eBay Anywhere

Bad news for people with eBay addictions – Volantis Systems have launched a service that allows subscribers to keep close tabs on auctions from their mobile phones. Bad news for everyone else too, because it means that some of the more extreme eBay junkies might feel liberated to leave the house and wander about a bit.

The service is currently very simple, but they have big plans to turn it into a full eBay portal. Revolving around SMS text messages, eBay Anywhere sends users text messages when they are outbid on an item, win the auction or an auction ends.

eBay have offered a similar service for a while, but eBay Anywhere has a feature that stops addicts from having to leap into cybercafes at random times during the day or night: subscribers can text bids straight back if it looks like a long-coveted blackbird pie funnel is about to go to someone else.

Messages cost UK£0.25 (€0.37) as they are premium texts. Volantis hope to be able to include photo uploads direct from camera phones as well as a fully-featured version of the My eBay portal for providing feedback and checking payments.

eBay Anywhere

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?