updated 03:48 pm EDT, Wed September 5, 2012
Patches disable always-on Java support
Apple has posted two new OS X Java updates: one for Lion, Java for OS X 2012-005, and one for Snow Leopard, Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 10. In both cases the patches now prevent Java from running in an always-on state. The Java plugin is killed if no applets have been run for an "extended period of time;" in fact, if Java for OS X 2012-004 wasn't previously installed, 005 disables Java by default until a person choose to enable or re-enable a Java plugin in their browser.
The releases appear to be an attempt to clamp down even harder on Java, which has been causing recurring problems not only for Mac owners, but Windows and Linux users as well. Apple took a major step away from the software with Lion, the first edition of OS X to ship without Java preinstalled. Both Lion and Mountain Lion ask users for permission every time Java attempts to load.