Offering a number of welcome improvements, the Microsoft-owned Skype video and audio telephony client has been updated to version 184.108.40.206 for Mac OS X. At the top of the list is the addition of automatic software updates, which should both alleviate the need to check for updates manually and fix the less-than-reliable Check for Updates menu item. The release also adds a “dynamic mode” to the group calling user interface, which moves the currently talking participant to the top of the screen. This should play nicely with another addition — support for full screen mode in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. The update also enables you to delete messages from a conversation as well as your history, plus disable automatic adjustment of the microphone setting to help reduce background noise. While these additions should make for a more-pleasant Skype experience, The Verge points out that the Mac release still lags behind Skype 5.8 for Windows in some features, including push-to-talk shortcuts and 1080p video calls. If Skype’s auto-update feature doesn’t see the new release (which, again, should be fixed by this update), you can download it from the company’s blog. (Free, 22.7 MB)
iMovie '09: Speed Clips up to 2,000%
iMovie '09 brings back the capability to speed up or slow down clips, which went missing in iMovie '08. Select a clip and bring up the Clip Inspector by double-clicking the clip, clicking the Inspector button on the toolbar, or pressing the I key. Just as with its last appearance in iMovie HD 6, you can move a slider to make the video play back slower or faster (indicated by a turtle or hare icon).
You can also enter a value into the text field to the right of the slider, and this is where things get interesting. You're not limited to the tick mark values on the slider, so you can set the speed to be 118% of normal if you want. The field below that tells you the clip's changed duration.
But you can also exceed the boundaries of the speed slider. Enter any number between 5% and 2000%, then click Done.
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Did they really adopt that to please Microsoft and get it to buy them? If so, it was a bad move.