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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


Adobe Flash Player

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After reports of a critical security vulnerability appearing in the wild and affecting Windows users via a Flash file embedded in Word or Excel documents, Adobe has released Flash Player Although only Windows systems were targeted in the attacks, Adobe recommends that all Macintosh, Windows, Linux, and Solaris users of previous versions of Flash update to Flash Player right away. Google Chrome builds Flash Player in; if you’re using Google Chrome, make sure to update to version 10.0.648.205 or later (choose Chrome > About Google Chrome to check the version number and update if necessary). Also affected is Adobe AIR; update to version or later if you’re using any Adobe AIR-based applications. (Free updates, download sizes vary.)


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. <>

Comments about Adobe Flash Player
(Comments are closed.)

Gerald Cederquist  2011-04-18 23:14
So, how do you get the Installer Manager to permit clicking on the Install button. It's grayed out on my machine (10.6.7). Is this perhaps caused by the fact that I've got Click to Flash installed?

Gerald Cederquist  2011-04-19 01:59
Sorry for the false alarm. Got it installed finally after I realized that there is a checkbox to the left of the "I have read the license agreement..." sentence. This check box has such low contrast to my admittedly failing eyes that I missed it.

Somehow, I don't think that the box would have blended in so well if Apple had designed that dialog box.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2011-04-19 23:07
Yeah, Adobe really seems to be pushing the gray on black approach. Sigh...
This is disgusting software in so many ways, not the least of which is the absence of a link to legacy versions on the version test or on the download pages. (I realize there is a tech note elsewhere at adobe with legacy information and a separate download link - that is not a decent usability decision.) Their download center is likewise poorly designed in not mentioning full system requirements next to the current versions. It only, for example, shows an Intel processor is required after you begin the process of indicating platform and OS version.

Flash = always one problem or another, imo. I keep it off by default unless I see a specific need on a particular page.