webshit weekly (2018/12/07)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of December, 2018.

A Programmer's Introduction to Mathematics
December 01, 2018 (comments)
A Google wrote a book trying to teach math to computer programmers. Hackernews skips to the back to check for answers. Not finding any, they attempt to rectify the omission using the only tool they know: Github. One Hackernews declares that mathematics suffers from a 'lack of rigor,' unlike computer programming. I weathered this irony storm long enough to see that the next thread contained Hackernews arguing about the proper way to operate books. Further deponent readeth not.

I quit Instagram and Facebook and it made me happier
December 02, 2018 (comments)
A journalist abandons social media and writes an article about it, which contains a link to the journalist's Twitter account in the byline. Hackernews also deletes their accounts on all their employers' services, then bemoans the preponderance of websites where unpopular opinions are deplatformed. The complaints are made on "Hacker" "News", a web forum that automatically removes unpopular posts. The surviving opinion is that social media sucks because of the users.

Quora User Data Compromised
December 03, 2018 (comments)
Some webshits spill the beans. Hackernews briefly wonders why webshits had the beans to begin with, but immediately pivots to bitching about the tools they use to keep track of the trillions of passwords they just can't help creating.

Announcing Open Source of WPF, Windows Forms, and WinUI
December 04, 2018 (comments)
Microsoft dumps another box of junk at the charity shop. Hackernews immediately wants to know whether these unpopular garbage libraries can be shoehorned into whatever operating system Hackernews is currently using. The real question, says Hackernews, is whether Microsoft will ever open-source any software that people actually care about. The question nobody asks is "who cares?"

Canada has arrested Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Vancouver
December 05, 2018 (comments)
The Canucks toss a suit in the hoosegow. Hackernews would like to know how laws work, and does not let a lack of ability stop them from lecturing endlessly on international law, political conspiracy theories, and the ethical characteristics of nations. One Hackernews claims that someone died of blockchains, which is the closest thing to technology anyone posts.

Goodbye, EdgeHTML
December 06, 2018 (comments)
Mozilla looks forward to coming in second in a two-browser race. This thread is designated as the Monthly Firefox Opinion Repository, with the same eight complaints as all the other threads even tangentially related to Mozilla: My preferred extension was deprecated; I can't live without this obscure feature; it's too slow; I don't like the development tools; it's not made by Apple; it's not made by Google; it's funded by Google; my computer is old. Neither this comment thread nor the original article will influence anyone's opinion, either on "Hacker" "News" or at Microsoft.

Facial recognition: It’s time for action
December 07, 2018 (comments)
Microsoft announces a new lobbying campaign. Hackernews is ecstatic that technocrats are unilaterally declaring policy, as this system is much cheaper and more effective than outmoded and obviously ridiculous alternatives, such as democracy. The rest of the comments are Hackernews eagerly reading political tea leaves or angrily demanding that Microsoft be given authority to conduct capital punishment against anyone who inconveniences them.

webshit weekly (2018/11/30)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of November, 2018.

Thank you to dang and sctb
November 22, 2018 (comments)
Y Combinator Dipshit in Chief Sam Altman remembers there's a forum long enough to give a pep talk to its herders. Hackernews, predictably, circles up to congratulate each other on the warmth and timbre of their echo chamber. Most of the comments are people fondly remembering their behavioral conditioning on a web forum, except for the people responding to (and angrily debating) censored posts.

Every 7.8μs your computer’s memory has a hiccup
November 23, 2018 (comments)
An Internet breathlessly reports a major discovery: it is possible to understand how computers work. This is primarily an excuse for those Hackernews who curate vintage computer hardware to talk about curating vintage computer hardware, while the rest paste excerpts from computer memory whitepapers in lieu of insight. Because this is a technology-related post, there are fewer than a hundred comments.

Time to break academic publishing's stranglehold on research
November 24, 2018 (comments)
An anonymous Internet wants to tell researchers what to do. Those Hackernews who live in academia cry out with a single voice that the current system must be destroyed, because it is hard and requires them to do things. Someone shows up to defend academic publishers, but all chances at discourse are drowned in the noise of people from different disciplines incorrectly assuming that all academic fields operate like the one in which they live.

Dive – A tool for exploring each layer in a Docker image
November 25, 2018 (comments)
An Internet makes a program to investigate a container image. Because the container software in question is Docker, Hackernews mashes the upvote button as hard as possible, but because the purpose here is understanding how the technology actually works, there are fewer than fifty comments.

Richard Stallman: We Can Do Better Than Bitcoin
November 25, 2018 (comments)
Some fuckwad interrogates a dimwit about ridiculous trash. Because none of the participants matter, their opinions are meaningless, and the topic is irrelevant to human society, Hackernews goes into an absolute frenzy of pompous lecturing. In accordance with tradition at Bitcoin Idiots, LLC, the entire field of economics is derived from first principles (again) and then furious partisan bickering dominates the threads, as Hackernews furiously incorrects one another on why money exists at all.

Backdoor in event-stream library dependency
November 26, 2018 (comments)
A webshit fucks up a lot of other webshits' day. Hackernews disagrees with the obviously correct conclusion that the webshit should be held responsible for making stupid decisions. The fact that such a wide swath of the internet seems to think people should exercise caution and judgment when collaborating profoundly disturbs Hackernews, causing them to enumerate every single time any programmer has ever made a mistake: a thousand-post session of whataboutism. This does more to ensconce computer progammers as a class of rudderless morons than N-Gate ever could.

We are Google employees – Google must drop Dragonfly
November 27, 2018 (comments)
If you hold medium dot com up to your ear, you can hear the faint cries from the depths of the ad mines. Hackernews tries to reinvent labor unions in a way that would give the union members power over their employers without changing anything else at all. The other half of the comments are other Hackernews musing that Google should ignore the plebians and launch into China anyway. After all, who cares about human rights when there's just so God damn much money to be had?

NES.css: 8-bit style CSS framework
November 28, 2018 (comments)
A webshit likes video games. Hackernews musters enough energy to bikeshed some 1980s nostalgia whimsy on the basis of Section 508 compliance, but in the end this is a technological topic, so there are fewer than a hundred comments.

Google Tried to Patent My Work After a Job Interview
November 29, 2018 (comments)
A Google job interview finally serves a purpose, albeit an evil one. Several Hackernews arrive in the comments to corroborate this pattern of shitty behavior, and the rest of Hackernews wrestles with the idea that the company they trust with basically every single piece of information they possess has a habit of using information against its originator. Some Hackernews sagely explain that being a revolting weasel is the only path to business success, other Hackernews (using Google search) try to figure out who the real villain is, and one very special Hackernews notices that Google even stole the 'stealing ideas from potential collaborators' idea... from Microsoft.

Marriott hack hits 500M Starwood guests
November 30, 2018 (comments)
A hotel chain left the light on for you. And also a lot of other things, for a lot of other people, for half a decade. Hackernews bikesheds the corporate damage-control protocols, then begins the philosophical inquisition: should programmers care about security? Even if it means they have to do more work? Even if it takes longer to make hotel reservation website satisfaction surveys? What price safety? Blockchain?

webshit weekly (2018/11/21)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of November, 2018.

Sr.ht, the hacker's forge, now open for public alpha
November 15, 2018 (comments)
An Internet makes some webshit, then shows up in the comment threads to receive high fives. Hackernews is over the moon at the webshit on offer, and immediately creates GitHub repos so they can browse all this valuable code.

International System of Units overhauled in historic vote
November 16, 2018 (comments)
The metric system, losing badly in the eternal war against United States customary units, makes a series of desperate changes in the pursuit of relevance. Hackernews enters the fray, bitterly defending and/or disputing the obvious primacy of American units. The defendants are largely regular people who understand the inherent superiority of the American Way, while the detractors are invariably either actual Europeans or the sort of American who imports Dunhills and complains about mass transit in the US. Right or wrong, they all measure airspeed in knots and laptops in inches, typing their arguments into web browsers that render font sizes in points.

Elementary OS – Fast, open, privacy-respecting replacement for Windows and macOS
November 16, 2018 (comments)
Some Internets would like money in exchange for a GTK theme. Hackernews is initially dismissive of any Linux distribution that is not the one they're already using, but angry strident posts emerge, reminding us that GUI themes are the most important field of computer science research, and we should all prostrate ourselves before the veritable saints who are willing to undertake this difficult and dangerous work on our behalf. The rest of the comments are whining about how unfixably terrible Linux GUIs look and how cripplingly painful they are to program. Judging from the number of comments that go from there to jerking off Apple, bitching about Linux GUI toolkits is apparently required by the XCode EULA.

Story of a failed pentest
November 17, 2018 (comments)
An Internet tells a harrowing story of showing up to someone's office only to discover they had read the manuals. Hackernews is delighted at the twist on the usual "look how smart I am" security blog, but has a hard time believing in the existence of an organization that has cared about computer security. After the predictable armchair quarterbacking ends, Hackernews settles in for a round table discussion on why computer security is either the fundamental lifeblood of corporate existence or else completely irrelevant as long as you're making money.

AMD Discloses Initial Zen 2 Details
November 18, 2018 (comments)
A computer hardware company plans to sell computer hardware. Hackernews bemoans the duration they'll have to wait to buy the computer hardware, which has become more attractive since Intel handed control of their fabrication plants to Benny Hill. AMD's primary obstacle preventing success remains AMD, but the only thing Hackernews cares about is why their favorite shotgun statistics software doesn't support next year's processors yet.

If you want to understand Silicon Valley, watch Silicon Valley
November 19, 2018 (comments)
A middle-aged person enjoys a television show. Hackernews, by turns, agrees with the satirical nature of the show and gets mad that the show is making fun of Hackernews.

The Second Half of Watergate Was Bigger, Worse, and Forgotten by the Public
November 20, 2018 (comments)
A webshit reveals that extraordinarily rich people have been using money to influence people. Hackernews is outraged, but doesn't plan to stop working for them. Because "Hacker" "News" is on the Internet, every single comment thread ends with some nutcase soapboxing a pet political conspiracy theory while three or four rubes take the ranting seriously and reply with straight faces and earnest hearts. The lone exception is someone just pasting a wall of Noam Chomsky ranting instead. No technology is discussed.

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts
November 21, 2018 (comments)
Scientific American confirms it has traded every last shred of dignity for clickbait garbage. Hackernews, usually eager to pivot any aviation discussion to safe topics like drone components or FAA regulation minutiae, focuses in hard on every hobby lifter design ever created, then restrains from anything more concrete than daydreaming about missiles.