CNBC reports that the FBI and federal prosecutors in Boston charged six former members of eBay’s global security team with cyberstalking the publisher of an email newsletter that said critical things about the company.
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“Among other things, several of the defendants ordered anonymous and disturbing deliveries to the victims’ home, including a preserved fetal pig, a bloody pig Halloween mask, a funeral wreath, a book on surviving the loss of a spouse, and pornography – the last of these addressed to the newsletter’s publisher but sent to his neighbors’ homes,” the Department of Justice said on Monday.
The group also posted on Craigslist that the couples were swingers and were looking for sexual partners, according to the lawsuit.
The Justice Department said that it charged James Baugh, eBay’s former senior director of safety and security, and David Harville, eBay’s former director of global resiliency, with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses.
“In addition the following defendants were charged in an Information unsealed today: Stephanie Popp, 32, of San Jose, eBay’s former Senior Manager of Global Intelligence; Stephanie Stockwell, 26, of Redwood City, Calif., the former manager of eBay’s Global Intelligence Center (GIC); Veronica Zea, 26, of San Jose, a former eBay contractor who worked as an intelligence analyst in the GIC; and Brian Gilbert, 51, of San Jose, a former Senior Manager of Special Operations for eBay’s Global Security Team,” the Department of Justice said.
“They are each charged with conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and will make appearances in federal court in Boston at a later date.”
YouTuber Big Clive bought a "UV disinfection lamp" on eBay. He tested it first by turning it on and aiming it at the back of his hand for a few seconds and then sniffing his hand for "skin damage." There was no odor, which was a good sign that it's not really producing UV-C radiation, at least not in sufficient quantities to work as a germicide. He then took it apart to see what was inside and found "standard near UV LEDs." He says it is simply a "cheap near-UV disco light commonly sold on eBay in various color options... that's a bit naughty." Read the rest
Eve (AKA Talismana Designs) carves these $32 bird skull rings out of slaughterhouse surplus cow-bones, custom carved to your size. (via Creepbay)
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One of my eBay alerts finally pinged! A Boing Boing reader will surely become the lucky owner of these splendid IBM lab coveralls, dated to the late 1980s or thereabouts, which have a buy-it-now price of $170 and ship out of California. Read the rest
Here's an unusual opportunity for a hardcore Star Wars fan. An authenticated, screen-used segment of the original Death Star (yes, from 1977) can be bid on through eBay.
In partnership with Hollywood Memorabilia, this exclusive screen-used, sectional piece of the Death Star was featured in Star Wars: Episode IV and utilized for special effects. After filming, much of the Death Star was lost, but this authentic piece was discovered and salvaged. Very few of these pieces exist, and has remained mostly uncirculated with the Star Wars community, until now. The prop was kept by an ex-ILM employee for the next 37 years, and stored in a safe for the last 4 years.
This nearly two-foot-long piece of Star Wars history is expected to "sell for upwards of six figures," though the current bid is just over $10,000. Bidding ends June 3 and a letter of authenticity is included in the sale (I would hope so!). Read the rest
The Agent Gallery of Chicago has bought a large lot of vintage dental training manikins and other gorgeous, nightmarish gadgets from the Hellraiserverse. (via JWZ)
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The viral success of Max Lanman’s commercial to sell his fiancée’s 1996 Honda Accord forced eBay to shut down bidding for the car after offers reached $150,000.
It was quite a surprise for the writer/director from Los Angeles, considering the car was initially posted with a selling price of $499.
An advertisement filled with a series of sleek camera shots and a storyline establishing a lifelong relationship between the car and driver has the ability to attract consumers to pay more for things worth far less. Lanman says eBay’s fraud department couldn’t understand how a 1996 Honda could fetch such a price and canceled the auction, according to NBC. Ebay told the couple to restart the auction.
As of around Wednesday afternoon, the top bid has reached $5,100 since making its second appearance two days ago.
Watch as aerial views of a car with 141,095 miles hitting turns along scenic routes can transform an old Japanese piece of machinery into a luxury automobile.
Via NBC Bay Area:
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Far from disappointed, though, the couple continues to marvel at how “surprising and overwhelmingly positive” their experience has been. “This was definitely an unexpected turn,” Lanman acknowledged, “but we have faith that everything will work itself out. Overall, we're just so grateful for all that has happened with the commercial and the story. It's been truly amazing.”
Epson has taken a page from HP's dirty-tricks playbook to ensure that no one can compete with them by selling ink at affordable prices.
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At Hyperallergic, BB pal Mark Dery mourns the loss of "the Internet's kitschiest, most surreal" flea market and laments its new role as "the world's largest mall."
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(In the 1920s,) the Surrealists preferred “Les Puces,” as the flea markets on the outskirts of Paris were called. Andre Breton, the group’s self-appointed leader, wrote in his novel Nadja that the market at Saint-Ouen was “an almost forbidden world of sudden parallels” and “petrifying coincidences,” where unexpected encounters with dreamlike objects lurked around every corner.
EBay, the first e-commerce site, was until recently the web’s kitschier, crummier answer to (cultural critic Walter) Benjamin’s arcades or Breton’s Saint-Ouen. In its early years, its hit-or-miss search engine was conducive to close encounters of the absurd kind. Stumbling around the site, you’d find yourself in some obscure corner, staring in slack-jawed amazement at William Shatner’s kidney stone (auctioned off in 2006 for $25,000) or a Lilliputian suit of armor handcrafted to guinea-pig proportions, guaranteed to keep the dauntless rodent “protected and secure in all situations.” Unlike its sleeker competitor, Amazon, whose algorithms ensure you only see things like those you’ve already seen, eBay seemed, for a while, to facilitate chance meetings with the offbeat and the downright bizarre.
Lists of the most curious, absurd, abject, and grotesque eBay auctions have taken their place in the folklore of consumer culture: the grilled cheese sandwich miraculously emblazoned with an apparition of the Virgin Mary, which sold for $28,000; four golf balls (not just any golf balls; they’d been surgically removed from the belly of a python, who’d mistaken them for hen’s eggs); your advertising slogan tattooed, for $10,000, on some cash-strapped woman’s forehead; a corn flake shaped like the state of Illinois; a Dorito shaped like the pope’s miter; the meaning of life, on offer from a seller who claimed to have “discovered the reason for our existence” and was “happy to share this information with the highest bidder” (which he did, for the dispiritingly small sum of $3.26).
Markets don't solve all our problems, but they sometimes produce remarkably efficient systems for producing and distributing goods, and the internet traded on that promise with marketplaces like Ebay (anyone can sell, anyone can buy); Google (anyone can publish, anyone can read), and Amazon (one marketplace where all goods are transparently priced and ranked). Read the rest
A mere $5,700 (as of current writing) gets you the 1974 first printing of the game that Tactical Studies Rules used to change the world(s). Read the rest
Battle is a town in East Sussex, England. Battle has a railway station. A pilfered road sign directing travelers to Battle Station is currently £23.95 on eBay. "This deserves a good home" writes Ben Goldacre. Read the rest
r/videos rediscovered a remarkable (albeit old) video of an eBay auction for a DVD "backing card"—the art from the box—that warns browsers in no uncertain terms that they are not getting the movie itself. Read the rest
Outsider art is big on eBay, a lurking in the shadows of a vast website whose incredible blandness and shonkiness hides a myriad of fascinating subcultures. Paintings of aliens, clowns, Jesus, Trump and the like are fetching wild prices. Read the rest
Over at eBay, fashion designer/stylist Kelly Sparks, who moonlights as my wife, wrote about how to bring the trends seen in the crazy couture of fashion show runways into a woman's everyday wardrobe: "Five Fall Fashion Trends That Aren't Just for Supermodels" Read the rest
Do you dig women's vintage clothes? My wife Kelly Sparks is a fashion designer and stylist who has been a hardcore vintage and thrift treasure hunter since she was in high school. Kelly was asked to write a series of shopping guides on eBay and her first one, no surprise, is "The Thrill of the Hunt: A Personal Stylist's Guide to 10 Vintage Items Every Woman Needs In Her Closet." Read the rest