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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.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

ExtraBITS for 27 September 2010

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It was a busy week here, and all we ran across worth sharing was a fabulous Joy of Tech comic about devices Facebook could work on and an iPhone case from ThinkGeek that gives an iPhone a flip-out physical keyboard.

Joy of Tech Suggests Facebook Devices -- Our friends at Joy of Tech are on a roll, with this comic suggesting a variety of devices that Facebook is working on. Our favorites: The Wi-Fi-enabled Facebook garbage can that uploads pictures of things you throw out to your profile, and the Facebook showerhead whose default privacy settings "stream the steam" straight to the entire Facebook community.

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iPhone Case Doubles as Bluetooth Keyboard -- Though it's disappointingly out of stock until late November, the ThinkGeek TK-421 iPhone Case with Flip-Out Keyboard certainly looks interesting. While its aesthetics and added thickness aren't impressive, the flip-out keyboard works via Bluetooth with your iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 to provide the tactile typing sensation that some recovering BlackBerry addicts crave. The $49.99 case is an original ThinkGeek creation and uses its own built-in, rechargeable battery. Now you can text your reason the next time you're not at your post.

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