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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 

 

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 19 August 2013

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BusyCal 2.5 -- When it comes to calendaring, the two major technologies are CalDAV, which BusyCal has long supported, and Microsoft Exchange, which makes it debut in the just-released BusyCal 2.5. This is a big deal, since it means that BusyCal can now be used to interact with corporate Exchange calendars as a full-fledged calendaring citizen, surpassing Apple’s Calendar app in numerous ways and providing an alternative to Outlook itself. Notably, BusyCal 2.5 offers more-granular calendar sharing privileges, public calendars, push syncing, Outlook categories, shared tasks, repeating tasks, shared-calendar notifications, rich text, and graphics. Other new features include an Availability panel for scheduling meetings using either Exchange or CalDAV, and “regenerating” To Do items that return to your calendar automatically some time after completion. We’ve updated Joe Kissell’s free “Take Control of Calendar Syncing and Sharing with BusyCal” to discuss BusyCal’s new Exchange support — click Check for Updates on the cover to download the new ebook. BusyCal 2.5 is available as a free 30-day trial from the BusyMac site, but the only way to purchase the app is through the Mac App Store. ($29.99 new, free update, 9.7 MB, release notes)

Read/post comments about BusyCal 2.5.

iTunes 11.0.5 -- Apple has released iTunes 11.0.5, a small update with just one noted bug fix: squashing a bug that caused iTunes in the Cloud to download “unexpected” (i.e., wrong) items. Oops. It’s available as a direct download from Apple’s iTunes Web page (187 MB), via Software Update on systems prior to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, or via the Mac App Store on Mountain Lion.

Read/post comments about iTunes 11.0.5.

Voila 3.5 -- Global Delight has released Voila 3.5, adding Dropbox, Evernote, and Tumblr to the list of the screen capture utility’s sharing destinations (as long as you’re running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later). Voila 3.5 now includes an option to remember the last shape and location for image and video capturing, plus an option to capture windows without shadows. The update also enables you to move Smart Collection and Collection folders, adds file size data to the info pane, and alerts you if you try to quit the app while a recording is in progress. Fixes include an issue with audio recording when using a USB camera, a problem with importing videos while opening the app, and an issue with pasting copied FTP/SFTP URLs into Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook.

Global Delight is running a back-to-school sale on Voila, cutting its price in half to $14.99 through 15 September 2013. The company’s Boom volume booster app is also on sale for $3.99, and there’s a further 25 percent discount for TidBITS members on both Voila and Boom when purchased through Global Delight. ($29.99 new from Global Delight or the Mac App Store, free update, 27 MB, release notes)

Read/post comments about Voila 3.5.

AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.6.4 -- Apple has released AirPort Base Station Firmware Update 7.6.4 to correct three specific issues on all 802.11n AirPort base stations (AirPort Extreme, AirPort Time Capsule, and AirPort Express). It fixes a problem that could cause an intermittent loss of Wi-Fi connectivity with iOS devices and addresses an issue that could cause an AirPort Time Capsule to report that the backup disk is in use. Additionally, the update fixes an IPv6 Tunnel error that was introduced with Firmware Update 7.6.3. You can update your AirPort base station using AirPort Utility via either your Mac or an iOS device (with the free AirPort Utility app installed). Click or tap the base station with a red circle sitting to its right, then click the Update button on the Mac or tap Version > Download and Install on your iOS device. (Free, 728 KB)

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