webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of September, 2017.

Firefox Multi-Account Containers
September 15, 2017 (comments)
Mozilla duplicates existing "Profile" functionality in an extension. Hackernews invents six thousand possible responses to a keystroke. Each Hackernews is surprised the others do not arrive at the same conclusion, which is admittedly how Hackernews generally works. Nobody can figure out what the difference is between "containers" and "profiles."

We've failed: open access is winning and we must change our approach
September 16, 2017 (comments)
A publisher notices that the entire academic publishing industry is a parasite, and suggests possible approaches to keeping the parasite alive. Hackernews decides the problem is bad screens on tablets. Other Hackernews decide that copyright law is like technical debt, but with morality instead of javascript. The majority of the comments are complaining about carrying the burden of past generations' ethical debt.

Buffett wins $1M decade-old bet that the S&P500 would outperform hedgefunds
September 17, 2017 (comments)
A rich guy was right about money. Hackernews zeros in on the meat of the subject: the technical implementation of the wager. One Hackernews shows up to crow about being involved in the project, which amounts to a filing cabinet on the internet. The rest of Hackernews is unsurprised that hedge fund managers are idiots -- after all, if they had any brains, they'd be javascript programmers.

W3C abandons consensus, standardizes DRM, EFF resigns
September 18, 2017 (comments)
Corey Doctorow slowly begins to realize that the internet, like everything else, exists at the convenience of people with money. Hackernews, all of whom work for the companies that lobbied for web DRM standards, ruefully shake their heads; there was no possible way to avoid this. The only way forward is to commit all available resources to web development.

iTerm2: Please disable 'Perform DNS lookups to check if URLs are valid'
September 19, 2017 (comments)
An internet notices that some Mac software was written by idiots. The idiots' quick reversal of course is hailed as heroism. Hackernews dithers about when it is appropriate for terminal emulation software to undertake its own network traffic. Nobody suggests 'never.' The software in question has been sending random shit over DNS queries for at least two years.

U.S. Navy to use Xbox 360 controllers to operate periscopes aboard submarines
September 19, 2017 (comments)
The United States Navy finally accessorizes appropriately. Hackernews can think of a million reasons this is a bad idea, because they're all hardware experts with a side specialization in wire protocols. The biggest concern is what the United States government will do if Microsoft decides to stop selling something to them, which is an interesting thought experiment with the same practical value as building a kayak to get to the moon.

DuckDuckGo vs Google
September 20, 2017 (comments)
An internet compares a search engine to a freelance surveillance apparatus. Hackernews likes the search engine, except for the search results, and decides they cannot survive without the surveillance apparatus, because it saves them a small amount of money for email hosting.

New in PostgreSQL 10
September 21, 2017 (comments)
A software project posts a changelog. Hackernews has strong opinions about relational databases, because those are the closest thing to data structures Hackernews knows about. Many hours are spent arguing about performance trivialities and the finer points of password authentication. Some Hackernews spend time imagining software they would write, and then finding bugs in their imaginary software.