Re: Bye-bye Java: impact on technical communications?

Subject: Re: Bye-bye Java: impact on technical communications?
From: Paul Goble <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013 14:21:10 -0600

For those who think "Oh, it's easy to just disable the Java plugin in your
browser," consider http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/636312, which says:

Disabling the Java plug-in for Internet Explorer is significantly more
complicated than with other browsers. There are multiple ways for a web
page to invoke a Java applet, and multiple ways to configure Java Plug-in
support. Microsoft has released KB article
2751647<http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2751647>,
which describes how to disable the Java plug-in for Internet Explorer.
However, we have found that due to the multitude of ways that Java can be
invoked in Internet Explorer, their guidance (as well as our prior
guidance) does not completely disable Java. ... Due to the impracticality
of disabling Java in Internet Explorer with Java versions prior to 7 Update
10, you may wish to uninstall Java to protect against this vulnerability.

So users who have older Java versions, or who do not know what version they
have, will probably be uninstalling (or worse, doing nothing at all).

By the way, these CERT notes are a great example of how less-than-great
technical communication can contribute to mass panic (or at least mass
consternation). The juxtaposition of in-depth conceptual information with
procedural information makes it quite difficult for the average PC user to
decide what to do.

It'd be interesting to find out how many people are disabling Javascript
instead of Java, how many are uninstalling one version of Java when they
have several versions installed, and how many are responding in ways too
creative for us to even contemplate.

The CERT folks have a difficult multi-audience problem. Under normal
circumstances, only experts are reading their information, but in a crisis
the general public turns to them for help.

--
Paul Goble
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Bye-bye Java: impact on technical communications?: From: Paul Goble

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