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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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ExtraBITS for 5 July 2010

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Three quick blips for you this week - Glenn's appearance on the TechFlash podcast, a thought-provoking essay on the move away from "thingness," and some hard numbers on whether it's faster or slower to read on a device like an iPad or Kindle.


Glenn Fleishman on TechFlash about the iPhone and Kindle -- Glenn Fleishman appears on this week's TechFlash podcast. Glenn talks about Apple's odd open letter on antennas, the potential for an iPhone that works with Verizon Wireless's network, and the place of the Kindle in the tablet future. TechFlash is a Seattle technology news site with a strong focus on original reporting.

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It's the Internet, Stupid! -- Blogger Mike Cane has a thought-provoking post about the move away from "thingness," whether you're talking about physical or electronic objects. As thingness becomes less important, he suggests, online access becomes far more important. After all, do people who have Netflix subscriptions still buy as many DVDs? We certainly don't. Worth a read - even if this isn't true of you now, we agree that the world is moving in this direction.

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Jakob Nielsen Tests iPad and Kindle Reading Speeds -- Do you read faster or slower on a device like an iPad or Kindle, in comparison with a physical book? The overall answer, according to usability expert Jakob Nielsen, is about 5 to 10 percent slower (with the same comprehension of what was read). That's statistically significant, though not all that much slower. (We suspect it may have to do with years of familiarity with the form factor of the book.) More interesting was that on a 1 to 7 scale, users rated their satisfaction at 5.8 for the iPad, 5.7 for the Kindle, and 5.6 for the physical book, with the traditional PC trailing behind at only 3.6.

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