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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
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.

 
 

Firefox 15.0

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Mozilla has released Firefox 15.0, which is highlighted by improvements to how the Web browser handles certain third-party add-ons to reduce memory usage. As noted in a Mozilla blog post, the most common cause of memory leaks is “when an add-on accidentally holds on to extra copies of a Web site in memory after (the) user has closed the tab.” The new release detects when an add-on is piling up pages — and memory — and subsequently stops the process and recaptures the leaked memory.

Firefox 15.0 also promises an improved 3D gaming environment with smoother animations thanks to an improved JavaScript engine and native support for compressed textures in WebGL, plus high precision timing for responsiveness within thousandths of a millisecond. Other changes include a new JavaScript Debugger added to the developer toolset, native support for the Opus audio codec, support for SPDY networking protocol v3, and Maithili language localization. Finally, Firefox 15.0 introduces optional silent background updating, which will download and install improvements and then implement those changes the next time you launch the Web browser. Perhaps this feature spells the end to having to pay attention to the increasingly uninteresting details of Firefox releases. (Free, 32.6 MB, release notes)

 

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