webshit weekly

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

Google Buys Fitbit for $2.1B
November 01, 2019 (comments)
Google identifies the next product to discontinue. Hackernews struggles with definitions of extremely product-relevant concepts, like "democracy." Along the way we learn that democracy doesn't work as well in America as it does in Europe, where approximately 20% of countries are still hereditary monarchies. When that gets boring, Hackernews engages in a dick-measuring contest to determine who is the strongest computer programming corporation. Some Hackernews fret about the data they've spent years uploading to some stranger's computer suddenly being on a different stranger's computer, but most of the rest of the comments are bickering about another extremely relevant topic: lexicography.

Extract voice, piano, drums, etc. from any music track
November 02, 2019 (comments)
Deezer (business model: Spotify for music) releases some audio-processing software, which is what they've been spending their time building instead of making their user account system work properly. Hackernews votes for the story in droves, mostly due to the sheer novelty of seeing software that works as intended, but spends most of the comment section either talking about other software with the same purpose or else asking questions that could have been answered with ten minutes of direct experimentation.

Gitlab considers not hiring SREs and Support Engineers in China and Russia
November 03, 2019 (comments)
An internet company declines to give access to sensitive data to people who live in countries run by murderous fuckheads. The resulting discussion is immediately overrun by people in those countries who are okay with murderous fuckheads running things. Hackernews, like most of the commenters in the linked page, can't seem to understand why countries even exist as a concept, and is confused by the idea that massive well-armed highly-organized oligarchies might do bad things despite existing corporate policy to the contrary. All of the comments amount to a debate as to whether the Chinese government is a pack of assholes (it is) and whether USA #1 (also yes). For a fleeting moment, Hackernews wonders if a company shouldn't be allowed to do whatever the hell it wants... but the moment passes, as sufficient excuses are located. No technology is discussed.

We Stood Up to a Patent Troll and Won
November 04, 2019 (comments)
A multi-billion-dollar company fixes a legal issue via generous application of money, and then paints itself as the underdog. Hackernews does not like the idea of lawyers deciding what code they can and cannot write, so the story receives a shitload of votes, but there's nothing much to discuss about the case, so there are only a couple hundred comments. Most of the comments are celebrating the brutal and well-funded nature of the legal counterattack, and the rest are in response to a Cloudflare who shows up in the comments to do a victory lap.

Stripe CLI
November 05, 2019 (comments)
An internet bank, having spent years cranking out all kinds of webshit to help programmers become dependent on it, releases a tool that wraps the webshit in simple commands. Hackernews likes the idea of being able to use regular programs to do simple tasks, but all of the comments are complaints about other companies' similar webshit.

Former Twitter Employees Charged with Spying for Saudi Arabia
November 06, 2019 (comments)
An internet company gives access to sensitive data to people who live in countries run by murderous fuckheads. Hackernews regards the resulting abuses as inevitable, but is mostly just contemptuous of the low-quality spycraft at play. The previous debate is resumed and extended to new players: is Saudi Arabia run by assholes? Is America as wonderful as people claim it is? Are China and Russia real threats to human freedom? Should corporations be held criminally liable for failure to implement rigorous customer data protections? The answer to all of these questions is obviously "of course, you moron, why are you even asking this stupid question," but Hackernews isn't so sure.

Async-await on stable Rust
November 07, 2019 (comments)
The Rust Evangelism Strike Force proclaims from on high that the previous flawless approach to asynchronicity was in fact terrible, and not what anyone meant to make, but this new version is perfect, and will get even better Real Soon Now. Hackernews is concerned because, among many other problems, it seems to be completely moot unless entire programs are re-engineered to utterly embrace this incompatible code, but they're assured that this concern is invalid because other programming languages are actual curses dragged from hell by Met Kalfou himself. Inexplicably, the chorus of praise fails to be unanimous, and a confused Rust Evanglism Strike Force is forced to hunt individual apostates in squads.