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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.

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 4 July 2011

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Thunderbolt Firmware Update -- Even though there still aren’t any mainstream Thunderbolt peripherals, owners of Thunderbolt-equipped Macs should probably install the Thunderbolt Firmware Update to be ready. All Apple is saying is that it “provides Thunderbolt performance and stability fixes,” but given how new Thunderbolt is, it seems likely that Apple would still be squashing bugs. Since this is a firmware update, be sure not to interrupt the update process that starts after your Mac restarts. (Free, 486 KB)

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Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 5 / Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 10 -- Apple has released Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 5 and Java for Mac OS X 10.5 Update 10, which the company says “provide improved reliability, security, and compatibility” by updating Java SE 6 to 1.6.0-26. (On Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 that aren’t 64-bit capable, Java is updated to 1.5.0-30.) As far as we can tell, the changes are mostly fixes for security vulnerabilities. Apple suggests that you quit any Web browsers and Java applications before installing the update, though it’s probably easier to restart immediately after installation if you’re running the largely invisible Java-based CrashPlan backup software (which is the main Java app we use). The updates require either Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later, or 10.5.8. (Free, 75.45 MB / 120.33 MB)

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