A Brave New FutureAmazon has a new patent that's nothing short of genius:
A new patent from Amazon gives potential gift recipients the ability to set gifts from certain people to auto-screen or auto-return. That way, when Grandma sends you the latest sweater -- it never ships -- saving you and Amazon much grief.
The patent [PDF] states:
[User instituted rules might include...] Convert any gift from Aunt Mildred to a gift certificate, but only after checking with me....For example, the user may specify such a rule because the user believes that this potential sender has different tastes than the user.
Understandably, etiquette experts are alarmed, but it seems like a wonderful idea to convert the seventeenth consecutive holiday sweater vest from Aunt Agnes into a gift certificate, should you so choose.