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.
Does your mouse not behave as you'd expect? It's probably not the mouse itself, but Mac OS X's acceleration curve, which Apple changed from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X - Parrish Knight explains what's going on and how to retrain your mouse to track your movements more appropriately. Also this week, Adam shares some surprising findings about Internet surveys and looks at Picnik, a Web site that provides most of iPhoto's image-editing features; Glen McAllister finds local music performances using iConcertCal; and Glenn Fleishman celebrates the expunging of the court case against security researcher Randal Schwartz. We also note the release of Parallels Desktop Build 3186 (essentially, version 2.0), a security update for QuickTime, the availability of Macworld Expo session videos and audio files, and a new estimate of the number of Mac OS X users (22 million!).
Those of you who read our breaking news items in ExtraBITS may have noticed some changes this week. As part of the major overhaul to our back-end, something we're calling the TidBITS Publishing System, we can now make articles in our database available on our home page (and in searches) before they appear in a TidBITS issueShow full article
Apple has released an update to QuickTime for Mac OS X 10.3.9 and later, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. QuickTime 7.1.5 fixes numerous bugs, along with a flaw that could enable a maliciously crafted file to crash a program employing QuickTime or to allow arbitrary code execution - a phrase that often means there's a potential for an attacker to gain control of a computer or, at least, install malware. Affected file types are broad: 3GP videos, MIDI files, native QuickTime movies, images in the venerable PICT file format, and QTIF filesShow full article
Parallels has now released the official update to the Parallels Desktop virtualization software that began public beta testing at the beginning of December 2006Show full article
Tune in to the latest podcast interviews with TidBITS editors! At Macworld Expo, Adam talked about the show announcements with host Harris Fogel of Mac Edition Radio, and more recently, Joe spoke with Gene Steinberg of the Tech Night Owl Live (he's in the final third of the 01-Mar-07 show). Show full article
We often wonder how many of us there are. While Apple occasionally shares the number of active Mac OS X users, it has been a while since the last updateShow full article
At Macworld Expo in January, I delivered a session called "Graduate from iMovie to Final Cut Pro" as part of the Users Conference track. I thought it went pretty well, especially since public speaking doesn't come naturally to me (but I'm working on it). As I was leaving, one man asked if the presentation would be made available online (and I'm sorry I didn't get your name, so I hope you're reading this)Show full article
Congratulations to Paul Schreiber of paulschreiber.com and Derrick Yamaura of axionet.com, whose entries were chosen randomly in last week's DealBITS drawing and who received a copy of Panergy's docXConverter Premium, worth $29.95Show full article
Randal Schwartz was too curious for his own good. As a contractor at Intel in Oregon in the early 1990s, he poked and prodded a bit too much, especially in the area of demonstrating how poorly chosen - how weak - many account passwords were in the groups he worked forShow full article
We've been watching the results of our reader survey roll in, with over 2,800 responses so far. You can still vote, but I can likely predict how you'll vote, based on current responsesShow full article
Until recently, I haven't been a regular visitor to Apple's Mac OS X Downloads page, but after coming across their latest featured download, I may make a point of checking more oftenShow full article
For an impressive example of what can be done in a Web application these days, check out Picnik, an online photo site that provides - almost exactly - the same set of editing features as Apple's iPhoto, and some of iPhoto's sharing capabilitiesShow full article
As wonderful as Mac OS X is, it has a grave defect that can have an immediate adverse impact on the computer's usability: the way it translates mouse motion into pointer movementShow full article
Safari RSS problem -- Here's a tip if Safari's RSS feeds don't seem to be updating regularly. (3 messages) Encrypted e-mail question -- A question leads to a great summary of how encrypted email worksShow full article