Screencast: Leveraging Services

Quicksilver services

Services are a part of OS X that many users either don’t even know about, or forget to use. They are a powerful bunch of actions that you can apply to your workflow – mostly in cases where you’re working with text.

In this Screencast, I’ll show you firstly, how to trim that over-grown hedge of a listing that makes up most peoples’ Services Menu. The easiest way I’ve found – as you’ll hear in the Screencast – is using a terrific piece of donationware called Service Scrubber. (Brought to you by Peter Maurer, the same developer of TextPander, yFlicks, and Witch.)

Once that mess is cleaned-up a bit, I’ll run through a few quick examples using Quicksilver with Services. At the very end, I use my favorite (which I forgot the name of temporarily – doh! It’s late, ok?!) service which is called, Shrink URL, and uses the terrific TinyURL web service. You can get the Shrink Service here.

Services with Quicksilver (mov)
11mins / 98mb

The CMD + ESC Trigger is used gratuitously in this screencast. Inevitably, someone watching will not be familiar with this technique – for the details on setting it up yourself, see my explanation here.

I’d love to hear your feedback about screencasts you’d like to see in the future. I have an ever shortening list of things that I plan on screencasting, but want to give you what you’re hoping to see as well. So if you have anything specific – even non-Quicksilver-based! – please let me know in the comments.

Verizon KOs Qwest’s MCI plans, for now

Verizon’s played its ace in the battle for MCI, when it decided to buy Carlos Slim’s 13.7% stake in MCI for $1.1 billion in cash. That works out to about $25.72 a share, and will pay Slim’s companies a bonus in one year should Verizon’s share price exceed $35.25. What I find amazing is the Slim decided to settle for that amount – given that he had publicly said he wanted more for MCI, much more. Now what this tells me – Verizon is ready to boost its price to $25.72, versus $23.10 a share it currently is offering. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it seems that a substantial number of MCI shareholders, perhaps more than 50% were in favor of Qwest deal, and proxy would have shown that. By taking out Slim out of the equation, well now they can start chipping away at Qwest base. As someone, I respect a lot, points out this whole sage is about “shareholder opportunitism vs. MCI Board neglect. I want to see the hedgies crying in the WSJ monday about how Slim sold them up the river.”

“Verizon pulled a fast one, but did it cleanly. This was a smart move, and one aimed at getting other major MCI shareholders to get on board with Verizon,” says Ben Silverman, telecom analyst for independent investment newsletter “Slim could be the lead domino when it comes to other large MCI shareholders. Though Qwest says other major MCI shareholders support their takeover proposal, if major MCI shareholders feel like they can negotiate directly with Verizon now and receive some additional upside down the road, we may see sentiment turn against Qwest.

What VZ & Q had to say:
Read More about Verizon KOs Qwest’s MCI plans, for now