webshit weekly

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

Hayabusa2 Now
September 22, 2018 (comments)
Japan has a satellite. Hackernews bikesheds its status page.

Why I’m done with Chrome
September 23, 2018 (comments)
A security professional who uses Wordpress explains that Chrome is just another weapon in Google's war against its own users. Google retaliates by causing the author's phone to route all trips via Monroe Street. Hackernews unhappily discusses the increasingly unavoidable impression that a massive multinational surveillance apparatus might not care about them personally. The implications of this topic are quickly subsumed by hundreds of idiots ranting about Google search results being some kind of political action, with the only reasonable countermeasure apparently being whining about it on web forums.

Anatomy of a Killing
September 24, 2018 (comments)
The BBC displays a nearly 4chan-level ability to exhaustively research blurry pixels on the internet. Hackernews is flabbergasted that people can take various pictures and text and use them to construct a coherent narrative. Another Hackernews feels that the BBC is being unfairly mean to the people who slaughtered children on video. The next discussion thread contains several Hackernews expressing surprise that they can no longer maintain an attitude of impersonal indifference to horrible behavior once they have some means of relating to the victims. Perhaps there's a meaningful lesson to-- nah, fuck it, here's a hundred comments about how machine learning will obviate journalism real soon now.

Chrome 69 will keep Google Cookies when you tell it to delete all cookies
September 25, 2018 (comments)
Google continues the war against its own users. Hackernews feels that anyone who is not a javascript programmer cannot tell the difference between a website and a web browser, that humans are ineducable, and therefore any amount of user agency can be sacrificed in the name of "keeping it simple." They decide it's because someone who is not a programmer must have been put in charge of Google.

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access To Your Shadow Contact Information
September 26, 2018 (comments)
Facebook continues the war against its own users. Hackernews is outraged that a business founded on collecting personal information and then using it to sell ads is using personal information to sell ads. According to Hackernews, there's a magical invisible aura attached to some personal information, which makes it unethical to use for advertising. No exhaustive list of such is provided. Having decided the moral argument is too tiring to pursue, Hackernews shifts gears and argues about whether all the glaring moral failures could be ameliorated by adding more software.

Found hooked up to my router
September 27, 2018 (comments)
A Reddit has a dipshit roommate. Hackernews appears to have previously been unaware that people do bad things with computers sometimes, and some of the more worldly Hackernews post links to other bad things like ghost stories around a campfire. In their defense, most of the bad things are implemented as a set of utilities to log user activity, send it to some unknown third party, then download and execute unvetted code directly on the victim's hardware, which also precisely describes the products that Hackernews make for a living. The confusion is only natural.

Facebook Network Breach Impacts Up to 50M Users
September 28, 2018 (comments)
Facebook makes new allies in the war against its own users. In case you forgot they're a PHP shop, they don't actually know how many accounts were affected or exactly what access the attackers had. Fortunately, the existing defense software functioned as intended, so Facebook users were not able to spread potentially share-price-damaging news like "Facebook got hacked." Hackernews bikesheds what they can discover of the "security" architecture at Facebook, but it's not clear whether they're actually trying to figure anything out or if it's all some kind of job-application performance art.

DuckDuckGo Traffic
September 29, 2018 (comments)
A search engine has users. Hackernews talks about some of the search engine's features, their favorite being the one that takes them back to Google. Lots of huffy search engine connoisseurs declare that only Google is capable of displaying a list of documents that contain a specific string of text, and none of the political freedom fighters from the other thread show up to dispute this claim.

September 30, 2018 (comments)
A webshit asks some questions. Hackernews has only banal garbage and bickering to offer, so instead of summarizing that I'll just answer the questions. In order: because the upper bound of individual wealth is higher, because unregulated software engineers are more frequently involved, USA #1, concerted attack from ambitious underdogs, you won't if you know what's good for you, this question is meaningless because you can't generalize "people," it's the only city in Nordvärld, yes, nothing, more meaningless generalizations ("science"), they already are, with programming languages, there isn't one, make them cheaper, definitely not "the same thing but pirated," try understanding individuals instead of pigeonholing them with pop-psych trash, yes (let's make a webring!), because software engineering stopped advancing in the 1980s. Sure, the questions are actually meant to be starting points for deeper investigations, but that's extremely off-message for a website focused on generic contempt rather than having any real insight.