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Type Faster by Competing in Races

A fun way to improve your typing speed and accuracy is to join an online typing competition at typrX. This typing competition keeps track of your typing speed, while allowing you to compete against other people, either around the world in public races or with friends in private races. To set up a private race with your friends, follow these simple steps.

  • Once you have a typrX account, click the Create Private Race button on the front page and you’ll be taken to the private race page.
  • From there, copy the track code URL and send it to the friends you want to join the race.
  • You can click the Delay Countdown button to add 10 seconds to the clock if you are waiting on your friend to join the race.

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A Bevy of Apple Updates

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Apple has posted a number of maintenance updates over the last couple of weeks, providing few details about some of them (as we've come to expect, unfortunately). The updates are available via Software Update or as stand-alone downloads.

DVD Studio Pro 4.1.1 (a 2.3 MB download) fixes an issue with DDP (Disc Description Protocol) and CMF (Cutting Master Format) files on Intel-based Macs. Final Cut Express HD 3.5.1 (a 14.5 MB download) simply "addresses compatibility on specific hardware." And iTunes 7.0.2 (a 25 MB download) addresses bugs and adds support for the Second Generation iPod shuffle, which began shipping last week.

For photographers, Apple released Digital Camera RAW Support Update, which improves compatibility with the Canon Digital Rebel XTi/400D/Kiss X Digital, the Nikon D80, and Pentax *ist DS cameras. It also addresses issues with handling large Canon RAW files, addresses DNG compatibility on Intel-based Macs, and fixes a problem with exporting from Aperture. The update is available for PowerPC Macs (a 1.4 MB download) or in universal format (a 2.4 MB download). (I suspect that Apple means "Intel-only" on the latter, since universal implies that it would work on PowerPC or Intel-based Macs; however, the universal version would not install on my PowerPC-based machines.)

A more significant update is Aperture 1.5.1 (a 125 MB download), which tackles more than 100 issues related to reliability and performance. Examples include improved keyword support, Loupe behavior, and preview responsiveness, among other changes.

Apple also released a free Aperture 1.5 trial, a fully functional version that works for 30 days. The 132 MB download does not include the sample images and tutorials found in the retail version.

Finally, although it's not a software update, Apple began offering an 8 GB version of its (PRODUCT RED) iPod nano (see "New iPod nano sees (RED)," 16-Oct-06). The bright red music player sells for the same price as the black 8 GB iPod nano, $250, but Apple contributes $10 of each sale to the (RED) movement to help fight AIDS in Africa.

 

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