webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of October, 2018.
In order to ascertain whether it is even possible to read the Internet in the manner of a Hackernews without being in Silicon Valley, I traveled to a typical non-Bay-Area city and recorded some numbers regarding the content of the links. Attempting to consume this content from Nairobi revealed certain information I was not previously familiar with, such as "fuck CNBC." Each headline is followed by the access characteristics.

iPhones are hard to use (11 requests for 1.14MB @ 18.78s)
October 22, 2018 (comments)
An Internet recounts all the times someone in arm's reach did something slightly suboptimally and got their phone snatched by the author, who is a giant douchebag. Some of the article's complaints are about the phone (and some of those are even still applicable) but mostly the author is angry that nobody is as good at using the phone as the author is. Hackernews spends several hours debating whether failure to pursue an advanced degree in Using Apple Products should be punishable by death.

Carbon Removal Technologies (24 requests for 576.10KB @ 11.01s)
October 23, 2018 (comments)
Sam Altman would like to actually physically render the Earth uninhabitable for human beings. He has several plans to approach this goal, all centered around pouring shitloads of money into incredibly naive, hamfisted "solutions" to problems nobody in Sam Altman's life actually comprehends. Hackernews lines up with their pitch decks, having been experiencing recurring erotic dreams about this day for many years. Most of the comments are Hackernews incorrecting each other about chemistry in an attempt to convince one another that anyone in the room can define 'environment' in terms unrelated to shell scripting.

Nobody knows how to cite 4chan mathematicians who solved an interesting problem (203 requests for 5.80MB @ 24.57s)
October 24, 2018 (comments)
An Internet tweets a lie. Hackernews bikesheds the lie.

Copyright Office Ruling Imposes Sweeping Right to Repair Reforms (61 requests for 2.79MB @ 9.91s)
October 25, 2018 (comments)
A business that sells replacement parts is happy about some laws permitting replacement parts to be sold. Hackernews is fascinated to discover that someone has been shoving computers into everyday objects for several decades, and the software running on those computers is uniformly bad. This is obviously grounds for an argument over whether or not theft is bad, followed by an argument over whether or not theft is even real.

The Periodic Table of Data Structures [pdf] (one request for 998.83KB @ 7.19s)
October 26, 2018 (comments)
Some students procrastinate. Hackernews argues about whether or not the periodic table of elements even works, then over the fashionability of the works cited in the procrastination paper. One Hackernews remembers another paper, and hopes everyone can help find it.

Hubble is back (72 requests for 3.63MB @ 8.99s)
October 27, 2018 (comments)
NASA posts a meaningful outage post-mortem. Hackernews takes heart that even complicated orbital maneuvers can be oversimplified and trivialized sufficiently for Hackernews to disdain. Once the silly space telescope people are sufficiently derided, Hackernews starts a betting pool regarding the exact date that orbital research careers will be eclipsed by artificial intelligence. Smart money is sometime in fiscal year 2020.

IBM acquires Red Hat (111 requests for 6.28MB @ 3m 49.2s)
October 28, 2018 (comments)
At long last, Lotus Notes (motto: "the PulseAudio of groupware") and PulseAudio (motto: "the Lotus Notes of audio bureaucracy") are under the same roof. Hackernews has, over the years, developed a vicious, seething hatred of IBM, because it is sufficiently large as to not give a shit about magical Renaissance supermen like Hackernews. All of the times that someone at IBM failed to care about a Hackernews are documented here. Later, a list of Red Hat projects is created, all of which are expected to burn and die once the adults show up and ask where the money is.

Facebook exodus: Nearly half of young users have deleted the app (309 requests for 14.87MB @ 1m 19s)
October 29, 2018 (comments)
An asshole writes a 368-word article, then the webshits show up and serve 14.6 megabytes of unrelated bullshit for no reason. Hackernews doesn't even notice, because they're deep in the 'depressive' phase of the Hackernews Manic-Depressive Webshit Disorder, wherein commenters mourn the loss of agency, privacy, and dignity involved with all of the engagement-hacking they do at their day jobs. Within a week someone at one of the surveillance media companies will write a distributed eventually-consistent database in Rust, and Hackernews will explode with mania, completely forgetting the soul-crushing effect their work has on their fellow humans. For now, they're content to complain about how standing aside and doing nothing is no longer considered a commendable political act.

iPhones are allergic to helium (74 requests for 1.92MB @ 5.94s)
October 30, 2018 (comments)
Having crowed about some legal victories a few days ago, the repair-parts business must have made it into some Hackernews' RSS readers, because they are back in the news with a story about a rarely-applicable line buried somewhere in an Apple product manual. Hackernews spends a while pretending to be OSHA inspectors as a warmup to a marathon session of incorrecting one another about elemental chemistry.

When Adolescents Give Up Pot, Their Cognition Quickly Improves (124 requests for 4.30MB @ 35.83s)
October 31, 2018 (comments)
NPR posts a story confirming the plot of every weed movie since Cheech met Chong. Hackernews recreates every barstool debate about drug prohibition, then goes on to a bizarre holier-than-thou chain of pothead philosophy. No technology is discussed.