Stories by Linda Rosencrance

Who is minding the online store?

Last month, a US federal judge ruled that eBay had fulfilled its obligations to investigate and control users who were trying to use its website to sell counterfeit Tiffany goods — a decision that put the onus on Tiffany & Co. to monitor eBay's site itself.

Competitor, users take on eBay Australia

Despite having officially withdrawn its plan to require sellers using its Australian auction site to use only PayPal — a payment service owned by eBay — as their electronic payments processor, eBay is facing a backlash from users and one rival.

Icahn files Yahoo board proxy statement with SEC

Billionaire investor and <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/inform.do?command=search&searchTerms=Yahoo!+Inc.">Yahoo Inc.</a> shareholder <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/inform.do?command=search&searchTerms=Carl+Icahn">Carl Icahn</a> filed a definitive <a href="http://www.icahnreport.com/report/files/definitive_proxy_statement.pdf">proxy statement</a> nominating a slate of nine directors to replace Yahoo's board and its <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/inform.do?command=search&searchTerms=Jerry+Yang">CEO Jerry Yang</a> .

Angry Aussie sellers confront eBay over PayPal-only policy

EBay sellers lashed out at an executive of <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/inform.do?command=search&searchTerms=eBay+Inc.">eBay Australia</a> over the company's <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9104438">decision</a> requiring them to only use <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/action/inform.do?command=search&searchTerms=PayPal+Inc.">PayPal</a>, a company owned by eBay, for electronic payment services, according to a <a href="http://www.smh.com.au/news/biztech/ebay-assailed-over-paypal-plans/2008/06/30/1214677929933.html">report</a> in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Sold on eBay for A$399k: one life

Australian resident Ian Usher, 44, sold everything he owned on eBay for a little more than A$399,000 in an online auction that ended on Sunday.
After a painful failed marriage that lasted five years, Usher, originally from Darlington, England, decided to sell everything he owned &#8212; including his job as a rug salesman, lifestyle, three-bedroom house, car, motorbike and friends &#8212; walk out the door of his home in Perth, Australia, and never look back.
The first thing Usher plans to do is go to Ski Dubai, one of the largest indoor ski resorts in the world, located in the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest malls in the world. He also wants to bungee jump in New Zealand. He's inviting anyone who's interested in his adventures to join him.
&quot;People want to know what happens to me,&quot; he says. &quot;They are genuinely interested in what I'm doing, and that fascinates me, so I'm going to put a calendar of my adventures on the website, and anyone who wants to join me, say, bungee-jumping in New Zealand can do that.&quot;
One other thing Usher wants to do is shake hands with billionaire entrepreneur and adventurer Richard Branson.
&quot;He's always been at bit of an inspiration to me &#8212; his whole attitude, not just to business but to life as well,&quot; Usher says.
Although he's disappointed that he got less than the A$500,000 he was hoping for, Usher says he's looking forward to starting a new phase of his life. He says he is unable to provide details about the winning bidder because of eBay privacy rules and because nothing has been finalised. However, he did say that the high bidder was from Australia.
&quot;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,&quot; Usher says. &quot;It was as much about moving on as it was about selling it for as much as I could get.&quot;
After all the legalities are completed, which should take two to four weeks, Usher says he will start traveling. His plans have changed a bit since he originally conceived of the idea to sell his life. Initially Usher said he was going to walk out of his house with just the clothes on his back, his wallet and his passport, head for the airport and board the next flight out.
&quot;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,&quot; he says.
And while he still plans on walking away from his previous life with just his wallet and his passport, he has a much clearer idea of where he's headed. Usher said that during the process of auctioning off his life, he realised that in order to get where he wanted to go, he needed to set some goals.
And that's where 100 goals in 100 weeks comes in, he said. Usher said that during the course of ALife4Sale, many people sent him emails offering their support and encouragement or asking for advice.
&quot;Although some said the first thing I needed to do was get a life, 90% of the responses were positive,&quot; he says.
One person asked him if he had a &quot;life list&quot; of goals that he wanted to achieve. He realised he had written a list of things he wanted to accomplish several years earlier but had only accomplished a few of those goals.
So 100 goals in 100 weeks was born, the next step in his life's big adventure, he says.
&quot;I started thinking, I've had all these different goals, but I really only ticked off two or three, so I've rewritten 100 goals that I want to accomplish in 100 weeks,&quot; he says. &quot;The first one is to do what I said I'd do &#8212; walk out the door. Then I want to travel to the US and Canada, see the Great Wall of China, climb the Eiffel Tower, and learn to play the didgeridoo, an Australian aboriginal music instrument.&quot;
He also wants to get his private pilot's license, go to Los Angeles and see the Hollywood sign, visit the Grand Canyon and climb the Statue of Liberty.

US$1M deposited in banks via MoneyAisle in first week

In one week, about 20 customers of MoneyAisle.com, a website where banks competitively bid for customers through secure, live auctions, have deposited more than US$1 million in high-yield savings and certificate of deposit accounts with small and mid-size banks, the company says.

Challenge of web is 'creative connectivity': Berners-Lee

The challenge of the web is to build a system that enables people to creatively solve problems that they couldn't solve on their own, says Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and director of the World Wide Web Consortium.

Borders launches new site

After seven years of outsourcing its website to Amazon.com, brick-and-mortar bookstore Borders has launched its own e-commerce site, Borders.com.

Yahoo's Open Strategy could be its salvation

As its stock price plummets, Yahoo's executives must do something tangible, and do it quickly, to prove to shareholders that fighting a takeover bid by Microsoft was the right thing to do, analysts say.

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