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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Disable Caps Lock

If you find yourself pressing the Caps Lock key accidentally as much as I do, note that you can disable it entirely in Mac OS X. Open the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane, click the Modifier Keys button, and in the dialog that appears, select No Action from the Caps Lock pop-up menu. You could remap it to another modifier instead, but that might make using differently configured Macs more difficult.

 
 

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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