webshit weekly (2018/08/14)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of August, 2018.

Google AMP – A 70% drop in our conversion rate
August 08, 2018 (comments)
A webshit is nervous about Google's shared-hosting free tier. Hackernews explains to one another that Google's AMP program is not a cynical consolidation of adtech power, but is in fact a deftly-engineered substitute for courage, since webshits apparently can't stand up for themselves or their work. Some Googles show up in the comments to defend their land grab beneficent community-empowerment tool, and to reassure everyone that despite the direct personal experience of literally every single person who has tried, Google is totally open to feedback and willing to care about bug reports from their tenants users.

Julia 1.0
August 09, 2018 (comments)
Some academics promise to try to hold it steady. Hackernews is cranky that the brochure doesn't look like other brochures and slightly afraid because people seem to be using the language to perform arcane rites with impenetrable magical symbols. The academics show up to reassure people that math is a normal, healthy hobby and anyway the language can also be used to do retarded things with garbage hardware if you want. Most of the comments are people complaining that languages don't provide enough handholding for people who failed to design their programs properly, or that languages don't provide enough handholding for people who failed to select their operating systems properly.

I don't trust Signal
August 09, 2018 (comments)
An asshole is pissed at some other asshole. None of the reasons are interesting. Hackernews draws lots to decide which asshole to defend unto death; the basic argument seems to be the set of Hackernews given to hero worship versus the set of Hackernews who thinks the world owes them (for free) flawlessly-implemented, perfectly-intuitive software capable of resisting concerted attack by advanced persistent threats. Nearly five hundred comments are posted, all of which stridently proclaim The Correct Opinions about software nobody uses except DEF CON cosplayers and journalists who followed bad advice on social media.

1/0 = 0
August 10, 2018 (comments)
A webshit gets wound up by a tweet. Hackernews does too. Most of the arguments involve the difference between mathematics and ALU design, but none of the discussion is interesting because none of the participants are meaningfully engaged with either topic. It doesn't help that the entire context of the debate is some webshit's disused toy language.

Worst Computer Bugs in History: Therac-25 (2017)
August 11, 2018 (comments)
An internet describes a time that bad software directly led to the deaths of actual human beings. Several "takeaways" are provided, absolutely none of which involve recommending anyone be held responsible in any way. Hackernews is gratified that so few deaths were all that was needed to distract people from all the other ways that software developers are failing civilization on a regular basis. Other Hackernews suspects the kill count is so low because only someone completely unhinged would put their safety directly in the hands of a computer programmer. When highlighting other, less severe failure stories turns out not to be fun, Hackernews explores ways they might blame someone else for the deaths.

Thank you HN
August 12, 2018 (comments)
A Hackernews thanks the rest of Hackernews for not advocating suicide. Hackernews lists all the terrible shit they did and/or had happen to them and, as usual, catalogs every single real or perceived solution to mental health issues they've ever tried or read about. The consensus is that exercise helps. No technology is discussed. An asshole violates the Prime Directive.

Using FOIA Data and Unix to halve major source of parking tickets
August 13, 2018 (comments)
An internet is trying to help. With awk. Hackernews squabbles over whether or not it's even possible for most people to help, given the baseline requirement of "noticing things." The Hackernews contingent of Critical Mass shows up to bitch about cars standing in bike lanes. Inadvertently, the Hackernewsest possible sentence appears in the comments: "If it's not technically criminal then that's all that matters."

Serverless Docker Beta
August 14, 2018 (comments)
Some webshits celebrate minutiae. Hackernews is excited about the minutiae, except for the ones who actually do things with computers once in a while. A long discussion breaks out about the proper method to embed auto-playing video containing nothing but text. After a while Hackernews gets bored with the actual limitations of the garbage software described in the article and starts running thought experiments about what even worse software might look like. They don't reach consensus, but I'm pretty sure they're accidentally describing Sun software.

webshit weekly (2018/08/07)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of August, 2018.

Learning Math for Machine Learning
August 01, 2018 (comments)
Some random asshole takes two thousand words to tell us to study statistics, calculus, and linear algebra in order to be good at statistics, calculus, and linear algebra. Hackernews immediately takes the opportunity to shill a book on Amazon, then spends hours arguing about just how little understanding of mathematics one can get away with while selling it to credulous investors. At another lunch table, Hackernews discusses related topics: how arithmetic works, how to stop being afraid of abstract concepts, and which YouTube videos are in fact flawless substitutes for advanced study.

You don’t need standups
August 02, 2018 (comments)
A webshit, newly promoted to management, immediately posts a thinkpiece to Medium. Hackernews is outraged that someone might be operating outside of the parameters laid out by whatever bureaucratic pop-psy book they most recently read. Arguments break out about which Mediocrity Checklist is the one that God wrote, and which ones are apostasy destined to destroy your startup's rad, bloggable culture. No technology is discussed.

Learning from Terminals to Design the Future of User Interfaces
August 03, 2018 (comments)
A webshit thinks things could be better. Hackernews thinks that Slack plugins are a gateway drug to the "electronic typewriter" school of user interface. Dozens of comments just name application shortcut keys in random programs. The bi-weekly Unix Shells Versus Microsoft Shells cricket match breaks out, but is interrupted by a streaker waving a Twenex flag. Another thread is comprised entirely of posts whining about user interfaces being "hard" in one breath, congratulating one another for not having any answers in the next breath, and then claiming to have the answers in the third breath. Most of the rest is just bitching about the four programs Hackernews actually uses more than once a year.

4D toys
August 04, 2018 (comments)
Someone wants to sell software. Hackernews bikesheds the software, computer display technology, human eyesight, and mathematics.

I’m a very slow thinker (2016)
August 05, 2018 (comments)
Another random asshole brags about being a pain in the ass to communicate with. Hackernews understands this is a point of pride, because they are also very, very smart, and have catalogued a large collection of evidence to support the fact that they are very, very smart, and being very, very smart is why they are all destined to be rich.

Let's Encrypt Root Trusted by All Major Root Programs
August 06, 2018 (comments)
A pack of idiots celebrates full admission to the Circlejerk of Trust by finally using their own products on their webshit. Hackernews takes this opportunity to lecture one another on how TLS works, why this pack of idiots is the greatest gift the internet has ever received, how wonderful it is to conflate line encryption with authentication, why authentication is irrelevant as long as we have line encryption, and how crucial it is that Let's Encrypt requires bizarrely-frequent reauthentication. The rest of the comments are dozens of people trying to help each other get basic functionality out of the idiots' software, which is necessary because the software is so low-effort and failure-proof. Unless their servers are down again.

EPA is allowing asbestos back into manufacturing
August 07, 2018 (comments)
The Environmental Protection Agency diligently protects the manufacturing business environment. Hackernews argues about car brake pads. The rest of the comments explore the idea that maybe public safety is something that someone in the government should possibly think about regulating, but this line of thinking is judged too dangerous to permit, because someone might apply it to the information technology sector. The conclusion that anyone who cares enough to have an opinion is ipso facto unqualified to have an opinion: just relax and let it happen, baby. It's fine.

webshit weekly (2018/07/31)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of July, 2018.

Intel patches new ME vulnerabilities
July 22, 2018 (comments)
Intel lies about the contents of their most recent firmware update. Hackernews is outraged that Bob Swan won't personally Facetime them to explain the explicit intent behind each individual transistor, and along the way gets into a fistfight about how many years past the sell-by date you're allowed to use a computer. Proponents of the "use it forever" approach are dismayed to discover that Intel won't be fixing anything older than about five years, but may take solace in the knowledge that Intel isn't capable of actually fixing anything at all.

Google: Security Keys Neutralized Employee Phishing
July 23, 2018 (comments)
A webshit signal-boosts a Google press release. The webshit's use of 'neutered' in the original article title and subsequent 301 redirect to the version with 'neutralized' can be attributed to years of painstaking, detail-oriented work as a reporter, and in no way indicates the author may not actually give a shit about this thinly-veiled advertisement for Yubikey. Hackernews circles up to explain to one another how important it is to drag around yet another piece of plastic, and the solemn duty of every human being to throw ourselves at the mercy of the almighty dongle. Fortunately, there is plenty of bickering to be had about which programs to use alongside this month's security farkle.

Zotero: An open-source tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research
July 24, 2018 (comments)
Academic Reference Tracker № 5,697 attracts Hackernews' attention, presumably because the webshit is made with Bootstrap (motto: "The Design Equivalent of Playing Wonderwall on an Acoustic Guitar at Parties"). Hackernews is eager to enumerate all the ways they've ever kept notes, but the bulk of the comments involve complaints about hyperspecific issues in particular academic reference trackers, followed by at least twelve comments angrily shouting unwieldy workarounds or declaring opinions outdated.

Liquid water 'lake' revealed on Mars
July 25, 2018 (comments)
Some scientists find something shiny with radar. Hackernews invents socialism, but with the goal of drilling holes in other planets instead of (not even 'in addition to') doing anything at all on this one. One Hackernews seems to truly believe that the only reason an oncologist might want to accelerate cancer research is to get a paycheck. The rest of the comments are pointless tangents about planetary astronomy, pissing matches about who can interpret a report more pedantically, and a couple assholes violating the Prime Directive.

Slack Is Buying HipChat from Atlassian
July 26, 2018 (comments)
There's some kind of movement in the AOL Instant Messenger clone market. Hackernews makes wild-ass assumptions about the implications of this complete non-event, and about a dozen also-rans scheme on how to scoop up the tiny scraps of market they hope the leader might drop. Elsewhere in the comment thread, some Hackernews attempt to explain to other Hackernews what a good idea it is to install a bespoke web browser built solely to grant the privilege of paying someone else to store copies of your internal business communications. Anyone voicing even the slightest lack of confidence in this plan is derided as some kind of virulent luddite, fit only for banishment to the wastes (i.e. anything east of Hayward or north of Bolinas).

The last thing libraries need is Silicon Valley “disruption.”
July 27, 2018 (comments)
A librarian explains libraries to Y Combinator. Hackernews is less interested in what libraries do than they are in finding just the right abstract concept to blame for the downfall of western society. Whatever it is, it sure has nothing to do with them.

A response about dep and vgo
July 27, 2018 (comments)
Lifetime Bell Labs Intern Russ Cox gives the Golang community a hands-on lesson in how the boys from Murray Hill do business. A Golang leaves the longest and most detailed RateMyProfessors.com review of all time. Hackernews regrets the friction caused by the unlubricated and imprecise torquing of some rando "committee" to Google specifications, but hastily arranges worship services to earn the love of the August & Infallible Google Engineers. The Rust Evangelism Strike Force, starkly aware of the source of their patron's funding, spends their forced holiday selecting which slightly-outdated Reddit memes to include in upcoming lightning talks.

Melatonin: Much More Than You Wanted to Know
July 28, 2018 (comments)
A dipshit consumes, digests, and regurgitates as many sleep-related Wikipedia articles as possible. Hackernews isn't really interested in the article, but loves any opportunity to share their biohacking tips on how to carefully calibrate a basic bodily function which does not require manual intervention for, statistically, any living thing on Earth. When it turns out that none of these tips actually work, they all stay up until dawn typing up excuses for none of them being able to sleep.

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions
July 29, 2018 (comments)
A crime journalist writes about crime. Hackernews scoffs that the circumstances which enabled the crime were entirely preventable, if only someone would have asked Hackernews. No technology is discussed.

Why I Ripped the Same CD 300 Times
July 30, 2018 (comments)
An internet pursues a hobby, despite being impeded by several severe disorders (e.g. Haskell, emoji abuse, German software, Touhou). Hackernews spends a few hours incorrecting each other about how audio processing works, then dives deep into the cargo cult hole to fetch the most asinine possible ways to ensure the aural integrity of computer game music. A few Hackernews are distracted by the shiny pictures in their browser's URL bar, and a handful of others ruminate over whether optical media is even real.

Amazon Dark Patterns
July 31, 2018 (comments)
A webshit is angry that a massive faceless corporation is not interested in feedback. Hackernews shares this frustration, but is also angry that other people don't put sufficient effort into their feedback. A philosophical debate breaks out regarding the precise length of time it is appropriate to hold someone accountable for their work product. The rest of the comments struggle with the idea that Amazon may be in control of its own website, and exactly how much of human society will immediately fail when this news breaks, since Amazon reviews are typically held to be the lone reliable source of unbiased and irrevocable truth in the world.