back to article 'Social distancing champ' Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.6, tells devs to put health before next release

Linux overseer Linus Torvalds given the world version 5.6 of the Linux kernel, and been awarded the title "social distancing champ". The latter accolade came from his daughter. But he's tried to live the values it implies by telling the Linux community not to stress about the pace of kernel development. "I haven't really seen …

  1. druck Silver badge

    The 32-bit branch of the kernel has also been mostly shorn of the Year 2038 bug, with just under 17 years to spare before it lost the ability to keep track of time. ®

    I don't mind the kernel being fixed, but hopefully there will still be lots of work fixing old user land applications, as I'm relying on that work funding my retirement - doubly so now the pandemic has wiped out pension funds and investments.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: "the pandemic has wiped out pension funds and investments"

      There is apparently an impact (of around 10-20%), but saying that pension funds are wiped out is a bit exaggerated, isn't it ?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "the pandemic has wiped out pension funds and investments"

        Technically a good many pension funds were already wiped out* in that their assets didn't meet their predicted future liabilities.

        Their managers may still be hoping the pandemic wipes out some of their liabilities**. However, as a member of one of those schemes I'm doing my best to frustrate that.

        * Thanks largely to governments that enforced "payment holidays" based on over-optimistic projections and then became addicted to low interest rates than ensured the projections were even more over-optimistic than ever. It's in the nature of pensions that making up those missed payments is a good deal more onerous than making them at the time would have been.

        ** Realistically what they're probably most hoping for is a big increase in interest rates so that the payouts from their assets are restored to expected levels.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: "the pandemic has wiped out pension funds and investments"

        Well for the people expecting pensions may well see it as wiped out! The managers of the said funds will be taking a larger cut due to 'exceptional circumstances''. I've seen friends have their pension funds whittled away by management costs when the market was healthy !

    2. HellDeskJockey
      Black Helicopters

      On this side of the pond

      The coronavirus is sometimes referred to as the "Boomer Remover" FWIW I'm a boomer.

      Icon because I'm working in the bunker now.

      1. src

        Oki doki boomer

        I have always enjoyed being a boomer. Thought it was kind of cool.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Oki doki boomer

          Gordon's Alive kind of cool?

  2. oiseau Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Whatever for?

    There’s also support for the Amazon Echo smart speaker ...

    Who in their right mind would want this crap to come into contact with your Linux kernel/box?

    Am I missing something?

    Or it is actually useful to link it to your rig ie: for anything, besides wilfully setting up a huge security risk?

    O.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who in their right mind would want this crap [in contact with] Linux kernel/box?

      Even those not in their right mind are allowed to use linux :-)

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Who in their right mind would want this crap [in contact with] Linux kernel/box?

        Even those not in their right mind are allowed to use linux.

        Sure ... (... and thanks for the correction.)

        But does that also include the developers who have let that code slip into the kernel?

        What in fuck's name were they thinking?

        Or is it the quarantine that is affecting them?

        No, this is not good.

        Not good at all. =^ 7

        O.

    2. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Whatever for?

      Maybe it's for Android, part of some crossover deal with The Other Mega-Slurper?

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Whatever for?

      Calling them smart speakers is classic getting rid of the difficult bit in the title. They are, of course, smart listeners (for some value of smart).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whatever for?

        > They are, of course, smart listeners (for some value of smart).

        You think their creator cares if they're smart, as long as they listen.

        Erich Honecker must be turning green in his grave, fancy getting the population to spy on themselves and paying for the privileged.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Whatever for?

          Erich Honecker? He was smart enough to recognize the inevitable and allow the Wall to be torn down. Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria on the other hand is registering on seismographs by now.

    4. HildyJ Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: Whatever for?

      The idea that anyone who is interested in Linux would also be interested in connecting their kit to Alexa is mind boggling.

      What's next? Facebook integration?

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Whatever for?

        If you go into the average home, the place where you are most likely to find linux is their television set, and some people might want to hook that up to Alexa.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          Re: Whatever for?

          But surely Alexa can hear what the telly is doing anyway?

    5. davenewman

      Re: Whatever for?

      There are developers creating Alexa apps to remotely control Raspberry Pi devices, such as the Mugsy coffee maker (www.heymugsy.com)

      1. oiseau Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Whatever for?

        ... developers creating Alexa apps to remotely control Raspberry Pi devices ...

        So what?

        You think it makes a case for using an Alexa app crap to remotely control a Linux box/device?

        I repeat: what.the.fuck.for?

        First the pandemic, now this absurdity ...

        I tell you, the gods have forsaken us all.

        We're doomed.

        O.

      2. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Whatever for?

        Surely the average Pi could outsmart Alexa in the bootup process.

    6. Tom 38 Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Whatever for?

      Am I missing something?

      Hi, all outraged of Tunbridge Wells posters. The support is so you can boot linux on an amazon echo speaker, thus getting rid of anything Amazon have put on there and using it for whatever you want to do.

      Its not for connecting an echo speaker to a linux machine, its for making an echo speaker into a linux machine (well, it already is a linux machine, but this is one you can tinker with).

      Original echo speaker only iirc.

  3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Linux fans often like to remind us that Linux powers most embedded computers controlling other devices (TVs, Blu ray players etc). The manufacturers of these devices seem to think that having Alexa (and Google Assistant) integration is a major selling point (and it may be, to the average punter who is looking at a shelf full of very similar looking devices at Currys or in any shop). The downside of this is that these manufacturers may well want the software to enable that integration built into the OS.

    Of course the upside of doing this is that any code will be open to scrutiny in the same way the rest of Linux is. This should be good for enforcing security. Certainly much better than relying on the coding skills of some company that normally does something else..

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Of course the upside of doing this is that any code will be open to scrutiny in the same way the rest of Linux is."

      The code in the closed source userland won't be.

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