webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of April, 2020.

New iPhone SE
April 15, 2020 (comments)
Apple cashes in on the retro fad, while making sure this model has enough compute resources to compensate for their software engineers. Hackernews is ecstatic, and manages to post fifteen hundred nearly-identical comments before digging their iPhone 6 sleeves back out of the junk drawer. One Hackernews points out that this model will excel in the only really important metric -- javascript execution -- and takes a break to enjoy some casual racism. The remaining skirmishes are carried out between the Hackernews who think 4.7 inches is a lurid display of ridiculous excess and the Hackernews who think that 4.7 inches is the smartphone equivalent of a Russian bread line.

Stripe raises $600M at nearly $36B valuation
April 16, 2020 (comments)
Stripe (business model: "Uber for PayPal") celebrates another half-billion dollars of debt. Stripe Actual shows up to hobnob with the clients. Hackernews is mad that their stock options must now take a back seat to the half-dozen or more investors who showed up late to the party. Several comment threads are Hackernews comparison-shopping between credit card processors (nobody is happy with any of them). The rest are either trying to figure out how money works or complaining about exchange rates. Stripe Actual wanders around the thread implementing brand engagement.

The Decline of Usability
April 17, 2020 (comments)
An Internet notices that programmers are no longer held accountable for their work. Hackernews agrees this is a problem, and collectively has every possible opinion on when exactly Things Went Wrong. Lots of Hackernews are disgruntled about lock screens. Other Hackernews are mad about websites. Still other Hackernews are mad that programmers keep changing shit from one version to the next. Every single thread results in a reconstruction of user interfaces from first principles, followed by bickering about where the right place is to stop.

It’s Time to Build
April 18, 2020 (comments)
A loan shark has strong opinions on national infrastructure. Hackernews wants desperately the rich person to notice them (noticing them being the first step toward showering them with money), so we're treated to all of the profound thoughts on civilization that Hackernews has grunted out during four to six weeks of plague isolation. Hackernews' assessments of the loan shark's screed turn out to be surprisingly diverse, but they're all centered around the same theme: Hackernews, having mastered economics, medicine, and civil engineering, are the only people on earth qualified to have the correct opinion on nation-building, and they're not afraid to let us know. After all, you can't spell "socially distant" without soi-disant.

OpenCore: Hackintosh Alternative to Clover
April 19, 2020 (comments)
Some Internets have extremely strong commitments to some software. Hackernews likes the idea of making computers do something stupid, but the topic isn't actually interesting so the discussion is sparse and desultory. Technology is discussed, but none of it is interesting.

Shirt Without Stripes
April 20, 2020 (comments)
Webshit machine learning still sucks. Hackernews holds forth on just how hard not sucking is, then attempts to reverse engineer Google's revenue streams in an attempt to understand why they insist on sucking. This is obviously boring and pointless, so Hackernews debates whether Google's image search is racist, then whether it's racist against white people. The rest of the comments are mourning the good old days when Google's search algorithm returned useful, accurate results, instead of the morass of garbage that Google's search algorithm has caused to be.

Stripe records user movements on its customers' websites
April 21, 2020 (comments)
An Internet notices that famed debt-acquirer Stripe is literally watching every (mouse) move their users make. Stripe Actual returns to reassure everyone that tracking this kind of shit is just a perfectly normal way that money handlers keep everyone safe; touchscreen users can apparently fuck themselves. Two thirds of the comments on this story comprise a debate over whether this is bullshit behavior subject to trivial abuse or the only way we can possibly exchange money for goods and services. One Hackernews wants to know what happens if we turn javascript off in the browser, but we are reassured that this is impossible. The author shows up to say hello, and is excoriated by angry webshits.