webshit weekly (2018/03/14)

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

A Career Cold Start Algorithm
March 08, 2018 (comments)
A webshit advocates learning about things by asking people who know the answers. Hackernews misconstrues the title to be about getting a job, which explodes into lengthy and bitter arguments about whether you'll get a shitty job, be too shitty for the great jobs that Hackernews has to offer, or get a shitty job working for shitty people doing shitty things. Once Hackernews is finished studiously ignoring the fact that they're all in the third category, they try to decide whether the webshit's advice is only for people who matter, or if fungible javascript-assembly-line workers are allowed to hear it too.

FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites
March 09, 2018 (comments)
The United States Government disapproves of a startup, "Uber for Kessler Effects," which is funded in part by the United States Government. Hackernews spends six years arguing whether or not the United States Government should have a say in whether a company registered in the United States, located in the United States, and funded by the United States Government is allowed to skulk off and pay some discount space agency for a ride.

Round Peg in a Square Hole [video]
March 10, 2018 (comments)
A glowing man is concerned about an oversized communion wafer. At least, that's what it looks like, based on the thumbnail of this Youtube video, which I am not going to watch. After fawning over the glowing man, Hackernews trades amazement at the trick with the communion wafer and derision for the people who didn't already know the trick with the communion wafer.

Vim Clutch – A hardware pedal for improved text editing (2012)
March 11, 2018 (comments)
An idiot builds a really bad keyboard. Hackernews reminisces about other bad keyboards they've seen and fantasizes about bad keyboards still to come. When that winds down, the topic switches to the scads of dumb garbage they've all squirreled away in their text editor configurations. At least one Hackernews in this discussion has more commits to a "dotfiles" repository than all other programming work combined.

Slack's bait and switch
March 12, 2018 (comments)
A webshit-flavored XMPP Memorial Society member is mad about a more popular chat service. Hackernews is nakedly contemptuous of the drooling idiots who are unwilling to pay money for the privilege of spamming animated GIFs at other people on the internet. The rest of the comments are people suggesting other half-baked webshit chat trash, sucking it up and writing a check to the Slack people, or spiteful crimes against humanity from people desperate to be the next Slack-style check-cashing organization.

Stephen Hawking has died
March 13, 2018 (comments)
A famous actor, rock star, comedian, author, and political analyst has died. Hackernews climbs over each other in their eagerness to be the winner of the Most Affected By This Famous Person ribbon. Other Hackernews unpack some edibles to consider just like, what is even a person, man?

Theranos, CEO Holmes, and Former President Balwani Charged with Fraud
March 14, 2018 (comments)
The Securities and Exchange Commission lowers the boom on some charlatans. Hackernews nitpicks the announcement, trying to ascertain exactly how much "lying to investors" needs to take place before they're next against the wall -- is it an absolute amount? How many thousands of words of bullshit will bring the feds? Is it a relative amount? Is your business being entirely bullshit-based grounds for an exemption? If other, richer bullshit artists get away with it, might it be worth trying anyway? Hackernews feverishly scrabbles at the walls of their Habitrail, desperately seeking a return to a world where lying to everyone you meet while blowing through hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money is praised as entrepreneurship, rather than prosecuted in court.

webshit weekly (2018/03/07)

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

Amazon's policies promote counterfeiting
March 01, 2018 (comments)
An Internet wakes up to being a little worm on a big fucken hook. Sixteen thousand Amazons crawl out of the woodwork to recommend actions the author describes already having taken, and the rest of the comments opine that Amazon couldn't be doing anything wrong, because Amazon is rich.

Amazon won't sell you a Chromecast, but they will sell a counterfeit
March 02, 2018 (comments)
Hot on the heels of yesterday's story, a Hackernews tries again, but with a product Hackernews actually uses: Google shit. This time, Hackernews decides that Amazon has a serious problem with deceiving their customers, but Hackernews has the answer: eBay. Comments describing physically traveling to a specially-constructed building to acquire goods are all met with an embarrassed silence. On the upside, there are dozens of hilarious stories about Hackernews coming variously a cropper after buying random garbage from a webshit flea market. Later, Amazons and Googles form regiments to decide once and for all why Amazon doesn't sell Chromecast devices.

Project Gutenberg blocks access from Germany
March 03, 2018 (comments)
Germany decides it's in charge of any website with German-language content (kommt zu mir, Arschgeigen). Hackernews takes a break to discuss where the best place is to send money, then argues about whether the website in question is being a dick by generously applying the German court's decision with gusto and initiative. Some Hackernews don't believe the block is even real, because it is imperfect. The rest of the comments are people incorrecting each other about copyright law and bickering about whether copyright violation and theft are the same thing.

Facebook’s tracking of non-users ruled illegal again in Europe
March 04, 2018 (comments)
European courts continue making pronouncements irrelevant to citizens of the civilized world. Hackernews experiences cognitive dissonance while trying to process the idea that a rich company might be held accountable to some kind of external force, such as "laws" or "basic human decency." Most of the comments involve Hackernews trying to craft just the right bizarre analogy, except the ones attacking the form of other comments while ignoring the content. Broad consensus recurs in several comment chains: it's no use adhering to ethical standards or legal requirements if someone else might not.

History of the browser user-agent string (2008)
March 05, 2018 (comments)
A webshit posts an abridged accounting of one of the myriad pieces of evidence that nobody in charge of any web-related technology has ever been worth a shit. Hackernews debates whether this obviously ridiculous behavior is justified by the fact that someone used it, then switches to finger-pointing and shifting blame away from their preferred garbage. A few fantastical romps into the Forest of Mightabeen allow Hackernews to take solace in the fact that even at the height of the shitstorm, there were tiny, ignored voices, shouting directions to a saner future that humanity never knew. When the dust settles, they all return to their Atom.js windows to update their employer's website to tell visitors with the wrong user agent string to fuck themselves.

Coinbase Index Fund
March 06, 2018 (comments)
Bitcoin Idiots, LLC wants more real money. Hackernews is universally relieved, because they are tired of maintaining the ludicrously overcomplicated software they've written to manage their own Beanie Babies collections.

Continuing frequency deviation in the Continental European Power System
March 07, 2018 (comments)
Europe can't even produce electricity correctly, which is fucking up their clocks, because they can't make those right either. Hackernews takes turns lecturing each other about how the American power system works (summary: it works). One Hackernews explains this is a good warning not to make important things depend on convenient things provided by third-parties without obligation. Because this warning was posted on a venture capital website used almost exclusively by people whose entire businesses depend on Amazon Web Services, my computer's irony co-processor exploded and I had to finish this article at my local public library.

webshit weekly (2018/02/28)

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

Hacker News's Undocumented Features and Behaviors
February 22, 2018 (comments)
A Hackernews documents the tribal lore. Hackernews congratulates itself on the uniformity of its outlook and opinions.

Dropbox S-1
February 23, 2018 (comments)
A company that Y Combinator funded accidentally survives. Hackernews splits up into two factions: some Hackernews are angry that rich people have a lot of money, while others scold the first faction for being insufficiently grateful to their corporate benefactors. In a side room, the turbonerds draw the blinds in preparation for an all-night argument about technical minutiae of copying files.

Dropbox saved almost $75M over two years by moving out of AWS
February 24, 2018 (comments)
A webshit takes a minor detail with an obvious outcome from yesterday's story and drags it out into an entire article. Hackernews is quick to warn impressionable bystanders: not using AWS for hosting is a massive risk which will almost certainly get you killed. Attempting to own and operate a non-Macbook computer without first assuming MOPP Level 4 and arranging for AWACS overwatch will result in your business catching physical fire and taking everyone you love with it.

How poverty changes your mindset
February 25, 2018 (comments)
Some academics announce that trying harder makes you dumber, presumably in hopes their parents read the article and stop harassing them about getting real jobs. Hackernews takes turns arguing about who grew up poorer, about who is doing a better job helping homeless people, how many homeless people there even are, why they're poor, why they deserve to be poor, and whether it's even possible to help others, either on a personal or institutional level. No technology is discussed, but a strong contender for Hackernewsest Thread of All Time appears when they begin whining about how nobody listens to work-ethic advice from trust-fund kids.

Apple confirms it uses Google cloud for some of iCloud
February 26, 2018 (comments)
A computer manufacturer purchases internet services from an internet services company. Hackernews speculates on the technical implementations of the webshit, debates the merits of paying people for goods and services, and lists all of the hosting companies it can think of. Lots of Hackernews express confusion regarding Apple's decision to outsource parts of its hosting services, apparently because they don't remember how Xserve went.

Pricing low-touch SaaS
February 27, 2018 (comments)
A webshit drums up business. Hackernews pounces on this opportunity to foist adulation on the Hackernews Popularity Contest bronze medalist, who arrives to scold anyone who questions the groupthink.

Why I Quit Google to Work for Myself
February 28, 2018 (comments)
A webshit quits a job. Hackernews bemoans the fact that it is difficult to trick their managers into valuing their work. Dozens of different approaches are discussed, but it turns out that all managers are terrible at their jobs and can't be trusted. At least, this is the only acceptable answer when faced with the alternative that your years of babysitting a webshit data toilet might not be worth a promotion.