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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

ExtraBITS for 8 April 2013

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We focus on the underworld this week, with news that patent troll Lodsys is once again targeting iOS developers, the story of how security writer Brian Krebs unmasked the author of the Flashback malware, and why the iPad is a good bet for reading about super villains.

Patent Troll Lodsys Continues to Harass iOS Developers -- Nearly two years ago, a company called Lodsys made news by suing a number of iOS developers, claiming their use of in-app purchasing infringed a Lodsys-owned patent. Apple intervened, saying that its patent license with Lodsys covers iOS developers. Despite that, Eric Slivka at MacRumors reports that Lodsys has filed ten more lawsuits against iOS developers, ranging from the large (Disney) to the small (TLA Systems, makers of PCalc). Apple has yet to respond to these new suits.

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Brian Krebs Identifies Author of Flashback Malware -- Flashback was one of the most significant pieces of malware to affect Mac OS X, morphing quickly and infecting more than 650,000 Macs. Security writer Brian Krebs has now identified a 30-year-old Russian man as being responsible for Flashback. It seems unlikely this outing will make any significant difference in the guy’s behavior, but it’s interesting to have the human element brought into malware coverage.

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Why the iPad Is a Superhero for Reading Comics -- Jason Snell likes to read comics on his iPad and has the credit card bill to prove it! His piece in Macworld is an outstanding survey of the digital comic landscape, describing how traditional print comics correspond to digital offerings, comparing several methods for acquiring comics, and discussing which mobile devices work best for comics.

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