Evil genius

Every day, it seems the giants of the web gain a more terrifying level of control over our lives: deciding what software we can install on our phones, forcing to use our real names on their websites, etc.

And yet each time, the restrictions are balanced out by convenience. And the same is true of this scary new Amazon invention that's just been revealed by a patent application. It's a gift conversion system.

You know how you have rules for emails? Like, delete all email from this sender, or file all email from this mailing list into a special folder?

Well, Amazon want to make that for gifts. So, for example, you could block all gifts from your Aunt Georgia who always buys you socks. Or just block all socks. Blocked gifts would be substituted for something of similar value from your Amazon Wish List.

Given that this basically involves the automated deceit of your loved ones, we can't see it catching on. But we must admit, it does show a certain nefarious genius - and it would give everyone a reason to ask their friends and family to buy all their gifts through Amazon...

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