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Oracle

Oracle: Google Has "Destroyed" the Market For Java 457

itwbennett writes: Oracle made a request late last month to broaden its case against Android. Now, claiming that 'Android has now irreversibly destroyed Java's fundamental value proposition as a potential mobile device operating system,' Oracle on Wednesday filed a supplemental complaint in San Francisco district court that encompasses the six Android versions that have come out since Oracle originally filed its case back in 2010: Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, Kit Kat and Lollipop.
Security

Facebook Awards Researchers $100k For Detecting Emerging Class of C++ Bugs 73

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has awarded $100,000 to a team of researchers from Georgia Tech University for their discovery of a new method for identifying "bad-casting" vulnerabilities that affect programs written in C++. "Type casting, which converts one type of an object to another, plays an essential role in enabling polymorphism in C++ because it allows a program to utilize certain general or specific implementations in the class hierarchies. However, if not correctly used, it may return unsafe and incorrectly casted values, leading to so-called bad-casting or type-confusion vulnerabilities," the researchers explained in their paper.
GUI

GitHub Desktop Launches To Replace Mac and Windows Apps 167

An anonymous reader writes: GitHub today launched a unified desktop version for Mac and Windows — you can download it from desktop.github.com. GitHub Desktop will automatically replace the previous Mac and Windows apps and can be used alongside GitHub Enterprise. Venturebeat reports: "...GitHub was tired of the differences between its two apps and decided it was time to align them. The hope is that if Mac and Windows users have the same workflow, it will be easier for them to work together (and for individual users to switch between the two platforms)."
Oracle

Oracle Exec: Stop Sending Vulnerability Reports 229

florin writes: Oracle chief security officer Mary Ann Davidson published a most curious rant on the company's corporate blog yesterday, addressing and reprimanding some pesky customers that just will not stop bothering her. As Mary put it: "Recently, I have seen a large-ish uptick in customers reverse engineering our code to attempt to find security vulnerabilities in it." She goes on to describe how the company deals with such shameful activities, namely that "We send a letter to the sinning customer, and a different letter to the sinning consultant-acting-on-customer's behalf — reminding them of the terms of the Oracle license agreement that preclude reverse engineering, So Please Stop It Already."

Later on, in a section intended to highlight how great a job Oracle itself was doing at finding vulnerabilities, the CSO accidentally revealed that customers are in fact contributing a rather significant 1 out of every 10 vulnerabilities: "Ah, well, we find 87 percent of security vulnerabilities ourselves, security researchers find about 3 percent and the rest are found by customers." Unsurprisingly, this revealing insight into the company's regard for its customers was removed later. But not before being saved for posterity.
Programming

Buzz: a Novel Programming Language For Heterogeneous Robot Swarms 30

New submitter pRobotika writes: Designing the behavior of robot swarms is difficult; the larger the group, the more tricky it is to predict its dynamics and the causes of errors. Buzz is a new open-source programming language specifically for robot swarms. It's designed for ease of use and is inspired by well-known programming languages such as JavaScript, Python and Lua. Buzz also includes a number of constructs specifically designed for swarm-level development. The “swarm” construct allows a developer to split the robots into multiple groups and assign a specific task to each. Swarms can be created, disbanded, and modified dynamically. The “neighbors” construct captures an important concept in swarm systems: locality. In nature, individuals interact directly and only with nearby swarm-mates. Interactions include communication, obstacle avoidance or leader following. The neighbors construct provides functions to mimic these mechanisms.
Software

How To Make Money As an Independent Developer 56

itwbennett writes: A new survey of 13,000 developers in 149 countries by U.K.-based research company VisionMobile compared, among other things, the most popular versus the most lucrative revenue models for four groups of developers: those focusing on mobile apps, cloud services, the Internet of Things, and desktop apps. Among their findings for mobile developers: While advertising is by far the most popular revenue model, only 17% of developers who rely primarily on advertising make more than $10,000 per month from their apps. By comparison, 37% of those who make their money by e-commerce (selling real-world goods and services) make $10k per month or more.
Open Source

LibreSSL 2.2.2 Released 33

An anonymous reader writes: LibreSSL 2.2.2 has been released. According to the release notes: "This release marks the end of the OpenBSD 5.8 development cycle, featuring expanded portable build support, code improvements, removal of obsolete workarounds....The LibreSSL project continues improvement of the codebase to reflect modern, safe programming practices. We welcome feedback and improvements from the broader community. Thanks to all of the contributors who helped make this release possible." This is the first LibreSSL release that has completely removed SSLv3 support.
Oracle

U.K. Government Seeking To End Reliance On Oracle 190

jfruh writes: The U.K. Cabinet Office has reportedly asked government departments and agencies to try to find ways to end their reliance on Oracle software, a move motivated by the truly shocking number of Oracle licenses currently being paid for by the British taxpayer. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs alone has paid £1.3 million (US$2 million) per year for some 2 million Oracle licenses, or about 200 licenses per staff member.
Businesses

Starting Now At Netflix: Unlimited Maternity and Paternity Leave 418

vivaoporto writes: Netflix announced Tuesday that, during the first year after their child's birth or adoption, employees will be able to take off however long they feel they need to. They can return on a full- or part-time basis, and even take subsequent time off later in the year if needed. Netflix will "keep paying them normally." Time comments that Netflix's policy "deserves high marks for extending leave to fathers, as well as understanding that the entire first year after childbirth can be challenging for new parents".
Programming

Id Software Founds a New Office In Germany 50

jones_supa writes: With some high-profile releases on the horizon, ZeniMax Media is expanding with a new studio in Frankfurt, Germany. Posted via Bethesda blog, reads the official ZeniMax statement: "As part of our continued global expansion, ZeniMax Media has opened (and is actively hiring for) a new technology development studio in Frankfurt – home to our German publishing operations. This team, an extension of id Software, will focus their efforts on idTech for DOOM and other titles under development at ZeniMax-owned studios." New positions are expected to pop up at ZeniMax's job listings.
Programming

Compiling to JavaScript: TypeScript vs. Haxe 94

lars_doucet writes: Released in 2012, Microsoft's TypeScript is perhaps the best-known "compile to JS" language, but it wasn't the first. One of the earliest was Haxe, whose JS target first appeared in 2006. In his illuminating article, TypeScript vs Haxe, Andy Li gives an excellent rundown of the two languages' various merits, but the bottom line is: "Existing JS developers will favor TypeScript as they are more similar in many ways. They can utilize their existing skills immediately. Non-JS developers with backgrounds like Java/C# or even from the functional programming world will appreciate Haxe more since it fixes a lot of weirdness of JS." The full article includes an excellent rundown of the type systems, syntax, scope handling, compilers, and overall language design philosophy.
Debian

Largest DebConf Ever Will Hit Heidelberg In Mid-August 41

New submitter alfino writes: Less than two weeks away, DebConf15, the 16th Debian Conference, scheduled to take place 15–22 August in Heidelberg, Germany, has been officially announced. The organisers are expecting more than 550 participants from 53 countries (making it the largest DebConf so far, and the first in history that will be closing registrations early), and have presented a schedule packed with talks and events, including several prominent, invited speakers, and yet plenty of room for informal and ad-hoc collaboration. Most events will be streamed live to allow for remote participation, and archived for later consumption.

The celebrations of Debian's 22nd birthday on 16 August, the traditional "Cheese & Wine BoF", a screening of the Oscar-award-winning documentary Citizenfour (which mentions Debian in its end credits), and a day trip for all attendees top off the programme. Additionally, DebConf15 will be preceeded by DebCamp, a week of sprints, workshops and hacking sessions. It is expected that much progress will be made on Debian (gcc5 transition, planning of the next stable release "stretch", etc.), and of course Free Software in general. The conference itself begins with an Open Weekend geared to the public, and featuring a job fair.

Attendance is free of charge thanks to numerous sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor Hewlett-Packard. Registration is required nonetheless and only very few places are left.

The conference will be tracked on various social media sites using hashtag #DebConf15. Even though Debian does not endorse proprietary services, @DebConf will have the news.
Open Source

Ada Initiative Organization To End, But Its Work Will Continue 223

An anonymous reader writes: Today the Ada Initiative announced that the nonprofit will shut down in mid-October. Founded in 2011, the Ada Initiative is a nonprofit feminist organization created to help improve open source culture and build a more inviting, productive, safe environment for women. In this interview with Opensource.com, the co-founders look back at the organization's successes, and the work that still needs to be done.
Programming

Lessons From Your Toughest Software Bugs 285

Nerval's Lobster writes: Most programmers experience some tough bugs in their careers, but only occasionally do they encounter something truly memorable. In developer David Bolton's new posting, he discusses the bugs that he still remembers years later. One messed up the figures for a day's worth of oil trading by $800 million. ('The code was correct, but the exception happened because a new financial instrument being traded had a zero value for "number of days," and nobody had told us,' he writes.) Another program kept shutting down because a professor working on the project decided to sneak in and do a little DIY coding. While care and testing can sometimes allow you to snuff out serious bugs before they occur, some truly spectacular ones occasionally end up in the release... despite your best efforts.
Education

CollegeBoard: Analyses of CS Study Benefits Shouldn't Be Interpreted As Causal 131

theodp writes: Code.org, backed by some of tech's wealthiest individuals and their companies, is this close to getting computer science declared a 'core subject' in K-12 public schools. So, when the non-profit recently asked CollegeBoard for more evidence that learning computer science is linked to improved learning in other subjects, it must have been disheartened by the study results. "The purpose of this brief note," wrote the CollegeBoard, "is to document some exploratory analyses linking participation in AP Computer Science to subsequent performance in SAT Mathematics and AP Calculus and Statistics. None of these analyses should be interpreted as causal. Although there appears to be a relationship between AP CS participation and subsequent outcomes, it is highly likely that this is the result of one or more omitted and confounding characteristics of students that are not able to be controlled for given this research design."