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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

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 11 October 2010

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Adobe Acrobat/Reader 9.4 and 8.2.5 -- Adobe has released updates for Adobe Acrobat and Reader - 9.4 for the current 9.x versions and 8.2.5 for the older 8.x versions - to address several security vulnerabilities, along with enhancements to PDF creation, roaming profile workflows, and other bug fixes (full release notes are available in PDF form). The two patched security flaws include a crashing exploit that could allow a remote attacker to take control of your Mac. Adobe says that there "are reports that this vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild," and thus unsurprisingly recommends that you update immediately, either from within the products or via the Adobe Product Updates page. (Free updates, various sizes)

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TweetDeck 0.35.3 -- Twitter client TweetDeck, based on Adobe AIR, has been bumped to version 0.35.2. The latest fixes and additions to the software don't seem nearly as minuscule as the fractional version number. Various bugs are fixed, including issues affecting scheduled updates, Facebook authorization, retweet issues, and more. New in this version is support for t.co links in main feeds, Twitter trends, universal login (with the creation of a free TweetDeck account), and Posterous image uploading. (A quick 0.35.3 release a few days after 0.35.2 fixes a few outstanding bugs.) (Free, 2.3 MB)

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MenuMeters 1.4 -- Raging Menace has updated MenuMeters to version 1.4 - its first update since January 2006. MenuMeters provides a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools in your Mac's menu bar. The new update offers full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, hides more inactive statistics when appropriate, and introduces support for IPv6 addresses. The update also fixes a variety of bugs related to setting preferences, managing VPNs, showing disk space, and more; Raging Menace provides full release notes. (Free, 880 KB)

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Growl 1.2.1 -- The Growl Team has released Growl 1.2.1, its software for enabling Mac OS X applications to provide unobtrusive onscreen updates. The update includes a slew of minor fixes, addressing issues like plug-in support, speech notifications, speed and performance problems, and more. The updated GrowlSafari plug-in restores the capability to click "Download finished" notifications to reveal the just-downloaded file, and the updated GrowlTunes plug-in now works better under Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. For even more detail, read the full release notes. (Free, 6.1 MB)

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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>