webshit weekly

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

Firefox 70
October 22, 2019 (comments)
Mozilla makes a bit of noise pretending they care about Firefox user privacy. beacon.enabled still defaults to true. Hackernews is largely uninterested in most of the developer-centric changes in Firefox, but are super excited that it now uses Apple's blessed graphics libraries. Other Hackernews are angry that it is insufficiently similar to either Safari or Chrome. One Hackernews notices that Mozilla built user tracking into the Firefox password manager, and is met with a pile of excuses.

US Constitution – A Git repo with history of edits
October 23, 2019 (comments)
An Internet translates the United States Constitution's changes over time into git. Thanks to this, we're able to relive the experience of Alexander Hamilton's historic "Format paragraphs with new lines" crisis, as well as examine the pivotal .editorconfig file, rumored to have been manually created by Betsy Ross using her husband John Claypoole's personal copy of LINED on their family PDP-6. Hackernews learns a few things about United States history but mostly just bitches; the most common complaints are that not enough legal documents are treated as computer programs or that whoever did this didn't obsess enough about the process.

BBC News launches 'dark web' Tor mirror
October 24, 2019 (comments)
BBC News desperately searches for someone who wants to read BBC News. Hackernews discusses approaches to getting involved with community security theater.

Perfectly Cropped
October 25, 2019 (comments)
An Apple acolyte relates a story about how shitty Apple software is; to avoid excommunication, the experience is described as "fun." Hackernews trades tips about how to work around Apple's abysmal user interface, where the phrase "three-finger unpinch gesture" is used, and even Hackernews can't believe that's how far Apple has sunk. Elsewhere, a Hackernews is advised to open the settings app and scroll up.

An Illustrated Guide to Useful Command Line Tools
October 26, 2019 (comments)
An Internet on an unending zsh bender writes far too many words about mostly-useless Linux toys. All of the "illustrations" are colorful, excessively high-resolution screenshots of text. Hackernews lists all other mostly-useless Linux toys, one at a time, but it immediately turns into code golf using shell utilities none of them understand.

Unix: A History and a Memoir, by Brian Kernighan
October 27, 2019 (comments)
An academic writes a book about the early days of Mac OS. Some Hackernews express regret that nobody seems to care about how we got in this mess, but other Hackernews insist that everyone cares enough and it's fine.

The “Talk”
October 28, 2019 (comments)
An academic publishes the least efficient possible textbook. Hackernews struggles to ascertain if the information is reliable, since they seem to understand it, which is a strange and disconcerting concept. To help one another out, they take turns incorrecting each other about the topic of the textbook.

IRS Tried to Hide Emails That Show Tax Industry Influence over Free File Program
October 29, 2019 (comments)
The United States Government continues the war against its own users. Hackernews thinks this is either working as intended or impossible to fix.

Twitter to ban political advertising
October 30, 2019 (comments)
Twitter decides that political messages should not be promoted via payments to Twitter, but organically, via payments to bot farms in Eastern Europe. There's no math involved, so Hackernews posts a thousand comments debating the nature of truth, the meaning of "political", the role of webshit businesses in policing the national discourse, and who would win in a fight between Jack and Mark. Most of the comments, though, are contentless whining, full of dark allusions to whatever conspiracy theory the commenter thinks is silencing a pet fringe niche.

I Accidentally Uncovered a Nationwide Scam on Airbnb
October 31, 2019 (comments)
An Internet discovers a scam on Airbnb, which is presumably a different scam than Airbnb itself. It turns out that by entering into a contract in good faith, getting pushed around by a stranger on the internet, and then completely failing to hold anyone accountable, it's possible to lose money without receiving goods or services. The article goes into lengthy, pointless detail about the failed attempts to find out what the hell was going on, and then concludes by embracing some sort of revolting Stockholm syndrome and declaring fealty to a business who takes a cut of the scam. Hackernews recounts all the ways Airbnb has shafted them as well. It's a shame, decides Hackernews, that there is literally no other choice. All you can do is take an Uber to your Airbnb and get counterfeit goods delivered by Amazon.