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MacEdition Pro News : 17th April 2002: Copyright clowns, X updates and menu manipulations

by MacEdition Staff (feedback)

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The clowns of copyright

They’re at it again. This snippet is copped directly from the folks at Memepool and is of particular relevance to anyone who appreciates the functionality of iTunes’ streaming music features.

If you like your streaming Internet radio, or just object to the DMCA on principle, you might want to get actively involved in this. Here's the skinny from Memepool:

The Digital Millenium Copyright Act is about to kill Internet radio!

As of May 21st you will have to stop listening to great stations like SomaFM and start listening to crap from the likes of Clear Channel, unless you contact your senators and congressmen and say things like this.

It’s probably best if folks outside the US don’t get involved, as surprisingly enough, democratically elected representatives prefer to be told what to do by the people who actually elected them.

At MacEdition we won’t even pretend to be neutral about this. It’s an issue over freedom of choice — being able to choose to listen to music you like or being forced to listen to hand-selected music the RIAA and its ilk wants you to like (or more correctly, wants you to buy).

What codename are we up to now?

Is it Puma, Jaguar or something else? Quite frankly, we forget, particularly when it comes to .1.x releases like Mac OS X 10.1.4. Let’s just call it “mini-Puma”. Regardless, the folks at Think Secret report that Version 10.1.4 (aka “mini-Puma”) is nearing a release date. There’s nothing earth-shattering like an “Aqua off” checkbox (ha!) but there are some minor improvements, chiefly:

10.1.4 will reportedly boast improved file searching, both on local and remote volumes. It also appears that Apple is continuing to address complaints from PPP internet users, as the company’s documentation says that dial-up PPP connections will be more reliable in the 10.1.4 update, along with improved system responsiveness.

Fixing things one step at a time is good enough for us. Special thanks go to the folks at Think Secret for the tip.

Tame those menus!

For those who can’t help but tinker with Mac OS X, MaxMenus from Proteron LLC, may be a must-have utility. The folks at Proteron have recently updated MaxMenus to Version 1.1. Before covering what’s in the update, a brief explanation of what MaxMenus actually does may be in order.

In a nutshell, it allows the menus in Mac OS X 10.1 and later to be useful. Oooh, perhaps that’s a little catty, we’ll let Proteron’s press release put that into proper context. It says that MaxMenus is:

… the system enhancing software which adds powerful, flexible menus to the OS X user interface in a manner harkening back to legacy OS 9 products such as Now Menus and ACTION Menus can be purchased and downloaded from Proteron's web site at http://www.proteron.com.

[…]

MaxMenus, which is exclusively available for Apple’s Mac OS X, adds powerful and customizable menus to any display. The menus simplify the launching and managing of applications, documents, volumes, preferences, recent items, photos, music playlists and much more. The product ships with numerous menus pre-configured for great out-of-the-box utility, but can also be configured to meet an individual’s needs.

If that snippet doesn’t pique your interest, perhaps this one will: “spring-loaded menu items.” That’s right, it’s not spring-loaded folders per se but a folder placed in a menu can be spring-loaded. (Here’s hoping system-wide spring-loaded folders are included in the next release, though.)

So what’s new in the update?

The 1.1 update to MaxMenus fixes every bug identified in previous versions, and sports several new features. An area of focus for the 1.1 update was improving drag-and-drop functionality. MaxMenus now supports dropping into menus invoked with a hot-key, and “grabbing”, the ability to start a drag with an item in a menu. The update also improves its Dock enhancing features.

MaxMenus can be purchased and downloaded from http://www.proteron.com/maxmenus (or the company’s FTP server). A 30-day free trial is available and the full version is US$29.95. The only slight gotcha is MaxMenus’ statement of “256MB RAM preferred,” but all of you heeded our warning last year to buy more RAM, right?

Finally, Proteron LLC has also announced that French language support has been added to MaxMenus. The French version is available at Proteron's site.

Looking for old ProNews segments? Check out our index at http://old.macedition.com/news/. Do you have news releases or tidbits of interest to the Macintosh professional? Send them to pronewsnotes@macedition.com.

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