Ramblings from another nerd on the grid
When you start looking closely at eBay, it looks like the environment is totally locked down and sellers or buyers are protected. Think again. I recently started selling some of my gadgets and a particular transaction on a Zune 80 player went down the toilet. It ended up ok, but it exposed some ugly warts.
The first thing you need to know is that selling on eBay means you, the seller, are taking a risk. The amount of the risk is going to depend on the value of the item you are selling. In the case of the Zune 80 we aren't talking about a lot of money, but I discovered there are some holes in the verification process for buyers and the accounts they setup.
First of all, anyone can setup an eBay ID. For your ID, you are supposed to use your street address and considering many people won't ship to a post office box, a residential address is preferred. Here's the address of the person that bought my Zune 80. I blurred their name but I don't think that's actually their real name anyway.
What do you notice? It says confirmed. This is a screen snip from the order and transaction in my PayPal account. I made the assumption this was legit. I mean after all the sale was via eBay and PayPal. Bad assumption.
The Zune 80 and everything else I am selling is marked immediate payment required. In order for that to happen the buyer needs a PayPal account and that account needs to be verified. I assumed because I got paid immediately that the account was also valid. Again, bad assumption.
The PayPal account was created using a stolen name and credit card. Nice. I asked PayPal how this is possible. I didn't receive a good answer. How did I find out the credit card was stolen? Well, I found out after the Zune was in transit to the buyer. The real credit card holder disputed the charge to their card. Uh oh. Now what? Well, the story has more twists.
Obviously when the transaction got put on hold, I started doing my own investigation. I looked up the address on Bing maps and noticed the building looked commercial. It is commercial. In fact it's a government building. It's a post office. Now keep in mind the listing on eBay is marked that it won't be sold to a buyer with a post office box address. Apparently the eBay system doesn't check buyer addresses against a list of known post office addresses. Don't ask me how this happened. Not to mention the credit card used is a different persons name and address.
The Zune went all the way to the post office. The buyer refused delivery so UPS shipped the box back to me. This is on a sale marked not returnable. Apparently that means nothing. At this point I'm thinking they opened the box from the bottom, replaced the Zune with something of equal weight, and it will arrive back at my house with a box of dog crap or something.
I actually got the Zune 80. I'm not particularly sure why the buyer did all of this but it's apparent they were either testing the security of the eBay or PayPal system, or screwing with the credit card holder and me. Or all of the above.
Here's what I learned:
I often wonder when I see a new machine like the Razor Blade what the marketing and sales folks project it will sell over the course of the next twelve months. I mean really, this is an interesting machine but can you imagine the looks you'd get showing up at a customer meeting with one? That would be fun. Click the image below for the high resolution version.
See http://www.razerzone.com/blade for all of the specs and details. It's an impressive list. It has an impressive price to go with it. If you have to ask, you can't afford it and forget about asking your manager even if it will run Hyper-V. Grin.
When installed in a supported Linux virtual machine running on Hyper-V, the Linux Integration Components provide:
Go get em @ http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=26837
I wonder if Leno has any more room in garage for this beauty. See http://www.bonhams.com/usa/auction/19363/lot/24/. It sure would be fun tooling around Southlake in this to make all the Maserati's and Ferrari’s totally jealous.
Dig the cool mini van on this video. LOL. Someone had fun making this.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know about me. I used to be a motocross racer in the Conroe and Houston area. I always wanted to try flat track racing but never got the nerve. Click the badge above for a vintage racer. It’s a really nice machine for those of you that love bikes.
Kingston's HyperX® SSD combines the latest SandForce® controller technology with premium NAND Flash, reducing load times while increasing performance and endurance. It provides high-speed SATA Rev 3.0 (6 Gb/s) transfer speeds for larger bandwidth, which power users require for advanced gaming, multitasking and multimedia computing power. Kingston's HyperX SSD lets users load games and applications faster, increase frames per second (FPS) and quickly transfer and edit large media files. It's cool, silent and requires less power and no additional cooling requirements.
See the rest of the data sheet details at http://www.kingston.com/ssd/HyperX.asp. You'll notice they can be purchased at several online stores. Newegg.com currently has the 240GB drive listed at $499 for the bare bones kit. The Kingston store wants $747 so you might want to shop around. Grin.
Here's a pretty good video of what you get.
The System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Cross Platform Monitoring Management Packs enable discovering, monitoring, and managing UNIX-based and Linux-based computers by using the same interface and tools that you use to manage your Windows-based computers. They provide both proactive and reactive monitoring of the UNIX and Linux operating systems.
The management packs monitor components such as processes, resources, and server agents. The monitoring provided by the management packs includes availability and configuration monitoring, performance data collection, and default thresholds. You can integrate the monitoring of UNIX and Linux components into your service-oriented monitoring scenarios.
In addition to health monitoring capabilities, the management packs include reports, diagnostics, tasks, and views that enable near real-time diagnosis and resolution of detected issues. The management packs also enable the installation of the Cross Platform Audit Collection Services Management Packs.
See the full revision history and get the bits @ http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=18891.
See the specs at http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/pc25/pc25_fact.html. This is hot, I want one.
In case you haven’t noticed, Steven Sinofsky created a new blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b8 where they are discussing and disclosing features in the coming Windows 8 operating system. For instance, see the team introduction at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/08/17/introducing-the-team.aspx. There are some pretty interesting feature teams listed. I’m not going to speculate what this all means but you should pay close attention to the coming blog posts.