Opinion

Two-Jags Prescott in online petrol auction

The petrol crisis may have caused problems for drivers up and down the country, but others saw it is a golden opportunity to make a fast buck.

Drivers who logged on to eBay.com last week were offered two potential purchases, the first being a litre of unleaded, with bidding starting at £5.

Another was from a certain johnprescott, who put five litres of unleaded - with a free plastic can - up for auction. The description read, "Five litres of unleaded petrol in a little plastic canÉ This would power my two Jags for about three seconds so instead I'll sell it to you poor and hungry at an extortionate priceÉ though still lower than the amount I'd like to charge on petrol. Buyer collects, will not post."

Also offered on eBay by seller johnprescott is the Millennium Dome which, perhaps surprisingly, has received a bid. The amount? 15p.

Labour's cybersquatters

New Labour has had a bad month. First it faced the fuel blockades, and now it has been hit by a case of cybersquatting.

Type in www.newlabour.co.uk in your browser and you get a black screen with the words "Please wait while we redirect you to common sense". Strangely, this leads to the Conservative Party Web site.

Defamation of characters

As battles raged at the World Economic Forum in Melbourne last week, Bill Gates addressed delegates."English is the language of the Internet," he pronounced, "because Asian languages have just too many characters for the Web."

It looked like a case of bad timing that he made the speech on the same day that Google launched its Chinese, Korean and Japanese search engine service. But then, mysteriously, the link to Google's announcement went dead just after Big Bill spoke. Spooky, as they say Down Under.

.tv buys UNseat

Tuvalu, the South Pacific island state with a population of fewer than 10,000, has seen the contents of its national coffers doubled by the Internet.

The island, formerly British colony the Ellice Islands, has few computers or telephone lines, but was allocated the now lucrative .tv domain name.

With more than 15 million .com addresses already registered, media companies have turned to Tuvalu, which recently received an £11m lump sum from the Silicon Valley company that markets the .tv addresses. This meant the country could finally afford to join the United Nations.

Next to benefit is likely to be Tonga, which has already begun selling .to addresses for $50 a year.

Novell career openings

Poor old Novell staff. The network software company has recently announced that it will axe 16% of its workforce worldwide. But, despite this, its Web site is defiantly upbeat about job prospects for new entrants to the company. "Novell is a worldwide company that offers you boundless career opportunities. And so much more," it says.

Perhaps Novell's current workforce could give potential applicants the low-down on a career with Novell?

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This was first published in September 2000

 

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