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Ask Slashdot: How Do You "Unwrap" e-Gifts?

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the virtual-stockings dept.

Books 86

theodp writes "With all of the content that can be delivered electronically — e-books, music, apps, movies, e-gift cards, tickets — the percentage of Christmas gift giving that's digital is growing each year. However, the e-gift unwrapping user experience on Christmas morning leaves much to be desired. In addition to providing old-school mail delivery of gift cards, Amazon offers a variety of other options, including e-mailing a gift card on a specific day with or without a suggested gift, posting it on someone's Facebook Wall, or allowing you to print one for personal delivery. Another suggestion — using USB drives — harkens back to the days of burning CDs with custom playlists for last-minute gifts, but you'll be thwarted by DRM issues for lots of content. So, until Facebook introduces The Tree to save our e-gifts under until they're 'unwrapped' on Christmas morning with the other physical gifts, how do you plan on handling e-gift giving and getting?"

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86 comments

Put it in a card and envelope. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384421)

Your victim will never suspect that the envelope does not contain cold hard cash.

Christmas Card Troll (kind of) (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384423)

I got one brother significantly more gifts than the other. To make up for it, I'm giving the one with fewer gifts a money card with some cash in it. The one I'm already spoiling is also getting a money card... except his only has a dollar in it. After he gets annoyed that he only got a dollar, hopefully, he'll notice the message and Steam key for "Hotline Miami" I wrote on said dollar.

One answer (3, Informative)

SecondCobra (1628707) | about a year ago | (#42384425)

We have made rolls of Christmas paper with a message written inside telling our sons what they can go and download. That way they get a physical thing under the tree along with the other presents.

E-gifts (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42384431)

, how do you plan on handling e-gift giving and getting?"

I pirate. Most of what's "e-gifted" is just supporting the entertainment industry; and I'm loathe to support them until they clean up their act with all the DRM crap, manipulating the market prices, and throwing people in jail for trivial crap, as well as co-opting our entire legal system and feeling entitled to profits. So... I just give people cash or socks. Because holy shit, adults love socks. And cash. Everyone does, actually.

Re:E-gifts (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384473)

It's "loath" - an adjective. "Loathe" is the verb .

Merry Christmas,
The Grammar Grinch

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384599)

aw come on, who modded that down? that's was funny.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42386435)

And, you'd better watch out, you better not pout, 'cause Grammar Nazi will soon point YOU out!

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42394631)

Well, but in Soviet Russia, YOU will point out Grammar Nazi!

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386431)

I'm loath to do this on Christmas day, but I loathe you, you grammar nazi!

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384607)

Not surprising that you're a malcontent. Your posts show you to be a largely bitter person. Merry Christmas

Re:E-gifts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385051)

Feeling entitled to profits? Yeah, if I produced something you better bet that I'd feel entitled to the profits too.
 
You're just a sour old bitch.

Re:E-gifts (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year ago | (#42385329)

Guess what.

Despite what you think, the mere fact that you created something does NOT mean that you are "entitled" to profits.

If your business model requires a law to be passed that prohibits billions of people from exercising a trivially easy behavior that you would never personally notice otherwise, then your business model is shit.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385999)

It is trivially easy to call a plumber and then refuse to pay him for his time and labor. His business model requires laws prohibiting people from that behavior. I guess his business model is shit.

Or maybe we have laws in place to ensure that people are justly rewarded for their time and labor. I don't know why you think content creation should have less protection under the law than other industries.

You could argue (and I would agree) that the rewards are often not "just" and often not going to the creator of the content. But you're not doing that here. You're making idiot blanket statements and throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386035)

As time goes by I'm increasingly nauseated by the "I pirate because... well... fuck you your business model sucks". It's just a really lame excuse to download things for free under the guise of slacktivism. It was pretty lame when we were younger and it was our excuse, and it's even worse now.

Buy a thing or don't. But don't bullshit us... we've been around for a while.

Re:E-gifts (1)

crossmr (957846) | about a year ago | (#42386241)

I'm increasingly nauseated by the people who can't seem to understand that in certain circumstances piracy is a victimless crime and then trying to force their morality on others.
If an individual would under no circumstances purchase the product in question, and the rights holder loses no resources in their making a digital copy, where exactly is the damage to anyone occurring here?

There is no mythical lost sale, there is no loss of bits and bytes. Some hurt feelings, but their attempts to manhandle various world governments hurts my feelings, so I'd say we're even.

Now, if the individual is truly stealing simply because they don't want to spend the money on that, that is one thing, but you really have no idea who is being cheap and who simply would never spend money on the product in question.

Their business model may or may not be broken but the fact remains that how they are doing it isn't making them happy. The entertainment industry still seems to have lots of money to throw around, so it seems to be doing fine. If they were truly losing so much money you'd think they'd be broke and destitute from all the years of bitching they've done.

The only thing I think that might be broken is their greed meter and their inability to logically think about what is happening when someone downloads something. I can guarantee you there has never been a single business or person harmed by piracy and I'd dare anyone who claims they have been to prove it. I'm not saying some company claiming 90% of the copies of their game is pirated so they closed their offices or killed the office dog because they couldn't afford to feed him. I'm claiming definitive proof that
1)the people who pirated the product would have actually paid cash for it
2)no sales were generated by people who used piracy as a demo and then turned around and bought it later because of that
3)the money they would have generated from #1 would have kept them afloat

They won't be able to prove a single one of those. They could make suppositions and guesses and theorize into the night, but they'd never be able to actually prove that piracy did any genuine damage to their business.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42398519)

Despite your "guarantee" you cannot prove your supposition either. So until you can offer your proof, stop trying to frame the argument in irrelevant absolutes that you know are impossible to prove.

Re:E-gifts (1)

crossmr (957846) | about a year ago | (#42408321)

Why not? That is how the entertainment industry presents theirs.
1 download = 1 lost sale as far as they're concerned, despite the fact that they cannot prove that. They couldn't even prove that 1 million downloads = 1 lost sale.
My proof is in the absence of proof from the other side. I made no blanket statement that every single incident of piracy was victimless.
I said:

in certain circumstances piracy is a victimless crime

Those being the case where the person never would have bought the item in the first place and only uses it because it can be obtained for free and in obtaining and using the product the individual doesn't use any resources from the company (like an online service they didn't secure properly)

How about in a country/region where the rights holder refuses to make the product available? Do the people there have an obligation to wait months, years, or until the end of time for something to be made available?

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42405505)

All horseshit. If there's no value in having a thing then there's no reason to download it.

People download these games and play them. They download these movies and watch them. They download this music and put it on their ipods. Whether or not they later thought it would have been worth purchasing legally is largely irrelevant.

But either way, this has little to do with calculating lost sales figures. I'm not making cases for outrageous legal penalties here. I'm saying don't bullshit us. We've already done the philosophical gymnastics, and in the end, all the regular excuses are just tired old bullshit with people slapping each other on the back.

I'm making a demo out of a complete product I won't eventually buy.
I wouldn't have bought this anyway.
The profiteering profiteers are just profiting too much.
I'm protesting DRM so I just take things.
This is a victimless crime.

We've done all these. They're crap. If you have a problem with something the way it's offered, enough that you wouldn't buy it, then pass. There's no rational and legitimate way around that.

Re:E-gifts (1)

crossmr (957846) | about a year ago | (#42408297)

All horseshit. If there's no value in having a thing then there's no reason to download it.

People download these games and play them. They download these movies and watch them. They download this music and put it on their ipods. Whether or not they later thought it would have been worth purchasing legally is largely irrelevant.

There isn't though. The only value is in that, to them, it's free. Any other price and they wouldn't download it.
For them the product is worth no monetary compensation. if they can't download it for free, they'll go without and be no worse off for it. You can't translate this or analogize it though.

I asked where the damage was, and I see you've failed to show any. In order for something to be a crime there has to be some kind of damage done to the victim, and it's non-existent. So why exactly is this a crime? What about in places where it's perfectly legal behaviour, is this then suddenly "ok"?

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386387)

As time goes by I'm increasingly nauseated by the "I pirate because... well... fuck you your business model sucks".

I pirate because I am a socialist. The values of our society are fubar. Arguing that people should be compensated for producing content(or goods or services) in the form of money so they can pay rent and buy food so they don't have to starve and live under a bridge implies...

that everybody not producing content deserves to live a shit life and starve to death at a young age.

People who make software/movies/music etc should get enough money to live on, so should everyone else. Whether we need to pay for the content or not is hardly relevant. If someone is starving, feed them. If someone needs software, copy it for them. What the fuck are we still doing there is enough to go round.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42386459)

Nauseated? Glad to hear it. Hey - did you ever notice that the average working stiff has to get up, go to work every morning, bust his ass for hours, then on payday, he gets a little less than he really needs to make ends meet?

Content creators. You make something once, and you expect to be paid for it for the rest of your lives? You expect that your children, your grand children, even your great grand children should get royalties derived from your genius?

You sniveling twats - go get a real job. And, stop feeding the copyright trolls who belong to RIAA and the like. You're not the fucking geniuses that you think you are. You need a good de-worming, like any stray dog. You're infested with parasitic lawyers, agents, and other undesirable creatures.

Maybe - just maybe - without these infestations, you would be worth something. Here's a fiddle - see if you can play some music and dance for my amusement, little "content creator". If not, get out of my face. Don't forget to leave the fiddle when you leave - you didn't earn it.

Re:E-gifts (1)

tompaulco (629533) | about a year ago | (#42386975)

Content creators. You make something once, and you expect to be paid for it for the rest of your lives? You expect that your children, your grand children, even your great grand children should get royalties derived from your genius? You sniveling twats - go get a real job. And, stop feeding the copyright trolls who belong to RIAA and the like. You're not the fucking geniuses that you think you are. You need a good de-worming, like any stray dog. You're infested with parasitic lawyers, agents, and other undesirable creatures.
May you get your Christmas wish.. and as a result, never get the benefit of enjoying any quality artistic rendering ever again.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year ago | (#42387135)

Actually, quality artistic renderings are in short supply. The MPAA certainly isn't supplying any. The RIAA affiliates supply very little. Quality art comes from independents and little-know or unknown artists. These are people who tend to agree with my feelings. They don't expect to live fat off the hog for the rest of their lives, after doing a few dozen performances. They stay hungry, just like John and Jane Doe, so they keep working to improve.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42388773)

So it is primarily those who agree with you who produce quality art. Huh.

I'm a little-known artist. People who know love my work. I'm all for copyright. Without it, why am I bothering? Yeah, I would probably do this for free, but the number of people who I would allow to see it I could count on one hand. It's only because I expect I can do this for a living that I publish. Take that away and fuck it. I don't want to create something once and rest on my laurels for the rest of my life. I see that (or similar: rehashing the same thing over and over again) in artists and it disgusts me. I will always work to improve my craft because it gives me great pleasure.

But I do expect to be fairly compensated for my work. Copyright makes that possible. If you want to see my work, I expect you to pony up. If there is no environment where that is possible (as you are advocating), you're simply not going to see my work.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year ago | (#42386585)

"It is trivially easy to call a plumber and then refuse to pay him for his time and labor. His business model requires laws prohibiting people from that behavior. I guess his business model is shit."

I don't use plumbers. I buy my own "blank" washers from Home Depot and burn my own new washer-fixed-faucet by unscrupulously copying the knowledge and behavior of that plumber.

I'm such a bastard.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42390713)

Specious use of the analogy. Copying a plumber's behavior is equivalent to making your own music or films, not to pirating.

If you do your own plumbing, the plumber hasn't done any labor.

Re:E-gifts (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year ago | (#42393611)

And if I reproduce a digital file, then the companies that make their money reproducing and distributing digital files haven't done any labor.

A digital file has ceased to become "product." They can be reproduced and distributed by the tens of millions for virtually no effort or cost.

When something can be had by every human being that easily it becomes immoral to create artificial scarcity via global laws invading private communications, etc.

What you and others are doing is advocating that we take the process that for about 100,000 years has led to everything human culture means - agriculture, towns, housing, fire, cooking, all invention, all art, language... and deciding that the process that worked to take us from the caves to global civilization is not good enough.

You're advocating taking that process and privatizing it. Why? Because some people who had the money to lobby to get laws passed felt it was important that they get MORE money.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386739)

If I called a plumber then I would pay him for the work that we agreed he would do.
But, if a plumber turned up, walked around outside. and then demanded that I let him inside to check that I wasn't doing my own plumbing, and furthermore demanded a fee to carry out that check, he would get laughed at. If he insisted, then he could take it to court and get laughed at there as well. If he physically forced his way in, then I would kick the shit out of him and then have him arrested.
In case you don't get it, the difference is that when I call a plumber, I have a contract with him and an obligation to pay. If he turns up on his own, I don't.

Oh? Intresting point (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year ago | (#42386343)

However, you pretty much condemned ALL business plans from the sex industry, to renting, to selling.

Laws HAVE been introduced that gave us the right to our own bodies and the right to own land and property. Without such laws, selling and renting are pointless as the "customer" can just take what he wants.

Ah, you mean only those laws YOU are against are shit, not the laws that protect YOU! Gotcha!

All laws are artificial constructs created by man to protect something.

Re:Oh? Intresting point (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year ago | (#42386561)

Yes, laws have given us the right to our bodies and our possessions and our land.

Absolutely NONE of which were intellectual "property" laws.
Intellectual property law does NOT recognize information as an owned possession. (information, not the information carrier. You own that CD).

Copyright law is derived from the understanding that release of information naturally passes that information on to all who access it, that this is normal, good, and necessary, that this is the basis for the development of human society.

And to ENCOURAGE people to create works that will obviously and necessarily become part of the commons and property of ALL, it might be good to try an incentive program - an artificial TEMPORARY monopoly for a short period of time during which the creator can solely recoup funds.

Which will expire and let knowledge go to it's natural state - property of all.

And that this temporary "copy right" therefore exists to serve the public good, NOT the creators, and that if it ceases to benefit primarily the public, then it can and should be changed.

Sex industry? I have condemned their practices only if they try to patent human genitals and photos and sex and women's bodies.

NO business model is "entitled" to profits. They have a right to TRY to be profitable.

I write music. I give it away free as I don't believe in copyright. However, I have the RIGHT to try to sell downloads of it too. I am not entitled to that plan being financially successful.

Re:E-gifts (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42389505)

Despite what you think, the mere fact that you created something does NOT mean that you are "entitled" to profits.

I hope this "You" does not refer to me. I'm a pirate; I'm the last person you'd expect to give a damn about profit.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42413467)

Or, in other words, a leach on society. With the proclivity of your posting, I doubt you even hold a job.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42399973)

Bullshit. The only reason you got modded up is because you're in a fucking den of thieves. But if you'd like to try your bullshit logic out in a court of law I'd love to see it.
 
Just as I guessed, you're too much of a big mouth pussy fag to put your money where your mouth is. Your logic is shit and you know it, fucking fucktard.

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385123)

By pirating you're supporting their arguments that the internet needs watched and that they need special protection under the law. If you don't like paying for their business practices then don't pirate it either. Or, at the very least, I hope you get caught and pay big fines. You deserve nothing less.

Re:E-gifts (1)

todrules (882424) | about a year ago | (#42385263)

I don't agree that that e-gifts mainly support the entertainment industry. There's tons of various e-gifts, including such companies like NewEgg, ThinkGeek, and even Kickstarter. At least then you know that the cash isn't going to support the entertainment industry. Second, you think that you don't support the entertainment industry by pirating, but you're still listening to their damn music and watching their damn movies!! If you truly don't support it, then don't even pirate. Your just as bad as the people who buy their crap.

Re:E-gifts (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#42385929)

I pirate. Most of what's "e-gifted" is just supporting the entertainment industry; and I'm loathe to support them until they clean up their act with all the DRM crap, manipulating the market prices, and throwing people in jail for trivial crap, as well as co-opting our entire legal system and feeling entitled to profits.

So... why pirate? Why not ignore it and enjoy something else?

You do realize that you're just encouraging the problem, right? Because they create something you want, and instead of giving them what they want in exchange, you say it's worthless, and then expect them to take it lying down. I'm sure if someone pirated the Linux kernel (by say, not releasing the source code), you'd be upset. Yes, you can pirate Linux by ignoring the GPL and violating the de-facto copyright law. You can pirate most open-source that way because by not agreeing to the freer terms in the license, it reverts back to "all rights reserved" and what copyright grants.

You're better off ignoring what the entertainment industry produces and enjoy the works of the indie bands, moviemakers, game creators and what not. Because the industry won't change unless they see success can be had without draconian measures, and piracy is not the way to do it.

Hell, if you want to pirate, go buy the DVD and download the DRM-free version, but that requires supporting the industry. And while they may not be entitled to profits, you're not entitled to enjoy their works just because you don't agree to their terms.

There's plenty of free and open indie entertainment out there that's DRM free and cheap to enjoy. Why not encourage those creative people by enjoying their work?

Re:E-gifts (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386425)

I don't give gifts anymore. My work has been pirated so often that I don't have any money to buy anything.

uh, what was that line again? (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year ago | (#42384447)

"...you'll be thwarted by DRM issues for lots of content."

this IS slashdot, right? and you really typed that???

My Gift ... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384453)

My gift is an /etc/hosts file!! btw - I've got "SOMETHING" 4 CruTcHy => http://goatse.ru [goatse.ru] Put TATH under your tree!!!

APK

Handle as spam (0)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#42384457)

Any incoming e-anything goes to the spam bin. If it has any executable content, the odds are it's hostile code.

Bah! Humbug!

Re:Handle as spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384615)

Not sure if you're trolling or just an idiot.

Re:Handle as spam (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#42384957)

e-gifts are hex strings to be entered at checkout time at a web site. They are not e-card.exe trojans, we got over that 15 years ago.

If sociology is any indicator... (2)

Kergan (780543) | about a year ago | (#42384461)

Sociology usually isn't any indicator to anything, but in this case it has interesting things to say: Mauss and follow-ups suggest that the exchange and the unwrapping of the gift is just as important, as a social event, if not more, than the gift itself.

Digital subscription (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#42384463)

Got an email notification that I received a gift digital subscription to a magazine the other day. I'm waiting until Christmas day to redeem it so it feels more Christmassy.

It's a new technology (1)

notknown86 (1190215) | about a year ago | (#42384503)

It's a new technology and it needs a new process.

Personally, I prefer to relocate the element of surprise such that it falls after the delivery of gift.

The wife looks briefly away from the screen to profusely thank me for the e-gift voucher. A couple of clicks, and... WHAM! Goatse! [goatse.info]

Received? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year ago | (#42384507)

Related question: If you have something like an Amazon e-gift card emailed to someone, how do you know it was received and not simply eaten by a spam filter?

Re:Received? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384621)

Ask them.

Re:Received? (3, Insightful)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year ago | (#42384667)

Ask them.

That's a little hard to do without rubbing in their faces the fact that they (perhaps) weren't grateful enough to thank you for the gift.

Re:Received? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386011)

The fact that it came via a method of delivery in which you have no guarantee of delivery gives them an easy out. Besides, if they're not grateful enough to give thanks, they're too socially inept to even notice the slight.

But if you're worried about it, just ask the day of arrival or the next day. That's soon enough that they can't be expected to have sent thanks, so they won't feel that way (although I don't know who would anyway).

Re:Received? (1)

jtmach (958490) | about a year ago | (#42394221)

Related question: If you have something like an Amazon e-gift card emailed to someone, how do you know it was received and not simply eaten by a spam filter?

Specific to an Amazon e-gift card. Amazon sends you an e-mail when the recipient redeems the card.

Re:Received? (1)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about a year ago | (#42394307)

I have never received anything from Amazon about an e-gift card being redeemed, and I've been giving them out to contractors that work for me for years.

My favorite! (1)

pieisgood (841871) | about a year ago | (#42384511)

Very carefully.
(A good joke in proof based math classes, "how do we prove this theorem, class?" .. it always got laughs and mean looks)

e-gifters are lazy givers. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384521)

Not a lot of thought goes into an e-gift. Its given on the spur of the moment, given because the giver was too indolent to arrange for the physical object to be delivered on time, given because the giver doesn't really think that much of the recipient.

e-givers occupy the same ground as those who give with a moral purpose that says "Look, I'm more thoughtful than you" and so you end up with a tawdry card and a collection of marketing materials that tell you that the giver has gifted, on your behalf, a goat to someone in the Sudan, a well to a community in Mali or a bundle of oh-so-useful mosquito nets for distribution in the Congo. Or perhaps you've ended up with a certificate that says you've adopted a Snow Leopard together with a cute stuffed toy; they're endangered, after all... And you can't moan or gripe about not getting a proper gift, because the donations on your behalf are meaningful. For a given value of meaningful...

Anyhow, its tit-for-tat from now on. I get an e-gift, next year that person gets a store token for somewhere thay wouldn't be seen dead in. And anyone who wishes to donate to charity on my behalf gets a lump of coal. Can't say fairer than that.

Happy Christmas, everybody!

Re:e-gifters are lazy givers. (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#42384613)

Not always.

There are many people that no longer want physical 'media' items such as books and CDs/DVDs but still like to get a 'book' as a gift.

But yes, for 'children' getting a small 'related' gift then shoving in a card isn't a bad idea. For adults, its a waste of money.

print and download (3, Informative)

hraponssi (1939850) | about a year ago | (#42384529)

bought some games for the kids on steam. printing a letter from santa for them and downloading the stuff when they are sleeping. then we all pretend the elves did it. of course if steam crashes tonight i will still pretend the elves did it but left the download instructions.

Obviously... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#42384531)

Obviously you should go with a passworded archive. Then it has to be opened, and can't be opened until the password is given. You could even put some other data in there to make it hard to know the size of the file until opened.

e-gifs (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#42384593)

No thanks, i want to actual hold the stuff in my grubby little hands.

The closest id get to an e-gift is a visa type gift card ( wont get a store card, they are too restrictive ). But cash is still better, and there is no fee.

Re:e-gifs (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#42385131)

No thanks, i want to actual hold the stuff in my grubby little hands.

That's the right answer.

I want gifts to be something that I care about, given to someone I care about.

The kind of equivalency-gifting that goes on with most people here in the US is anathema to me and my family and friends. We give personal gifts to the people who are closest to us, and we secret-santa everyone else. Gift cards and e-cards are considered a failure of the imagination. And if someone needs money, we don't make them wait for Christmas for our generosity. The only ones who get any cash presents are the high school or college age kids among us, because their desires, their tastes, tend to change at a frequency beyond our comprehension.

The shopping, the expectations, the commerce masquerading as generosity, are the least enjoyable parts of the whole thing for me.

Now that we're the grownups, we get to make the rules, and our rule is "No Bullshit at Christmas". Just an honest effort to make one another a little bit happy, even if just for a moment.

Oh yeah, and singing. Everybody sings at Christmas. No excuses.

Re:e-gifs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385823)

Oh yeah, and singing. Everybody sings at Christmas. No excuses.

Obviously, you have never had the "pleasure" of being serenaded by my wife!

Re:e-gifs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42386037)

Gift cards have a place.

Santa got my daughter a gift card to Build-A-Bear. It is the going there that is the gift, and you can't give "going there" on Xmas. Yeah, a homemade card with a note that says "We are going to Build-A-Bear" could work (if not from Santa), but adding the gift card makes it a little more real for the kid.

I got my girlfriend a gift card for 'our place.' We both go there often with or without each other. When she uses her card there, she'll think of me and our special times regardless of whether I'm with her or not. She'll feel good over and over from the one simple gift card. (It wasn't the *only* thing I got her. Each thing was special and perfect for her - she agrees.)

I don't really like the whole expectation of gifts on xmas, though. I much prefer giving gifts when they are not expected. And I absolutely refuse to buy gifts just because they are expected. If they aren't the right gifts, why bother?

Re:e-gifs (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | about a year ago | (#42385301)

I maintain an Amazon wishlist for things I would like as gifts...and I don't put any digital items on it. I enjoy getting a physical item; there's just something more meaningful about receiving an actual book than an incomprehensible string of 25 alphanumeric characters.

Wrapping (5, Funny)

Azure Flash (2440904) | about a year ago | (#42384617)

gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r0001
gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r0002
gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r0003
gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r0004
...
gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r8999
gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r9000
gift.zip.ace.7z.tar.bz2.iso.apk.pea.dmg.cab.r9001

Have fun! Hope you enjoy it!

Re:Wrapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385309)

That was funny, but you completely missed out on adding some entirely antiquated formats such as:
LHA, ARC, PAK, SIT, LZW...

Re:Wrapping (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385983)

ARC rules!!! That was the whole reason for Phil Katz wrote PKARC and then PKZIP.

Re:Wrapping (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385991)

That was funny, but you completely missed out on adding some entirely antiquated formats such as:
LHA, ARC, PAK, SIT, LZW...

Urk. Yes, SIT too was a huge problem for a long time on Macs, let alone the poor PC users who sometimes needed to receive that format... receiving large compressed files from PC users was a pain, but even "native" mac formats was excruciating. Archives also got transmitted in HQX and SEA containers that small and large programmers alike loved. One of the things IE4+ for the Mac did nicely was offering some transparent, Mac-only expansion support of those two. It would have been nice if it could have handled ZIP because Macs from the pre-OSX days never got a native tool for Zip files.

The parallel experience was to use the SIT format and deal with files that had to be "Unstuffed". It was a confusing experience for me as a PC user, especially when the final package was some disk image file silently got dropped on the desktop. The wrapping issue is much worse that I can coherently discuss this late at night, but I had suppressed those memories for nearly 10 years.

At some point you were forced to install Stuffit Expander Enhancer (not to be confused with Stuffit) to deal with internet file transfers. There was some naming issue similar to the confusion between Adobe Acrobat (Writer) and the free Adobe Reader... I never want to revisit those models again on a desktop. Winzip ate up quite a bit of profit before Windows XP came out, and I'm glad most of those formats are gone... I still get annoyed at those fools using RAR files on chan sites. Music file sharing would have failed to gain traction with the barely-savvy groups 10 years ago had MP3 needed to fight the same domination wars against MP2, AAC, OOG and WAV all in the same era.

wrap a printout in a gag box (2)

Khopesh (112447) | about a year ago | (#42384673)

Find a spare box (limited only by the available amount of wrapping paper, big boxes with obsurd labels ("beauty care" for a dude, "Windows 8" for a Linux advocate, or perhaps "Extreme Chores [thinkgeek.com]"). Print out your gift or some ad for your gift, maybe use a card or something, put it in the box. Extra points for lots of packing ~peanuts. Wrap box, label, etc.

I once did this. I asked the clerk at Best Buy if I could have one of the empty Windows Vista display boxes. I got it. Real gift went inside. The receipient knew how adamantly against Vista I was, so it definitely turned her head.

Re:wrap a printout in a gag box (1)

matskralc (2412162) | about a year ago | (#42385471)

my wife got a copy of the da vinci code at her office's white elephant party. so, for my college-age brother who couldn't care less about, well, reading (and certainly not pseudo-historical fiction), she hollowed it out, and inside that will go the gift card trap (one of those little plastic cases with a maze you have to work the ball through to the switch in order to open and get what's inside) containing the printout for the newegg gift card.

Make them prove they're human (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384713)

By forcing them to fill out captcha.

what is this question even asking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384745)

I have lots of gadgets and stuff, but almost all presents I get are physical. Nothing says "I don't even care enough about you to walk to the post office" like an e-card. This is the kind of reason why people think geeks have no social skills.

tar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42384971)

Tarball the files you intend to send to people who don't know linux. This will simulate those indestructible clear plastic casings that take 20 minutes to open.

Special circumstances only (4, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year ago | (#42384977)

Call me old school, but the whole point of Christmas is to be together with loved ones. The idea that everyone is sitting around the tree in their pajamas, and suddenly whip out their iPhones 'n whatnot to check their email to see what presents they got, just seems.... tacky.

Unless the product in question could *only* be delivered via email, or if you were sending a gift to someone very far away and it's just more realistic to do it that way, then virtual presents just feels wrong. If you don't want to give someone a physical for some reason, then make a donation to a charity in their name or something.

Humans are naturally physical and a huge amount of our interaction with the world revolves around touch. It's already been well established, for example, that people value software far less when it's not delivered in a box than when it is. Not only will people who recieve a virtual gift be virtually guaranteed of cherishing it less, but people will be thinking (subconsciously or consciously) that the giver was somehow cheap, in some vague unidentifiable way.

Re:Special circumstances only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385139)

It's already been well established, for example, that people value software far less when it's not delivered in a box than when it is

Well established where? In the days of physical software disks, I used to pirate everything. Now that it's easily distributable over the interwebz, I pay for everything because I want the developers to be paid well for producing a quality product. Nothing has changed but the delivery, but I seem to value their work a lot more now. Or maybe because I now have a real job.

Re:Special circumstances only (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#42385547)

I'll tell you how *I* unwrap an "e-gift"...

Usually it requires a $25 or $50 credit card payment....

And I get to keep the video...

Print it out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42385545)

Whenever my gift is only digitally deliverable, I print out a copy of the redeemable email or page header graphic or whatever folded up like a holiday card. Then I forward a duplicate of that email, usually with the redeemable link, right around when the gift-opening time is.

Laziness pays off now (1)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | about a year ago | (#42385815)

This year I went online, found things the people who live in other states will probably like, and put their name in the shipping information.

One has worked out quite well, except that she didn't exactly know it was from me. Email fixed that.

Still waiting to see if the others got their parcels..

I don't open e-gifts (0)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#42386107)

It does not matter if it is an e-card or a certificate of 100USD for whatever site. I do not open them. If I know who send the gift, I will email that person and demand (not merely ask) that they should respect my privacy and not give away my email to companies that I have no intention of getting my email.

I do the same and most of my friends do the same, Not only do we respect to not give away our email addresses, but we also do not give away phone numbers.

I lost my sisters phone number, so I called my parents. They called my sister to ask if they could give the number to me. To me this is standard. I will not give away information to others unless I have the confirmation that I am allowed to do so and I expect the same from others.

To me that is standard politeness towards respecting privacy.

Don't look an e-Gift horse in the mouth... (1)

Qubit (100461) | about a year ago | (#42386139)

Or something like that. Although online, it's probably more like "don't look a goatse in the..."

Well, you get the picture.

Late? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42386301)

Isn't this a little late? Even on the west coast you only have a few hours left to read all the suggestions, weed out the jokes and goatse links (1 already on this page), pick your favorite solution and actually wrap your gift. That's assuming you've even BOUGHT the e-gift already!

Trawling for ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42390255)

Is it just me or does this Ask Slashdot seem very much likes someone looking for a marketable idea?

e-gift wrapping with Delightfully, Inc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42392547)

My teammates and I are building a company to address this question -- delightfully.com. Through our web service, we help gift givers deliver e-gifts with the same anticipation and demonstrated thoughtfulness as wrapping paper. We help them turn their content into interactive webpages. What do you think? If you're interested in discussing this further, please contact me at jason@delightfully.com.

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