Just two weeks after its launch, Apple quietly released an update for its latest operating system, Snow Leopard, with 10.6.1, which addresses a security concern as well as stability and compatibility issues. The update includes fixes for compatibility with some Sierra Wireless 3G modems, an issue that might cause DVD playback to stop unexpectedly, printer compatibility driver issues and an issue that might make it difficult to remove an item from the Dock.
The update also resolves an issue in which the Command-Option-T keyboard shortcut would sometimes bring up the special characters menu in applications such as Mail and TextEdit, addresses instances in which auto account setup in Mail might not work, fixes issues when sending mail with certain SMTP servers, addresses an issue in which Motion 4 could become unresponsive and includes an update to Adobe Flash Player plug-in version 10.0.32.18.
Announced by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the company’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) in June 2008, Snow Leopard shipped in August 2009. It is being sold as an upgrade for Intel-based Macs running Leopard at $29 for a single-user license and $49 for the Family Pack. For a qualifying computer bought after June 8, the upgrade price is $9.95. Apple rewrote the Finder in 64-bit Cocoa to take advantage of other new process improvements in Snow Leopard, which include “faster startup, shutdown, installation, Time Machine backup and connection establishment,” a “smaller OS footprint on disk, freeing 7GB or more” and faster JPG and PDF file format refreshes.
Earlier this month, Apple alerted consumers to a security patch concerning Java for its operating system, Leopard (version 10.5.8 or later). Apple explained on its security update Website on Sept. 3 that the version of Java installed with the Leopard OS “may allow an untrusted Java applet to obtain elevated privileges.”
Apple’s patch updates Leopard to Java versions 1.6.0_15, 1.5.0_20 and 1.4.2_22. In the update, Apple cautioned, “Visiting a Web page containing a maliciously crafted untrusted Java applet may lead to arbitrary code execution with the privileges of the current user. … A stack buffer overflow exists in [the] Java Web Start command launcher. Launching a maliciously crafted Java Web Start application may lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution.”