The Disney Fakes blog catalogs forged Disney art for sale on eBay, painstakingly cataloging the tells and errors made by the forgers. Some are hilariously bad, others are damned subtle.
(via Super Punch)
Over on O'Reilly Radar, Jim Stogdill has a fabulous piece on the economic theory of rents as they apply to technology businesses, open source, cloud computing, spectrum auctions, and other chewy, boingy subjects. This is exactly the kind of economist talk I love: the stuff that makes you slap your forehead and say of course, that's how it works
Obviously digital distribution has also damaged the traditional channel model of the music, film, and photography markets. The impact of this is that the tail-end of the curve can probably shift business models and still make the same money (by touring, selling FLAC files, whatever). But the head -- where the record companies are -- will struggle to extract rents like they used to. As they realize this, they do what rent holders who are losing always do: dispense patronage from their existing franchise and try to influence the law to make their rents more permanent.
Points of control = Rents
Apple has historically lived on rents derived from superior design, which is a very hard thing to do consistently. So they've earned their rents so far. Recently, they've gotten even smarter. The App Store is an MBA's dream because it combines network effects with classic distribution channel control and slotting fees. It also has strong barriers to exit. Interestingly, Foxconn (and its employees) mostly continue to work at opportunity cost levels of renumeration. Rents stay with the leverage and are not evenly distributed through the supply chain.
Apple also finds itself in the odd position of Karmic enforcer. The software developers that once helped destroy content owners' iron-clad grip on distribution now find themselves selling their creations for 30 percent of $.99. Karma is a bitch.
Google extracts amazing rents through a combination of innovation and network effects, although they have really struggled to duplicate their core search / AdSense monopoly. Innovation is keeping Google ahead of Schumpeter for now, but hasn't yet created a second vortex of network effect monopoly. So Bing is an important threat if its share continues to grow. Emerging and effective competition in the area where you are extracting rents will have a non-linear impact on your bottom line. If all goes well (in a Schumpeterian sense), both Bing and Google's search franchises will be rent free in an economic sense. Good for people buying ads, bad for people that hope Google will keep taking the cash thrown off to innovate in other areas (like creating an Office rent-neutralizing alternative in the cloud). It's like watching a pair of Ultra Kaiju trying to choke each other out over Tokyo.
An eBay seller in Sydney, Australia is selling this handcarved wooden Ferrari 365GTB V12 engine replica, carved to approximate 1:1 scale. It's fantastically detailed and weighs 25kg.
Ferrari 365 V12 engine
eBay seller Komanac is flogging this 4' high, 5' long AT-AT model made of wood, cardboard, duct-tape and Sharpie: "This was created for an art show: 'Star Wars 33&1/3 anniversary' during Art Walk here in Lethbridge Alberta. I would love to keep it but not enough room. It was created July/August of this year - it took several rolls of duct tape and 30 - 40 hours to create."
GIANT Duct Tape AT-AT Star Wars Fan Art Model/Sculpture
EBay seller Photo-arsenal-worldwide is flogging this mint-in-package NASA Hasselblad camera; bidding now stands at nearly $34,000. I love how everything in space looks like it was descended from a Tonka truck.
Hasselblad MKWE Kit brand new made for NASA
(via Dinosaurs and Robots)
The cease-and-desist letter that Lucasfilm sent to the company that made a laser-pointer alleged to infringe the Lucas trademark
on lightsabers sold recently on eBay for a whopping $3,850. The winning bidder has moderate eBay history (12 transactions), which suggests that this isn't (merely) a publicity stunt.
LUCASFILM CEASE AND DESIST LETTER REAL LIFE LIGHTSABER
(Note: This story was submitted by a PR company apparently retained by the seller of this document)
I recently bought a house and decided to turn the guest bathroom into a "chamber of horrors". I made a list of the things my mom would never let me have when I was a kid, and at the top of the list was a real live (dead) shrunken head
. But where the heck would I go to get one?
EBay of course! It turns out that the Jivaro Indians in Ecuador have toned down their warlike nature for the sake of commerce, and they're cranking out tsantsa (their word for shrunken heads) by the carload. Thankfully, they make them from goat and alpaca skins now, instead of their neighbors. These specialized tribal craftsmen haven't quite mastered the delicate art of quality control, so the heads vary in quality from laughably fake to chillingly realistic. It takes some know-how to score a really good one.
There are two philosophies to shrunken head buying at eBay... If you like gambling, buy a lot of five or more at a time. The variability of the manufacturing process guarantees that each head is totally unique and has its own personality. You may have to sift through a bunch to find the one you like. You can always give away the rejects as hostess gifts at parties for the next few years. If you are a dedicated soul and desire a "de-luxe model", scour eBay until just the right head turns up. You might pay a bit more, but you'll have the perfect facial features and hair color to match your home's decor.
"Real" Shrunken Heads For Sale at eBay
How To Tell The Difference Between Authentic and Counterfeit Shrunken Heads
Facebook, Google, Yahoo and eBay have written a letter to Britain's Pirate-Finder General, Peter Mandelson, objecting to his proposal to introduce the Digital Economy Bill with provisions that allow him to make up any copyright law and penalty he likes. He's responded saying, "Don't worry, no one would ever abuse that power, ever, ever. Why would they?"
"The law must keep pace with technology, so that the Government can act if new ways of seriously infringing copyright develop in the future," a spokesperson for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis).
Web giants unite against Digital Britain copyright plan
The consortium believe that if Clause 17, as it is known, is approved it will give "any future Secretary of State" the ability to amend copyright laws as they see fit.
"This power could be used, for example, to introduce additional technical measures or increase monitoring of user data even where no illegal practice has taken place," the letter read.
This would "discourage innovation" and "impose unnecessary costs" representatives of the firms wrote.
Bis said that clause 17 was a necessary extension of its plans to reduce copyright theft and that fears that government would mould copyright laws to their needs were unfounded.
Susannah Breslin is a guestblogger on Boing Boing. She is a freelance journalist who blogs at Reverse Cowgirl and is at work on a novel set in the adult movie industry.
The other day, io9 posted about Significant Objects, a project I wrote about here.
In the comments, one "eviladrian" wrote: "Try searching ebay for 'haunted dolls,'" and included this link.
Suffice to say, if you're in the market for a haunted doll, today is your lucky day.
This is one of the MANY dolls given to me by my Grandmother,her name is JENNA. JENNA IS THE LOVING POSITIVE SPIRIT OF A 9 YEAR OLD LITTLE GIRL. LITTLE JENNA HAD A ROUGH SHORT LIFE. HER FATHER RAPED, AND BEAT HER ON A DAILY BASIS. AS A VICTIM OF HER FATHERS TORTURE SHE HAD NO ONE TO TALK TO ABOUT IT. SHE WAS ALL ALONE, HER MOTHER PASSED AWAY DURING HER BIRTH, AND LEFT JENNA WITH HER FATHER A MONSTER. IF JENNA DIDNT DO SOMETHING TO HER FATHERS LIKING LIKE CLEAN HER BEDROOM, SHE KNEW WHAT AWAITED, SHE WOULD BE THRASHED SEVERLY THEN HANDCUFFED IN HER BEDROOM CLOSET WITH NO RESTROOM PRIVALAGES, NO FOOD, NOTHING. THE ABUSE BEGAN WHILE JENNA WAS ONLY 2 AND CONTINUED UNTIL THE DAY SHE PASSED. JENNA WAS COURAGEOUS AND WAS AFFRAID TO ESCAPE, HER FATHER WOULD TELL HER THAT SHE WOULD NOT BE BELIEVED AND THAT THEY WOULD ONLY TAKE HER AWAY TO A PLACE MORE HORRIBLE THEN WHERE SHE LIVED. JENNA BROKE DOWN, AND COULD NOT HANDLE THE ABUSE ANY LONGER. ON THE DAY AFTER HER NINTH BIRTHDAY, SHE TOOK AN OVERDOSE OF PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE HER FATHER HAD, SHE WENT TO SLEEP AND NEVER WOKE UP.~IF YOU FEEL A CONNECTION TO JENNA THEN YOU SHOULD BID, YOU COULD BE THE ONE DESTINED TO WATCH OVER HER AND KEEP HER SAFE FROM HARM!~
Prospective bidders, please note: "These dolls and their spirit hosts do not perform on command, they are the vessel of live spirits, from someone who lived and attached their spirits with the doll for some reason or another." Also? Her Aunt Celeste "read" the dolls. Finally, "Due to the fact that paranormal item or items are involved in this sale, I am 'forced' by Ebay's rules and regulations to make the following statement: this is for entertainment purposes only."
See you at the auction!
*HAUNTED DOLL~JENNA~9 YRS OLD~VERY ACTIVE SPIRIT~L@@K!*