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Ask Slashdot: How Do You "Unwrap" e-Gifts? 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the virtual-stockings dept.
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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Ask Slashdot: How Do You "Unwrap" e-Gifts?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • One answer (Score:3, Informative)

    by SecondCobra (1628707) on Monday December 24, 2012 @07:06PM (#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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday December 24, 2012 @07:07PM (#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: (Score:2, Funny)

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

      Merry Christmas,
      The Grammar Grinch
    • by todrules (882424)
      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 peop
    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      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 the

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

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

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

    Bah! Humbug!

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      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.
  • by Kergan (780543) on Monday December 24, 2012 @07:11PM (#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.

  • 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 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]
  • 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?

    • by jtmach (958490)

      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.

      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        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.

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

  • print and download (Score:3, Informative)

    by hraponssi (1939850) on Monday December 24, 2012 @07:30PM (#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 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.
  • 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.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947)

      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

    • by Cinder6 (894572)

      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.

  • It's the wrapper that keeps on giving.
  • Wrapping (Score:5, Funny)

    by Azure Flash (2440904) on Monday December 24, 2012 @07:46PM (#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!
  • by Khopesh (112447) on Monday December 24, 2012 @07:58PM (#42384673) Homepage Journal

    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.

    • 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.
  • you use ehands and epull the epaper epart.

  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday December 24, 2012 @09:10PM (#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.

  • 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..

  • 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 pare

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

    Well, you get the picture.

  • 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!
  • 'nuff said.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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