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

 

 

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How Loud Are Your Mac's Fans?

When they get hot, Macs turn on various internal fans to keep components cool. The noise can be annoying, but just how loud is it? If you have an iOS device with a built-in microphone, you can download one of many free sound meter apps (search on decibel in the App Store) and see if you're subjecting your ears to a truly unreasonable noise level.

 
 

LaunchBar 5.5

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Objective Development has released LaunchBar 5.5, which brings a new snippets feature as well as tight integration with Automator workflows to the keyboard-based launcher. An addition to the standard text expansion utility, LaunchBar’s snippets enable you to include clipboard contents (including multiple items from your clipboard history), and they’re compatible with LaunchBar’s Instant Send feature. Snippets can be found by typing a few letters included in the name (rather than requiring a specific keyboard shortcut). The Objective Development blog has a good introductory overview of this new feature.

LaunchBar 5.5 also now enables you to run Automator workflows, including the capability to pass text or file arguments and then return results back to LaunchBar, and it adds sharing of workflows via import and export. The update improves Calendar event creation, Contacts support (including indexing of social networking profiles), iCloud document indexing, detection of Google Chrome bookmarks, and iTunes support (with a playback fix and a new feature that detects tracks with the same name from different albums or artists). Other changes include an upgrade to 64-bit compatibility, support for spoken feedback via VoiceOver, and improved support of third-party email clients (including Mailplane 3). ($35 new with a 20-percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 2.5 MB, release notes)

 

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