This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
b1 and b2 are created using auto-boxing, which doesn't employ "new Byte(...)", but rather Byte.valueOf(...). The difference is that valueOf doesn't create a new object - it reuses an existing one. Hence the two objects are identical.