale rolled up on the beach last week. The actual seller is the town of Cape St. George which is responsible for disposing of it before it starts to decay. Once the fat and flesh is removed you have a spectacular 40 foot skeleton of the largest toothed whale in the world, great for museums and other attractions. To prevent it rotting in the town it can be towed to isolated beaches on the Port au Port Peninsula to allow the seagulls and other birds to remove the flesh. Call 709-644-2290 or 709-649-7070 for more details.

Please note the successful bidder will have to remove the whale within 30 days

Cquote2.svg



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June 16, 2010

Warren Buffett to host world\’s most expensive lunch

Warren Buffett to host world’s most expensive lunch

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

File photo of billionaire Warren Buffett.
Image: Mark Hirschey.

Billionaire Warren Buffett, Chief Executive of Berkshire Hathaway, auctioned lunch with himself on eBay for US$2.63 million.

Bidding, which started on eBay a few weeks ago, attracted nine bidders, offering huge sums for the opportunity to have a steak lunch with the man said to be a “legendary investor”.

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The winning bidder, an anonymous individual, will be parting with $2.63 million for a meal with the world-famed investor and has the opportunity to bring along seven friends for the meal.

This, the latest of Buffett’s charity auctions, is providing funds to the Glide Foundation, a charity that provides food, health care, housing and job training for ‘s homeless.

Over the last ten years, Buffett has netted $5.9 million in donations through such auctions.



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June 27, 2009

Sales of Jackson songs and memorabilia rise after his death

Sales of Jackson songs and memorabilia rise after his death

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson in 1988
Image: Alan Light.

Culture and entertainment
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The death of Michael Jackson on Thursday has caused retail demand for his songs and for memorabilia to increase.

Song sales

Yesterday, the top nine selling items at Apple’s iTunes Store were albums by Jackson, with first and second being a “hits” album and the 1982 album Thriller.

Amazon.com similarly reported selling more Jackson merchandise in the 24 hours following his death than it had sold in the preceding 11 years, and that sales of Jackson CDs accounted for 60% of its total business on Thursday. Yesterday morning the top seller in the album chart for Amazon’s U.K. division was Off the Wall, followed by Bad and Thriller in second and third places, respectively.

Many stores, including Graywhale CD Exchange in Salt Lake City, several record stores in Danville, Virginia, and many retailers in New Zealand, have all reported selling out of Jackson’s CDs and DVDs. The flagship store of Tower Records Japan, in Shinjuku, sold out of several of Jackson’s DVDs and ran low on several other items including CDs. The Danville Register Bee recommended to its readers that if they had record players they should investigate antique and charity shops, after one antique shop reported discovering three Jackson Five vinyl albums in its basement.

The effect of the increase in sales had an effect on stock prices. Midday yesterday, Apple shares rose around 2%, Amazon shares rose around 1.3%, and eBay shares rose by 0.64%. Stock market analysts predict that this will be a short-term effect, however. Scott Fullman, an investment strategist at WJB Capital Group in New York, stated “This is going to be one of these events that will have an immediate impact and then wane out in a week or two.”.

Memorabilia sales

In Las Vegas, 21 items of Jackson memorabilia, including handwritten lyrics for Jackson’s song “Bad” and the shirt that Jackson wore on his Victory Tour in 1984, sold at auction yesterday at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino for a total of USD$205,000, with the shirt, at USD$52,500 the most expensive individual item.

eBay has reported an increase in individuals auctioning Jackson memorabilia. These range from records to a Fedora hat signed by Jackson.

Also for sale on eBay and elsewhere are tickets to the This Is It concerts, at the O2 arena, where Jackson had been scheduled to perform. Ticket sellers such as Ticketmaster, Seatwave, and AEG Live have announced that they will be refunding concert tickets. But under standard contract law such refunds only apply to the original purchasor of the ticket, who dealt with the ticket companies directly. Anyone buying a ticket on eBay only has recourse against the seller on eBay that they bought from, and even then only if it was explicitly stated in the terms and conditions of the particular eBay sale that a refund was available.

At the 2009 Glastonbury Festival, stalls have been selling commemorative T-shirts to Festival attendees, with various different slogans including “Michael Jackson R.I.P 1958–2009” and “I was at Glasto 09 when Jacko died”. T-shirt vendors also appeared outside of the UCLA Medical Center where paramedics took Jackson, proferring for USD$10 T-shirts with the slogan “in loving memory of Michael Jackson” and a silhouette of Jackson, although they had few takers.

In Union Square in New York, one street artist was selling hand-made buttons that have pictures of Jackson’s album covers on them. In Times Square, another T-shirt vendor was selling T-shirts printed with copies of the front page of USA Today that reported Jackson’s death.

One observer, Allison Southwick (a Better Business Bureau spokeswoman), commented “I’m honestly expecting to see a Web site pop up by the end of the day selling Michael Jackson commemorative plates.” Whilst such commemorative plates have yet to appear, collectors have been offering commemorative stamps of Jackson for sale on eBay and elsewhere. Several commemorative stamps of Jackson already exist. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines issued $5, $2, $1, and 60¢ Michael Jackson stamps in 1985, as part of its Leaders Of The World series. Tanzania issued a 350s stamp, part of a Famous Black Entertainers set, in 1990. Guinea issued a 500f stamp in 1991. St Vincent issued another $2 Jackson stamp in 1991, as part of Famous Entertainers series. And Grenada issued a 60¢ Jackson stamp, part of its Gold Record Winners series in 1992.

Comparison to history

Elvis Presley in 1970
Image: Public Domain.

Gore Vidal once remarked of the death of rival Truman Capote that it was a “good career move”. The death of an artist does serve to increase the popularity of their works. People have speculated whether this will be a temporary or a permanent thing for Jackson.

Jim Lentz, who is the Chief Operating Officer of American Royal Arts (a memorabilia dealership in Boca Raton), asked “Is he Elvis or Marilyn Monroe, or is he Mike Tyson?”.

Elvis Presley died at 42, officially of heart failure. Stores sold out of his records and souveniers within hours of the news of his death. In the 20 years following his death, RCA Records sold approximately 400 million of his recordings.

In the days and weeks immediately following Presley’s death, RCA had to sub-contract pressing to other companies, as it was unable by itself to keep up with demand. Sony Corporation announced yesterday that it had received “unprecedented” levels of orders for CDs of Jackson’s music, and was considering boosting production. It had received 150,000 orders for CDs at its music unit in Tokyo. “The amount is unprecedented for one day and we think we need to consider increasing the production of CDs that we plan to sell from July.” said a spokesman for the company. Amazon has been informing customers buying Jackson CDs that they might have to wait between 1 and 3 weeks for their orders to be shipped.

Related news

Sources

  • Marshall William Fishwick “Popular culture: cavespace to cyberspace”. Haworth Press, 121, 1999
  • George Plimpton “Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintences and Detractors Recall His Turbulent Career”. Knopf Publishing Group, 430, 1998
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June 30, 2008

Man auctions his life on eBay, is disappointed at sale price

Man auctions his life on eBay, is disappointed at sale price

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Monday, June 30, 2008

eBay headquarters in San Jose, California.
Image: Denis Grgečić Valput.

After auctioning off his entire life on eBay for A$399,300 (€244 912.148) Ian Usher says he is “a little bit disappointed” at the final selling price.

The 44-year-old British immigrant living in Perth, Australia, put all of his worldly belongings up for sale on the popular auction website, including his three-bedroom house and all its contents, his car, motorcycle, jetski, skydiving gear, and his job at a rug store, for which he offered a two week trial period. He even offered introductions to his friends living in Perth.

Usher made the decision to sell his life after his five-year marriage suddenly ended. On his website, alife4sale.com, he explains that “despite my life being busy and fulfilled, I still miss my wife so much. Everything in my home is a reminder of the wonderful past we shared. So, after a year in this house I decided that it is time to sell it and move on.”

Cquote1.svg It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get. Cquote2.svg

—Ian Usher

During the 7 day auction, which ended on Sunday, there were several bogus bids which brought the sale price as high as A$2.2 million, but the final price ended up at A$399,300, which was around A$100,000 less than Usher had hoped for. “I’m a little bit disappointed, but I’m still excited. It’s still enough to move forward and do what I said I was going to do, which is move on to the next part of my life,” Usher said. “It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get.”

According to Reuters, the winning bidder, whose username is “mslmcc”, also lives in Australia, and has a 100 percent feedback rating. Usher says he hasn’t yet been able to figure out who the buyer is, because of the TV crews lined up in front of his home. “I’m trying to find some time to get on the computer and check it out … I haven’t looked (up) anything about them yet,” he said.

Usher now plans to go off in search of a new life. His initial plan, as he describes on his website, was to just walk out his front door with just his wallet and a passport and board a train, with no idea of where to go. He has since launched 100goals100weeks.com, which will document his attempt to complete 100 of his life goals in a span of 100 weeks. Some of these goals include getting a pilot’s license, climbing the Eiffel Tower, learning to play the didgeridoo, and shaking hands with billionaire Richard Branson.

“I was pretty aimless when I started this, and I had a vague notion of adventure, but I’ve come up with a much more solid plan, which is still very adventurous,” Usher says. He invites anyone who is interested to join him on his adventures.



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June 13, 2008

eBay Australia\’s PayPal only policy blocked

eBay Australia’s PayPal only policy blocked

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Friday, June 13, 2008

The eBay logo

eBay’s PayPal and cash on delivery policy was blocked on Friday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after it released a draft ruling citing that it was an “anti-competitive effect” and calling on eBay to postpone its policy which is due to take effect next week.

ACCC’s final ruling is still pending however it is unusual for the ACCC to reverse draft rulings once issued.

In a statement eBay said that it was “disappointed” by the ruling and that “eBay believes the consumer benefits of this initiative are worth fighting for on behalf of its buyers which will ultimately benefit sellers.”



Related news

  • “eBay Australia to only permit payment via PayPal” — Wikinews, April 12, 2008

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April 12, 2008

eBay Australia to only permit payment via PayPal

eBay Australia to only permit payment via PayPal

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The eBay logo

On the back of new restrictions being imposed on eBay users in the United Kingdom requiring that sellers offer PayPal payments for all sales, eBay Australia is mandating that only PayPal payments will be acceptable as of June 17. PayPal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay, and charges a 30¢ transaction fee, plus a commission between 1.1% for high volume traders, and 2.4% for low value or low volume traders. These higher costs will be passed onto buyers.

Cash payment on pick up will be the only other payment option, and it may only be offered in conjunction with PayPal.

eBay has brought in this restriction under the guise of improving customer protection, bolstering its “Paypal Buyer Protection” insurance programme to allow claims up to A$20,000 instead of the previous maximum of $3,000, however as of June 17 many of the items which would exceed $3,000 are no longer covered by the programme, such as services, vehicles, real estate and businesses.

eBay Trust and Safety director Alastair MacGibbon said this change was not in response to the once-off fund established in March to refund eBay buyers who lost their non-existent holiday accommodation packages from the Melbourne eBay seller Robert Kobis. Mr MacGibbon said “It is part of a much larger initiative”.

In addition to these measures, Paypal will be withholding funds from some sellers for 21 days

Cquote1.svg .. until the earliest of the following occurs:
  • the buyer leaves positive feedback,
  • 3 days after confirmed item delivery
  • 21 days without a dispute, claim, chargeback, or reversal filed on that transaction
Cquote2.svg

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has held discussion with eBay, but declined to comment. The Australian Consumers Association spokesman Christopher Zinn said the unique use of PayPal could give rise to competition issues, however if the costs charged stayed as they were, they had no further concerns.



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March 25, 2008

eBay to make PayPal mandatory for UK sellers

eBay to make PayPal mandatory for UK sellers

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The eBay logo

According to an announcement on Monday by United States-based on-line auction website eBay, the option to accept payments via PayPal service will be mandatory for United Kingdom sellers beginning in April 2008, with the exception of auctions relating directly to the sale of motor vehicles.

The announcement claims that the move will help improve confidence as well as further reducing the limited amounts of fraud which occur on some types of transaction. Sellers with low feedback, or who list specific items, such as computer software are already required to accept payment via PayPal.

Under the new policy, sellers will however still be able to accept payments via other services, provided they are on eBay’s approved list. Google Checkout, a competitor to PayPal in the field of retail payment services, is notably absent from the list of accepted payment methods.



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March 5, 2008

Wikipedia founder embroiled in affair and financial allegations

Wikipedia founder embroiled in affair and financial allegations

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The implosion of a relationship between Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and journalist Rachel Marsden has resulted in controversy and international headlines. Associated Press and ABC News have also reported on questionable activity by Wales involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. The Wikimedia Foundation is a donor-supported non-profit organization which runs Wikipedia.

Rachel Marsden in 2008.
Image: poppyott (Chris).

Marsden had contacted Wales two years ago about concerns she had over the article about her on Wikipedia, and Wales determined the article was not compliant with Wikipedia’s standards. The tech blog Valleywag revealed Wales had a personal relationship with Marsden, and posted supposed transcripts of their instant message conversations on its site, www.valleywag.com. Wales and Marsden met in February, and The Times reported that “An apparent transcript of their conversations before that meeting suggests that, although Mr Wales had withdrawn from the editing process, he was still influencing the editors.” The Times quoted Wales from the chat logs as having stated to Marsden “The truth is of course a much worse conflict of interest than that; but that will do.” — in reference to his conflict of interest regarding Marsden’s article on Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales in 2005.
Image: Andrew Lih.

Wales posted a public statement on Saturday on Wikipedia addressing the matter, and stated that his relationship with Marsden was over: “First, while I find it hard to imagine that anyone really cares about my sex life, the facts are: I am separated from my wife. I considered myself single at the time of my one meeting with Rachel Marsden on Feb. 9, 2008 … I am no longer involved with Rachel Marsden. Gossipy stories suggesting that I have been in a relationship with her ‘since last fall’ are completely false … I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust.” With regard to the conflict of interest in Marsden’s article, Wales had acknowledged to a team of Wikipedia editors in February 2008 that he and Marsden “became friends … and that we would be meeting about that,” and stated “I recused myself from any further official action with respect to her biography.”

On Sunday, The Canadian Press reported that Marsden had posted photos of herself on Ebay, and was selling items that Wales had left at her New York City apartment. In her Ebay posting, Marsden stated: “Hi, my name is Rachel and my (now ex-) boyfriend, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, just broke up with me via an announcement on Wikipedia … It was such a classy move that I was inspired to do something equally classy myself, so I’m selling a couple of items of clothing he left behind, here in my NYC apartment, on eBay. Jimbo was supposed to come visit me in a couple of weeks and pick up some of his stuff, but obviously that won’t be happening now.” Marsden told The Canadian Press “It didn’t really help matters that Jimmy chose to announce the breakup to the entire world via Wikipedia (which apparently now is an online encyclopedia that doubles as a personal soapbox?) rather than to me directly (which he did much later, in an instant message discussion).”

Cquote1.svg I care deeply about the integrity of Wikipedia, and take very seriously my responsibilities as a member of the board and as a member of the Wikipedia community. I would never knowingly do anything to compromise that trust. Cquote2.svg

—Jimmy Wales

Marsden placed a t-shirt and sweater which she said were left at her apartment by Wales up on Ebay, and started the bidding for each at ninety-nine cents, with the auctions set to end on March 12. By Monday, bidding on the t-shirt had reached US$300, and by Tuesday the highest bid had reached $12,200. In an email to The Globe and Mail, Marsden stated “My only focus right now, to be really honest, is on my career and finding a way to get back into print, TV, or radio here in NYC,” she wrote. “All of this other personal stuff is just an unfortunate distraction.”

Jay Walsh, the Wikimedia Foundation’s head of communications, told the San Jose Mercury News that Wales’ actions in relaying Marsden’s concerns about her Wikipedia article to a team of trusted editors was within his “routine” role. When asked by the San Jose Mercury News if Wales’ actions regarding the Marsden article could compromise his role with the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikipedia, Walsh responded “No, absolutely not.”

On Tuesday, ABC News carried a story by Wired News reporter Megan McCarthy regarding allegations of “excessive spending” by Wales, and Associated Press also reported on questions involving Wikimedia Foundation expenses. McCarthy reported that former Wikimedia executive Danny Wool, who had left the foundation last year, criticized Wales’ use of Wikimedia Foundation expenses in a blog post. Wool stated that Wales had tried to expense $300 bottles of wine, a $1,300 dinner for four at a Florida steakhouse, and visits to Moscow massage parlors to the foundation, and that the foundation rescinded Wales’ corporate credit card in 2006. Wool also stated that Wales paid the foundation $7,000, after being short $30,000 on receipts for expenses.

Wool told EPICENTER that “There were occasions where he used [the Wikimedia Foundation] for personal advancement under the guide [sic] of the mission. And, as someone who was in there for the mission part of it, I found that rather distressful.” Wool commented in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “Originally, it was carelessness … But as things developed, it became more apparent and obvious that he was taking advantage of the foundation credit card. It was almost like his personal piggy bank.”

Florence Devouard in 2006.
Image: Gus Freedman/Wikimedia Foundation.

Cquote1.svg Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own. Cquote2.svg

—Sue Gardner

In an instant message exchange with Associated Press, Wales denied that the Wikimedia Foundation had taken away his corporate credit card, and asserted that he had made the decision to stop expensing business travel for the foundation. Wales highlighted a statement by the foundation’s executive director Sue Gardner: “Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Indeed, he has consistently put the foundation’s interests ahead of his own.” In an email to Associated Press, Brad Patrick, a former attorney for the Wikimedia Foundation, stated “Danny seems interested in blogging his way straight to a lawsuit”.

Florence Devouard, who chairs the Wikimedia Foundation, told Associated Press that Wales had been “slow in submitting receipts,” and that the foundation had rejected Wales’ expense at the Florida steakhouse. Devouard told fellow foundation board members in a private email that she had convinced Associated Press that “the money story was a no story,” and told Wales “I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past. Get a grip!” Wales told Associated Press: “The board, the current executive director, the previous executive director, and independent auditors have reviewed our books and publicly agree that all of my expenses were appropriate and fully accounted for.”

Media reports speculated on how the controversy would end up being represented in Wikipedia itself. On Wednesday, the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “Wales’ Wikipedia page said only this about Marsden: ‘Wales had a brief relationship with Canadian journalist Rachel Marsden.'” An article in The Australian surmised: “History will decide whether Mr Wales broke his own principles, but before that happens there may well be a Wikipedia page devoted to the controversy.”



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December 18, 2007

Dad sells $90 video game for $9000 after catching son smoking pot

Dad sells $90 video game for $9000 after catching son smoking pot

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Newspapers and online sources today reported that a Canadian father sold a hard-to-find video game, which he bought for $90, for $9000 (Canadian), after finding his son smoking pot.

The father had bought Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for Nintendo Wii, which cost him $90, after scouring every store, to find it as a Christmas present for his son.

“I was so relieved in that I had finally got the Holy Grail of Christmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time,” the father wrote on eBay when selling the item. However, when the man came home on Saturday, a bit early, he found his son smoking pot with two friends.

The man, a school teacher, said he sold the game to punish his son, and stop him from smoking. The game was sold on eBay for $9000, over one-hundred times the original selling price of the game.

The boy, however, will not go without a present, as the man considered purchasing a Nintendo Wii game such as Barbie as the Island Princess or Dancing with the Stars.

According to the The Daily Telegraph, the purchaser was an Australian father.

The veracity of the winning bid has yet to be authenticated, so suspicions that the exchange may not be finalised remain.



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