The latest version of iTunes for Windows addresses 13 security vulnerabilities, as well as adding much-publicised social networking functionality. iTunes 10 for Windows addresses flaws in the media player's WebKit browser that were fixed in Safari late last month with version 5.0.1 and 4.1.1 of Apple's browser software. Apple's …
... whether this social network component is an optional one or not?
(Yes, obviously I don't have to use it. But I don't want to have to install it just to patch security holes)
It's part of the iTune store...
which is served as web content rather than being local. So no, you don't 'install it'.
Ping can be switched off
I'm not sure whether I understand the question, is the problem seeing Ping in the sidebar or do you think you need to sign up for Ping in order to use iTunes?
Ping is very much opt-in and switched off by default.
The "social network component" is just a web page which is displayed on the WebKit view embedded in iTunes. Which is how they display the store as well. So I don't see how it is any different to what we had before in terms of underlying software. It's not adding any more "bloat" if that is a concern. In fact in testing I have found iTunes 10 to be faster and more responsive that it's predecessor on a Windows 7 box.
In parental controls you can remove the store from the sideba (which also removes ping) or turn off all store features bar iTunes U.
Isn't iTunes a security vulnerability in itself?
Yes yes, I'm going...
"flaws in the media player's WebKit browser"
So, not content with merely having the updates punt Safari at every opportunity they've built a bloody browser into the thing? Also, now with social networking cobblers (like there aren't enough ways of doing *that* already).
Christ on a crutch, are Apple going for some sort of all-time, swiss-cheese bloatware record here?
how else did you thin the iTunes store worked?
Ok, so I have a choice?
"13 security vulnerabilities, as well as adding much-publicised social networking"
Without knowing the details, I start to suspect that 13 security vulnerabilities might be the lesser of the two evils.