webshit weekly (2017/03/21)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of March, 2017.

Chekhov: “Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions”
March 15, 2017 (comments)
An internet rehosts snippets of Chekov on medium.com. Hackernews mostly trades advice on not being a piece of shit (a topic on which Hackernews apparently requires extensive manual training), with brief intermezzi in which they tell each other to read the original Russian instead.

An 85-year old millionaire hides $1M treasure in the Rocky Mountains (2016)
March 16, 2017 (comments)
A crank published a book of clues to the location of treasure he claims to have hidden. Hackernews bikesheds the process of hiding treasure, the process of seeing if anyone has found it, the process of claiming hidden treasure, the process of hiking, and the process of camping. A recurrent theme is that people have died in the wild and this is somehow an old man's fault, because he wrote a book.

GNU Guile 2.2.0
March 17, 2017 (comments)
Some religious extremists updated their cult-approved Scheme implementation. Hackernews is pleased that this version is bug-compatible with a bad text editor. One Hackernews asks if Guile is relevant, which produces a thread full of more affirmative answers than there are Guile users on Earth. Another asks why Lisp syntax looks the way it does; that post is used as a downvote repository while Hackernews holds forth on code generation and clarity. The longest explanations are from those who have never used Lisp, as usual.

Lack of Oxford Comma Could Cost Maine Company Millions in Overtime Dispute
March 18, 2017 (comments)
Maine's politicians are apparently not fully literate, and a company is in a world of shit for interpreting a vaguely-written law in a manner that saved them money. Of course Hackernews wonders why lawyers don't write laws in the style of computer programs, because nobody's ever managed to fuck up writing a computer program. One Hackernews wonders if unit tests would help. The rest of the comments are sob stories about being poorly treated at entry-level retail jobs and rehashed comma-usage arguments.

Intellectual Humility increases tolerance, improves decision-making
March 19, 2017 (comments)
Some academics would like people to be able to admit they might be wrong. Hackernews angrily proclaims such a sin would immediately lead to an ignoble death of impoverished starvation. One Hackernews floats the idea that perhaps one might admit to oneself that one might be wrong, while outwardly projecting an aura of infallibility. The rest of Hackernews is quick to insist that such behavior is not possible -- if you even entertain the notion that you are not the sole source of reliable truth, you will die alone.

Intel’s first Optane SSD: 375GB that you can also use as RAM
March 20, 2017 (comments)
Intel releases new expensive drives that are almost, but not really, fast enough to be used as random-access memory. The drives require an OS under your OS to live up to marketing hype. Hackernews debates whether the hype is worth believing by exchanging third-party blog posts on the topic, all of which were written before the product was announced and none of which are based on any actual testing. The "this is HUGE" post is made and Hackernews trades misconceptions about why. The rest of the comments speculate on which shitty database technology will get faster when the commenter's company shits money at Intel instead of fixing their code.

The Document Which Used to Be Called the MIT Lockpicking Guide (1992)
March 21, 2017 (comments)
An internet claims they're "linking to" a lockpicking guide "for educational purposes", then proceeds to host the document in its entirety. Hackernews decides that locks aren't enough, and in fact walls aren't enough. Some Hackernews bikeshed OCR, document typesetting, and file formats. One Hackernews keeps getting his shit stolen at the gym. Hackernews advises him to use a better lock, don't use a better lock, carry a safe around, leave all his shit at home, hire a security guard, or leave all his shit in his car.

webshit weekly (2017/03/14)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of March, 2017.

How the Instant Pot cooker developed a cult following
March 08, 2017 (comments)
Someone associated with Blackberry finally makes a popular product. Rather than focusing on the actual point of the article, Hackernews slobbers about pressure cookers for two days, demonstrating that if you point something out to a webshit, they'll just look at your finger.

The Rusty Web: Targeting the Web with Rust
March 09, 2017 (comments)
The Rust Evangelism Strikeforce tries to convince web programmers to care about their cult. They mask their shame by pretending Rust is being compiled to a special web assembly language (it's actually just being translated to javascript, like everything else on earth). Hackernews is excited about the opportunity to find out if the type of a blown stack is 'null' or 'undefined,' but nobody can get the program to run.

Airbnb raises $1B at $31B valuation, became profitable in 2016
March 10, 2017 (comments)
AirBnB, whose business model is "Uber for toilets," claims it's finally making money, a claim backed up by the fact that it just borrowed another billion dollars. Half of the comments are from people slowly realizing why consumer protection laws exist. The other half are from people trying to figure out what AirBnB is hiding from by not taking the company public.

Show HN: Sleeping Beauty, a 7-day roguelike game
March 11, 2017 (comments)
Some dickhead made a roguelike with a javascript implementation of a VT220. The nerdfest that ensues in response is identical to every other roguelike release. The Hackernews twist: dozens of commenters fantasizing about making their own roguelike in various idiotic programming languages.

A little-known iPhone feature that lets blind people see with their fingers
March 12, 2017 (comments)
SPOILER ALERT: it's a screen reader. The author seems surprised it has features catering to visually-impaired people. Yahoo considers this a finance story. Hackernews is full of people who see perfectly fine but are better-informed than visually-impaired people. One idiot whines about Apple products being closed source, but has no intention of rectifying the functionality gap. Nobody makes the "in the land of the blind the one iPhone is king" joke.

How the Maker of TurboTax Fought Free, Simple Tax Filing (2013)
March 13, 2017 (comments)
SPOILER ALERT: lobbying. Hackernews International beats off about not being American. Hackernews US either makes too much money to give a shit or else believes that politicians are evil masterminds from whom there is no escape. Or both.

Simple example of machine learning in TensorFlow
March 14, 2017 (comments)
A grad student posts his TensorFlow hello world program for approximately the fifth time. Hackernews has the attention span of a methed-out ferret, so this gets upvoted to the front page again. Sample quote: "This has been done before, though by who eludes me. I've seen it here on HN a few years ago." The Hackernews who posted the link -- the same person who wrote the code -- contributes nothing further to the discussion.

webshit weekly (2017/03/07)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of March, 2017.

Ask HN: How would you turn Twitter around?
March 01, 2017 (comments)
Jack Dorsey posts incognito as phase one of his search for Twitter's next part-time CEO. One Hackernews suggests maybe not flushing two billion dollars a year down the toilet, and is immediately attacked as unreasonable. The rest of Hackernews debates the merits of charging monthly fees, which nobody would ever pay, or else suggests approaches taken by failed companies in the past.

Nintendo Switch review: pure potential
March 02, 2017 (comments)
An internet posts an entirely content-free assesment of a brand-new product based on six hours of use. Hackernews is pissed that this video game console isn't an ipad, a phone, a laptop, or a different, older video game console. Some idiots take this opportunity to rekindle the SNES vs Genesis flamewar.

Why we are not leaving the cloud
March 03, 2017 (comments)
Some internets retract a previous blog post, based on blog comments. This would not normally be interesting, except in this case the blog post in question was corporate policy. Given that this company is the same one that accidentally shitcanned customer data and thus discovered none of their five backups worked, customers may want to consider migrating away from this service unless they see a CTO posting in their "Careers" page. Hackernews copies and pastes all the previous blog comments into this thread.

How we secretly introduced Haskell and got away with it
March 04, 2017 (comments)
Some idiots replace an overbuilt, needlessly-complicated cron replacement written in Python with an overbuilt, needlessly-complicated cron replacement written in haskell. Their claimed advantages boil down to "compiling." Hackernews immediately realizes two things:

  1. Any time you rewrite an existing system you will have fewer bugs, since you are more familiar with implementation details in its context.
  2. Since there's nothing interesting in this article about functional programming, this is a perfect opportunity for the Rust Evangelism Strikeforce to circle up and get lubed.

A Programmer’s Introduction to Unicode
March 05, 2017 (comments)
Indistinguishable Unicode Primer #4,592 is posted to the internet. Hackernews trades implementation trivialities they encountered while they each implemented all of typography from scratch in javascript. One particularly dense Hackernews unironically recommends something Joel Spolsky wrote, but even Hackernews knows that guy is a dipshit. The rest of the comments are entertaining, if you like watching professional programmers confuse each other about the differences between bytes, characters, and code points.

Akiyoshi's Illusion Pages
March 06, 2017 (comments)
Hackernews considers some optical illusions. Half of them pine for the days of HTML 3, the other half wonder if androids dream of electric Escher. One guy posts his undergraduate thesis in computer vision. Nobody replies.

World’s richest doctor gave away millions, then steered the cash to his company
March 07, 2017 (comments)
A reporter catches some rich guy laundering money through a university, but not in time to stop him, or have any other effect. Hackernews spends some time being nonprofit fiduciary experts, until someone reminds us that Beatus Graham publicly espoused the holy virtue of Naughtiness, at which point the wagons are circled and the Doublethink Cavalry defends the pioneers. Meanwhile, the money launderer is being considered for Federal office.