webshit weekly (2019/04/21)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of April, 2019.

Notre-Dame cathedral: Firefighters tackle blaze in Paris
April 15, 2019 (comments)
The French memorial of the death of Saint Fructuosus gets a little out of hand. Hackernews can't make up their minds whether they are architects, historians, or theoretical firefighters, so the resulting thread contains the absolute finest collection of wild-ass guesses on this range of topics. Because of the sudden nature of the disaster, facts are scarce, and that's where Hackernews feels the most qualified to opine. No technology is discussed.

Animating URLs with JavaScript and Emojis
April 16, 2019 (comments)
A webshit demonstrates the depth of javascript depravity. The demonstration is pointless, wasteful, and obnoxious, so Hackernews is on board for votes, but it is not interesting, so the webshit shows up in the comment thread to talk about how to make bad videos instead.

Post-surgical deaths in Scotland drop by a third, attributed to a checklist
April 17, 2019 (comments)
The World Health Organization demands credit for getting Scottish doctors to kill moderately fewer people. The solution appears to be a checklist, presumably strategically placed between the whisky bottle and the benefits application. Hackernews creates an agile development model for producing checklists, then lists every computer program anyone has ever written to implement them.

Mozilla WebThings
April 18, 2019 (comments)
Mozilla introduces another product that has nothing to do with their only valuable asset. Hackernews is extremely excited, because they regard Mozilla as the only possible resistance against the dominance of Google. Since the primary difference is that when Google arbitrarily terminates a product there are users affected, we can conclude the foremost concern among Hackernews is harm reduction for abandonware.

Austrian government seeks to eliminate internet anonymity, with severe penalties
April 19, 2019 (comments)
Some idiots in Europe want to get into a fistfight with the weather. Hackernews gets into an argument about which countries are going to try to deanonymize the internet next, which countries have laws that would prevent idiocy on this scale, and which countries don't have such laws but are populated with such superior people that nobody would even consider it. Other Hackernews, who have read too many Robert Ludlum novels, tell each other campfire stories about hiding from the government.

Joe Armstrong has died
April 20, 2019 (comments)
A programmer passes away. Hackernews relates stories of the programmer's kindness, and struggles not to notice that they've collectively ignored basically every idea the programmer has expressed for the past thirty years.

SuperTuxKart 1.0 Release
April 21, 2019 (comments)
Some programmers release a new version of their cloned video game. Hackernews can't understand why nobody is charging money for it.

webshit weekly (2019/04/14)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of April, 2019.

Public Sans – A strong, neutral typeface for text or display
April 08, 2019 (comments)
Some bureaucrats set fire to tax money, and the result is a pointless microcustomization of an existing font. Hackernews argues about whether web fonts are a terrible burden or a fundamental human right, but that's just a warmup for the main event: the United States Forestry Service has a website that doesn't work without javascript. Is this a concentrated attack on people with slow computers, or a sign of the times? Explanation not considered: rich, high-bandwidth webshits who suck at their jobs.

Congress Is About to Ban the US Government from Offering Free Online Tax Filing
April 09, 2019 (comments)
The United States Congress continues the war against its own users. In this salvo, webshit middlemen have paid various politicians to ensure their rent-seeking business models will survive. Hackernews wrings its hands at the impossibility of avoiding the webshit middlemen, and wonder aloud if there might be some method of intervening in a market determined to fuck the customer. If only there were someone who could represent American citizens when coming up with these rules!

Unveiling the first-ever image of a black hole [video]
April 10, 2019 (comments)
A pack of Euros gathers together to practice their English. Hackernews trades YouTube links to fill in the vocabulary they're missing. One Hackernews contributes an essay claiming that the lack of global peace could be remediated via marketing. Other Hackernews try, based entirely on the contents of one TEDx talk, to figure out how this cutting-edge multinational radioimaging project works.

Julian Assange arrested in London
April 11, 2019 (comments)
A migrant enlists the help of the Metropolitan Police Service to move house. Hackernews tries to ascertain the facts of the situation and extrapolate next steps, but instead get lost inside the clouds of their own assumptions. Everyone has a good time anyway; nobody at "Hacker" "News" cares what's actually happening anywhere near as much as the opportunity to incorrect one another on police procedure, international law, espionage, journalism, and narcissism.

Katie Bouman, the computer scientist behind the first black hole image
April 11, 2019 (comments)
Hackernews declares an emergency recess from the Wikileaks bickering, as important news is brought to light: one of the scientists who worked on the black-hole imaging research is not only female but had the audacity to lead a project. This horrific breach of "culture fit" rallies Hackernews around the world to question this so-called scientist's credentials, approach, methods, etiquette, personal history, social media output, and even (just in case) whether or not this so-called scientist actually did anything Hackernews can identify as work, such as copying text files to GitHub or blogging about PowerPoint alternatives. None of the Hackernews can quite follow the math well enough to decide, so they declare the black hole picture to be cooties-contaminated and try to put this whole terrifying incident behind them.

Great developers are raised, not hired
April 12, 2019 (comments)
A motivational speaker suggests that more programmers might be successful if anyone bothered to show them what the fuck was going on. Hackernews tries to reconcile this possibility with their personal experience of never getting promoted and only getting raises by finding new strangers to snow. Nobody can seem to figure out what benefit there is in training younger programmers, since the natural result of such mentorship is that little shit is going to go get fuck-you money instead of working for Hackernews. Downthread, Hackernews invents the labor union apprenticeship program from first principles. One Hackernews insists that anyone who fails to devote themselves utterly to whoever hires them is not a 'real engineer.'

South Korea now recycles 95% of its food waste
April 13, 2019 (comments)
Korea alters the disposition of specific kinds of trash, moving it from 'under the ground' to 'on top of the ground.' Hackernews of various nations turn the story into some kind of ecological pissing-match, and start ranting about using machine learning to enable robots to look at garbage. Other Hackernews recite numbers at each other in lieu of understanding. Several Hackernews question the article, and when presented with additional evidence proceed to defend themselves by declaring they did not read the article, and therefore should not be held accountable for the relevance of their arguments.

Single-dose propranolol tied to ‘selective erasure’ of anxiety disorders
April 14, 2019 (comments)
Some academics think they can use chemicals to take the edge off a traumatic memory. Hackernews, as usual, spends the afternoon in a lively game of armchair psychiatric theorizing. Some Hackernews approach it by relating all the myriad self-medication experiments they've undertaken. Others prefer to spend their time imagining a bleak future of oppressive drugged militias. One Hackernews, an advanced player, declares that the mere idea of removing a specific type of anxiety is itself anxiety-inducing. Everyone plays the game differently, but they're all careful not to speak aloud the real reason this story was voted so highly: the promise of a future where Thursday's "culture fit incident" doesn't keep Hackernews awake at night, mourning that one GitHub account's obviously superior commit history.

webshit weekly (2019/04/07)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of April, 2019.

Warp – Mobile VPN
April 01, 2019 (comments)
The idiots who ported DNS to HTTP would like you to beta-test their next rental property. Leery Hackernews demand to know why anyone should trust this company, which all of them already trust. Most of Hackernews tries to guess which programs the company is running, while others try to divine the reason this company wants all of the packets on the internet to route through their servers. The rest of the comments are Hackernews listing similar products they already use or company employees defending the honor of their employer.

I tried creating a web browser, and Google blocked me
April 02, 2019 (comments)
A webshit lacks sufficient funds for Google to care. Hackernews compiles a massive list of people whose fault this is, none of whom work in the information technology industry, because that's where Hackernews works. Debates break out regarding which service comprises the best opportunity to pay money in order to not access data. The rest of the comments are Hackernews prognosticating what a world might look like in which people could pay money for art and then decide for themselves how to consume it.

Ex-Mozilla CTO: I was grilled for three hours at US airport by border cops
April 03, 2019 (comments)
The United States law enforcement community continues its war against everyone who is not a cop. Hackernews accidentally notices this time, because one of the casualties happens to touch computers for a living. The usual bravado shows up in the comment threads, as Hackernews pretends to have all sorts of solutions for police abuse. A steadily-increasing percentage of Hackernews finds it simpler to just declare they'll never visit America again in their lives, as though a life spent outside the United States of America was ever truly lived.

You Are Not Google (2017)
April 04, 2019 (comments)
An Internet reminds us to solve the problems we have, as opposed to solving the problems we aspire to have. Hackernews roundly rejects this advice, because there are so many FOSDEM talks to be given if you adopt a strict policy of resume-driven development.

CityBound – An open source city simulation game in Rust
April 05, 2019 (comments)
A webshit clones SimCity, then arrives in the comments to receive applause. The game claims to be built from many concurrent behavior models, and Hackernews' love for oversimplified views of society, built from arbitrary first principles, ensures the result is extremely popular. When it arises that someone who does not work for Mozilla used Rust, the Rust Evangelism Strike Force tries to throw a party. Compile times piss in the punch bowl.

Nuclear power is the fastest way to slash greenhouse gas emissions, decarbonize
April 06, 2019 (comments)
Three academics have opinions on electricity. One of them is qualified to. Hackernews isn't, but they're going to anyway; as with all of the "strongly-held and poorly-understood opinion" debates Hackernews gets into, the vote-to-comment ratio approaches parity. All of the comments are Hackernews declaring Obvious Facts, and then arguing with the flood of demands for definitions and Wikipedia links. Sample quote: "I'm not so sure I'd pick Democracy over nuclear power."

I Lied When I Said We Did Everything We Could
April 07, 2019 (comments)
A medical professional celebrates April Fools Day by reminiscing about the agonizing, prolonged death of a patient and lying to the surviving family. Hackernews recounts all the deaths and illnesses they've experienced or read about. No technology is discussed, but Hackernews has fun lecturing one another about sectarian differences among religions. Elsewhere, Hackernews struggles to identify nebulous concepts like "fact."