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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Option-click to Hide Apps Quickly

This trick has been available in the Mac OS for years, but many people still don't know it. If you have too many windows cluttering up your screen, you can hide specific ones easily as you work. When you're in any application, hold down the Option key and click on another app's window, on the Dock, or in the Finder to switch to that other app and simultaneously hide all the windows in the previously current app.

 
 

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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