webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of April, 2019.

Otonomo, with nearly $55M in funding, is cloning our product
April 22, 2019 (comments)
Some assholes made a REST API for CAN bus and are about to find out just how little anyone cares. As professional, well adjusted adults who discovered some strangers are making a compatible product, their natural and totally normal response is to throw a giant piss-baby tantrum on a blog, whining about how much more money the other people have. Hackernews is outraged and unsurprised at both halves of this conflict, and thinks that GitHub should do something to prevent idea piracy, even though Tantrum Incorporated explicitly licensed their shit such that anyone can have a copy. A sizable number of Hackernews are left trying to figure out what "our product" is from the article title, since nobody on Earth thinks a REST API is a "product."

I Sell Onions on the Internet
April 23, 2019 (comments)
A domain squatter accidentally gets a real job, leading to the only onion routing that's actually lived up to its promises. Hackernews describes aiming over two thousand dollars at a domain name purchase as a "moment of whimsy." Other Hackernews already had this idea but didn't try it. The squatter shows up in the comments and is overrun with confounded Hackernews trying to understand how it is possible to exchange goods for money without involving Redis. Seventeen venture capital firms receive pitch decks centered around building a REST API for onion farms.

Inflammation might be the root of preventable disease
April 24, 2019 (comments)
Some rando spits out five thousand words of performance art, in which the performer imagines terrible pop-sci reporting but with a thesaurus. Hackernews work hard to integrate new out-of-context medical-sounding concepts into their bizarre DIY medical worldviews. Along the way, Hackernews cures diabetes, gets mad at each other for assuming that their correspondents are making assumptions, blames Big Pharma for ... apparently everything?, and demands citations from people who expressed opinions. No technology is discussed.

April 25, 2019 (comments)
Some amateur statisticians make a racket playing with their video cards again. Because Hackernews' rich uncle Sam is royalty among this particular bad-computer-music crew, Hackernews upvotes the shit out of the completely uninteresting results, and ritually sacrifices would-be detractors to the CUDA gods.

Google Is Eating Our Mail
April 26, 2019 (comments)
An Internet notices that Google cares as little about non-customers as they do about customers. Hackernews wish the webshit nobility were kinder to the lower classes, but have resigned themselves to the divine nature of the ruling classes. All of the comments are arguing about the only remaining safe Google-related topic: whether or not the GMail spam filter is perfect or just incredibly unsurpassably wonderful.

The inception bar: a new phishing method
April 27, 2019 (comments)
Webshit number 56,302 notices that when you turn your hypertext document browser into a Turing-equivalent virtual machine with full access to the underlying hardware, bad people can do mean things with it. Hackernews scoffs at this revelation, correctly regarding it as ancient, and incorrectly suggesting Hackernews has simple solutions for it. The rest of the comments are Hackernews smugly declaring they were too clever to fall for the forgery, because they use some specific piece of software.

How I Almost Destroyed a £50M War Plane and the Normalisation of Deviance (2016)
April 28, 2019 (comments)
An unemployed pilot describes the terrifying consequences of not being a pansy: you might break something. Hackernews reads and/or listens to this harrowing tale of almost-fatal aircraft mismanagement and, as the author intended, immediately sees the connection to the database programming they do for a living. This, however, proves to be a less alluring topic than incorrecting each other about avionics.

Topics in Advanced Data Structures [pdf]
April 29, 2019 (comments)
Some academics offer their students the opportunity to know things. Hackernews thinks other people should learn things, so they upvote the link, but the content is entirely technical, so nobody has anything to say. All of the comments are discussions about whether anyone ever uses anything they've ever learned. A brief survey brings out the pattern: the only people who use anything they learned in school are academics.

WeWork Files for IPO
April 29, 2019 (comments)
"Hacker" "News," which contains 'please use the original title' in its submission guidelines, elides the second half of the title of this article, which in full is "WeWork Files for I.P.O., Joining Wave of Cash-Burning Start-Ups in Going Public." Meanwhile, Hackernews recounts all the times they've tried to patronize WeWork (business model: "Uber for Cubicles") only to discover it's no fun to rent office space that is full of strangers. Most of the article deals with the fact that while the IPO was once a sign that your business had Made It and needed capital to get to the Next Level, now it's just the venture capitalists cashing out their investment before the rubes notice there's no money being made. None of the comment threads are about that. A few Hackernews try to bring it up, but they're ushered out of the party.

I made a smart watch from scratch
April 30, 2019 (comments)
An internet has a fun hobby. Hackernews is mad that the hobby did not end poverty or war, then mad about THAT. Other Hackernews list every other smartwatch they've ever worn or heard of. One Hackernews is mad that people use an image hosting service that the commenter did not create.