Skype suffered a major outage yesterday where many users, possibly millions, were left without service. It started early in the morning, with people finding that they were unable to login, see their friends list, or place calls. At first, Skype tweeted that they were looking into the issue, but it soon became clear that the problem was affecting a large number of people, for several hours.
Skype put up a blog post in the afternoon to explain what the situation was, and how it was a problem affecting many users that caused the number of supernodes, those systems that are used by the Skype network to connect calls and process logins, to be taken offline. They added that they are working on creating "mega-supernodes" to take over that role and rectify the problem. According to their estimates, voice calls should be functioning within hours, but video calls and group features may be down longer. This may end up being one of the most serious issue that the company has had in the past several years.
Read More | Skype
A couple of days ago was the infamous Cyber Monday, where online stores see massive surges in sales, and eBay is one of the prime destinations people go to buy goods. Today they reported that their mobile sales for the Monday after Thanksgiving were up 146%. Also, eBay released a visualization tool that shows mobile shopping trends across 6 countries. The company reported that the use of its mobile platforms went up 3 times since 2009, with its iPhone app leading the way, followed by Android and Blackberry. In the US, cars and trucks were the biggest mobile trends, with cell phones, PDAs, women's clothing and other accessories leading the number of transactions done. It's clear that eBay is pushing its mobile apps, having recently released an updated version for the iPhone which includes a bar code reader, to bridge the in-store and online shopping experience.
Read More | eBay
Steve Rude has been having some financial difficulties. His story has been all over the internets, but in the event that some of you people (gasp) don’t read Tom Spurgeon’s The Comics Reporter or Heidi MacDonald’s The Beat or Robot 6, I’m directing you to Tom’s story.
The Dude’s been auctioning off some of his sweet, sweet Nexus original art on eBay to cover his debt and give him a shot at keeping his home from foreclosure. The prices are nice, but more importantly, this is going to a good cause. Nexus, written by Mike Baron and illustrated by The Dude, was one of the big independent creator-owned comic books to succeed in the growing direct market of the 1980s, and owning a piece of Steve’s fantastic art is like owning a piece of history.
Years ago, at the request of First Comics’ Rick Oliver, I once gave The Dude a ride from the San Diego Comic Con to LAX. We should all live so long to have a 2-hour ride with him in the car. Heidi MacDonald was also with us. Good times!
If you can spare the cash, if you like original art, if you like Nexus, help out the Dude.
[Artwork: Nexus, © Mike Baron and Steve Rude]
Everyone loves a good job, and people without a job would just like one. I can’t guarantee that any of these jobs are good, bad or fun, but I can see one thing for certain: they are jobs. Let the hunt begin!
Marvel Comics: If you can tell the difference between the Fantastic Four and the Howling Commandos and you’ve got some mad Adobe software skills as well (not just your free Acrobat Reader), then Marvel Comics’ New York office could be the place for you. Their digital production department is looking for a graphic designer with experience in comic book or traditional book production. The downside is that it’s a temp spot and it only pays $15 an hour, but hey, you’ll still be a part of the comic book industry.
Full Moon: Charles Band and the crew behind Full Moon Entertainment’s movies like Puppet Master, Demonic Toys, Dollman, and Trancers are looking for an eBay consultant to help them sell off their tons of warehoused material. It’s a 1000-piece collection “of rare and valuable items, many of them one of a kind. At this time, the intention is 20 pieces per week. They include giant film posters, original concept and production drawings, paintings, pen and ink comic book art, prototypes for figurines, and autographed items.” I worked on some of those Full Moon comics back in the 1990s and if some of the art they’re offering is from that era, there are some nice pieces in that collection including early J. H. Williams.
Comic book god Stan Lee is joining forces with Hero Initiative, agreeing to meet and greet six winners at the Pittsburgh Comicon.
In order to nab one of the coveted six slots, you’ve got to sharpen your eBay skills and bid on them at the Hero Initiative‘s account. Currently at $157 a pop, the 2 days that you have left will most likely see an exponential increase in price; however, what does money matter when you get to meet Stan Lee?
If you get past that hurdle, the event will take place on Saturday, September 12; once there, you will be escorted to the VIP room by personnel and receive pictures with Stan and two autographs on items of your choice, on top of gracing his presence.
All proceeds of the auction benefit Hero Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to aiding comic book creators in financial and medical support. In other words, you’ll be doing charity while meeting The Man!
Read More | Comic Book Resources
It’s time to clean out your garage or basement. eBay has cut the prices of some of their up front auction-style fees. Casual users can offer up to 5 items every month without paying the listing fee. Instead they will pay 8.75% of the sales price or $20.00, whichever is lower. According to Dinesh Lathi, VP of Seller Experience says this will help those who don’t sell high volume. The change, which takes effect beginning June 16 and is optional, will not apply to fixed price listings.
Read More | eBay
In this time of trying to save some bucks, one new site will help you do that when it comes to transportation. Carsforagrand.com has collected hundreds of those that are being sold for less than $1,000.00. Choices include American made and foreign, older, crashed and parts cars and the listings are updated daily. Search by brand or zip code to find one in your area or subscribe to their newsletter. We tracked a couple of the deals and traced them to eBay, but at least the legwork is done.
Read More | Carsforagrand
Fans of Battlestar Galactica know it will soon be over. If you are one of them, you can bid on some of their props up for auction on eBay. Included are nameplates of some of the characters, dog tags, decals, stunt weapons and Baltar’s blood vials and blood slides. There is also some furniture, costumes and sketches done of the show that might eventually become collector’s items. You might want to get in your bid now as the Propworx auction ends Friday.
Read More | eBay
With all the rumblings about the economy going on recently, I asked a retailer friend the other day how that was affecting his shop. And he gave me the following anecdote, which I’ll paraphrase:
The other day, one of my box customers came into the shop and asked to see his pull list. After crossing off about half the titles on the sheet, he handed it back to me and then asked with a straight face: “So, how’s this economy treating you?”
My friend, good retailer that he is, didn’t actually react as I might have, which probably would have been to leap over the counter and try to strangle the guy.
With maybe the exception of the recent Obama issue of Amazing Spider-Man, which looks to be selling for ridiculous amounts on ebay, it’s tough to see how comics retailers wouldn’t be affected just like everybody else by the economic downturn. But it’s one more reason to support your local comic shops right now to help keep folks in business for the long haul.
While I haven’t cut back much yet, I’m definitely not making as many spur-of-the-moment purchases as I might otherwise do. Of course, it would certainly help if the prices would stop going up.
Read More | Bridge City Comics
If you are thinking of trying your hand on eBay to make some extra cash or looking for that elusive hot gift, you might as well know what other folks are mostly seeking. Here is a list of the top 10 most desired items in 2008 and how many were actually sold. Not surprising, most buyers were seeking game systems.
1. Nintendo Wii: 2,056,866 related items sold
2. Microsoft Xbox360: 1,297,903 related items sold
3. Sony PSP: 350,591 related items sold
4. iPod Touch: 281,361 related items sold
5. Nintendo Wii Fit: 266,584 related items sold
6. Apple iPhone 3G: 212,837 related items sold
7. BlackBerry Pearl: 207,688 related items sold
8. BlackBerry Curve: 193,788 related items sold
9. Sony Playstation 3: 103,333 related items sold
10. Guitar Hero III: 98,159 related items sold
Check out the entire list on the link.
Read More | CrunchGear