Roadkill: July 2004

Ebay nightmare
Jul. 30, 2004, 11:15 AM

Part 1 of a series:

Damn, damn, damn. Well, forget the auction below for now.

Try the following experiment: sign up for eBay from your Western location, verifying your ID, then travel overseas and post an auction. Result?

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Due to recent activity, including possible unauthorized listings, we have temporarily suspended activity on your account in order to allow us to investigate this matter further.
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We really hope it ain't so, and we might be wrong, but it does seem that now that eBay owns Paypal they have adopted Paypal's stupid inflexible system of locking your account automatically if you login from overseas from certain “suspect” countries like, oh, Vietnam? Which means that when we posted the auction below last night from, quite naturally, Vietnam, eBay automatically yanked the auction and suspended our account entirely.

When this happened with Paypal a few years ago, we had to trudge through the endless muck of canned email responses then finally fax docs over to get the account restored - but then when we logged in again, they locked it again. Over and over and over again until we just gave up using it.

You would think that someone at eBay/Paypal would take the feedback given - and, boy, we gave plenty as others must have - and add the little logical check to their security system that says “also logs in from [countries],” or “agrees to accept logins from overseas,” but no. Apparently no one at eBay/Paypal has ever travelled or worked overseas. At least not in one of them there “exotic” countries. (Remember the Friends episode where they went to “exotic” England? You get the idea.)

To top it all off, adding perfect insult to injury, this type of “security” check is only harmful to good eBayers while being perfectly useless at catching real scammers. Why? Because anyone with half a computer brain - for example, a 15 year old internet scammer in Romania - knows that you can use a proxy to hide your location and avoid detection. Meanwhile anyone who works overseas is endlessly hassled until they just quit in frustration.

So then, where do things stand right now? Well, they now have chat help with canned responses instead of email with canned responses:

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[....]
scootrs.com: Every time I log in my account will be closed again. So?

eBay Chat Rep: I do not know what will happen. You will need to go through that department to find out the outcome of this.
eBay Chat Rep: Do you have any other questions regarding your account security at this time?

scootrs.com: What department??? This sounds like the never-ending Paypal nightmare that just ends in being unable to continue using the account: login, locked acocunt, fax docs, restore acocunt, login, account locked, faxed docs, etc... Are you allowed to tell me why my account was closed?

eBay Chat Rep: I understand your concern regarding this situation. I do see that your account was compromised to list items without your consent.
eBay Chat Rep: To protect your account from further unauthorized use, your account was temporarily suspended.
eBay Chat Rep: Please fax in the information that I have requested.

scootrs.com: The only item listed was a scooter by me last night. Or were there others? If so, please tell me as then I know my account was hacked.

eBay Chat Rep: Our Privacy Policy prevents me from discussing these matters in this chat window. Until I can verify that you are the account owner I cannot disclose any more information to you at this time.

scootrs.com: That's not very helpful. If just the scooter listed, then my account was NOT compromised; if more were listed, then it was and I need to figure out how. That's all I want to know, but if you can't answer...

eBay Chat Rep: I am sorry that I am uanble to help you any further.
[....]

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Hence, stage 2, fax docs.

To be continued...

See more in: General

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Lambretta, ready-to-ship
Jul. 30, 2004, 1:46 AM

Looking for a fully-restored, very cool, Lambretta, ready-to-ship? We thought you might be. Try your luck.

See more in: Lambretta

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Best stainless steel Lambretta exhaust
Jul. 29, 2004, 11:06 AM

A potpourri for you. From a post, the formula for working out the cubic capacity of your engine (example, Lambretta 150cc):

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pie x r2 x h
pie = 3.142
r = radius of bore (57.60mm x 1/2) = 28.80mm
h = stroke (58mm or 5.80)

Therefore: 3.142 x 2.88 x 2.88 x 5.8 = 151.15382cc
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°°

Anorak debate 937 (in a series): the Lambretta DL/GP ink spot. Not enough? Some more then.

°°

Someone rated our Lambretta tuned exhaust: “10.0 (out of ten), Best stainless steel exhaust I've had yet.”

See more in: Lambretta, Classic Vespa

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Lambretta ignition switch
Jul. 26, 2004, 10:37 PM

If you haven't noticed, we've added a new Lambretta ignition switch. This is not the same old Indian one sold everywhere. Check it out: better quality at half the price.

See more in: Lambretta

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Vespa CDI kit
Jul. 17, 2004, 12:04 PM

We've got our great Vespa CDI kit back in stock in North America for you. $149 all included - flywheel, coil, cdi, regulator, wiring, halogen bulb, everything - for the best possible upgrade you can make to a Vespa: brighter lights, easier starting, and a better running engine.

See more in: Classic Vespa

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PWK carb float
Jul. 13, 2004, 11:43 AM

We've added a little tech tip about the float on a PWK carb. Careful opening them, they can be a little tricky. Read up first.

See more in: General

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Vespa dropbars
Jul. 9, 2004, 4:38 PM

Couple nice emails today:

One about Vespa dropbars:

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Thanks again as the drops are the most superb I've seen from anywhere in the world- even [well-known shop] and some places in Europe!
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And another about Lambretta LDs:

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Thank you for the wonderful website. What memories it bought back, for I owned a Lambretta LD150 (probably) when I was in the service near Marquette, MI. It was either a ’57 or ’58 model and I had it in ’64 and ’65.

I cannot even guess how many miles it had, or how many were put on by me. There was a trip to Chicago... 820 miles round trip at 45 mph. And many to the nearby towns of Marquette, Ishpeming and Negaunee, all about 25 miles away.

Thank you again.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

See more in: Classic Vespa

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Lambretta TV175
Jul. 9, 2004, 9:37 AM

tv175 A Lambretta TV175 we are finishing up in the shop.

See more in: Lambretta

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PWK choke conversion kit
Jul. 6, 2004, 10:36 AM

We've added a choke and throttle conversion kit for PWK-type carbs for Lambretta and Vespa. Just in case you were wondering.

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Chicken suit
Jul. 2, 2004, 11:42 AM

Just for fun, a guy in a chicken suit. Tell him what to do and he does it for you. Try, “watch tv” for a start to see how it works. When we suggested something, shall we say, less than polite, he came up and shook his finger at us. OK, settle down chicken, just kidding.

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