webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of March, 2021.

Why the Wuhan lab leak theory shouldn't be dismissed
March 22, 2021 (comments)
A person takes an article written last year, runs it through a thesaurus, and publishes it again. Hackernews, all of whom have recently pivoted job titles to "forensic epidemiologist," sagely assure one another that the Chinese government is behind all this, because of all of the other things, you know, and they're being strangely reticent, which isn't at all typical for a nuclear-armed government composed of genocidal monsters. Hackernews posts just shy of a thousand comments on this topic. None of them are well-informed, carefully reasoned, or worth reading. The Hackernews Hall Monitor intervenes once, to instruct us that it is fine to hate the Chinese government, as long as we're not unduly emotional about it.

Suez canal blocked by a massive ship
March 23, 2021 (comments)
A ship's pilot misunderstands the application of naval jelly. Hackernews learns about boats.

Google Removed ClearURLs Extension from Chrome Web Store
March 24, 2021 (comments)
Google orders a nearby citizen to pick up that can. Hackernews struggles to balance the need to protect themselves against hostile webshit with the need to protect themselves from their own software choices. Other Hackernews are just interested in talking about other small quality-of-life improvements; some time is spent inventing several, all of which turn out to have already been available via existing browser extensions.

Is that ship still stuck?
March 25, 2021 (comments)
Some asshole decided to register a domain for a current-events story which lasted approximately a week. Hackernews is now entirely populated with people who read about boats a little bit a couple days beforehand, so they're basically all descended from long lines of maritime families, whose generations of nautical wisdom permeates their every thought and utterance. We are therefore duly subjected to twelve hundred comments, almost seven hundred of which descend from a comment which amounts to "the boat is stuck." That thread appears to be the place Hackernews has identified as the suggestion box.

Only Google is really allowed to crawl the web
March 26, 2021 (comments)
Some Internets decide that any significant dent in Google's domination of the internet must start by collecting money to support a core team of people to undertake the crucial first step in dislodging any multinational corporation: obsessing over it. Hackernews debates the proper savings-to-risk ratio when purchasing airline tickets with layovers. Later, the question arises: which honor system is the best solution to automated web crawlers? Could it be improved, perhaps by getting Google to operate it?

FileZilla now contains adware if you download from the official homepage
March 27, 2021 (comments)
FileZilla (business model: "Uber for WinSCP") continues its war against its own users. Hackernews already knew. One Hackernews wonders why people tolerate ads in their cellphone programs but not on their desktops or laptops, but other Hackernews arrive to explain that phones are a different shape than those other computers, so things are different because of the way they are.

Female Founder Secrets: Men Clamming Up
March 28, 2021 (comments)
A webshit is concerned that modern society may be dangerously close to becoming a place where people can't just shit words out of their mouths nonstop with no regard for anyone else, even if those people are men. Hackernews is absolutely fucking furious at considering the slightest possibility that even one male Y-chromosome-possessing man with balls and a dick and everything might have to stop and think about what he's yammering for even a moment in case some uppity cunt decides to murder his ancestors and sow salt in his crops using whatever stupid feminist labia magick these bitches turn loose against decent, God-fearing adult male men who are only trying to tell these silly twats how to act if they want to get ahead in the Valley. One Hackernews suggests that maybe these dudes could try tact, but the "Hacker" "News" moderation team steps in to shut that horse shit down, then yells at some other people whose comments were not long enough.

Moderna mRNA sequence released to GitHub [pdf]
March 29, 2021 (comments)
Some researchers conduct research. Hackernews uses the headline seen here, even though the researchers posted the Pfizer sequence as well. Hackernews spends hours incorrecting one another about microbiology, mostly in the pursuit of constructing the tiredest and least coherent source-code analogy possible.

Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”
March 30, 2021 (comments)
Ubiquiti (business model: "Uber for Cisco") turns out to be slightly worse at network security than advertised, but slightly better at corporate transparency than intended. Every single Hackernews commenter owns hardware from this company, and now would like recommendations for a different company; not that one, it's too Chinese. Not that one either, they want me to pay them for work. No I don't want to build one myself, I just want to buy something easy to use. No, not that one either. Won't somebody please recommend an alternative?

Libreboot – Defend Richard Stallman
March 31, 2021 (comments)
Some rando is really angry at the idea that a shitty person might be unpopular after decades of being a shitty person. Anyone who dislikes the shitty person, says this rando, is part of a massive global conspiracy centered around tremendous, coordinated corporate effort to assault a specific copyright cult that nobody cares about. Hackernews isn't really sure what side they should be on: on one hand, being a shitty person is pretty central to the Hackernews ethos, and it would be terrible to be held accountable for that, but on the other hand, the copyright cult is the closest thing to a religion some Hackernews have (aside from venture capital money), and it would be good for the copyright cultists to succeed, even if that means throwing the shitty person overboard. No consensus is reached, and the story is flagged after one half-hearted attempt by the Hall Monitor to control the freakout.

Inside a viral website
March 31, 2021 (comments)
The asshole with the newly-expired current-events domain writes an after-action review in an attempt to make it interesting to someone. It doesn't, but Hackernews wants to know how to make money from websites. Hackernews informs us that just asking for money does not work, which I personally found to be an extremely strange misrepresentation of the situation.