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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 20-Jul-09

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Firefox 3.5.1 from Mozilla is a security and stability update to the recently updated Web browser. Version 3.5.1 addresses a serious security issue that could occur when, in some cases, the Just-in-Time compiler would enter a corrupt state after a deep return from a native function (doesn't that sound fun?). Attackers could exploit this weakness to run arbitrary code. (Free update, 17.6 MB)

TextExpander 2.6.3 from SmileOnMyMac is a maintenance update to the typing shortcut utility. Changes include the added capability to sort snippets by labels, improved dead key handling that enables you to use characters with accent marks as abbreviations, and other minor fixes and improvements. Also, several unspecified changes have been made to prepare for the release of Snow Leopard. ($29.95 new, free update, 3.8 MB)

iMovie '09 8.0.4 from Apple deals with three issues: video captured on the iPhone 3GS in portrait orientation is now rotated correctly; adding multiple beat markers in some languages no longer causes instability; and using the fine-tuning editing controls beyond stabilized portions of a clip no longer freezes iMovie. Kudos to Apple for providing specific release notes; unlike earlier updates to iMovie '09, there are no other undocumented changes in this release (see "iMovie '09 8.0.3 Adds New Hidden Features," 2009-06-05). The update is available via Software Update or as a standalone download. (Free, 35 MB)

iTunes 8.2.1 from Apple issues a handful of unspecified bug fixes, and, more notably, "...addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices." Translation: Apple has made swift work of Palm Pre's hacky iTunes sync feature. The question now is when, or whether, Palm will patch the hack. (Free, 77.30 MB)

QuicKeys 4 from Startly Technologies is a major update to the long-standing automation utility. The latest version adds Abbreviations for text expansion and shortcuts, Web Actions that automate web page actions, a QuicKeys Online resource center, a new Instant Shortcut feature that enables users to create a shortcut on the spot, a forthcoming QuicKeys Anywhere remote control app for your iPhone/iPod touch, a Batch Processor that can run shortcut actions on a folder of multiple files, and the capability to find shortcuts based on a wide variety of criteria. The full list of over 60 changes is available via Startly Technologies' Web site. ($59.95 new, $29.95 upgrade from version 3, 26.4 MB)

Quadro Mac OS X Driver Release 18.5.2 from Nvidia is regarded as a critical stability update for the GeForce GTX 285 and GeForce FX 4800 graphics cards. The update is needed for preserving Mac OS X kernel compatibility for users upgrading to the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.5.8. Both cards are designed for Mac Pro systems, though only people who bought the build-to-order card will need to worry about updating. If you're not sure about your graphics card, check the PCI Cards section in System Profiler. (Free, 32.5 MB)

Hazel 2.3.1 from Noodlesoft is the latest version of the file cleanup utility. The new version adds multi-user support for App Sweep, autocompletion within fields, enhanced formatting options, syntax highlighting, support for Transmission and Opera, and an improved script editor. Overall performance has also been improved, and several bugs have been fixed, including two crashing bugs related to missing trash directories and Spotlight database schemas. The full release notes are available via Noodlesoft's Web site. ($21.95, free update, 2.6 MB)

CheckUp 2.5 from App4mac is a significant update to the multipurpose maintenance utility. Changes in version 2.5 include an updated interface, support for recent Macs, enhanced System and Font views, and improved alert management. Also, users can now export graph data, select the default application for any given document, and select any folder for the check-for-duplicates function. (19 euros, free update, 17.8 MB)

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>