webshit weekly (2019/09/14)

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

Sunsetting Python 2
September 08, 2019 (comments)
Some Pythons promise, in small words so that Python programmers can understand them, that they're going to stop updating a version of their language Real Soon Now, honest this time, they swear on their mum. Hackernews chides the laggards and an argument breaks out about whether moving to the new version is the easiest thing ever conceived or else the most grueling six-month slog ever enforced.

94k Bitcoin (1B USD) transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet
September 09, 2019 (comments)
Bitcoin Idiots, LLC senses a disturbance in the Force. Hackernews indignantly nitpicks the description of this event, carefully laying out lengthy and proper definitions of terminology nobody cares about and spending hours performing economic analysis of the flow of midichlorians. Hackernews then proceeds to incorrect one another about the finer points of financial systems before holding forth on transaction confirmations, processing power required to cripple the system, and the mathematics of cryptography. You know, things that you have to know intimately when dealing with a totally valid currency that human beings will ever trust.

Uber lays off 435 people
September 10, 2019 (comments)
Uber (business model: "Uber for cars") appeases concerned investors with a massive staffing shakeup that sends shockwaves throughout the planet as it affects nearly two per cent of its workforce. Some Ubers arrive in the comment thread to cheerlead the shitcanning. Hackernews argues about whether it's better to write your own internet chat program or use one of the ten trillion indistinguishable internet chatting startup services.

Edward Snowden: Permanent Record
September 11, 2019 (comments)
An itinerant knowledge worker presses "print." Hackernews tries to decide if anything the author did mattered. Other Hackernews try to remember what, exactly, the author did.

California bans private prisons
September 12, 2019 (comments)
California snatches dinner from the mouths of children, forcing happy private-enterprise employees to get involved in the fulthy bureaucracy of government. Hackernews thinks governments should get out of the law-enforcement business and back into the union-busting business where it belongs. Hackernews who are not from America struggle to understand the concept of putting people in cages for profit for extended periods, since most Europeans are accustomed to efficient, clean, publicly-funded death camps who have the best interest of the leader at heart.

Estimates that mineral levels in vegetables have dropped by up to 90% since 1914
September 13, 2019 (comments)
Some academics complain that there's not enough magnesium in the modern diet, but fail to recommend eating readily-available sources of dietary magnesium, such as helicopters and motorcycles. Hackernews cannot decide if high-yield farming, which feeds more people, is preferable to old-fashioned methods, which feed people more. Some Hackernews prefer to just rant about whatever book about hydroponics they read fist, except for those who learned about it online. After that, dozens of comments arguing about agricultural methodology are presented by dozens of urbanite technology workers.

France and Germany Agree to Block Facebook's Libra
September 14, 2019 (comments)
The social media wing of Bitcoin Idiots, LLC are politely but firmly asked to leave. Some European Hackernews arrive to timidly suggest the possibility that some government regulation might be warranted in specific cases, and an absolute shitstorm ensues. Eonomics, financial theory, trade unions, and money are all reinveted from first principles (and in this case one of the principles is "let Facebook do whatever they want always").

webshit weekly (2019/09/07)

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

Leon Sans, a geometric typeface made with code
September 01, 2019 (comments)
A webshit writes some javascript to draw letters. Hackernews realizes that this has been done before (more completely, in better programming languages), the resulting font isn't particularly nice, and blind people can apparently go fuck themselves where this work is concerned, but the webshit-native nature of the project combined with the quality of inventing typesetting from first principles means that this is a hit.

Hong Kong protestors using Bridgefy's Bluetooth-based mesh network messaging app
September 02, 2019 (comments)
Some insurrectionists route around the IT department. Hackernews, seven thousand miles away in an air conditioned cubicle, critiques the license terms of the software the protestors use. The creators of the software show up in the comments to defend themselves, so Hackernews switches to critiquing the nature of revolution.

In a swipe at Chrome, Firefox now blocks ad trackers by default
September 03, 2019 (comments)
Mozilla convinces a tech rag that it blocks ad trackers, while still shipping Google Analytics directly with Firefox. A gullible person points out some ways to help Mozilla pretend to defend our privacy, and Hackernews immediately requests a method to send money to Mozilla while ensuring none of that money helps women or brown people. Almost half the comments on the article are debating the merits and methods to do exactly that. None of them will work, because they all depend on the idea that Mozilla accepts source code from strangers who do not work for Google. The rest of the comments are Hackernews arguing about whether it's possible (or even desirable) to network two computers without advertising appearing on at least both of them.

Google’s GDPR Workaround
September 04, 2019 (comments)
The web browser division of Bitcoin Idiots, LLC slings mud at the people who write most of the code they ship. This is a wonderful opportunity for Hackernews to go deep on describing the intricacies of their day jobs: tracking the living fuck out of anyone who knows anyone who walked past a computer once. A debate is held on whether laws should be obeyed or ignored upon the discovery that obeying them might require changes to existing software. Hackernews tries to come up with the ideal advertising scenario, and in the process recreates Maggie Nadler's 1972 short story "Latest Feature." Later, Hackernews tries to decide if laws are enough to protect people, or if they're useless without matching javascript implementations.

How to do a code review
September 05, 2019 (comments)
Google describes the process by which they shit out millions of lines of code per year. Hackernews experiences a significant emotional event, as every opinion they've ever had is validated somewhere in the resulting documents. Of special interest is the text cautioning the reader against permitting rampantly complex software, which is presumably how Google has released such elegantly svelte programs such as Chrome (which requires 8GB of RAM and 100GB of disk to compile) and Android (16GB RAM, 400GB disk). A large portion of the documents are technical in nature, so Hackernews doesn't have much to say, but they upvote it because it says "Google" in the title, so the vote:comment ratio is in excess of 4:1.

Everything I googled in a week as a professional software engineer
September 06, 2019 (comments)
A webshit runs out of tips about React to post. In the process, we discover that React is such a terrible pile of shit that even highly-qualified experts cannot reliably learn it. Hackernews responds with one hundred comments trying to remember the order of arguments when creating a symbolic link. Later, other Hackernews speculate on how people might have accessed information before Google was available to bring up the necessary StackOverflow link. How did people even read StackOverflow before Google? Type in a question and hope it autosuggests the right article? Nobody will ever know.

Malicious attack on Wikipedia – what we know and what we’re doing
September 07, 2019 (comments)
Wikipedia scolds ... someone ... for ... doing something ... and promises to fix it. Hackernews comes to the rescue by passing out free links to SQL dumps of a self-described encyclopedia that amounts to a zen garden made of bathroom stall graffiti. Later, Hackernews advise one another on the proper method to handle BGP peering, then they invent the wiki from first principles, only better, because it can't be DDOSed and it's totally free and natively distributed and built with lasers and shit. And a moat.

webshit weekly (2019/08/30)

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

Why All of Our Games Look Like Crap
August 22, 2019 (comments)
An Internet writes three thousand words that amount to "hiring people is expensive", then arranges them in a three-inch strip down the center of a web page. Hackernews erupts into civil war wherein the people who like video games fight people who like graphic design. Those Hackernews insufficiently enraged about the central conflict settle for a group session explaining to one another that their memories are wrong, their nostalgia misplaced, their preferences corrupted by the march of progress, and that game you liked in the 1990s was bad.

Introducing nushell
August 23, 2019 (comments)
A Rust Evangelism Strike Force commando, on secondment from Microsoft, pretends that Powershell is worth aping. Hackernews, unwilling or unable to acknowledge the forty years of history behind these concepts, declares this product to be of insufficient vision, and suggests instead discarding all computing interfaces except Chrome's development console. The six people who are impressed by Powershell do not convert any new acolytes, the three people who care about this knockoff remain the only three, and Hackernews continues using zsh or fish, depending on the age they were when they first bought a Mac.

Software Architecture Guide
August 24, 2019 (comments)
Thousands of unsubstantiated lectures are posted on the topic of typing computer programs into computers, but the author completely fails to account for the horrible behavior we've all had to put up with since the author received some kind of face transplant, came back to Walford with basically no notice, and started ruining Sonia and Stacey's lives for no good reason at all. The author spent so much time being so controlling of Stacey and pressuring her into marrying, and then of course when confronted with a problem not solvable by punching someone, the divorce papers come back out. Such a coward. I'm not saying Stacey is a saint (and of course Sonia had her own problems) but nobody deserves this. Hackernews completely ignores all of these important issues and just talks about the right way to type computer programs. Hackernews is such a Poppy.

What happens when you launch Google Chrome for the first time?
August 25, 2019 (comments)
A webshit notices that some software provided by the world's richest surveillance network sends a shitload of information to its authors. Hackernews whatabouts all the other browsers and their vendors, declares the only way users will find privacy is if we have more web browsers, and then complains about the webshit's choice in communications vendor. Sadly, and with great reluctance, several Googles are forced to report the dissidence of their peers to the Office of the Vice President of Knowledge.

Let's build houses for people, not cars
August 26, 2019 (comments)
A webshit takes on Big Asphalt. Hackernews can't tell the difference between government regulation and market incentives, has never heard of demand-responsive transit, and would like everyone to please shut up while Dara Khosrowshahi fixes all transportation-related issues in the United States, preparatory to Brian Chesky fixing the housing crisis.

Please Add RSS Support to Your Site
August 27, 2019 (comments)
A webshit has opinions about webshit. Hackernews organizes themselves into two groups: those who interact with the web on a computer, all of whom would like some manner of syndication, and those who interact with the web on a mobile phone, all of whom think this functionality belongs in whatever messaging application their friends use. The Children of 3GPP are eventually victorious, as the Vested Elders of the Hinge and Switch tear each other apart arguing over whether web browsers should be responsible for browsing syndication feeds. After all, that's not the job of a web browser -- the web browser is there to render HTML, display pictures, play sounds and videos, render 3D graphics, provide a platform for interactive video games, support your virtual reality headset, provide enough operating system primitives to support an entire JITted language capable of being used to write email clients, realtime GIS packages, CAD/CAM operations, and manage radio communications with hardware peripherals. Asking it to also render one XML document is, according to Hackernews, unreasonable.

Google just deleted my nearly 10-year-old free and open-source Android app
August 28, 2019 (comments)
An Internet is evicted from Eden. The problem is swiftly resolved by the usual method of acquiring customer support from Google: whining on social media until someone in Mountain View is bored enough to notice. Hackernews can't decide if Google has reached the point where the federal government should interfere with a mobile phone package repository. Since no progress in this matter is forthcoming, Hackernews recounts all the times they hung their jacket on a shaky nail. In no case is basing your income on someone else's advertising business regarded as worth reconsidering. Instead, other people should build massive world-spanning empires of cash, and if they don't let Hackernews ride along, they should be crushed by whoever Hackernews votes for last. It's the only way to level the playing field.

A deep dive into iOS Exploit chains found in the wild
August 29, 2019 (comments)
Google takes potshots at a competitor's product. Presumably Google's security team started with a "deep dive" into iOS because the suit has yet to be made that can withstand the pressure at the depths to which Android regularly sinks. Hackernews upvotes the story because it's a perfect confluence of Google lecturing people and Apple products being improved, but the content is far too technical to have strong opinions about, so the comments are sparse. Hackernews spends some time trying to Tom Clancy their way into blaming whatever country they're afraid of for the malware, then moves on.

The Baseline Interpreter: A Faster JavaScript Interpreter in Firefox 70
August 30, 2019 (comments)
A Mozilla manages to publish an entire article about the desperate crusade to improve Firefox speed without mentioning Chrome even once. Hackernews, correctly interpreting this to mean that Mozilla is working hard to make Firefox even more exactly like Chrome, upvotes approvingly, but doesn't have much to say about the content of the article, because it is technical in nature. Instead, everyone bitches about which websites are slow and which browsers they don't like; excruciating detail is provided, but no insight, advice, or improvement is found. The rest of the comments are Hackernews identifying keywords in the article and then name-dropping the projects where they first learned those keywords.

The design of littlefs: A fail-safe filesystem designed for microcontrollers
August 31, 2019 (comments)
Some ARM engineers justify their paychecks by providing a survey course on filesystem concepts, then a rationale for spending a tremendous amount of money and energy making a resilient filesystem for devices about whose data designers did not sufficiently care to provide adequate resources for processing. Hackernews has strong opinions on each section of this document, but really prefers to incorrect each other about electrical engineering topics.