Debian 8.8 Released

prisoninmate quotes Softpedia: The Debian Project announced today Debian GNU/Linux 8.8, the most advanced stable version of the Jessie series, which brings corrections for numerous packages and various security flaws discovered and patched since the release of the Debian GNU/Linux 8.7 maintenance update back in mid-January 2017... "This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustments for serious problems. Security advisories were already published separately and are referenced where available," reads today's announcement. "Please note that this update does not constitute a new version of Debian 8 but only updates some of the packages included. There is no need to throw away old 'jessie' CDs or DVDs but only to update via an up-to-date Debian mirror after an installation, to cause any out of date packages to be updated." Debian 8.8 contains more than 150 bug fixes and security updates.

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Facebook Closes Its Oculus VR Studio

puddingebola writes: Facebook has closed Oculus VR Studio. The studio was a maker of original VR films, but now will only assist other studios. This makes it official, as the studio had been shuttered since the departure of Palmer Luckey. In a blog post the company emphasized that "We're still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem."

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‘Weaponized’ Twitter Bots Spread Info From French Campaign Hack

"The French media and public have been warned not to spread details about a hacking attack on presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron," writes Slashdot reader schwit1, with the election commission threatening criminal charges. But meanwhile, "the leaked documents have since spread like wildfire across social media, particularly on Twitter," reports Recode. Nicole Perlroth, a cybersecurity reporter with the New York Times, pointed out that an overwhelming amount of the tweets shared about the Macron campaign hack appear to come from automated accounts, commonly referred to as bots. About 40% of the tweets using the hashtag #MacronGate, Perlroth noted, are actually coming from only 5% of accounts using the hashtag. One account tweeted 1,668 times in 24 hours, which is more than one tweet per minute with no sleep... Twitter appears not to have done anything to combat what is obviously a bot attack, despite the fact the social media company is well aware of the problem of bot accounts being used to falsely popularize political issues during high-profile campaigns to give the impression of a groundswell of grassroots support. The Times reporter later tweeted "This could be @twitter's death knell. Algorithms exist to deal with this. Why aren't you using them?" And one Sunlight Foundation official called the discovery "statistics from the front lines of the disinformation wars," cc-ing both Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. In other news, the BBC reports France's president has promised to "respond" to the hacking incident, giving no further details, but saying he was aware of the risks because they'd "happened elsewhere"."

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Nike’s Breaking2 initiative was a crazy physical achievement and a brilliant marketing campaign

 Nike’s Breaking2 initiative didn’t quite reach its goal of breaking the two-hour marathon mark, but that hasn’t stopped the company from crowing about the results. Nike has been working with three runners, Eliud Kipchoge, Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese, to break the two-hour threshold. It wasn’t just giving them shoes — a variation of the Zoom Vaporfly… Read More

Startup Offers A Chip Based On The Open Source RISC-V Architecture

angry tapir shared this news from Computerworld: An open-source chip project is out to break the dominance of proprietary chips offered by Intel, AMD, and ARM... A startup called SiFive is the first to make a business out of the [open source] RISC-V architecture. The company is also the first to convert the RISC-V instruction set architecture into actual silicon. The company on Thursday announced it has created two new chip designs that can be licensed... but the company will not charge royalties. That makes it attractive alternative compared to chip designs from ARM and Imagination Technologies, which charge licensing fees and royalties. One of RISC-V's inventors co-founded the company, and he says that support is growing -- pointing out that there's already a fork of Linux for RISC-V.

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Third parties have always been the key to Amazon’s smart home domination plans

 For Amazon, hardware has always been a means to an end. From the Kindle e-reader to the Fire tablets to its TV offerings, the company has always treated the space as something of a loss leader – even with its most popular offerings. Amazon has found success in pricing devices much closer to cost than the competition – something a company can only really get away with if it plans… Read More

After 19 Years CMU Discontinues Cyrus IMAP In Favor Of Microsoft Exchange And Gmail

Long-time Slashdot reader Hobart writes: The Cyrus IMAP server, created by and for Carnegie Mellon University, has lost support of its founding institution. As of last fall, they announced that student and faculty email will be run on Microsoft Exchange, or Google's Gmail suite of apps. The company FastMail seems to be the primary driver of Cyrus IMAPd software now, per their December blog post. Are any Slashdot readers migrating their Cyrus-based services, or are there compelling reasons to chose it over the competition?

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Red Hat And IBM Will Vote Against Java’s Next Release

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: The next edition of standard Java had been proceeding toward its planned July 27 release after earlier bumps in the road over modularity. But now Red Hat and IBM have opposed the module plan. "JDK 9 might be held up by this," Oracle's Georges Saab, vice president of development for the Java platform, said late Wednesday afternoon. "As is the case for all major Java SE releases, feedback from the Java Community Process may affect the timeline..." Red Hat's Scott Stark, vice president of architecture for the company's JBoss group, expressed a number of concerns about how applications would work with the module system and its potential impact on the planned Java Enterprise Edition 9. Stark also said the module system, which is featured in Java Specification Request 376 and Project Jigsaw, could result in two worlds of Java: one for Jigsaw and one for everything else, including Java SE classloaders and OSGI. Stark's analysis received input from others in the Java community, including Sonatype. "The result will be a weakened Java ecosystem at a time when rapid change is occurring in the server space with increasing use of languages like Go," Stark wrote, also predicting major challenges for applications dealing with services and reflection. His critique adds that "In some cases the implementation...contradicts years of modular application deployment best practices that are already commonly employed by the ecosystem as a whole." And he ultimately concludes that this effort to modularize Java has limitations which "almost certainly prevent the possibility of Java EE 9 from being based on Jigsaw, as to do so would require existing Java EE vendors to completely throw out compatibility, interoperability, and feature parity with past versions of the Java EE specification."

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