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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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ExtraBITS for 28 January 2013

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Two quick bits for you to ponder this week: scientists encoding data in DNA (but it’s not cheap!) and an independent designer’s mockup of what a future Mac Pro could (but probably won’t) look like.

Unthrifty Loveliness: Shakespeare Sonnets Encoded in DNA at $12,400 per Megabyte -- Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, two scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, have worked out a system to encode text, audio, and other data in DNA. Teaming up with Aligent Technologies, the two encoded all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, an audio clip of Martin Luther King Jr. speaking, and a photograph into a synthesized DNA sample. Though Aligent did the DNA synthesizing work for free, the cost of the DNA synthesis is estimated to have been roughly $12,400 per megabyte. Luckily, prices for DNA synthesis are dropping, and it is estimated that 50 billion megabytes of text, roughly equivalent to everything ever written by humans, could be encoded into a sample that would weigh less than “a granola bar.” This takes the idea of cloning your data to an entirely new level.

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Independent Designer Imagines a Future Mac Pro -- 3D designer and illustrator Peter Zigich has posted a number of beautifully rendered mockups of what a future Mac Pro could look like, were it to use significantly more efficient CPUs. It is, of course, highly likely that Peter’s designs will bear no resemblance to what Apple is reportedly planning for this year’s Mac Pro refresh, but it’s still fun to ponder whether or not his designs could work.

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