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Amazon Patents Deducing Religion From Gift Wrap

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the judging-a-gift-by-its-cover dept.

Christmas Cheer 164

theodp writes "If you're the giver or recipient of presents gift-wrapped by Amazon, you may want to take a gander at U.S. Patent No. 8,060,463, granted to Amazon last month for Mining of User Event Data to Identify Users with Common Interests. Among other things, Amazon explains the invention can be used to identify recipients of gifts as Christian or Jewish based on wrapping paper. From the patent: 'The gift wrap used by such other users when purchasing gifts for this user, such as when the gift wrap evidences the user's religion (in the case of Christmas or Hanukkah gift wrap, for example.)'"

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Right... (5, Funny)

billybob_jcv (967047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488464)

... because no Jew would ever buy presents for their Christian friends, or vice-versa...

Re:Right... (3, Insightful)

pdcull (469825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488484)

Wouldn't just the date of the present-giving be more of a give-away than the type of wrapping paper?

Re:Right... (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488542)

You can't easily infer date of giving from date of ordering. We only got one Christmas present delivered in the week before Christmas, because we were planning to be out of town and finished shopping early. Since Christmas falls dead in the middle of Hanukkah this year, you'd really have no idea based on dates.

Re:Right... (1)

datavirtue (1104259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488990)

You can really infer anything from the wrapping paper except that it is maybe a gift. Has this patent been granted? I thought that the design has to work in order to get a patent?

Re:Right... (2)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489040)

There used to be a requirement for a working model before a patent could be issued. No longer as of 1880 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_model [wikipedia.org] . I'm pretty sure it is possible to patent things that don't actually work. Items like perpetual motion machines are automatically rejected as a category though.

Re:Right... (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489432)

I'm pretty sure this patent is EXACTLY like a patent for a perpetual motion machine; I know it wouldn't work with me. I just grab a box of wrapping paper without even looking at it. So, what does paper decorated with snowmen or candy canes tell you about the giver? I've never seen wrapping paper with Menorahs or nativity scenes or little crosses or fishes, except trout. A trout wrapper wouldn't say anything about the giver or recipient except both are probably redneck fishermen.

Re:Right... (1)

aix tom (902140) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489864)

When copyright "for a limited time" basically is getting closer and closer to be "for infinity minus one day" pretty soon, could you perhaps patent a "until-one-day-before-infinity-motion machine" as well, to get around that?

Alim tsk tsk! Alim tsk tsk! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488492)

After each "alim tsk tsk," more of the graveyard fog vanished off of billybob_jcv's bootyasscheek johnson ultimatum supremacies. The lick marks were getting closer and closer to his bootyasscheekcrackhole!

And I just discovered that samzenpus's nutsack is actually a big ol' papoohie sack in disguise!

Re:Right... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488494)

... because no Jew would ever buy presents for their Christian friends, or vice-versa...

>jews
>buying presents

hohoho.

Re:Right... (1, Insightful)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488500)

It's about determining what kind of crap a person will buy; they really don't care why they are buying it. If a Jew buys Christians presents on Amazon then there is a good chance they will be interested in buying more Christians presents on Amazon in the future and marketing can help make that happen.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488504)

"Recipients" ... I give you present wrapped w/ Jewish branded wrapping paper => you are Jewish. Not that I am Jewish (Or at least less strongly).

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488578)

We all know that Jews only have friends between each other.

Re:Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488938)

How is it that none of these commenters can read? It clearly says in the patent, "...when purchasing gifts FOR this user...", meaning they are deducing the religion of the recipient of the gift. Come on people.

Re:Right... (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489266)

You mean bigots are making judgements before they have full information at hand? It's almost as if they were prejudging. If only there was a word for the faculty of making judgements before knowing all the facts. If only.

Re:Right... (2)

BZ (40346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489146)

The patent is about inferring the religion of person B based on the wrapping paper person A uses for a gift he buys for person B.

It doesn't matter whether person A in the above scenario is Jewish, unless you think he would use Hanukkah-themed wrapping paper for Christmas gifts for his Christian friends.

Re:Right... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489898)

True enough, let's not forget that most of the big christmas songs that are popular were written by Jews too.

Religion of giver? (3, Insightful)

Sentry23 (447266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488488)

Shouldn't that be the religion of the receiver ?

(Unless it is really unimaginable for Amazon that people give presents across religious and ethnical boundaries.)

Re:Religion of giver? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488766)

Maybe that's why in the summary it says "used to identify recipients".

Can you guess? (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488490)

Where does Thomas the Tank Engine fit in?

Church of England, No Doubt! (0)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488792)

Daughter of Thomas the Tank Engine creator slams politically correct 'holiday' episode [dailymail.co.uk] The clergyman who wrote the Thomas The Tank Engine books would be insulted by a new TV episode which ditches all references to Christmas, says his daughter. Hilary Fortnam made her comments after the television company that records the new adventures re-branded Christmas as 'the holidays'. Mrs Fortnam, 65, said her father Rev W Awdry was the son of a vicar and brought her and her sister and brother up in the traditions of the Church of England.

Re:Church of England, No Doubt! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489136)

Ah, the grand traditions of the good ole' COE. Like leaving the church that has been helping to assure your stranglehold on authority on your piddly little island, because you don't like having to play by their rules, what with you being a closet-athiest, (as I think most people are, when the chips are down, nowadays, it's why people claim they trust in god, but still lock their doors and look both ways when crossing streets) you leave the church and form a new one.

When I wrote "you" just now, BTW, I am addressing Henry the Eighth Jackass King of England, specifically, not the poster to whom I'm replying.

The "traditions" of the Church of England are those. Break faith when you disagree, form a new church realizing the old one (and new one) are necessarily bullspit since gods are imaginary, and you really just need the church to keep the rank-and-file morons in check, so any-olde-church will do.

To the daughter I say this: get over yourself and your idiotic religion. Everyone knows "the holidays" are just code for "christmas" anyway. It's just some crap people do so they can pretend to be inclusive, while secretly "knowing" as they always have that theirs is the "one true faith" and all believers of/in other "faiths" and those who believe in none are going to Magic Hot Lava Land, (Aka Hell, Hades, New Jersey, etc.,) to be punished for not being stupid.

Or something like that.

Re:Church of England, No Doubt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489906)

When I wrote "you" just now, BTW, I am addressing Henry the Eighth Jackass King of England, specifically, not the poster to whom I'm replying.

Then perhaps you should be saying this via a medium, not on Slashdot.

Dumbasses. (1)

tryptogryphic (1985608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488498)

What if I'm a satanist who just likes to use Jewish and Christian wrapping paper for kicks?

Re:Dumbasses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488512)

Then you sure fooled them, enjoy the last laugh my friend.

Re:Dumbasses. (2)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488526)

Then you're a tiny, tiny, tiny error in their predictions and they don't care as long as their system works for 90% of the people.

Re:Dumbasses. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488568)

What if I'm a satanist who just likes to use Jewish and Christian wrapping paper for kicks ?

They may well get some "kicks" after modern [wikipedia.org] Aryans [ibmandtheholocaust.com] (or for that matter other fringe groups of crazies or opposing religions) hack or otherwise acquire the databases generated by Amazon and others that ignore history. Keep in mind when using your "customer card" at your grocery store that assumptions can be made from the groceries/items that you do or don't purchase. Purchasing or not purchasing pork for instance.

Re:Dumbasses. (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488598)

Satanists don't give presents. Unless it's a letterbomb.

I object. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489248)

Mod previous down, as Libelous. *I* got a present from a Satanist last year, and it was NOT a letter bomb. It was a copy of the Satanobible! It was lovely, had gold-leaf edged pages, a genuine goat-skin leather cover, was beautifully tooled, embossed front and back with a gorgeous five-sided inverted star in a circle on the front. They somehow managed (it must have been a hologram) to make it look like the writing on the cover was continuously wet with blood.

Just like the Christianbible, though, the story inside was complete, unbelievable rubbish. Gorgeous covers though, looks great on my coffee table, and really compliments the severed goat's head with the baby's arm in its mouth I got from her last year.

Long story short... Best. Present. Ever.

Re:Dumbasses. (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489666)

I would think a Satanist would give a gift meant to instill doubt in the mind of the receiver, or something that would tempt them into hell's domain, like a few hits of crack..

Re:Dumbasses. (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489920)

No no they give citronella flavored candles to the leader of the coven - demons just lap it up its just like catnip to them

Re:Dumbasses. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489190)

Satanists are just christians (assuming you believe Joshua Bar Joseph/Jesus of Nazareth was the son of or the same as "god", somehow,) but who sympathize/most closely identify with a different character from that zany, stupid book called "the bible". Hard to imagine people being smart enough to put a man on the moon, but not smart enough to know bullshit when they see it.

Re:Dumbasses. (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489356)

That's basically the same religion. Same pantheon, different temple. You're a Christian (or close enough).

Re:Dumbasses. (2)

Pfhorrest (545131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38490042)

You realize Satanists don't actually worship or even believe in the existence of Satan, right? They're basically anti-Christians, not only disbelieving the factuality of Christian claims, but more emphatically disputing the moral lessons of it, which they consider authoritarian and submissive, in favor of a more individualistic moral code. They just use an alternate character interpretation of the "villain" from their opponents' stories to make that point.

Compare (though it's not a perfect analogue) the use of "Xenu" by opponents to Scientology.

MLP wrapping paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488510)

Confuse the hell out of their system, exclusively use My Little Pony gift wrapping paper.

Yes, it exists: http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/10/pony-wrapping-paper.html

Re:MLP wrapping paper (2)

FairAndHateful (2522378) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488572)

I will admit, the Pony Girl [eggcupandblanket.co.uk] gift wrap is NOT what I expected. Thankfully... If it was, that's a powerful level of niche marketing potential.

Re:MLP wrapping paper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38490084)

Different Anonymous Cow^H^H^HPony chiming in, but seeing as how MLP's become a Cambrian explosion of geekdom these days, I'll chip in with a mashup based on a Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas [blogspot.com] crossover, and Discord [blogspot.com] playing the role of Krampus [deviantart.net] .

What about Goatse wrapping paper (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488514)

Just curious?

I guess that (2)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488534)

Atheists, Agnostics, and members of other religions don't give Christmas presents ?

BTW I am not a Christian

And who wants to pay more for gift wrsp than for shipping?

Re:I guess that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488628)

The only thing non-obvious about this is what to even do with that info.
Sersiously, please stop with your creepy 1984 data mining bullshit.

Re:I guess that (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488686)

You have no idea how many atheists called for the boycott of Christmas.

Re:I guess that (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488730)

I'm going to punt at fewer than the number of christians who bought stuff without gift wrapping and then wrapped it themselves.

Re:I guess that (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488814)

Some of us don't do gift wrap at all. The wrapping used by UPS, Fedex, and/or the USPS is good enough. Plain brown paper, with a name and address printed on it. Or, plain brown cardboard, or a red-white-and-blue mailer. What, I'm going to UNwrap something, just to REwrap it in pretty paper? To hell with that! I may possibly tape a bow onto the package that UPS delivers.

Re:I guess that (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489968)

atheists are pussies. PAGANS IS WHERE IT'S AT! TAKE BACK XMAS!

stupid caps filter. so have to have filler here, like gift box filler.

Re:I guess that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488846)

I follow a personal religion that shares varying amounts of material with Protestantism, Islam, and Agnosticism. I celebrate the secular holiday, since gift-giving, dinner with family, and wintertime fires in the hearth all appeal to me.

If I were a serious Christian, I would be boycotting Christmas. It's a Christianization (and poorly) of an ancient Northern European solstice celebration and fertility orgy. The tree, the Yule log, the lights? None of these things have anything to do with your Christ. You should be embarrassed if you ever thought so.

Re:I guess that (1)

Dwonis (52652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489100)

Please stop capitalizing "atheists" and "agnostics"; They're common nouns. (Yes, I realize that you used "atheists" at the beginning of a sentence *this time*, but I bet you usually capitalize it no matter where it occurs, and even if you don't, others reading this do.)

Re:I guess that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489846)

Wow, a slashdotter who admits he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about. How odd. You must be new here.

Non-obvious? (2)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488556)

Patents are supposed to be granted only for non-obvious solutions. How is this not obvious to someone trained in the art?

Re:Non-obvious? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488622)

Clearly, deducing that somebody is Jewish because they bought Hanukkah wrapping paper is a brilliant invention worthy of the full protective power of the United States government and international intellectual property treaties. How else is America going to survive in the information age?

Let me restate: figuring out that somebody is Jewish because they bought wrapping paper with Jewish stars on it IS STEALING. You wouldn't steal a car or a DVD, would you?

Re:Non-obvious? (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489510)

Clearly, deducing that somebody is Jewish because they bought Hanukkah wrapping paper is a brilliant invention worthy of the full protective power of the United States government and international intellectual property treaties. How else is America going to survive in the information age?

This one seems like one of the safest useless patents ever. I seriously doubt any of Amazon's competitors would ever infringe on this one either unintentionally or knowingly, since it is so idiotic.

The net result of this is that the patent office got a nice little fee, and Amazon got nothing useful in return (by their own choosing).

Re:Non-obvious? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489970)

C'mon moderators, before you mod something insightful, see if he stated the facts properly. The story says recipient, not buyer. Of course making the deduction from the buyer is obvious, but from the recipient that is ... extraordinary, and fully worthy of such governmental protections.

Re:Non-obvious? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488698)

That's what I thought. Profiling is now a patentable device? ("Device" being used in the very broadest of terms.)

Re:Non-obvious? (1)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488742)

Agreed. We need massive patent reform when something as obvious as this is patentable. Absolutely ridiculous.

Re:Non-obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488748)

How is this not obvious to someone trained in the art?

And for the technically out-of-the-loop. The "Art" in this case is called "data mining". It's been around for some time.

Surely (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488586)

I can't be the only one who finds the idea of patents for " Mining of User... Data to Identify User[s]" a bit unnerving....

Of course, I'm one of the apparent minority who tend to adhere to the concept that privacy is still a right.

Re:Surely (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489112)

This is an AMAZING invention! The world of science will be thrilled! Truly a giant leap for mankind! This was EXACTLY the progress in useful arts and science which the forefathers intended when they wrote the constitution!

Seriously, is the USPTO smoking crack? If not, the only explanation is that the USPTO is a corrupt institution.

Re:Surely (2)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489328)

But if they are smoking crack, well then, clearly they are not corrupt.

Re:Surely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489880)

Even the crack they are smoking is patented

Ermm... (4, Insightful)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488620)

... you can really patent something that basically reads, "Using a feature to help in set classification"?

About ready to say scrap the entire patent system - at least when it comes to software. It's not like it protects the actual inventors any more at all.

Re:Ermm... (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489066)

... you can really patent something that basically reads, "Using a feature to help in set classification"?

About ready to say scrap the entire patent system - at least when it comes to software. It's not like it protects the actual inventors any more at all.

Are you kidding? This is proof that the patent system rocks. It will generate law-firm billable hours, licensing revenue, and patent filing fees. Talk about growing the economy!

Re:Ermm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489450)

Boy do I ever agree with this. The patent system has become ridiculous and an impediment to economic growth.

Religious symbolism? (1)

Digambaranath (180574) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488638)

How many religious symbols can you really find on gift-wrapping anyway? Remember that Christmas trees are not particularly Christian; they're a pagan survival, and here in predominantly Muslim Turkey you can see loads of them put up for New Year celebrations. Angels? Found in several religions. Yule logs? Decidedly pagan. Holly? Super-pagan. Snowmen? Just plain weird.

Re:Religious symbolism? (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489260)

Christmas trees are, as far as documentation goes, not a pagan survival, they only appeared about 500 years ago in Southwest Germany. At this time, Southwest Germany was christianized for 1000 years already. Nice tradition though.

Re:Religious symbolism? (1)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38490076)

You are confusing the first recorded (written) decoration of christmas trees with when they were actually put into use. People who practice pagan rituals seldom document them when those rituals might get them killed by the local fanatics. All you know for certain from the documentation is that by the 15th century people in Germany did use Christmas trees without being killed for it.

Re:Religious symbolism? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489542)

Snowmen are considered an offensive parody by yeti's. They'll be passe in a few years, just watch. There'll be marches, and songs, and an online petition by the Yeti Anti-defamation Corps to ban them. As someone who considers them just plain weird, you'll be considered to be on the fence in the coming war. You're probably safe, as long as you proclaim "just plain weird" is synonymous with "bad".

So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488652)

Because that's what my wife selected last year when she bought me a gift from Amazon one year.

I really can't see any religion being tied to that

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488800)

I hear Muslims like green...

You must be a Muslim.

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488942)

Should I take this as anecdotal evidence that the notion of accurately predicting religion based on type of wrapping paper used is bogus?

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489064)

Blue is the traditional Muslim color. Just heard it on a Rick Steves Europe travel program about Turkey.

Aha! (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489330)

So that's what that Marilyn Chambers movie was about.

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489018)

Because that's what my wife selected last year when she bought me a gift from Amazon one year.

Since when do you get to pick the color when you select 'gift wrapped by Amazon'? Do they even hire people to wrap things or does some contraption with robotic arms do it?

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (3, Funny)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489054)

I hear frogs like green. You must be a frog.

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489060)

Green is the official color of islam. Seriously, look it up. The fact that it was lime green indicates using Amazon's method, that the giver or receiver is a muslim, and that the giver has a mild form of red/green color deficiency, and thus sees lime green as the same color as the darker forest green associated with islam.

When I was in Iraq, someone in intelligence (in name only) got a hot tip that a local leader of al quaeda in Iraq was holding a meeting of terrorists and signifying it by hoisting a green flag. That night, people from our unit out on patrol kicked in about two-dozen doors and found out that no... green just means islamic. This actually happened. All kidding aside. Similarly, we were once told to be on the lookout for a guy who just blew something up, who got away in a white sedan with orange fenders. They put that out APB style. Oh, BTW... that's a description of every taxi in the country. Yeah.

It would be like if in America, someone said that anyone flying an American flag is hosting a get-together to discuss dissolving the union, or open rebellion, distributing drugs, kpr0n, WMD's, etc., imagine that every time you drive by a house with an American flag flying, or a business. We had real geniuses working for us over there...

Anyway, I deduce that lime green wrapping paper signifies colorblindness or a lack of taste. That or you were wrapping limes, and wanted to be ironic, or you were giving a present to a Brit, and wanted to make a tasteless, wordless joke. (Here's something lime-colored, you limey bastard!) :)

Re:So what does lime green wrapping paper signify? (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489796)

Rastafarian? I know some Rastas and they LOVE their green...

Unpatentable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488760)

After reading yet another silly patent abstract, I cannot find anything worth patenting in it. How about an occupy USPTO? lol When I was a kid, all I got out of the Cracker Jack box was a silly decoder ring. Now, you can get patents. I guess it is to be expected from a nation that is essentially done building itself, and now must focus its attention to intangible "inventions".

Re:Unpatentable (1)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489160)

After reading yet another silly patent abstract, I cannot find anything worth patenting in it...

Well, there's your problem. Abstracts are not the claims, and do not need to be novel or non-obvious by themselves. That is the job of the claims.

From US Patent 8060463 [uspto.gov]

The first claim:

1. A computer-implemented method of matching users to other users, the method comprising: storing, in computer storage, event data comprising order data reflective of items ordered from an electronic catalog by each of a plurality of users; programmatically generating a score that reflects a degree to which item preferences of a first user of said plurality of users are similar to item preferences of a second user of said plurality of users, said score taking into consideration a first plurality of items ordered by the first user and a second plurality of items ordered by the second user, wherein generating the score comprises weighting a first item and a second item identified in both the first and second plurality of items, wherein the first and second items are different, wherein the first and second items are weighted differently based at least in part on a first inherent characteristic of the first item and a second inherent characteristic of the second item, wherein the first and second inherent characteristics are different, and wherein generating the score further comprises taking into consideration at least one additional type of event data reflective of user affinities for items represented in the electronic catalog; and based at least in part on the score, programmatically determining whether to recommend the second user to the first user.

"A Method for Detection of Extramarital Affairs" (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488848)

. . . "Based on the Sending of Kinky Sexual Gifts to Non-spousal Persons."

" . . . hmmm . . . let's see what the mayor is sending to other females besides his wife . . . "

There's plenty more gold to be monetized in that Amazon mine.

Ordered copies of "Armed Insurrections for Dummies" . . . ? "Cooking Crack in Your Bathtub for Fun and Profit" . . . ?

Re:"A Method for Detection of Extramarital Affairs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489568)

Ordered copies of "Armed Insurrections for Dummies" . . . ? "Cooking Crack in Your Bathtub for Fun and Profit" . . . ?

A Christian or a Jew?

Sending of Kinky Sexual Gifts to Non-spousal Persons

A Christian or a Jew?
Those are the only categories in the Amazon's classifier in every case. They also have a project called "final solution..to the problem of customers" in their Project Server.

FSM? (2)

z3r0n3 (665185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488866)

What gift wrap do pastafarians use?

Re:FSM? (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489098)

Cooked pasta loosely held together by hope and willpower.

Re:FSM? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489158)

What gift wrap do pastafarians use?

Knitted spaghetti, squamous lasagna or (for small items) cannelloni.

Other Amazon Patents... (4, Insightful)

TheMiddleRoad (1153113) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488874)

Determining religion by presence or absence of circumcision.
Determining gender by presence or lack of a penis.
Determining age by birth date.
Determining quantity by how many of an item is present.
and my favorite...
Determining the failure of the US patent system by filing stupid patents.

Insensitive clod (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489650)

My gender can't be determined by presence of a penis you insensitive clod.

YOU FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488970)

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That's it. (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488974)

to throw it all off I'm going to use Jewish wrapping paper to wrap pressed ham in a can, or Christian wrapping paper to wrap books about evolution or by Christopher Hitchens.

What a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38488980)

I'm going to file for a patent for my idea, deducing the religion of a website user by which imbecilic "greeting" he/she uses around the stupidest time of the year. If the person routinely tells strangers "Merry Christmas" (outside a retail setting where he/she may be required by his/her imbecilic bosses to say that) I will "deduce" that the person is a Christian Hypocrite. If he/she instead says "Happy Hanukkah," I will "deduce" he/she is a Jew Hypocrite. If the person says "DIE INFIDELS, DIE!!!" I will "deduce" he/she is an Islamofascist Hypocrite. This is useful in predicting the gifts the individual will have already just purchased. Of course, looking at the individuals' purchase histories will give a much better view of what they all just bought, but hey, why let a potential patent go to waste just because of that?

I can't tell you how incensed I became with Amazon's attempts to "market" to me. I still use Amazon because it's a great site, but I have all the "features" turned OFF. I don't let it remember my browsing history, and whenever it says "you might like" I tell it, "No, that doesn't interest me." (I used to have to tell it, now with the features turned off it doesn't suggest. Or maybe it does and I've learned to ignore it.)

Bottom line, when I shop, I don't want or need it helpfully "suggesting' anything. There's a search-bar, and I generally know the name of the thing I want, so all I have to do is look. I have set my Amazon bookmark to the "Shop all departments" page so that when the site comes up, I don't have to be pestered to buy their shiite e-reader. I tried it, I don't like it, and I'm not buying the newest crap version. Stop asking, Bozos. Anyway, by using an internal page, I don't get pestered with that advertisement, and I can jump straight to what I'm looking for. This would be the equivalent at a physical store to "beaming down" to the middle of the store, and bypassing the entry with the ads, coupons, and greeter. I like it.

Now if I could just figure out how to beam back up... :)

I wonder... (1)

bratwiz (635601) | more than 2 years ago | (#38488986)

I wonder if that includes figuring out whether or not it was purchased from the bargain bin at Target... ??

Re:I wonder... (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489504)

bargain bin

For some reason, I first read that as 'garbage bin'.

Be crafty (1)

HW_Hack (1031622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489048)

This is why I had the goat leggings I purchased wrapped in Hanukkah gift paper and topped with a big red and green bow.

jed eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489058)

So Jedi are in the habit of buying hello Kitty wrappings?

Patent Smart Phone Sales Person Software (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489080)

I am going to patent the heuristic thinking processes of a high value sales person 'on a smart phone' because that is totally different from on a computer because it has the words 'smart phone' in the patent.

Cell phone usage and news articles are included (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489090)

While the summary only mentions gift wrap, there really is some interesting substance to this patent, notably

The matching service may additionally or alternatively take into consideration other types of information about each user, including, by way of illustration and not of limitation, any one or more of the following: ... (11) the user's cell phone usage; ... (13) news articles selected by the user for viewing online; ... (18) the user's preferences for particular types or clusters of search results on search results pages, (19) the user's credit card transactions. Data regarding these and other types of user behaviors may be collected, and incorporated into the matching process, via automated processes such that the users need not affirmatively perform any action to supply the matching service with such information.

Seems like much more profiling is going on than simply determining the religion of the gift giver or recipient. I recently watched a film about Ilich Ramírez Sánchez "Carlos" and read a Spiegel article about WW II munitions exploding. Will automated systems now increase scrutiny of my cell phone conversations?

What do they know that the algorithm doesn't? (1)

WillHirsch (2511496) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489206)

If Amazon are actually making use of this patent it's a very interesting choice of approach.

I always thought the received wisdom about companies like Amazon and Google that maximise their revenues with very specific targeting was that their algorithms processed the statistics of people's behaviour and presented the suggestion/ad with the highest expected value without consideration of any qualitative explanation for why a certain thing is suggested.

This patent suggests categories are assigned to products to add artificial dimensions to the data. It's a little surprising, at least to me, if putting a label on, say, Jewish wrapping paper results in any more insightful profiling than noting that buyers of Menorah Pattern #1 wrapped gifts buy 4.6% more Kletzmer music than the average customer.

Discrimination based on religion (2)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489232)

This will be a great way to attract law suits claiming discrimination based on Religion. All they have to do is offer something to people of one religion and not offer it to everyone else.

Sneaky sneaky... (1)

XiaoMing (1574363) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489562)

This is obviously just a distraction to throw off other (r)e-tailers towards the much more useful (but too obvious to be patented) kungfu of forcing people to choose between a handful of options (two in this case) and then categorizing them based on that!
Next up, using pizza chains to do marketing demographic research: Would you like a free Coke or Pepsi with your delivery?

...Looks like the MBA's have finally found their way to the USPTO. So much for patent reform.

Everyone just calm the kcuf down. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489628)

Haven't you ever heard of a defensive patent app? It could be they realized someone else might try to patent this, decided to beat them to the punch, so that no one would sue them for infringing, putting them in a position to have to defend themselves against someone claiming they owe them money, because they might have used a similar technique. Another possibility is that the more patents they own, the more their company is considered to be worth, which makes the investors happy.

I doubt Amazon will actually use such a patent to prevent anyone else doing something similar unless that someone else is bludgeoning Amazon in the sales arena, and doing it using this technique, all unlikely events. So calm the f down, already.

How to mess up Amazon's computers (2)

turkeyfeathers (843622) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489686)

Order a copy of the Koran with Hannukah gift wrapping!

As if I needed any more reasons to avoid Amazon (1)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489718)

They get creepier and creepier day by day.

Deduction? (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489728)

"Amazon patents inferring religion from gift wrap" would be more correct.

Miami Beach? Not hardly. (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38489766)

So what about the ubiquitous 'snowflake' wraps out there? Or the colored plaid ones? Or the ones with candles on them?

Does blue and white mean Jewish, even if it's a Swedish flag? Does green and red mean Christmas even if it's on a chili pepper? Candles must mean a menorah right?

If I want them to wrap it in plain brown paper, are they going to assume I'm a Buddhist?

What complete and utter nonsense and tripe.

Sad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38489856)

It is sad that companies try to patent common sense. Next time I need a book I'll think twice before even considering Amazon.

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