webshit weekly (2020/10/21)

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

A warning about Glassdoor
October 15, 2020 (comments)
A Reddit points out that some webshit will say whatever you like if you give them enough money. Hackernews takes turns relating the sobering tales of the time Hackernews discovered that random unattributable internet comments were not sound bases for career guidance. The real warning about glassdoor is never revealed, so I will say it here: put decorative objects on your glass doors so birds and other wildlife don't conk into them and die.

AWS forked my project and launched it as its own service
October 16, 2020 (comments)
A webshit applies a copyright license to some software, posts it on the internet, and then whines when someone else complies with the terms of the license. Some Amazon Community Management Operatives deploy to the resulting comment thread to assure the world that they do indeed plan to send the webshit a t-shirt or whatever else will make this idiotic non-problem blow over. Since half of Hackernews works for Amazon already, they are gratified to see this timely and considerate lip service on a web forum.

We deleted the production database by accident
October 17, 2020 (comments)
A webshit writes a blog about not understanding how a program works. The surprise twist: the webshit wrote the code and still doesn't know what's going on. Hackernews' initial reaction is that this is a stupid problem which only a stupid person would have, which is true, and then later Hackernews come along to point out that there's no sense in being an asshole about it, which is also true. The rest of the comments constitute a debate regarding whether and why a programmer should actually know what the hell is going on at any given time, and the overwhelming consensus is that this is not possible and that's the way it ought to be.

Chrome exempts Google sites from user site data settings
October 18, 2020 (comments)
A webshit is shocked to discover that Google wrote a web browser that serves Google's interests. Hackernews marvels at the degree of user-fucking Google continually seems to get away with, and wonders if there's ever going to be a limit. Since the only entities on Earth capable of producing any stimulus sufficient to provoke a reaction from Google are all nuclear-armed nations, the answer is a resounding "no."

This page is a truly naked, brutalist HTML quine
October 19, 2020 (comments)
A webshit thinks 'brutalist design' includes soft, pastel colors. The program being described as a quine is in fact some typesetting markup which requires several operating systems working in concert to render, and could just as well have been plain text with a different Content-type: header. It also bizarrely contains an external link to its source code, which seems extraneous for a quine. Hackernews lists every program whose output they consider to be pretty.

U.S. Accuses Google of Illegally Protecting Monopoly
October 20, 2020 (comments)
The United States Government declares war on its own contractor. Hackernews writes eight hundred comments incorrecting one another about internal Google advertising policies to which they have absolutely no access, reverse-engineering a bureaucrat's intentions regarding the timing of this case, whining about presidential candidates, and accusing Google of giving a shit which political party is sucking up to them at any given time.

Facebook Container for Firefox
October 21, 2020 (comments)
Mozilla shakes down a social media startup by blocking its advertising technology. Why Facebook is subject to this interference and Google is not is not explained in the documentation, except possibly by the Google Analytics deployment in the product page's source code. Hackernews links to other Firefox extensions, which will presumably work until the next minor release of Firefox, which will remove key APIs, implement whatever Google thinks should be next week's HTML standard, and include a sad-face emoji alongside the announcement of further layoffs. The CEO of Mozilla earned over $85 for every line of code in the extension's repository.

webshit weekly (2020/10/14)

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

Facebook is a monopoly that buys, copies, kills competitors: antitrust committee
October 08, 2020 (comments)
The House Judiciary Committee drops some serious hints that it would like extra gold bars in Candy Crush. Hackernews doesn't like the hypercentralization of the web but isn't really convinced there's anything to be done about it. A debate breaks out regarding whether Microsoft are still assholes.

ProtonMail CEO calls Apple's forced in-app purchases 'Mafia extortion'
October 09, 2020 (comments)
A security theater stage manager wants to sling on Apple's block without paying tribute. Hackernews recognizes a turf scuffle when they see one, but they split up to root for opposite sides, depending on whether they're happier with Apple's refund policy or their bank's chargeback procedures.

Apple tells Telegram to take down protestor channels in Belarus
October 10, 2020 (comments)
Apple joins the war against the Belarusian populace. Their opening salvo: helping police evade responsibility for their actions. Hackernews once again struggles to resolve an essential dichotomy; on the one hand, vicious oppression is bad optics, but on the other hand, nobody on Earth should be allowed to criticize tech companies. A "Hacker" "News" hall monitor arrives to make one thing absolutely clear: the chat app in question has been banned wholesale from submission to "Hacker" "News" because some of its content requires logging in to access, sort of like "Hacker" "News" comments from people who criticize tech companies.

The AMD Radeon Graphics Driver Makes Up Roughly 10.5% of the Linux Kernel
October 11, 2020 (comments)
AMD's graphics drivers weigh in at approximately three hundred lines of code per transistor. Hackernews makes excuses so that we can pretend this is reasonable, then shifts back to bitching about Nvidia not sharing their source code.

The Serverless Revolution Has Stalled
October 12, 2020 (comments)
The actual headline is "Why the Serverless Revolution Has Stalled," but the article body sadly does not just contain the text "504 Gateway Timeout." Hackernews is composed of people who grew up accustomed to treating AWS outages as catastrophic weather events, and people who grew up learning how to mitigate problems. The risk-assessment chasm between these two groups is demonstrated in the comments to be unbridgeable, but in the process Hackernews executes some kind of asymptotic approach to understanding the benefits of publicly-developed standards for interoperability -- they edge ever closer, but never quite reach the finish line.

2.1M of the oldest Usenet posts are now online for anyone to read
October 13, 2020 (comments)
A lone hero singlehandedly deals a major setback to Google's war against their own users. Hackernews tries to figure out why the dirty words are censored, then talks the hero into uncensoring them. One Hackernews struggles to understand how communication was possible on the internet without the involvement of HTTP. Other Hackernews invent obvious lies in which they pretend that there has ever been anything but REST APIs.

Room-Temperature Superconductivity Achieved for the First Time
October 14, 2020 (comments)
Some scientists achieve superconductivity, but the preconditions required are still extreme, so Hackernews' response is ... lukewarm. Most of the comments involve Hackernews trying to fit this article into the rest of the pop science they read today, in order to perform innovation-like text output via some kind of manual Markov chain process.

webshit weekly (2020/10/07)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of October, 2020.

My friend starts her job today, after learning to program in prison
October 01, 2020 (comments)
A Bay Area company hires a programmer with an unusual background: someone who has actually studied software engineering. Several Hackernews have attempted this, and met with mixed results. The other Hackernews gather around to incorrect each other about why, exactly, companies might shitcan an otherwise-qualified candidate. While a very few Hackernews have productive suggestions regarding ways to help fellow human beings not die in poverty, for the most part the comment threads constitute a series of defenses on why basically everyone on earth is unemployable for some reason or another. There is nothing we can do about this, reasons Hackernews, because any attempt to improve anything at all won't immediately fix all problems and is therefore not worth pursuing. Ban the box, you shits.

What is the best dumb TV?
October 02, 2020 (comments)
A spam blog would like to earn a commission by linking to Amazon.com. Hackernews would like some other dumb products. One third of their comments are about microwaves.

Honda quits F1, invests in carbon-free tech instead
October 03, 2020 (comments)
Honda, desperately searching for a way to avoid filling Formula 1 headlines with reports of embarrassing engine failures, suddenly realizes it already had a plan that worked for it in the past: giving up and going home. Hackernews is mad that Honda claimed they're leaving because of fossil fuel concerns instead of because Honda makes shit engines that can't win races. The rest of the comments are Hackernews typing in the same complaints about F1 racing as other web forums do every day, except now they're suddenly interspersed with comments from people who think all sports are stupid or people who are amazed to 'discover' that automotive engineers use computers.

French bar owners arrested for offering free WiFi but not keeping logs
October 04, 2020 (comments)
The French government black-bags some recalcitrant citizenry who refuse to narc on their patrons. Hackernews muses on the morality of government, and has many suggestions on how to make it truly just, most of which are based on common software-as-a-service terms and conditions. Most of the rest of the comments are trying to figure out why France hates bars. Later, the "why aren't laws written like computer programs" assholes show up.

Missing Covid-19 test data was caused by the ill-thought-out use of Excel
October 05, 2020 (comments)
Microsoft Office singlehandedly reduces the COVID-19 infection rate in the United Kingdom. Hackernews lists every single inconvenience they have ever suffered at the hands of Microsoft Excel. Other Hackernews insist that the first group is just holding it wrong. There follows a really long and completely uninteresting dialectic regarding authorial intent as applied to computer programs.

Trump administration announces overhaul of H1B visa program requiring higher pay
October 06, 2020 (comments)
The Department of Homeland Security decides to give some people a raise. Hackernews struggles with understanding nonimmigrant visas in terms other than purely economic, and keeps stumbling across the fact that the holders of these visas are human actual beings. The comment threads are therefore a collaboration wherein Hackernews attempts to ascertain exactly which of and to what degree those human beings can go fuck themselves. The hall monitor shows up to point out that the "Hacker" "News" forum software is incapable of handling more than a couple hundred comments, and there are in fact several pages of pointless bickering, which is very important information.

Recycling was a lie to sell more plastic, recycling industry veteran says
October 07, 2020 (comments)
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports news that the Pacific Ocean has known for decades. Hackernews knew it all along, even though they had previously based their opinions on childlike misinterpretations of accounting practices instead of actual information about the industry in question. Once again, this problem is declared intractable: any possible improvement falls short of perfection, and thus must be ridiculed as infeasible. The most Hackernewsest thought process comes from the moron who scoffs at "washing bottles for reuse" as a waste of energy, when you can just make new petroleum-based plastic bottles instead.