Let your code do the (holiday) shopping

Software developer creates a program to randomly choose and buy stuff

Do you like online shopping, but hate having to actually pick stuff out?

Once upon a time, back in the day, in order to go Christmas or Hanukkah or birthday or anniversary or whatever shopping, you had to actually put on some clothes, leave the house and deal with other humans face-to-face. Then, catalog shopping came about and, eventually, the Internet and online shopping, and you could then buy stuff from the comfort of your home in your jammies without having to talk to, look it or interact with another person. And life was good.

Now, thanks to the work one of sharp software developer, you may soon be able to do your holiday shopping, not only in your underwear from your panic room, but without even having to be conscious. Darius Kazemi has created a program that will go shopping on Amazon, pick out items that fit within a budget and buy them, all without him having to click a mouse or even given it a thought. The catch, though, is that his program picks things to buy at random, so he doesn’t know what he getting until it shows up in his mailbox.

He calls the program he wrote the Amazon Random Shopper and writes that it was inspired by the excitement he'd get when an item he ordered online that was backordered finally arrived and he had forgotten it was even coming. What it basically does is, once a month, using a gift card with $50 loaded onto it, picks a random keyword, logs onto Amazon and searches for the lowest priced book, CD or DVD associated with the keyword and buys it, and repeats the process until the money is spent. A few days or later - voila! - a mystery package (or packages) arrives at Kazemi’s house.

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