webshit weekly

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

I just lost my wallet on the way home from work
October 15, 2019 (comments)
An Internet, who works at a financial firm, is careless with financial data. A stranger saves the day, and Hackernews recalls every time someone failed to be an asshole to them, then recounts every time they failed to be an asshole to someone else. One Hackernews recounts finding a bunch of bank cards in the street, and this, of course, turns into an argument about safe driving habits. Another comment thread about a similar story turns into an argument about whether messaging services should alert users that someone has sent them a message.

Open-source apps removed from Google Play Store due to donation links
October 16, 2019 (comments)
Google continues the war against its own users. This time the attack is simple: anyone who suggests giving money to anyone but Google is ejected from the game. Hackernews cannot decide if people should be allowed to give each other money without appropriate oversight from Google. After all, people are not to be trusted, and God gave us massive multinational surveillance corporations to watch over us and keep us safe. If those corporations do something mean, it's because the bad old government won't let them be nice.

TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans from Filing Taxes for Free
October 17, 2019 (comments)
It turns out Intuit's software all looks like five miles of bad road because they spend money on lobbying the government of the United States instead of hiring any competent programmers. Hackernews, all of whom work for companies who gave the maximum donation to every single politician in Congress, are utterly outraged that crass commercialism is allowed to interfere with the nation's holy period of annual bureaucracy. Some unamerican Hackernews arrive to report even more depressing states of affairs, such as being forced to use Java to electronically file.

My Favourite Git Commit
October 18, 2019 (comments)
An extremely dull person wastes everyone's time by explaining in unnecessary and interminable detail exactly why a byte in a computer program was changed from whitespace to other whitespace. At no point is it explained why a British computer program in 2013 was using US-ASCII encoding, why utf-8 was a problem for their garbage tool stack, how the hell U+00A0 got into the document in the first place, or how anyone can avoid this problem going forward, so nobody learns anything except what this moron likes to see in automated GitHub emails. Hackernews just bikesheds commit message formatting, but they were doing that already.

Music Theory for Musicians and Normal People
October 19, 2019 (comments)
A band geek is typesetting notes from high school and selling them on the internet. This is the closest thing to mathematics that Hackernews feels comfortable with, so the notebook is heavily voted for in the forum, but it's also dangerously close to actual mathematics, so the only people willing to comment are the ones who conflate math with music, the ones who think that they need to use different headphone cables based on the key of the song, and the ones who haven't quite shaken the last of the peyote from their boots. Technology is discussed, but not very well.

Don't Call Yourself a Programmer, and Other Career Advice (2011)
October 20, 2019 (comments)
The Hackernews Beauty Pageant Bronze Medalist, who has not meaningfully contributed to human society, has advice for people who would like to have some money but are not yet committed to the idea of contributing to human society. Most of the advice involves assuming that your cohort is competent and able and that you should therefore not assume you are an imminent disaster. This assumption is incorrect but taking the advice is likely to work, since self-sabotage is a pretty safe thing to advise against. Hackernews tries to find something in this wall of text they're allowed to disagree with, and settles on bikeshedding the job specifications themselves. Since the author has never held an actual job in a real company, neither side of the disagreement has any idea what they're talking about, so no conclusions are reached.

NordVPN confirms it was hacked
October 21, 2019 (comments)
Some assholes acknowledge that they let you down, but assure you that it was a long time ago, baby, and that you don't need to worry any more; they'll never do it again because they love you. Hackernews sees through this bullshit and (in between sessions of reinventing the service industry from scratch) takes down some of the more fragile constructs in the assholes' web of lies. This would not have any effect on anything, because nobody who would pay for the assholes' product reads Hackernews, but in a surprise twist, one of the assholes in question shows up to personally lose arguments with people and serve as volunteer intermediary for the two remaining people at the asshole company who remember what the problem was.