webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of August, 2017.

Inside a fast CSS engine
August 22, 2017 (comments)
Mozilla's excuses for their ceaseless assault on their own product have degraded to such a degree that they are only communicable with parietal art. Hackernews badly wants a job making cave paintings for webshit. Other Hackernews are giddy with excitement at Firefox's newfound ability to do exactly the same shit it's done for years. One Hackernews is "excited to see a large rust project," and sounds surprised that Mozilla is willing to use Rust, where the rest of us are merely surprised they're willing to sponsor it.

Apple Scales Back Its Ambitions for a Self-Driving Car
August 22, 2017 (comments)
Apple, having discovered that automakers already know about rounded corners, decides not to pretend to invent cars. Hackernews suspects this "scaling back" is about focusing on a good project, instead of wildly changing random bits to produce an incoherent mess, because Apple would never do that. Half the threads are web programmers carefully creating a priori justifications for each decision Apple is rumored to have made, just in case someone somewhere gets an idea that Apple is fallible. The other half are web programmers toying with maybe reinventing the wheel, because Apple considered it, in hopes of finding a place in that open-plan Aerobie in the skycloud.

Disconnect. Offline only
August 23, 2017 (comments)
A webshit, after much careful crafting, produces a thing which, when accessed with a live internet connection, displays the text "You need to enable JavaScript to run this app." Hackernews declares this art, because it looks just like every webshit they've created, too.

Ex-lottery worker who rigged winnings gets 25 years in prison
August 23, 2017 (comments)
A person commits a crime and is caught. Hackernews is disgusted with the criminal's inability or unwillingness to run from the police. Some Hackernews argue that stealing money is a victimless crime, and others just want to make sure everyone knows that playing the lottery isn't about winning -- it's about dreaming of winning, like backing a project on Kickstarter.

Feather: Open-source icons
August 24, 2017 (comments)
Having decided that existing icon sets are not monochromatic enough, an internet releases Open Source Iconset #4,576. Hackernews spews links to the previous 4,575 open source icon sets, and then sits down to bikeshed the actual process of drawing pictures on a screen, because web programming is about rapid prototyping.

Epistle 3
August 25, 2017 (comments)
An internet posts a memoriam to a previous job. Hackernews expresses amazement that someone can be good at their job, but has much more interest in posting their own epistles: apologetica for Valve's inability to deliver any non-hat-related product.

If the Waffle House is closed, it's Time to Panic (2016)
August 26, 2017 (comments)
Unable or unwilling to wait for actual news about Hurricane Harvey, a Hackernews nails a Hurricane Matthew story to the board over which all may gibber. Hackernews spends a long time reframing the story to something relatable (i.e. expressly about themselves). Neither the original authors or the Hackernews commentariat did sufficient research to uncover the fact that Waffle Houses do close -- one shift per year, to perform cleaning and maintenance impossible during operation. Yes, this is still better uptime than AWS.

Doomsday planning for less crazy folk
August 27, 2017 (comments)
An internet writes about surviving disaster, without the Airborne communists or deadly orgonite radiation. Hackernews spends a couple days scrambling to identify places to hide from their destinies. The rest of the comments are some bizarro version of Pinterest curated by City-bound office morlocks who train for wilderness on air-conditioned artificial rock walls.

Disabling Intel ME 11 via undocumented mode
August 28, 2017 (comments)
An internet figures out some computer shit that Intel didn't tell anyone about. There is not a single comment about the article's methods or conclusions -- just an endless shitstorm about freedom, brought to you by Peter Thiel.

24/192 Music Downloads Are Very Silly Indeed (2012)
August 29, 2017 (comments)
xiph.org spends approximately eight thousand words trash talking an mp3 preset, presumably under the delusion that anyone will give a shit about Ogg. Hackernews blames the loudness war (which has been going on for at least seventy years) on digital downloads. The rest of the comments are an exercise in taking the commenter's personal experience as natural law. Nobody even mentions Vorbis, as usual and just.

A camera that snaps a GIF and ejects a cartridge that displays it
August 30, 2017 (comments)
An internet has an arts & crafts hobby. Hackernews reminisces about failed formats gone by, and invents a few new formats guaranteed to fail fast. I mean pivot. Sam Altman is already planning Series B for some of them.

Criticizing Google got me fired
August 31, 2017 (comments)
An internet bites the hand that feeds. We're supposed to feel bad, despite the fact that it seems to have got this particular Internet published in The Washington Post instead of whatever blogspam think tank was previously enabling it. Hackernews experiences extreme cognitive dissonance; on the one hand all disagreement with Google is slowly being bred out of the human race, but on the other hand many Hackernews are (even indirectly) in competition with Google. In some corner of us-west1-b, a neural net silently categorizes several Hackernews as potential subversives. The machine sleeps.