back to article Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

I am a very lucky man: Amazon is offering me a 20 per cent discount. The cynics among you might try to claim that everything at Amazon is offered at a 20 per cent discount because of its advantageous tax arrangements but that would be the result of confusion. My 20 per cent discount has nothing to do with VAT being 20 per cent …


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  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The cynics among you might try to claim that everything at Amazon is offered at a 20 per cent discount because of its advantageous tax arrangements

    No, I'd claim Amazon was offering everything at a 16.667% discount.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting, is that why Amazon continually send me suggestions for things I had already bought from them?

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        They keep sending me suggestions of printers to put my ink cartridges into.

        If I'd bought a printer, then selling the ink would make sense, but people don't buy ink, then wonder where they might get a printer that it works in.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          They keep sending me suggestions of printers to put my ink cartridges into.

          Considering the MTBF for commodity ink-jet printers, this makes perfect sense. You've bought them in the past, so you're likely to buy one again. Probably in the near future.

  2. Richard 120

    But, but, but

    You're not buying what they want you to buy!

  3. dogged

    If you don't want the reduced price nappies, can I have them?

    Renewable expenses with babies are a killer.

    1. Mark #255

      Cloth nappies FTW

      As long as you're not on a water meter, cloth nappies work out cheaper in the long run (well, they did for us 7 years ago).

      Plus you get a seemingly inexhaustible supply of dusters, napkins etc for the following years.

      1. dogged

        Re: Cloth nappies FTW

        > As long as you're not on a water meter

        Yeah, there's the issue.

      2. Ben Bonsall

        Re: Cloth nappies FTW

        err, do your guests know you are making them wipe their mouths and hands on used nappies?

        1. NumptyScrub

          Re: Cloth nappies FTW

          quote: "err, do your guests know you are making them wipe their mouths and hands on used nappies?"

          I spot a distinct lack of trust in standardised washing processes (including machinery and detergents). They are good enough for me, and I would happily use a freshly washed cloth regardless of it's previous role.

          I also happily eat sausages and drink tap water though, so YMMV ^^;

      3. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: Cloth nappies FTW

        Oi don't encourage people to put everyones bill up!

        Think of the Grown Ups!

      4. Montreal Sean

        Re: Cloth nappies FTW

        We tried cloth nappies with our first son, 5 years ago. Really, we did. We were pro-planet, cloth is better for baby, who cares about the initial cost because we save money in the long run parents.

        But, he would soak the nappies and any clothes he was wearing at the time.

        That doesn't sound too bad, except he did this almost hourly. Even with the extra inserts and the "waterproof" cover.

        Disposable worked out cheaper because with them we managed to keep our sanity.

      5. Charles Manning

        "inexhaustible supply of dusters, napkins etc"

        Mug's Law ensures that as soon as you re-deploy the old nappies you won't need any more, the stork visits with an unexpected blessing.

    2. Marvin the Martian

      I think the nappies is explainable

      I think Amazon has realized from your spending pattern, that you've reached that midlife crisis point in life where you consider getting a motorbike or a flashy car, decide against it but instead get a mistress, are a bit careless, and have a second litter.

  4. Pete 2 Silver badge

    What they think they know

    > Amazon, Google and all the others have been assiduously tracking, carefully storing and relentlessly re-using information about us.... for years

    And still they make a total balls-up of analysing it. So imagine what a mess a government run tracking scheme would be. Without even the incentive for getting it right, of making a profit?

    Yet this is what we get. With all the surveillance, meta-data, guilt by association and treating all their citizens like criminals: even before they start correlating the data they get from our everyday activities.

    They say that if you have done nothing wrong, then you have nothing to hide. The problem, as this example illustrates, isn't that the bad things you (may) have done will come to light - it's the incorrect conclusions and false-positives that get drawn from poorly analysed data collections. Even from the world's best commercial operators.

    1. Sander van der Wal

      Big Data is a scam.

      They et al. do not know anything about you. And why should they? As long as the advertisers believe the Big Data talk, They et al. make money.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Dr Insanity

    clearly you're just holding the internet wrong

  6. Vimes

    It's no worse than some of the spam I've been getting.

    'Are you unhappy with your breast size?'

    I'm a man not a woman, and whilst I know I'm overweight this is pushing things a little... :)

    1. The Wegie

      Oddly enough

      I rarely get breast enlargement spam. Plenty of penis enhancers and "natural testosterone" spam though.

      Maybe the spammers know something that I don't. Have I really been deluded thinking I was a woman for the last 40-odd years?

      1. Bloakey1

        Re: Oddly enough


        "Maybe the spammers know something that I don't. Have I really been deluded thinking I was a woman for the last 40-odd years?"

        My favorite spam of all time was about twenty three years ago. It was a spam arranging a dating club with people that had herpes ! A commendable act I thought but where did they get my address from?

        I don't get spam any more! is that sad?

  7. malle-herbert

    Are you sure it's the wrong conclusion ?

    Because your wife (or one of your kids) might be pregnant.

    Hence the discount... ;-)

    1. Tom Wood

      Re: Are you sure it's the wrong conclusion ?


    2. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Are you sure it's the wrong conclusion ?


      Amazon has clearly determined that your progeny are now of child bearing age, and therefore are making you this offer to help you support your grandchildren...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Or maybe someone else browsed Amazon on your computer... and by the way, your wife has some important news to tell you...

    1. NightFox

      Re: Perhaps...

      That's the problem with Amazon recommendations and advertising - if I only bought stuff for myself I guess their only failing would be for things I'd just bought, e.g. why keep pushing TV adverts at me when I've just bought a brand new TV from you?

      However, the reality is that my Amazon purchase history is a mish-mash of personal purchases, things I've brought for work, things my kids or relatives have asked me to buy for them, presents I've bought for people ranging from babies to 80+ year olds. No wonder Amazon's targeted ads seem to be aimed at the wrong target!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook's no better

    I am against nuke plants, vehemently, or anything nuke and I am a Brit ... facebook served me an ad for a career on a nuke carrier (the US navy) ... Now, I don't fancy killing kids from the "safe haven" that is a nuke carrier, thank you very much.

    As for Amazon, they always serve me ads for stuff I recently purchased and, obviously, have no need to purchase again - the MUM5 works a treat, not sure why anyone would want a second one ... No I do not have ad block, I click on the ads to help finance my favorite websites (el Reg included) ;-)

    Will I get a bonus from el reg ? No, shit, I'm anon ... oh well ...

    1. malle-herbert

      Re: Facebook's no better

      Well... i'm pretty sure Amazon doesn't sell anything nuke...

      Ebay on the other hand...

      1. stucs201

        Re: i'm pretty sure Amazon doesn't sell anything nuke...

        Yes they do:

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Facebook's no better

      " Will I get a bonus from el reg ? No, shit, I'm anon ... oh well ... "

      You only think you are anonymous. ElReg knows your login handle/password, which is required to post here. In turn, they are tied to your current IP address (by definition). You are not as anon as you (seem to) think you are.

      HTH, HAND weekend :-)

  10. Moosh
    Paris Hilton

    You do realize that all the criticisms you had about spotify are clearly untargeted ads EVERYONE sees, right?

    They're not saying "you would like this".


    Are you sure you're actually the only one to recieve this nappy discount? I can't take the premise of the article seriously anymore.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Thats exactly why they are even more annoying than the targetted ads

      It's as if when you went into a restaurant the waiter always recommended boiled rice - because it is very popular with a billion people in China or India

    2. Alistair Dabbs

      >> I can't take the premise of the article seriously anymore

      I'm gutted.

  11. hplasm

    re:"I am against nuke plants, vehemently..."

    At least Amazon don't try to sell you new-fangled stocking looms or anything like that...

  12. Joefish

    I always wondered why, on the Sci-Fi channel of all things,

    Every second advert was for make-up products..?

    1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

      Re: I always wondered why, on the Sci-Fi channel of all things,

      Because the Otaku like cosplay.

    2. Squander Two

      Re: I always wondered why, on the Sci-Fi channel of all things,

      Because the men who watch the Sci-Fi channel are spectacularly bad at buying presents for women.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I always wondered why, on the Sci-Fi channel of all things,

        Thanks for that revelation, Squander Two...

  13. ukgnome

    I find that nappies

    soak up the blood incredibly well.....anyone? Nope? just me then!

    1. Swarthy

      Re: I find that nappies

      Sanitary napkins work even better. Tampons, with their applicators, can even help staunch a deep puncture wound.

      Although, if you are using a full-sized nappy to soak up the blood, I don't think first-aid is your goal.

      Carry on.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: I find that nappies

        staunch a deep puncture wound

        staunch /stɔːn(t)ʃ/ adjective Very loyal and committed in attitude.

        The word you are thinking of is "stanch".

        1. gloucester

          Re: I find that nappies

          Or, if you bother to read the second definition that a 5 second dictionary search brings up:

          staunch2 verb (staunches, staunched, staunching) to stop the flow of (something, such as blood from a wound, information, gossip, etc).

          ETYMOLOGY: 13c: from French estanchier.

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: I find that nappies

            @gloucester Are you using the Humpty-Dumpty Words Means Whatever I Want Dictionary? This is what I find in reputable sources. And, no, I haven't omitted a second definition from further down the page.

            OED 1. Very loyal and committed in attitude and 2. (Of a wall) of strong or firm construction.

            Cambridge always loyal in supporting a person, organization, or set of beliefs or opinions.

            Collins 1. loyal, firm, and dependable, 2. solid or substantial in construction, 3. (rare) (of a ship, etc) watertight; seaworthy

            Merriam-Webster 1a : watertight, sound, 1b strongly built: substantial, 2 steadfast in loyalty or principle.

            I'm afraid my knowledge of Old French isn't as good as yours, but some dictionaries appear to concur in your view that "staunch" derives from a 13C verb meaning "to stanch". If people are going to post to El Reg in archaic foreign languages, it would help to add some indication of which language they are using.

        2. wikkity

          Re: I find that nappies

          Hmm, an American correcting English on an British web site? I had to look up the word stanch as I'd never come across it before, thought something was amiss when firefox put a red wiggly line underneath it, this is what google had to say:






          variant spelling of staunch2.

      2. Bloakey1

        Re: I find that nappies

        "Sanitary napkins work even better. Tampons, with their applicators, can even help staunch a deep puncture wound."


        Sanitary towels are great for wounds, good for keeping sweat out of eyes in tropical climates and jungle. Tampons are superb for puncture wounds and particularly bullet wounds. Brown unbleached ones are best due to TSS but any port in a storm.

    2. David Pollard

      Re: I find that nappies

      At last, a vampire who cares.

  14. Gavin Jamie

    Temporal error

    I find google is excelling at pushing ads for things I bought yesterday, which really is not much of a trick.

    1. stucs201

      Re: Temporal error

      Not just the same thing, but often from the same supplier.

      Its this that proves that targetted advertising is utterly pointless. In a world where we can search for stuff we know we want there is no point showing adverts for that stuff. I'd guess it has a higher click-through rate, however I'd expect the actual extra sales generated to be less than random ads that actually stood a chance of showing you something you weren't already going to buy anyway and may not even have known you wanted (or that it existed).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "pushing ads for things I bought yesterday"

      Ah, but if the ad-service can lose the detailed time-ordering when reporting, the vendor might see an apparent higher hit-rate for their ads: ad pushed (afterwards) to a buyer might easily be mis-analysed as an ad pushed to someone who bought ... especially if the vendor doesn't have access to detailed buyer/ad-target data. This would make the ads seem more useful than they are, and so help to encourage future ad orders..

  15. c3

    Joke's on you

    When you find out your daughter is pregnant.

  16. Squander Two

    World-class data-mining.

    I've told this one before, so apologies to those who read it last time.

    Like all men, Facebook keeps throwing me "Meet hot young single women in your area who are absolutely gagging for it" adverts. Then my wife bought my daughter a DVD of Annie. I'd never seen it before, noticed something mildly amusing about it, and mentioned it on Facebook. All those ads immediately disappeared, to be replaced with "Meet young oiled men in leggings and peaked caps" ads.

    Somewhere in their code, Facebook actually have this algorithm: "Watched a musical => Must be a poofter."

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: World-class data-mining.

      I better not mention my liking of certain musicals with car chases, penguins and Dodge Monacos then.

      1. Alister Silver badge

        Re: World-class data-mining.

        Jake, is that you?

        1. jake Silver badge

          @Alister (was: Re: World-class data-mining.)


          Assuming you are computer illiterate, and don't know the difference between "jake" and "Jake" in this medium, I'll assume you mean "jake" ... Please note that "Jake" hasn't been exactly active recently.

          ANYwho ...I'm not certain which of the above two posts you are responding to, but where have I ever displayed homophobia, or a love of Dodge motor vehicles? Please, do try to read for content Alister.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Re: @Alister (was: World-class data-mining.)

            _EVERYONE_ just knows that the best musical ever is The Blues Brothers!

            Hence my joke about musicals.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You *SURE* you don't need nappies?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Online retailers that spam you immediately after a purchase to suggest you buy more

    Just don't get it!

    You've spent your monthly treat cash & it's gonna be another month until...

  19. JDX Gold badge

    Filed under HARDWARE > GAMES?

    It should be under wetware. And there's nothing funny about poop.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN"

    And? your point?

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Well..

      A something man like you probably have children or grand children who need nappies. That is logic, get over it, you cannot hide. Still when I put Linux on a Windows machine previously used by my wife and using it now, YouTube keeps proposing stuff I never looked at. Also I am frequently asked to do something about my Windows machine as it's running out of space and guts, spooky. What makes me a bit sad are a few, god forsaken sites, where I have been, for years, the one and only first 1.000.000 human being to accidentally find them. Please somebody help them.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you think Amazon is bad wait until you have experienced Tesco Bank

    Now Tesco have changed into a bank, they have changed their telephone security requirements without telling the customers. So, unable to persuade them to transfer our money, we used snail mail to close the account. The accompanying letter said "Thank you for closing your account!" However, we made the mistake of continuing to use the credit card. Wednesday in the US, for the second time in 2 trips the card was refused. We regularly spend 2-4 months in the US for the past 20 years and Tesco have been supplied with both fixed line and mobile US phone numbers. When we phoned Tesco to find out why, we couldn't answer the new security questions to their satisfaction, even though we also wished to pay them a lot of money to clear last months bill. After she had spoken further brusque words with the Tesco employee and demanded to talk to a manager, who apparently was too important to talk to an irate customer, we were redirected to the next department who said the purchase ( for less than $400) was suspicious, so they blocked it and the following non purchase and phoned our UK number to tell us! So much for having all the customer data and knowing all about their purchasing habits. It's obviously time for a new credit card supplier. Thank god we have a US bank account for backup. I have to admit, that my experience of Amazon has so far been extremely good, so much so that they are my preferred supplier for most mail order purchasers. If they do a credit card, I'll certainly consider it!

  22. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Justin Bieber.

    J.B. isn't Gothic, true, but The

    Horror bit.............................

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Assisted Suicide

    I think the nadir was when Amazon recommended me a book on assisted suicide. Apparently other people who had enjoyed PG Wodehouse were also interested in assisted suicide.

    Personally I find the opposite: a bit of Jeeves and Wooster always puts me in a spiffing mood for a top hole sort of day. What Ho!

  24. seven of five Silver badge

    The really important question here:

    were "within the ruins" any good?

  25. Andrew Wilson

    This would be the same Amazon that keeps sending me emails recommending Kindle e-books that I have already bought from them ....

  26. Stevie Silver badge


    Oh FFS Alistaire, just do what I've been doing since the targeted ads started (and are most vigorously presented right here on El Reg I might add): stick a few waterbras and thong sets on your Amazon Wish List each time you visit.

    My browsing is a thing of wonder as those annoying ads of yesteryear now feature scantily clad young ladies. Nothing cheers me up like reading your column while being enthusiastically exhorted to try the latest push-up bra by a pneumatic young woman.

    My 'My Amazon' page is a thing of NSFW beauty too.

    1. an it guy

      Re: Bah!

      that works until someone actually buys you one of those for a present.

      "But, but, it was on your wishlist!"

      Hope you made it private.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      So, perhaps someone can clarify this for me - what is it that makes such a woman pneumatic rather than, say, hydraulic or electric? Is it because pneumatic systems are often 'bang-bang'?

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        No, it is because common usage over nearly 60 years suggests that term.

        Though I can't say I'm thrilled by the idea of seeing Bulgarian Oilbags even if that is a more accurate description of their contents.

        That's the problem with IT - it tends to reward a literal mindset and atrophy what little metaphor-decoding nodes we are born with. Luckily I grew up in the 60s and 70s and had my metaphorical nodes fed on a diet of Sunday Mirror and Page Three. I could often feel them swelling as I read from the serialized Naked Ape (with tasteful pictures that had nothing to do with the text).

  27. Irony Deficient

    Stereotypes die hard. What can I do?

    Stick to the one, the only, the original: Spin̈al Tap.

    “Thy Art Is Murder”? Odds bodkins! Thine Art Is Murder! (après nous, le Déluge…)

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Stereotypes die hard. What can I do?

      Steel Panther could give Spinal Tap a run. Going to see them later this month.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stereotypes die hard. What can I do?

      Upvote for using "Odds bodkins!", an epithet showcasing the best that the Queen's English has to offer if ever there was one.

    3. TitterYeNot

      Re: Stereotypes die hard. What can I do?

      "Stick to the one, the only, the original: Spin̈al Tap."

      Ah yes, their timeless classic, "Lick My Love Pump"...

  28. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Sung like someone gargling brick-dust

    Nice one, really nice one.

    Put me in mind of a fellow student living in the same student house as I did, and he was into punk musing of the type in which it sounded like somebody was vomiting violently into a microphone, and somebody else had hung a fireproof mike in an operational afterburner of a jet fighter.

    He used to study quietly and conscientiously till midnight, and then put his music on at roughly 120 dB. As he did not hear our complaints I yanked out the appropriate fuse. He complained that that could damage his records; I retorted that that was peanuts to the damage my 5 lb sledgehammer would do next time. I suggested he had a perfectly serviceable set of headphones so he could listen to his music any time without disturbing us. He said the sound quality would suffer. He did not understand why we howled with laughter at that.

  29. Sarah Balfour

    My Spotify recommendations can be a bit, er, 'left field', too…

    The best was being recommended Infected Mushroom because I'd told 'em I'd listened to Dropkick Murphys… Infected Mushroom, for the uninitiated, are an Israeli trance outfit (and, yes, I do happen to rather like 'em, but from Dropkick Murphys…?!). And can anyone make ANY connection what-so-fecking-EVER between Inspiral Carpets, Terrorvision, and The Undertones…?!

    But what REALLY irks me about Spotify is its gig recommendations. This is the best so far: - "You listened to Inspiral Carpets. Want to see a gig near you…?" Why thank you, Spotify, I might just as it goes… So what do I see when I tap the link…?! Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow and Liverpool. Same for Half Man Half Biscuit, Five Finger Death Punch, Paul Heaton, Ziggy Marley and Pop Will Eat Itself (I'm nothing if not eclectic, me!). My Spotify settings are set to London, my Songkick settings are set to London - SO WTF AM I ONLY GETTING LISTINGS FOR THE NORTH…?!

    As far as depressing spam goes, I'm currently receiving offers for discounted over-50s life insurance, retirement living and SAGA Holidays ('ere, Dabbsy! Think I'm getting yer spam, matey! ;oD). I'm barely 40 (okay, perhaps I'm a LITTLE 40…). What's next…? June Whitfield trying to sell me cover for funeral costs…?!

    Okay, rant over…

    1. Nelbert Noggins

      Re: My Spotify recommendations can be a bit, er, 'left field', too…

      I think next comes those special baths with doors in them... then the funeral services

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: My Spotify recommendations can be a bit, er, 'left field', too…

      Naaa, they start hitting you with hair loss treatments, and Viagra by the mid 40's.

      Funeral plans and "last chance" health plans by the late 40's.

      Magical investment plans to waste your pension money, Put charities on your will and buy "Best of the 1980's collections of 575 CDs" are a definite sign you've got a foot in the grave (Damn, have been getting them for a year or so !)

    3. Swarthy

      Re: My Spotify recommendations can be a bit, er, 'left field', too…

      If it were Grooveshark giving you those recommendations, I would have to apologize, as Infected Mushroom does share a few of my playlists with Dropkick Murphy's, next to Mindless Self Indulgence and Penny Black Remedy.

      But, as I don't use Spotify, I got nothin'.

      I will have to check out Inspiral Carpets.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazon error? Nope !

    You'd be surprised to discover how many 40 something men are incontinent (mentally and/or physically) and in dire need of nappies.... so actually this might be a very accurate targeting.....

  31. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Only slightly at a tangent....

    I use Google's mapping on my mobile to take my teenager to the various friends' homes. I almost always use just the postcode - I can find the actual house number myself (I'm not yet totally dependant on Google, yet).

    Yet even when it's the first time I've been there Google will, spookily often, identify which is the right front door and often will even show me a picture.

  32. Number6

    I don't think I've ever used an on-line supplier who's managed to deduce what I might buy based on previous purchase or viewing history. Amazon are particularly screwed because I use them as a reference source to look things up, as in "it's available on Amazon" as an idea that something is available. I might be encouraging someone else to go buy, but not me. The fact that I delete cookies a lot probably doesn't help them either. One day I'll write an app that lets me modify cookies and screw with them even more.

  33. MJI Silver badge

    Amazone tends to not be used now

    Because more than one person using a computer, they see what others have been looking at, same with Ebay, if I want to look on it I need to use a different computer AND account just to avoid last looked at ect.

  34. MJI Silver badge

    these silly boy bands

    I haven't actually seen the point in them, except for picking on.

    I am still trying to work out why one infected a Doctor Who special, this really annoyed my daughter as she hates these sort of bands.

    The nearest thing to a boy band she would listen to would be Busted or McFly.

  35. pyroweasel
    Big Brother

    In another's Ama-zone?

    I was wondering how Amazon figured this 40something single childless man needed a baby monitor...

    Maybe by surfing t'net via an expecting couple's wifi? Or is this beer belly not what it seems?

  36. ceayers

    Homer J Simpson's advice

    don't bother with nappies - let them roam free in the garden and nature will take it's course.

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