The Daily Valet. - 11/28/23, Tuesday

✔️ When You're Expecting a Package ...

The Daily Valet.
The Daily Valet.

Tuesday, November 28th Edition

Cory Ohlendorf

By Cory Ohlendorf, Valet. Editor

“Package is out for delivery” is such an exciting phrase to come across your screen, right?

Today’s Big Story

Dude, Where’s My Box?

The annoying, and hard to solve, problem of stolen packages is a problem for everyone


It's a very modern problem. You order something online and a promise is made: Your new purchase will be delivered right to your door in no time. But then, despite an alert that your package was delivered, there's no box to be found. A nuisance made even more irritating because the ease that was expected—like a broken escalator forcing you to walk up stairs. But it's all too common. In fact, with all the buying we just did over the weekend, I'm sure some of us will encounter this indignity.A New York Times analysis of package theft in 2019 found that 1.7 million packages went missing every day in the US, amounting to a loss of about $25 million a day. In the first year of the pandemic lockdowns, the U.S. Postal Service saw a 161% increase in mail theft complaints compared to the previous year, a trend that continued to grow in 2021 and 2022. Nationwide, nearly one in five Americans reported having a delivery stolen in the past three months, according to's 2023 Package Theft Annual Report, and thieves stole an estimated $8 billion in packages.Experts tell Vox that package theft isn't a massive crime wave threatening to topple home delivery as a whole. But as more of us turn to online shopping as our primary way of buying goods, stolen boxes are proving an annoyance and frustration for customers, and a looming dilemma for retailers and shipping companies that, with few exceptions, are still figuring out how to address them. “I don't think retailers highlight it too much because they want customers to feel confident in having things delivered,” says Neil Saunders, a managing director of retail at the analytics and consulting firm GlobalData. But when a package is reported stolen, they “have to take that as a loss, then on top of that, they have the new product that they've got to ship out free of charge.”We're all familiar with the term “porch pirate”, right? In December 2018, Google searches for the term reached a peak. That's also around the time that former NASA engineer-turned-YouTuber Mark Rober began his holiday tradition of setting glitter bomb traps for crooks swiping packages from people's doorsteps. And while that made for viral laughs and some karmic retribution, some states are now passing laws to elevate package theft to a felony. But deciding how to punish the crime has launched debates over the deterrence power of lengthy sentences, racial profiling, privacy and how to best leverage law enforcement in communities where resources are already stretched thin.Of course, while retailers often pay the price for package theft, plenty of people blame delivery companies for not doing enough to prevent it, according to a recent report. (Though increasingly, as in the case of the biggest e-commerce companies like Amazon, retailers and delivery companies are one and the same.) But what about us innocent shoppers? Even with customer-friendly policies, missing packages are a headache for consumers, too. Having an expensive video game console disappear at the holidays before someone has even had a chance to wrap it is stressful enough to make a consumer wish they'd just gone to the store.


For the first time, the biggest e-comm retailer has also become the biggest shipping giant in the country. Amazon will deliver more packages than UPS and FedEx.

Ceasefire Extended

But Dozens of hostages are still in captivity, and the scale of the Gaza humanitarian crisis is becoming clearer 

Israel and Hamas agreed on Monday to extend their fragile truce for two more days—an act of continued cooperation that could allow for additional aid to flow into Gaza and the release of more hostages, prisoners and detainees than initially expected.Eleven Israeli women and children, freed by Hamas, entered Israel Monday night after more than seven weeks in captivity in Gaza in the fourth swap under the original four-day truce, which began Friday and was due to run out. Thirty-three Palestinian prisoners released by Israel arrived early Tuesday in east Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Ramallah. The prisoners were greeted by loud cheers as their bus made its way through the streets of Ramallah.The deal for two additional days of cease-fire, announced by Qatar, raised hopes for further extensions, which also allow more aid into Gaza. Aid trucks have continued to flow into Gaza under the protection of the cease-fire, including much-needed fuel. The humanitarian aid brings relief for civilians who have been suffering for weeks as supplies of food, water and medicine run low amid Israeli bombardment. Meanwhile, Israel said it reached an agreement with Elon Musk to bring Starlink communications to the Gaza Strip, Reuters reported. Musk has proposed using Starlink to support communication links in the blackout-hit Gaza enclave with “internationally recognized aid organizations.”

Dig Deeper:

Newly freed hostages describe what life was like while being held by Hamas

Google Is Deleting Unused Accounts

Don't wait: You'll need to take several steps to keep your inactive Google account safe from deletion

Now is the time to act if you want to keep a Google account you haven't used in a while. Starting Dec. 1, Google will start deleting “inactive” accounts—that is, accounts that haven't been used in at least two years. The purge follows the company's decision in May to update its policy on stagnant accounts in an effort to curb cybersecurity concerns.If an account hasn't been used for a while, Google said, it's more likely to be compromised: “This is because forgotten or unattended accounts often rely on old or re-used passwords that may have been compromised, haven't had two-factor authentication set up, and receive fewer security checks by the user,” the company told CNET. So if an account hasn't been used or signed into for at least two years, Google may get rid of it—including everythig from Gmail messages, Photos, Calendar appointments, Contacts and Drive documents.  The policy only applies to personal email accounts and not accounts for organizations such as schools or businesses. A subscription set up through a Google account, like Google One or a news publication or app, is also considered account activity. 

Save Your Stuff:

The Google Takeout page allows you to download and export your data. 

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year

2023’s word is the real deal … which says a lot

As the all-important question of truth and facts continues to dominate current affairs, it may come as no surprise to learn that Merriam-Webster announced Monday that its word of the year for 2023 is “authentic”—a nod to the rise of artificial intelligence and a spread of misinformation on social media platforms. Often, these announcements feel a bit like a novelty. Like the “color of the year”. But this was the year that Chat GPT disrupted academic integrity and A.I. drove Hollywood actors and writers to the picket lines. As NPR put it: Celebrities like Prince Harry and Britney Spears published memoirs to tell their own stories. A certain New York congressman got a taste of comeuppance after years of lying. And the summer's hottest blockbuster was about a world of pristine plastic colliding with flesh-and-blood reality.Merriam-Webster said it saw a “substantial increase” in online searches for the word this year. One reason many people search for the word is because it has a number of meanings, but one of the runner-ups for the top was “deepfake” so it's clear that our desire for authenticity is top of mind. Other top words from 2023 include the internet slang “rizz” (short for charisma, if you're over 35) and “indict”, which saw a surge in interest after former President Donald Trump was indicted, or charged, in four separate legal cases. And that kind of sums up the year, right?


A shorthand for the word “delusion” has become popular among Gen Z-ers and young millennials.

In Other News

Thanksgiving travel

If you flew home on Sunday, you helped to make history.

Have you heard about ...

Big Green Egg
Holiday Gift Guide

The Gifts Your Pets (and Pet Lovers) Really Want

What to get all those good boys and girls

Pet gifts

For that fuzzy little thing that follows you around constantly. Or for your friend who loves their pet maybe a little more than they should. But who can blame them? Animals are awesome—they kept us sane during the depths of the pandemic and they deserve gifts too. Sure, they're happy playing with a simple piece of cardboard and will usually ignore the bed to sleep atop a pile of laundry, but they could probably use a little something nice too.

Pet gifts

Clockwise, from top left to right:

Steel and plywood pet house, $560 by Crate & Barrel; CBD dog treats, $25 by Dad Grass and MCR aquarium, $189 / $148 by biOrb

Pet gifts

Clockwise, from top left to right:

Modern cat tree, $199 by Mau; camo pet carrier, $169 by ROVERLUND and custom pet silhouette, from $45 by Vana Chupp

Want More?


What We’re Buying


Meurisse Dark chocolate with orange bar

There's just something about chocolate and orange this time of year, right? This zesty dark chocolate bar takes the flavor to new heights. Meurisse is a Belgian heritage brand that has been creating extraordinary chocolates that are both delicious and sustainable since 1845. Six generations down the line, Meurisse is back using its age-old techniques to inform the flavors of its signature chocolate bars. This single-origin bar uses 73% cacao fair trade dark chocolate from Papua New Guinea and Mediterranean oranges. And right now, it's marked down—ideal to stock up for the season.

Get It:

Dark chocolate with orange bar, $9 / $5.39 by Meurisse

Morning Motto

Your soul has things to say.

Meraki: to do something with soul, creativity, or love; to put something of yourself into your work.


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