USPS Click-N-Ship Now Mac-Compatible -- Thanks to Rob Faludi for passing on the information that the U.S. Postal Service Click-N-Ship program now works on the Mac. Click-N-Ship is useful because it lets you avoid trips to your local post office to mail packages, at least if you're using Priority Mail or Express Mail (including Global Express Guaranteed and Global Express Mail). In brief, you weigh your package, enter the weight, destination, and insurance amount (if any) in a Web form, and then pay for the postage via a standard Web shopping cart. A Java-based Web application helps you print the necessary shipping label on a normal sheet of paper (you can also buy special label stock). Your postal carrier then picks up the package the next day just as though it were an outgoing letter. We've only had the chance to use Click-N-Ship a few times so far, but it worked fine in Safari and OmniWeb, and should help us eliminate all those extra errands to the post office. The USPS doesn't claim Macintosh compatibility yet, but it's entirely possible that improvements in the Java VM for Mac OS X brought the necessary changes to make it all work. We still need to buy a good digital scale to take over from our analog kitchen scale, but once that's done, mailing packages will become less annoying than it has been. [ACE]
Find Which Applications Phone Home with VirusBarrier X6
Worried about rogue applications or spyware "phoning home" with your private data? Turn on VirusBarrier's Anti-Spyware feature, and it will alert you to applications that attempt to connect to remote servers. Once you know which apps are phoning home, you can block or allow each individually, and you can even block or allow specific ports for each application, to ensure that your private data stays private.
Published in TidBITS 757.
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