Using Full Keyboard Access on Mac OS X

system, hacks, usability

So, for the longest time I have been wondering how to tab through options in OS X applications using the keyboard. For example, the keyboard shortcut for logging out is SHFT-CMD-Q, but if you hit this on accident, you have to find the mouse and click "cancel" instead of hitting TAB to get to "Cancel" and then RETURN.

Here's how: In Mac OS X's System Preferences panel, select the Keyboard and Mouse pane. Select the "Keyboard shortcuts" panel (the last one). Click the "Turn on full keyboard access" option at bottom.

Now, to cycle through options in Aqua applications, just hit TAB. A perplexing feature was that you can't just hit RETURN when you've got something selected after hitting TAB; you have to hit SPACEBAR to "click" a highlighted choice once selected. Hitting RETURN will just select the blue-shaded default option.

Cease-and-deshit

copyright, wtf?, chilling effects, legal, threats

(via Donna via Siva)

A blogger was sent a cease-and-desist letter for quoting the following passage from Princeton Professor Harry Frankfurt's new book, Bullshit:

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, or attracted much sustained inquiry. In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory. I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullshit, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analysis...

I guess Prof. Frankfurt needs to learn a lesson that such a move will only exacerbate his "problem". In fact, I wonder if, as seems to be the case with the recently-leaked Dr. Who episode, this isn't a way of getting attention for his book. Prof. Frankfurt should know that commenting and criticism is in 17 USC 107 under the statutory defense of fair use for copyright infringement.

It's not a particularly interesting passage, by the way... and if this is the "heart of the work"*, the rest of the book is probably... well, bullshit.

UPDATE [2005-03-16 15:26:51]: As Doug points out, much of the text of On Bullshit was available here and you can use the Internet Archive's wayback machine to see various versions of this text here.

UPDATE [2005-03-16 15:47:23]: Turns out the professor doesn't mind.


* Harper and Row v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539 (1985) found no fair use defense where the amount taken was small but was the "heart" of the work at question.

0 my g0d. teh AOL r stealing our pr1v4cy!1!!

wtf?, chilling effects, privacy, policy

I posted a check-your-facts post to this slashdot story about an alleged change to AIM's ToS to the IP list... haha... I must say, I really enjoyed this comment:

so, out of some 200 comments rated 2 or higher as i write this (not counting one comment i made in the bottom of some thread somewhere) it seems that almost everyone here has missed the point....

a) only 2 people have mentioned that these terms of service are over a year old.

b) only 2 people have pointed out that these terms of service apply to posts on message boards and forums, which they reserve the right to replicate, duplicate, etc, and not to instant messages.

c) no one has pointed out that the vast majority of the messages sent through aim are sent client to client, and never travel through aol's central server, so even if they did reserve the right to use your im's any way they saw fit, and they had the desire to, there's no way that they ever could.

man, talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. one person yells "0 my g0d. teh AOL r stealing our pr1v4cy!1!!" and the whole army of slashdotters goes running for their tinfoil hats. get a grip people.

New blog on usable security...

blogging

Friends and colleagues Ka-ping Yee, Rachna Damija, Nathan Good and David Thaw have started a new blog on the intersection between usability and security: Usable Security.

mREPLAY

copyright, hacks, SIMS, friends

As Sean points out: Fellow SIMS student Patrick Riley and crew are developing a mobile application called mREPLAY that will be tested this Spring. It essentially allows you to see replays of sporting events on a mobile phone while you're in the bleachers.

While I don't watch a lot of sports, when I do and especially when I watch it live, I like to watch soccer. I can imagine this would be much cooler than craning our necks to see the lame-o jumbotron TV monitors. Also, I would like to think that this could be extended to other live events like concerts and circuses and so on. I would understand if copyright issues of the public performance variety made the latter difficult.

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