webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of February, 2021.

VideoLAN is 20 years old today
February 01, 2021 (comments)
Some software is old now. Hackernews uses the software, so they vote for the story, but an argument breaks out about whether the software would be better or worse if venture capitalists had been involved. Someone from the organization that makes the software shows up to collect accolades and paste responses to the same ten questions people always ask about this program. All of the rest of the comments are bug reports nobody will read and comparisons to similar programs from other vendors.

Email from Jeff Bezos to employees
February 02, 2021 (comments)
Amazon Actual gets bored and wanders off. Hackernews explains every stage of Jeff Bezos' career from first principles, writes some fanfiction about the early days of Amazon, bitches about their lack of customer support (both on the retail side and the cloud computing side of the company), explains why Jeff Bezos' claims that Amazon invented anything are lies, and reprosecutes (with no actual knowledge) the past ten years of Amazon's corporate leadership changes. Finally Hackernews settles down to decide whether capitalism exists, and whether or not it's a good idea.

I Still Use RSS
February 03, 2021 (comments)
An Internet uses the internet. Hackernews uses it too, but is disappointed that both website operators and browser vendors insist on breaking it a little bit more, every chance they get. From here, it's just a matter of insisting the products you use to consume the internet are the best products with which to consume the internet.

Help users in Iran reconnect to Signal
February 04, 2021 (comments)
A chat app based on a protocol that supports federation wants to borrow your computer instead of allowing federation. Hackernews wants to know why people don't just use something else, and fifteen thousand reasons are presented, almost none of them relevant. There follows an hours-long session of whataboutism until all major information technology companies are demonstrated to be amoral jackals, then Hackernews finally gets around to asking why anyone should help Iranians in the first place. It turns out it's regarded as a useful testing platform from which to launch a truly censorship-resistant communications network for even more vulnerable populations, such as American white supremacists.

Homebrew 3.0
February 05, 2021 (comments)
A pkgsrc clone for Macs now supports more Macs. Hackernews debates which Mac-focused pkgsrc clone is the best one. Hackernews regards this class of tool to be completely indispensable, and all of them use it extensively, which has over the years caused them to have extremely strong opinions about completely insignificant aspects of this software. If you're interested in interminable chains of computer people talking about which computer programs they've used, which ones they like to use, and which ones they want to use, then this is the post for you.

February 06, 2021 (comments)
An Internet encourages documenting software. Hackernews is fascinated by the idea, but has a lot of questions. None of them are interesting. Neither are the answers. None of this stops Hackernews from pontificating about the right time and place to write down basic information, and which extremely complicated computer programs are the right ways to achieve simple things like "charts."

An F-117 pilot and the officer who shot him down meet, 15 years later (2013)
February 07, 2021 (comments)
Some old people hung out some years back. Hackernews is mad about war, or mad at soldiers, or something. Cold war technology is discussed.