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Java Updates: October 2016

What happened?

On October 18, 2016, Oracle released their quarterly Critical Patch Update. Please read this notice to see what you can expect and what you should do.

The most recent Java update has been tested with Cognitive Tutor® and MATHia®, and no issues have been identified.

Since Oracle stopped releasing new versions of Java 7, the current version of Java 7 remains 7u111. Since Oracle moved Java version 8u101 below their security baseline, Internet Explorer users with a version of Java at or below 8u77 will need to update their version of Java or make changes to their computers immediately. The newest version of Java 8 is 8u111.

By default, Oracle will continue to update users who are using Java 7 to the latest version of Java 8. Java 8 was released in March 2014 and became the default for new downloads in October 2014.

Though it is unrelated to this Java update, users of the Google Chrome browser should also review this important message about updates to the Chrome browser, and users of the Firefox browser should also review this important message about updates to the Firefox browser.

What may students experience now that a new Java update is available? What can students do? 

Students may receive warnings from either Java or their web browser when they attempt to launch Cognitive Tutor or MATHia.

Students using Firefox (on Windows)

Students may see a Java Update Needed prompt when accessing the software using Firefox.

Firefox Java update needed error

Students should click Update and follow the prompts provided. Besides increasing security, Java 8u111 fixes performance issues related to using the Lite version of the software. 

After updating, visit this webpage to enable Java in Firefox: http://www.carnegielearning.com/resources-support/tech-support/cognitive-tutor-mathia-support/troubleshooting/enabling-java.

Students using Internet Explorer (on Windows)

Students will see a Java is out of date prompt when accessing the software. This is due to previous changes to Internet Explorer that caused all versions of Java below the security baseline to be considered out of date.

Internet Explorer Java was blocked error

Students should update their version of Java by clicking the Update button. Besides increasing security, Java 8u111 fixes performance issues related to using the Lite version of the software. If the student does not have administrator privileges (typical for students working in a school environment), Java will need to be updated by school personnel.

The instructions for installing and enabling Java in Internet Explorer can be found here: http://www.carnegielearning.com/resources-support/tech-support/cognitive-tutor-mathia-support/java/java-windows.

Students using Firefox (on MacOS)

Students may see an outdated plugin prompt when accessing the software. 

Firefox outdated plugin error

Students should be able to click Allow and access the Carnegie Learning software. Students should update Java to version 8u111 as soon as possible to increase security and improve performance issues related to using the Lite version of the software by visiting java.com. After updating, visit this webpage to enable Java in Firefox: http://www.carnegielearning.com/resources-support/tech-support/cognitive-tutor-mathia-support/troubleshooting/enabling-java.

Since Apple is blocking versions of Java below 7u25, version 8 of Java may be required. If this is the case, students can visit www.java.com and download the latest version.

Students using Safari (on MacOS)

Students should not receive any warnings when using Safari provided that their version of Java meets the system requirements provided by Apple. However, students should update Java to version 8u111 as soon as possible to increase security and improve performance issues related to using the Lite version of the software. The instructions for installing and enabling Java in Safari can be found here: http://www.carnegielearning.com/resources-support/tech-support/cognitive-tutor-mathia-support/java/java-mac.

Since Apple is blocking versions of Java below 7u25, version 8 of Java may be required. If this is the case, students can visit www.java.com and download the latest version.

What can administrators do?

For classrooms and labs using Internet Explorer, support staff should update the version of Java installed on the student machine to the latest version of Java. The recommended browser for Windows is Internet Explorer, while the recommended browser for Mac is Safari. Instructions for installing and enabling Java on both platforms are available here: http://www.carnegielearning.com/resources-support/tech-support/cognitive-tutor-mathia-support/java.

Additional Questions for Advanced Users

Do I need to update to Java 8 now?

While Oracle recommends but does not require an update to Java 8, Carnegie Learning suggests that you update to Java version 8u111 as soon as possible to improve performance issues related to using the Lite version of the software. 

Carnegie Learning software is compatible with both Java 7 and Java 8, and we recommend updating your machine to the latest version of Java that you can use (either 7 or 8) to make sure your machine is as secure as possible.

Java 7 updates are no longer available to the public. For information about Java 7 updates, please visit this link.

Can I stay on Java 7 for the 2016-17 school year?

Oracle has announced that there will be no more scheduled public security patches for Java 7. The final version of Java 7 is still available for the 2016-17 academic year, but no additional versions of Java 7 will be available. It is not recommended that schools plan to use Java 7 for the upcoming school year. We recommend upgrading to Java 8 for the 2016-17 school year if it is feasible to do so.

Can I have both Java 7 and Java 8 on my machine simultaneously?

Yes. Please review this article on managing multiple Java versions.

Unfortunately, if you go through the auto-update process and only have one version of Java 7 on your machine, that version of Java will be removed.

You can keep Java 7 on your machine and manually download Java 8 and installing it from www.java.com rather than using the auto-update feature.

If Java 7 is removed, you can download the latest version here. (We recommend you uninstall Java 8 before installing 7. Carnegie Learning software will work on the latest version of Java 7.)

If I already have a Java Deployment Ruleset whitelisting Carnegie Learning, do I need to do anything?

We recommend keeping Java up to date, but the existing rules whitelisting Carnegie Learning will continue to suppress Java warnings. 

If you have any questions regarding this update, please contact the Customer Support team using the information below.

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Customer & Technical Support

Monday - Friday 8:00 AM-9:00 PM, ET
Saturday and Sunday 12:00 PM-8:00 PM, ET
877-401-2527

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Last updated: 10/30/16