webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the first week of July, 2019.

Choose Boring Technology
July 01, 2019 (comments)
A webshit spends way too much time drawing pictures that are intended to tangentially support the core thesis, which is that programmers should use software they are familiar with. Hackernews excitedly reports that such practices lead to software that works. Some Hackernews angrily insist that this is a difficult approach for people who do not know anything, and the resulting discussion invents the concept of apprenticeship from first principles. In another thread, Hackernews discusses the idea that "code is a liability," which is dangerously close to the truth: coders are the liability.

Cloudflare Network Performance Issues
July 02, 2019 (comments)
Having settled down from last week's public pillorying of Verizon, after Verizon torpedoed other people's networks by activating faulty software, Cloudflare torpedoes other people's websites by activating faulty software. Hackernews is mad that Cloudflare's status page, like all other webshit status pages, is so inaccurate as to be entirely useless. Other Hackernews realize, reading the fine print, that this half-assed quality of service is exactly what they're paying for.

YouTube's ban on “hacking techniques” threatens to shut down infosec YouTube
July 03, 2019 (comments)
Google decides that they are the right and natural gatekeepers of information relating to breaking shitty software. Hackernews argues about which objects are illegal in England. Some Stallmanite Hackernews insist that this sort of problem can be solved with copyright laws. The rest of the comments are political partisan bickering disguised as philosophy.

Kuo: Apple to include new scissor switch keyboard in MacBook
July 04, 2019 (comments)
Apple decides to put laptop keyboards back into their laptops, instead of whatever the fuck that garbage was they've been selling the past few years. Hackernews looks forward to the only computer manufacturer on the planet return to selling products that have a reasonable chance of working. All of the comments are playing fantasy football with input device rosters. Jony Ive quits in disgust.

How the Dat Protocol Works
July 05, 2019 (comments)
A protocol nobody uses is exhaustively described in a document nobody reads. Hackernews likes the pictures. The rest of the comments are asking how this protocol compares to other protocols also used by approximately nobody. Nobody is sure.

Goodbye Aberration: Physicist Solves 2,000-Year-Old Optical Problem
July 06, 2019 (comments)
Some scientists math the living shit out of an old physics problem. Hackernews can't decide if people want money so they can do art or if people want art so they can make money. Half the comments are bikeshedding the terminology used in the pop-science article about the paper. The rest are Hackernews incorrecting one another about jargon relevant to the topic's field.

How to write idempotent Bash scripts
July 07, 2019 (comments)
A webshit has things to say about writing shell scripts whose components return fewer errors. Hackernews, of course, has even more things to say, and goes into detail about all of the horrific practices they inflict on innocent computers. Most of them immediately turn to installing dozens or hundreds of megabytes of Python or Ruby on every computer they touch, because it's easier to trust some shit you pip installed than it is to understand the ramifications of the garbage you're flailing into the keyboard. There is, in the world of Hackernews, no middle ground between "running a shell script" and "directing system state with a domain-specific language selected entirely on how many stars its repo has on GitHub." Later, some Hackernews try to figure out exactly what "idempotent" actually means.