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Tired of Time Machine running all the time? You can turn it off in the Time Machine preference pane, but still initiate a single backup by choosing Back Up Now from Time Machine's menu bar icon. Of course, your backup is much less likely to be up to date, but Time Machine won't be taking any resources while you're trying to work.

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TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 16 December 2013

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iFlicks 2.0.1 -- After several months of beta testing, Jendrik Bertram released version 2.0 of his iFlicks video encoding and metadata management app a few weeks ago with a redesigned interface and a number of metadata search improvements (including localized content ratings). If you’re not familiar with iFlicks, be sure to read Josh Centers’s overview in “iFlicks Improves iTunes Imports” (10 January 2013). Bertram recently updated iFlicks to version 2.0.1, which now makes sure to wait for new items in a watch folder to finish copying before processing, fixes an issue with setting the current location in Preferences, fixes problems with audio encoding and muxing, and updates several unspecified translations. ($24.99 new from the Mac App Store, free update, 10.6 MB)

Read/post comments about iFlicks 2.0.1.

Firefox 26 -- With the release of version 26 of the Firefox browser, Mozilla has implemented a plug-in activation scheme that had been hinted at back in September 2013. The new version of the Web browser makes Click to Play functionality for Java plug-ins the default behavior, requiring you to click an applet on a Web page to authorize Java to run. Previously, Mozilla had promised to make this the default for all plug-ins, save for the most recent version of Flash, but only Java gets the treatment in Firefox 26. The update also adds support for script-generated password fields, improves page load times by not decoding images that aren’t visible, and fixes the AudioToolbox MP3 backend for Mac OS X. (Free, 45.5 MB, release notes)

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VLC Media Player 2.1.2 -- VideoLAN has released VLC 2.1.2 with fixes for numerous bugs that were introduced in the version 2.1 release (nicknamed RinceWind after a character from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” series of novels). The update also features a rewritten audio core that should improve volume and device management, adds hardware decoding for Mac OS X using VDADecoder, offers support for fragmented MP4 files (as well as Wave and RF64 files), adds support for screen input on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion and later, and is now ready for 4K displays. (Free, 30.1 MB, release notes)

Read/post comments about VLC Media Player 2.1.2.

PopChar X 6.4 -- Improving support for OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Ergonis Software has released PopChar X 6.4 with an improved “corner P” that appears on the active screen on all monitors in a multi-monitor configuration and fixes several other display issues with Mavericks. The font discovery utility also improves its responsiveness in several areas, with the update quickening the pace of displaying the character table, improving the speed of detecting the font in the current application, reducing background activity by reloading available fonts only when necessary, and remembering the previously selected font separately for each application. (€29.99 new with a 25 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 3.7 MB, release notes)

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TextExpander 4.2 -- Smile has released TextExpander 4.2 with a number of fixes and improvements for the typing shortcut utility. The update works around an issue in OS X 10.9 Mavericks that introduced smart quotes when TextExpander was set for straight quotes, allows embedding snippets within embedded script snippets, repairs snippets with mismatched plain/formatted content, addresses an issue with some Web browser “unibars” that wouldn’t remove the snippet abbreviation, improves expansion capabilities in Google Documents within Safari, and initially displays apps that are currently running when choosing an application-specific expansion. ($34.95 new with a 20 percent discount for TidBITS members, free update, 9.1 MB, release notes)

Read/post comments about TextExpander 4.2.

 

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