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It's the thought that counts, but just in case, Amazon patents gift conversion system

Sean Hollister
November 9, 2010
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The holiday season is drawing close, and gifting soon to begin, which almost certainly means another pair of woolen socks (oh, joy) from dear Aunt Mildred. What could you possibly do to escape your sheep-shorn fate? The top brass at Amazon have a plan -- they've patented a system by which your gifts will magically be converted into things you actually want. It's like Gmail filters for products, really, in that you set up a series of rules, and if the gift you're sent falls under one of them, you're sent an item from your Amazon Wish List (or a gift certificate) instead. Apparently they've even thought up conversion rules for media formats, which should come in mighty handy for those relatives who can't tell PS3 from Xbox. Why can't Aunt Mildred just look at your wish list to begin with? Hey, she's your aunt. Why don't you be a dear, give her a good old-fashioned telephone call and ask?

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