webshit weekly

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

Leon Sans, a geometric typeface made with code
September 01, 2019 (comments)
A webshit writes some javascript to draw letters. Hackernews realizes that this has been done before (more completely, in better programming languages), the resulting font isn't particularly nice, and blind people can apparently go fuck themselves where this work is concerned, but the webshit-native nature of the project combined with the quality of inventing typesetting from first principles means that this is a hit.

Hong Kong protestors using Bridgefy's Bluetooth-based mesh network messaging app
September 02, 2019 (comments)
Some insurrectionists route around the IT department. Hackernews, seven thousand miles away in an air conditioned cubicle, critiques the license terms of the software the protestors use. The creators of the software show up in the comments to defend themselves, so Hackernews switches to critiquing the nature of revolution.

In a swipe at Chrome, Firefox now blocks ad trackers by default
September 03, 2019 (comments)
Mozilla convinces a tech rag that it blocks ad trackers, while still shipping Google Analytics directly with Firefox. A gullible person points out some ways to help Mozilla pretend to defend our privacy, and Hackernews immediately requests a method to send money to Mozilla while ensuring none of that money helps women or brown people. Almost half the comments on the article are debating the merits and methods to do exactly that. None of them will work, because they all depend on the idea that Mozilla accepts source code from strangers who do not work for Google. The rest of the comments are Hackernews arguing about whether it's possible (or even desirable) to network two computers without advertising appearing on at least both of them.

Google’s GDPR Workaround
September 04, 2019 (comments)
The web browser division of Bitcoin Idiots, LLC slings mud at the people who write most of the code they ship. This is a wonderful opportunity for Hackernews to go deep on describing the intricacies of their day jobs: tracking the living fuck out of anyone who knows anyone who walked past a computer once. A debate is held on whether laws should be obeyed or ignored upon the discovery that obeying them might require changes to existing software. Hackernews tries to come up with the ideal advertising scenario, and in the process recreates Maggie Nadler's 1972 short story "Latest Feature." Later, Hackernews tries to decide if laws are enough to protect people, or if they're useless without matching javascript implementations.

How to do a code review
September 05, 2019 (comments)
Google describes the process by which they shit out millions of lines of code per year. Hackernews experiences a significant emotional event, as every opinion they've ever had is validated somewhere in the resulting documents. Of special interest is the text cautioning the reader against permitting rampantly complex software, which is presumably how Google has released such elegantly svelte programs such as Chrome (which requires 8GB of RAM and 100GB of disk to compile) and Android (16GB RAM, 400GB disk). A large portion of the documents are technical in nature, so Hackernews doesn't have much to say, but they upvote it because it says "Google" in the title, so the vote:comment ratio is in excess of 4:1.

Everything I googled in a week as a professional software engineer
September 06, 2019 (comments)
A webshit runs out of tips about React to post. In the process, we discover that React is such a terrible pile of shit that even highly-qualified experts cannot reliably learn it. Hackernews responds with one hundred comments trying to remember the order of arguments when creating a symbolic link. Later, other Hackernews speculate on how people might have accessed information before Google was available to bring up the necessary StackOverflow link. How did people even read StackOverflow before Google? Type in a question and hope it autosuggests the right article? Nobody will ever know.

Malicious attack on Wikipedia – what we know and what we’re doing
September 07, 2019 (comments)
Wikipedia scolds ... someone ... for ... doing something ... and promises to fix it. Hackernews comes to the rescue by passing out free links to SQL dumps of a self-described encyclopedia that amounts to a zen garden made of bathroom stall graffiti. Later, Hackernews advise one another on the proper method to handle BGP peering, then they invent the wiki from first principles, only better, because it can't be DDOSed and it's totally free and natively distributed and built with lasers and shit. And a moat.