eBay Erroneously Suspends for Feedback Manipulation?

I’m on an e-mail list for IBitTheSheriff (a money-maker type site) and in one of his rare email updates, there was the following entry —

4) My eBay account as well as other eBayers were suspended this month because of a very huge mistake. I was accused of feedback manipulation. I never partook in this type of behavior but was targeted because I sell items with starting prices of 99cents and free shipping. I would like to WARN everyone to keep your minimum bid prices above 99cents and do not offer free shipping. eBay, under their new CEO, is really upsetting a lot of people with ridiculous new rules.

Can anyone confirm this tactic? I don’t offer free shipping, but I normally start all my auctions at $0.01.. But then again I really don’t have a lot of volume. Does anyone have a warning or suspension notice they could forward me, in regard to this silly strategy?

Looney Postcards from Poland Update

Some time ago, there was an enterprising individual who would be visiting an obscure town in Poland to visit family. This fellow (who thinks like I do, I was considering a version of this for the Kenya trip) auctioned a service of sending frequent postcards out from this Polish town, to a person of your choosing from a raving stranger referring to key subjects of your choosing that the recipient would understand, but wonder how in the world some guy from Poland knows you and things only you would generally know (like your pet lizard named “Zonkers” or whatnot. To follow up on the story, Banterist provides scans of the postcards that were sent (minus the address), a little more backstory, and the results of his eBay experiment. I like his style.

New Project: Hand Turning A Old Book Page

I like to buy books at garage sales — largely just to see if I can sell them elsewhere for more (and often end up doing that) but some of them end up being worth practically nothing, or so little that the quarter I gave for it was higher than its market value. I don’t want to just throw out these lower-value books, so I’ve been trying to think of an idea of what to do with them.

I’ve considered making a hidden-compartment book out of them (as some of them are thick and would have a pretty good depth for such things, but I think I will have to try making at least one of these —

— cutting some of the pages out (but not completely) so that when crumpled up, it forms one hand pulling the next page over. I like these artsy kinds of things, so might be able to sell it right out again, but with a hand as a novelty piece =D I’ll post the project results when I get them completed (both for compartment and hand-turning books) =)

Editm on 09/17/2011 – The above picture was made by Stephanie Green when she was a 16-year-old American Canadian 11th grade student (today age 21) as one of a few final projects for classes. I had only, within a few hours, discovered WordPress’ (new?) stat-tracking section and was able to determine I got over 2000 hits to this single page within one day, almost entirely from this Reddit post, which offers this small gallery in addition to the higher quality pic above. She continues to make other art, but currently lacks a site for display. We all look forward to that day ^_~

Titan Missile Base Eerily Similar to DOOM1 Layout

You tend to end up in the weirdest places after checking toothpaste sometimes.

So I was checking out a few more Toothpaste For Dinner LJ image snags to post as random images that seemed cool, when I lucked up on this image. I clicked on it, which led me to that Livejournal post. Apparently this giant missle base in Washington is for sale, on eBay no less (auction page here, backup PDF here, really awesome and tiny non-acrobat PDF reader (Foxit Reader) here). Before knowing this, I thought it looked eerily similar to the DOOM 1 (classic PC game) station map between levels where it shows you your progress, and was probably just hand drawn by a bored art major. There’s even a website with further details. How could this possibly be not awesome to explore — as long as ALL THE LIGHTS WERE ON. Oh, there will be no exploring with just a wee squeeze-charged LED flashlight for me, thanks. That seems to have already been done elsewhere.

So then I tried to find a google images result that had the Doom 1 map screen, tried all sorts of things with no luck, so decided just to take a screen shot of it myself. Downloaded the shareware and it ran OK on XP, but I couldn’t get it into a windowed version so I could take a screenshot (hit the PrintScreen button on any keyboard and Windows will take a screenshot of the full desktop, whatever’s showing, except certain videos sometimes, then go “paste as new” in an image editing program). So that was out. Finally decided to go analog to a degree and take a screenshot with my digital camera. Finally. And how does it look? Not as detailed as I thought, but a fair comparison I wager.