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Archive for the ‘Non Secutor’ Topic

2011.01.25

Where best to have fun with your new digital camera? Anywhere new! Jim Richardson says If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of better stuff. Travel is not usually cheap but Chris Guillebeau is aiming to change just that with his new Travel Hacking Cartel. There is a trial 14-day membership for $1 USD and they guarantee one free plane ticket every 3 months. Regardless of the membership choice this promises to be a great value.

Join the Travel Hacking Cartel

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2008.10.24

The Toronto Police Department is now running a Pixel for Pistols program so that Toronto residents can exchange working hand-guns for a Nikon digital camera and a photography lesson. If successful, the city of Toronto should see less gun violence, perhaps in exchange for more incidence of blackmail ( just kidding 😉 ). The program is run together with Henry’s Photo Store and Nikon. For more details see Henry’s information page.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium

2008.09.04

Seems like Paypal and its owners, eBay, are out to get the little guy again. They say it is to serve us better, but it is clear that this benefits Paypal’s bank account more than anything else. This is about some new policies which Paypal announced earlier this year allowing Paypal to keep funds for up to 21 days. CNN already reported on this here.

How does it work? Simple, you sell something. Someone send you money and Paypal keeps it for up to 21 days. Now, they do not do that systematically, only for people who need it the most. How do they determine this is not entirely disclosed but the more expensive the item, the more chances of a hold. The less you sell, the more chances of a hold. This is of course designed not to annoy volume sellers which have a continuous stream of income but affects the occasional seller of used items. Under the terms of the hold, Paypal orders the seller to ship an item immediately. This way, the seller loses his item first and then waits to be paid. The catch is that any complaints cause Paypal not to release the hold.

Now, since eBay owns Paypal, they are into this scam as well. As a matter of fact, I remember getting this exact scam as a phishing email just two years ago. Someone bought an item I listed on eBay and then sent me an email from Paypal that said that the payment was on hold until I give a tracking number to protect the customer. Noticing that this was actually NOT from Paypal, because the font used was different, I kindly forwarded this to Paypal. Now I know where they got the inspiration!

Back to eBay… Along with the new Paypal policies, eBay now forces listings to either accept Paypal or a merchant credit card service. Again, this works out to: either use Paypal or be a big seller with your own credit card merchant account. Big sellers get it easy, the little guy gets screwed. Now, someone might believe that this is for buyer’s protection but it is simply to beneficial for eBay. If you count that Paypal says they expect 5% of transactions to be affected and they affect higher-cost transactions more, we can easily expect Paypal to hold 15-20% of transactions values at any given moment. Having such transitional holdings has always benefited large companies because of the investment leverage it gives. Notice that even if a payment is on hold, Paypal takes it cut first too. On eBay, Paypal is all-powerful. Outside of eBay their power weakens, but even there one should be wary of a company with too much power and not enough regulation. Remember, Paypal is not a bank yet its users give it power to extract money at any time from their bank accounts.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium.

2007.09.09

As some people noticed, comments on posts were recently blocked and most were removed. There were thousands of spam comments submitted and the approval queue got too big to handle. I see that spammers do not have anything better to do than submit their URL, but I have much better things to do than deal with that. So here the blog starts clean again. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. Most readers send their comments by email anyways, which is still the best way to get a response.

Neocamera Blog Neocamera.com © Cybernium.

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