Financier Carl Icahn takes aim at Silicon Valley capitalist and eBay board member Marc Andreesson, who profited handsomely after eBay sold Skype to his investment group at a marked-down price: "Icahn says that profit came at the expense of eBay shareholders," writes CNN Money, "and is demanding to inspect 'all books and records' associated with the sale to Andreessen's group. Andreessen says that Icahn is lying: "I dispute all accusations." — Rob
Ukrainian mask-maker Bob Basset made this grotesque mask depicting a baton smashing the wearer's face; it symbolizes political repression in Ukraine, and is being auctioned to benefit Hromadske.tv, a news outlet Basset calls "one of the last outposts" of "truly independent journalism" in Ukraine.
A San Francisco artist commissioned a Chinese artist to make a copy of "The Banality of the Banality of Evil" -- a painting that Banksy thrifted, added a Nazi to, and shop-dropped back into the thrift store. The copy, called "The Banality Of The Banality Of The Banality Of Evil," is now being auctioned to support 826 Valencia, a literacy for kids program in San Francisco.
Zack writes, "Ever wanted to turn your house into Pee Wee's Playhouse? Well, here's the closest you'll ever get -- a fan is selling the remnants of a J.C. Penney's department store display from the short-lived Pee Wee clothing line that includes a life-sized Chairy, an almost-life-sized Pee Wee, and cardboard panels recreating the look of the playhouse and Pee Wee's friends." The bidding's at $975 at the time of writing.
Datamancer is selling an astounding steampunk PC on eBay (starting bid: $14K), whose every detail is awesome in every day, from the fool-the-eye case that appears to be full of brassworks to the brass keyboard to the mouse made from a telegraph clacker.
Zack sez, "On eBay -- a first edition of Bradbury's anti-book-burning classic signed and numbered by the author -- and bound in asbestos, to save it from the firemen depicted in the book. Of course, no telling if that would save it from the Mechanical Hound..." It's in pretty rough shape, but it's a much-sought-after rarity (albeit one that should be kept in an airtight plastic bag). Bidding starts at $600.
Gregory Perry says he got stiffed by Lockheed Martin. He says they asked a company he co-owned to develop a fake spy-rock for the Department of Defense in the early 2000s, but didn't pay the company, whereupon he got screwed by his partners, and shafted by Lockheed on the royalties they owed him on the spy-rocks they made later for America's spooks. He's been listing it on eBay (along with the Lockheed/DoD paperwork), looking for the millions he believes he's owed.
Want to sleep in Robert A Heinlein's bed? The Heinlein Society was unable to find a museum to take this artifact from his home so they are now selling it on eBay. Apparently designed and built by the writer himself, the bed platform has drawers underneath and two side tables, each with "a drawer, a pull out writing surface, and shelf space, as well as a compartment suitable for a box of tissues, and a trash compartment with a removable container." Robert A Heinlein's Bed(Thanks, Dave Gill!)
A couple of cities back, in another century, I lived in a giant, illegal warehouse loft with tons of space, and in that loft, I built a most wonderful tiki-bar, with novelty bottles and stools that looked like bongo-drums and pennants from defunct cow-colleges, and swizzle sticks from bygone eras and more besides. I no longer have room for anything of the sort, but I still find myself seizing up with lust when I see something that would have fit it perfectly, such as this stonking 1959 deco tiki cocktail cabinet, for sale on eBay. I tried to convince myself to bid on it last night, tried to think of a place to put it, but honestly, there's nowhere for it. Plus there's no way I could ship this from southern California to London. But still.
We are pleased to present this vintage George Zee Cocktail Bar for your consideration. Manufactured in Hong Kong, this gorgeous piece opens to reveal a spacious Cocktail Bar that is loaded with storage. There are four (4) hidden compartments at the sides for stemware. Double doors on the front open to reveal two (2) drawers plus two (2) shelf areas. The front folds down to create a counter space, and the hinged lid opens to reveal a large compartment with a removable bottle holder.
In addition to plentiful storage space, high relief carvings of a Bamboo design are found on the door fronts and inside the top lid. What a great piece to compliment your Tiki or Hawaiiana themed room! Made from solid Mahogany with a blond color, we date the piece to 1959.
On eBay, a toymodder called Foiled1 is selling a beautiful, highly detailed Playmobil haunted house: "So what you get is the house, fence, wallpaper and all items seen in photo's (some interior item's may vary)! Watch out for the ghost that comes through the wall!
Includes all people and all items seen in photo's (some interior item's may vary).
Includes wallpaper, interior items and more!
This house was made using some parts with chips, dents, digs and glue, somewhat like a real home.
And is made to be used in your Playmobil Victorian mansion."
Lots of exclamation marks and grocer's apo'strophe's!
This Gilbert No. U-238 Atomic Energy Lab on eBay is a pretty fabulous bit of science education history: a children's science kit that included a Geiger counter, electroscope, cloud chamber, spinthariscope, and, of course, radioisotopes.
Gilbert was a man of true inspiration, often compared to Walt Disney for his creative genius. Gilbert had high expectations of America's youngsters, and with such he tried to help the future engineers, doctors and leaders by providing toys worthy of their imaginations. As the inventor of the Erector Set, and seeing its commercial appeal, the he and his company set a higher goal. They became the leading manufacturer of scientific toys (chemistry sets) and construction sets (Erector), all of which gained wide acclaim at the retail level. Interested in the joy of science more than remuneration, however, Gilbert created the Atomic Energy Lab U-238 - with the help of MIT's able faculty. The toy was made to de-mystify the perils of nuclear energy and to encourage the understanding of chemistry, physics and nuclear science - ultimately helping kids (and adults) become more open to the possibilities these disciplines offer. This educational composite, which was marketed during 1950-51, sold for $49.50 - a very high price for a toy set, even by today's standard.
Copyfighting rapper Dan Bull's latest track is "Stupid Injunction," a song inspired by the UK's "super injunctions," a process by which wealthy individuals and large companies can get court orders forbidding the disclosure of embarrassing facts about their lives, and forbidding any mention of the injunction's existence at all. The InjunctionSuper Twitter account purports to publish details of the Super Injunctions, most of which involve affairs, exotic sexual activities with prostitutes and sexual harrassment.
The new Bull song coincides with his latest business model: commissioned songs. He writes, "I was thinking about how musicians made money before the record industry came about, and with that in mind I've gone back to the patronage days of old and put myself on eBay. The opening bid was 1p and it's risen phenomenally over the past couple of days. More proof that artists don't need the 'protection' of IP law..."
Sage advice from 37 Signals' Jason Fried on how to get good at making money through low-risk iteration and practice:
So here's a great way to practice making money: Buy and sell the same thing over and over on Craigslist or eBay. Seriously.
Go buy something on Craigslist or eBay. Find something that's a bit of a commodity, so you know there's always plenty of supply and demand. An iPod is a good test. Buy it, and then immediately resell it. Then buy it again. Each time, try selling it for more than you paid for it. See how far you can push it. See how much profit you can make off 10 transactions.
Start tweaking the headline. Then start fiddling with the product description. Vary the photographs. Take some pictures of the thing for sale; use other photos with other items, or people, in them. Shoot really high-quality shots, and also post crappy ones from your cell-phone camera. Try every variation you can think of.
I love doing this, because there's no real risk involved. If you already have a business, you don't need to dream up a new product line or rock the boat with crazy experiments. If you don't have a business, it's a perfect way to work on your chops.