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Google Maps now supports Safari Internet
Just a quick note from the Google Blog: Google Maps now supports Safari and Opera. Kudos to the Google team to getting it to work cross-browser so quickly!

[robg adds: Normally we don't run news items, but Google Maps have proven very popular, and Safari is used by something like 80% of all the readers here, so I figured it was worth sharing.]
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Define words via Google and AppleScript Internet
I love the "define:" tool on Google because:
  1. I am a bad speller
  2. It's nice to see a few different definitions
But I hate having to type define:" every time. So I wrote a very simple AppleScript to get around this:
set googleword to display dialog "What word do you want to define?" 
 default answer " "
set findgoogleword to (text returned of the googleword)
do shell script "open" 
 & findgoogleword
If you don't want to use Google, then all you have to do is change the address and modify the URL bit to match your preferred site's syntax.
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IDN Spoofing Vulnerability and a temp Safari Fix Internet
Robert Goldsmith pointed out this IDN spoofing vulnerability to me, and asked if I could make a Safari plug-in to fix this problem. So I did it ... it's called SaftLite and it can be downloaded from my website [94KB download].

This is a free plug-in, and it works only with the latest Safari version 1.2.4 (v125.12). I think Apple will soon release a security update, but in the mean time, Saft Lite is a good solution.

[robg adds: Hao Li is the author of the popular Saft extension set for Safari, which we've discussed here before. If you haven't seen this vulnerability in action, it's bad, as the above example shows. If you're a Firefox user, there are a couple of options: adding a filter to the AdBlock extension, or installing the SpoofStick extension, which will highlight the true domain behind any URL. I added SpoofStick, and it works great. I imagine all of the browsers will have patches out shortly, but until then, I'd recommend adding some sort of spoofing detector.]
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Automatically send a TinyURL from Safari via Internet
TinyURL is a cool concept. Many mail clients will either wrap or otherwise distort a URL, depending on the size or characters it may contain. TinyURL creates a URL that you can use to represent a longer one, especially useful for sending to people in mail. The normal process is to submit a URL, at which point you'll be given back a TinyURL to use. Normally you'd take the TinyURL they give and copy and paste into an emai. While it is handy, I decided to figure out a way to do it automatically, using AppleScript, and bypassing the copy and paste procedure.

Read the rest of the hint for the script and notes...
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Install a free SMTP spam filter for postfix Internet
I was looking for a good, easy to use, and free spam filter that works on OS X. After some searching, I found ASSP. It really works great, and is easy to use, set up, and admin. The only trick one needs to know is to change the postfix smtpd 'listen' port. You have to edit the file named located in /etc/postfix, and change the line that reads:
smtp inet n - n - - smtpd
to this:
2525 inet n - n - - smtpd
[robg adds: I haven't tested this one...]
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Use GeekTool to view the online list of a PHPBB forum Internet
Here's a GeekTool widget that shows you who's online on your favourite forum sites (as long as they use phpBB). The commandline to enter into GeekTool is:
/sw/bin/lynx -dump websitepath | grep 2005
Where websitepath is the URL of the forum, followed by /viewonline.php. For example, the 68k Macintosh Liberation Army forums are located at, which makes the websitepath is For another example, PHPBB's own forums are at, so the websitepath is

Problems/Difficulties and how they can be overcome:
  1. You need lynx. Get Fink and use that to install lynx.
  2. If you are reading this in 2006 or later, replace 2005 in the grep command with the current year.
  3. This only works with PHPBB forums. It can probably be adapted to work with other forums, though.
  4. Refreshing at high rates can be hard on the webhost. I set mine to go once every two minutes.
  5. For every person doing this, there will always be one guest "viewing who is online."
[robg adds: For vBulletin forums such as, it seems the websitepath would be However, vBulletin has a very lengthy user list display, so I'm not sure how useful this might be...]
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A script to create IMG tags from a folder of pictures Internet
If, like me, you do most of your HTML coding in a text editor, then perhaps you've found one of the most tiresome chores is loading every little image you've made for a button or background into Preview or similar package to find out its dimensions for correct handling in HTML (i.e. <img src=filename height=y width=x>).

To alleviate this a little, I've written a small Python script. When run from the Terminal, the script will search for all JPEG, GIF or PNG images in the current directory, and output a user-named HTML file. The file will include each image's name plus its dimensions in HTML format, ready for you to copy and paste into your working document. I've found it's saved me a lot of time on the site I'm currently building, and I hope it might help you, too.

My script [view source] uses the extremely-useful Mac OS 10.3 command line utility sips, which allows you to query (and modify if you wish) images from the Terminal. This utility was only added in 10.3, hence my script will not work on prior versions of Mac OS X.

[robg adds: I tested this one, and it worked as described -- you get a nice HTML file that contains the IMG tags with the proper 'width' and 'height' tags already included.]
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Mac network access via Bluetooth on the Sprint Treo 650 Internet
Last week I received my brand-new Sprint Treo 650, a long-awaited update to the popular Treo line of smartphones. It's a wonderful device, but unfortunately Sprint chose to disable dial-up networking over Bluetooth. That means if I'm on the road, I'm unable to share the phone's Internet connection with my laptop. An official fix is said to be in the works, but in the meantime, there is a workaround. A resourceful Treo user found a way to hack his phone and re-enable dial-up networking over Bluetooth.

Although the hack works, it's a bit unstable and somewhat tricky to install properly. After seeing Bodoggy's tutorial for his Sony Ericsson phone, I decided to write one of my own for the Sprint Treo 650.
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Use a Gmail account for basic file backups Internet
If you've got a Gmail account, you've got handy access to 1gb of email, and now most accounts also have POP access enabled. Using those two facts, forum reader minton created a script that backs up selected files from the Finder to a Gmail account.

I haven't tested this one yet, so no promises, but it looks interesting.
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GPRS internet connections via Bluetooth phones Internet
I have seen a few hints on how to set up a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone as a GPRS modem, so I thought I'd give mine a try. After a lot of trial and error in getting the connection to work with my Sony Ericsson K700i and Vodafone Australia, I found that data tech support was largely Windows-centric, and there weren't any comprehensive step-by-step instructions available among the hints.

So I compiled a tutorial myself, complete with appropriate screenshots for use with the SE and To make it a bit more generalized, there are also basic directions on how to adjust the tutorial to suit your own mobile service provider and phone type.
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