Lost Packets issue 6

Will’s will goes online

Nearly 400 years since the infamous playwright put down his quill in lieu of non-earthly delights, fans of William Shakespeare can view his actual will online. The will, in which Shakespeare bequeathed his “second-best bed” to his wife, has been put on the Net by the U.K. National Archives at www.documentsonline.pro.gov.uk. The will, dated March 25, 1616, was written less than one month before the playwright died and contains three of the last six surviving examples of his signature. Shakespeare is amongst other famous individuals whose last wishes are also posted on the site, including Sir Francis Drake and Jane Austen.

PayPal pays up US$150,000

PayPal, the largest U.S.-based online payment service, found itself in hot water with the State of New York last month when it was forced to pay US$150,000 in penalties for misrepresenting its policy on repayment when merchandise fails to arrive. PayPal has also been ordered to pay New York state investigation costs and will have to clearly describe consumer rights, including conditions or limitations on their rights and refund policies. According to a statement from U.S. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, PayPal had specifically stated that it offered the same rights and protections of a traditional credit card transaction. However, Spitzer’s office claimed consumers were often denied those rights. PayPal creates accounts for buyers and sellers using the Internet, including PayPal’s parent organization, eBay. The service allows buyers and sellers to exchange money via e-mail.

Church of England offers online worship

Providing a Christian community for “those who wish to explore Christian discipleship but who are not able or do not wish to join a local congregation,” the Church of England has joined the fray as a member of the virtual world. The Church announced Internet Church, or i-church, last month and invited parishioners to apply for the position of Web pastor. According to the Church’s Web site, the online congregation comes at a time when the Church of England is suffering from a declining attendance — a mere two per cent of the nation on an average Sunday. The Church stated that the target of i-church is for busy believers who travel a great deal or who are unable to attend regularly. “i-church can support them spiritually wherever they are in the world,” the Web site states. Visit http://www.cofe.anglican.org/ for more information.

eBay halts auction of girls

A Taiwanese sale allegedly offering three Vietnamese girls for a starting bid of US$5,400 on eBay was halted last month and all information regarding the auction has been handed over to Taiwanese police, the auctioning giant said in a statement. According to eBay, the auction, which commenced March 2 on its Taiwanese site, did not include a full description of what was being offered but said it was from Vietnam and would be shipped to Taiwan only. The posting included photos of three women, two of whom appeared to be no more than teenagers, according to reports. Vietnamese activist groups in Australia and the U.S. noticed the listing in early March and contacted eBay, which promptly pulled the auction. The San Jose-based auction giant forbids the sale or purchase of humans, alive or dead.

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