Sort of innocuous in the grand scheme of things, the new update from Apple adds a widget verification program. This program verifies whether the widgets present in the dashboard is authentic by sending an HTTP GET command to Apple's servers every eight hours.

There's no way to turn this off (yet, but maybe you could use Little Snitch), and there's no prompt for the user to allow or disallow this action. People have been giving Microsoft heat for their Windows Genuine Advantage software phoning home, but it looks like Apple's doing something similar.

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It's like when your neighbors hold a party. You may not care, or want to go, but it's nice to be asked.

Update: Reader Scott says it's simple to disable this. Open up the terminal and type (one command):

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dashboard.advisory.fetch.plist

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It's not just Windows, OS X phones home too [Systadmin.it]