Twitterrific Improvements

Great things are happening to Twitterrific these days. My favorite feature is doing drafts, which can really help out when you need to do tech support on Twitter! The changes to muting/muffling are also welcome additions. We even gave you a new way to shoot yourself in the foot with regular expressions :-)

And contrary to common belief, I didn’t have anything to do with this besides being a beta tester. Sean Heber is heading up the development work these days, so if you love these changes as much as I do, be sure to let him know!

China Attacks

Robert Graham built a tool to analyze the traffic causing the DDoS attack on GitHub. He then used it to prove that the machine is “located on or near the Great Firewall of China”.

One has to wonder when politicians will take these virtual attacks as seriously as physical ones. As Robert points out, this attack is against a key part of the United States’ Internet infrastructure. What would we do if China took out all the Interstate highways leading into California?

Paste Without Style

I agree with Buzz Anderson: “Paste-with-styling is one of the worst software inventions of all time.” Every time I mention the workaround shown below, there are many retweets and favorites. Clearly, there are a lot of people that feel the same as Buzz and me.

The solution is surprisingly simple: make Paste and Match Style the default for pasting by mapping the menu item to the ⌘V keyboard shortcut:

KeyboardShortcuts

These settings are available in the System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts panel. Count the number of clicks required to get to that screen and it should be clear why so many people don’t know about this trick. Another reason for the confusion is that “and Match Style” really means “Without Style”.

You’ll also note that that I have Paste & Match Style mapped. I use some older apps which have an ampersand in the menu item instead of the word “and”. Since app shortcuts work by matching text exactly, this duplicate is needed.

After you’ve made this change, you might find that the keyboard shortcut sometimes doesn’t work. The one that gets me the most is when I try to ⌘V in the “To:” field while composing a message in Mail. When you try to use the shortcut, you’ll hear a beep because the control doesn’t accept styled text and Paste and Match Style is disabled. When this happens, it’s easy enough to right-click and use the context menu or select Paste from the menu bar.

There are some apps where I do want a keyboard shortcut for pasting styled text. The screenshot above shows one: TextEdit. Most of the time I’ll rely on ⌘V to paste text without styling, but if I do want to keep the text’s attributes, ⇧⌘V is just a keystroke away.

If you’ve found this trick useful, be sure to share it. There are a lot of people who don’t know how simple it is to fix this little annoyance.

/Applications/Utilities/Grapher.app

Today’s a good day to remind you about one of the coolest, and least well known, apps on your Mac: Grapher.

Grapher

Notice how the intersections of the circles plotted by the trigonometric functions form a unit square in radial coordinates. Symmetry is so cool.

Blast from the Past

While watching this stunning video of data collected from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, it struck me that every ounce of energy on this planet originated from a nuclear explosion. That includes the gas in your car that was originally a dinosaur which ate plants that grew using the light from these solar explosions.

Whoa.