My calendar lists last Tuesday as “Election Patch Day.” (We had a state primary election, which fell on Microsoft’s second-Tuesday-of-the month schedule for releasing software updates.)
I guess you could consider elections to be patches keeping the government up to date.
Edit: On the other hand, there are usually two or more competing “patches” that disagree on how to fix the problems, and even what needs to be fixed.
It’s a safe bet that your web browser uses at least one plugin, and probably several. Maybe it’s just Flash for viewing animations and video (think YouTube and Hulu). Maybe it’s Silverlight for watching Netflix, or Shockwave for playing games. You’ve probably got Java installed.
Just like your web browser, these plugins must be kept up to date or you’ll run into problems: missing features, instability, or (worst case) security vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, most plugins don’t update themselves.
Several months ago, Mozilla introduced a service called Plugin Check that will identify the plugins you have installed and tell you whether they need to be updated — and how to do it. At first it only worked on Firefox, but now it’s been expanded to all major browsers: Chrome, Safari, Opera, and even Internet Explorer.
It’s worth taking a few moments to check. Think of it as a pit stop for your computer’s web browser.