News briefs for June 25, 2018.
Perl version 5.28.0 has been released. According to LWN.net, highlights of this release, which was 13 months in the making with approximately 730,000 lines of changes, include "Unicode 10.0 support, string- and number-specific bitwise operators, a change to more secure hash functions, and safer in-place editing." See the full list of changes here.
Linus Torvalds took issue with kernel developers this weekend regarding "fixes" in his rc2 release statement: "So please, people, the 'fixes' during the rc series really should be things that are _regressions_. If it used to work, and it no longer does, then fixing that is a good and proper fix. Or if something oopses or has a security implication, then the fix for that is a real fix." He went on to say, "But if it's something that has never worked, even if it 'fixes' some behavior, then it's new development, and that should come in during the merge window. Just because you think it's a 'fix' doesn't mean that it really is one, at least in the 'during the rc series' sense." Other than that, regarding the rc2 release, he said "Things look fairly sane, it's not really all that scary."
Systemdv239 was released last week. LWN reports that "A new system.conf setting NoNewPrivileges= is now available which may be used to turn off acquisition of new privileges system-wide (i.e. set Linux' PR_SET_NO_NEW_PRIVS for PID 1 itself, and thus also for all its children). Note that turning this option on means setuid binaries and file system capabilities lose their special powers. While turning on this option is a big step towards a more secure system, doing so is likely to break numerous pre-existing UNIX tools, in particular su and sudo."
Ubuntu started collecting user data with version 18.04 (users can opt out during the install), and the first report is now available. According to the report, 67% of users opt in, installation takes 18 minutes, most people are installing from scratch instead of upgrading and having a single CPU is most common. In addition, the report reveals that although the US has the highest concentration of users, Brazil, India, China and Russia also are big Ubuntu users.
Oracle has started charging for Java SE and support. According to The Register, the cost for the "Java subscription" is "$25 per processor per month, and $2.50 per user per month on the desktop, or less if you buy lots for a long time." The article notes that "If you like your current Java licences, Oracle will let you keep them." But also that "come January 2019 Java SE 8 on the desktop won't be updated any more...unless you buy a sub."