webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of December, 2018.

Countries that have preoccupied Americans the most since 1900
December 22, 2018 (comments)
A webshit conflates America and the New York Times. Hackernews contains many ideas about why other countries pay so much attention to America, all of which are completely informed by whatever the commenter remembers from secondary-school economics classes. Most Hackernews opt to bikeshed the pictograph, which leads to some wonderful new phrases, my favorite of which is about how a "line chart would forgo the act of scrolling which would eliminate the narrative feel" of a gigantic series of flags.

Congress votes to make open government data the default in the United States
December 23, 2018 (comments)
The United States Congress finally and irrevocably repairs every present and potential problem with government data by demanding that computers can read it. Hackernews performs post-mortems on all the previous times the world's problems were solved by putting data into computers.

December 24, 2018 (comments)
An Internet manages to come up with a valid reason to own a robotic vacuum cleaner. Because most of the content is technical, Hackernews has almost nothing to say about it, aside from generally being pleased about it. To pass the time, they discuss methods of preventing comment spam instead.

New Office Hours Aim for Well Rested, More Productive Workers
December 25, 2018 (comments)
A credulous journalist continues the centuries-old tradition of reporting the very latest wild-ass guess about how sleep works. Hackernews doesn't slow down to read anything, much less an 1800-word treatise on sleep -- not when Hackernews has their own 1800-word treatises on sleep to post. A very large thread is derived from reports on the behavior of a handful of employees one Hackernews micromanages for a living. Most of the comments are people comparing the article in question to whichever such article the commenter encountered first.

Hospital prices are about to go public in the U.S.
December 26, 2018 (comments)
The United States Department of Health & Human Services finally and irrevocably repairs every present and potential problem with health care costs by demanding that humans can read them with computers. Hackernews recounts every fistfight they've ever had with an insurance company and trades hand-to-hand combat tips for surviving the experience. A few Hackernews recount heavenly examples of healthcare nirvana experienced in foreign lands, but for some reason they came back.

Please do not attempt to simplify this code
December 27, 2018 (comments)
A Google experiments with cutting-edge development methodologies: "understanding the code" and "documenting the code." Hackernews hails these innovations as further proof of the timeless nature of Google's natural place at the forefront of all human endeavor. Elsewhere in the comments, Hackernews formulates the Law of Conservation of Complexity, then debates where the dark matter might be hiding in Kubernetes. Theories abound, impromptu abbreviations are created to describe various flavors of complexity, and hundreds of comments appear whining that other developers never document anything well enough. Hackernews, of course, is fastidious in their documentation practices, unless they get distracted or bored.

Things I Don’t Know as of 2018
December 28, 2018 (comments)
A webshit decides to learn how computers work outside of web browsers, and makes a list of target topics to study. Hackernews pretends to like the idea, but it's not about something really important like the pursuit of sleep or new books about project management, so they don't have a lot to say. Everyone decides to talk about webshit instead.

Inter UI, a typeface designed for user interfaces
December 29, 2018 (comments)
A webshit makes a font that is designed for user interfaces, which is font-nerd equivalent of writing a Hello World program. Hackernews spends a little while arguing over whether and how to configure CSS to do things that are built into the computer. Of course, new versions of CSS will support this native thing natively Real Soon Now. Once the incisive technical debate is over, Hackernews gets back to bikeshedding ligatures, which is all anyone really wanted out of a font story.

Larry Roberts has died
December 30, 2018 (comments)
A man has died, so Hackernews presses the upvote arrow, since that's the closest approximation of human emotion any of them have. Although the deceased leaves behind a lifetime of great work, Hackernews hasn't ever heard the name, so they don't have as much to say about this as they do about, for example, some webshit's font hobby. One comment is from someone who met the deceased, but nobody responds, because everyone is too busy incorrecting each other about networks.

Netflix stops paying the ‘Apple tax’ on its $853M in annual iOS revenue
December 31, 2018 (comments)
A wealthy tenant moves out of Cupertino's garden. Hackernews recognizes Apple's rent-seeking business model for what it is, but is primarily outraged that this change might cause them to have to do business with someone who isn't Apple. The rest of Hackernews rejoices, believing that this is the beginning of the revolution which will end in their regaining control of their pocket computers. No word is handed down as to whether Netflix will accept Apple Pay.

Better luck next year.