Every time I tune in I wish I could wiggle my nose and transport myself to Munich or one of the other host cities in Germay. Kudos to Google for providing their nifty World Cup quick access to match scores and standings so I can keep up with the action while workin' for the man. And God bless ESPN2 and ABCHD, as well as the Time Warner digital video recorder. Ya gotta love being able to time shift the World Cup.
For weeks, analysts, pundits and bloggers alike have been publicly wondering how eBay was going to get back some of that $2.6B they invested when they purchased the VOIP startup.
Next Monday, they'll apparently start to see the answer when the new "SkypeMe" feature is made available to sellers in 14 categories (including high-consideration purchase categories such as real estate and automobiles, among others). The idea is to pair buyers and sellers via IP telephony so that buyers can ask questions and get more information via a real-time conversation using Skype than is conveyable via the basic information listed in the auction page.
I think this could be most helpful. Just earlier today, I was checking out this listing for a 2004 Lamborghini Murcielago. I have been pondering the idea of cashing in my 401K and selling everything I own to buy a Lamborghini (one must pull up to the stadium in Munich in style!).
The current bid is a mere $220,300, which seems a fair enough price.
But with all the concerns around rising oil prices, I was hoping I could ping the seller of the Murcielago and find out whether or not the car can safely burn ethanol. While I want to be tres Euro chic in my new Lamborghini (which, considering its cost, will also now be my new residence), I want to be energy conscious as well. SkypeMe would be the perfect way for me to contact the seller directly!
Stop...Need More Heifeweizen...Stop....Send Deutschmarks...Stop...Lots of Them...Stop
Just as interesting are the stories floating around about being able to send Paypal money via Skype.
Imagine this: I'm standing outside the World Cup stadium in Munich in a telephone booth, and I need some money for more of those big beers and brautwurst (okay, also throw in one of those $160 Official World Cup game balls).
You're my buddy back in Austin with a fat daddy bank account and a phone into which you can send me a bag full of Euros, kind of like those old pneumatic vacuum tubes through which you used to cash a check at your friendly drive-through bank (this was back when you still had a real bank.)
In goes the money, out of the phone booth pops my hot dogs and Heifeweizen. I'm all set for the next game!
The difference being, of course, that now you'll be able to do all this real-time over the Internet (the money part...the hot dog and beer was just an example of...oh, never mind).
Think Western Union for the extremely impatient eBay auction set, and you get the idea.