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In Snow Leopard, Option-click the Battery icon in the menu bar to show the battery's current condition - Normal is good. Other messages might read Replace Soon, Replace Now, Check Battery, or Service Battery. Choosing the message opens a Mac Help document with more information.

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ExtraBITS for 13 December 2010

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If you haven’t been listening to iTunes Store previews recently, you might not have realized that they’ve largely been extended from 30 seconds to 90 seconds. And you’ll spend a lot more than 90 seconds reading Michael Mace’s fascinating explanation of why Apple is beating RIM, and how computing platforms die.

iTunes Store Offers 90-second Song Previews -- Lex Friedman writes at Macworld about how Apple has now modified the U.S. iTunes Store to play 90-second previews of songs longer than two-and-a-half minutes; that’s up from 30 seconds. According to Lex, not all songs have the new previews yet, and the longer previews are limited to the U.S. iTunes Store, presumably due to licensing restrictions in other countries. Still, 90 seconds is much better for getting a sense of a song. Oh, and look carefully at the screenshot; 90 seconds should be more than enough to get a sense of that piece!

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Michael Mace Explains Why Apple Is Beating RIM -- This lengthy blog post from ex-Apple and ex-Palm exec Michael Mace provides a fascinating look at what BlackBerry maker RIM is doing wrong, and, more generally, how a computing platform dies. It’s a few months old, but well worth reading for an insider’s view of how large technology companies can succeed or fail.

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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>