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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 2 January 2012

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Piezo 1.1 -- Rogue Amoeba has updated their minimalist audio recording app Piezo to offer better support for recording from voice-over-IP apps like Skype, iChat, and FaceTime. Previously, recording a conversation with Piezo caused you to hear yourself as well, which was extremely disconcerting. Piezo 1.1 now records local audio to the left channel and your caller to the right channel. It also supports drag-and-drop of source apps to the Piezo window, illuminates the Dock icon when recording, no longer prevents sleep when it’s not recording, and improves the VU meters slightly. Not yet fixed is the problem I reported in “Piezo Makes Audio Recording Dead Simple” (8 December 2011) whereby Piezo plays incoming audio from VoIP apps through the device selected in the Sound preference pane’s Output screen, rather than through the device selected in Skype or iChat. ($10 new, free update, 2.8 MB, release notes)

Read/post comments about Piezo 1.1.

iTunes 10.5.2 -- iTunes Match has been finicky for many people since its launch, but as with any service that includes both local and remote components, there’s no telling where the problems lie. Apple has now released iTunes 10.5.2, advertising it as providing “several improvements for iTunes Match,” so perhaps we’ll see some of the iTunes Match oddities disappearing (like why does it sometimes match all but one song on an album?). Also fixed in iTunes 10.5.2 is an audio distortion problem when playing or importing certain CDs. Apple doesn’t explain what “certain” means, but it does make one wonder if the music companies are trying some sort of copy-prevention hackery. (Free, 102 MB)

Read/post comments about iTunes 10.5.2.

 

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