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Ebay May Bid For Sotheby's 143

Posted by emmett
from the ye-gods dept.
absolute writes, "Who would have thought Ebay the online auction site would ever had a chance to buy the venerable 250-year old auction house Sotheby's? Apparently, Ebay is trying to capitalize on the price fixing scandal at Sotheby's to buy it. The story is here." Hmm. I hope they get Sotheby's sniped from them at the last minute by some guy with a perl script. Update: 02/29 12:04 by R : eBay denies any interest in Sotheby's.
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Ebay May Bid For Sotheby's

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  • considering the nature of current corporate interrelations, they probably already own each other or are owned by some other corporation.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    (flamebait)

    Bill Gates is probably the secret owner of eBay, now attempting to monopolize European auctions as well.
  • if sothebys is going to be sold to ebay on ebay...i think that would be funny at least.
  • Hmmm, posibility for Picasso's sold on E-Bay. Seriously this could have potential with DSL and VPN. Bids could be verified by digital signatures, and paid for by electronic transfers. Potential for more bidders and higher prices for rarities! Serious bidders could establish holding accounts and have them verified before bidding starts.
  • First of all, the idea of Ebay aquiring Sotheby's strikes me as almost the epitome of the e-commerce age conquering the old commerce age (yeah, yeah, cornyy but you get the idea). Sotheby's and Ebay stand at oppposite ends of the auction spectrum, and I can only see that Ebay grabbing Sotheby's as being great for Ebay. For Sotheby's? I'm not so sure.

    I'm guessing that Ebay would run Sotheby's as a semi-separate entity, maybe running Sotheby's as the "elite end" of the Ebay site. Ebay could either run Sotheby's exclusively as it is now, could attempt to integrate the two (ie. having net bidding on items for auction at Sotheby's and using this as a "reserve price" for the item), or running Sotheby's as the high-end part of the Ebay site.

    Whichever way they go, if Sotheby's is aquired, Ebay will profit. It will be interesting to see what Christie's (Sotheby's 'rival') does if this happens. Will it stay off-line, or enter into a mad rush to try and find a high-profile on-line partner (hello Amazon.com!!).

    Cheers,
    SuperG
  • by jesser (77961) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:17PM (#1241765) Homepage Journal
    I'm surprised that Amazon doesn't already own Sotheby's .. Amazon and Sotheby's have been working together [amazon.com] for a few months. Also, what is ebay doing acquiring the part of its competition that has been charged with antitrust violations [marketwatch.com], and is having trouble [netscape.com] with the SEC?

    --

  • by ejbst25 (130707) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:19PM (#1241767) Homepage
    Maybe Bill Gates will auction off Microsoft's pieces when the gov't splits them up.

    "Damnit, still noone will buy Windows 2000...even for $.49!!"

    We can all hope. I think I will go finish the auctioning off my authentic used socks.
  • by MrBlack (104657) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:19PM (#1241768)
    what the hell happened in the late 1990's and early 21st century. Internet companies with sky-high valuations that are bleeding red ink like a stuck pig start buying up the "establishment". Although I have little to no doubt that the internet (and associated technologies) will become integral to our every day life the whole stockmarket side of things reminds me of the Tulipomania that spread through Holland in the 1600's. No matter how big you think the internet will be, "investment" companies with no profits and no prospect of profits for some time cannot be considered anything more than speculation (Especially in the high-tech field where things can change so quickly).!
    There, did that get off-topic quick enough for you all.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The auction house Ebay wants to buy is very well respected -- if Ebay is successful in buying them out, it'll just be proof to the world that E-commerce is real and is here to stay.

    Granted, Ebay is less than ideal because really all that goes on there is the sale of junk items (and lots of scams, etc.), but it is still e-commerce and it still has huge name recognition. Now here is the big question:

    If this merger takes place, will Ebay become more like Southeby's or vice-versa? ;)
  • While I'm a capitalist through and through, I don't believe in buying something just to make a quick buck. I though eBay was above just grabbing quick distressed property. Stockholders be damned, strong companies follow strong ethical standards. If Sotheby's is involved in a scandal, no one should touch them. Buying them is just crass.
  • by jesser (77961)
    Two senior Sotheby's (bid [netscape.com]) officials have resigned as the result of a probe into potential antitrust violations.

    Did anyone else read that as a link for other companies (maybe amazon?) to offer competing bids on Sotheby's?

    "Bid" turns out to be the ticker symbol for Sotheby Holdings, Inc.

    --

  • My idea had, at first, been a silly one.. but now that I think about it:

    Is Ebay buying the company or the building that Sotheby's uses (assuming that they own a building that they hold their auctions in).

    So, it's a dumb question. Sue me. You won't get much, I'm poor.
  • by Glith (7368) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:27PM (#1241775)
    Dear eBay,

    Heads up! Another eBay user has outbid you on the following item!

    SOTHEBY'S AUCTION HOUSE
    The current bid amount is: $1,600,000,000.25
    The auction closes : Mar-21-00 09:21:24 PST

    Of course, your existing bid may be reinstated if this competitor's bid falls through. You can keep an eye on things if there's still plenty time before the auction closes. Visit
    http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIte m&item=5789731987123

    Otherwise, you can stay in the running and place another bid. Just visit http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem& item=5789731987123

    Safety tip: now that you're no longer the high bidder, you may be contacted by the seller or another person to sell you a similar item without going through eBay. Because this is against eBay rules and we cannot track such transactions, you would not be eligible for eBay's services that protect buyers, such as insurance or mediation.

    If you have any questions, be sure to visit our Help section; it's best to email us from there rather than replying to this message, as replies here can't be processed. Just click http://pages.ebay.com/help/index.html

    Good luck with your bidding!
  • But Ebay DOES have profits. They're not in the red, but the black. Even though their P/E ratio is 1,795.39, they STILL have profit, which cannot be said about amazon.com. If amazon could not issue any more stock, they would go out of business in a quarter. Ebay is one of those VERY few companies that actually make money on the internet.
  • I was wondering if anybody has any of these scripts setup? I always read about them but the only things that I can find are Win32 clients that do this.

    Also, what if I'm sniping on multiple auctions. (Let's say 100) What would be the easiest way to do this? Maybe using crontab, but that doesn't support second accuracy. I guess coding a scheduler in Java is probably the best way to go.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Then the world would be upside down....

  • by cdlu (65838)
    I was under the impression that Ebay, along with Amazon, and other such huge internet based companies were not making money. How can they afford to buy another company for 1.6 Billion?
  • You're wrong... if they're involved in a scandal now is the time to buy. When better? Now personally I think it's kind of creepy to see EBay expanding into a field where respect is more important than a multi-colored logo, but if the value of Sotheby's is as depressed as it seems to be, then why shouldn't they buy it?

    EBay will own the world in a matter of months, I'm sure of it.
  • by Raindeer (104129) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:33PM (#1241783) Homepage Journal
    I think that we will see this alot more in the near future. Companies like Ebay, Amazon etc. need to have something to base the valuations on. An existign company with healthy revenues will be bought and the next year the .com-company will show improved results. Maybe even a profit, sending its valuation even higher. It also alows for bloodsucking the revenues of the acquired company.

    Now the rest of you help me on this, cause it is too late here in the Netherlands :-)

  • I wouldn't trust buying them online. I just saw on 60 minutes a segment about the British auction houses that were selling fakes and passing them off as genuine. On the internet, that would be even easier to do since there's no way to inspect the painting before you buy it.
  • by divec (48748) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:34PM (#1241786) Homepage
    [...] I don't believe in buying something just to make a quick buck. [...] I thought eBay was above just grabbing quick distressed property.
    I'm not sure I understand your objection here. I'm assuming it's that eBay is cheating Sotheby's' shareholders by snapping up Sotheby's for less than it's worth. But it's not possible to *force* the current shareholders to sell their stock; they will do so if and only if they think eBay's offer is sufficiently good.
    If Sotheby's is involved in a scandal, no one should touch them.
    I don't see why eBay shouldn't buy them, as long as they don't then allow the scandal to continue. In fact, a complete overhaul of the management might be just the thing to get Sotheby's behaving properly again.
  • Torvalds begins work on Linux 2.3.48.9.2.7.43, possibly
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Sunday February 27, @10:36AM
    from the rob-sucks-tarballs dept

    Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, accidentally hit his keyboard with his elbow today. We have yet to receive confirmation that the resulting code will be be included in the next development kernel, but we can never be too sure. Here is the code in full:
    kjnlkmf ,m58u45knm ,9804
    8v793oy5n9*(&V(*N&

    This won't compile under GCC, so we can only assume the code is pretty experimental. Look for the tarballs to be released this evening.

    Torvalds comments, "What? Oh, yeah, I accidentally hit my keyboard with my elbow when I reached to get my tea. What? Is it part of the new kernel? You're kidding, right?"

    We'll update the article as soon as we get more information. The Linux world hasn't been in such frenzied anticipation since the release of kernel 2.3.48.9.2.7.42, which was about ten minutes ago.


    Interview: Alan Cox farted
    Posted by Hemos on Sunday February 27, @10:34AM
    from the whats-that-smell dept

    Linux guru and hacker-extrodinaire Alan Cox farted earlier today. What do you think this says about the future of Linux development? Alan's ass will respond to the highest moderated posts later this week.


    ESR and JonKatz to participate in "Zealot Deathmatch"
    Posted by Roblimo on Sunday February 27, @10:33AM
    from the die-bitch-die dept

    Open source proponent Eric S. Raymond and Slashdot nutcase JonKatz are reportedly organizing a "Zealot Arena Deathmatch" to raise money for the Apache Software Foundation. The fight is expected to be a tough one, because while Katz is genuinely insane, ESR has the power of girly, elfish looks. A spokesman from Apache says that, "while we don't encourage violence, we'll do anything for money."


    VA Linux aquired by Klingons, Rob bows down to new alien masters
    Posted by emmett on Sunday February 27, @10:32AM
    from the star-shit-enterprise dept

    VA Linux Systems, owner of Andover.net, owner of Slashdot.org, owner of Rob's ass, was officially aquired by the Klingon Empire earlier this morning. The Klingons, who have recently taken over Kellogs, GM, and Disney, are looking forward to absorbing more major corporations in the near future. The US Government is discussing investigating the Klingons for holding a monopoly over "every aspect of our lives", to which the Klingons responded, "Puny human scum! I will crush you like a bug and feast upon your steaming entrails." Finally, some competition for Microsoft!


    Red Hat and VA stock at all time high!
    Posted by CmdrTaco on Sunday February 27, @10:31AM
    from the i-am-so-rich dept

    Dude, have you heard the market reports today? I am so fucking rich! If this keeps up, I'll be able to stop doing this Slashdot crap! Hell yeah!

    I am the Lord.

  • I mean, I understand grabbing Sotheby's as it's a depressed commodity... fine and good. But they're expanding out of the financial bubble of the internet into real-world investments that simply don't make the splash that anything .com has.

    Do you remember what happened to AOL stock prices as soon as they merged with Time-Warner? They suddenly weren't just an internet company any more and their prices dropped like a rock, same thing could happen here. I would say stick with what you know, stick with the net EBay.
  • If eBay buy Sotheby's then the resulting firm is eBay+Sotheby's. If it doesn't perform at least as well as eBay + Sotheby's then the market won't be impressed. "Bloodsucking the revenues of the aquired company" may be good if those revenues can produce better returns in the e-industry than in the traditional industry. If not, the combined company's shareprice will dive when it fails to make good earnings.

    For an internet company to buy a traditional company makes good sense, because it means more diversification and less risk. If the market suddenly gets scared of e-commerce then the whole company won't be worthless. This is just the same as big companies whose assets include Dollars, Yen and Euros. If one currency nosedives, then the company doesn't get hit too hard.
  • by mind21_98 (18647) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:42PM (#1241790) Homepage Journal
    Will Sotheby's rip eBay off and not send them their properety deed, just like the other sellers on online auctions? Or will they just take the money and run, leaving eBay without support for their new auction company they bought?

    (Just ranting, hope you find the above funny)
  • My objections are two:

    1 - Sotheby's is now "tainted." If eBay wants to paint itself with that brush, go right ahead.
    2 - It's not so much cheating the shareholders as advocating a style of business that is frankly predatory. Economic Darwinism is only OK to a point and I think this behavior is slightly over the line.

  • Masterpieces and other high value items could be shipped to and verified by a trusted 3rd party before being transfered to the buyer. After verification, the money would be released from the holding account to the auction house.
  • One word: stock. (It so happens that eBay does turn a profit, though.)
  • ... but I believe there were examples of companies whose stock had very large price/earnings ratios in the 19th century, and who managed to maintain their share prices as they expanded and became more profitable. Of course 19th century stock markets were somewhat different from those today.
  • by technos (73414) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @03:52PM (#1241797) Homepage Journal
    This just strikes me as wrong.. Ebay, the 90's born purveyor of chipped Farber and Beanie Babies, is attempting to purchase Sotheby's, a company with letters of incorporation older than most American countries??? That would be like Sam Adams trying to buy out the Guinness name, or Bezos buying up BArnes and Noble,, This 'dot-com' game of market cap and break-even earnings has got to be nipped in the bud before too many of the 'respected' brands are bought on inflated stock and dragged through the mud by the same trash exec's that thought ad banners would be a viable income source.
  • Sorry, but first of all the market hasn't been too impressed buy the fact that these companies make huge losses.. An improvement might just be the signal they were hoping for to buy even more. Remember the markets don't react to normal valuations. Look for instance at Textron. High profits, but the stock went down. It is about what is hot and what not and what stays hot.

    The diversification would be a good argument if we were talking about very different markets. A bit like GE works. Here you can see that the traditional company (thanks for the frase) is the one that is used as a parachute. I think we will see that alot more. You are right about the less risk, but it is for the reason of the traditional companies revenues and solid base. The stock will also be consolidated into one stock and not two separate ones. So it is not like holding different stocks. It will be one company. And treated as such. If one stock nosedives, it is the only stock they have

  • Hmmm, Ebay may buy Sotheby's for $1.6 Billion... I'm guessing that they won't send the check, that's my experience with EBay. =)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Please. "E-commerce" was a buzzword designed by mega corporations like IBM to attract the souless managers who run this god-forsaken country's companies. What does it mean? In a word: nothing.

    -commerce age conquering the old commerce age

    There is nothing left to conquer. The "old age" has been dead in the water ever since Reagan was defeated. Since then, it's been a slipperly slide downhill, down which we are being lead by "new-age" business "gurus" who spout their "e-pontifications" and other e-bullshit to whoever is most willing to send them large checks. There is no strategy to plan: you set up a web site, often with a company such as AOL, collect credit card numbers, and if you have the time, send the products to the wrong address. Simple, really.

    Putting your company behind 16bit color graphics and fancy domain name means NOTHING if it still run by a few old men in suits. The true power of this "information revolution" is not for the consumer, but for the worker. Why do you need a manager if you can easily communicate with other workers and coordinate your tasks. Aren't you the one writing the code? Then who's a more competent judge of your progress, you and your peers, or some 50 year old MBA in dacron socks? I think the answer is obvious.

    The way to "e-business" is not through new methods of selling, but rather through new methods of workplace democratization, where the workers are given control. That, truly, is the only way to thrive in the modern world.
  • Remember the markets don't react to normal valuations. [...] It's about what is hot and what not and what stays hot.

    If this is case over the long term, then shareholder capitalism is pointless. The only reason for having publically-traded shares is that "owner power" forces companies to behave profitably in a much more immediate way than mere "consumer power". If you believe that long-term share price is unrelated to profitability then we might as well abolish shareholder's rights and return to consumer-driven capitalism.

    I'm not saying that this is absurd, just that it is the consequence of what you claim.
  • by Kythorn (52358)
    Just how many american countries are there anyway?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The "old age" has been dead in the water ever since Reagan was defeated.

    Huh? Reagan was never defeated. He served two terms at office and left due to the term limits law. I'm not sure what you meant there.

    And what's this "workplace democratization" stuff? If you're an owner/operator you're in charge. If you're an employee it's your responsiblity to contribute to the team. There's no "democracy" involved. There can't be. Unless you work at a cooperative of some sort, and then... you're an owner/operator.

  • d00d, that's just shit.

    Yeah, it's lame. This [slashdot.org] is funny, but the moderators never seem to get it right.

  • Amazing to see how far the tech world has come to be in a position to take over everything. Perhaps it also shows how overvalued the tech stocks are. If Ebay does get sotherby's it be kind of cool, if they could take the snooty auctions and bring it to more of a down to earth audience (like us)....
    -- Moondog
  • The true power of this "information revolution" is not for the consumer, but for the worker. Why do you need a manager if you can easily communicate with other workers and coordinate your tasks. Aren't you the one writing the code? Then who's a more competent judge of your progress, you and your peers, or some 50 year old MBA in dacron socks? I think the answer is obvious.


    For those who aren't entirely convinced by the rather brief argument above, I suggest reading the Cluetrain Manifesto [cluetrain.com]. Whether or not you agree with it, it is economic suicide not to at least consider the points that it brings up. You either need to accept them and live by them, or refute them intelligently and thoroughly.

    It not only goes into the fact that the net is making it possible for employees to talk with one another as never before, but customers as well. The only real secrets are the ones that are kept by a single person, or that no one feels are worth posting to the net. If it is interesting, and known, it can show up online.
  • i actually thought it was funny...

    --

  • Why don't you get yourself one of these [realhamster.com]?
  • I don't think your comment was off-topic at all. I think this is the very core of this topic. However, I'm worried that the trend may be against you when you say that investment in these high tech companies cannot be considered anything more than speculation. The AOL/Time Warner merger and this purchase (if it happens) may prove that pyramid schemes don't always collapse after all.

    I remember a few years ago when many analysts were saying the stock market was a bubble that had grown to its limit and couldn't take much more, but then along came Internet stocks. Many people laughed at these ridiculously unprofitable Internet companies (yeah, some of them may post meager profits, but their P/E ratios certainly don't warrant their absurd valuations), and believed it was another small bubble that couldn't last.

    But Internet stocks continue to grow and their valuations keep going up. Some people have cashed out and retired, but it hasn't slowed the prices any. These aren't bubbles, they are more like pyramids. These companies' true values are based upon their perceived value as investors continued to flock to them.

    But look out! Now they're buying real companies with real assets and worth real money! Sure they may have once been floating on investors' overpriced valuation, now they're buying well-established companies as foundations.

    Ack. Despite the fact that I work in this industry, I must be too old-fashioned to appreciate this new economy. I have no special regard for an institution like Sotheby's, but if eBay manages to purchase it, I'll be sick.
  • Uh? There are countries in central America? I thought is was just divided into the different drug cartels.
  • ZDNET [zdnet.com] story about it here [zdnet.com].
  • Sorry, I was going a bit too far there by saying that stuff about "no profits, no prospect of profits", yes, it's true that e-bay do have profits (which are obviously very small compared to it's valuation). In Australia it has been funny to watch the market recently. Here certain parts of the mining sector have traditionally been very speculative (due, no doubt to the speculative nature of looking for minerals, sometimes you find them and sometimes you don't). Anyway when the price of gold died horribly (as central banks around the world started selling down their reserves) some of the more "speculative" mining companies quickly set up .com companies (talk about becoming a diversified industrial). Then a couple of months ago when there was a bit of a scare on the NASDAQ and the price of gold was up I read a few interviews by these same companies saying how they were getting back to their roots in minerals and forgetting about the internet. After the short lived resurgence in gold died they were straight back into .com mode. It's hard not to become a jaded cynic.
  • I want you all to know that I feel gratified and pleased that I've finally made it into a Slashdot parody. Thanks, Jesus! --Emmett
  • There are, but a much faster way is to just go to www.esnipe.com and queue up as many snipes as you want. I prefer this because my Linux box isn't always on; these guys are. Also, who knows when my cable modem will go out? On an important auction, that's a risk I can't afford to take.

    If you're hellbent on doing this yourself, check Freshmeat for "bidwatcher". This will snipe, although it won't run as a daemon so you have to leave it running.

    --
  • There is another problem... may ancient works are illegally smuggled out of other countries and sold at auction at Sothebys all the time. One would speculate that eBay may encounter a whole new set of legal problems trying to sell those works internationally where laws vary by country?!

    Visit uMoo - http://www.uMoo.com/ [umoo.com] Talk About Bull...
  • Yes, ebay makes money. But not nearly enough to justify their valuation. I can't imagine that they'll ever grow into it... People are just hoping and hoping that they will, because they're now one of the "old-timers" of the net. As in they've been public for over a year and a half without getting bought out.

    According to some artical i read recently, Amazon is actually making a tidy profit from their core business (books). The other parts of the company are just about to become profitable as well, they just needed to get their volumes up. The main reason they show huge losses these days is because they file their acquisitions as expenses rather than capital investments. That way they don't need to pay nearly as much in taxes.

    No matter how much people don't like them, Amazon's not appearing to go away... It very well may end up being the wal-mart of the web.
  • by Speare (84249) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @05:40PM (#1241837) Homepage Journal

    Welcome, MyAmazonNickName. You're pre-registered on sothebys.amazon.com. Please accept our Conditions of Sale and you'll be ready to bid. (If you're not MyAmazonNickName, click here.)

    ...
  • Maybe you have different ideas, but that doesn't make them right.

    Maybe you should take hold of some of your own words.

    If you have a brilliant idea, but are tied down working on some project which you know will get nowhere, what are your loyalties?

    Simple. You tell your boss about your idea. It will get noticed, and if you don't think that your boss will act on it, then leave the company, and act on it on your own.

    I'm not saying that workplaces like this don't have their place, but in some environments a democratic workplace just isn't feasible.

  • Or maybe Emmett was just making a joke, based on the fact that sort of thing always happens on eBay.
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [nmsu.edu].
  • To be honest, not to buy Windows 2000 (and by your comment I assume that you in fact mean the rights to Windows 2000) for $.49 would be ludicrous. Just because the small number of us slashdot geeks would prefer not to use it does not mean that there isn't a whole market of average Joes out there who (assuming the price was low enough) would buy it in a heart beat simply because of name recognition.

    But then it is only a joke and I'm just being argumentative right now...
  • Nah, the world's already been auctioned off on eBay several times.
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a quine [nmsu.edu].
  • Well I guess you could control an Aibo with perl scripts and have it "fetch" Sotheby's :)

    Or build something with Lego Mindstorms and again control it with perl... and a palm.. :)
  • When was the last time you saw a beanie baby on Sotheby's auction block?
  • by rambone (135825) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @06:00PM (#1241845)
    I disagree with the original poster that it would be amusing to see EBay swiped at the last minute - in fact, I thing the only way auction houses like Sotheby's can exist is to make themselves part of a larger trend that is going to be huge - bot commerce.

    In order to have commerce work for us through agents, it is a given that prices must be flexible. Be it through barter, auctions, or bulk buying, people need to be able to capitalize on time and opportunity to minimize the price spent on goods.

    For the consumer, this could be revolutionary. What would life be like if you could finagle any type of special deal or leverage that wholesalers/dealers/distributors use to get discounts? What if your bot stood on equal ground in bids against institutions?

    Static pricing has got maybe ten years left in it. Disagree if you want, but to me /. is a Luddite board anyway - an overwhelming number of you just days ago were singing the praises of newspapers.

  • Open source commie?

    I'm not of a strong political background or opinions, but clearly capitalism taken to an extreme (ie making a buck at all costs) without a doubt disregards ethics. That doesn't mean that all are unethical, just that there is a relationship. People are greedy and want to make a buck, oftentimes they do this at others expense.
    Trollking makes a good point.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe you should take hold of some of your own words.

    Simple. You tell your boss about your idea. It will get noticed,

    Why should I get management involved? After all, they have a pretty strong reason to oppose any sort of power given to the workers. If I were to mention something that they don't agree with, for whatever reason, it will be ignored. If they think it's good, they'll claim it as a management victory and give it as a reason for preventing the workers from being able to act on their own even more. Looks like it's not such a good idea after all, eh?

    and if you don't think that your boss will act on it, then leave the company, and act on it on your own.

    And work for another company? Why do you think people go to business school? So they can do real, world-shaking work, or merely leech on to talented individuals that they "manage". No company will be much better than the rest so long as they're ruled from above. That's what I've been trying to say: the workers must control the production. You *did* read what I wrote before, right? I can't tell.

    democratic workplace just isn't feasible.

    Just like it isn't feasible to have a democratic society, or individual rights, or abolition of slavery, or any other reforms which have been opposed throughout the ages by reactionary loudmouths such as yourself. Why do you resist change? What's bad for you may be good for humanity, and the destiny of humanity is to stride beyond what exists today. You cannot restrain the human spirit, which is the primary factor involved in any revolution, social or otherwise. The governments have tried, the church has tried, and now the economic powers are trying. Why do we scream the praises of capitalism when it brings misery to the majority involved in it, most of whom you never see? Is this what you oppose, freedom and an end of suffering? If so, you my friend, are a sick, evil man.
  • VA Linux aquired by Klingons, Rob bows down to new alien masters
    Posted by emmett on Sunday February 27, @10:32AM
    from the star-shit-enterprise dept

    VA Linux Systems, owner of Andover.net, owner of Slashdot.org, owner of Rob's ass, was officially aquired by the Klingon Empire earlier this morning. The Klingons, who have recently taken over Kellogs, GM, and Disney, are looking forward to absorbing more major corporations in the near future. The US Government is discussing investigating the Klingons for holding a monopoly over "every aspect of our lives", to which the Klingons responded, "Puny human scum! I will crush you like a bug and feast upon your steaming entrails." Finally, some competition for Microsoft!


    A related story just in. The Slashcode 1.0 tarball has just been announced. The press release in its entirety read, "It's a good day to die." There has already been considerable speculation on the meaning of the announcement, but no one at Slashdot could be reached for comment.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How much did the National Debt go up during the Reagan Years?

    And how many jobs were created? How much economic prosperity was there? You seem to forget all this. Of course, seeing as this is Slashdot, it's likely that you weren't even alive while the Great Communicator was in office.

    You'll remember no doubt, the recession in the early 1990's after he left office. So we have years of phenomonal economic growth, followed by recession with a new president. It doesn't take much to show you how we benefitted under the policies of "Reaganomics".

    And what does the party that was so vehemently "cut down the National Debt" 2-4 years ago want to do now? "return the [forecasted only] tax surplus back to the people".

    So? Are you opposed to people getting money back? If I were you, I'd be happy. Keep in mind, of course, that I pay taxes, but I'm not so sure about you.

    OK. Now, how come the goverment (specifically, Congress) is so fucked that it runs itself exactly opposite to how the rest of us run our lives?

    Because you are not a lawmaking body? Do you have any idea how a country is run? And I'm talking beyond the level of high school textbooks? National debt is a meaningless term. Do you *really* think that they are going to somehow come up with the trillions of dollars to pay it off? How absurd. They are making the right move by giving back to needy, *tax-paying* citizens such as myself.

    !", I've helped the economy by buying stuff I don't need now, incurred more interest-accruing debt, etc.?

    Well, at least you understand basic economics. Guess what? The more you spend, the more gets pupmed into the local economy! Tax refunds equals more spending which means more money all around. Everyone gets rich. Is that so wrong? You seem to think it is.

    Yet that is what Congress seems to want to do now.

    And I applaud them for it. Bush will make as fine a president as his father did.
  • by Cplus (79286) on Sunday February 27, 2000 @07:08PM (#1241862) Homepage Journal
    That can't be replaced. A big ticket item that you are dying to have for your "collection", picture a Stradavarius, the dignity of the whole affair. That can't be emulated in an online experience. The type of people purchasing at these auctions are the rich elite who would have qualms at buying online just because it lacked some of the status involved in winning a live auction purchase.

    E-bay is too trailerpark.
  • It seems reasonable that Sothebeys would want to have some sort of internet connection, especially noting the success of eWolfs [ewolfs.com]. Wolfs the premier auction house in Cleveland. A few months ago, they started holding auctions on the web. Items were available for viewing before the auction at their auction house, but virtually all of the bids were done over the internet. As a result, the proceeds from the auction were about double of what was expected. People who did not have the time to spend the entire day at the auction house to bid on an item or two were able to bid.

    This has been, as I understand it, rather big news in the professional auction community. Based on this, it is understandable that other auction houses would want to do internet auctions. It makes sense to team up with ebay, rather than trying to reinvent the technology ebay had already developed.

  • I can't wait to hear about the kid who grabs his mom's credit card and spends $50 million on a painting because "dude, that chick is like totally naked!" =^)
  • yeah, well fuck you! you couldn't boil my dick if you caught it with your toungue!

    (This message brought to you by the RobLimo Fan Club)
    Member, UCTAM
  • Oh, come on. Sure, the national debt isn't really as scary as everyone makes it out to be, but at least a third of it is owed externally. Which means that there are people who are going to want their money back. Sure, the velocity of money will mean that the more you spend, the more it helps the economy, but Reagan was a disaster, economically. If you account for lag, Carter gets credit for some good stuff, Reagan gets credit for keeping it going for a while, and then he gets credit for some of the recession action we saw under Bush. Worrying about the economy and taxes is a waste of time, though, since the US government is, imho, stuck on this back and forth thing where the flavor of taxation and spending we get will be determined by the party in power. I'd be more concerned with the policies that are enacted and the things that are done by the executive branch - little illegal things like Iran-Contra, Watergate, CIA sponsored coups and drug smuggling, etc. The taxation and spending by the government isn't going to change radically without an equally radical change in the voting system and the way the executive branch of the fed operates.

    itachi

  • you haven't gotten a fucking life yet, and they call you a troll?

    my dear old grandma could troll better than you, retard!

    (This message brought to you by the RobLimo Fan Club)
    Member, UCTAM
  • Are you serious? Do you acutally know people who don't think E-Commerce is here to stay? What about the multiple billions of dollars made on E-Commerce each year? Jeff Bezos was Times man of the year. Do you think people are ignoring all the E-Commerce stocks that are driving the market? Or that every commercial on television is "something.com" or we power your Ecommerce solutions? How do you figure that E-commerce needs a boost or name recognition?
  • Sounds fair enough, but there is a lot of cheaper porn available (on ebay, even!) and most of it tends to look more like real people. (nothing against art that is not realistic, but people tend to like realism in pornography)

    Also, who has a $50 million credit limit? Or even $1 million? Or even $100,000? Not many people.
  • online auctions? Or didn't they file one that yet?
  • oh my GOD that is the funniest thing i have read in a long time! took me about 10 minutes before i could click the "reply" link.. oh man.. /me has tears in his eyes... but seriously. as a person who runs win2k (and very pround of it) i get sick of people bashing products just because its microsoft's .. if they've taken the time to actually try it, they usually like it.. i've seen more than 1 convert.. but i'm not gonna get into this linux vs. ms discussion (this is slashdot, afterall.. i'd probably be booted:) so i use my normal linux-geek attitude: something doesnt go your way, blame it on microsoft. we all know microsoft was responsible for the stock market crash in the 1920's.. and the cold war.. and i dont think we can deny microsoft's liability in IT-IPO stock fever..
  • ebay, please help. I wanted to bid, followed the link, and was told that item 116072115 was no longer in the database. But I was not looking for 116072115, but 5789731987123 - please tell me where I can find it.
  • Isn't Ebay infringing on Amazon's patent to hold .. online auctions? Or didn't they file one that yet?

    Sounds like fun. Amazon couldn't complain, and if ebay did it right (i.e. made their intentions clear to the open sourcers without giving the courts reason to hold ebay in contempt of court), it could be really fun on slashdot. Do any slashdotters with a good amount legal knowledge want to offer to fight the lawsuit for ebay, without charge? Maybe Rob will reimburse you with revenue from ad displays :P

    --

  • WHAT?!?!? Bring me the head of whoever moderated that down!!!! And get that article back to +5 Funny where the hell it belongs! T'hell with my karma, fsck'em if they can't take a joke!
  • Wired [wired.com] has an article [wired.com] too.

    Pablo Nevares, "the freshmaker".
  • What billions made on e-commerce? Is there actually even one e-commerce company that has a profit?

    Oh, yes, the stocks. I hear pyramid schemes are still a popular pasttime in Albania...
  • I guess we will all agree that the value of ebay (and most of the other 'e-startups') is mostly theoretical.
    It is interesting that they are now beginning to transfer their imaginary value (based on the possibility that they might be very profitable in the future) into real value (based on current profits and property).

  • sothebys.com offers a guarantee on all transactions, but rarely offers any detail at all concerning the history and provenance of the ieces for sale. this may be okay for $5000 items where sotheby's could even get the insurance underwritten. but many of the finest pieces in the world are sold not to private collectors, but between dealers, have complex provenances, may have been the subject of involved legal dispute, and so on and so on. plus, since thesetransactions on web sites are usually backed by credit cards, who the fsk is going tostump VISA or whoever's 2-3% commission on a multi million $ deal. Christies has a dealers card issued to those who are creditworthy, and generally recognised to bid. actually, more often than not these houses sell to people they KNOW wont pay and stiff the vendor. In a mo' I'll post some nice Lost Suit links for sotheby's. If there being bought by ebay its because they are as screwed a business model as ebay. bye for now.
  • this is a wonderful link with a detailed description of how Sotheby's was found to be dealing in stolen goods fron East Germany, found in the High Court of London.

    This sort of thing is quite common and it highlights how naive Ebay must be to consider such a bid - there is so much undefined risk in the business of an auction house, only a combination of historical, legal and art experts could manage to assess.

    However, with such a concentration of the employment of these in the main auction houses, the public is at a disadvantage to discover what is really going on. *all great fortunes are founded on a crime* taken note of by many in this business, I am sure. Here's the link :

    http://iecl.iuscomp.org/gl a/judgments/foreign/gotha1.htm [iuscomp.org]

  • Take a look seriously at the moderation of the early comments on this news thread. (based on the time fo my posting, I hasten to add) just how many are atributable to posters who have added content? I mean anyone going to write a context engine to switch off positive moderation for off topic posts and - maybe for really interesting ones - post them into a new thread "serious offtopic for 2/28/00" no but really im only thinking that this is silly. ***fsuck my karma. Think about content *****
  • dang - I mean non trivial content which is on topic at least enough to widen someone's horizon a little who is actually reading a thread for news relevant about the story - which is the point of /. anyway? not mean to bait at all.
  • Christie's and Sotheby's are in a demonstrably non-internet market. While eBay et al are perfect vehicles for people selling second hand items that they'd previously have used the small ads for, who is going to sell - or buy - a multi-million pound item through a website?

    Objets d'art need personal validation so while online auctions (or the faux "auctions" of many of the sites which merely sell under the pretence of an auction) are ideal for some, the traditional auction room scene of a few dozen high rollers bidding away isn't going to disappear any time soon.

    EBay know this. So they're trying to buy the opposition. Standard tactics. The question is though, will Sotheby's - and their imminent lawsuits over the anti-trust cases - going to be worth buying? Or is eBay's struggle for real-world respectability going to cost them dear?
  • Is it just me or is one is the cathedral, and the other the bazaar?

    --

  • [In response to tax refunds...]So? Are you opposed to people getting money back? If I were you, I'd be happy. Keep in mind, of course, that I pay taxes, but I'm not so sure about you.

    Don't sell yourself so short. You've been sold a line of BS that sounds like this, "Oops, we don't know how it could have happened, but we seem to have too much money. Gosh darn it, we'll be heroes and hand it out to all of you." What an enormous load of crap. We've heard this line in MN for the last two years now, and I'm sick of it. The simple fact is this. Our taxes are too damn high! The tax rates need to be cut across the board, and now.

    One of the biggest lies of all (at least with the way they do these tax refunds in MN) is that they don't consider it to be an income tax overpayment. Nope, even people who paid no income tax at all are being considered for a credit this time around. It's simply another wealth redistribution, and our wonderful governor is right at the heart of it.

  • Apparently, eBay has no plan of aquiring Sotheby's. To quote CEO Meg Whitman today "We're not buying them. There's absolutely nothing to these rumors." The yahoo news article [yahoo.com] where I'm getting this info went on to say that the rumor originated from a British newspaper, The Independent, based on the evidence of the resigning Sotherby executives.
  • This article [wired.com] from Wired states the contrary...
  • NEW YORK (Reuters) - Online auctioneer eBay Inc. denied on Monday that it was preparing a takeover bid for troubled auction house Sotheby's Holdings Inc., which is the target of multinational price-fixing probe. ``We're not buying them. There's absolutely nothing to these rumors,'' eBay spokesman Kevin Pursglove said after speaking to Chief Executive Meg Whitman. click here for more [yahoo.com]
  • http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,34612,00 .html

    has the full story.
  • as an employee, you have a responsability to do what your boss says. If your boss has more than 2 brain cells, he will listen to your ideas. Mine pretty much leaves me alone, 'cause he doesnt understand what I do enough to do anything but ask stupid questions that take forever to answer. (you ever try to explain a binary tree to a MBA? shit, it's like trying to teach a 2 year old quantum physics) every month or two, he makes me convert my HTML documentation to microsoft word so he can email it to people (He hasn't figured out how to edit and re-email HTML)

    If your boss insists on micromanageing you, I suggest you find a new job. Right now, the market is really awsome.

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