Briefly: iPad mini ship times, OS X bug, Java 10.6 update
Roughly ten days after it last updated <a href="http://www.electronista.com/reviews/apple-ipad-mini.html">iPad mini</a> ship times, Apple has dropped the wait again -- indicating that availability is improving. While still not achieving what CEO Tim Cook calls "supply/demand balance" (which generally translates into a shipping status of "in stock" or available for immediate shipping), the delay has now dropped to 1-3 business days in the US and Canadian stores, down from the 3-5 day delay <a href="http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/01/25/product.still.heavily.constrained.at.retail.likely .to.continue/#3DMiJhgcmM5B4hVw.99">recently advertised</a>. The iPad mini has been heavily in-demand since release, and in-store supplies are still constrained.<br /><br /><strong>Unusual Mountain Lion crashing bug discovered</strong>
A very unusual bug in Mountain Lion has been discovered, and blamed on the spellcheck system built into the OS X release. The error causes almost any application to immediately crash (though, as is typical for OS X, the crash does not take down other apps or the system overall), and is induced by typing the phrase "file:///" (but with a capital F as the first letter) into most applications where text entry is allowed. The bug is not present in OS X Lion (10.7.x) or Snow Leopard (10.6.x). The workaround, of course, is not to type the phrase -- which is not used in any normal usage of Mountain Lion or associated applications.
<strong>Apple's Java now updated for Snow Leopard users</strong>
Following an Oracle release of an update to Java that patched some 50 vulnerabilities -- including some so serious that the <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278518==http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_22355901/computer-users-urged-disable-java-because-security-flaws" rel='nofollow'>Department of Homeland Security</a> and the FBI had advised computer users on all platforms to disable the cross-platform web plug-in -- Apple has issued its <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278519==http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1573?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US" rel='nofollow'>own version</a> for users of OS X 10.6.8 with Java SE 6. The version that applied to Windows, Linux and OS X Lion and Mountain Lion was released <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278520==http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/01/14/oracle.raises.default.security.settings.in.java.se curity.patch.to.high/" rel='nofollow'>on Friday</a>.
Apple had remotely disabled the Java web plug-in <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278521==http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/01/31/normal.use.waiting.on.oracle.update/" rel='nofollow'>twice</a> -- a temporary fix provided by Oracle on the last day of January was found unable to fully fix the vulnerability, one of <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278522==http://www.electronista.com/articles/13/01/10/vulnerability.found.in.java.7.update.10/" rel='nofollow'>many security issues</a> that have plagued Java over the years, but by far the most serious.
With the release of OS X Lion, Apple gave up its traditional own fork of Java that it had issued for years to ensure that Mac users were included in the cross-platform technology. Oracle <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278523==http://www.macnn.com/articles/12/08/14/promises.jre.downloads.from.javacom.soon/" rel='nofollow'>took over</a> distribution of Java for Mac users, but left it to Apple to continue distributing versions for earlier OS X releases Oracle didn't support. Because of numerous security problems, Apple no longer ships any version of Java with its OS, and automatically disables Java web plug-ins that haven't been activated in a while (though they offer to be reactivated as needed). The update brings SE 6 up to <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/278524==http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5575" rel='nofollow'>version 1.6.0_39</a>.
This OS X bug will immediately be blown up into "Spell-gate" by the tech media. There will be a multi-page discussion thread on Apple's forums by outraged users declaring their Macs to be bricked and useless. This will be followed by a class action lawsuit, of course, asking for millions of dollars in damages.
The above might be funny if not for the fact that it could actually happen. It's Apple after all.
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