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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 
 

iTunes Music Store Opens in Canada

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At long last, Apple has opened the iTunes Music Store to iTunes users in Canada [1]. Not being an actual Canadian [2], I'm sure there are aspects to the Canadian iTunes Music Store that will escape me, but I did notice that the standard price per song will be CDN$0.99, or US$0.84 [3]. Apple also claims the iTunes Music Store in Canada features over 700,000 songs, which is comparable to the number of songs offered by the EU iTunes Music Store, though still well behind the 1,000,000 songs offered in the US iTunes Music Store as of August, 2004 [4]. Apple also said that the Canadian iTunes Music Store will feature many top Canadian artist exclusives [5].

<http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/dec/ 02canada.html>

[1] Note that I avoided a sarcastic joke here about how there aren't that many people in Canada as an explanation for why it took Apple so long to allow Canadians to purchase from the iTunes Music Store. Honestly, I have no idea why it took so long - it seemed like an obvious early move to me.

[2] Though I have been mistaken for one, while travelling in Australia in 1998. But I suspect the person was just being polite.

[3] It was tempting to throw in a ludicrously low number to poke fun at the exchange rate, but the Canadian dollar is actually doing quite a lot better from the recent low of US$0.72 to CDN$0.99 back in May, 2004. Still, I wonder if there will be people with US and Canadian credit cards and addresses (such that they can order from both stores) who will happily buy music at whichever store has the lower price.

[4] Has anyone figured out how to make a list of which songs are available in one iTunes Music Store but not another? That would be cool.

[5] Too much fun could be had with this statement. For instance, the number 5 top single (as voted by "over 300 Canadian musicians, critics, and music biz types") was "Echo Beach" by a group called Martha and the Muffins. But does Martha and the Muffins show up in Canadian Musician Magazine's list of Canadian artists? No [6].

<http://www.chartattack.com/top50/ top50intro.html>
<http://www.canadianmusician.com/cmbands.htm>

[6] But the list does include what I suspect is the group's later incarnation, Bertha Does Moosejaw.

 

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