webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of January, 2018.

The mysterious case of the Linux Page Table Isolation patches
January 01, 2018 (comments)
An Internet notices the Linux kernel developers swarming over some code. After looking at the changes, and reading about the other work of the authors, a conclusion is reached: there's a big problem poorly being kept secret. Hackernews grab their badges and guns and report for detective duty. After pages of furious discussion, they discover that there's a big problem poorly being kept secret. Some Hackernews are angry that the Internet is not helping to keep the secret.

NSA’s top talent is leaving because of low pay, flagging morale, unpopular reorg
January 02, 2018 (comments)
It is a good time to buy real estate in Laurel, Maryland. Hackernews thinks that the government should pay higher salaries to attract employees away from the current hub of surveillance: Silicon Valley. Other Hackernews think the real problem is that the existing Panopticon staff isn't working hard enough. A few Hackernews wonder if maybe the US is better off without a giant uncontrollable technoespionage agency, but this is regarded as crucial to competing on a stage. One Hackernews thinks the government is a good place for women to work because they can have more babies that way.

Reading privileged memory with a side-channel
January 03, 2018 (comments)
The veil of incompetent secrecy is lifted from a big problem. Because the problem is more complicated than "fetching data from non-https URLs," Hackernews files into the virtual lecture hall to take turns misunderstanding it. It turns out the basis for every "computers are fast enough, we don't need to optimize this" excuse dating back to the release of Borat is useful for fucking over the basis of every Hackernews startup since the introduction of Amazon Web Services. Hackernews decides to design the solution in a web forum.

“My ten hour white noise video now has five copyright claims”
January 04, 2018 (comments)
An Internet wastes Google's hard drive space. The data activates automated bureaucrats. Hackernews trades war stories about the times they activated automated bureaucrats. Nobody has ever beaten them.

Why Raspberry Pi Isn't Vulnerable to Spectre or Meltdown
January 05, 2018 (comments)
The leading manufacturer of light-blinking hardware is smug about the fact that their computers are too primitive to be affected by the problems of real computers. The Monarch of the Echo Chamber arrives to ignore the article and whine about a different topic. The rest of Hackernews is just relieved that someone took the time to explain the issue to them.

Many packages suddenly disappeared
January 06, 2018 (comments)
Some webshits fuck up. Their 'incident report' fails to mention this. Hackernews takes this opportunity to remind each other that this service is prone to such fuckery, but instead of fixing or replacing it, the right answer is to just make ten million copies of all the webshit in case you need it later. The rest of the comments are devoted to expressing shock that this happened, shock that this is allowed to happen, shock that it has happened before, and shock that it affected them. The webshit in question is praised for saying "fuck."

The Empathy Gap in Tech: Interview with a Software Engineer
January 07, 2018 (comments)
An Internet points out that the engineering trade is full of assholes. Hackernews decide they are all victims; the reasoning is that because they were unpopular, awkward children, they must have undiagnosed developmental disorders. Some time is spent exploring the court of public opinion, then battle lines are drawn over whether problems are worth fixing or whether we're better off leaving assholes in charge.