webshit weekly

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

“Facebook has taken the name of my open source project ”
November 15, 2020 (comments)
A webshit and a larger webshit both suck at naming projects. There are about a million shitty opinions on display from Hackernews, the most prevalent of which is "this is not Facebook's fault, but instead the fault of the person Facebook paid to do it, as well as the fault of those other Facebook employees who contributed to its production," as though Facebook were some remote entity only tangentially involved with the activities of the people it hires. Several pages of misapprehensions about copyright law follow, none of which even approaches the core lesson from this tale: Github is a garbage platform designed and operated by people who still have no idea how to manage their primary product.

YouTube-dl's repository has been restored
November 16, 2020 (comments)
Faced with massive outcry moderate disappointment widespread awareness two or three bloggers whining about the removal of the source code for a popular web utility being removed from one (1) source code hosting platform, Microsoft decides to post nearly two thousand words describing their heroism in not only pressing the 'undelete' button on their admin interface, but also taking on the staggeringly selfless community-building work of "actually reading incoming messages to see if they make sense before acting on them." Hackernews doesn't know what prompted this change, but that doesn't stop them from endlessly speculating on the minutes of whatever disinterested corporate Zoom call contained the decision. Most the rest of the contents are Hackernews offering "helpful" summaries of the events to date, which are gratifyingly unburdened by excessively strenuous adherence to fact or even comprehension.

Servo’s new home
November 17, 2020 (comments)
Having been kicked out of its parents' basement, a detachment of the Rust Evanglism Strike Force wanders into a nearby abbey for shelter, setting up the plot of Season 2, wherein they discover the charity is coming from their actual competitors. One of the foot soldiers arrives in the comments to declare enthusiasm for the current situation; Hackernews wants to know what the plan is from here, but receives only silence. Hackernews, accustomed to a goals vacuum in the world of Rust development, happily spitballs possible outcomes, while the rest of the Rust Evanglism Strike Force circulates in other threads and insists that anyone gives a shit about Servo.

DisneyMustPay Alan Dean Foster
November 18, 2020 (comments)
A business dispute goes public. Hackernews recognizes the names of both sides of the dispute, and so it is time to dust off the law degrees from Wikipedia University and litigate this in the Court of Forum Comments. Predictably, the result is pages of Hackernews incorrecting one another on copyright law, accounting, the specific facts of this dispute, and the nature of intellectual property itself. No technology is discussed.

Beirut Port Explosion
November 19, 2020 (comments)
Some analysts explain that the April explosion of a building in Beirut occurred because safety protocols were not enforced, which is obvious, but also which safety protocols and how they were violated, which is useful. Hackernews appreciates a good set of 3D models, but is more interested in either bitching about the quality of oversight from the government of Lebanon (a country which almost none of the commenters could point to on a map) or the idea that social media has obviated the need for state-level intelligence agencies. Hackernews is approximately equally qualified to defend either position.

Cover Your Tracks
November 20, 2020 (comments)
In accordance with their tradition, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a new website to tell us how fucked we are by advertisers, while containing almost no advice for fixing any of it. The website assesses the information your web browser sends to their servers, and then tells you to install their browser extension. Hackernews despairs of ever solving this problem, either because the attackers are too well-funded to ever truly fall behind in a privacy arms race or because Hackernews are the ones implementing the user tracking at their day job. Nonetheless, Hackernews spends a pleasant afternoon fucking with browser settings to try to get the high score.

I Miss Working from the Office
November 21, 2020 (comments)
An Internet would like the COVID-19 pandemic to end. Hackernews blogs about the difference between working from home and working from work; the satisfaction with the former overall seems to depend entirely on housing costs where Hackernews lives. The solution, says Hackernews, is to move some place cheaper, because fixing problems is impossible.