webshit weekly (2020/09/21)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of September, 2020.

When you browse Instagram and find Tony Abbott's passport number
September 15, 2020 (comments)
An Internet discovers some awful webshit; the reward is a conversation with a politician who attempted to secure personal information by destroying the national internet infrastructure. Hackernews has also discovered, been affected by, or written similarly awful webshit and we are treated to a comprehensive list thereof.

This electrical transmission tower has a problem
September 16, 2020 (comments)
A Twitter provides the backstory for the murder weapon of a serial killer. Hackernews is not comfortable with the Twitter's ascription of responsibility, as holding any California-based institution responsible for lax engineering and shitty maintenance practice would set a dangerous precedent and place most Hackernews at severe risk of exposure to adulthood. The thing about forest fires, says Hackernews, is that they're the fault of the forests.

Cloudflare and the Wayback Machine, joining forces for a more reliable Web
September 17, 2020 (comments)
A library makes Faustian deal with some webshits. Only time will tell if Cloudflare will manage to stay online for a long enough contiguous block of time that the agreed-upon functionality will take effect. Hackernews is relieved that the library has a chance to live through this deal, which causes the rest of Hackernews to angrily declare a free CDN the most important thing any massive corporation could ever have done for society.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died
September 18, 2020 (comments)
A judge has passed away. No technology is discussed.

DuckDB – An embeddable SQL database like SQLite, but supports Postgres features
September 19, 2020 (comments)
Some Internets release some software. The download page detects the user's operating system and, based on this information, presents download links to a different operating system. Hackernews is enthused by this software's similarity to whatever database they have a crush on, unless the database they have a crush on is PostgreSQL, in which case they are angry that this database is insufficiently similar to PostgreSQL.

On the Use of a Life
September 20, 2020 (comments)
An Internet explains that research is for losers and cool people write computer programs. Hackernews thinks so too. The only evidence provided to back up this claim is vague gesturing at lists of computer programs written by people who like writing computer programs, which explains why the people holding this opinion declined to pursue research careers.

I no longer build software
September 21, 2020 (comments)
A programmer escaped. Hackernews is fascinated by this eventuality, and the programmer arrives to narrate the process of digging a tunnel out of computer hell and emerging in the peaceful woodworking career by the time the credits roll. I did not search the comments to see if anyone else made the joke before I decided the title of this story should have been changed to "The Saw Shank Redemption."

webshit weekly (2020/09/14)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of September, 2020.

Why I link to Wayback Machine instead of original web content
September 08, 2020 (comments)
A webshit doesn't like advertising. Hackernews thinks that linking to archives is mean because it deprives webshits of ad revenue and places too much trust in mysterious non-profits with decades of demonstrable good faith activities. An archivist shows up to mention that you can just provide both links and stop whining.

The Long-Term Stock Exchange Opens for Business
September 09, 2020 (comments)
A webshit tries to fix more problems with money. Hackernews doesn't really understand what the hell this is about, but since javascript and money are the only problem-solving tools Hackernews has any faith in, they're very excited by whatever this is. The webshit shows up to answer questions. It doesn't help; even Hackernews can see through the pageantry.

Relativty – An open-source VR headset
September 10, 2020 (comments)
Some dipshits have designed a product that is hundreds of dollars cheaper than its competition, presuming you have thousands of dollars of equipment, years of training, and enough free time. Rather than just enjoying their hobby, the dipshits are convinced it should sustain an entire business. Presumably they can get 100% market penetration amongst all fourteen people who give a shit about VR goggles. Hackernews greatly appreciates technological achievements combined with an obtuse assumption of marketability, so the story receives many votes, but there is no interesting application of homemade VR goggles, so there aren't many comments.

Security by obscurity is underrated
September 11, 2020 (comments)
An Internet defends the concept of 'security through obscurity' by advocating for it to be included in a range of other security measures. Hackernews completely agrees, but at least acknowledges the original admonition against obscurity involved it being the primary security measure. There follows four hundred comments from Hackernews reporting whatever is in their server logs from botnet attacks.

Super Mario Bros. 3 in 3 Minutes – World Record Speedrun Explained [video]
September 12, 2020 (comments)
An Internet makes a video explaining some programming. Hackernews is astounded that someone bothered to understand how a system worked before attempting to program it, but quickly gets distracted by other video games.

Nvidia to Acquire Arm for $40B
September 13, 2020 (comments)
Nvidia saves a few dollars on Tegra license fees. Hackernews cannot figure out why Apple didn't buy this company instead. The rest of the comments are Hackernews naming dead or dying processor architectures they've heard of.

Microsoft's underwater data centre resurfaces after two years
September 14, 2020 (comments)
Microsoft drags its science project back out of the brine, then pretends it was worth doing. There is no useful information in the news article, no actual data presented from Microsoft, and no actionable information to be had anywhere, so Hackernews posts three hundred comments speculating as hard as they can, then incorrecting each other about it.

webshit weekly (2020/09/07)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the twenty-eighth week of March, 2020.

Airline pilots landing at LAX report “a guy in jetpack” flying alongside them
September 01, 2020 (comments)
Someone discovers a flight class lower than coach. Hackernews is entirely populated with aviation experts, since the recent release of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and bickers over whether air traffic controllers are more important than computer programmers.

Ninth Circuit rules NSA's bulk collection of Americans' call records was illegal
September 02, 2020 (comments)
The United States Government admits that there may in fact be a war against its own users. Hackernews blames the deep state, then sets about trying to convince everyone that the actual elected officials are not culpable for any of the things that happen as a direct result of their actions. Later, Hackernews explains that it's unreasonable, in fact, to hold anyone accountable for any actions at all.

David Graeber has died
September 03, 2020 (comments)
A teacher is gone. Hackernews' response varies according to whether they were instructed to like specific books or not.

Reddit app got 50M downloads by making mobile web experience miserable
September 04, 2020 (comments)
Some webshits build a waterslide into a surveillance cesspool. Hackernews explores the borderland between basing one's business on assholery in pursuit of revenue and building a business that sustains itself without such fuckery. The consensus emerges that being a tremendous dickhead is the only way to earn money, and if you're a big enough dickhead, you might earn enough money to subsidize something that a few people find useful.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS’ snap obsession has snapped me off of it
September 05, 2020 (comments)
Some assholes build a waterslide into a surveillance cesspool, but people are beginning to decline free tickets. Hackernews is torn between an abiding appreciation for the needless complexity and the fact that the resulting technology kind of sucks in every possible way. If only, moans Hackernews, there were a way we could permanently ensconce forty years of Unix mistakes and still be able to scroll down without invoking thermal shutdown? Ah well, sighs Hackernews, maybe next decade.

Common color mistakes and how to avoid them
September 06, 2020 (comments)
Some Powerpoint zombies excrete Blog Lecture Nº 45,301,322 in the Pretending Color Theory Is Worth This Many Words series. Hackernews enjoys deep-dive bikeshedding about things that most people will not ever care about, but since there's so little actual content present they generally have to invent things to argue about. Everyone else on Earth continues to use the default colors of their software (or the templates provided by the corporate communications department) and it continues to work just fine.

BitTorrent v2
September 07, 2020 (comments)
Some Internets post an extremely detailed treatise regarding updates to software that do not in any meaningful way affect any users. Fortunately, the Internets in question are mostly sane, and so the new version can coexist with the old version, and users may continue not caring. Hackernews quietly observes the competence, then starts bitching about Bitcoin. Other Hackernews wish the software did more to foil the interference caused by the companies Hackernews pays every month.