Update: Sales Slowdown

There was a sales slowdown on ebay. Partly, it’s seasonal – the summer is rough on sales – but the other thing that happened was that I had to clean out the garage of my late father’s hoard. This is taking a lot of work. It’s also far less profitable than reselling. Reselling was going to double monthly for a couple months, and I was looking at renting a storage space. Well, dehoarding is a lot different, and a whole different business model.

Dehoarding paper = selling ephemera. Selling ephemera is mostly “long tail” sales, or sales of unique items that few people want, but someone wants. It differs from clothing sales in that you just need to list a lot more items, and get fewer sales. So 250 listings isn’t enough. I think I’d need thousands of listings to have a viable business.

So I’m starting to make systems and tools to grow. I’ll post these on the github.

You also can’t really research this stuff as easily as clothing. It’s about ideas, so… you go on hunches. It also means I need to spend a lot of time listing dead-end products that are going into the trash. (The only way to get data about views is to list the item.) It’s a bit harder than selling clothes.

Resubmitting a Failed Form (Ebay and other sites)

You push “Post” and wait for the spinner… and it never posts.

You can’t push the “Post” button again because the interface has been screened off by a gray layer that blocks your clicks.

Sometimes, you can re-press the button. Here’s how.

Right-click on the page, and click “Inspect” in the menu. This will bring up the inspector/debugger.

There’s a search box near the top. Type “Post” or whatever text is on the button. It may match more than once, so try to find the one that’s the actual button.

The code might look like <button …>

Right click on that code and select “use in debugger” or something like that.

This will cause a pane to open at the bottom, and a word will be there, like “item0”.

Append “.click()” and press enter.

For example, if it’s “item0”, then you want to do this:


That sends a click event to that button. It might work. It did for me, on Ebay.

TP-Link TL-WA801ND: Nice

I just installed one of these at home, and it’s great. It reminds me of OpenWRT, the open source router firmware, in that it allows you to turn the router into a WiFi client, a wireless bridge, an access point, or a range extender. It’s super-cheap at around $25, and extremely easy to configure with the provided configuration wizard.

Anyone who knows what the different modes are, and how to configure an access point, can set it up in ten minutes.

It even does VLANs! Well, not really – it allows up to four SSIDs and will send each one to a different VLAN. That’s the bare minimum needed to set up access points with guest and private networks. So you can combine that with a lower-end smart switch, and do a little enterprise-style WiFi on a small budget.

It even supports “Passive POE”, which is just a power injector device. The device doesn’t support any of the standard power-over-ethernet standards.

When Does the PageRank Patent Expire? January 9, 2018

January 9, 1998: Google’s filed for its PageRank patent on that day. Patents expire 20 years after the filing date, or January 9, 2018 for this patent.

Shortly thereafter, all the search engines will probably deploy some kind of PageRank algorithm. This will start the slow erosion of Google as the top dog of search engines. PageRank isn’t the only determinant of search result quality, but PageRank made Google.

A Small Large Network

Several years ago, I wrote a series of article about implementing a small network that has some “enterprise” network features. For the most part, these aren’t necessary, but I believe, as we deal with more mobile devices and IOT devices, we will want to isolate our networks into segments, and implement firewalls between the segments, even for small LANs. Fortunately, our phones are somewhat safe — Windows hacking over the LAN in the late 1990s taught everyone a lesson. That said, there are a lot of camera, sensors, and other devices that are on LANs, running with default passwords, and subject to sniffing.

The original articles are here.