Quick HIts

A German gardener got a bit of a nasty surprise when he was told he had won several bids on eBay, totalling more than $2 million. Thomas Vogel, a 22-year-old Munich man, was told he had won a luxury house, a Mercedes Roadster and a light aircraft, among other things. He immediately told eBay and the police that he had never placed any bids. One eBay spokesperson said that the company is very careful to make sure the security system has no holes in it and that it cannot be attacked by hackers. Vogel has been receiving legal notices from the companies whose products he allegedly purchased and he has been told he could face court action.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em

EMI Music is continuing to fight against illegal downloading. The music publisher has released 140,000 tracks from its catalogue of performers available to download. The company has set up deals with HMV, Freeserve, Blueyonder and Dotmusic to buy EMI’s music. This initiative will allow consumers to turn the music they have bought onto recordable CDs or store it on portable players. Some of the artists whose songs are being released include Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue, Norah Jones, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Pink Floyd. The company also says its plans will allow fans to buy new tracks when singles are made available to radio stations – often weeks before the tracks are released to retailers.

A whole new breed of reality viewing

Remember the show Big Brother? Think it was for the birds? You may be right. Magne Klann put a wooden bird house in a tree in Oslo, Norway that hosts a Webcam – along with lamps, a television and pictures on the wall. Viewers can watch the goings-on of the many birds that will visit the house, and already more than 3,000 people have taken a peek. There is currently a family of blue tits living in the bird house, and Klann assures viewers that there will be no eliminations. Check out the birds online at www.piip_show.no.