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Submission + - New Online Auction Website is Hyper-Addictive

zacronos writes: A new online auction website called has figured out a better way to part fools from their money. According to Mark Gimein at, 'fiendishly plays on every irrational impulse buyers have to draw them in to what might be the crack cocaine of online shopping sites'. Unlike eBay, owns the items being sold via auction. The final prices themselves look like great deals, for example a MacBook Pro for $35.86. The catch is that every bid costs $.60, and in a standard auction each bid can only raise the price by $.12, though in a 'penny auction' the raise is a mere $.01. The result is that makes far more money on bid fees than on the purchase price of the item, making their auctions behave in some ways more like lotteries, while keeping the addictive properties of each. The article has a full analysis.
The Courts

RIAA Backs Down In Texas Case 221

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "After receiving a Rule 11 Sanctions Motion (PDF) in a Houston, Texas, case, UMG Recordings v. Lanzoni, the RIAA lawyers thought better of proceeding with the case, and agreed to voluntarily dismiss the case 'with prejudice', which means it is over and cannot be brought again. The defendant's motion papers detailed some of the RIAA's litigation history against innocent individuals, such as Capitol Records v. Foster and Atlantic Recording v. Andersen, and argued that the awarding of attorneys fees in those cases has not sufficiently deterred repetition of the misconduct, so that a stronger remedy — Rule 11 sanctions — is now called for."

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.