A PhD student in New Zealand has invented an internet "bot" to automatically shower him with gifts by buying cheap items in online auctions. Because computer friends, you see, do not forsake you.

Paul Hunkin's autonomous gift buying software was inspired by an installment of the internet cartoon XKCD, in which a man who loves packages writes a computer script to buy something off eBay on his behalf every day. As in the cartoon, Hunkin's program buys cheap items with free shipping, though it orders only once every three days on average. The bot even has its own Twitter account, in which it documents its use of Hunkin's credit card. Its first buy was a package of five watch batteries. Sadly, Hunkin does not own a watch. HINT HINT.

[via Hacker News, photo via Hunkin's Flickr]