webshit weekly

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

To Break Google’s Monopoly on Search, Make Its Index Public
July 15, 2019 (comments)
A psychologist Dunning-Krugers a prescription for Google's market dominance: nationalize their work. Hackernews insists that there is nothing magical about Google's place at the top of the search game; it is the doing of the citizens of the internet, who organically chose Google as their just and rightful God. Later, some Hackernews discover that the psychologist is not a computer programmer or even a venture capitalist. This discovery naturally leads to an argument about Hillary Clinton.

YouTube video has its own URL in it
July 16, 2019 (comments)
A Minecraft operator screws around. Hackernews links to examples of similar hijinks.

The PGP Problem
July 16, 2019 (comments)
The Hackernews Beauty Pageant Gold Medalist is mad about PGP. Hundreds of words are recycled about all the problems. As usual, the only solution offered to replace email (a protocol in use by approximately the entire internet) are a bunch of centralized all-or-nothing silos that interoperate barely or not at all. No new information appears in this particular rehashing of the PGP Temper Tantrum, so Hackernews has a well-practiced collection of canned responses and anecdotes agreeing with and reinforcing the tantrum. A few Hackernews bring up the profound level of shittiness of Signal as a replacement for email, but the subject is quickly changed to avoid angering the resident security hucksters. None of the people recommending Signal protocol products have any Signal protocol contact information in their profiles. All of them have email addresses. One of them has a PGP key.

Amazon Accidentally Sold $13k Camera Gear for $100 on Prime Day
July 17, 2019 (comments)
Amazon accidentally had a better sale than they had planned. Hackernews can't figure out the justice in a world where huge multinational corporations are expected to honor pricing mishaps, but individual consumers are protected from such things. The idea that justice may involve context is hotly debated for several hours, and finally determined to be an idea whose time has gone.

MITM on HTTPS traffic in Kazakhstan
July 18, 2019 (comments)
A web browser is asked to declare cyberwarfare on a sovereign nation. Rather than refusing the task, the developers of the web browser slowly begin to realize the consequences of decades of aggressively insisting on being the keymasters of Internet trust: they are now expected to actively oppose an organization which, instead of a failed phone OS and some bookmark syncing software, possesses things such as a literal army. Hackernews thinks the sovereign nation will lose the conflict, because nobody is more powerful than the Certificate Authority Browser Forum. One Hackernews suggests that maybe x.509 certificates are possibly not going to directly solve every single information security problem on Earth, but is quickly renditioned to an unnamed Eastern European nation for rest and reeducation.

History and Effective Use of Vim
July 19, 2019 (comments)
An Internet likes a computer program, and writes a comprehensive biography of it. Hackernews argues over whose config files are better. One person makes a new account to pretend anyone still uses emacs. Nobody notices.

Photorealistic Path Tracer
July 20, 2019 (comments)
A student describes a class project, then arrives in the comments to complain that people aren't excited instead by a different project. All of the student's personal friends are in the comments to say hello. The work is visually appealing, so Hackernews votes the article up, but is mostly math, so nobody has anything to say about it.

How is it like to be a dev in Iran
July 21, 2019 (comments)
An Internet complains that a totalitarian government is trying to control information access. This is blamed on the United Nations. The solution presented is a handful of technological gadgets; overthrowing the totalitarian government and replacing it with one that can't arbitrarily ratfuck its citizenry is not even considered. Hackernews thinks that a better solution would be for technology companies to actively refuse to comply with legal directives issued by the nations in which they live and work. It is generally agreed that Docker should serve container downloads to Tehran as a direct remediation of CIA activities in the 1950s. That'll fix it.