webshit weekly

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

Building Your Color Palette
November 22, 2020 (comments)
Hackernews is momentarily distracted by yet another distressingly lengthy treatise on website colors. Blog spam like this gives Hackernews an opportunity to reassure one another that it's totally worthwhile to be the sort of asshole who talks about colorspace coverage and how everything is ugly because graphic designers aren't as smart as computer programmers. Not even Hackernews really wants to be associated with that in public, though, leading to a dearth of comments and nearly a 10:1 vote:comment ratio.

Zoomquilt (2004)
November 23, 2020 (comments)
An Internet loops several paintings to create the illusion of motion, waits sixteen years, and shows up to talk to Hackernews about it. Hackernews takes the opportunity to crow that "Hacker" "News" is the best website on the internet because people who make websites post comments there. One Hackernews is mad at javascript, which makes other Hackernews mad.

Email a Dumpster Fire
November 24, 2020 (comments)
An website that sells email addresses constructs a mechanical Bitcoin. Hackernews is enthusiastic about the idea of burning email, but most of the comments are lists of other immaterial things they'd like to burn or else whining about which web browser feature is preventing them from watching the show. Along the way, Hackernews takes a break to get mad at the idea of carbon credits.

I spent eleven years working on this Line Rider track
November 25, 2020 (comments)
A webshit resurrects an ancient toy in order to cause a sprite to move randomly around a middle-school notebook. Hackernews' voting and comment participation on this article almost precisely matches the 'color palette' story from earlier, demonstrating that addiction to a specific Flash game introduced during the George W. Bush administration is of approximately the same value and interest as blog posts about color palettes. The webshit who reinvented the toy shows up in the comment to receive applause.

How io_uring and eBPF Will Revolutionize Programming in Linux
November 26, 2020 (comments)
The Linux kernel develops a pair of features that will enable assholes to exfiltrate sensitive data from unprotected S3 buckets and encrypt victims' business data via ransomware faster than ever before. Other storage-heavy applications stand to benefit as well, we are told, all by an expedient and foolproof method: just do everything in the kernel at all times, and stop wasting time with userspace. Hackernews lists all the computers that did things this way before, and then lists all the reasons they stopped. This proves boring, so Hackernews decides to spend a few hours incorrecting each other about systems programming, the history of personal computing, and of course, copyright law.

Tony Hsieh has died
November 27, 2020 (comments)
A person has passed away. Hackernews describes what model of ebook reader they own, brags about going to a party where Elon Musk was, angrily declares they thought highly of the deceased before it was cool, recounts a conversation with God, tells stories about the times they interacted with the deceased, and then starts doing internet detective work about the circumstances surrounding the person's death.

Chess tactics explained
November 28, 2020 (comments)
An asshole has written a book which alleges to teach the playing of chess. Once complete, the book is translated to unnavigable HTML and shoved into a web browser. Hackernews attempts to deduce the reason that someone might be interested in chess, but this is a momentary distraction only; the real meat of Hackernews' interest in this discussion is the centuries of pedantry and bickering about subjective assessments of specific strategies, especially when combined with decades of pedantry and bickering about the 'right' way to get a computer to fuck the game up for humans.

How to Run a Ponzi Scheme for Tech People
November 29, 2020 (comments)
A webshit makes fun of the Silicon Valley equivalent of Instagram influencers. Hackernews tries to figure out where the line is between obvious con jobs and the entire venture capital system. Along the way, a fight breaks out about whether Elon Musk is a self-made super genius or just another example of 'rich asshole' being a heritable trait. While wrestling with the exact parameters involved in defining a functional business, Hackernews finds numerous opportunities to incorrect one another about the stock market, then gets into a philosophical quagmire trying to decide if poverty can possibly be considered real as long as a single billionaire exists.

AlphaFold: a solution to a 50-year-old grand challenge in biology
November 30, 2020 (comments)
At long last, Google appears to have spent money on something that might be capable of contributing to society. How, exactly, is yet to be determined, but at least the potential is finally there. Hackernews ruminates on the nature of God. Since the work in question comes from a private enterprise, Hackernews enthusiastically declares that this progress was only possible thanks to private enterprise, because scholars are all utter morons incapable of thinking the tiniest thoughts. In fact, says Hackernews, any scientist studying protein structure who does not work for Google should be punished immediately. The rest of the comments are Hackernews trying to explain molecular biology to one another.