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Best OS X 10.5 Hints contest winners revealed! Site News
After some delays due to both Macworld Expo and hearing back from all of the winners, I'm please today to announce the 10 winners in our Best Leopard Hints contest. The winners were chosen by rankings from both the public voting, and votes from the Macworld editorial team (yours truly excluded). We then took the average of both groups' scores, and used that number to create the final rankings. Note that this is the first time the winners will see what they've won -- as of now, they only know that they've won something. So without further ado, here's how things wound up...

iPod Shuffle winners: 4GB iPod nano winners: 80GB iPod Classic winner: 20" iMac winner: As you can see, our winners span much of the globe, with two in Australia, one in England, and one in France. That's why it was important to us to not restrict the geographic reach of the contest. (We've now got our work cut out for us to fulfill these prizes in all those places, but that's our problem! We'll be working with the winners over the next few weeks to get that done.) This small contest is a snapshot of how well the web reaches beyond borders, letting users share information globally with ease.

So congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who has submitted 10.5 hints. Collectively, you have all helped create a huge collection of OS X 10.5 tips -- 442 and counting as of today -- in a very short amount of time. That's an average of just over five OS X 10.5 hints per day (seven days/week) since the product was released! Wow.

Rob Griffiths
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New poll posted on the MacBook Air Site News
I have just posted a new poll about the MacBook Air and your purchase plans (or not) for the new machine. I had a (brief) chance to play with it on the show floor today, and it is one impressively light machine. Its not really a little machine -- other than the incredible thinness -- as its footprint is actually just a tiny bit larger than that of the MacBook. The MacBook is 12.78" wide by 8.92" deep, and the Air is 12.80" by 8.94". So it's not going to be much easier to open in a seat in coach, but it'll be oh so much easier to carry (and in my opinion, its design makes all current Mac portables look quite dated).

Personally, I'm quite tempted by the machine, especially after seeing it in person -- using one is probably the most dangerous thing one can do to one's wallet. However, I don't think I'm ready for all of the version one tradeoffs, with the non-removable battery being at the top of that list. But how about you? Is there Air in your future? Vote and comment, and we'll see what everyone thinks...
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Macworld Expo keynote wishes poll posted Site News
We're now 11 days out from the Macworld Expo keynote, so I thought it'd be interesting to find out which product or service you most hope to see revealed at the keynote. Note that this is not supposed to measure what you think is most likely, but rather what you personally most want to see Apple reveal.

For me, it'd be the ultra-portable Mac ... I lamented the passing of the original PowerBook Duos, and I still use my 12" PowerBook G4 quite a bit, but it's getting quite slow by today's standards. So please, something in the three to four pound range, with a decently-sized high-res screen and reasonably fast CPUs would be that's where my vote went :).

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Vote for your favorite Leopard hint! Site News
The short version: Iowa's not the only place where the polls open today. The polling booth is now open in the Leopard Best Hints contest! Cast your votes for your favorite 10.5 hints...

The longer version: As you're all hopefully aware, for the last 75 days or so, we've been running a Best Leopard Hints contest. Since the contest closed just over a week ago, I've spent a considerable amount of time narrowing down the 408 10.5 hints (that were published before the deadline) to a list of 20 finalists. This was a very hard thing to do, and I enlisted help from other Macworld employees to make some of the decisions. Still, many worthy hints wound up not making the list of finalists -- there were probably over 100 hints that I felt were worthy of inclusion, but there was only room for 20 finalists.

You may also note that some of your favorite hints didn't make the cut -- in particular, getting rid of the translucent menu bar isn't among the finalists. That's because I wrote up the hint, and despite my pleadings, Macworld won't let me enter the contest. More importantly, that hint simply referenced something published elsewhere, which was also an exclusionary condition in the rules.
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A slew of weekend 10.5 hints coming... Site News
Yesterday marked the official end of the OS X 10.5 hints contest. However, there were still a number of unpublished 10.5 tips in the queue prior to the submission deadline, so I'm running some weekend updates to catch up. The first batch of hints will show up at 10:30am Pacific time today, followed by more on Sunday, probably at the same time. When that batch is published, it will reflect all of the 10.5-related hints that were submitted (and chosen for publication) prior to the Friday cut-off.

On January 2nd, or thereabouts, we'll have a voting system set up for the finalists, which we'll be selecting over the next week or so. As described in the rules, the winners will be based on a combination of scoring from both hints readers and the Macworld editorial team, and will be announced (assuming we've heard from all of them by then) on or around January 14th.

Thanks to everyone who contributed tips and tricks; there will be something in excess of 400 10.5 tips in the system by the end of this weekend. I know I've learned a ton about Apple's newest OS in the last two months, and I hope you all have, too. (This isn't the end of the 10.5 tips, of course; just the end of the contest period.)

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Happy Thanksgiving! Site News
There won't be an afternoon batch of tips today as we try to finish up a number of other projects before the holiday tomorrow and Friday. So yes, that means no new tips on Thursday, either, but there will be at least one batch posted on Friday -- there are just too many in the queue to let four days in a row go by without posting!

So for all you who have tomorrow and Friday off, have fun and enjoy the time with family and friends!

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New poll posted about the 10.5 iCal interface Site News
I posted a new poll about the new style of event editing in 10.5's iCal -- Apple has banished the drawer, and replaced it with a pop-up window. So what do you think of the new interface? Vote and comment as you will!
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10.5 hints progress report, and a new poll Site News
Two semi-quick site updates tonight. First, a new iPhone/iPod touch poll that asks about the state of the software on your iPhone or iPod touch (if you own one, of course). I'm curious what percentage of hints readers have modified their iPhones or touches to support third party apps. (As long as we're talking about polls -- if you're a Macworld reader, we're also running our annual Reader's Choice survey, too.)

Second, and of much broader interest, here's brief update on the OS X 10.5 hints queue. As of today, the queue has grown to 463 potential hints (all hints, not just 10.5) -- that's not counting the 94 Leopard hints that we've already run. Obviously, if you're just submitting something, it's going to be a while before it shows on the site. However, there has been progress on this front that makes the large queue less daunting, even though it continues to grow...

As of Monday, we now have about 60ish Mac OS X Hints readers helping to review the queue! That's right, for the first time ever, it's not just my eyeballs on the prospective hints. These readers, who are volunteering their time, were asked to participate based on their long-term contributions to the site through hints, comments, or other involvement (such as behind the scenes technical support on Unix hints). They have access to the queue on a special site, and they help me check for duplicates, which is a great timesaver. More importantly, though, they're also sharing their opinions -- through comments and a voting system -- as to whether each hint should be published or not. I love the fact that no longer am I the sole reviewer for every potential hint. In the long run, this should improve the quality (and quantity, as hints can be processed more quickly) of hints here on the site.
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10.5: Two new 10.5 polls posted... Site News
So we're just about a week into 10.5 now, so I thought it'd be interesting to ask those of your who are running Leopard about your favorite feature and your most hated feature. Share your thoughts -- maybe if a certain feature (cough Stacks cough) is a runaway winner in the "most hated" poll, we'll see a peace offering from Apple in 10.5.x :).

The polls are limited to 20 answers, so here's how I tried to narrow the field. First, if it was listed on Apple's OS X features page, and it's not something that everyone as seen already due to public betas, it was a candidate. For that reason, Safari as a whole isn't listed, but it's 10.5-only web clip feature is. Similarly, Boot Camp isn't on the list, as it's been out in public beta for a long time.

I also chose to include some attention-getting sub-features (Stacks, translucency, 3D dock), as well as some things from the 300 features page, and some applications that received major overhauls. Yes, it's somewhat arbitrary, and limited to 20 items, which is why I also included the "Other" option (please post comments on what those other things might be).

Let the voting begin!
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10.5: About the upcoming Leopard hints... Site News
There's a 10.5 hints deluge coming, and I just wanted to get this note out there before it starts...

Some of the tips may somewhat break the "no obvious tips!" rule we usually follow here. For the most part, the rule is still in effect, so you shouldn't (unless I mess up) see anything about using Command-P to print or clicking the red close button.

On the other hand, 10.5 is brand new, and there are tons of features hidden in many nooks and crannies of the OS. So I may choose to run some hints that aren't about truly undocumented features, but just cover things you may not have thought about, may not have found at first glance, or didn't yet get to.

If you're reading a tip and it seems too obvious, save yourself the "hey, this is an obvious tip!" comment posting, and just skip ahead to the next -- no reason to waste the electrons on such a comment. Besides, I think you're going to have plenty of reading to do to stay busy...

Update: For a while, the site will be updated at least twice a day, typically at 7:30am Pacific and 11:30am Pacific; other updates may be posted as demand requires. And if you've submitted a hint, please be patient. We'll get to it, and either use it, or tell you why it's not being used.

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