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Mac OS X Services in Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Services let one application supply its powers to another; for example, a Grab service helps TextEdit paste a screenshot into a document. Most users either don't know that Services exist, because they're in an obscure hierarchical menu (ApplicationName > Services), or they mostly don't use them because there are so many of them.

Snow Leopard makes it easier for the uninitiated to utilize this feature; only services appropriate to the current context appear. And in addition to the hierarchical menu, services are discoverable as custom contextual menu items - Control-click in a TextEdit document to access the Grab service, for instance.

In addition, the revamped Keyboard preference pane lets you manage services for the first time ever. You can enable and disable them, and even change their keyboard shortcuts.

Submitted by
Doug McLean

 
 

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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