webshit weekly (2018/05/14)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of May, 2018.

Google Duplex: An AI System for Accomplishing Real World Tasks Over the Phone
May 08, 2018 (comments)
Google, the provider of reCAPTCHA, a service designed to prevent software from pretending to be people on the internet, brags about their software that pretends to be people on the phone. Hackernews reassures everyone that this is fine, since only idiots talk on the phone. The rest of the comments are all predictions of the amazing new world ushered in by robots lying on telephones.

Seaweed in Cow Feed Reduces Methane Emissions Almost Entirely
May 09, 2018 (comments)
Some Australians feed seafood to cattle. Hackernews uses the story as an excuse to talk about the ocean off the coast of San Francisco. Every single Hackernews is an agribusiness economist.

Google YOLO clickjacking
May 10, 2018 (comments)
A webshit narrates a security flaw inherent in Google trash. Google decides they won't fix it because it would be hard. Hackernews is briefly scandalized, but then Google informs them that this security problem is only available for use by people who give Google a lot of money. Hackernews whiles away the hours by poorly reinventing every single authentication security mechanism ever used.

Pyre: Fast Type Checking for Python
May 11, 2018 (comments)
Some webshits release a toy. Hackernews spends a lot of time and energy debating whether or not it's worth knowing anything about the programming language you're using, but reach no clear conclusions. Growing uncomfortably close to realizing how ill-equipped they are to perform the work they're paid to do, they set about reëvaluating the question from a project management perspective.

Build your own X: project-based programming tutorials
May 12, 2018 (comments)
A webshit sets about creating the Encyclopedia of Wheel Reinvention. Hackernews has several editions of this work and pastes all of them into the comment box. Other Hackernews get confused between 'x' as in a variable name and 'X' as in the windowing system, but it all works out when someone links to several hand-holding resources about that too.

Make front end shit again
May 13, 2018 (comments)
A webshit shits web. The result is a Geocities homage using a mere 200kb of javascript to generate over 13kb of HTML. Even Hackernews is on the fence regarding this being a poorly-executed parody or just an honest webshit who doesn't know any better. A handful of recalcitrant Hackernews opine aloud that perhaps this shit is retarded either way, but they are swiftly beaten into a pulp by passersby. Because there are no CSS gradients, Hackernews uses the word 'brutalism' a lot.

John Carmack: My Steve Jobs Stories
May 14, 2018 (comments)
An old man rambles on Facebook. Because the topic is Apple, it sets off every Google Alert in Redwood City, and Hackernews swoops in to capitalize on the Festival of Namedropping. One Hackernews wants to know how the hell you boot a NeXT box and write software for MS-DOS, which is a totally different "operative system." The answer, of course, is javascript.

webshit weekly (2018/05/07)

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

Amazon threatens to suspend Signal's AWS account over censorship circumvention
May 01, 2018 (comments)
Some nerds are mad that massive corporations won't let them trickfuck internet connections from fascist regimes. The article is composed of pedantic whining about their technical adherence to the protocol specification, which the authors apparently think will prevent third-world despots from shitcanning the entire internet. Hackernews is of two minds on the topic: on one hand, trickfuckery is the primary capital-raising construct Hackernews employs, while on the other hand, these assholes aren't even serving ads or collecting users' personal data. This dichotomy is unresolved, while a much smaller and more interesting debate unfolds. One side believes that the American military should destroy any government inimical to Amazon's profit margins, while the other holds the opinion that maybe mass slaughter is perhaps an overreaction to an internet traffic disagreement. Your editor looks forward to seeing the NO BLOOD FOR URL picketing outside of Amazon HQ.

AT&T updates firmware to block access to
May 02, 2018 (comments)
AT&T continues the war against its own users. Hackernews suspects this action is a simple mistake; after all, anyone at AT&T who understands how a computer works got hired by Google many years ago. Hackernews was briefly concerned about AT&T dropping IPv6 packets as well, before realizing that none of them have IPv6 connections and thus cannot communicate with anything on that protocol at all. The rest of the comment chain is various Hackernews slowly discovering that there are no laws against ISPs fucking with the internet.

Twitter urges users to change passwords after computer 'glitch'
May 03, 2018 (comments)
A software company employing nearly 3500 people to store and display short phrases of plain text managed to fuck up the most basic possible handling of authentication data. Hackernews writes a couple dozen fanfiction accounts of how this idiotic behavior may have arisen, primarily based on their universally-shared experiences of fucking up the most basic possible handling of everything conceivable. Some Hackernews attempt to explain the right approach, but get that wrong too, which leads to some kind of bizarre golf game where they iteratively nudge their understanding of simple security concepts toward approximately the level of a schoolchild who has learned not to write a locker combination directly on the locker in question.

Please Stop Using Adblock (But Not Why You Think)
May 04, 2018 (comments)
An Internet advocates using ad blockers which actually block ads, unlike the ones that call themselves ad blockers and then show ads. Inexplicably, but inevitably, this turns into a series of Hackernews lectures about how "Hacker" "News" is special and precious, because Y Combinator is dumb enough to pay money to fully staff a web forum twenty-four hours a day. After the self-congratulatory pontificating ends, Hackernews returns to its previously scheduled freakout about the entire concept of powering on a computer without any interest in using it to show ads to people who do not want to see them.

“Manager READMEs” from some tech companies
May 05, 2018 (comments)
A webshit collects effluvia from bureaucrats. The middle managers represented are from a chat service, a flea market, a company whose entire domain ships in uBlock Origin's filter list, two spam companies, Netflix for Sundresses, and a character from a webcomic about dicks. Hackernews doesn't like this particular bureaucracy, except for a handful so desperate for their bosses' approval that they're overjoyed to submit to frequent interrogation.

Subscription Hell
May 06, 2018 (comments)
A webshit is mad at having to pay for goods and services. Hackernews is also mad at having to pay for goods and services, but zeroes in on their particular turf: software. Hundreds of comments are posted bitching about having to pay for software at all, having to pay for software on a recurring basis, and the deathless specter of possibly having to pay in the future for something that is currently free of charge.

Conversations with a six-year-old on functional programming
May 07, 2018 (comments)
An academic lies on the internet. Many Hackernews have personally received instruction from this academic, which doesn't bode well for the quality of instruction involved. Hackernews ingests the article at hand and uses it to advocate several horrible education philosophies, invent human intuition from first principles, and then accuse each other of being bad parents.

webshit weekly (2018/04/31)

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

You probably don't need AI/ML. You can make do with well written SQL scripts
April 22, 2018 (comments)
Hackernews experiments with the webshit ur-religion, in direct violation of Papa Graham's dipshit dogma. Some Hackernews express disappointment that non-snakeoil programs aren't selling well to big investors, but they're quickly educated on rich people's need to invest in snake oil, just in case some of it works. Once that's tamped down, the rest of Hackernews chides the nonbelievers, reminding everyone that "knowing what the hell you're trying to accomplish" is antithetical to the agile development process.

Now Is the Perfect Time for an RSS Renaissance
April 23, 2018 (comments)
Yet another hipster combine preaches the glory of RSS. This particular webshit only supports Atom. Get you a blog who can do both. Hackernews congratulates itself for noticing that the corporations who employ Hackernews, all of whom rely on platform lockin to sell ads, discourage technology that does not lend itself to platform lockin or ads. This leads directly to a ritual chant regarding the impossibility of running a webshit that doesn't serve ads.

Hijack of Amazon’s domain service used to reroute web traffic for two hours
April 24, 2018 (comments)
Amazon got their shit snatched. The snatchers used this fleeting golden moment to electro-rob some clients of Bitcoin Idiots, LLC. Nothing of value was lost. Hackernews enters a confused frenzy trying to deal with the fact that HTTPS doesn't actually solve all the problems. Plans are made to replace BGP and DNS with HTTPS in order to solve the remaining problems, similar to Comcast and Verizon teaming up with Google to replace e-mail with HTTPS.

Medicare will require hospitals to post prices online
April 25, 2018 (comments)
The United States Government would like to see a wine list. Hackernews wonders why hospitals don't just serve ads and sell patient data to Cambridge Analytica.

Matrix and Riot Confirmed as the Basis for France’s Secure Instant Messenger App
April 26, 2018 (comments)
Some irrelevant weirdos ramble about their hobbies. Hackernews can't figure out why a borough of the European Union doesn't just use Slack instead of trying to control its own infrastructure. The mystery remains unsolved, although some of the weirdos show up to reassure everyone that it's written in Go.

EU agrees on total ban of bee-harming pesticides
April 27, 2018 (comments)
The Euros decide to stop poisoning bees. Hackernews is still mad about the last decision the Euros made, because it involved computers, and Hackernews doesn't like it when outsiders step on their turf. The rest of Hackernews tries to decide whether bees should be suffered to live.

Lessons learned from a failing local mall
April 28, 2018 (comments)
A webshit wants better crosswalks. Hackernews tries to define the term 'subsidy' but cannot. A consensus develops that the only way for a town to survive is to attract programmers, all of whom are interested in nothing but farmer's markets and small locally-owned clothing boutiques. This explains why all of the Hackernews side projects that involve physical goods are about mailing shit to people or hiring some poor person to drive shit over to people's houses.

“Lifefaker.com makes faking perfection easy”
April 29, 2018 (comments)
Some shysters post a webshit full of bikini pictures to advertise their scam. Hackernews is disappointed that the lies are not actually for sale, and sets about building a business plan to step in and fill this gap in the market. Other Hackernews start a 'kids these days' thread, where they bemoan the younger generation's obsession with fake internet points. These opinions are heavily upvoted. The rest of the comments are Hackernews trading tips on which photo filters they use to deceive potential dates on the internet.

IBM is not doing "cognitive computing" with Watson (2016)
April 30, 2018 (comments)
An old man is mad that IBM's ad copy looks like the name of a book he wrote when Steve Wozniak still worked for Apple. In an industry that brands the concept of "inept statistics" as "machine learning" and "artificial intelligence," the author must be in a constant state of rage. While Hackernews agrees that IBM's terminology is criminally inaccurate, all the other machine learning tools are actually cool and good because some of them seem to work once in a while. Hackernews discusses the impossibility of understanding anyone who says anything -- whether using a computer or Hackernews' own brain -- and decides the only path forward is to crush human expression into a format more easily parsable by whatever the hell they can download from NPM this week.