Decency's in the Eye of the Beholder -- An alternative to the Communications Decency Act of 1995 (see TidBITS-263) has been proposed by Senator Patrick Leahy. The Leahy bill, S.714 (called the "Child Protection, User Empowerment, and Free Expression in Interactive Media Study" bill) proposes a five month study of current law and technological capabilities surrounding access to controversial content via electronic media. At this time, this bill presents the only alternative to the Exon/Gorton Communications Decency Act, which is likely to pass without a strong show of support for Leahy's alternative. More information and, yes, an online petition can be found at the following URLs. It's worth noting that the original petition against the Communications Decency Act gathered more than 108,000 signatures. [GD]
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.