Alpha Acrobat Plug-In Available -- Last week, Adobe released alpha versions of Amber, its Acrobat Reader plug-in for Netscape Navigator, for both 68K and Power Macintosh. Amber is the codename for a full update to both Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Exchange; the Amber plug-in allows Acrobat PDF documents to be viewed directly in Netscape's window, and integrates those documents directly into Netscape's navigation commands. Though Amber includes some optimizations for Internet use (including progressive rendering technologies and the ability to go to any page in a PDF document), these require specially-optimized PDF files and "byteserver" capabilities on Web servers. Adobe is already working with Netscape, Open Market, StarNine, and other vendors to include these features; in the meantime, Adobe has a lot of information about Amber available on its Web site. I have read reports of problems downloading the 4 MB release; I'd suggest waiting until non-peak hours (Pacific time) before trying to download it. [GD]
Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard
Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.
Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.
In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.