Friday, August 9, 2002

As some of you may know, I'm addicted to talk radio (It's on whenever I'm in the house.)
So, I was listening to Online Tonight with David Lawrence last night / this morning and he was interviewing the CEO of an interesting new company called eSnipe Inc. Basically, they allow you to set a money limit on how much you want to bid on an eBay auction, and their robots will go in at the last couple seconds and place a bid for you (just higher than the current high bid). Who wins is totally based off from eBay's proxy bidding rules, so if the guy who has the current highest bid has a higher bidding limit than your snipe then he'll still win. This also has the benefit of keeping you from going spaztic at the end of an auction and cranking out more money than you originally intended. Obviously, this is controversial with some people, but it works totally off eBay's web interface so it is legal, and it helps auctioniers make more money. eSnipe makes 1% of what you bid for up to a maximum of $10 and a minimum of $.25 and you don't get charged a thing if your snipe doesn't win, and they are quite profitable their CEO says. They have tons of proprietary software to place the bids, ensure that they go through, handle security, and to monitor eBay's web pages. (They are not affiliated with eBay and eBay's API's are somewhat lacking for what eSnipe needs to do so they have to scrape and analyze eBay's web pages with proprietary software.) Currently, they have 12 dedicated servers to run their robots, they have a standard web interface: and they are planning an interface for wireless MID devices.
Another interesting site is where they attempt to buy and sell the same stocks repeatedly. These stocks are stocks that have historically risen and fallen in a predictable way. They also allow you to run practice trading sessions to see how it works.

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