webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of November, 2017.

Paradise Papers: Dear Tim Cook
November 08, 2017 (comments)
An internet publishes fan mail to a gigantic faceless corporation, exhorting it to exhibit morality. Hackernews is angry that it is harder for them to dodge taxes than it is for more successful people. Hours of debate follow, in which the participants attempt to ascertain whether Apple's actions are ethical because they are legal or legal because they are ethical. All manner of hypothetical technical solutions are suggested to social problems that Hackernews heard about via podcast.

Sean Parker unloads on Facebook “exploiting” human psychology
November 09, 2017 (comments)
An internet posts an article consisting entirely of pull quotes. Hackernews, unable to relate to the "billionaire" qualities of the speaker, instead relates to the "armchair psychologist" qualities. One Hackernews claims to have 'written an algorithm that scores news for quality,' which appears to translate to 'accuses articles of bias ex machina.' The rest of the comments debate whether critical thought is "hard," and generally uses whatever Facebook does as the rubric. Another tangent advocates that social media should be regulated by the state, for the protection of the flock.

“We have obtained fully functional JTAG for Intel CSME via USB DCI”
November 10, 2017 (comments)
Some nerds opened a serial console. Hackernews regards this as a world-ending event. One compares it to waking up in a world of omniscient spy hardware, presumably via smartphone. Several dozen other Hackernews argue about whether the world cares enough that nerds do not possess a sufficient degree of control over the devices primarily used to upload personal information to the internet. All manner of hypothetical technical solutions are suggested to social problems that Hackernews actively perpetrates.

RSS: there's nothing better
November 11, 2017 (comments)
An internet preaches to the choir. The argument boils down to the author preferring standards over services. jsonfeed is dismissed because it does not use enough XML, despite having reached a staggering 0.1% market share in just six months. Hackernews lines up to eulogize content syndication, the non-Facebook web, and (most of all) Google Reader.

Confession as an AI researcher; seeking advice
November 12, 2017 (comments)
An asshole doing graduate study in machine learning slowly realizes the entire discipline is "statistics with computers," and scrambles to learn mathematics. Hackernews comes to the rescue, declaring there is no better place to learn basic math than grad school. At no possible point before PhD research is it, in the eyes of Hackernews, advisable to study mathematics. Most of the rest of the comments are advice on how to game graduate advisors.

How Firefox Got Fast Again
November 13, 2017 (comments)
Mozilla excretes some public relations drivel about their latest release, complete with the same condescending cartoons that appeared in the last four. Given a buzzword codename, the release's reported success involves deleting any code that is insufficiently identical to their main competitor. Hackernews is elated about how much more Chrome-like Firefox has become, but grievously disappointed in the few remaining pieces that persist in not being Google products. Consensus: Hackernews really wants to use Firefox because it is not Chrome, but cannot abide using it, because it is not Chrome.

Firefox 57.0 Released
November 14, 2017 (comments)
Mozilla announces this week's browser release. The "unresolved" section of the release highlights is three times longer than the "fixed" section, in keeping with ancient tradition dating back to when the product was still called Navigator. Nestled among the "unresolved" section is the news that vision-impaired users are invited to fuck themselves until further notice. Hackernews copies all of yesterday's comments and pastes them into today's thread.