Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

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Smarter Parental Controls

If you've been using the parental controls options in Mac OS X to lock your child out of using a particular computer late at night, but would like to employ a more clever technique to limit Internet access, turn to MAC address filtering on an Apple base station.

To do this, launch AirPort Utility, select your base station, and click Manual Setup. In the Access Control view, choose Time Access to turn on MAC filtering. You'll need to enter the MAC address of the particular computer, which (in 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard) you can find in the Network System Preferences pane: click AirPort in the adapter list, and click Advanced. The AirPort ID is the MAC address.

 
 

Apple Patches Nine-Month-Old Java Vulnerabilities

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Fixes for a number of serious vulnerabilities in the version of Java in Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5 were released by Apple today - about six months after Sun Microsystems released updated packages for all other platforms that Sun supports, including Windows. Apple releases its own updated versions of Java for Mac OS X.

As Rich Mogull discussed in "Protect Yourself from the Mac OS X Java Vulnerability" (2009-05-20), the flaws could allow a Java applet on a malicious Web site to execute arbitrary code on your computer, among other vulnerabilities. To work around the problem, Rich explained how to disable Java in Safari and Firefox. Rich also chided Apple for leaving such a major hole unpatched for so long.

The Java updates can be retrieved via Software Update, or at Apple's Support Download site. The updates are listed for the last or latest releases of Leopard and Tiger: Mac OS X 10.5.7 (158 MB) and Mac OS X 10.4.11 (80 MB). No restart is required, but all browsers should be quit before installing the updates.

 

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