INSTALL THIS UPDATE IMMEDIATELY. No excuses.
Good: This CRUCIAL Java update patches an active exploit against Macs. Better a late update than never. Java is occasionally useful.
Bad: Java is now one of the most INSECURE Internet technologies. If you don't use Java, TURN IT OFF! Oracle and Apple are NOT providing Mac Java updates in a timely manner. This Java update for Mac provides an update that Windows users have had for months. For over a week, there has been an active malware exploit against Mac users with the unpatched version of Java.
It is terrific that Apple jumped on this exploit so quickly. However, Apple users MUST be provided with Java patches at the same time as Windows users. Delaying Java patches for Mac users is NOT acceptable.
I have verified that the direct download file, at least the current version from Apple, FAILs the Mac OS X 10.7 fsck check during file verification. This is evident in the Console. This is BAD. The resulting installer file will run, but I cannot vouch for the results.
Therefore, the BEST way to install it is from Software Update. You will find it under your Mac's Apple menu. This installation works perfectly.
Now for my rant:
Java has become a BANE of the Internet. I have turned it OFF. I am sick of the recent Java exploits against Mac users. I don't deal with it. I suggest you turn Java OFF as well, unless you use it regularly.
HOW TO TURN OFF JAVA:
If you use multiple web browsers (I use six) then the best and simplest way to turn Java OFF is via the Java Preferences app found in your Mac's Utilities folder. Follow these steps:
1) Open the Java Preferences app.
2) Under the 'General' tab, check OFF "Enable applet plug-in and Web Start applications".
3) Quit the Java Preferences app.
4) VERIFY IT'S OFF: Open the Java Preferences app, again. Verify that the "Enable..." checkbox remains OFF. If you find it on again, check the damned thing OFF again. Quit Java Preferences. Verify AGAIN as required.
I add this VERIFY step because I personally have seen this checkbox turn on again. If you want to be extra-special certain the box doesn't turn on again, you can go down to the box under the 'General' tab and turn OFF both 64 and 32-bit "Java SE 6", then turn off "Enable". That definitely does the trick.
My #2 Rant:
SHAME ON ORACLE. That company has RUINED OpenOffice. The LibreOffice branch is now off and running and far superior, leaving the source OpenOffice project irrelevant. Oracle has been just as obtuse with Java, which is now a DETRIMENT to the Internet.
Maybe Java will be made open source, at long last. That would help. Perhaps great developers like those on the LibreOffice team will grab it and make Java seriously great. Until then, BEWARE OF JAVA. I fully expect more Java exploit malware to come. (o_0)