The Search For A New Mac Clipboard Manager

Every year there comes a time when an old and trusted Mac utility needs to be put out to pasture. Usually it’s because it is no longer updated to work with the latest version of OS X. Such is the case with PTHPasteboard, one of the Mac’s best clipboard managers, which hasn’t been updated since mid-2012. It still works but causes conflict with other Mac utilities (trial and error is your friend).

PTHPasteboard had it all; loaded with features but incredibly easy to use, and it synchronized clipboards between Macs on a local network. Replacements for such elegant and robust utilities are not easily found. Not every Mac user has a need for a clipboard manager, but once you use it awhile it becomes a must-have as it remembers everything you copy making repasting much faster and easier.

After trying a dozen or so apps with basic clipboard management features, I settled, for now, on Copy’em Paste; also elegant and robust; a good blend of useful functions.

Copy’em Paste simply remembers what you copy. It resides in the Mac’s Menubar and uses keyboard shortcuts to copy items, select items from the history, and paste items; the learning curve is modest. Favorite clippings, those you use often and mark as Favorites, can be stored forever, while the limit for all other clippings is 999.

There’s a handy option to take copied formatted text and convert it to plain text when being pasted into a document.

Copy'em Paste

Multiple copied snippets in the Copy’em Paste history can also be pasted into a document. History can be searched and rearranged in the list. Copy’em Paste will copy and store just about everything that can be copied by Command-C or Command-X– text, code, images, whatever. The app requires an odd add-on to paste stored items from history but it’s a one-time download which is easily installed.

Overall, Copy’em Paste is well done and so far has become a decent replacement for PTHPasteboard. One function is missing, though, and that’s the ability to share a the entire clipboard history between Macs (or to iPhone and iPad). Fortunately, there’s a free solution that does just that. It’s called CloudClip Manager.

CloudClip Manager

CloudClip Manager stores clipboard items in iCloud so they can be synchronized between Macs, iPhone, and iPad. Yes, there’s an iOS version of CloudClip and it’s free, too (I don’t claim to understand the business model). While not as robust or feature laden as Copy’em Paste it is a good way to share clipboard items between devices.

The Pay-Per-Mile Tax

AP:

Oregon is about to embark on a first-in-the-nation program that aims to charge car owners not for the fuel they use, but for the miles they drive.

The program is meant to help the state raise more revenue to pay for road and bridge projects at a time when money generated from gasoline taxes are declining across the country, in part, because of greater fuel efficiency and the increasing popularity of fuel-efficient, hybrid and electric cars.

So, paying taxes per mile is fair to whom? The rich who can afford it? Or, the suburban or small-town average middle-class car owner who drives more?

Starting July 1, up to 5,000 volunteers in Oregon can sign up to drive with devices that collect data on how much they have driven and where. The volunteers will agree to pay 1.5 cents for each mile traveled on public roads within Oregon, instead of the tax now added when filling up at the pump.

I predict… wait for it… failure.

The Most Beautiful Rolls-Royce

Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes , Rolls-Royce executive on the new Dawn:

Our new Rolls-Royce Dawn promises a striking, seductive encounter like no other Rolls-Royce to date. Dawn is a beautiful new open-top motor car with a name that suggests the fresh opportunities that every new day holds – an awakening, an opening up of one’s senses and a burst of sunshine.

What’s old is new again.

Rolls-Royce Dawn

Evolution Should Be Taught In Schools

Former astronaut John Glenn’s view on creation and evolution. AP:

I don’t see that I’m any less religious by the fact that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that’s a fact. It doesn’t mean it’s less wondrous and it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on.

I see a difference between scientific fact (facts), and the scientific method (theory). As to evolution being taught in schools, which version of the many theories of mankinds evolution should be taught?

Try The Mac Audio Switcher App With The Name You Won’t Forget

My Mac is home to plenty of different audio applications and sound utilities. From Logic Pro X to Adobe Audition, from Amadeus Pro to Twisted Wave, from Audio Switcher to AudioSwitcher.

Wait. What? Audio Switcher? Or, AudioSwitcher?

Yes.

OS X does not do a sweet and simple job of switching between or managing audio sources. The built-in Sound tool in System Preferences is anemic at best, supplying simple controls for Input, Output, and Sound Effects. The Audio/MIDI Audio Devices control in the Utilities folder offers more controls and options, but, well, it’s hidden and cumbersome to use.

If free is your game then Control-Click then Option-Click the Sound Volume in the Mac’s Menubar. If you need more controls, start with Audio Switcher which, for a few bucks, gives you a few more handy controls.

Audio Switcher

Plug in multiple audio device sources and Audio Switcher makes it simple and convenient to switch between each one with little more than a click. Not bad for a few bucks but there are alternatives.

How about AudioSwitcher It’s much like Audio Switcher, but without the space separating the two words, and, at a mere 99-cents, it comes with an even more useful set of controls for less money.

More for less. What’s not to like?

AudioSwitcher

The is the audio switcher I prefer and use on my Mac. Nearly everything you need to switch sources or control input and output from a variety of audio sources is little more than a click away. Pretty much every audio source the Mac can handle– AirPlay, HDMI, Thunderbolt, Bluetooth, USB– can be easily controlled with AudioSwitcher, from the Menubar, within any Mac app.

Functionality of the two audio switcher apps– AudioSwitcher and Audio Switcher– varies a bit, but what’s odd is how much more capability AudioSwitcher provides for a lower price.

Different strokes for different folks.

If 99-cents is too much for your budget there’s a free utility available, too– the popular AudioMate.

AudioMate for Mac

Not quite as comprehensive as AudioSwitcher, but priced right.

Jack Del Rio On ‘Deflategate’

I love this response on the New England Patriots’ so-called ‘deflategate’ scandal from Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio. SB Nation:

I think there are some similarities in terms of an overreaction, from my standpoint. I think it was a little bit overdone, but that’s somebody else’s problem right now.

Everybody understands that quarterbacks all want to get the balls how they like them, and why not?. They throw these balls around, and one of the reasons the sport is so popular is the ability of guys like Peyton (Manning) and Brady to throw the ball the way they do.

It’s just an overreaction.

Consumer Reports’ $127,000 Tesla ‘Undriveable’

Oops. Chris Woodyard on what can happen to high profile cars with too many electronic gadgets onboard.

When you pay $127,000 for a new Tesla — or for that matter, any expensive car — you pretty much expect it to be trouble-free.

But Consumer Reports magazine found its testers locked out of its 27-day-old top-of-the-line Tesla Model S because the car’s fancy retractable door handles wouldn’t work.

Door handles? Mechanical, right? Nope.

These aren’t ordinary door handles. They are a space-age model that remain flush to the car door — usually only seen in concept prototypes at car shows — and automatically extend when a driver approaches with their key in their hand, purse or pocket.

Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Networks The Right Way

Yours truly on NetSpot, the Mac app which tracks, troubleshoots, and analyzes Wi-Fi networks, and access point hotspots and deadlines.

NetSpot Pro finds all the local and nearby Wi-Fi hotspot access points and identifies the characteristics of each one. While it can find channel conflicts easily, it’s perfect to detect dead zones within a Wi-Fi network, as well as areas which have noise conflicts.

Not only does NetSpot Pro map the area, it analyzes the signals generated from nearby Wi-Fi hotspot access points so you can troubleshoot weak signals. There’s even an option to test a location’s network speed within the app.

Think of it as a heat map for your Wi-Fi network; either already deployed, or in the design process.

This is a priceless utility for home office, small office, or Wi-Fi network design and troubleshooting.

How To Manage Email From The Mac’s Menubar

More than 20 years after the internet became public we’re still using the original killer app the same way. Email is an evil scourge, the result of technology gone wild. My email inbox gets 500 to 600 messages a day, and only a few dozen are legitimate messages. If you want to manage email spam, get SpamSieve. If you want to become a more efficient email user, get MailBar.

What you get is more control over email by putting it in its place. Email becomes a drop down menu in the Mac’s Menubar; easily accessible from within any Mac app, easier to use than Mail, therefore, you become a more efficient and productive email user.

Click the Menubar and Voila! Email.

MailBar for Mac

MailBar’s Menubar icon displays the number of new messages in your inbox so there’s no need to switch to Mail to check on email. Think of MailBar as mini-Mail. You can monitor and manage up to four different email accounts, search messages, read email, mark messages as read, reply to and send messages (even with photo attachments).

MailBar lets you preview attachments, view Calendar events, integrate signatures from Mail, and use keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process. Though I have many more than four email accounts, most messages come to four accounts, and MailBar makes it faster and more efficient to manage email as it arrives, or when I want to check it, all without switching back and forth between apps.

Just think of MailBar as a mini-Mail app that’s easier to use, faster, and more focused. That reduces the time you devote to email messages; always a plus. But MailBar isn’t a Mail substitute. SpamSieve is still needed to capture and isolate spam messages, and MailBar doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, including mail management options, stationery, and so on.

It’s just a faster way to manage email.

5 Cars To Buy, 5 Cars To Avoid

From Collin Woodard:

Some people buy cars and only need them to perform specific tasks, but for a lot of people, cars need to be good all-around vehicles. We can nitpick its opinions on specific models, but it’s hard to argue that Consumer Reports doesn’t provide the best information on how well-rounded cars are. Since it buys the cars it tests outright, its opinions are about as unbiased as car reviews come. For most shoppers, that kind of information is an important part of the car-buying process.

Top 5 car brands to Buy:

  • Subaru
  • Audi
  • Toyota
  • Mazda
  • Lexus

Top 5 car brands to avoid

  • Ford
  • Dodge
  • Mini
  • Jeep
  • Fiat

Jetpacks Are Real

Stunning video on SB Nation of two men using jetpacks to fly over the Dubai skyline at 120-mph. They look more like small airplanes attached to the pilots than jetpacks.

Pros Speak Out On Deflategate

Ryan Parker gathers quotes from former NFL’ers on the NFL’s punishment for the so-called deflategate scandal.

John Elway:

I think the integrity of the game is No. 1. So the commissioner obviously felt that was compromised and did what he believed he had to do… so I support the commissioner 100%.

Brett Favre:

I don’t think by any stretch, in my opinion, that Tom was cheating,” Favre said. “I don’t know if Tom can honestly say he has completed more passes because of it. I think more than anything, it helped with the grip based on conditions. And would other players do it? Sure, I have no reason to think otherwise.

Isn’t holding, pass interference, and being offsides also ‘cheating?’

What Every Mac User Really Wants In OS X’s Menubar

Where I live the weather doesn’t change much day to day or season to season. The average weather forecast is always ‘partly sunny, chance for showers, daytime high in the 80s and overnight low in the 70s‘ about 330 days per year. Why bother with a weather forecast app at all?

Inquiring minds want to know. For those afflicted with need-to-know disease, there’s Forecast Bar for the Mac, a handy Menubar app with weather and forecasts only a click away. Other than taking up residence in an already overcrowded Mac Menubar, Forecast Bar is exactly what anyone who wants to know about the weather needs.

Most Mac, iPhone, and iPad weather applications get their weather data from the same range of sources, so there’s little variance in the details, but a huge difference in how the weather is presented. That’s what makes Forecast Bar weather worthy.

No only can you view current conditions and temperature in the Menubar, one-click brings you even more detailed weather data.

Forecast Bar for Mac

Forecast Bar takes a cue from Yahoo!’s weather app for iPhone and injects a background image photo which reflects current weather conditions with details below. Current conditions and temperature, feels like temperature, the high and low for the day, cloud conditions and humidity.

Also visible with a click is the weather description, animated charts for temperature and rain, including rain intensity. Forecasts go out five days, and there’s the all important Notification Center option for severe weather alerts (but only in the U.S.).

Click on the current conditions and more detail pops up, including wind conditions, a compass, dew point, pressure indicator, visibility, and more. For OS X Yosemite users there are two modes– light and dark. Forecast Bar is just nicely done, handy, accurate, and with enough eye candy to be attractive and enough actual weather data to be useful.

Lots of four and five star reviews for this app on the Mac App Store. Caveats? Yes. The developer has opted not to have a trial version, so you’re required to cough up the money first, and if you don’t like Forecast Bar, well, tough cookies. Chances are good you’ll like it, despite the less-than-tender price tag.

United Airlines Sued For $5-million

What do you do when your airline in-flight entertainment system doesn’t work? Cary David did what many would like to do– an exercise in futility.

Cary David was on a flight from Puerto Rico to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey when she shelled out $7.99 to watch live television using the airlines DirecTV entertainment system. However, the service was shoddy, and David claims that she was only able to watch TV for the last 10 minutes of the four-hour flight.

Why didn’t she get a refund?

No More $100 Oil

Remember when oil was priced at almost $150 a barrel? Now it’s down to about $60 and OPEC says it’s not likely to hit $100 again for 10 years. Akin Ohyedele on an inside report:

The report, seen by The Wall Street Journal, predicts that oil prices will be about $76 a barrel in 2025 in its most optimistic scenario, a reflection of OPEC worries that American competitors will be able to cope with low prices and keep pumping out supplies. It also contemplates situations where crude oil costs below $40 a barrel in 2025

It’s funny how oil prices are so low but gasoline prices are not. And, if I had a nickel for every prediction made about what something will cost in the future…

The Rock’s Diet

Ayanna Julien on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s diet:

It’s official, The Rock is superhuman. Just ask the guy who attempted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s diet for a day. One thing is for sure, he walked away with a lot more respect for the actor. he former WWE champion apparently eats up to 10 lbs of food a day, that’s 5,165 calories, if you’re counting.

What happens when an average person tries to eat 5,000 calories a day? Sean Evans’ experience? He couldn’t finish one day of 10 pounds of food.

I respect The Rock. What if you had the money that he has and the success that he has, right? Like, would you be waking up at four o’clock in the morning and just shredding legs and just eating this meathead food around the clock, every two hours? Respect the hell out of it, man. Respect the hell out of Dwayne Johnson.

My Favorite Text App Does Too Much To Cost So Little

My Mac is home to far too many specialized utility apps, one-trick pony tools, and applications that are necessary, but seldom used. Every now and again I run into a mashup utility; a Mac app that brings together multiple functions that are mostly standalone, yet somehow work well together. That’s the case with Favorite Text for the Mac.

Text is part of the equation, but Favorite Text has more than meets the eye, and remains remarkably affordable at 99-cents.

First, Favorite Text captures and saves text. It also captures and saves Mac clipboard contents. Both can be retrieved from the Menubar and inserted into documents from within any Mac app you’re using at the moment. In a relatively straightforward interface, Favorite Text lets you organize text snippets or notes and view clipboard history.

Favorite Text

Wait. There’s more.

Favorite Text has a built-in login ID and password system, too. And, using 256-bit AES encryption, the app can store all your snippets, clipboard history, passwords, and notes in a single password protected location (also good to store bank information, credit card numbers, and more).

There’s also a built-in password generator, text editor, and options to search clipboard or notes history, and drag and drop clipboard items to other snippets, notes, or documents in other Mac apps.

More Favorite Text

The clipboard manager stores formatted text with media files and history items can be exported as RTFD, RTF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, HTML, ODT, XML files. Restart your Mac and the clipboard history is saved.

Every component of Favorite Text has standalone apps which do more, but not much more, and they’re well integrated here. I use four or five different apps to accomplish much the same thing and this app costs only 99-cents.

The only negative is that there’s not an iPhone and iPad version with iCloud or Dropbox sync. Otherwise, perfectly usable, great value.

On Nail Salons, Vietnamese, And Tina

Hawaii is home to many nail salons run by Vietnamese with technicians named Tina. Why? Celeste Hoang has the details:

Most Americans recognize Tippi Hedren for her starring role in Alfred Hitchcock’s horror film The Birds—but among the Vietnamese American community, her reputation is for something a little more serious: being a cornerstone of the immigrant community’s economy.

What does this have to do with Vietnamese and nail salons?

The Hollywood actor traveled to Hope Village, a Vietnamese refugee camp near Sacramento, California, to meet with a group of women who had recently fled the takeover of South Vietnam by the armed forces of Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. Hedren was aware of the difficulties the refugees had faced and had been trying before her visit to think of a skill or trade she could help the women learn so they could support themselves in their adopted country. When she met with the group, she was surprised to find they were enamored with her manicure.

You know where this is going now, right?

Hedren flew in her own beautician and enlisted a local beauty school to teach 20 of the women how to execute the perfect manicure. Many of these women later settled in Southern California, where they soon were offering manicure services at a lower price than the existing competition. This quickly and dramatically changed the face of the industry in the region. Manicures and pedicures that cost upwards of $50 in luxury salons can cost 30 to 50 percent less at a Vietnamese American–owned salon, according to trade publication Nails. Today, the nail industry is worth $8 billion, and 80 percent of nail technicians in Southern California are Vietnamese (51 percent across the U.S.). Many of them are direct descendants of the 20 women Hedren met with that fateful day in Sacramento.

Fascinating.

The 1,000-HP Ford GTX1

It looks like a Ferrari from the side and a Corvair from the front, and if you’ve got an extra $350,000 lying around, a 1,000-HP car from Ford can be yours. Zach Doell:

The numbers vary slightly, but over 30 Ford GTX1s are claimed to have been built over the years, each forgoing the roof-cutaway doors and donning a pair of sleek, well-incorporated headrest fairings… This one is however a bit more special than the rest. Peel back the rear lid and you’ll find oodles of chrome and a pair of turbochargers in place of the GT’s standard blower, hence the ‘TT’ denotation. The dual boosted Ford GT now muscles up over 1,000 horsepower, surely capable of rocketing driver and co-pilot to the 200 mph mark… with the top down.

Ouch.

Ford GTX1

See? Ferrari.

America’s Fastest Selling Car

Volkswagen is doing great. But not in the U.S. So, how is it that the fastest selling car in the country is a Volkswagen (and a station wagon)? James Derek Spaienza with the setup:

Despite being poised to overtake Toyota as the world’s largest automaker, the company is suffering from below-average profit margins worldwide, and it sits stalled as the 14th best-selling automaker in the U.S., the world’s second largest auto market.

And the real news as it pertains to the highly coveted U.S. market:

Volkswagen’s Golf SportWagen sits on a dealer lot for just nine days before finding a buyer, making it the fastest-moving new model on sale today. In contrast, the BMW 650i XDrive convertible is America’s slowest-selling car, moldering on dealer lots an average of 180 days before finding a taker. With gas prices still relatively low, 18 of the 23 cars on the list were SUVS or crossovers, making the Volkswagen’s position atop the list that much more surprising.

Ah, lies, damned lies, and statistics. It’s all in the definition of ‘fastest selling car.’