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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
iMovie '09: Speed Clips up to 2,000%

iMovie '09 brings back the capability to speed up or slow down clips, which went missing in iMovie '08. Select a clip and bring up the Clip Inspector by double-clicking the clip, clicking the Inspector button on the toolbar, or pressing the I key. Just as with its last appearance in iMovie HD 6, you can move a slider to make the video play back slower or faster (indicated by a turtle or hare icon).

You can also enter a value into the text field to the right of the slider, and this is where things get interesting. You're not limited to the tick mark values on the slider, so you can set the speed to be 118% of normal if you want. The field below that tells you the clip's changed duration.

But you can also exceed the boundaries of the speed slider. Enter any number between 5% and 2000%, then click Done.

Visit iMovie '09 Visual QuickStart Guide

 
 

Laptop Recovery Software Uses Wi-Fi and Flickr

Send Article to a Friend

The latest laptop-recovery application is a kind of mash-up, using several systems to provide information about a laptop's location and who's currently using it. GadgetTrak's new MacTrak ($59.95, one-time fee) uses Skyhook Wireless's Wi-Fi Positioning System, the same technology that's part of how the iPhone and iPod touch determine location. MacTrak also uses Flickr as a way to post photos snapped of someone using a machine identified as lost or stolen.

There are already several programs available that let you install software that's regularly checking for an activation signal to leap into action if your laptop is marked (in various ways) as being out of your hands. For a full rundown, see "Help! I'm Being Held Captive, and All I Have Is a Wi-Fi Network!," 2008-05-03.

But MacTrak appears to have - or at least disclose - the most accurate way to track a missing computer. Skyhook's WPS relies on being in areas that have enough Wi-Fi signals to pinpoint a location, and on having an active network over which to perform queries. It's likely that a stolen laptop would wind up on a network in a city, unless thieves are becoming savvy and keeping computers locked down.

MacTrak also uniquely transmits collected information directly to you, uploading it to Flickr (if you have an account set up, which is free for limited uploads), and sending via email. GadgetTrak says they don't run a monitoring center but will help connect users with law enforcement if asked.

I'd love to see the face of a police officer, used to dealing with unrecoverable machines, when you walk in with a picture of the thief, a set of GPS coordinates with a map, and information about the network on which the thief connected.

 

READERS LIKE YOU! Support TidBITS by becoming a member today!
Check out the perks at <http://tidbits.com/member_benefits.html>
Special thanks to Karen G. Anderson, Michael McConnell Cass, David
Pasco, and Geoffrey Fong for their generous support!