webshit weekly

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

Ugly Gerry – Font created from congressional districts
August 01, 2019 (comments)
An Internet produces an homage to the era when political parties had to put a lot of time and effort into ratfucking their own nation, instead of hiring Alexander Nix or Peter Thiel to do it. Hackernews declares the gesture invalid and immediately begins loudly misunderstanding the motivations behind the practice of gerrymandering. Some Hackernews remove the silver spoons from their mouths long enough to lecture the uppity ones that the law should be perfectly blind to actual conditions experienced by human beings, and when this ideal is reached, we can then rely on the robotic and flawless execution of the law to ensure that absolutely nothing ever disturbs the status quo.

Standard Ebooks: Free public-domain ebooks, carefully produced
August 02, 2019 (comments)
Beings from a higher plane of existence descend from the heavens to spread "necessities" such as "curly quotes." Hackernews is wildly enthusiastic about this endeavor, as the only thing preventing them from reading these ancient classic texts is the insufficiently diverse lengths of the dashes. Then they argue about whether mailing lists are good.

Build Your Own Text Editor
August 03, 2019 (comments)
An Internet writes a C tutorial. Hackernews, completely missing the point, argues about which features they'd like to see in hypothetical new text editors. All of the features already exist in old text editors; in some cases, the novel feature was implemented during the Reagan administration. Hackernews then trades links to toy compiler recipes. Smelling the C, the Rust Evangelism Strike Force shifts uncomfortably in the corner.

All the best engineering advice I stole from non-technical people
August 04, 2019 (comments)
A bureaucrat strains to think coherently. The result is almost discernible as thought, but is drowned in stilted attempts at folksy analogy. Hackernews weeds through the verbiage to extract things to agree with. This results in arguments about what, exactly, constitutes a "manager," complaints that nobody is smart enough to understand what computer programmers do all day, debates about when it is acceptable at work to act like a child, and more complaints that nobody is smart enough to understand what computer programmers do all day.

8chan goes dark after hardware provider discontinues service
August 05, 2019 (comments)
A cartoon pornography archive struggles to find bandwidth after getting thrown off their free ride. Hackernews sternly condemn this betrayal of freedom of expression, arguing that a company whose business model is "having a lot of hard drives plugged into a lot of networks" should be classed as a public service and regulated as national infrastructure. The fact that the cartoon pornography archive has become for mass-murder enthusiasts what "Hacker" "News" is for would-be billionaires who own toe shoes does not, in Hackernews' mind, factor into this discussion. One Hackernews speculates upon the opinions of philosophers, but another Hackernews steps in to insist they clarify that it's only "human philosophers" under consideration. This is a valuable contribution to the dialogue, as horse philosophers do not like being lumped in with the other ones. There are no meaningful technical matters at hand, so this thread has more than fifteen hundred comments.

Turning a MacBook into a Touchscreen with $1 of Hardware (2018)
August 06, 2019 (comments)
An Internet turns an output device into an input device. Hackernews is thrilled that someone finally found a way to make their laptop more like an iPad. A debate breaks out about whether having ideas is worthwhile, and then another breaks out about whether implementing ideas is worthwhile.

Steam Windows Client Local Privilege Escalation 0day
August 07, 2019 (comments)
A digital trading-card vendor sucks at computer programming and is not interested in the consequences. Hackernews slowly realizes that all corporate security reporting facilities are public-relations damage control operations. Many similar stories are told, and at the end of all of them nothing happens. A massive argument breaks out about whether computer games are worth money. Another breaks out over whether privilege separation is even a good idea to begin with, since it makes everything such a pain in the ass.