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Safari 4.0.4 Update Released

SafariSafari version 4.0.4 is now available, the 30MB update promising improvements to “performance, stability, and security.”

Regarding security, the update addresses several potential “maliciously crafted” attacks–are there such things as benevolently crafted attacks? One uses a color profile, which is inventive, if evil. Others use XML, shortcut menus, or the user’s desire to visit web pages or FTP sites of questionable virtue.

Sadly, as the Mac gains greater popularity, the mantra of “security through obscurity” becomes less and less reassuring. This is one area where Microsoft (s msft) Windows and Internet Explorer may end up having an actual advantage over OS X and Safari, Windows having been forced to exist in a state of siege for so long.

As for improvements to stability and performance, it’s not just the usual boilerplate text included with the update this time. Besides supposed stability improvements for third-party plug-ins, the search field, and Yahoo! Mail, Safari 4.0.4  has “improved full history search performance for users with a large number of history items.” I’m one of those users, and I would cringe when going to “Show All History” and using the realtime search box. The first few letters would stall Safari every time, not so much now.

Safari 4.0.4 also improves JavaScript performance. Running the SunSpider JavaScript Benchmark, Safari 4.0.4 is 1.08 times as fast version 4.0.3 overall, with “significant” increases in many tests.

Finally and most importantly, Safari 4.0.4 does not break ClickToFlash. Upgrade (and restart) away.

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