Poll Preview: (Apple) Pie in the Sky -- Matt Neuburg examines IBM's ViaVoice speech recognition software for the Macintosh below, and his review started us thinking about other futuristic aspects of system design. Attempts of varying success have been made at handwriting recognition, eliminating pesky wires between computer components, and miniaturization, and we've even seen hints of technologies like virtual reality interfaces, biometric security (like Mac OS 9's voice password), heads-up displays embedded in glasses, and even brainwave recognition (from IBVA Technologies). But the success of these proof-of-concept technologies has often been hampered not by the implementation, but by user acceptance. For this week's poll, then, help us identify the directions to explore by telling us which technologies you most want to see on current or future Macs. Register your vote on our home page, and if we've missed an important future trend in system design, tell us on TidBITS Talk at <email@example.com>. [ACE]
Springy Dock Tricks
If you drag a file and hover over Dock icons, various useful things happen which are similar to Finder springing. If it's a window, the window un-minimizes from the Dock. If it's a stack, the corresponding folder in the Finder opens. If it's the Finder, it brings the Finder to the foreground and opens a window if one doesn't exist already. But the coolest (and most hidden) springing trick is if you hover over an application and press the Space bar, the application comes to the foreground. This is great for things like grabbing a file from somewhere to drop into a Mail composition window that's otherwise hidden. Grab the file you want, hover over the Mail icon, press the Space bar, and Mail comes to the front for you to drop the file into the compose window. Be sure that Spring-Loaded Folders and Windows is enabled in the Finder Preferences window.
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