Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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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.

 
 

Google Offers Paid Storage Boost for Services

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Google initiated the webmail storage wars some years ago by launching its beta of Gmail with 1 GB of mail storage. (It's still in beta, by the way.) Although it took a while, other services like Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Hotmail, and even Apple's .Mac eventually caught up. These and other services generally offer 1 GB to 10 GB as basic storage options.

But once you needed more storage than Google provided - currently set at 2.887 GB for Gmail (though rising constantly) and 1 GB for its Picasa photo service - you were out of luck. As Google expanded its online services, it was becoming tricky for people with needs beyond what the search behemoth had set.

The company recently announced that users can now purchase a higher pool of storage shared among some of the various services they offer, starting with Picasa's galleries and Gmail, but extending eventually to other products, according to a Google product blog.

Prices start at $20 per year for 6 GB of storage and range up to $500 per year for 200 GB of storage. Apple now charges $99.95 per year for 10 GB of storage at .Mac, ranging up to $200 for 30 GB of storage. With .Mac, that includes file storage, Web sites, email, and synchronization, among other services. Xdrive, an AOL company, provides 5 GB of file storage at no cost and 50 GB for $120 per year ($9.95 per month).

 

New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
Mail. <http://smle.us/tetouch3-tb>