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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

 
 

ExtraBITS for 16 December 2013

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We close out our final email issue of 2013 with Macworld’s tips for troubleshooting Touch ID, a Kickstarter project for The Magazine’s print collection, and Apple bringing its 12 days of Gifts app to the United States.

Troubleshooting Touch ID -- A number of users have reported problems using the Touch ID fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5s, and Macworld’s Serenity Caldwell offers some tips on reducing frustration. In particular, she advises scanning your fingerprint at the same angle that you’d most likely use to unlock the iPhone, and if that’s not enough, adding multiple scans at different angles. She also explains some situations where Touch ID might not work well, if at all.

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The Magazine Aims to Fund a Print Collection via Kickstarter -- Glenn Fleishman may not be doing as much with TidBITS since he acquired The Magazine from Marco Arment earlier this year, but he certainly isn’t lounging around. His latest effort is a Kickstarter project that’s trying to raise $48,000 so he can create a hardcover and ebook collection featuring more than 25 of the most popular stories from the Newsstand-based periodical. Our favorite reason to help crowdfund this book? Glenn will pay contributors whose work is used an additional reprint fee, which is sadly unusual in the industry.

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Apple Brings 12 Days of Gifts Stateside -- From 26 December 2013 to 6 January 2014, Apple will be offering free songs, apps, books, movies, and more in its 12 Days of Gifts iOS app. Each day, the app will offer a new downloadable gift. This promotion has been around for a few years, but this is the first year that it has been offered in the United States.

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