Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Springy Dock Tricks

If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.

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Firefox 15.0

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Mozilla has released Firefox 15.0, which is highlighted by improvements to how the Web browser handles certain third-party add-ons to reduce memory usage. As noted in a Mozilla blog post, the most common cause of memory leaks is “when an add-on accidentally holds on to extra copies of a Web site in memory after (the) user has closed the tab.” The new release detects when an add-on is piling up pages — and memory — and subsequently stops the process and recaptures the leaked memory.

Firefox 15.0 also promises an improved 3D gaming environment with smoother animations thanks to an improved JavaScript engine and native support for compressed textures in WebGL, plus high precision timing for responsiveness within thousandths of a millisecond. Other changes include a new JavaScript Debugger added to the developer toolset, native support for the Opus audio codec, support for SPDY networking protocol v3, and Maithili language localization. Finally, Firefox 15.0 introduces optional silent background updating, which will download and install improvements and then implement those changes the next time you launch the Web browser. Perhaps this feature spells the end to having to pay attention to the increasingly uninteresting details of Firefox releases. (Free, 32.6 MB, release notes)

 

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