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I'll Buy Anything!

As far as you know
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Amazon.com still insists on offering me “product recommendations” based on brief searches I did months or even years ago. Also, I've noticed that looking at products on one site will now set a cookie that triggers advertisements for those products on completely unrelated sites. Even if you're not normally concerned about privacy, the amount of targeting advertisers engage in these days is rather unsettling.

This software aims to counteract this. It runs in the background and continuously browses to shopping sites that engage in such targeted advertising, performing searches for random items. The end result is that advertisers can't figure out whether you're a goatherd from Sheboygan who's planning a trip to visit his Swedish aunt, or a Panamanian bowling enthusiast interested in purchasing a new set of power tools. The ads you see will thus be effectively randomized, negating any attempts at tracking your shopping habits.

ytk, Mar 27 2013

Article about a "Mad Apple patent" http://www.theregis..._data_clone_patent/
I suspect that the trouble I'd have with this is adopting its randomly assigned interests. [Loris, Mar 27 2013]

Similar. Continuous_20Random_20Activity_20Provider
[DrBob, Mar 27 2013]

http://xkcd.com/576/ [hippo, Mar 27 2013]

another solution to another version of this problem Smeared_20Online_20Identity
[calum, Mar 28 2013]

[link]






       So, you're setting yourself up to receive spam from everyone?
whlanteigne, Mar 27 2013
  

       Deleting all the cookies on your computer can help - also you can go into your Amazon profile and ask it to not use certain things for recommendations.
hippo, Mar 27 2013
  

       Not having ads on your computer works even better.
pocmloc, Mar 27 2013
  

       I exercise a total boycott of Amazon over their tax avoidance antics in the UK.
xenzag, Mar 27 2013
  

       Why not confuse them even more? Check out Nun outfits, marijuana seeds from Amsterdam, socks with no toes, paint, mouse traps etc.
xandram, Mar 27 2013
  

       [xandram] That random approach could be dangerous - see link.
hippo, Mar 27 2013
  

       Oh yes, I guess you are right [hippo]!!
xandram, Mar 27 2013
  

       Here's the annoying thing about them to me, at least with Google. You Google something, and you get an ad that is somehow related, but not quite, and in an awful way.   

       So let's say that you are Googling the Philippines, because you are concerned about the South China Sea crisis. Next thing you know, your wife is seeing ads for mail-order brides from the Philippines, featuring buxom filipinas in bikini tops.   

       Or even worse, lets say that you are Googling the Philippines because you are indeed thinking of getting a mail order-bride from the Philippines. Next thing you know, your wife is seeing ads for mail-order brides from the Philippines, featuring buxom filipinas in bikini tops. That really sucks.   

       Did you know you can get free shipping on mail-order brides if they are over 30?
Kansan101, Mar 27 2013
  

       Seedy nuns notwithstanding, those socks with no toes are an abomination.
bungston, Mar 28 2013
  

       Given how non-specific Amazon's recommendations tend to be, I wonder whether this is even necessary.

"We see that you're interested in music" (I bought the 30th anniversary version of Rumours) " and books" (One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch). "Perhaps you'll enjoy these." (One Direction's latest offering and a "A French Affair" by Katie Fforde.)
angel, Mar 28 2013
  

       Hippo, I used to joke about borrowing a friend's department store loyalty card and buying weedkiller, sugar, batteries, wire, alarm clock etc. on different days.
Ling, Mar 28 2013
  
      
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