If you are foolish enough to have an Amazon Alexa device in your home, I suggest you immediately take the following steps to correct a serious security bug.
- Turn it off
- Unplug it from any power/phone/etc interface
- Take it outside
- Obtain the largest available hammer (8LB sledge is suitable)
- Pound the device into its elementary constituent particles
1. Join Amazon Prime for free shipping (you’ll see why in a minute).
2. Search Amazon for an existing item which you’d like to “sell.”
3. Open an Amazon Seller account.
4. List “your” item, with a description likely to attract “customers.” For instance, a 1 TB laptop hard drive listing specific laptop models in which it fits, with a 3 year warranty much longer than standard. Make it look good by photoshopping a fake warranty sticker onto the picture of “your” hard drive.
5. Set the price a bit higher than the other vendors, based on that warranty and specific description (some customers will opt for that rather than pry their dead laptop apart just to check HDD dimensions).
6. Take orders.
7. Go to the other seller’s cheaper item (see step 2), and buy it. Send it to your own “customer” as a “gift.” (The free shipping with your Prime account helps here.) Count on most customers not checking receipts to realize they just got a cheaper unit without the warranty.
8. Pocket the difference.
Technically, since the customer gets a unit without the warranty for which he paid, this is fraud. But you’re counting on them not noticing, right?
You could probably increase your odds of getting away with it if — instead of sending it as a fricking gift — you simply specify the “customer’s” shipping address instead of your own. But apparently not all fraudsters are that smart.
If you wanted to do a legal version of this, you could email your customer your own extended warranty information (as opposed to letting him rely on just the manufacturer’s warranty, which is shorter than what you offer), and actually make it good (see step 7) if the customer has a problem with the item. But apparently — again — not all fraudsters are that smart.
…and someone files this abstract.
Described is an airborne fulfillment center (“AFC”) and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAV”) to deliver items from the AFC to users. For example, the AFC may be an airship that remains at a high altitude (e.g., 45,000 feet) and UAVs with ordered items may be deployed from the AFC to deliver ordered items to user designated delivery locations. As the UAVs descend, they can navigate horizontally toward a user specified delivery location using little to no power, other than to stabilize the UAV and/or guide the direction of descent. Shuttles (smaller airships) may be used to replenish the AFC with inventory, UAVs, supplies, fuel, etc. Likewise, the shuttles may be utilized to transport workers to and from the AFC.
It’s all, “I know! Let’s distribute stuff from the sky.” They don’t how. The warehouse might be a lighter-than-airship. It might be a helicarrier with Stark Industries repulsers. Antigravity maybe. Or a static tethered balloon. Hell, a Space elevator. They haven’t decided on how to restock it either. No tech; just a cool concept.
You’d laugh that filing patent weasel attorney out of the office, telling him to come back when his client has something… you know … patentable.
Oops. I forgot; you’re Examiners Edwards and Smith-Stewart, clearly congenital idiots whose parents and ancestors were way too closely related, for far too many inbred generations. So you award patent number 9,305,280.
Or maybe they aren’t idiots. Maybe they got paid off by Amazon.