webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of January, 2019.

Google proposes changes to Chromium which would disable uBlock Origin
January 22, 2019 (comments)
Google continues the war against its own users. After declaring an intent to further cripple extension functionality, Google is met with moderate pushback from people who write or use browser extensions. They are reassured that the functionality they demand is not disappearing entirely; merely being replaced with completely inapplicable other functionality, which should serve everyone's needs when combined with vague promises about future plans. In the basement of the Mountain View campus, the Google Analytics team soberly takes notes on which internet citizens should be executed for sedition. Hackernews tries to keep off the List, but a few reckless agitators reveal themselves as disloyal to the State.

Why are glasses so expensive? The eyewear industry prefers to keep that blurry
January 23, 2019 (comments)
A reporter publishes the worst-kept secret in the eye care industry. After spending a couple hundred comments reciting everything they've ever done in the course of buying eyeglasses, an especially alert Hackernews manages to post the exact content of the story, presumably in answer to the question in the headline. This leads to a piecemeal retelling of the rest of the article, except in conversation form between various Hackernews, apparently unaware they're recreating the article. Then another group does it again, under the guise of pretending that things work differently in Europe (they do not).

How to Be Successful
January 24, 2019 (comments)
"Hacker" "News'" absentee step-brother shits out a blog post containing instructions for being rich. Most of the advice boils down to being arrogant, rich, or well-connected, which basically exhausts Sam Altman's available set of skills. None of the advice involves selling a shitty business at the height of an economic bubble, but that's the only actual advice that might apply to anyone reading this drivel. Hackernews experiments with definitions of success that don't require being a wealthy sycophantic jackass, and the author arrives to peddle more off-target garbage in that regard, but the moment is gone.

January 25, 2019 (comments)
A Hackernews nails a webshit project to the bulletin board, and the rest of them try to make sense of it. Most of the comments are wild assumptions about the motivations, implementation, and possible usage of the project, all of which is trivially accessible but entirely opaque to Hackernews, because nobody posted about it on Stack Overflow. The other half of the comments are Hackernews bikeshedding every analogy anyone mentions, then arguing about the epistemology of UNIX.

When a Bike Company Put a TV on Its Box, Shipping Damages Went Down (2017)
January 26, 2019 (comments)
Hackernews rediscovers a years-old story of the lengths to which manufacturers must go to convince the shipping industry not to push boxes out of planes midflight. The comments are rife with Hackernews speculating on how exactly boxes get from Amazon to their studio walkup in the Mission, but no technology is discussed.

KABOOM in 180 lines of bare C++
January 27, 2019 (comments)
An academic writes a tutorial. Of the 180 lines of bare C++, fourteen of them are include directives. Hackernews doesn't give a shit about the implementation in question; they just want to post about how they did it better or someone else did it more usefully. One Hackernews is mad that someone else is getting attention, so they bicker about that for a few hours. The fact that the article contains actual code is like kryptonite to Hackernews; the vote-to-comment ratio is well in excess of ten to one.

FaceTime bug lets you hear audio of person you are calling before they pick up
January 28, 2019 (comments)
Apple continues the war against its own products, reviving their previous practice of avoiding security backdoors in favor of security frontdoors. One Hackernews wants to know how Apple can release such obviously broken garbage, and the Apple-ogists arrive in force to explain how hard it is to be the best phone manufacturer on earth, and the gang invents all kinds of fantastic scenarios in which this situation is not the result of extreme incompetence at every level.

Facebook has been paying people to install a “Research” VPN
January 29, 2019 (comments)
Facebook continues the war against its own users, this time by just paying them to sabotage themselves. Among the valuable data harvested during this process is the supremely useful fact that it's easy to convince children to do dumb shit and there are no consequences to doing so. Hackernews brainstorms hare-brained technical solutions that a phone software company might implement to combat an ultrawealthy psychopathic corporate entity actively pursuing hostile activity on a global basis. A popular Hackernews refrain: Facebook would be irresponsible if they failed to use every method available to them to harvest the personal data of teenagers.

Instacart paying 80 cents an hour because worker received a large tip
January 29, 2019 (comments)
A Y-Combinator-funded business is dynamically scaling its resource expenditure. Hackernews is absolutely outraged by this cartoonishly evil business practice, and blames tipping (which does not affect the minimum wage due the employee) instead of the gig economy's habit of classifying employees as independent contractors (which does). Dozens of Hackernews from the European bureau arrive to misunderstand American labor laws, but it's unclear whether they decided to misunderstand it deliberately or are merely emulating the ignorance of the American faction. Nobody is interested in recognizing that this abuse is helping to pay for "Hacker" "News" hosting fees.

Why isn't the internet more fun and weird?
January 30, 2019 (comments)
A webshit complains that the internet is homogeneous and boring, and that everyone seems to be implementing the same shit in the same way. To combat this, the webshit reimplements Scratch and Glitch. Hackernews disagrees with the webshit's thesis, and responds by linking every single goddamn website they've ever seen. When that gets boring, they take breaks to debate the raison d'être of the web, but only until they're ready to resume pasting their browser histories.

Apple blocks Google from running its internal iOS apps
January 31, 2019 (comments)
Apple continues the war against its own users, which in this case is Google and Facebook, which Apple banned from the Apple Store for continuing the war against their users. It turns out that both Google and Facebook have 'internal' iPhone applications, which leads to the obvious question: why the fuck would they do that? Nobody knows, and Hackernews isn't interested in finding out. The only questions Hackernews wants to answer are "how dare Google and Facebook defy Apple's Holy Writ," and "how dare Apple treat Google and Facebook like they were some random third-party strangers." These answers, as well, are moot; Apple has relented and allowed the other two back into the church.