webshit weekly

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

Oregon punished an engineer for criticizing red-light cameras. He fought and won
December 08, 2017 (comments)
A nerd defeats some bureaucrats. Hackernews describes every single thing that has ever displeased them on a road. Once that matter is settled, several dozen pages are devoted to debating the truly outlandish notion that engineers might be held responsible for their work. Dim consensus appears to be that such responsibility is appropriate for things that people rely on, such as bridges or airplanes, but not for things that people rely on, such as the software they all write for a living, the computers that software runs on, or anything else that might directly or indirectly lead to a single Hackernews taking the slightest bit of responsibility for their actions.

Larry Ellison allegedly tried to have a professor fired for benchmarking Oracle
December 09, 2017 (comments)
An Internet doesn't like Oracle's terms of service. Hackernews is flabbergasted that the government allows terms-of-service clauses that Hackernews does not like. What follows is six to eight hours of Hackernews incorrecting each other on fundamental capitalist theory. When that gets boring, they switch to incorrecting each other about contract law.

Comcast is injecting 400+ lines of JavaScript into web pages
December 10, 2017 (comments)
An Internet gives money to a bad ISP. Hackernews is outraged that bad ISPs exist, but continues to give money to them. They advise each other to complain to the FCC, which is a time-tested and reliable approach to solving internet problems. A Comcast shows up to paste boilerplate responses, but Hackernews gets distracted armchair-lawyering the details of Comcast's Bad Customer Service guidelines (RFC 6108).

Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings
December 11, 2017 (comments)
The SEC Chairman warns people to think twice before doing business with Bitcoin Idiots, LLC. Hackernews is gratified to see the government restraining from shutting down the Internet Funbux. All the rest of the comments are the usual Dunning-Krugerrand propaganda.

Microsoft Adds an OpenSSH Client to Windows 10
December 12, 2017 (comments)
Microsoft notices that a program is popular nearly twenty years after it comes out. Some Hackernews are excited to see that Windows is nearly as useful as a UNIX machine from the George W Bush administration. Most Hackernews respond to the news by speculating on the implementation details. Nobody looks at the implementation.

Machine Learning 101 slidedeck: 2 years of headbanging, so you don't have to
December 13, 2017 (comments)
An Internet posts a powerpoint full of animated gifs with captions. The captions simplify basic statistics to the point of uselessness. Hackernews appreciates this work because it's difficult to separate the important information (i.e. buzzwords and marketing noise) from the useless chaff (i.e. any and all mathematics).

F.C.C. Repeals Net Neutrality Rules
December 14, 2017 (comments)
Some bureaucrats perform bureaucracy. Hackernews is ready to explain to you that your priorities are fucked and your manner of expressing them is stupid -- but good news! Hackernews will gladly instruct you, for free! They'll also instruct each other. Then they'll accuse each other of formulating instructions based on political agendas. Then they'll assert that the agendas are immoral. Then they'll explain that immorality is the kissing cousin of ignorance... which is the perfect excuse for Hackernews to lecture each other about ignorance, morality, politics, bureaucracy, and the highly partisan field of telecommunications engineering.