webshit weekly (2020/03/31)

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of March, 2020.

Pro drivers are competing with gamers after F1 and Nascar canceled races
March 22, 2020 (comments)
Advertising finds a way. Hackernews' response comes in three categories: Pro Racing Hackernews who live for the track and would like us to know that racing simulators are either flawless or irredeemable, Pro Gaming Hackernews who live for the livestream and would like us to know that real cars are exactly or not at all like computer games, and Pro Expert Hackernews, who are only here to find irrelevant nits to pick in the inapplicable information provided by the first two groups.

Jitsi Meet: An open source alternative to Zoom
March 23, 2020 (comments)
Some copyright cultists scream into the wind. Hackernews posts anecdotes about videoconferencing software. Some consideration is given as to whether Zoom's "virtual background" feature is crucial for quarantined work-for-home success, since it relieves the user of the last traces of desire to clean their living space in any way.

Zig cc: A drop-in replacement for GCC/Clang
March 24, 2020 (comments)
An Internet decides that clang is not complicated enough. The "programming language intended as a C replacement with extreme C interoperability" genre is one of Hackernews' favorites, so the story receives many votes, but nobody can figure out what the goal of this particular language is, whether anyone has ever actually used it, or why one would bother, so there aren't too many actual discussions. Most of what does get posted focuses on cross-compilation, as though that were either a feature people actually used or else one that hasn't been dead-simple (outside of GNU) since the 1980s.

Private client-side-only PWAs are hard, but now Apple made them impossible
March 25, 2020 (comments)
A webshit is mad that Apple won't let browser shit in its yard. Hackernews, deeply invested in webshit, Apple products, and yardshitting, is on the case. It turns out there are ways to authorize selected webshits to bypass the limitation whined about in the article, so Hackernews argues about whether Apple's communications team is good enough for a while, then the article's author posts an update: still mad. Elsewhere in the comment threads, Hackernews bitches that Apple and Google fuck up webshit in incompatible ways, and a Google shows up to reassure everyone that they're going to make the documentation better... real soon now.

Zoom iOS app sends data to Facebook even if you don’t have a Facebook account
March 26, 2020 (comments)
Vice dot com is a website that sends data back to Google, Facebook, and Segment, even if you don't have a Facebook account. But someone at the office made Hackernews use Zoom, so they're on the warpath about that EULA they accepted. Hackernews is outraged about whatever indiscernible difference may exist between Zoom's data collection practices and the data collection practices that pay for Hackernews' studio in San Mateo. [Editor's note: we have been informed that Hackernews has in fact moved to a studio in Oakland.] Zoom-the-company modifies Zoom-the-computer-program to discontinue the outrageous API requests, but Hackernews is still mad, because there's nothing better to do.

Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act
March 27, 2020 (comments)
An Internet is still mad about the videoconference software from yesterday, and writes a blog post that sends data back to Wordpress, even if you don't have a Wordpress account. It also sends data directly to the webshit's personal stats server running piwik, because you just cannot have enough user surveillance on your vanity blog. Right, Doc? There's no useful information here, so Hackernews reverse-engineers Zoom's Mac OS program (okay, okay: Hackernews reads about someone else reverse-engineering Zoom's Mac OS program on Twitter) and then stoke the rage fires even futher -- not only does this company do business with Facebook, it abuses a bad package manager as well! Hackernews, faced with this cavalcade of turpitude, is forced to take firm and drastic action: grumpy posting on a web forum, followed by several hours of Zoom meetings.

The internet should be a public utility
March 28, 2020 (comments)
Quartz continues to shit out a harried stream of barely-coherent thinkpieces with "coronavirus" in the titles. Hackernews is disappointed with residential internet connections and blames Boomers.

WireGuard 1.0 for Linux 5.6
March 29, 2020 (comments)
The Linux kernel sprouts a seven hundredth network encryption feature, and we are assured that this one is the good one for real this time. Hackernews is extremely grateful for this development, as they suspect it might get simpler to watch their home Plex server at work without getting caught by IT. Nobody is actually allowed to go into work to try it because of the plague quarantines, so they limit themselves to recommending other networking gadgets to play with in the meantime. Fun fact: this same story was posted (via a different mail list mirror) the next day and not only was the highest-voted story THAT day as well, it was higher-voted than THIS one. Hackernews moderators could not stand the sheer disorder of things and dumped all tomorrow's comments into this article.

WeWork sells Meetup
March 30, 2020 (comments)
The most hilariously topical coporate trade occurs. Hackernews is glad that the assholes let go of an otherwise useful site, but can't decide if what is essentially a shared calendar service with a really shitty interface is a viable business or not. Other Hackernews debate what the hell all those people do all day, why it takes a couple hundred people to run a site that could be replaced tomorrow by Craigslist, and how terrible it is that venture capitalists keep supporting these bullshit companies, instead of real value-producing organizations that bring needed improvements to the human condition, like "crowdfunding for funerals" or "AirBnB for sheds."

Honda bucks industry trend by removing touchscreen controls
March 31, 2020 (comments)
Exactly the same article as last time, except it's Honda instead of Mazda, and Autocar is stupid enough to open their article with "Honda has done what no other car maker is doing." Hackernews' response is utterly indistinguishable from the last time I covered it, except for the couple dozen Hackernews pasting these same links.

webshit weekly (2020/03/21)

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

Vienna Opera opened its archive for free streaming
March 15, 2020 (comments)
Austria wants you to check out its soundcloud. Hackernews has a lot of links to similar soundclouds. One Hackernews wonders if there's some way to get a radio-like experience over the Internet. Another is angry that Austria wants email addresses.

NPM Is Joining GitHub
March 16, 2020 (comments)
Microsoft, having previously embraced Github, extends it. A Microsoft shows up to enthuse about the flawless corporate oversight being provided to the webshit that every single Hackernews depends utterly upon. Hackernews, however, is skeptical. Skype is the obvious comparison to make, so Hackernews gets into a pointless shitfight about whether Skype was awesome before Microsoft ruined it, whether Skype was shit from day one and Microsoft tried to fix it, or whether Skype was shit and Microsoft made it worse. Other Hackernews are just relieved that purported adults are finally at the helm of a webshit source code downloader.

TikTok told moderators to suppress posts by “ugly” people and the poor
March 17, 2020 (comments)
The Chinese State Council, which was Hackernews' top pick for global government last week, puts a 'No Fat Chicks' bumper sticker on its Vine clone. Hackernews is astounded that nobody is trying to blame machine learning, but is generally fine with the idea of pretending ugly people don't exist.

GM’s CEO Offers to Make Ventilators in WWII-Style Mobilization
March 18, 2020 (comments)
Hackernews doesn't really give a shit about General Motors, and neither does Bloomberg; the article focuses on Elon Musk acting like an asshole. Hackernews spends some time wondering if the United States military will save them from a viral pandemic. Several comment threads develop wherein Hackernews questions General Motors' capability to manufacture things, attempts to demonstrate their keen insight and profound understanding of medical equipment safety standards, and proclaims that only Hackernews is smart enough to react quickly to changing needs. The rest of the comments are Hackernews incorrecting one another on viral epidemiology and treatment of COVID-19, exactly like an old-people Facebook group, except with misplaced assumptions about manufacturing instead of Minion memes.

Netflix to cut streaming quality in Europe for 30 days
March 19, 2020 (comments)
Europe shouts for Netflix to hang up the phone so its ZModem download can complete. Hackernews is having network connectivity issues and reports them all in this comment section. Other Hackernews complain about Netflix not being 4k enough for them, and then recommending various piracy services instead. Most of the threads are about Hackernews whining that they're not getting their money's worth and other Hackernews admonishing them to quit being a fuck during a global emergency.

MIT to no longer consider SAT subject tests in admissions decisions
March 20, 2020 (comments)
MIT makes an extremely minor change to their application process shortly after kicking all their students out. Hackernews is extremely concerned that colleges are deprioritizing arbitrary standardized testing, since those are the only things Hackernews was ever good at. Other Hackernews point out that these tests tend to return better results for rich people who can afford shitloads of preparatory work, and that this might be an unjust practice that needlessly excludes people without access to the preparatory training. Mostly, says Hackernews, those people can fuck off. If those kids are so smart, why are they poor?

Grocy: web-based, self-hosted grocery and household management
March 21, 2020 (comments)
Some webshits really, really like spreadsheets. Hackernews does too, but they spend several hours trying to come up with a way to keep track of all this data without having to type it into a computer like some kind of Neanderthal.

webshit weekly (2020/03/14)

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

Do whatever you can't stop thinking about
March 08, 2020 (comments)
A webshit can't stop thinking about posting screenshots of text on Twitter. Hackernews finds it more difficult to doggedly pursue useless bullshit, but there are older, more experienced Hackernews around to dispense advice on pursuing your stupid little dreams despite the unceasing rain of derision and apathy that always comes along to crush the spirits of boring people with meaningless interests. Other Hackernews sternly lecture on the merits of whatever approach to success they most recently read about on a blog.

“Just walk out” technology by Amazon
March 09, 2020 (comments)
Amazon seems to be hearing the phrase "walkout" a lot lately, and decide to take advantage of the search-engine optimization opportunity. There is no evidence the technology described is in use by anyone at all, but the presence of the linked webpage is sufficient to convince Hackernews of Amazon's inescapable dominance of inaccurate smartphone-centric shopping experiences.

MIT moves all classes online for the rest of the semester
March 10, 2020 (comments)
MIT's leadership team defends itself against the filthy children who infest their halls. Hackernews can't decide if this is a wise decision which today appears to be an overreaction or whether this is a wise decision which will appear to be an overreaction in the future. Most of the other comments are bickering over the logistics of shifting to online learning, then inventing pretend 'rules' that university professors must abide. Finally, Hackernews takes a break so people with degrees and people without degrees can face off to fight; in a surprise twist, they instead line up to demand performance evaluations from people with Ivy League degrees.

Covid-19 is now officially a pandemic, WHO says
March 11, 2020 (comments)
Some bureaucrats state the obvious. Hackernews has been pasting keywords from Wikipedia into Google Scholar for the past week, and is by now the single greatest source of epidemiological knowledge in the history of the planet. Armed with a deluge of hazily-understood and possibly-debunked thinkpieces from self-employed computer-adjacent social media hobos, Hackernews reports the actions of their local governments, criticizes them as being insufficiently fascist, and pines for direct rule by the Chinese State Council. The comment threads are an endless sequence of Hackernews trying to find some way to visibly out-strategy themselves and each other, and they all talk about "the public" as though it were some alien entity instead of all of us everywhere.

Linux Kernel Teaching
March 12, 2020 (comments)
Someone attempts to document Linux. Hackernews is super glad that someone is trying, and they bookmark the site to read it later, but the 10:1 vote:comment ratio indicates nobody actually gives a shit. The few comments that exist are mostly centered around whether or not kernel programming will get you a job.

Twilio releases open source video conferencing apps for iOS, Android and web
March 13, 2020 (comments)
A company releases clients for their communications platform. The service is sufficiently bad that they give the code an open-source license in hopes of luring developers. Hackernews either worked at Twilio or recommends not using their software. Later, some Hackernews stage a debate wherein they try to divine the ethical stance of a pedo apologist. Most of the comments are links to software that might be able to combine to do something useful.

Open letter from Italy to the international scientific community
March 14, 2020 (comments)
The Italians would like other countries to die slightly less rapidly. Hackernews admonishes one another that this issue is extremely serious and other people should pay close attention to the words coming out of Italy (and also the words coming out of Hackernews). This thread is almost unreadably packed with Hackernews talking about "humans" in the third person, "society" as something apart from Hackernews, and computer touchers stridently incorrecting one another's medical analysis of the global pandemic.