Getting Started with eBay and Paypal

Q: We are looking at a foray into EBay and Pay Pal. I know you have had some mixed experiences and was wondering if you had any advice for us.

R: Check out my website for “Paypal” .

I have a friend who buys and sells stuff on eBay all the time. He *doesn’t* use paypal at all. I use it but I would never depend on them for “protection”. If you have the option to pay directly by credit card (a lot of businesses sell through eBay and can accept the cards) go that way, otherwise paypal is OK and there is no charge to use it.

For buying / selling on eBay use the rating system. I’m sure there are ways to game the system but by and large it seems to be pretty reliable. You want to deal with somebody who has been around for a while and who has sold enough stuff to where you feel comfortable dealing with them.

Don’t hesitate to send them an email during the bidding (or before you “Buy it now”) to ask any questions – i.e. do they ship to Canada? Does it come with X?

Air to Air communications frequencies

I recall trying to find this information about a year ago and having a lot of trouble finding it. Then I saw it published in my AOPA newsletter so I’m posting it here as a reminder to myself:

Question: What frequency, if any, can be used for air-to-air communications between two aircraft?

Answer: The Federal Communications Commission designates specific frequencies for aircraft and airports to use for specific purposes. For air-to-air communications, the designated frequencies are 122.75 MHz and 122.85 MHz. These frequencies also can be used for private airports that are not open to the public. For a list of designated frequencies for unicom and multicom frequencies, view Table 4-1-2 in the Aeronautical Information Manual. Learn more about what frequency you should use at AOPA Online (requires membership to AOPA).

Wal*Mart taking over the world?

I found this anti-Wall*Mart movie through a link from one of Clark Howard’s newsletters.

Can anybody take a look at it and tell me what point I seem to be missing? It seems to be just a series of poorly edited clips of folks saying “Wal*Mart is bad”. As a tease or a trailer I didn’t find it very effective. I imagine that there are probably some legitimate issues with Wal*Mart’s astounding marketplace success. But this trailer hints at none of them as far as I can tell.

D-Link DI-524 dead now

*Update* Over the Christmas Holidays (December 2006) I replaced the unit that my mother purchased with a WRT54G as well. Her D-Link started exhibiting the same symptoms as did mine and was eventually too much of a nuisance to ignore. These things are junk. I highly recommend against buying them.

I’m back using my WRT54G router. The D-Link DI-524 started locking up on me more and more often. I couldn’t even get it to reset using the reset button (hold for 30 seconds and all that).

I’m pretty disappointed with the wireless routers I’ve seen in general. The technology is here to do WEP and MAC Filtering and not broadcasting SSID, but don’t try to do all that at once!

To be fair I think the D-Link was probably just a crap unit. It’s seizures were directly related to whenever I would bittorrent something for a long period of time (maybe overheated?). Anyway, in getting more and more creative in ways to “unseize” it, I eventually just physically broke the unit (the antenna isn’t as strong as I thought it was…).