webshit weekly (2021/02/28)
An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of February, 2021.
February 22, 2021 (comments)
WDPK 83.7 FM, the sound of tomorrow, the music of today, signs off. Hackernews bemoans the trappings of fame.
February 23, 2021 (comments)
In the latest development of Mozilla's march to blanket the world in half-assed security measurements, Firefox incentivizes third-party login providers to sell tracking services. Hackernews wants to know what the rules are which govern the browser's decision to isolate (or not) specific cookies. Some Mozillas show up, but Hackernews winds up having to dig around for themselves anyway. Later, Hackernews points out that lots of webshit will still break under these rules, and arguments break out about whether the existing shit festival is preferable to any attempt at improving things.
February 24, 2021 (comments)
A student lands an internship. Everyone involved in the process arrives in the comments to congratulate one another, then Hackernews loudly proclaims that this story proves one crucial fact: schools should be camps where children are trained to perform at Silicon Valley whiteboard interviews. Elsewhere, Hackernews discusses a serious barrier to Palestinian workers getting employment in Israel: they just don't speak Hebrew well enough. Other Hackernews want to know if Gaza has electricity.
February 25, 2021 (comments)
Framework (business model: "Uber for USB ports") would like to sell you a Macbook knockoff that literally comes apart in your hands. Hackernews spends a few thousand comments trying to ascertain what the most important quality of a laptop is, but completely fails. Nevertheless, they are positive that this machine will not have it, whatever it might be. The founder shows up to declare the opinion that consumer VR is a real thing that is popular among human beings.
February 26, 2021 (comments)
The United States Government would like someone to read it the Terms of Service for Google Analytics. Since implementing user-tracking technologies is mostly Hackernews' day job, the comments are rife with pedantic definitions and re-definitions of every minute detail of this awful, parasitic drag on human progress. Other Hackernews betray themselves as ausländer by advocating for a world where corporate profit arises from markets other than those based on lying to other businesses about the efficacy of personalized advertising. Hackernews, of course, responds with hours of pedantic definitions and re-definitions of surveillance, capitalism, and surveillance capitalism.
February 27, 2021 (comments)
Confusingly, this beginner's guide to vi is presented as an advanced guide for Vim. Some investigation reveals that the "intermediate" guide consists exclusively of fucking with window management, and the "beginner" guide involves literally learning how to type. Hackernews bikesheds all three for a bit, then recommends other learning resources for Vim. Nobody recommends the documentation.
February 28, 2021 (comments)
An Internet gets frustrated by the longevity of a program bug. Without taking the time to A/B test the results in a production environment, Rockstar Games can have no way of knowing whether this work will increase revenue, so the bug will correctly remain unfixed. Some Hackernews are flummoxed that this sort of rank idiocy is accepted into commercial endeavor, but other Hackernews rush in to explain that programming video games is super duper hard, like you just wouldn't even believe, and we're lucky that the harried and abused video game computer programmers even managed to produce a functioning product, which is definitely something only a very few people on earth can do. The rest of the comments are various other bug reports for this and other video games, all of which reinforce the most important video game wisdom of all.
webshit weekly (2021/02/21)
An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of February, 2021.
February 15, 2021 (comments)
The British Broadcasting Corporation engages Amazon's sole customer service mechanism, which remains "complaining loudly on the internet." Hackernews, half of whom work for Amazon, declare the problem insoluble. Immediately after that declaration, they proceed to submit droves of half-assed solutions, most of which essentially reconstruct Consumer Reports from first principles. The rest of the comments are requests for product recommendations.
February 16, 2021 (comments)
Paul Graham takes a break from telling people how to think, in order to focus on a more general-interest topic with a broader audience: himself. The result is a fourteen-thousand-word morass constituting the slug track left by a spoiled clown with no meaningful contributions to make to anything. Hackernews continues to be in love. One focus of their adoration is Paul Graham's toy programming language, Bel, which also serves as a flawless analogy for its author: presented with every chance to succeed, recipient of years and years of people's time and attention, only to turn out to be a completely ineffective collection of text on a website, of use to nobody.
February 17, 2021 (comments)
Hackernews is angry at the ghost of New York Times past. They almost immediately figure out that the story, which is helpfully presented as a series of images dumped from a PDF conversion of some text dumped into a browser, is woefully outdated and the newspaper has fixed the issues that arise in the transcript. The comments then divide into two teams to most effectively cover the important topics of "other shit that sucks to cancel" and "other newspapers that fit better into a given commenter's echo chamber."
February 18, 2021 (comments)
The parking crisis in Pasadena reaches new depths. Hackernews bitches about ESL speakers, argues about measurement unit systems, and attempts to teach one another mathematics. Some Hackernews express excitement at seeing what research comes out of this mission, and other Hackernews shit on them for caring about something other than advertisement engagement metrics or blog posts about mindfulness. Finally, the Muskonauts show up and picket the whole affair because NASA failed to make it into a monument to Saint Elon.
February 19, 2021 (comments)
February 20, 2021 (comments)
In an attempt to enhance the efficiency of passenger flights, United Airlines implements a scatter-gather approach to a distributed landing algorithm. Hackernews catalogues previous attempts at implementing this innovation, and confers unto one another several graduate degrees in aviation engineering from Youtube University. Most comment chain start out with one Hackernews making a claim, then successive Hackernews each accusing the parent commenter of working from outdated information, until the comment threads are an endless series of increasingly-pedantic corrections of a fundemental irrelevancy.
February 21, 2021 (comments)
An Internet argues against résumé-driven development. This is the tenth time this particular slide deck has been posted on "Hacker" "News", and the second time anyone has noticed. The comments in this thread differ only somewhat from the previous round; in addition to the "but Buzzword-of-the-Week is actually great" comment thread, we are this time treated to an apostate wondering why nobody is holding programmers accountable for this shit. The latter thread explodes into acrimony as Hackernews angrily insists that everything is fine, everything is fucked, programmers are very carefully and expertly managed, and no mere manager is qualified to have an opinion on the deeply technical work of shoving shit into a Celery queue until you can cram it into Redis.
webshit weekly (2021/02/14)
An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of February, 2021.
February 08, 2021 (comments)
Google's callous lack of human-operated customer service finally provokes dire consequences: the forfeiture of tens, possibly even hundreds, of dollars of hypothetical revenue. Hackernews has strong opinions on video game streaming services, including about whether video game streaming services should even exist. Some Hackernews wonder if perhaps government regulation can mitigate some of the life-ruining damage that large companies can accidentally do to their users, but other Hackernews carefully construct from first principles an airtight justification for the fact that only God can judge Google.
February 09, 2021 (comments)
A webshit combines a webshit text editor with a webshit FUSE implementation and causes Hackernews to weep with joy, until they wipe their eyes and start demanding additional features. Somewhere deep in the bowels of Redmond, a Microsoft prepares to whine about trademark infringement.
February 10, 2021 (comments)
A webshit writes two thousand words to describe the process of "looking at what internal package names are in use and then uploading packages with those names to package repositories." Hackernews feels that the proper solution is to port OpenBSD's pledge(2) system call to every single computer program. Hackernews is unwilling to lift a single finger to achieve this goal, but will type hundreds of angry words about any other approach. The rest of the comments constitute a lively debate regarding who is to blame for the shitty state of language-based package managers: it is either the fault of the language designers or the managers of the programmers who use the language, but which?
February 11, 2021 (comments)
February 12, 2021 (comments)
Microsoft accidentally exposes a gap in their otherwise-integrated sales loop, having failed to buy Canonical (so far). Hackernews is entirely unsurprised by the corporate information-sharing, and considers possibly marketing an artificial-intelligence chat app to replace the sales representative who had to type the LinkedIn message. After some confusion about whether Microsoft was ratting on users or Ubuntu was phoning home (since both are fairly likely), Hackernew settles down to argue about software packaging.
February 13, 2021 (comments)
A shift supervisor at the Mistakes-Blogging-For-Education branch of the Shitty Opinion Factory is angry on the internet again. Hackernews, naturally, is outraged as well: just because the comments section of some asshole's blog happens to be a place where technolibertarians cross-pollenate with white supremacists, says Hackernews, doesn't mean it's fair to focus on that instead of on how smart that blog's readership has convinced itself it is. So smart, in fact, that to criticize them at all is tantamount to an admission that you're up to something. This sort of censorship, concludes Hackernews, should never have been allowed to be published.
February 14, 2021 (comments)
A computer programmer would like some money. Hackernews is unsatisfied with the avenues made available to provide that money, and would like the computer programmer to spend even more time and money to make things simpler for Hackernews' accountants. Once these minor gripes are dealt with, Hackernews moves on to declare this application to be best-in-class, except for its user interface, backend code, underlying protocols, host operating system, users, advertising, and monetization efforts.