webshit weekly

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

Amazon's policies promote counterfeiting
March 01, 2018 (comments)
An Internet wakes up to being a little worm on a big fucken hook. Sixteen thousand Amazons crawl out of the woodwork to recommend actions the author describes already having taken, and the rest of the comments opine that Amazon couldn't be doing anything wrong, because Amazon is rich.

Amazon won't sell you a Chromecast, but they will sell a counterfeit
March 02, 2018 (comments)
Hot on the heels of yesterday's story, a Hackernews tries again, but with a product Hackernews actually uses: Google shit. This time, Hackernews decides that Amazon has a serious problem with deceiving their customers, but Hackernews has the answer: eBay. Comments describing physically traveling to a specially-constructed building to acquire goods are all met with an embarrassed silence. On the upside, there are dozens of hilarious stories about Hackernews coming variously a cropper after buying random garbage from a webshit flea market. Later, Amazons and Googles form regiments to decide once and for all why Amazon doesn't sell Chromecast devices.

Project Gutenberg blocks access from Germany
March 03, 2018 (comments)
Germany decides it's in charge of any website with German-language content (kommt zu mir, Arschgeigen). Hackernews takes a break to discuss where the best place is to send money, then argues about whether the website in question is being a dick by generously applying the German court's decision with gusto and initiative. Some Hackernews don't believe the block is even real, because it is imperfect. The rest of the comments are people incorrecting each other about copyright law and bickering about whether copyright violation and theft are the same thing.

Facebook’s tracking of non-users ruled illegal again in Europe
March 04, 2018 (comments)
European courts continue making pronouncements irrelevant to citizens of the civilized world. Hackernews experiences cognitive dissonance while trying to process the idea that a rich company might be held accountable to some kind of external force, such as "laws" or "basic human decency." Most of the comments involve Hackernews trying to craft just the right bizarre analogy, except the ones attacking the form of other comments while ignoring the content. Broad consensus recurs in several comment chains: it's no use adhering to ethical standards or legal requirements if someone else might not.

History of the browser user-agent string (2008)
March 05, 2018 (comments)
A webshit posts an abridged accounting of one of the myriad pieces of evidence that nobody in charge of any web-related technology has ever been worth a shit. Hackernews debates whether this obviously ridiculous behavior is justified by the fact that someone used it, then switches to finger-pointing and shifting blame away from their preferred garbage. A few fantastical romps into the Forest of Mightabeen allow Hackernews to take solace in the fact that even at the height of the shitstorm, there were tiny, ignored voices, shouting directions to a saner future that humanity never knew. When the dust settles, they all return to their Atom.js windows to update their employer's website to tell visitors with the wrong user agent string to fuck themselves.

Coinbase Index Fund
March 06, 2018 (comments)
Bitcoin Idiots, LLC wants more real money. Hackernews is universally relieved, because they are tired of maintaining the ludicrously overcomplicated software they've written to manage their own Beanie Babies collections.

Continuing frequency deviation in the Continental European Power System
March 07, 2018 (comments)
Europe can't even produce electricity correctly, which is fucking up their clocks, because they can't make those right either. Hackernews takes turns lecturing each other about how the American power system works (summary: it works). One Hackernews explains this is a good warning not to make important things depend on convenient things provided by third-parties without obligation. Because this warning was posted on a venture capital website used almost exclusively by people whose entire businesses depend on Amazon Web Services, my computer's irony co-processor exploded and I had to finish this article at my local public library.