webshit weekly (2020/01/21)

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

Mozilla lays off 70
January 15, 2020 (comments)
Mozilla successfully defends its title as only unprofitable major web browser vendor. The company remains certain that money will begin to flow from its new product, which promises to hide all your web traffic from everyone except Mozilla's primary funding source. Several unemployed Hackernews show up in the comments to tell us they are not angry about being shitcanned with no warning. Another Hackernews thread focuses on the fact that high-paid executives are treated better by the company than people who primarily interact with text editors. Whether this is some kind of class warfare or the Invisible Hand high-fiving the important people comprises the rest of the discussion. The team responsible for the continued functionality of the Beacon API are safe forever.

Unofficial Apple Archive
January 16, 2020 (comments)
Apple's equivalent of SeaOrg catalogues decades of corporate propaganda. Some Hackernews try to decide if Apple made better shit Back In The Goodle Days or if they're just stuck in a nostalgia fog. Other Hackernews gleefully recount their experiences as minor cogs in a massive machine. The rest of the comments are links to other fansites and arguments about which OS X widget theme was correct.

A Sad Day for Rust
January 17, 2020 (comments)
The Rust Evanglism Strike Force regretfully informs us of the excommunication of the author of one of the six Rust programs anyone actually uses. Veterans of the First Webshit Incursion sagely point out that this day was inevitable from the moment the author made use of certain features that are built into the core language but regarded as unclean by the clergy. Other Hackernews chime in to point out the necessity of being extremely polite and receptive to every single message received from anyone with a Github account. Within days, development of the condemned code resumes and the twelve websites which depend on the software do not notice anything happened.

Volkswagen exec admits full self-driving cars 'may never happen'
January 18, 2020 (comments)
A German correctly assesses an engineering problem. Hackernews is convinced that they know better, because a nontrivial percentage of them receive paychecks from companies that have incorrectly assessed the engineering problem, and the rest of them because they personally cannot correctly assess any engineering problem. Half of the almost nine hundred comments are in one thread which consists entirely of arguments between people who drive Teslas once in a while in fair weather and everyone else on Earth.

My FOSS Story
January 19, 2020 (comments)
An Internet struggles to be extremely polite and receptive to every single message received from anyone with a Github account. The article contains a shitload of whining interspersed with, and followed by, admonitions that this shitty situation is in everybody's best interest. Hackernews agrees, and praises the author for arguing with people on the internet. Some Hackernews briefly experiment with the idea that Github pull requests are not the most important webshit technology ever developed, but since all the software that permits disabling them are not Github, no progress is made.

Immune discovery 'may treat all cancer'
January 20, 2020 (comments)
The British Broadcasting Service weasel-words a scientific discovery into clickbait. Hackernews, in between seeing the headline and clicking on the link, sprouts several medical research doctorates and weighs in with sober analysis and whatever medical facts they remember reading recently. Later, Hackernews lists every malady that should be cured. One Hackernews thinks maybe scientific research would work better if it somehow involved pull requests from Hackernews. Even Hackernews thinks this is a terrible idea, but is insufficiently scornful to the originating idiot.

Every Google result now looks like an ad
January 21, 2020 (comments)
An advertising company blurs the line between the dumb shit you searched for and the extremely important and well-targeted information you need. Hackernews doesn't like it, which leads to the same debate Hackernews always has when Google iteratively befucks its search product: "use this other search engine!" "but that is not Google" "no, but you can make it redirect to Google." This is followed, in accordance with Hackernews tradition, by a litany of complaints about other things Google is doing to fuck the internet up for everybody; as it turns out, literally everything Google does is by now aimed at fucking the internet up.

webshit weekly (2020/01/14)

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

Broot – A new way to see and navigate directory trees
January 08, 2020 (comments)
The Rust Evangelism Strike Force, using a mere five thousand lines of code (not counting the twenty remotely-imported libraries), implements a version of ls(1) that is not good at listing files. Hackernews has been looking for a file explorer with a complicated user interface for a very long time, and is extremely pleased. The author shows up, and to demonstrate their gratitude, Hackernews bickers over the Github etiquette, then lists all the other programs that have had the same functionality since the Reagan administration.

BeOS: The Alternate Universe's Mac OS X
January 09, 2020 (comments)
An Internet tries to convince us that a dead operating system was good by comparing it to a bad one. Hackernews experiences a devastating nostalgia storm, which gives way to dozens of minor skirmishes about who was a better middle manager or which 1980s computer processor could do a specific trick. Later Hackernews assert that the industry has progressed far since then, and hold up as evidence a pile of reimplementations of the 1990s software, but with webshit.

VVVVVV’s source code is now public, 10 year anniversary jam happening now
January 10, 2020 (comments)
A computer game gets naked. Hackernews tries to understand how the computer game attained popularity despite not adhering to received programming wisdom. Later, Hackernews mourns the death of Adobe Flash, and investigates the sixteen thousand half-assed replacements that have popped up over the years.

Goodbye, Clean Code
January 11, 2020 (comments)
A webshit seizes the means of abstraction. Having just read an article on the topic of inappropriate rigor in software design, Hackernews sets about generating an inappropriately rigorous metric for deciding when rigor may be inappropriate. In the rest of the discussions, Hackernews debates whether it's appropriate to spend company money duplicating a colleague's work because you didn't like the shape of the text.

Deploy your side-projects at scale for basically nothing – Google Cloud Run
January 12, 2020 (comments)
A webshit enthusiastically emits fifteen hundred words describing Google's reimplementation of CGI, which works absolutely wonderfully as long as nobody uses any of your websites. Hackernews is excited about the possibilities of CGI++, but concerned because (like all cloud services) there's no way to cap expenditures and nobody at the hosting company gives a shit about you or your problems. The cloud apologists arrive to assure everyone that neither of these are problems and you should just relax and move your products into this service ASAP. It's 2020, after all.

iOS 13 app tracking alert has dramatically cut location data flow to ad industry
January 13, 2020 (comments)
Apple successfully reroutes the digital oil pipelines to their own refineries. Hackernews declares that Tim Cook is the chosen one, foretold to defend us from their day jobs. Some light Android astroturfing occurs in response, but is blown away in the relentless gale of hot air about how much Apple cares about us on an intimate, familial level.

Patch Critical Cryptographic Vulnerability in Microsoft Windows [pdf]
January 14, 2020 (comments)
The National Security Agency, for the first time in recorded history, contributes as an Agency to the Security of the Nation. Hackernews is always delighted at the opportunity to be seen in public trying to understand cryptography, even if the lispy webshit they're using isn't really up to the task. Other Hackernews realize, with creeping horror, that Let's Encrypt did not, in fact, protect them against advanced persistent threats, despite the repeated whining from peripheral security-theater hucksters. When will these assholes learn that the only way to respond to a hostile government is to overthrow it? Stay tuned to find out.

webshit weekly (2020/01/07)

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

Software Disenchantment (2018)
January 01, 2020 (comments)
A webshit gets blacklisted from Google I/O. Hackernews spends several hours bikeshedding a car analogy, with an eye toward making excuses for the idiocies outlined in the article. Another Hackernews decides to paste year-old Reddit comments. The rest of the comments follow a general pattern: Hackernews disagrees with the premise, regards it as unrealistic, but whatever software pissed a given Hackernews off recently is the exception and should be eradicated.

Which Emoji Scissors Close?
January 02, 2020 (comments)
An Internet is either bored or salaried. Hackernews posts links to similar obsessions about cellphone cartoons.

EA is permanently banning Linux players on Battlefield V
January 03, 2020 (comments)
Some idiots give money to assholes and get what's coming. Hackernews discusses the core of the problem (people are assholes) and the only possible response to the situation (deal with it or else fuck off). Many Hackernews list the computer games they have played, and reminisce about solutions that worked in the past, but each of them in turn is told that none of those solutions apply any more, or are not worth implementing, and the market dictates that "deal with it or else fuck off" is really best for everyone.

Building a BitTorrent client from the ground up in Go
January 04, 2020 (comments)
A webshit annotates a barely-functioning implementation of a popular piracy tool via Microsoft Paint. Hackernews is unsatisfied with merely getting cartoons about the important parts of the tool; they demand access to the software bureaucracy as well. A discussion breaks out about whether tools like this are doomed to be replaced by webshit reimplementations. The rest of the commenters want to learn Python.

Ask HN: Are books worth it?
January 04, 2020 (comments)
A Hackernews tries to figure out if there's anything important locked away behind arcane NoSQL implementations. Hackernews proceeds to teach one another to read. Not the mechanics of translating linguistic symbols to ideas and information, but the actual practice of identifying, selecting, and reading physical objects. Most of the comments are not contained in threads; instead, Hackernews decided to reply to the original question with over two hundred top-level replies, almost none of which garner a single response. Digging to the bottom of that barrel surfaces a fascinating collection of troglodytes who consider books to be actually dangerous. Finally there's the idiot who complains that phone apps which present ten-minute abstracts of entire books "condensed too much."

Top Paying Tech Companies by SWE Level
January 05, 2020 (comments)
Some webshits dish about scratch. Venture-backed money incinerators vastly overpay junior engineers, while advertising-cum-surveillance networks overpay senior engineers. Pinterest appears in the resulting charts, demonstrating that spamming Google image search results remains a steady source of salaried income for assholes. Hackernews argues about whether any of the numbers are real and how to get someone to give them that much money. No technology is discussed.

Ask HN: I've been slacking off at Google for 6 years. How can I stop this?
January 05, 2020 (comments)
A Google wants to get a real job. Hackernews recommends against this, instead advising the Google to continue grifting corporate money and fornicate more. One Hackernews strongly supports this method, as actual work is apparently to blame for alcoholism and impending suicide. A gratifying number of other Hackernews reach out to offer moral support to this individual. The next comment thread is full of hints and tips at how to snow disinterested managers into thinking you're worth promoting, despite being a net drag on productivity. Each of these threads are nearly three hundred comments long, chock full of Hackernews asking and answering how to be a total piece of shit and still skate through personnel reviews. The rest of the comments are Hackernews struggling with the concept of "meaningful work," and whether that idea is something even remotely possible in real life.

Products I Wish Existed
January 06, 2020 (comments)
Some rich asshole posts a TODO list for someone else to use to make the asshole richer. Almost all of the things on the list exist; a better title would have been "Markets I Wish I Had Invested In." Hackernews selects entries from the list and agrees with them. Along the way, Hackernews invents Lockheed, Friendster, Scratch, Digg, call centers, "premium" tech support, and Mrs. Grundy.

The first chosen-prefix collision for SHA-1
January 07, 2020 (comments)
Cryptographers continue to cryptographate. Math is here, and so Hackernews spends several hours incorrecting one another about the contents of the article, even though it was written in plain English at a high school level (presumably the authors have encountered the internet before). Hackernews tries to muster up some optimism regarding their industry, but then the analogies show up, and several hours are lost trying to navigate back out of that quicksand. The rest of the comments are Hackernews asking each other if the two or three programs they actually use are subject to the described attack. Hackernews thinks they are not. They're not sure. But they're pretty sure.