webshit weekly

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

iMessage: Malformed Message Bricks iPhone
July 07, 2019 (comments)
Apple's cell phone experiences a minor bug in some outlying, little-used functionality. Hackernews heaps examples of other messaging failures in an attempt to cheer up Tim Cook. While some Hackernews wrestle with the idea that there may be people alive who do not use Apple's cell phones, the rest of them bikeshed the description of the bug.

Vulnerability in the Mac Zoom client allows malicious websites to enable camera
July 08, 2019 (comments)
A chat program emulates FaceTime's "don't bother asking the receiver" functionality. When approached with questions, the chat company insists that consent is optional. Hackernews can't decide if the company should have been allowed to purchase the bug finder's silence. The bug finder hosts a reception in the chat program while Hackernews struggles to identify the precise layer of abstraction that contains the failure. Later, when normal people find out about this bullshit, the chat company reverses course.

I Can’t Stop Winning
July 09, 2019 (comments)
An Internet still has a website. Hackernews likes the website and its owner. The owner shows up to be liked.

Apple has pushed a silent Mac update to remove hidden Zoom web server
July 10, 2019 (comments)
Despite the chat program's abeyance of shithead behavior, it got sufficient press for Apple to class it as malware and kibosh its dodge. Hackernews crawls on top of each other, the better to gain altitude for shouting praises unto Apple's bravery. Some Hackernews show up to wonder if Apple should be shitcanning software that users installed without asking them. The resulting debate is unfocused, wide-ranging, passionate, and utterly free of conclusions.

QuickJS JavaScript Engine
July 11, 2019 (comments)
An Internet makes a javascript interpreter. Hackernews has heard of the author, so this gets a lot of attention. They break up into three discussion groups, each devoted to a specific topic: "what is this for," "how does this work," and the largest session, "what else did this person write." Most of the outlier comments are science fiction about a world in which this software displaces some other, better-marketed software currently in use.

Details of the Cloudflare outage on July 2, 2019
July 12, 2019 (comments)
Cloudflare is still apologizing for last week's webshit fuckery. In this wave, we learn that test coverage is never perfect, regular expressions are subtly complex, and your administration tools shouldn't route through your product. All of these lessons are, of course, being learned for the first time by anyone, except for the ones Ken Thompson pointed out in the Johnson administration. Hackernews appreciates the clarity and openness of this corporate mea culpa, because armchair quarterbacking someone else's job is way more fun when you can skip to the answers.

Elsevier cuts off UC’s access to its academic journals
July 13, 2019 (comments)
A parasite experiments with cutting off its host. The handful of Hackernews who live in academia take up the task of explaining this industry to the rest of them, which results in confused question-and-answer sessions about why anyone gives a shit what Elsevier wants, who let academia get like this, and whether this situation could be disrupted, maybe with an app or a website. Others wonder if sweeping changes to the laws of various nations might be a simpler fix.

Calculus for Beginners and Artists (2003)
July 14, 2019 (comments)
A webshit decides that what calculus needs is more Excel and wayyy more condescension. Hackernews has about six thousand recommendations for obviously superior introductions to the topic, and with each is provided arguments about which hypothetical person might possibly like or dislike it based on what they do to pay rent. The conversation marches forward to the inevitable question, but as the answer is "you don't, actually," there aren't too many posts on this topic.