Web applets still use the up to date, secure version 1.7 plugin.
I use the same mechanism to launch 'site specific browsers apps' created by Fluid.
For example I have a JIRA app wrapper which looks for anything staring with
Simply put, you can have multiple versions of Java in different places.
What was happening on the not-working Macs was that the jdk versions were being used, and the Juniper vpn client won't work with them.
I wonder if something is going on at Apple's end, where the Siri processing gets done.