webshit weekly (2018/05/21)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of May, 2018.

Completely Silent Computer
May 15, 2018 (comments)
Nadine Hurley takes up computer building as a hobby. Hackernews scoffs that perfectly silent computers have been available for a while now and are called iPhones, then name a handful of other fanless computers, then complain that half of them make noise anyway. Some daylight is burned trying to figure out what 'computer' means in the first place. Later, Hackernews lines up to name every piece of computer equipment they've ever purchased.

JavaScript is Good, Actually
May 15, 2018 (comments)
A webshit incorrectly decides that javascript is not a shitshow, because all of the bad design choices have excuses and workarounds. You just don't know javascript the way webshits do; it loves them and it only hits them when it's been drinking, which is not its fault. Hackernews is seized in a paroxysm of indecision; they can sort-of map javascript shit to the things they learned in Khan Academy computer science videos, but not quite... so is this a failing in javascript, to be a pile of bad implementations of questionable goals? Or is this a failing in computer science, to have posited concepts that javascript can't quite fully deploy? This conundrum proves to be insurmountable, so Hackernews settles in to enumerate every single programming language they've ever heard of, compare them all to javascript, and agree that as bad as it is, it's not C, which is hard and the people who use it are mean. Perl is not mentioned at all in the entire thread, which is an excellent reason to immediately use perl as often as possible.

US cell carriers are selling access to real-time phone location data
May 16, 2018 (comments)
Corporations with access to data sell the data. Hackernews spends their lunch break making secret accounts to confirm this groundbreaking news and go on to claim that it's not only endemic to the entire mobile device market but that there are in fact customers who wish to purchase access to the data. Other Hackernews take a break from buying and parsing this same data to mull over ways they can stop their employers from acting like shitheads, but soon reach the conclusion that there's no way to stop any misbehavior of any sort and the only logical response to the situation is to get paid to misbehave.

LocationSmart Leaked Location Data for All Major U.S. Carriers in Real Time
May 17, 2018 (comments)
One of the customers of the data from yesterday's story is found to have the data they paid for. A webshit figures out how to trick it into giving the data away for free. Hackernews bemoans the fact that this information was not used to cause the general population to rise up and strike down the people who employ most of Hackernews.

The Stuxnet worm may be the most sophisticated software ever written
May 18, 2018 (comments)
Some webshits glamorize malware. Hackernews disagrees, and thinks that other, more boring software should also be glamorized. To get to the bottom of whether the malware in question is sufficiently glamorous, Hackernews invents several engineering disciplines from first principles, then declares them all trivial. Once they're done deciding that nobody but Hackernews is qualified to have any opinions on warfare, they move on to clarify that nobody is qualified to have any opinion on anything at all.

A Wikipedia editor's long-running campaign
May 19, 2018 (comments)
An Internet points out that Wikipedia is unreliable because it is infested with assholes. Hackernews scrambles to be first in line to vomit forth half-baked technical solutions to get rid of assholes, then gets distracted by the question of whether it's worth getting rid of assholes, or whether there are even people alive who are not assholes. Nearly all of the discussions get derailed by pedantry regarding the complaints about the articles in question, leading to the world's first Wikipedia-editing cold war by proxy.

Getting Google to ban our entire company
May 20, 2018 (comments)
A Reddit, on a phone in a bathroom stall, accidentally flushes an entire company. Hackernews does not lend any credence to this story, because Google is flawless and would never deploy an automated system that accidentally fucks over an entire organization (except for the many, many times they do precisely that). When defending the honor of Google loses its luster, Hackernews moves on to telling war stories about other shitty customer support from other software companies, presumably to make Google feel better about being a pack of incompetent stooges.

82-Year-Old Japanese Woman Finds Success in Coding
May 21, 2018 (comments)
An old person has free time. Hackernews is smitten; any story about someone typing things on a computer is definitely the feel-good human-interest story they need after yesterday's harrowing brush with apostasy. After a while they forget what they're talking about and return to form, constructing an a-priori definition of learning and retconning dimly-remembered high school linguistics lessons to justify it. Noam Chomsky would be proud, if he weren't too busy training for the Dunning-Kruger Prize in International Politics.

webshit weekly (2018/05/14)

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

Google Duplex: An AI System for Accomplishing Real World Tasks Over the Phone
May 08, 2018 (comments)
Google, the provider of reCAPTCHA, a service designed to prevent software from pretending to be people on the internet, brags about their software that pretends to be people on the phone. Hackernews reassures everyone that this is fine, since only idiots talk on the phone. The rest of the comments are all predictions of the amazing new world ushered in by robots lying on telephones.

Seaweed in Cow Feed Reduces Methane Emissions Almost Entirely
May 09, 2018 (comments)
Some Australians feed seafood to cattle. Hackernews uses the story as an excuse to talk about the ocean off the coast of San Francisco. Every single Hackernews is an agribusiness economist.

Google YOLO clickjacking
May 10, 2018 (comments)
A webshit narrates a security flaw inherent in Google trash. Google decides they won't fix it because it would be hard. Hackernews is briefly scandalized, but then Google informs them that this security problem is only available for use by people who give Google a lot of money. Hackernews whiles away the hours by poorly reinventing every single authentication security mechanism ever used.

Pyre: Fast Type Checking for Python
May 11, 2018 (comments)
Some webshits release a toy. Hackernews spends a lot of time and energy debating whether or not it's worth knowing anything about the programming language you're using, but reach no clear conclusions. Growing uncomfortably close to realizing how ill-equipped they are to perform the work they're paid to do, they set about reëvaluating the question from a project management perspective.

Build your own X: project-based programming tutorials
May 12, 2018 (comments)
A webshit sets about creating the Encyclopedia of Wheel Reinvention. Hackernews has several editions of this work and pastes all of them into the comment box. Other Hackernews get confused between 'x' as in a variable name and 'X' as in the windowing system, but it all works out when someone links to several hand-holding resources about that too.

Make front end shit again
May 13, 2018 (comments)
A webshit shits web. The result is a Geocities homage using a mere 200kb of javascript to generate over 13kb of HTML. Even Hackernews is on the fence regarding this being a poorly-executed parody or just an honest webshit who doesn't know any better. A handful of recalcitrant Hackernews opine aloud that perhaps this shit is retarded either way, but they are swiftly beaten into a pulp by passersby. Because there are no CSS gradients, Hackernews uses the word 'brutalism' a lot.

John Carmack: My Steve Jobs Stories
May 14, 2018 (comments)
An old man rambles on Facebook. Because the topic is Apple, it sets off every Google Alert in Redwood City, and Hackernews swoops in to capitalize on the Festival of Namedropping. One Hackernews wants to know how the hell you boot a NeXT box and write software for MS-DOS, which is a totally different "operative system." The answer, of course, is javascript.

webshit weekly (2018/05/07)

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

Amazon threatens to suspend Signal's AWS account over censorship circumvention
May 01, 2018 (comments)
Some nerds are mad that massive corporations won't let them trickfuck internet connections from fascist regimes. The article is composed of pedantic whining about their technical adherence to the protocol specification, which the authors apparently think will prevent third-world despots from shitcanning the entire internet. Hackernews is of two minds on the topic: on one hand, trickfuckery is the primary capital-raising construct Hackernews employs, while on the other hand, these assholes aren't even serving ads or collecting users' personal data. This dichotomy is unresolved, while a much smaller and more interesting debate unfolds. One side believes that the American military should destroy any government inimical to Amazon's profit margins, while the other holds the opinion that maybe mass slaughter is perhaps an overreaction to an internet traffic disagreement. Your editor looks forward to seeing the NO BLOOD FOR URL picketing outside of Amazon HQ.

AT&T updates firmware to block access to
May 02, 2018 (comments)
AT&T continues the war against its own users. Hackernews suspects this action is a simple mistake; after all, anyone at AT&T who understands how a computer works got hired by Google many years ago. Hackernews was briefly concerned about AT&T dropping IPv6 packets as well, before realizing that none of them have IPv6 connections and thus cannot communicate with anything on that protocol at all. The rest of the comment chain is various Hackernews slowly discovering that there are no laws against ISPs fucking with the internet.

Twitter urges users to change passwords after computer 'glitch'
May 03, 2018 (comments)
A software company employing nearly 3500 people to store and display short phrases of plain text managed to fuck up the most basic possible handling of authentication data. Hackernews writes a couple dozen fanfiction accounts of how this idiotic behavior may have arisen, primarily based on their universally-shared experiences of fucking up the most basic possible handling of everything conceivable. Some Hackernews attempt to explain the right approach, but get that wrong too, which leads to some kind of bizarre golf game where they iteratively nudge their understanding of simple security concepts toward approximately the level of a schoolchild who has learned not to write a locker combination directly on the locker in question.

Please Stop Using Adblock (But Not Why You Think)
May 04, 2018 (comments)
An Internet advocates using ad blockers which actually block ads, unlike the ones that call themselves ad blockers and then show ads. Inexplicably, but inevitably, this turns into a series of Hackernews lectures about how "Hacker" "News" is special and precious, because Y Combinator is dumb enough to pay money to fully staff a web forum twenty-four hours a day. After the self-congratulatory pontificating ends, Hackernews returns to its previously scheduled freakout about the entire concept of powering on a computer without any interest in using it to show ads to people who do not want to see them.

“Manager READMEs” from some tech companies
May 05, 2018 (comments)
A webshit collects effluvia from bureaucrats. The middle managers represented are from a chat service, a flea market, a company whose entire domain ships in uBlock Origin's filter list, two spam companies, Netflix for Sundresses, and a character from a webcomic about dicks. Hackernews doesn't like this particular bureaucracy, except for a handful so desperate for their bosses' approval that they're overjoyed to submit to frequent interrogation.

Subscription Hell
May 06, 2018 (comments)
A webshit is mad at having to pay for goods and services. Hackernews is also mad at having to pay for goods and services, but zeroes in on their particular turf: software. Hundreds of comments are posted bitching about having to pay for software at all, having to pay for software on a recurring basis, and the deathless specter of possibly having to pay in the future for something that is currently free of charge.

Conversations with a six-year-old on functional programming
May 07, 2018 (comments)
An academic lies on the internet. Many Hackernews have personally received instruction from this academic, which doesn't bode well for the quality of instruction involved. Hackernews ingests the article at hand and uses it to advocate several horrible education philosophies, invent human intuition from first principles, and then accuse each other of being bad parents.