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.
The news was a bit light this week, allowing us to focus on more-practical topics. Glenn Fleishman reports on the new VeriSign Identify Protection app for the iPhone, Matt Neuburg passes on ten somewhat unusual tasks he performs with BBEdit, and guest contributor Jeff Merron explains the utility of the iBagz to anyone who worries about rain damaging an iPod or iPhone. Also this week, Doug McLean continues on his search for utilities to help him avoid distraction, this week focusing on SelfControl, which blocks entire Internet domains for a user-specified amount of time. In the TidBITS Watchlist, we look briefly at the releases of iTunes 8.1.1, Default Folder X 4.2, VMware Fusion 2.0.3, Camino 1.6.7, NeoOffice 3.0, Fetch 5.3.1, WireTap Studio 1.0.9, and Panorama 5.5.2.
What do you do if you rely on the Internet for your job, but also find yourself constantly distracted by it? SelfControl, a customizable Internet blocking application, can help!Show full article
Security tokens can dramatically reduce the odds that a malefactor could access your account on a banking, commerce, or even webmail site. Now VeriSign has built an iPhone application that generates such tokens for several major sites.Show full article
Is your iPod also your running partner? What about when it gets rainy? While lots of water-proofing methods exist, it can be hard to find one you can trust. Jeff Merron takes a look at his new favorite: iBagz.Show full article
Recently Matt Neuburg has observed himself using the text editor BBEdit for a lot of things that don't have all that much to do with editing text. And the great news is that the freeware TextWrangler can do almost all of them too. Here's a quick report.Show full article
Notable software releases this week include iTunes 8.1.1, Default Folder X 4.2, VMware Fusion 2.0.3, Camino 1.6.7, NeoOffice 3.0, Fetch 5.3.1, WireTap Studio 1.0.9, and Panorama 5.5.2.Show full article
Read on for a collection of links to interesting articles and resources that the TidBITS staff discovered on the Web this week.Show full article
This week's discussions veer from the practical to the farcical, as readers note the added support of Gopher in OmniWeb; the move to February 2010 for the next Macworld Conference and Expo; problems with MobileMe, Safari 4 beta, and Skype; Apple's reluctance to provide informative release notes; the pricing of apps in the App Store; and exporting HD video to the Apple TV. Also covered is making Time Machine backups over a network, the awesomeness of Unicomp keyboards, and Apple's latest missing system update.Show full article