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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

 

 

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Flash Player 10.3.181.26

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Adobe recently added automatic update notifications to Flash Player, via a System Preferences pane, and it’s none too soon, since the critical vulnerability fixed by Flash Player 10.3.181.26 is, according to the non-profit group Shadowserver, being exploited in the wild on a fairly large scale. In other words, you really want to update to the latest Flash Player right away, and use the automatic update notification to stay up to date. If you’re using a PowerPC-based Mac that can’t run the latest Intel-only Flash Player version, it’s probably best to rely on ClickToFlash and load Flash elements only on select sites that you absolutely trust.

If you’re using a version of Flash prior to 10.3.181.14, when automatic notifications were first added, you can determine what version of Flash Player you do have by visiting the Adobe Flash Player page. Then download the latest version from the Adobe Flash Player Download page. (Free, 6.08 MB)

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

It's a dangerous world, but with help from Macworld's experts, you can maintain your privacy online, protect your sensitive data, and keep your Mac safe from malicious software and intruders. The ebook also helps you lock down your home wireless network, set up a firewall, and secure your data when computing in public.

 

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