"Gina Smith, CEO of the New Internet Computer Co., can't
believe how much people are willing to pay for an easy-to-use
Internet appliance that retails for $199."
"It is Monday, July 10, and for the last 24 hours the New
Internet Computer (NIC), the most recent incarnation of Oracle
(ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison's oft-mocked "network computer," has been
on the auction block at Amazon.com (AMZN). Final bids tendered this
afternoon reached a staggering $1,650 for each of the 10 units at
auction, which came with certificates of authenticity signed by
Ellison, chairman and primary investor of the company."
"Smith, a 12-year veteran of consumer technology journalism who
accepted the CEO job offer from Ellison in January of this year,
won't be winning the office betting pool this time -- she guessed
the highest bid would be closer to $1,000. Still, looking over the
final results from her office in the North Beach neighborhood of
San Francisco, she says she understands why the bidders wanted a
NIC with Ellison's signature to themselves."
"It's a collector's item, right?" she says. "Imagine if you had
bought one of the first Macs. Or, for that matter, one of the first
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