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

 

 

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Option-Click AirPort Menu for Network Details

If you hold down the Option key while clicking the AirPort menu in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, you'll see not just the names of nearby Wi-Fi networks, but additional details about the selected network. Details include the MAC address of the network, the channel used by the base station, the signal strength (a negative number; the closer to zero it is, the stronger the signal), and the transmit rate in megabits per second showing actual network throughput. If you hover the cursor over the name of a network to which you're not connected, a little yellow pop-up shows the signal strength and type of encryption.

 
 

Security Update 2007-009 1.1 Released with Important Fixes

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Shortly before the end of the year, Apple released Security Update 2007-009 to patch 41 vulnerabilities in Mac OS X 10.4.11 and 10.5.1. Many of these vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to take over your computer by simply sending you a malicious file or having you visit a malicious Web site. The affected applications and services include Address Book, CUPS (the printing service), and Quick Look.

(A few days after the initial Security Update 2007-009 was posted, Apple released version 1.1, which corrected a problem with Safari introduced in the prior update.)

Be aware that the Quick Look update will block any Quick Look plug-ins. We suspect this is a temporary fix and Apple will safely re-enable plug-ins in the (hopefully near) future.

A full listing of the updates can be found in Apple's security release notes. It's available through Software Update and in stand-alone form for Leopard (a 35.6 MB download) and Tiger (Universal) (a 27.4 MB download) or Tiger (PowerPC) (a 15.9 MB download).

This is an extremely important update fixing multiple critical vulnerabilities. You should apply this as soon as possible, since many of these are the kinds of vulnerabilities favored by Internet attackers.

 

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