webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of November, 2018.

Sr.ht, the hacker's forge, now open for public alpha
November 15, 2018 (comments)
An Internet makes some webshit, then shows up in the comment threads to receive high fives. Hackernews is over the moon at the webshit on offer, and immediately creates GitHub repos so they can browse all this valuable code.

International System of Units overhauled in historic vote
November 16, 2018 (comments)
The metric system, losing badly in the eternal war against United States customary units, makes a series of desperate changes in the pursuit of relevance. Hackernews enters the fray, bitterly defending and/or disputing the obvious primacy of American units. The defendants are largely regular people who understand the inherent superiority of the American Way, while the detractors are invariably either actual Europeans or the sort of American who imports Dunhills and complains about mass transit in the US. Right or wrong, they all measure airspeed in knots and laptops in inches, typing their arguments into web browsers that render font sizes in points.

Elementary OS – Fast, open, privacy-respecting replacement for Windows and macOS
November 16, 2018 (comments)
Some Internets would like money in exchange for a GTK theme. Hackernews is initially dismissive of any Linux distribution that is not the one they're already using, but angry strident posts emerge, reminding us that GUI themes are the most important field of computer science research, and we should all prostrate ourselves before the veritable saints who are willing to undertake this difficult and dangerous work on our behalf. The rest of the comments are whining about how unfixably terrible Linux GUIs look and how cripplingly painful they are to program. Judging from the number of comments that go from there to jerking off Apple, bitching about Linux GUI toolkits is apparently required by the XCode EULA.

Story of a failed pentest
November 17, 2018 (comments)
An Internet tells a harrowing story of showing up to someone's office only to discover they had read the manuals. Hackernews is delighted at the twist on the usual "look how smart I am" security blog, but has a hard time believing in the existence of an organization that has cared about computer security. After the predictable armchair quarterbacking ends, Hackernews settles in for a round table discussion on why computer security is either the fundamental lifeblood of corporate existence or else completely irrelevant as long as you're making money.

AMD Discloses Initial Zen 2 Details
November 18, 2018 (comments)
A computer hardware company plans to sell computer hardware. Hackernews bemoans the duration they'll have to wait to buy the computer hardware, which has become more attractive since Intel handed control of their fabrication plants to Benny Hill. AMD's primary obstacle preventing success remains AMD, but the only thing Hackernews cares about is why their favorite shotgun statistics software doesn't support next year's processors yet.

If you want to understand Silicon Valley, watch Silicon Valley
November 19, 2018 (comments)
A middle-aged person enjoys a television show. Hackernews, by turns, agrees with the satirical nature of the show and gets mad that the show is making fun of Hackernews.

The Second Half of Watergate Was Bigger, Worse, and Forgotten by the Public
November 20, 2018 (comments)
A webshit reveals that extraordinarily rich people have been using money to influence people. Hackernews is outraged, but doesn't plan to stop working for them. Because "Hacker" "News" is on the Internet, every single comment thread ends with some nutcase soapboxing a pet political conspiracy theory while three or four rubes take the ranting seriously and reply with straight faces and earnest hearts. The lone exception is someone just pasting a wall of Noam Chomsky ranting instead. No technology is discussed.

Silent and Simple Ion Engine Powers a Plane with No Moving Parts
November 21, 2018 (comments)
Scientific American confirms it has traded every last shred of dignity for clickbait garbage. Hackernews, usually eager to pivot any aviation discussion to safe topics like drone components or FAA regulation minutiae, focuses in hard on every hobby lifter design ever created, then restrains from anything more concrete than daydreaming about missiles.