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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

 
 

Skype 5.2

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Although the basic interface unfortunately remains the same, Skype has released Skype 5.2. The latest release of the Internet telephony software introduces a new view that enables you to see and control video calls even when you switch away from the Skype app. Skype Premium subscribers can also share screens with a group, rather than just one-to-one. The company has also added support for the HD cameras that come built into newer Macs, as well as Logitech’s B910 HD camera. A number of unspecified bug fixes round up the release, although several known issues remain, including a crash when changing your password, problems starting screen sharing when the remote party does not send video, and no keyboard support for dialing when using Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. Also, although Skype 5 features automatic updates, for at least one of us, the automatic update failed, forcing a manual download and install. (Free, 20.8 MB, release notes)

 

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>