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A quick way to open a URL in QuickTime Player Internet
I regularly listen to the Internet broadcast of a local radio station. To get it, I have to go their website, and then click on a button to open the online broadcast. It is in a Windows Media Player format. QuickTime Player opens and starts streaming.

Here is how I got to access it by just double-clicking an icon on the Desktop.

The 'obvious' way would be to drag the URL to the Desktop and create a .webloc file. But there were two problems with that.

The URL starts with mms:// and if one tries to open it directly from inside QuickTime Player, it does not recognize it. It does, however, open and play the stream if I use http:// instead.

However, the corresponding .webloc opens in Safari (or whatever other default browser is set), and doing Get Info and setting it to open with QuickTime Player has no effect.

Enter AppleScript. I created a very small script (you need to put in your correct URL):
tell Application "QuickTime Player"
  open URL ""
end tell
I saved this script as an application to my Desktop. Now I just have to double-click and QuickTime Player starts playing the stream.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one. I'm pretty sure you still need to have the Windows Media Components for QuickTime, aka Flip4Mac, installed to play Windows Media formats.]
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Fix slow Internet video on iPad Internet
If your iPad is slow or stutters when viewing video over the internet (e.g. from YouTube), and changing your network's DNS settings, or rebooting the iPad, or changes to the Airport Extreme (or other access point) frequency/band/channel/power/multicast etc. does not fix the issue, here is a possible fix.

Check to see if your Airport Extreme Base Station has DHCP/NAT turned on. If so, instead set your AEBS to Bridge Mode (this will probably work on Airport Express too). This assumes you have a cable modem or other router/switch that you can use instead for DHCP/NAT. No more slow/stuttering video.

[crarko adds: I restart my Airport Extreme every few weeks just to flush the memory and have not experienced any trouble paying video. I do use it for DHCP/NAT on my network.

What I have noticed is that after prolonged use, my Apple TV (2nd generation) does have stuttering and will sometimes just lose it's connection to, say, Netflix. I have to reboot the Apple TV to clear that up, so I don't think it's an issue with the Airport.]
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Quick Email Attachments Internet
I use Yahoo mail and Firefox. I found that I was wasting lots of time navigating through my files to attached a document to an email, especially if I wanted to attach multiple documents that were stored in different folders. Normally, I send off a file after having just worked on it, so I decided to use Smart Folders and Saved Searches in the Select Files dialog box in Firefox.

Here are the steps:
  • In a New Mail message in Yahoo click the Attach button.
  • In the Select Files dialog, start typing a term in the search field and the Save button will appear in the dialog. For some reason, the Save button doesn’t appear when the dialog is opened.
  • Click the Plus button next to Save.
  • Select Last Modified in the first pop up and then Today in the second.
  • Click Save.
  • Name the Search. I call it 'Today.'
  • Now, the Today Smart Search will appear under Saved Searches in the Select Files dialog -- no need to type the name of the file in the search field. Just click the saved search and all your recently modified files are together.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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Force RSS feeds to refresh using pubsub Internet
I've had problems with RSS feeds not updating correctly in Safari. So, I started looking for a way to manually refresh the feeds which, in turn, led to experimenting with the pubsub command (in the Terminal application).
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Use the new MobileMe calendar with older iOS devices Internet
One of the requirements for upgrading to the new MobileMe Calendar is to have iOS 4.1 for your iPhone. If you have a first gen iPhone like I do, this is rather hard to do. If you would like to keep syncing your old iOS device and would like to use the new MobileMe Calendar you can without much trouble.
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10.6: Whitelist websites for a Mac web kiosk Internet
Snow Leopard only hintI needed to allow users of kiosk machine to only browse a list of permitted websites. This 'whitelist-only' functionality is available via OpenDNS, but it's expensive, with even the highest-end paid option allowing a miserly 50 domains. I have over 300. You can also use commercial software like wKiosk, but I found version 6's URL control to be unreliable.

Below is an alternative method.
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Automate an Internet content filter Internet
As an adult with ADD, I'm a huge fan of Steve Lambert's SelfControl. This nifty app, for those who don't know, is a great boon to the Internet addict and to easily distractible folks such as myself. It is a timed Internet filter that can block sites based on a whitelist or blacklist. Once you turn it on, it's virtually impossible to deactivate until its timer runs out. So, if I wanted to work on a project for 3 hours without checking Twitter or Facebook, I would simply add and to SelfControl's list of blocked sites, set its timer for 3 hours, and get some real work done.

I find it helpful to be able to automate this app, so that I don't change my mind and decide to blow off work at the beginning of the day. To this end I have an AppleScript scheduled to activate SelfControl every weekday morning while I'm still sleeping, which lasts until mid-day, so I can get stuff done when I wake up, rather than just roll out of bed onto Facebook.
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Automate the download and installation of a hosts file Internet
I've written an Automator workflow that will download the MVPS HOSTS file and place it in the /private/etc folder. The workflow can be saved as an iCal plugin to run automatically, and does most of its work in the background -- it does ask for a password when it replaces the old hosts file, though.

After downloading the Automator workflow (119KB: Original hostHints mirror), open the desired workflow in Automator (one has Growl support, one doesn't) and go to File » Save as Plug-in. Select iCal Alarm, and now you can have it run once a week/month/year to help keep your Mac a little bit safer from unwanted internet intrusions. Please be aware that the workflow does not back up your old hosts file, so please be carfull when using it!

[robg adds: The workflow is relatively straightforward; it just curls the latest file from the site, renames it, and moves it into /etc/hosts. Be aware that the MVPS HOSTS file blocks a ton of sites, not all of which you may want blocked -- make sure you understand what you're getting if you use this hint.]
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Enable IP forwarding using an AppleScript Internet
If you use your Mac as an intermediate machine to provide Internet access or other network services, you could have the need to enable the IP forwarding. I looked through the web to check how could I enable or disable this ability, which is disabled by default.

I developed a small and smart AppleScript to allow the user to activate or deactivate this system option very quickly. I compiled the script, and now I offer it as an (open source) app to launch when needed; you can find it here.

[robg adds: Here's the source code, just in case the above site ever goes away.
(c) Copyright 2010 Joris Berthelot <admin at eexit dot net> httpt://
display dialog "Current state of IP Forwarding:" & return & return & (do shell script "sysctl net.inet.ip.forwarding") & return & (do shell script "sysctl net.inet.ip.fastforwarding") with title "IP Forward —" with icon note buttons {"Enable", "Disable", "Quit"} cancel button 3 default button 1
set choice to button returned of result
  if choice contains "Enable" then
    display dialog (do shell script "sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=1 net.inet.ip.fastforwarding=1" with administrator privileges) with title "IP Forward —" with icon note buttons {"Done"} default button 1 giving up after 10
  end if
  if choice contains "Disable" then
    display dialog (do shell script "sysctl -w net.inet.ip.forwarding=0 net.inet.ip.fastforwarding=0" with administrator privileges) with title "IP Forward —" with icon note buttons {"Done"} default button 1 giving up after 10
  end if
on error the error_message number the error_number
  display dialog "Error: " & the error_number & return & the error_message with title "IP Forward —" with icon stop buttons {"Quit"} default button 1
end try
I have not tested this one.]
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Make WordPress' plug-in installation work on OS X hosts Internet
Over the weekend, I installed a local copy of WordPress, as I was interested in testing out a number of plug-ins, and didn't want to do so on my actual blog. Install was done using the typical five-minute WordPress install, and it all seemed to work fine.

However, when I went to install a plug-in, WordPress displayed a Connection Information panel, instead of just automatically installing the plug-in, as happens on my online blogs. The Connection Information panel asks for ftp or sftp login information in order to proceed with the plug-in install.

After much searching, I found this page, which explains that the panel appears when WordPress doesn't have the rights to change the filesystem. (Experienced Unix users are now saying "well, yea, duh!")

So the fix wound up being quite simple. In Terminal, I cd'd to the WordPress folder, then ran sudo chown -R www * inside that folder. This changes the owner of the WordPress files to the user (www, which is actually _www, though I didn't specify it that way in the command) that runs the web server process.

After that, my plug-in installs went fine. This basic hint should apply to any other web application you install: if it's not behaving as expected, make sure its files are owned by the www user.
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