Get More Info from the Wi-Fi Menu

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By default, the Wi-Fi menu on your Mac’s menu bar provides a list of available Wi-Fi networks and a few other commands. Useful stuff, but for the real scoop on what’s going on behind the scenes, Option-click the Wi-Fi menu. In addition to several commands to run diagnostics, the menu provides oodles of details about the current Wi-Fi network. You’ll find info on your Mac’s IP address, your router’s IP address, if your Mac is reachable from the Internet, what form of security is in play, the router’s BSSID identifier (helpful if you’re not sure which router you’re connected to in a complex network), which channel you’re using, how strong the signal strength is (RSSI—the closer to zero, the better), and the transmit rate of the network. This information is most useful when troubleshooting problems, so take a look if something isn’t working right with your connectivity.

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Don’t Freak Out If You Get Blackmail Spam Containing an Old Password

Don’t Freak Out If You Get Blackmail Spam Containing an Old Password

Have you gotten an email message whose Subject line says something like “Change your password immediately! Your account has been hacked.”? If not, it may be only a matter of time before you do. It’s a scary message, especially because it contains one of your passwords, some threats, and a demand for money. Worse, the password is likely one you’ve used in the past—how could the hacker have discovered it? Has your Mac really been taken over?

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Apple Finally Updates the MacBook Air and Mac mini, and Revamps the iPad Pro

Apple Finally Updates the MacBook Air and Mac mini, and Revamps the iPad Pro

At a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Apple threw back the curtains on significant updates to the long-ignored MacBook Air and even longer-ignored Mac mini. Then Tim Cook and company followed up with revamped 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros, complete with an enhanced Smart Keyboard Folio and redesigned Apple Pencil. You can order all of Apple’s new gear right away, though demand may delay shipping for a week or two on some items.

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Reduce Transparency in the macOS Interface

Reduce Transparency in the macOS Interface

Starting in OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Apple added transparency throughout the user interface, so when you’re looking at a menu, for instance, the color of the background bleeds through slightly. If that transparency makes the text hard for you to read, if you’re taking screenshots for publication, or if you just don’t like it, never fear, because you can turn it off.

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Change Mac Window Size from Any Edge or Corner

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Those who have used Macs for years know that you can resize nearly any window by dragging its bottom right corner—through Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, there was even a resize handle in that spot. But did you know that, starting in 10.7 Lion, Apple made it possible to resize a window from any edge? So if you haven’t updated your habits, try moving the pointer to the edge of a window in the frontmost app, which causes the pointer to change to a double-headed arrow. Click and drag to make the window larger or smaller in either direction. Resizing from any corner works as well; click there, and you can drag to resize the window in two directions at once.

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Sextortion Scam is Making the Rounds

Sextortion Scam is Making the Rounds

Once again, another sex-extorion (hence, sextortion) scam is going around and potential victims are receiving bogus emails implying that the sender of the email has incriminating video or photos and will expose the victim if a ransom isn't paid. The thing that makes this one a bit different than previous bogus emails is that a real, previously used password is included in the email making it seem more "real" to the victim.

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New MacBook Pros Provide More Speed and RAM, plus a Quieter Keyboard and Hey Siri

New MacBook Pros Provide More Speed and RAM, plus a Quieter Keyboard and Hey Siri

As students prepare to head off to college, Apple has updated the Touch Bar-equipped MacBook Pro line to provide even more powerful options for students and professionals alike. The changes are primarily under the hood, focusing on faster performance, more RAM, and larger SSD-based storage, but there are a few modest physical changes too, including a quieter keyboard and a True Tone display.

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Build Travel Time into Your Calendar Alerts

Build Travel Time into Your Calendar Alerts

We’ve all done it. You swing into a meeting late, and as everyone looks up at you accusingly, you mutter, “Sorry. Traffic was terrible.” Maybe it was, but if you’d left at the right time for the traffic conditions, you could have arrived on time. Happily, the Calendar apps in both macOS and iOS can build travel time into event alerts so you can leave at the right time. There’s a bit of setup, but once you form the habit of attaching locations to your events, you’ll get a reputation for punctuality.

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Use Quick Look to Peek inside Files and Folders on Your Mac

Use Quick Look to Peek inside Files and Folders on Your Mac

Finder icons sometimes hint at their file’s contents, but if you find yourself opening file after file to look at the contents quickly, the Mac has a little-known feature just for you: Quick Look. To give it a spin, find a file in the Finder, click it once to select it, and press the Space bar. If it’s a supported type of file, Quick Look displays a window showing the contents of the file. Press the Space bar again to close the window.

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