webshit weekly

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

Learning to Build Distributed Systems
June 22, 2019 (comments)
An Amazon dispenses the wisdom of years of webshit, which of course boils down to "pay attention, practice, and do what Amazon do." Half of the comments are from Hackernews positing that taking responsibility for the functionality of the shit you make leads to the ability to create more-reliable shit. These heretics are cordoned off and left to themselves while the rest of Hackernews bickers about which books will impart wisdom without actually getting the programmer soaked in responsibility.

Raspberry Pi 4
June 23, 2019 (comments)
The Internet's favorite shitty computer undergoes a revision which makes it slightly less shitty, slightly more expensive, and incompatible with about half of the product line's available peripherals. Hackernews is beside themselves with glee, because the TV they stopped using might actually get turned on now and then, presuming they can figure out how to install the right codecs. Other Hackernews enumerate the useless gadgets they've built for themselves, or sing the praises of running a DNS server that doesn't resolve half the domain names on the Internet, or trot out the same tiresome list of more-expensive shitty computers that don't do anything this one doesn't do.

Verizon and a BGP Optimizer Knocked Large Parts of the Internet Offline
June 24, 2019 (comments)
Verizon continues its war against the planet. Other, more competent organizations spend hours and hours compensating for Verizon's abject inability to perform basic networking tasks. Hackernews is grateful to the work put in by these people, but more interested in telling war stories about other failures to execute. Elsewhere on the Internet, the company who sold the shitty appliance incorrects smarter people about the degree to which their product is garbage by default. Back at the ranch, Hackernews thinks that the people who worked to fix the problem were mean to the faceless multinational telecommunications megalith that fucked up the Internet and did nothing to fix it.

Learning Synths
June 25, 2019 (comments)
An audio company ports the Korg Kaoss Pad to javascript. Hackernews upvotes the story because of javascript, but is only interested in linking to websites about competing products.

Why is Stack Overflow trying to start audio?
June 26, 2019 (comments)
Hackernews favorite pastebin site deploys the browser fingerprinting software that Hackernews wrote. This angers Hackernews. A Stackoverflow arrives in the comment thread to report that the company does not desire this behavior, but because the company was founded by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood, nobody is technologically competent to discern how it's happening at all, much less anything to do about it. Hackernews settles in to debate the best way to derail the device-fingerprinting technology without otherwise breaking the delicate Tower of Babel shitware situation atop which they've built their industry. No solutions are found.

Google’s new reCAPTCHA has a dark side
June 27, 2019 (comments)
A journalist points out that Google's new anti-automation software is invasive and dangerous, as opposed to the previous version of their anti-automation software, which was merely exploitative and inaccessible. Hackernews points out that this is obviously the fault of those pesky goddamn Europeans and their obscene attachment to outmoded concepts of privacy and other annoying human rights. Battle lines are drawn between the people who believe that advertising is a fundamental tenet of civilization and people who would like Google to fuck off even a little bit. The war does not end; it merely moves to new threads when "Hacker" "News" moderators sink the previous ones.

Microsoft's Linux Kernel
June 28, 2019 (comments)
Microsoft complies with the licensing requirements of the software it distributes. It has no choice, because there is no company to buy, dismantle, and integrate into Windows 10 Plus! Pack for Makers. Some Hackernews are excited to be able to run useful software without sacrificing the opportunity to pump "telemetry" data to a corporation. Other Hackernews think that this solution is too simple and should be replaced with a larger house of cards comprised of less well-integrated software choices. The rest of the comments are Hackernews incorrecting one another about which Microsoft products are better than the Unix alternatives that existed before any of the commenters learned to read.

SKS Keyserver Network Under Attack
June 29, 2019 (comments)
A security imagineer is angry that someone broke some shitty software. The flaws have been identified and other solutions are available. The imagineer thinks the shitty software is important enough that people should stop being mean to it, but not important enough to fix any of the well-documented, vine-ripened problems built into the core concepts. The Hackernews Beauty Pageant Gold Medalist, who has not produced anything of use since the Bush administration, flits throughout the comment thread to tell people that they shouldn't use the most widely-used email encryption practices on the planet, but instead some webshit chat thing or a phone app from a person with an entertaining nickname. This advice is of course useless to most of the planet, but a gold medal is a gold medal, so Hackernews sullenly votes any dissenting opinion into the dirt. Almost all of the discourse focuses on GPG, which is not the problem here, and ignores the actual software with the actual failure.

The German Tank Problem
June 30, 2019 (comments)
A webshit notices statistics. Hackernews, as always, upvotes math but doesn't have much to say about it. Most of the comments focus on armchair-quarterbacking the second world war. (Spoilers: Hackernews would have won it.)