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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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Look! Nook Took Books

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Look! A book. A book Nook! Nook took books. Books! Look.

Barnes & Noble has changed the name of its ebook-reading software for iOS from eReader to Nook. Nook is also the name of its separate ebook reading device, and, as with Amazon's Kindle, Barnes & Noble has realized that it should brand the entire ecosystem with the same name. This brings its iPhone/iPod touch-compatible app in harmony with the separate Nook for iPad app, also updated with the new name.

Download the new Nook app, and log in with your Barnes & Noble credentials. You can then download titles again that you want locally, and set up the appearance of book pages once more. The revised app supports fast-app switching (see "What is Fast App Switching?," 23 June 2010), and renders details at the iPhone 4's higher resolution.

In testing, I found the Nook app to offer substantially more choice than iBooks and Kindle in setting up the appearance of a page, without providing too many or poor options. Barnes & Noble made excellent choices in the fonts offered for onscreen display.


You can also set the margins of a page (nearly flush to the four edges or indented), and choose colors for particular elements instead of picking from preset colors.



The revised iOS app is a separate download from the previous eReader app. You can remove the old app, but you will lose all annotations, highlights, and notes. Barnes & Noble (at least in the eReader release) didn't synchronize such information with a central server, unlike Apple with iBooks and Amazon with Kindle.

You also lose any custom themes you set up in eReader - specific combinations of background color, font, and type size. If you want to keep notes and settings, retain the old app.

 

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Comments about Look! Nook Took Books
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Norbert E Fuchs  An apple icon for a TidBITS Benefactor 2010-08-18 11:31
Alas, only available in the US App Store.