webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of July, 2017.

Nobody mentioned Rust this week. Reports indicate the Rust Evangelism Strike Force was severely reduced in number after several of them attempted to read Rust code outside of an Electron-based text editor. Please send money to the Living Computers Museum in lieu of flowers.

Computational Linear Algebra
July 22, 2017 (comments)
Some internets offer to teach people to use computers to compute things. Hackernews bikesheds the syllabus, complaining about the absence of things that are extremely present.

18yo arrested for reporting a bug in the new Budapest e-Ticket system
July 23, 2017 (comments)
Someone finally succeeds in getting a response from Deutsche Telekom customer service. Hackernews recounts all the times this might have happened to them if they had the spine to say anything. Half the comments involve arguing whether democracy exists. The other half are arguing about whether HSTS would fix all the problems.

How a VC-funded company is undermining the open-source community
July 24, 2017 (comments)
An internet breathlessly overstates the impact of one asshole fucking up one plugin for one shitty editor. Hackernews, most of whom earn a living abusing browser technology, is outraged and appalled that someone has abused browser technology. Several hours are spent explaining to each other the best method to ask some awful company to delete all the dumb garbage that Hackernews accidentally uploaded. The general consensus is that advertising is a completely unacceptable thing to insert into your users' tools, unless you are Google. Or Apple. Or Amazon. Or Hackernews.

“We will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020”
July 25, 2017 (comments)
Adobe promises (again) that they're going to kill Flash real soon now. Hackernews mourns the passing of the greatest programming language ever written, Actionscript. One Hackernews declares they couldn't have written Farmville without it; it is not clear if this is high praise or utter damnation of the tool. Another group of Hackernews spends some time chanting "Steve Jobs Called It" around a shrine of iPads. Another group of Hackernews frets about the important cultural heritage that will be lost with the death of Flash, and set about making plans to ensure they can show animated frogs in blenders to their grandchildren.

Petition to open source Flash
July 26, 2017 (comments)
Taking swift advantage of yesterday's pearl-clutching, an internet begs Adobe to give away the source code to their shitty browser plugin. Tellingly, instead of making an actual petition, the internet uses Github's "star" feature exactly like an idiot on Facebook posting "IF THIS GETS 50,000 LIKES ADOBE HAS TO LISTEN! BILL GATES SAID SO!" Hackernews furiously objects, saying that browser plugins should all die, since they somehow present a larger security problem than an entire poorly-designed Turing-complete embedded programming language. The rest of the comments are yammering about legal obstructions or emulators.

Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed
July 27, 2017 (comments)
An academic is surprised about internet piracy. Hackernews wants academic papers to be formatted more like web comics. The rest of the comments are bemoaning the terrible state of academic publishing, which works exactly like web publishing except for the peer review. Presumably if the cover of every Elsevier publication contained a popover begging the reader to look at advertisements, this conflict could be resolved.

Phoenix 1.3.0 Released
July 28, 2017 (comments)
An internet shits out a newer version of their overengineered nightmare fuel. Hackernews launches the world's most boring discussion of which terrible manuscripts they can study to better learn how to use bad tools to accomplish simple tasks.

Apple Removes Apps from China Store That Help Internet Users Evade Censorship
July 29, 2017 (comments)
Apple complies with the law. Hackernews experiences cognitive dissonance at the thought that there might be an organization capable of telling Apple what to do. Many thought experiments are performed to try to imagine a world where a corporation might give a shit about human rights. China's secret police show up incognito to explain that anyone who disapproves of Chinese law is probably a Nazi. The rest of the thread is fanfiction about Tim Cook personally exorcising the evil from Beijing.

Ubershaders: A Ridiculous Solution to an Impossible Problem
July 30, 2017 (comments)
A genius hits on the idea of using graphics processors to process graphics. Hackernews has absolutely no idea what the hell is going on but it seems someone did something with computers so they're all for it.

Out of all major energy sources, nuclear is the safest
July 31, 2017 (comments)
An internet argues that nuclear power is safest, not bothering to address the fact that most opponents are worried more about risk than past performance. Hackernews rehashes literally every single nuclear-power argument of the past forty years. Some Hackernews go so far as to post entire high-school essays verbatim. Nobody learns anything.