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Microsoft Hotmail Domain Reward Check on E*Bay 295

Big_Joe wrote to us with the continuing story of Michael Chaney. Michael is the guy who paid the re-registration fee for the Hotmail domain name, after Microsoft had failed to over the Christmas holiday. He's auctioning the 500$ "thank you" check off on E*Bay and has pledged to donate the winning bid to charity, as well as matching up to $2,000 of that out of his own pocket.
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Microsoft Hotmail Domain Reward Check on E*Bay

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Michael Chaney is a true socialist hero. He is using the profit of the most capitalistic corporation on Earth to help out those less fortunate than himself due to the injustices of our current socio-economic system. Let us all donate some money in his name to the charity he likes.
  • Every story posted today has something to do with a guy named Mike.

    Once one Mike takes over, they all take over and the world ends just after the sky falls.

    Katz, why aren't you on this one, huh? Is your middle name Mike?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, the current bid is $2,100.00. Do I hear $2,125.00?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is Open Source really a charity? This guy is donating money to feed hungry people, not to make Apache a better webserver. I think feeding people is the more charitable action here.
  • by Anonymous Coward
  • by BOredAtWork ( 36 )
    NOPE. I'm me. He's not.


  • When word of this gets around, I wonder if MS employees will start auctioning off their paychecks.
  • I just saw this, nearly a week later, and have no presuppositions that you will actually see it yourself later, but....

    I see where you're headed, and I almost agree.

    I suppose what I'm trying to say is that _demand_ for such a 'collectible,' the fact that anyone KNOWS the story, is a function of media attention. Yes, the history exists, but there are all SORTS of checks out there with much more interesting stories attached that aren't getting sold on eBay for 10x face value.

    Which was the point I was equating back to a "Hype-P-O" -- demand, attention, fame, being artificially inflated around an object due to overattention to its story. It can happen to a company; it can happen to a piece of paper.

  • Ultra-rare? It's a check. From Microsoft. A company that size writes a lot of checks, probably hundreds or thousands a week. To various people, companies, institutions, and employees for various amounts and reasons. A check from Microsoft is anything but 'ultra-rare.' I'd be interested to know the check number. Probably in the six-digits somewhere.

    The only thing that makes this particular check worth more than its face value or in any way 'collectible' is the story behind it, the 'well-documented history' that you point out. Which in this case is the media hype. Which was my point.

  • ...can someone point me to sites registering through opensrs? or other generally dirt-cheap registries?

    (being a tightwad and all)
  • Posted by cookieman.k:

    You are missing the point: not the SUM is important ! The percent of the donator's wealth wich is donated is what that matters. Its easy to donate when you have bilions but much harder when you only have money for survival (or less). You obviously haven't experienced this. Take back this *hypocrisy* thing, it only make you look like you are one. ---- Off topic and redundant - I know...
  • Perhaps this just means that the people who are most interested in this check are Slashdot readers that don't normally use eBay. I personally find the offer very interesting. However, I have never used eBay before, and so were I to decide to bid on the check I would probably need to create an account.

    Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who use computers daily who have never felt the need to check out eBay.
  • Actually, he picked a charity in case noone bid for it.

    Noone here must read the attached links.
  • Folks, we live in an economy where you don't have to be a profitable company to have a market cap of billions of dollars. Today it's about brand recognition, not profit.

    Can't you see that Michael Chaney is just trying to build brand? He has already registered (see []), and, I'd wager, is planning on selling the domain on eBay for $10 million once his fame has pinnacled.

  • so he not only didnt take MS's money, but hell match it for charity

    Uh, you might want to stick to NT. FYI, MS matches its employee's donations to charity. If he worked for Microsoft, MS would donate $2k to a charity of his choice if he did as well.

  • Well it is pretty cool that the guy is donating the money to charity but don't you get the feeling that he thinks he has stumbled into the stunt of tryng to generate PR for himself

    And for his consulting business, no doubt. $2,000 is a modest investment for the PR he is getting.

  • Sounds like some moderators are browsing at 1 or higher

    Do you blame them? I have mine set to 1 or Higher, and sometimes think about setting it up another notch...

  • Since they can't seem to keep their bills straight themselves ;-)
  • The only reason he registered the domain name was to put Microsoft into an embarassing situation (he only beat them to registering it by a couple of minutes).

    a) He didn't register the domain. He paid a delinquent bill. The domain was placed on hold by Network Solutions but was in no danger of being released for someone else to register for at least 90-120 days.

    b) By paying the bill when he did, the guy saved hours of Hotmail downtime, benefitting several hundred thousand users at least.

    Now he's just draggin it on and on... Get over it pal, it may have been mildly amusing at first, now it's just pathetic. You're 15 minutes are up, let it go.

    He's using media attention to help a worthy charity. What's wrong with that?

  • I suppose there are a lot of newly paper-wealthy people out there itching to use that money that results from their IPO investments.
  • Duh...

    What does pointing a bunch of people to an online poll have to do with putting spurious bids on a very expensive auction??? We're comparing apples and oranges here. There's nothing wrong with "stuffing" an online poll. I've seen it done by many different groups. I'm sure that MS zealots do it too. Anyone STOOPID enough to trust the statistical validity of an online poll as anything more than a popularity contest deserves whatever lousy data they get.

    HOWEVER, if some troll comes along and puts in a $5000 bid for something they have no intention of honoring (how much you willing to wager that "linuxsux" is really going to pay for that check?) smacks of a p***k the size of Long Island.

    On the other hand, if he really is going to pay up, then there's no reason why a Linux hater shouldn't be able to bid on and buy that particular piece of memorabilia. It's an auction open to all - Political Correctness not required.

    (Didn't they just have a similar problem with that T-Rex they tried to auction for $5M on eBay? They had so many fake bids that they decided to move it to another site that validated the identity of the bidder before accepting. It seems like the eBay model quickly breaks down when you get over a thousand $$ or so...)

  • Nah, but BAW is pretty cool too. :) I'm just out having fun on slashdot. It's pretty funny - I got 12 moderations to this post... hehe. Gotta love that.
  • Yeah, well, quite some time ago I did alittle experiment to see how bad the moderation system was. Click the User Info thingie above this post to see what I mean. But anyway - don't give the moderation system much credit. Just read my posts, and if you like what you see keep an eye out for other posts of mine. :) I like to follow Enoch Root and a few others. Even some of the trolls can be humorous, from time to time. Otherwise, if you wanna discuss karma and moderation in more detail, kick out an -email to me and we'll talk.
  • Not to burst your bubble (and not that I have any love for M$), but Bill & his wife donated $16 billion last year, thereby making your comparision...

    100 billion net work Gates -> 16 billion = 16%
    50000 net work for that guy, donate 5k = 10%

    Bye for now.

  • Somebody call a tax accountant, please. :-)

    Oy, that reminds me I need to start doing mine. *moan*

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Let's graph how much Microsoft has donated to charity and political organizations versus time in relation to the trial.
  • Au contraire -- without the media attention, do you really think he'd have received anything at all? At best, the $35 he spent? The reason this can be auctioned off on ebay AT ALL is because it's somewhat notorious, it's a 'relic' in a sense.

    Without public awareness of this incident, it would be a $35 transaction; it's the hype around it that makes MS's check for $500 worth many times that.

  • In this age of insanely record-breaking IPO's, this story seems to me a perfect object lesson of how excessive press can artificially inflate the general perception of a thing's value by two orders of magnitude or more in a very short time -- from $35, to $500, to $2500+, in just a couple of weeks.

    Not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it is certainly an interesting thing to watch....

  • It is a reasonably pleasant surprise to see that Microsoft provided a moderately nice "reward" for the matter; the sum of $500 is not at all surprising.

    Chaney is playing a pretty canny game here; he's certainly "profiting" in terms of publicity, and the fact that the amounts are to be donated to charity means nobody can sting him on being greedy for money.

    I think it's extremely clever of him to auction off the cheque, as this permits us to get a picture of how much the "rest of the world" considers the matter to be valued at. This is most certainly an economically efficient outcome, as it can't but provide a valuation of at least $500.

    And it shows us how insane peoples' valuations of the matter are; if it sorts out at $5000, this shows that someone considers that having a cheque for $500 from Microsoft is worth $5000.

    Of course, what he should have done is to start a company whose sole asset is the cheque, and do an IPO.

    Betcha he'd be a billionaire by now!

  • $35 for a domain name
    and 2750+2500= $5250.00 for charity!

    It keeps on going, and going, and going!
  • I hate to be the one to break this to you, Sig, but right now, you're at (Score:1, Funny)... hmm, maybe Rob wasn't kidding...
  • Moderators seem to have misplaced their brains recently. Either that, or there's a lot of moderators who systematically skip (through whatever means) anonymous coward postings. This kind person posted a link to the actual auction within five minutes of the article being posted on /. cuz Hemos forgot it. No big deal, but the very next post is rated +5 for giving the exact same link. Granted they were less than a minute apart, but this one IS first. Yeah, this is offtopic and possibly redundant, but the message I'm referring to is undeniably non redundant. Please, moderators, check and make sure that the description you're selecting actually fits before you submit it.
  • It really disgusts me too when Slashdot posts a link to a poll about OS's that doesn't have Linux in first place.

    Then of course, all of the Linux lemmings go and 'stuff' the poll to "make sure" Linux is #1.

    That really disgusts me too. What about you?

  • So, let me get this right. Somebody is going to pay Chaney x dollars, where x >= 5000. Chaney is going to donate x + 2500 to a charity. Chaney deducts at least 7500 from his taxable income. Depending on his bracket, this guy could make out quite well.


  • That's only Cnet's take on what he said was the reason. That's potentially different from the actual reason.

    Had I thought of it (as if) I would have done it simply as a cute trick, or simply to see if it worked (hacker ethic?). After that, I'd just be trying to ride the publicity wave for as long as possible, while promoting things I care about (SETI [] & Bluetooth [] for me - Linux & Nashville's Table for him).

  • complain that their expense credit cards would keep bouncing becuase accounting would put off
    My company doesn't even have a credit card - I've been using my own to buy stuff and then get paid back from petty cash, just so I can get that piece of computing hardware we need to keep the place running...
  • It might have been a $35 charge, but it was a five figure mistake. Also, I don't think this particular example is artificial. $35 charge. $500 cheque, $2500+ bid in auction. The press are reporting these things, not affecting them (much).
  • Finally, Linux got zero new users over this. People change platforms when there is a good reason (like some superior application), not when a particular advocate happens to pay a bill.
    Well, that's a relief. All the companies that sell Linux can stop wasting money on advertising, 'cause apparently exposing people to a product doesn't have any effect on sales. Wow, this could revolutionise the marketing industry! Just think of all the Amigas that will be sold without ever having to mention them in an article or an ad in any newspaper, magazine or web page...

    Seriously, you can't believe that exposure doesn't lead to sales (and lack of exposure results in fewer sales). Just look at Coke.

  • based how much theoretical money was "lost" (which, of course, was really zero)
    How do you come to that conclusion? Stupid mistakes like this can seriously affect future advertising revenue, plus the actual advertising revenue lost while people weren't being served up ads. Then there's the people that are now seaching for an e-mail service that doesn't go down like this. Also, with the extra publicity for Linux that has been scored, there are people that will finally make the move from Microsoft.

    The loss is probably a large absolute amount (relative to a normal company), a small percentage (relative to the MS empire), but certainly is non-zero.

  • You've obviously never collected anything. It's an ultra-rare item from a very well known company. It's quite official, and it has a well documented history. It's worth a lot. I wonder who it's signed by...
  • The history is not media hype. The history is the history. It's real. This cheque resulted from someone paying one of MS's overdue bills - an action that restored MSN services around the globe. This event occurred independant of any media. What the media have done is made the history public, where previously it would have been hard to prove the history. That's not hype. Actually, it real reporting - like it should be.
  • There is zero positive press for Linux out of this
    You're right if you define "positive press" as a factual story presented in a complementary fashion, but that's not the only way to get exposure. Just having the name in the press is exposure. Many people buy stuff, including software, without really understanding it. You may find the fact distasteful, but simply flashing the name of something in front of enough people results in increased sales - pure an simple. The other stuff works too.
  • Sure, I buy it at $2500, and my charity is the United Foundation of Axe Murders. Mike, please make your $2000 check payable to me, as I am the chairman.

    Are you a registered non-profit organization? This isn't a "let's throw a few $$$'s around just for the fun of it." You have to get that tax benefit.

  • Maybe he's doing this in response to the people saying he was doing it for monetary gain, just to prove them wrong. What he's doing now doesn't indicate what was going through his mind in the past. Secondly, maybe he was doing it all along to grab his own 15 minutes of fame. His latest efforts could be evidence of that, if he thinks $2000 is worth the new round of publicity that he'll get for this. I'm not knocking the guy or anyone else who's donating to charity, but again, what he's doing now doesn't prove anything about his original intent.

    On another note, a shady "charity" has a good opportunity to get themselves a quickie 2000 bucks: ZicoCare Charities, Inc. outbids everyone else for the check and names ZicoCare Charities, Inc. as the targeted charity, thereby getting back the money they put in, plus Mr. Chaney's $2000 in matching funds. Oh well, food for thought.


  • Does anyone know how much ebay earns by hosting this item?
    1. Insertion fee for an item with an starting price over $50: $2.00
    2. Final Value Fee:
      1. 5% of the price up to $25: $1.25
      2. 2.5% of the amount between $25.01-$1000: $24.37
      3. 1.25% of the amount over $1000: $32.18 so far
    This is based on the current high bid of $3575

    If the auction ended now, the total fees would be $59.80


  • Umm.. what else *could* he have done?
    He can't steal or otherwise mess with it, or he'd be a meatwaffle in court.
    He could just do nothing.. and. well.. do nothing..
    or he can pay it, and get is 10 minutes of fame.
  • I believe that once your Karma reaches 25, you should be able to give one point to people, indicating that you believe they're worth listening to. However, if they start to suck, it would be nice to be able to take it back...

    Well, the idea of bestowing karma gifts on others is interesting and might work, but I don't think you should be able to take it back. That could lead to all sorts of bad situations... blackmail being the first that comes to mind. (Yah, I know, it's just Slashdot, but hey, if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right.) Gifts should be gifts. No "Indian givers", please.

    Besides, moderators should take care of any one who get gifts and turns out to be a looser. Same as they do now. :)
  • Seems like he's just buying another 15 minutes of fame to me.

    Or perhaps he was planning on making a significant donation already, and decided to make it more of an event?

    People have certainly spend far more than $2500 on far less worthy causes.
  • Tis interesting to see... especially in light of your recent 'attitude' - whether that's changed or just been a onfirmation, I don't know... but you certainly suck up moderation :P (as in vacuum-like)
  • It is legally binding, at least in places. In the 80s in the UK, a man sat in a bath of baked beans for a few days. He had it set up, saying that he was doing it for charity.

    He got up out of the bath, and decided he needed compensation. So he decided that he was going to 'donate' the money to his own bank account, never a charity to see it.

    He was promptly charged with Dishonestly Obtaining Financial Advantage By Deception.

  • It's not absolute value that matters, it's the percentage of net worth.

    100 billion net worth for Gates, donate 5 billion = 5%.
    50000 net worth for this guy, donate 5k = 10%.

    Also, doesn't Gates donations really go to a charity that is a thinly-disguised Microsoft promotion machine?

  • Interesting idea. Nice one.

    The main modification I'd make, though, would be to make Karma degrade over time. I'm on 30ish right now (which is nothing spectacular in the grand scheme of things) so it'd take quite a bit of trolling for me to lose my +1 bonus. That isn't right.

    The point is, people change. Why should I be rewarded in two years time for making good posts - in the opinions of some moderators :) - now if I haven't been moderated up once in the interim?

    It'd also be interesting to see auto +1's appearing in meta moderation to se if we could lost Karma that way...

  • And how much would the tax be?

    I fully agree on your 2nd comment though. Maybe Hemos can ask him to do next weeks /. interview :)

  • No, because MS never lost ownership of the domain. MS didn't actually have to pay this guy anything, but it would have been rather bad PR not to.

  • Through proxy bidding [], early bidders can lock in higher bids even if the net difference is less than the minimum bid increment. It's complicated, but it can help you win auctions by a few cents in a pinch. :)
  • This story just makes me smile.

    He saw something that needed to be done, something he could help with, and he just went ahead and did it. He helped out MS, even though we all hate them. (joke, geez!) He's been civil about the whole thing. And he's raising a big chunk of change -- which he'll give to charity.

    He sounds like a cool guy.

  • Is there any good reason "17 percent of the population of Nashville can be labeled hungry"? And what does that mean, exactly?

    If it takes charity to feed 17% of a city, something is seriously fucked up, and handouts will never fix the problem.

    Teach a man to fish, and all...
  • None of these statements are necissarily true:
    "Giving money to charity" = "a great man"
    "Giving money to charity" = "a good man"
    "Giving money to charity" = "the right thing to do"

    The first two are never true. The last one is true only in some situations. Was he participating in this charity before Microsoft sent him a $500 check? Did he just bow to pressure from "the community" and give it all -- plus 4 times more -- to charity to gain approval somehow? Was this an opportunity to help along something he was already involved in?
  • Sorry once I made and association of names I had to share. Instead of cause causing trouble for society as a whole like Markov, Micheal causes PR trouble for Microsoft thereby benefiting society.

    No Smoking
    No Spitting
    -The MGMT

  • Why would you want a check that you can't cash anyway?

    You mean I just spent $2300 on a $500 check that I can't cash? Damn it!

    I think the point here is the charity...the check itself is a novel excuse to give to a good cause.
  • "If the money were going to go to Microsoft in some way, do you doubt in the slightest way that there wouldn't be 9 million such Linux-zealot trolls making every version of Windows-Sucks up for a username posting fake bids?"

    I should hope not. While there is the odd zealot, the Linux community has grown up over the last year or so in terms of their dealings with the outside world.

    I don't see how you can draw a parrellel to Linux and Microsoft about the money going somewhere, though, as it'd go to either the charity Mike chose, or a charity the highest bidder chose -- not Linux or a distribution maker. And if it did go to MS -- why? They're a big company, and they are very profitable. Why would they need money?
  • And I don't begrudge him the opportunity to donate the proceeds to whatever charity he wants. If he wants suggestions from us, he can ask. He can make a political statement, try to right something that is wrong with the world or whatever. The bottom line on this is that by offering up 4 times what Micros~1 gave him for saving them major bucks, he makes them look awfully petty by comparison. Regardless of where the money goes, he's made his political statement already.
  • He would not have to make them transferrable, hell just auction off your handle/password loaded with karma and start another!
  • He needed to check his hotmail account (according to the article I read). Yes, hotmail sucks. It's slow (unless you use Outlook), the filters are mostly useless, and the accounts are inundated by AOL-level amounts of spam. But many people sign up for the account when they first begin to use the internet, and don't want the trouble of migrating even after they acquire cluefullness.
  • That's a bit unfair. Microsoft's donations policy has been around long before the trial began. Yell "evil" all you like, but the truth is that Microsoft is probably one of the best companies around....and they successful cause of their "lifestyle" and "work" ethics.

    However, Microsoft do only match donations of their employees up to $10000 a year.
    They ofcourse make other donations..and then there's bill's personal donations.
  • Well it is pretty cool that the guy is donating the money to charity but don't you get the feeling that he thinks he has stumbled into the stunt of tryng to generate PR for himself?
  • If you review the links in one of the subthreads, you will find that he did make several comments. The one I remembered was, "I would ask that when they make out a check they consider how much revenue would have otherwise been lost had this been down for another day or two...". The articles that were linked had a bit more context that make him seem less greedy.

    I'm not trying to make any unwarranted accusations. Frankly, I was hoping some ideas would be posted on verifying legitimacy. You have the benefit of knowing him. All I know is that he's some guy who has managed to keep his name in the press far longer than I would have expected, and that makes me suspicious of his motives.

    If he's doing this all for charity, then more power to him. You have to admit that it's not exactly unknown for flakes to capitalize on a windfall of publicity.


  • Seriously, you can't believe that exposure doesn't lead to sales (and lack of exposure results in fewer sales). Just look at Coke.

    When Coke advertises, they try and create a "lifestyle" around the product, so that when you see it in the supermarket or whatever, you identify with the product enough to buy it (note that Coke traditionally has not advertised on taste).

    But what exposure does Linux gain from this? The average person is going to focus on the humorous fact that a normal individual paid the bill for giant Microsoft -- but The Advocacy is attuned to any news regarding Linux, so naturally you focus on that fact. There is zero positive press for Linux out of this.

    Note, by the way, that the average person sees this as humorous, and does not carry any anger like The Advocacy would like.

    If the story read (to use your example), "Michael, sipping on a Coke, described how he paid the bill for Microsoft", would you say that Coke would get a slew of new business? "Maude, that there Michael guy is a good joe! If he's a Coke drinker, then by God I'm gonna drink Coke, too!"

    Maybe if the story was something like, "Michael used his Linux operating system to repair the Microsoft mail system" or something, there might be some slight tie-in, but the merits of Linux had nothing to do with the story.


  • I suppose some people might move from Hotmail over this, but it wasn't down long enough to really affect much. No one uses a free e-mail to get 100% uptime, and I even doubt it was down long enough to bounce received messages.

    As for ads, unless they are at 100% ad space utilization (unlikely), the ads are simply made up at another time.

    Finally, Linux got zero new users over this. People change platforms when there is a good reason (like some superior application), not when a particular advocate happens to pay a bill.


  • Perhaps non-binding is not even the issue, but it's not easily verifiable. Why would he only want cashier's checks and not personal checks? All he has to do is wait for the check to clear.


  • Your analysis is wrong, because he would be required to report the amount of the sale as income. The amount he donates to charity from the sale would exactly offset the amount, so the net effect on his taxes would be only the $2500 he contributes. All that happens is his $2500 is offset by 30% (or whatever). There's no way he'll come out ahead on this (ignoring the value of the publicity).
  • I'm not who you were talking to, but I'd say it doesn't suck at all. People like you need daisy flowers and sunshine everywhere just to make yourselves feel good. Cynics like us are just s'darn sunny inside that we can take reality straight up and keep feeling good about ourselves anyway :)

    Your comment, for example, was shitty, calculated to make that guy feel bad. But you failed, and you know what else? We forgive you!

    We love you anyway, because we realize that you are weak. Even though you can't allow yourself to see the potentially grubby motivations behind superficial acts of charity like this doesn't mean that you are worthless.

    It takes all kinds to make this little world of ours go 'round. Keep the faith, brother, and have a good cry on us!

  • I hope the winning bidder chooses some Bill Gates or Microsoft founded charity :)

    Not that I like either, just schadenfreude, my desire to see no good deed go unpunished. I think I've watched too much Simpson's.

  • I would frame the check and keep it so I could tell my grandchildren about "the evil empire". This is of course after we figure out how to clone penguins and then genetically engineer them to destroy Microsoft. After that, we'll auction off the penguins and use the money to buy Redmond, then we'll put up a huge penguin shaped building and...sorry, I was going off on a tangent there. Seriously though, I would really hope that he donates it to either FSF or Debian.

  • Seems to me like he is buying fame, but anyone who complains about someone giving 2 grand away to a charity for purposes of achieving another few minutes in the spotlight isn't gauging the situation properly. He deserves a lot more praise than, say, a large corporation that shells out advertising bucks to hype a product that squashes a consumer market and fails to deliver on 95% (arbitrary number, yes?) of it's promises. I think everyone should buy a little fame this way. This man is an example to be emulated.

  • I think it says great things about the Linux community.

    OK, following this wonderful logic of yours:
    Bill Gates donated a great load of money to charity as well. I think it says great things about how generous Microsoft must be. Bollocks

    The actions of one man cannot represent the actions of a community. The Linux community in particular are in general (with some exceptions) a group of Microsoft bashing self-righteous 'gurus' - something that this man, who is auctioning the check is clearing not.

    He represents himself, he does not represent the Linux community by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Wow, thanks to the slugish stupidity of the mega-corporation, a minor-star is born. It just goes to show that computer knowledge + oppertunism = your name in the (electronic) papers.
  • by rcade ( 4482 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:35PM (#1360781) Homepage

    Seems to me like he is buying fame, but anyone who complains about someone giving 2 grand away to a charity for purposes of achieving another few minutes in the spotlight isn't gauging the situation properly.

    No shit.

    Andover offers up millions to buy Slashdot, get press attention and make its IPO a lot more attractive. The Slashdot community responds with as much adoration, love and praise as it can muster.

    This guy offers up $2,500 to help charity and possibly -- though by no means definitely -- get press attention for himself. The Slashdot community thinks he's a contemptible publicity whore.

    Go figure.

  • by Noke ( 8971 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:59PM (#1360782) Homepage
    This guy is raising money for a charity and he is a hero. I agree with this.

    But Bill Gates gives billions of dollars to charity and it is a conspiracy/Bill Gates Sucks/Microsoft Sucks/etc etc..

    Is there a bit of Hypocrisy in the slashdot crowd?

  • Yeah, there was one mindless twist who openly boasted about setting his threshold to TWO or THREE(!) while moderating! His explanation, "I don't want to see the crap, so I'll browse high". People really should be locked at -1 when moderating, that's just pathetic.
  • by coyote-san ( 38515 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @02:10PM (#1360784)
    (IANAL, but...) Microsoft wasn't close to losing this domain name, but in general it would probably fall under the rules for abandoned property.

    A trademark is *not* an absolute IP right, it has to be defended. That's why they send out "cease and dissent" orders for trivial infringements, like the "Dummy's Guide to my roommate's most annoying habits." If the IP owner doesn't defend their rights, they become unenforceable.

    A domain name can be defended by trademarks, of course, but the flip side is that a domain name is the most trivial thing to defend - the cost of an annual renewal is far less than the cost of consulting with your lawyer for an hour. If a company not only didn't pay the fee while the domain was "on hold," but actually let it slip entirely, a judge is unlikely to feel that they exercised due diligence in defending their IP property. It depends on how tightly the domain is tied to the company, of course, but I would not be surprised if domains with only loose connections ("passport" = Microsoft?) be declared legally abandoned and open to whoever paid the bill.
  • This guy has a lot of integrity or, at the very least, is one hell of a showman. What would truly be funny is if he donated the money to OSS.

  • by Barcode ( 61515 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @02:06PM (#1360786)
    Alright. I have read dozens of posts saying how this shows how great the linux community is. Personally, I think that is a load of crap. I have been a part of the community for about a year and a half, I have submitted hacks to and have helped new people. But, I think this man paying for a companies mistake, then giving the money (along with 2500 dollars) away only shows how great this man is, not how great the linux community? Granted 3000 (or however much it totals) is a fair sum, it isn't like it will create a new charity, it isn't a rather outrageous donation. Its just an interesting happening, and this man seems to be very nice, but what did the Linux community? If a man is part of a car club, and that man helps an elderly women cross the street, it reflects the man, not the freaking car club. Same goes for linux. THe community is just trying to take credit. The linux community does many good things as a whole, BUT THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
  • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @03:42PM (#1360787) Homepage
    "linuxsux (0) "

    With the requisite shades. And, suprisingly, seems to have a high bid (might be a welcher).

    But who would sink to this level? This is going to a charity, be it one to feed the homeless, one to help children, or one to help people being stepped on big corporations. Why should some troll be allowed to stomp all over this good will?

    Using this for free adversiting or free trolling over Linux users (raising the bid price unfairly, too)..
    It really says a lot about a person's moral fibre, that. It also really disgusts me.
  • by JamesSharman ( 91225 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:30PM (#1360788)
    At one company I used to work for the managers would always complain that their expense credit cards would keep bouncing becuase accounting would put of paying poulty sums for months, aparently we nearly had the phone line cut of a couple of times.

    I have heard suggesting that this kind of thing is common accros lots of companys, I wonder how many valuable domains will be lost over the next few years attributable to sloth from the bean counters. This guy proberbly done the right thing in using the whole thing to get quite a bit of publicity for himself, I however might have been tempted to nab the url for myself after it had been 'reposesed'.

    People talk about the value of generic domain names before they have been used, but what of the value of a domain name like hotmail after it has become so popular. Makes you wonder how much Microsoft would have been prepaired to pay to get it back. I know there are rules against domain sitting that allow a company to claim a domain name they have a trademark in relation to, but would this stand up in court if the name had been lost due to non payment?

  • by vanguard ( 102038 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:25PM (#1360789)
    I think that he has been unfairly ripped on slashdot because he was hoping for some money. As far as I'm concerned, I wish he did get some money out of this.

    Now he has gone the other route and will be donating money to charity. Good for him. I think it says great things about the Linux community.
  • by MrBlack ( 104657 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:40PM (#1360790)
    I don't think I've heard about someone with such a sense of civic responsibility in a long time. Imagine - you're sitting at home/work trying to read your hotmail and it isn't working. Do you sit there on your @$$ and bitch about microsoft and the evil empire and how you can't rely on anything anymore...NO, you find out what the problem is and go and fix it, and I'm not talking about just flicking some switch here to re-activate hotmail so you and others can read their mail, you fork out cold hard cash (or was that plastic?) without any certainty that you will see that money again. Then a week or so later you get a cheque form some corporate fat-cats who's @$$ you saved by shelling out your money. Looks like the fat-cats didn't have any loose change because they've made out the check for $500! Do you sit there and think to yourself - "Sweet, looks like a nice new something for me", or "gee, now I can pay off all those parking fines." NO, you offer to auction the cheque off to charity, and then offer to cough up another $2,500 or so for said charity. Makes me feel kind of ashamed of myself, how about you?
  • Actually, since the bidding has passed 500 dollars, in fact it has reached $2,325.00 as of now, the proceeds will go to the highest bidders charity of choice, with matching funds(or $2500.00 if it goes above that) from Mr. Chaney himself. He is also trying to get Microsoft to provide matching funds too, or at least the original amount of 500.
  • by dougman ( 908 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:27PM (#1360792)
    First, here is a link to the charity the proceeds are going to, per the ebay item description: 67/cs1.html Second, note that the current bid price is $2,100, versus the $500 bid at the time the Slashdot story was originally posted. Egads. The Slashdot effect on eBay auctions? I can just see the call now for Malda to make karma points transferrable. It would be the next eBay craze - karma auctions.
  • by Smack ( 977 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:51PM (#1360793) Homepage
    According to this story [] in Wired News, ICANN is now letting registrars take 10-year renewals. Since $350 is just as much a drop in the bucket to a big corp as $35, I'm sure every one will take them up on it. The result will be far fewer cracks like this for some random stranger to fill.
  • by willhelm ( 12091 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:53PM (#1360794) Homepage
    One of the open source funds should bid like $10,000 for the check and then have him donate the money back to the fund. Then they'd have the check, and $2,000 more!

    But seriously--what a cool guy--
  • by Zico ( 14255 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @02:28PM (#1360795)

    Seeing as people are paying thousands of dollars for a $500 check, I thought I'd take this opportunity to offer for sale not one, but two (!) checks from Microsoft to me. Check one is a $20 rebate check for Microsoft Encarta, and check two is a $100 rebate check for a Xircom 56K modem.

    Bidding starts at $120, so lets see those offers fly! Papa needs a new pair of shoes!


  • by Frac ( 27516 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @04:51PM (#1360796)
    In the event of ZDNet baiting /. with their pro-linux/anti-microsoft articles, the success of this bidding is going to give ZDNet new ideas.

    ZDNet bids item with pro-linux description
    Posted by Roblimo [] on 04:15 AM April 1st, 2000

    ZDNet Employee [] writes "ZDNet's CEO is auctioning his old Porche for a new Ferrari. The good thing is that the Porche comes with a Redhat 5.1 CD in the back on the trunk. All proceeds go to the CEO and his girlfriend." It's worth $11,342,251 as we speak. Can I bid with my inflated Andover/RedHat stocks?

  • by SpinyNorman ( 33776 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @02:50PM (#1360797)
    If the bid's $2500 he'll pay out his max. $2500 for a total charitable contribution of $5000 which in a 30% tax bracket would be worth $1500 as a tax deduction, giving him an out of pocket cost of $1000.

    If the bid went as high as $6000, then the contribution would be $8500 - worth *over* $2500 as a deduction, and he'd actually be ahead!

    Anyway, just pointing this out for fun. The charity wins whatever the amount, so it's definitely a cool thing to do.

  • by punkass ( 70637 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:39PM (#1360798)
    ...but this guy has decided to give the money to people who really need it: Nashville's Table, a soup kitchen operation of sorts.

    From the link on EBay:

    Nashville's Table, formed in '89 largely through the efforts of Phil Bredesen, a healthcare executive who later was elected mayor of Nashville, collects excess prepared and perishable foods from groceries, restaurants, and caterers and distributes it to agencies that serve hungry, needy, and homeless people. Since then, Nashville's Table has collected and distributed more than 2 million pounds of food--at no cost to either the donors or the recipient agencies. Nashville's Table relies on funding by donations from individuals, corporations, churches, and foundations. Currently, Nashville's Table works with about 175 donor groceries and restaurants, but the addition of two trucks to its fleet doubled its capacity. The not-for-profit organization says that 17 percent of the population of Nashville can be labeled hungry or threatened by hunger, while 20 percent of all prepared and perishable food in Nashville ultimately gest wasted.--Bill Hobbs
  • by Tim Behrendsen ( 89573 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @02:27PM (#1360799)

    We have no guarantees that this is really going to go to charity, and as far as I know, his promise is non-binding (real lawyers correct me if I'm wrong).

    The reason I'm suspicious is his original quotes saying that he felt he deserved a large sum of money from Microsoft, based how much theoretical money was "lost" (which, of course, was really zero).

    Call me cynical, but based on his past behavior I think a grain of salt is prescribed here.


  • by kwsNI ( 133721 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:31PM (#1360800) Homepage
    I hate spelling and grammar nazis.

    You should have capitalized the N in Nazis.


  • by GeorgeH ( 5469 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @01:22PM (#1360801) Homepage Journal m/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=239850613 []

    Gentlemen (and women) start your bidding.
  • by Nimmy ( 5552 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @02:23PM (#1360802) Homepage

    I mean, I see your point, he's just doing this for good press (I'm not agreeing, just seeing). But honestly, if you can get someone to do a good deed just for some (free) good press, thats great! More good deeds will happen, and the world will be a better place.

    Why does a good deed become bad just because it will get you covered in the media? This guy is giving $2500 of his own money to charity not to mention spending some of his time to raise yet more money for charity. HE'S USING HIS GOOD PRESS TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY! I think it is in remarkably poor taste to critize someone who is doing their best to get as much money as possible to a food bank. Sure, he gets his name in print, but in 3 weeks who will remember it? By your logic, Mother Theresa was extremly petty. I mean, her whole life she just kept trying to make headlines by helping people.

    In short, I have a greal of respect for this man for donating his time and money to charity and very litte for you for critisizing him.

  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:30PM (#1360803) Homepage Journal
    Hey chill out, I remember being online and reading slashdot when went down (yes I know it was Christmas day), and reading the article and all the threads when Micheal Chaney paid the bill. I remember that his post when he paid had "Merry Christmas, Microsoft" on it.
    I was actually surprised it took that long for 1 of us to pay it because several people (myself included) went to the NSI payment site [] to verify if it was down but for hours nobody paid it until Micheal Chaney did. Upon reflection it seems very telling upon the character of slashdot readers (during Christmas) that it took that long for one of us to pay it...(it's not like we suspected MSFT wouldn't reimburse the check).
    Here's the offending ZDNet [] and C|Net [] articles that made everyone start calling him a money hungry opportunist.
    ZDNet : Microsoft said it would refund Chaney the $35, although Chaney hinted his bailout of the world's biggest software company was worth more. "Microsoft is under no legal obligation to repay the $35 to me, and it doesn't really matter to me if they do or not. If they do ... I would ask that when they make out a check they consider how much revenue would have otherwise been lost had this been down for another day or two, "

    C|Net: As for Microsoft's promised check, Chaney said he plans to frame it. "I'm not going to cash it," he said, "unless it's a huge amount." Pointing out the value of restoring service to millions of Microsoft customers and the preservation of advertising revenues, Chaney suggested that his Christmas charity is arguably worth more than a simple thanks. "In a perfect world, I wish they'd take that into account," he said. "But I'm not relying on it. It's their choice."

    What he claimed is that he felt what he did was worth more than a $35 check and a thank you. .He pointing out that he saved a multi-billion $ corporation's most popular Internet service (yes, Hotmail provides the most hits to via the cute little logout redirection trick) from at least 24 hours of outage maybe more and that is worth more than a thank you and $35. I've seen his web-page he's a regular hack just like me (i'm probably worse off since i'm still in school) and I would have done the same thing, the least they could do was give a little extra (rebate check, free software, extra $$$). If that's greed to you then I say not giving a reward would have been the height of ingratitude and corporate penny pinching from a company who's CEO can afford to burn a million dollars a day from now till he dies and still will die a billionairre.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong