webshit weekly (2019/10/14)

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

Blizzard Suspends Professional Hearthstone Player for Hong Kong Comments
October 08, 2019 (comments)
A computer game company takes a brave stand against freedom. Hackernews doesn't think it's fair to hold poor little multinational corporations responsible for defending the civil rights that enabled them to become multinational corporations; this is work best left to individual internet commenters. The right way to fix all this, says Hackernews, is copyright law reform. Other Hackernews debate whether software users should be banned from corporate services immediately upon expressing any opinions, or whether it's better to wait a bit so we can be sure we only blacklist people who actually mean the things they say. The broad consensus is that people should be allowed to say whatever they want in any venue they happen to find, unless it might cost a massive corporation any profit at all, in which case everyone should shut the fuck up.

Ken Thompson's Unix Password
October 09, 2019 (comments)
Some Internets solve an ancient word scramble. Hackernews doesn't really care, but a famous person is in the article title so they vote for the story. In the comments, Hackernews lines up to tell stories about word scrambles they solved once. Later, Hackernews tries to understand how ancient internet tribes managed to communicate with one another using nothing but text. One Hackernews unearths ancient mailing list technology and the rest speculate on how anyone could have used this without machine learning to tell them which messages to care about.

Broken
October 10, 2019 (comments)
Apple's loyal opposition supplicates for relief. Some Apples show up in the comments to bemoan the sorry state of engineering at the company. Hackernews decides the problem is that computer programmers aren't in charge of the company, and then the comment thread collapses into a cycle of bug reports and reverse engineering the bugs based on webshit programming experience. Nobody stops sending Apple money. None of them ever will.

Why Enterprise Software Sucks
October 11, 2019 (comments)
An academic takes to Twitter to explain that people who use tools pick better tools than tools who use people. Hackernews misses the entire point and whines about pedagogical technology. Later, a few Hackernews cotton on to the academic's original message, but get the point backwards, and decide that all the dumb shit is the only reason bad software gets purchased. Finally, Hackernews complains that their job is too hard and they can't seem to get it done, but they're going to keep cashing the checks anyway.

A uBlock Origin update was rejected from the Chrome Web Store
October 12, 2019 (comments)
Google continues the war against its own users. Once enough whining occurs, a Google logs into Reddit and reports having saved the day. We are instructed by this Google to complain on Twitter if our software is mysteriously ejected from the garden. Hackernews can't decide whether Google has finally gotten so untouchably huge that it no longer needs to give a shit about any non-Google employee at all or if Google has finally gotten so unmanageably huge that it just hires morons and ships whatever garbage software they produce without any quality control. The answer is both, of course, but Hackernews gets bored with this question and decides the real problem is economics. One Hackernews posts the traditional "this monopoly must be broken up" starting gun, and the rest are off to the races, incorrecting one another on economic theory, corporate governance, the nature of commerce, and the actual definitions of any of the words used.

Flash Is Responsible for the Internet's Most Creative Era
October 13, 2019 (comments)
Some webshits, overwhelmed by nostalgia, overestimate the value of a specific remote-code execution vector. We can look forward in ten or twenty years to a followon work entitled "WebAssembly is Responsible for the Internet's Most Creative Era." Hackernews all remember the specific eighteen-month window when Shockwave and Flash were en vogue, and so we are treated to a couple hundred stories of the one time each Hackernews did something useful with it. Many Hackernews speculate on what the next creative internet medium might be. We can take for granted it will again come in the form of a tightly-controlled corporate platform, because freedom can only truly be experienced through the lens of an honestly-acquired license key.

“My Google account got suspended because of NewPipe”
October 14, 2019 (comments)
An Internet trolls some programmers. Hackernews takes the bait; not because the troll did a particularly good job selling the joke, but because all the services upon which Hackernews relies are so poorly run that Hackernews regularly experiences the same problems. Some Hackernews correctly ascertain that the troll cannot be telling the truth, as the bug report claims Google gave enough of a shit to explain the locked account, when everybody knows that Google under no circumstances gives a single shit about anyone.

webshit weekly (2019/10/07)

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

Boris Johnson uses search terms in interviews to hide negative articles?
October 01, 2019 (comments)
An Internet accuses a clod of being a secret genius. Hackernews is skeptical that anyone could possibly derail the almighty Google search results, despite half of them spending a significant portion of their lives trying to work out how to do exactly the same thing. Everyone here involved (Boris Johnson, Google, and Hackernews) has their degree of competence massively overestimated, and then Hackernews goes deep trying to divine the moral compasses of people thousands of miles away and uninterested in the opinion of Hackernews.

Hong Kong protest safety app banned from iOS store
October 02, 2019 (comments)
Apple maintains its title of "most courageous computer vendor" by immediately capitulating to the despots who control their industrial supply line. In line with this principled bravery, they cement their legacy of fearlessness by immediately reversing their policy the instant someone criticizes it. Hackernews delights at the opportunity to overlay Chinese anti-insurrection laws atop Apple's App Store policies and attempt to discern the shortest path to publishing a cellphone program that complies with the letter of the resulting policy while completely ignoring its intent. A few Hackernews point out that neither the Chinese dictators nor the App Store executive vice presidents are beholden to their own regulations, but they're distractedly hushed by those engrossed in the game.

Attorney General will ask Zuckerberg to halt plans for end-to-end encryption
October 03, 2019 (comments)
Some government bureaucrats, who possess no understanding of encryption, networks, computers, or telephony, attempt to concern-troll a corporation with a track record of never being held accountable by any government. The bureaucrats seem convinced that being able to talk to someone else without some cops eavesdropping will somehow hurt children. Hackernews isn't sure if this is true. That is to say, some Hackernews are unconvinced that the safety of children is the primary concern of the bureaucrats, and other Hackernews are unconvinced that privacy will necessarily cause harm to children. Nobody in the respective governments or the corporation in question is interested in the opinions of any other party in this conversation, but Hackernews has a good time trying to reverse-engineer everyone else's intentions. Later, Hackernews tries to decide if jerking it to pictures of naked kids emboldens sickos to move on to actually interfering with alive kids, or if there's just a basic percentage of child-fucking that we just have to accept is going to happen in human society.

Pricing niche products
October 04, 2019 (comments)
Some nerds with a specific hobby spend a lot of money on it. Hackernews, experts on economics and associated psychological treatises, weigh in on the correct methods for charging money to do things. When considering the method of determining optimum price for a consumer product relative to the market for that product, nobody remembers to suggest raising venture capital to overpay for the entire production run, then writing a cellphone program to allow people to rent the products while you file for an IPO and hope you can pay back your investors with the resulting stock sale. Sadly, this omission may be due to the entirety of Hackernews yelling at each other about which keyboard is best, whether any keyboards are even good, and what kind of an idiot even needs a keyboard, given that your Macbook Pro already came with one.

Google, Xiaomi, and Huawei affected by zero-day flaw that unlocks root access
October 05, 2019 (comments)
The Gros Michel operating system experiences a resurgence of Panama disease. The main producer advises distributors to switch cultivars, but most stores are just going to have to rely on existing stocks until the supply line catches up or the bottom falls out of their stock. Hackernews experiments with blaming the people who noticed the infection, but mostly just gripes about the fact that the farmers aren't very good at their jobs. Other Hackernews suggest switching to a different fruit. A Rust Evanglism Strike Force member, disheveled and lost, feebly waves a banner, but is bowled over by a light breeze of downvotes and does not get back up.

Stack Overflow Inc. Fiasco: Timeline
October 06, 2019 (comments)
An Internet who is obsessed with a web forum types eighteen hundred words about the web forum operators continuing the war against their own users. The web forum in question is extremely important to Hackernews, since it serves as a substitute for an actual education. It's not possible to tell if Hackernews is mad that people have opinions about how they are treated on the internet or if Hackernews is mad that someone is threatening the Codex Decuplus, from which all nodeledge stems. The argument is determined to be a perfect platform from which to announce an utter disinterest in "politics," which is a word that Hackernews understands to mean "any issue that does not directly affect a meaningful percentage of the FAANG companies' boards of directors." The reasoning is that if those boards are unaffected, Hackernews is unlikely to be directly affected now or in the foreseeable future, so the people who are raising this issue are irrelevant twerps. The users of the web forum are urged to ignore this distraction and get back to cataloging the text that Hackernews will be pasting into VS Code next week.

Apple Hides Taiwan Flag in Hong Kong
October 07, 2019 (comments)
Apple continues dauntlessly to stand up for its corporate values: Accessibility (the Chinese government has access to Apple's product management), Education (we'll teach you to stand up for yourselves), Environment (these changes should result in a marked decrease in tear gas canister expenditure), Inclusion and Diversity (Apple will equitably narc on dissidents from all walks of life), Privacy (Apple will do its utmost to assist you in keeping your beliefs to yourself), and Supplier Responsibility (never has a computer vendor been more responsible to the nation of its suppliers). Hackernews is infuriated by the idea that there may exist an entity with enough power to dictate terms to a tech company, since only tech companies are possessed of the divine right. The resulting freakout calls into question the rule of law, the practice of sovereign treaty, how powerful a country must be before it's worth taking their government seriously, who should be in charge of reinventing statehood from first principles, and which companies are best suited to standing up to oppressors. Apple takes no note of this dialogue; its policy remains steadfast. Whether an old person falls over or a young person stands up, Apple will call the cops.

webshit weekly (2019/09/30)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of September, 2019.

Almost one in five men admits to having no close friends, a survey has found
September 22, 2019 (comments)
Some webshit pollsters decide that 18% of men are friendless. There might be more information, but News Corp failed to make a case for getting money in return for finding out what the Times thinks about webshit pollsters. Hackernews recounts their efforts to find and foster friendship, all of which centers around internet comments. Later in this series of internet comments, some Hackernews accuse others of being deviated mutants. The largest comment thread centers around the difficulty of getting people to keep liking you as you age into adulthood but continue participating in "Hacker" "News".

Serverless: slower and more expensive
September 23, 2019 (comments)
A webshit finds some more expensive hosting. Hackernews helpfully explains that the proper way to use this kind of hosting is to throw all your shit in the trash and rewrite it to work only with this specific hosting provider. Some Hackernews suspect this is not the best possible path forward, but other Hackernews assure them that it works really well for organizations who have realized computers are hard and it's much simpler to base your entire business on blind faith in an internet-based bookstore department store freelance surveillance contractor.

Bike crash left Spokane man unconscious, so his Apple Watch called 911
September 24, 2019 (comments)
An elderly person falls off a bicycle and is rescued by jewelry. This is regarded as noteworthy, even though my butler would have worked just as well for the purpose. Hackernews tries to figure out if this is just a cynical viral marketing piece from the jewelry manufacturer, a notoriously slow-selling and impoverished business known for its inability to move product. Hackernews bickers over whether failure to acquire this specific jewelry constitutes rank negligence, then bickers over which brand of jewelry is the most responsible purchase. Poor people are, of course, welcome to just die in an alley somewhere for free.

WeWork and Counterfeit Capitalism
September 25, 2019 (comments)
An Internet takes a close look at a ridiculous startup (business model: "Uber for desks"). Hackernews, analyzing the analysis, consistently fails to read even one sentence past a bit that makes them mad enough to post internet comments. In particular, the author dares to compare a shitty amoral turf-building exercise with Amazon, which is an unassailably ethical and sound business which does not in any way exploit a single human being.

What do executives do, anyway?
September 26, 2019 (comments)
An internet finds out how leadership works. Hackernews knows better, and loudly proclaims the correct answers. We are treated to a lesson in effectiveness from a Y Combinator veteran founder/CEO whose publicly-traded company has never turned a profit. The rest of the comments are Hackernews naming corporate executives and then armchair quarterbacking the companies for which the executives work. No technology is discussed.

Microplastics found in 93% of bottled water tested in global study
September 27, 2019 (comments)
Some scientists find some trash in some water. Hackernews tries to ascertain whether this is a reasonable possibility, relying on important scientific resources like some hiking webshit comments about cooking in beer cans, Thai street vendors, and television magicians. The rest of the comments are from Hackernews making assumptions about the study in the article, arguing with those assumptions, and never checking any of them.

Microsoft has removed the “use offline account” option when installing Windows
September 28, 2019 (comments)
Some idiots on Reddit confuse each other about bad software. Hackernews angrily insists that the mentioned feature is not gone, it's just hidden behind a different, unrelated feature, with no indication that's where it went. Some discussion arises as to whether this is still a dick move, but Hackernews is hesitant to criticize the software decisions of a company that makes their text editor and issue tracker. The customer service decisions are a separate matter, and after several hundred comments whining about Xbox support, we're finally left with the few brave souls who remember the last six thousand times Microsoft actively abused its customers, and wonder if maybe nothing's really changed in Redmond.

Starship Prototype Unveiled
September 29, 2019 (comments)
Elon Musk teaches a remedial course designed to remind journalists how correctly to worship Elon Musk. The author of this article failed the course, because we're reminded of the fact that Musk's company is parading around intent to take randos to the moon while completely failing to deliver on government contracts to take actual astronauts into space at all. Hackernews, however, passed the course with flying colors, turgidly murmuring the engine specifications while scrambling to disregard the efforts of hundreds of real engineers and ascribe their work to some idiot who likes to argue with strangers on Twitter.

In Defense of Richard Stallman
September 30, 2019 (comments)
Some webshit is angry about an elderly moron being held accountable. The argument goes that we should tolerate decades of pedo apologism, creepy behavior, and general asshattery because the author agrees with some legal opinions of the creep in question. It is this moron's right, so the argument goes, to act and think like a shithead, because otherwise we might not have got a specific legal document, which a subset of computer nerds finds valuable. Hackernews takes this weak-ass argument and with it builds a springboard from which to dive into an open cesspit, finally freed of the requirement that they act like human beings even for a moment. None of the comments presented in this thread are new, and none of them are interesting. It's just several hundred adult human beings, furious that someone might be judged on the content of their character, instead of the topic they told you to consider.