webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of March, 2020.

Pro drivers are competing with gamers after F1 and Nascar canceled races
March 22, 2020 (comments)
Advertising finds a way. Hackernews' response comes in three categories: Pro Racing Hackernews who live for the track and would like us to know that racing simulators are either flawless or irredeemable, Pro Gaming Hackernews who live for the livestream and would like us to know that real cars are exactly or not at all like computer games, and Pro Expert Hackernews, who are only here to find irrelevant nits to pick in the inapplicable information provided by the first two groups.

Jitsi Meet: An open source alternative to Zoom
March 23, 2020 (comments)
Some copyright cultists scream into the wind. Hackernews posts anecdotes about videoconferencing software. Some consideration is given as to whether Zoom's "virtual background" feature is crucial for quarantined work-for-home success, since it relieves the user of the last traces of desire to clean their living space in any way.

Zig cc: A drop-in replacement for GCC/Clang
March 24, 2020 (comments)
An Internet decides that clang is not complicated enough. The "programming language intended as a C replacement with extreme C interoperability" genre is one of Hackernews' favorites, so the story receives many votes, but nobody can figure out what the goal of this particular language is, whether anyone has ever actually used it, or why one would bother, so there aren't too many actual discussions. Most of what does get posted focuses on cross-compilation, as though that were either a feature people actually used or else one that hasn't been dead-simple (outside of GNU) since the 1980s.

Private client-side-only PWAs are hard, but now Apple made them impossible
March 25, 2020 (comments)
A webshit is mad that Apple won't let browser shit in its yard. Hackernews, deeply invested in webshit, Apple products, and yardshitting, is on the case. It turns out there are ways to authorize selected webshits to bypass the limitation whined about in the article, so Hackernews argues about whether Apple's communications team is good enough for a while, then the article's author posts an update: still mad. Elsewhere in the comment threads, Hackernews bitches that Apple and Google fuck up webshit in incompatible ways, and a Google shows up to reassure everyone that they're going to make the documentation better... real soon now.

Zoom iOS app sends data to Facebook even if you don’t have a Facebook account
March 26, 2020 (comments)
Vice dot com is a website that sends data back to Google, Facebook, and Segment, even if you don't have a Facebook account. But someone at the office made Hackernews use Zoom, so they're on the warpath about that EULA they accepted. Hackernews is outraged about whatever indiscernible difference may exist between Zoom's data collection practices and the data collection practices that pay for Hackernews' studio in San Mateo. [Editor's note: we have been informed that Hackernews has in fact moved to a studio in Oakland.] Zoom-the-company modifies Zoom-the-computer-program to discontinue the outrageous API requests, but Hackernews is still mad, because there's nothing better to do.

Zoom needs to clean up its privacy act
March 27, 2020 (comments)
An Internet is still mad about the videoconference software from yesterday, and writes a blog post that sends data back to Wordpress, even if you don't have a Wordpress account. It also sends data directly to the webshit's personal stats server running piwik, because you just cannot have enough user surveillance on your vanity blog. Right, Doc? There's no useful information here, so Hackernews reverse-engineers Zoom's Mac OS program (okay, okay: Hackernews reads about someone else reverse-engineering Zoom's Mac OS program on Twitter) and then stoke the rage fires even futher -- not only does this company do business with Facebook, it abuses a bad package manager as well! Hackernews, faced with this cavalcade of turpitude, is forced to take firm and drastic action: grumpy posting on a web forum, followed by several hours of Zoom meetings.

The internet should be a public utility
March 28, 2020 (comments)
Quartz continues to shit out a harried stream of barely-coherent thinkpieces with "coronavirus" in the titles. Hackernews is disappointed with residential internet connections and blames Boomers.

WireGuard 1.0 for Linux 5.6
March 29, 2020 (comments)
The Linux kernel sprouts a seven hundredth network encryption feature, and we are assured that this one is the good one for real this time. Hackernews is extremely grateful for this development, as they suspect it might get simpler to watch their home Plex server at work without getting caught by IT. Nobody is actually allowed to go into work to try it because of the plague quarantines, so they limit themselves to recommending other networking gadgets to play with in the meantime. Fun fact: this same story was posted (via a different mail list mirror) the next day and not only was the highest-voted story THAT day as well, it was higher-voted than THIS one. Hackernews moderators could not stand the sheer disorder of things and dumped all tomorrow's comments into this article.

WeWork sells Meetup
March 30, 2020 (comments)
The most hilariously topical corporate trade occurs. Hackernews is glad that the assholes let go of an otherwise useful site, but can't decide if what is essentially a shared calendar service with a really shitty interface is a viable business or not. Other Hackernews debate what the hell all those people do all day, why it takes a couple hundred people to run a site that could be replaced tomorrow by Craigslist, and how terrible it is that venture capitalists keep supporting these bullshit companies, instead of real value-producing organizations that bring needed improvements to the human condition, like "crowdfunding for funerals" or "AirBnB for sheds."

Honda bucks industry trend by removing touchscreen controls
March 31, 2020 (comments)
Exactly the same article as last time, except it's Honda instead of Mazda, and Autocar is stupid enough to open their article with "Honda has done what no other car maker is doing." Hackernews' response is utterly indistinguishable from the last time I covered it, except for the couple dozen Hackernews pasting these same links.