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Happy New Year! Although we took our yearly holiday hiatus, that didn't stop us from keeping up with the Mac world. In this issue, Rich Mogull questions Intuit's commitment (or even interest) in the Mac platform following a series of QuickBooks bugs that permanently deleted some users' data. Adam weighs in on the settlement between Apple and Think Secret, speculating on why Think Secret chose to shut down. He also passes along advice on adjusting dates in iPhoto calendars, captures a rare Googlewackblatt, and shares the TidBITS-related events at the upcoming Macworld Expo in San Francisco. In other news, we note the releases of Security Update 2007-009 1.1, the "MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1," and a set of MacTech benchmarks that compare the performance of Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. Lastly, Glenn travels back in time to receive groceries via the Web, not with the failed Webvan but with a Seattle startup called

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Security Update 2007-009 1.1 Released with Important Fixes

  by Rich Mogull <>

Shortly before the end of the year, Apple released Security Update 2007-009 to patch 41 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5.1. Many of these vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to take over your computer by simply sending you a malicious file or having you visit a malicious Web site. The affected applications and services include Address Book, CUPS (the printing service), and Quick Look.

(A few days after the initial Security Update 2007-009 was posted, Apple released version 1.1, which corrected a problem with Safari introduced in the prior update.)

Be aware that the Quick Look update will block any Quick Look plug-ins. We suspect this is a temporary fix and Apple will safely re-enable plug-ins in the (hopefully near) future.

A full listing of the updates can be found in Apple's security release notes. It's available through Software Update and in stand-alone form for Leopard (a 35.6 MB download) and Tiger (Universal) (a 27.4 MB download) or Tiger (PowerPC) (a 15.9 MB download).

This is an extremely important update fixing multiple critical vulnerabilities. You should apply this as soon as possible, since many of these are the kinds of vulnerabilities favored by Internet attackers.

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Update Fixes Unresponsive Laptop Keyboards

  by Mark H. Anbinder <>

If you think your recent Mac laptop has decided to slack off, an update released at the end of 2007 might be the solution. For Intel-based laptop owners, the MacBook, MacBook Pro Software Update 1.1, fixes a problem wherein the keyboard occasionally stops responding for a minute or longer. (I've wondered what that was all about!) This update requires that the Mac OS X 10.5.1 update be installed first. (No word on whether the problem can affect 10.4 users.) The update is less than 1 MB and can be downloaded from Software Update or the Apple Web site.

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MacTech Benchmarks Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion

  by Adam C. Engst <>

Our friends over at MacTech have taken on the laborious task of running benchmarks on the popular virtualization programs Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, comparing them against each other, running both Windows XP and Windows Vista, against Apple's Boot Camp, and against a standard PC laptop.

MacTech's tests included real-world activities in each of the main Microsoft Office 2007 applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), along with tests for network and filesystem I/O, Internet Explorer, and cross-platform tasks that involve working with the host operating system (like viewing a PDF attachment to an Outlook email message in Apple's Preview).

The full MacTech article makes for a fascinating read, but it seems to boil down to the following conclusions.

Keep in mind that these conclusions are relevant only for the things MacTech tested, which did not include gaming (where Boot Camp probably has the edge over both virtualization options) or applications that can use multiple processors (where VMware Fusion would probably outperform Parallels Desktop).

If you want to analyze MacTech's results further, you can download an Excel spreadsheet containing all the test data.

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TidBITS Events at Macworld SF 2008

  by Adam C. Engst <>

We're gearing up for our annual trip to Macworld Expo in San Francisco, a significant part of which is trying to find time to see the show floor among a slew of meetings and presentations. Here's our current schedule, and please do come by and say hello! Note that Macworld Expo takes place in both the new Moscone West and the old Moscone South, so plan for some walking time between the two and pay attention to booth numbers.

Monday, January 14th -- Tonya and I, along with a host of other Mac luminaries, will be at the Apple User Group Advisory Board's Wine and Cheese Reception at 4 PM at the Westin (formerly the Argent). Alas, this event has sold out, so you're out of luck if you haven't already registered.

Tuesday, January 15th -- We don't have any public appearances on Tuesday, largely so we can cover the keynote in the morning and get a chance to see some of the show floor in the afternoon. If you see us, make sure to point us in the direction of interesting booths.

Wednesday, January 16th -- At 11 AM, Tonya will be giving a Users Conference session called "Get Smart about the Leopard Finder," all about making the most of the functionality Apple added to the Finder in Leopard. Then, at 1:15 PM, I'll be talking about "Collaborative Editing Tools and Techniques," again in a Users Conference session.

At 3 PM at the Macworld Podcast Studio in Moscone West, Tonya and I will join Ted Landau and Chuck Joiner for a MacNotables roundtable discussion about the show (and whatever we can sidetrack Chuck into talking about). A short time later, at 3:45, I'll dash over to the Peachpit booth (S-1026) to talk about my favorite new aspects of iPhoto '08, as covered in my "iPhoto '08: Visual QuickStart Guide."

Thursday, January 17th -- At 11 AM, Tonya and I will be discussing our picks of the show in the User Group Lounge, which is Room 250 on the Mezzanine level of Moscone South. Then at 3 PM, we'll meet up with Chuck Joiner again at the Macworld Podcast Studio in Moscone West for another MacNotables session. And at 3:30, we'll bring Glenn Fleishman and possibly a new TidBITS face on stage with us for a MacVoices podcast with Chuck (we think he puts on different hats for each one).

At 6 PM, we'll be meeting at the top of the Moscone South escalators in preparation for the annual Netter's Dinner. At 6:30, we'll all walk to the Hunan at Sansome and Broadway, where the hot and spicy Chinese dinner (vegetarian dishes are available) costs $18. You must register in advance by Tuesday, January 15th, via Kagi; the link has all the details. Jon Pugh is back to host this year, so I can once again enjoy the food and conversation.

Friday, January 18th -- If you're still around at 3 PM, head over to the Macworld Podcast Studio in Moscone West one last time for Shawn King's Your Mac Life Expo Wrap Up Session, where you'll see me, Jason Snell of Macworld, and Leo Laporte in an exhaustion-fueled trip through the events of the week. It was a heck of a time last year, and I'm sure it will be again.

Even More -- Looking for more to do? First, check out the Macworld Show Highlights, and then be sure to skim through all the events in Ilene Hoffman's annual Hess Memorial Macworld Expo Events List, now updated for 2008.

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Think Secret Shuts Down in Wake of Apple Settlement

  by Adam C. Engst <>

The long-running legal battle between Apple and rumor site Think Secret is now over, with the two agreeing to what's described as an "amicable settlement" that "results in a positive solution for both sides."

For Apple the positive solution can be only that Think Secret will stop publishing. For Think Secret publisher Nick Ciarelli, the positive solution is likely that Apple stops suing him. It's entirely possible there are other terms to the settlement, but the only other public detail is that Ciarelli says he never revealed his sources.

On the downside, Apple comes off looking like a bully, particularly given that at the time the suit was filed, Ciarelli was a 19-year-old Harvard student. And unless Ciarelli was looking to get out of Mac rumor mongering anyway, being forced to shut down a site receiving over 300,000 monthly visitors (according to Quantcast) wouldn't seem like a good thing.

According to CNet, Apple originally sued Think Secret three years ago to get an injunction against the further release of trade secrets and to learn the site's sources for an article (via the Wayback Machine) that revealed details about the Mac mini in advance of its Macworld Expo release two weeks later. The suit likely hinged on whether Apple could prove that Think Secret knew its source was violating an NDA, that Think Secret had induced the source to reveal confidential information, and that Think Secret's actions caused the source to breach his or her NDA with Apple. That may have been tough to prove, or even impossible, but the fact that the suit dragged on as long as it did shows that it wasn't clear cut on either side. Think Secret was defended by Terry Gross of Gross & Belsky LLP.

Response to the settlement announcement among Web publications ran nearly universally to damning Apple and lionizing Nick Ciarelli. For instance, Mike Masnick, on the Techdirt blog said, "It's really a shame that Apple even decided to pursue this vendetta, and the fact that it ends with Think Secret being shut down completely is a travesty." And on TechCrunch, Duncan Riley praised Ciarelli for taking the moral high ground of refusing to reveal his sources.

I'm of two minds about the entire situation. With regard to the specific case, I distinctly agree that a company shouldn't be able to compel a journalist to reveal sources. And although it may have been less obvious back in 2005, I strongly believe that bloggers and purely Internet-based publications should receive the same protections as traditional reporters (at least under California law; a U.S. federal shield law protecting journalists is still before Congress). So on principle alone, it's too bad Ciarelli agreed to the settlement.

On the other hand, Apple has all the right in the world to be angry about widely disseminated rumors about forthcoming products, whether the rumors are correct or not. If the rumor is right, customers stop buying the current product to wait for what's coming. (That's a perfectly rational thing to do as an individual customer, but clearly harmful to Apple when spread to tens of thousands of potential customers.) Incorrect rumors also damage Apple by setting false expectations that the company then "fails" to live up to. (That's what happened back in 2004 when rumor sites, including Think Secret, pegged the price of what would be released as the iPod mini at about $100. When Apple released the 4 GB iPod mini at $249, the higher price generated negative publicity that may have affected early adoption of the iPod mini.)

Ideally, Apple would have figured out a more effective approach to solving the problem with leaked information than suing Think Secret, given the reputation hit the suit caused. But at the same time, it's hard to feel sorry for Think Secret. By revealing Apple's trade secrets, Nick Ciarelli was playing with fire, and he now has the scorched fingertips to prove it.

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Intuit Alienates Mac Users With QuickBooks Fiasco

  by Rich Mogull <>

On 04-Jan-08, Intuit released a patch for QuickBooks Pro for Mac 2006 to resolve a widely reported problem where all files on a user's Desktop, including subdirectories, could be permanently deleted if automatic updates were enabled. Instructions for manually updating QuickBooks are available from Intuit. All QuickBooks users should immediately apply this patch, even if you manually disabled automatic updates.

The QuickBooks Fiasco -- Several weeks ago, just as we (and many others) were starting to wrap up for the holidays, some users of QuickBooks Pro for Mac 2006 experienced failed automatic updates that deleted the Desktop folder and its contents. The update would fail partway through the process, alerting the user that "There is not enough space to install." The updater would then delete the Desktop folder. The files were permanently deleted, not moved to the Trash. Only QuickBooks 2006 users lost any data; QuickBooks 2007 users merely had extraneous folders placed in their user directory when the update failed. Intuit issued an initial patch on 18-Dec-07, but it was still possible to download the bad patch accidentally under certain circumstances. The new patch (version R5) disables the automatic update mechanism.

More information is available from Macworld and the QuickBooks user forum, which is filled with hundreds of angry QuickBooks users.

Intuit reportedly responded slowly to the problem at first, but later sent an email message to at least some affected users offering assistance in recovering files using Prosoft's $99 Data Rescue II. Users near an Apple Store were directed to the Genius Bar for help, and those who couldn't visit an Apple Store were provided with instructions for using Data Rescue II, with both groups being reimbursed for the software. (If you're still dealing with this situation, contact Intuit at

Unfortunately, data recovery isn't always easy or even possible after file deletion, depending largely on whether the computer was used after the deletion happened. In some situations, users have been forced to resort to professional data recovery services such as DriveSavers that can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Intuit's public statements haven't discussed whether or not the company will reimburse users for such expenses; they merely say, "If you have already performed a data recovery activity before this email was sent, please inform us at so that we can work with you on a one-on-one basis."

As always, remember that the best protection against unexpected data loss is not data recovery software, but regular backups. There's a reason why Joe Kissell's "Take Control of Mac OS X Backups" and "Take Control of Easy Backups in Leopard" ebooks are so popular.

Should Mac Users Support Intuit? Intuit has had a tumultuous relationship with the Macintosh community ever since dropping, then reviving, support for Macs in 1998 (see "Intuit Drops Quicken for Macintosh", 1998-04-20). QuickBooks Pro for Mac 2007 lacks many features of its Windows-based cousin, including critical features like credit card processing support. While Intuit offers an online-only version of the product (QuickBooks Online Edition), it too runs only with current versions of Internet Explorer on Windows.

While software updates that introduce additional bugs are more common than we'd all like, issuing an update that permanently deletes unrelated user data is absolutely inexcusable. It's mind-boggling that this update passed through Intuit's quality assurance process.

Speaking as a small business owner who runs his business on Macs, I have yet to find an accounting solution I'm satisfied with. When I started my business in August 2007, I enrolled with QuickBooks Online Edition, which I access by running Windows in Parallels Desktop. It initially appeared to meet my accounting and payroll needs, but I recently ran into an obstacle that's forcing me to look at other options. QuickBooks Online Edition does not support any type of file import - not even Intuit's own widely used data exchange formats. Since my corporate credit card isn't supported by a direct online link within QuickBooks, I must manually enter all transactions even though my credit card provider offers QuickBooks-compatible downloads.

Since I'd rather spend my time writing TidBITS articles than hand-entering receipts for every snack I pick up at the airport, I started the process to export my data out of QuickBooks Online Edition and into a desktop version of QuickBooks. The limitations of the Mac version gave me pause, and I was about to purchase the Windows version when this update problem became public.

Being a firm believer of putting my money where my mouth is, I've reconsidered supporting any Intuit product and am downloading an evaluation version of MYOB FirstEdge. [For what it's worth, we've long used MYOB AccountEdge for the TidBITS business accounting. -Adam] I'm open-minded, and may consider returning to Intuit in the future if they improve the quality and reliability of their Mac products, but for now it's time to explore options from companies that treat their Mac users better.

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The iPhone and the Googlewhackblatt

  by Adam C. Engst <>

As much as I want an iPhone, it's hard to justify the cost when I pay roughly the same per year to Virgin Mobile as the low-end iPhone plan costs per month. In commenting on this fact in a private mailing list posting, I realized that I had no idea what the word for "twelve times" is. Two times is double, three times is triple, four times is quadruple, but what's twelve times?

A bit of research on Wikipedia turned up the entry for "tuple" (a finite sequence of objects) with names for tuples of specific lengths, but alas, it didn't include twelve. So I looked up "twelve" in Wikipedia, and discovered that a group of twelve things is a "duodecad." Jamming the two words together, I came up with "duodecaduple," which looks funny but turns out to be absolutely wonderful to say: duo-deca-duple. Try it a few times. Bonus points to anyone who can work it into a conversation.

Curious to see if I had gotten it right, I did a Google search, and was shocked and amazed to discover that my word appeared only once in the entire Google index, in a comment on a Slashdot story that, interestingly enough, was about some research performed at Cornell University here in Ithaca. I include the image below as documentation that there were no other instances of duodecaduple when I wrote this.

[View image]

For those who missed it, there's a game to find pairs of words that appear only once in Google, and such a finding is called a "Googlewhack." But Googlewhacks must contain two words, and mine was only a single word. While reading the Wikipedia entry for Googlewhack, I learned that a single-word Googlewhack is called a "Googlewhackblatt."

There's a problem with Googlewhackblatts, as I'm sure you've just realized. Publishing the existence of one destroys it as soon as Google crawls your site, since it then exists in at least two places. I agonized about this, since I wanted to preserve my Googlewhackblatt, but I'll bet that there are Googlewhackblatt vandals out there who delight in ruining Googlewhackblatts, even when they've been protected by writing them backward and viewing through elgooG (a site that mirrors Google not by replicating it, but by reflecting it). Amusingly, if you type "Engst" and press Return to activate the "ykcuL gnileeF m'I" button, elgooG promptly displays the search results for Tsgne .C Mada, my 1997 April Fools issue alter-ego.

In the end, I decided that a Googlewhackblatt has meaning only in disappearing, that it doesn't truly exist until it's shared, even though the act of sharing will almost certainly result in its destruction. Thus, the joy in the Googlewhackblatt is like blowing a dandelion's seeds. Fly free, little duodecaduple!

Of course, as you can see in the screenshot, Google helpfully suggests that perhaps the word I want is actually "dodecatuple," which appears several thousand times in the Google index. Dodecatuple uses the same stem that gives us "dodecagon" (a polygon with twelve sides and twelve angles) and "dodecahedron" (a polyhedron with twelve faces). But some further poking reveals that "duodecagon" and "duodecahedron" are also perfectly reasonable, if older, variants of those words.

So I'm sticking with my version, and if you ask me at Macworld Expo why I still don't have an iPhone, it's because I'd duodecaduple my yearly cell bill.

[Update: Thanks to Christopher Squire for alerting me to the existence of "duodecuple," which is the canonical word for "twelvefold." However, in my defense, duodecaduple is far more fun to say; the tongue stumbles over duodecuple. -Adam]

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The Trick to Adjusting Dates in iPhoto Calendars

  by Adam C. Engst <>

Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. You spent a bunch of time in June designing and laying out a calendar in iPhoto as an anniversary present, complete with photos on the blank dates for each month and birthdays and anniversaries imported from iCal for everyone in your family. It's gorgeous, your wife loves it, and she wants to give copies of it with a few different events to her relatives for holiday presents. That's a great idea, so you head off into iPhoto to make the changes and... that's when your troubles begin.

Although iPhoto makes it fairly easy to create a calendar from scratch, making a near-duplicate of a calendar you've already created comes with some gotchas, ranging from losing photos you placed on dates to reimported event text coming in with incorrect styles. But with the process I outline here, you should be able to create a near-duplicate calendar with relatively little fuss.

(You might wonder why I have you duplicating the calendar below, rather than just modifying it. My experience is that it's always best to work on a copy, just in case something gets messed up, since then you can toss the copy and start again on another copy. It's also useful to keep finished calendars around in case you discover some days later you want to order another copy.)

Duplicate the Calendar -- First off, I assume you to want your second calendar to contain different or additional events, and if you made the original calendar with unusual start and end dates (June 2007 to May 2008, in my case), you need to change the date range too. But don't blithely modify the date range on your existing calendar, because when you do that, iPhoto removes all the photos you've placed in date boxes. Curses! So follow these steps to reduce the effort of remembering which photos go where:

  1. Select your calendar in the Source pane's Projects list, choose File > Print, and in the Print dialog, click Preview. This causes iPhoto to create a PDF and display it in Preview; you'll need this PDF to refer to as you replace photos in Step 4. Obviously, if you have the paper copy of the calendar handy, you could also just refer to it.
  2. Right-click your calendar in the Source pane, and choose Duplicate from the contextual menu. Rename the new calendar so you can differentiate it from the original.
  3. Click the Settings button, and in the Calendar view, change the dates as desired. Don't worry about importing new iCal calendars just yet. Click OK.
  4. Now comes the truly tedious step. Referring back to the PDF or paper copy of your original calendar, drag any photos from the available photos list to the desired date boxes on the calendar. I like to fill up all the blank boxes at the start and end of each month's grid.

Fix Dates -- Now is a good time to check your calendar events in iCal and make sure they're correct and up-to-date. For instance, we welcomed new nephews on either side of the family in November, so I had to add their birthdays. Since we want separate iPhoto calendars for our respective sides of the family, we've created two iCal calendars, one for Tonya's family's birthdays and anniversaries, and one for mine. Of course, some events are duplicated.

(Even if you don't normally use iCal as your calendaring software, which I don't, it makes a lot more sense to create these calendars in iCal than to enter events manually in iPhoto. That way you can use the same iCal calendars next year, and take advantage of iCal's smarts for events like Thanksgiving, which takes place on the fourth Thursday of November.)

It's also important to make sure you have the appropriate holidays in iCal, which turns out to be trickier than I had hoped. I was unimpressed with iPhoto's built-in list of U.S. holidays, so I went looking for a more complete list. The best I found was the U.S. Holidays calendar at iCalShare; you can find lots of other calendars at iCalShare as well. Using it as a base, I copied those events I wanted to a new calendar of my own, and then I added a variety of other events from the Year 2008 Holidays Calendar, from Wikipedia's List of Commemorative Days, from Wikipedia's International Observances, and by going through a commercial calendar I had around to see which holidays they chose. How else would you find Towel Day, the Chinese New Year (Year of the Rat!), and Wright Brothers Day?

Reimport Events -- It would seem straightforward to reimport your updated iCal calendars, but that wasn't my experience. The problem was that in the Big Dates theme (and possibly others), clicking the Reimport button in the Calendar view of the Settings dialog brought in the events, but at least some of them came in with incorrect styles. This was particularly glaring in the Big Dates theme when the new events and their dates had black text, rather than the red text normally used for special dates. You can manually change the color of text you enter in iPhoto, but not the color of the date numbers.

It's possible that other themes don't suffer from this problem, but here's the workaround I discovered. The downside of this approach is that changing themes may cause you to lose text entered on the photo pages (though I didn't see that happen in my testing). Perform these steps:

  1. Click the Themes button and switch to another theme.
  2. Click the Settings button, and in the Calendar view, select the desired iCal calendars and click Reimport. This ensures that you have the latest events.
  3. Click the Settings button again, switch to the Styles view, click Restore Defaults, and click OK. This clears any custom formatting you might have done (or that iPhoto may think you've done; I suspect this is the culprit when styles aren't correct upon reimport).
  4. Click the Themes button again, and switch back to the desired theme.
  5. Go through every page and visually verify that all the events came in properly and are styled properly. When I did this, one photo with a description somehow had that description entered as a caption in the calendar, even though I hadn't set that. And on one occasion, all the events in November and December had the wrong styles even still; running through these steps again fixed the problem.

That's it! If, like me, you actually want yet another calendar with different events (I wanted another version to give as Christmas presents for my side of the family), duplicate your new calendar again, select different iCal calendars, and, if necessary, run through the Reimport Events steps again.

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Amazon Delivers Like It's 1999

  by Glenn Fleishman <>

Seventy-five percent of my family recently suffered an awful virus: emesis, to be polite about it, followed by fever which laid low first our toddler Ben, then our baby Rex, then yours truly. My wife Lynn was initially untouched - the fever eventually hit her after I'd recovered - and so had to minister to a lot of sickos.

The cupboard was already a bit bare, and she was trying to sort out how to get some more food in the house even with Ben (now well) back in childcare - she didn't want to take the baby out in public and expose others, and I wasn't well enough to look after him on my own. Despite my addled state, I recalled that we could get groceries delivered via a new service in testing in Seattle: Amazon Fresh. (Lynn fortunately didn't think I was having hallucinations that flashed me back to the dotcom era.)

Your first thought, like mine, is probably, "Great. They're taking an idea that failed dramatically several years ago and throwing more money at it." (See "Groceries in Our Midst" for TidBITS coverage of HomeGrocer, Webvan, and other grocery delivery services.) But I think Amazon occupies a unique position in the marketplace that could allow them to succeed where Webvan and others failed. Amazon already ships millions of items a day.

It's not that strange to think that instead of using UPS, USPS, and other shippers, Amazon could direct some of the shipping to their own operations by throwing groceries into the mix. Grocery stores have extremely thin margins, as little as 1 to 2 percent, and require huge volume to produce any reasonable return.

If you can add in the high-margin items that Amazon already sells, conserve shipping through internal operations (thus shifting the few dollars an item from shipping companies to your own trucking fleet), and add grocery to provide regular neighborhood stops and a tiny margin, you might have a winning model.

It's also worth noting that there are still many grocery delivery services, often run by major chains, that typically charge a fee for deliveries of any size. The idea became more widespread but less interesting after Webvan's spectacular crash. One of the crummier supermarket chains, Albertson's, has online ordering for home delivery in several cities, for instance.

Amazon could combine some of the best aspects of its own massive warehousing of products, of Kozmo (a totally ridiculous snack and small-item delivery service that I loved; ironically, Kozmo was funded in part by Amazon), and grocery delivery. Consider ordering a DVD and having it delivered along with broccoli later the same day. That's not a new idea, but it requires a lot of scale and infrastructure to carry out with the potential of profit.

In this test phase of Amazon Fresh, the company offers three delivery options: unattended delivery before 6 AM or between 7 PM and 10 PM; attended delivery in one-hour blocks between 7 AM and 10 PM; and pick-up service at a few limited locations, many of which are currently within corporations like Google, available only to employees.

The unattended service has a $25 minimum purchase to avoid a $9.95 service charge; attended service requires $50 or more in an order for free delivery; pick-up service is always free. You can place an order for attended delivery or pre-dawn delivery by midnight the night before; for after-dinner delivery by noon the same day; and for pick up as little as four hours in advance.

We placed an order in the afternoon for delivery in the 8 to 9 AM slot the next day. The driver arrived in a spiffy new truck around 8:10 AM. He offered to bring the bags in, but with Lynn and the baby asleep and the miasma of virus, I suggested he leave them on the porch.

[View image]
[View image]

Pricing is comparable to Whole Foods, which many people also call "Whole Paycheck." Whole Foods tends to have the highest prices for foods we buy regularly; we often cycle through Trader Joe's, QFC (a division of Kroger), and PCC, a local food co-op, to get the best deals. Unless Amazon is more competitive on pricing, we'll use it only in a pinch.

Now, I can't predict if Amazon really will shift shipping to its own trucks, or whether this isn't just a small-scale test that they'll never roll out. All I know is that with a house full of sick people, I'm glad to be living in what seems to be the past with the promise of the future.

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Hot Topics in TidBITS Talk/07-Dec-08

  by Jeff Carlson <>

Word 2004 Crashing Bug Squashed -- After applying the latest Microsoft Office update, some of the applications themselves aren't actually updated; you need to check the versions of the Office components. (5 messages)

Recovery from Disk Utility Erase -- What tools will work to recover a drive that was accidentally erased using Disk Utility? (5 messages)

QuickTime 7.3.1 Fixes RTSP Vulnerability -- When trying to download the latest version of QuickTime, a reader finds that Apple is trying to be too smart: he can't grab the Mac version from a Windows browser. (4 messages)

**Open source replacement for Text Expander, Typeit4me and Typinator...** For someone who works on multiple computers throughout the day, would an open-source version of these powerful auto-complete programs be a good solution? (3 messages)

Think Secret Shuts Down in Wake of Apple Settlement -- A reader speculates that Apple may have bought out Think Secret in order to end the lawsuit between the two parties. (1 message)

Digital voice recorder that works with the Mac -- With several USB voice recorders available, which of them easily transfer the digital audio to the Mac? (9 messages)

Wake Up, Little Keyboard -- Running a recent update seems to have messed up other components of Mac OS X for some people. (2 messages)

Books for a new user -- Did the holidays bring a new Mac to you or someone you know? Readers share their suggestions for books that a new user would find helpful. (6 messages)

Library Donations -- Where does money raised by libraries go? (Not exactly a Mac-related thread, but interesting for the book-minded people on this list!) (5 messages)

Powerpoint from Office Vx crashes under Leopard -- Could corrupted fonts be the source of trouble with PowerPoint under Leopard? (3 messages)

[ANN] The Entourage Help Blog: Entourage and Time Machine -- Readers discuss the merits and shortcomings of how Entourage stores all of its data in one large database file. (25 messages)

Permissions repair -- Some people are having trouble with permissions under Mac OS X 10.5, with several possible fixes mentioned. (6 messages)

Buy Office Mac test drive by Jan 14 to get upgrade? In anticipation of the release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2008 next week, readers discuss the best ways to upgrade. (8 messages)

Conversions of a Twitter Revert -- Glenn decided that he wanted to be productive or something, so he stopped checking his Twitter feed using Twitterific. Some readers agree with the move, while others still see value in Twitter. (4 messages)

Automator Help -- A reader runs into what turns out to be a well-established bug in the new version of Automator. (2 messages)

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