webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the third week of July, 2020.

Hackers take over prominent Twitter accounts in simultaneous attack
July 15, 2020 (comments)
Twitter soft-launches its new application programming interface, and in the process demonstrates conclusively that advertising on the platform absolutely does not work. The "Hacker" "News" hall monitors point out that the resulting discussion is so large that the forum software used by "Hacker" "News," written by celebrated programming genius Paul Graham, cannot display more than a couple hundred plaintext comments at once. Hackernews thinks that any attack on Twitter must be part of a grand multinational conspiracy designed to subvert the course of human history, instead of the natural outcome of an absentee CEO hiring a few thousand webshits and disappearing back into a yacht club.

When your coworker does great work, tell their manager
July 16, 2020 (comments)
An Internet reminds us that there are more dialog options when conversing with management than "when can I take my office chair home." Hackernews correctly despises common corporate personnel review practices, but espouses directionless micromanagement as the solution. Most of the comments comprise an attempt to crowdsource a solution to disinterested management, presumably to fix whatever the fuck is going on at Twitter.

Former ICANN CEO is now co-CEO of the private equity firm that tried to buy .org
July 17, 2020 (comments)
A burglar successfully reaches the hideout, only to discover all of the loot was left back at the ransacked institution. One Hackernews points out the importance of keeping an eye on the public's shit, but this immediately devolves into other Hackernews bitching that words don't all mean the same things they meant in the Victorian age. The rest of the comments are bloviating about class wars or attempting to solve social problems with blockchains.

OpenAI's GPT-3 may be the biggest thing since Bitcoin
July 18, 2020 (comments)
Only halfway through the year, we are treated to the Hackernewsest headline of 2020. An absolute asshole uses an overgrown Eliza implementation to write a barely-coherent puff piece about itself. This, decides Hackernews, is the beginning of a new era, in which nothing really has changed over previous AI text generators aside from a moderate improvement in the use of punctuation. The only question, debates Hackernews, is whether this new era is destined to have absolutely no effect in any measurable way, or the slightest inching toward a possible future in which OpenAI produces something of use to people who do not run affiliate spamblogs for a living. What a time to be alive!

Fixing Mass Effect black blobs on modern AMD CPUs
July 19, 2020 (comments)
Some Internets spend a lot of time fixing an old computer game by working around Microsoft's bullshit. Hackernews is dissatisfied with the level of effort expended. Some Hackernews prefer to ramble about unrelated flaws in other computer games, but one Hackernews gleefully suggests that links to blogs on the internet is what makes Hackernews special.

Turns out half the internet has a single-point-of-failure called “Cloudflare”
July 20, 2020 (comments)
Cloudflare fucks everything up again and one of their competitors writes the after-action review. Hackernews takes this opportunity to trot out a litany of complaints about Cloudflare, from the poor technical decisions the now-massive company inflicts on webshits, to the audacity of Cloudflare's leadership to operate their corporation as they see fit, to the catastrophic consequences of not consulting Hackernews before making a configuration change. Later in the comment threads, Hackernews tries to ascertain whether establishing a global monopoly on a network service is irredeemably evil or a moral imperative.

Invert, always, invert
July 21, 2020 (comments)
A webshit bureaucrat delivers tips and tricks to appear as though you are capable of rational thought. The author does not seem to know what all of the words involved actually mean, leading to the accusation of pontification being leveled at an apparently-respected source. Hackernews plays around with the idea that one can produce p by ensuring not-q but stumbles and falls when some of the resulting incantations fail to make literal sense. It turns out that the German everyone keeps quoting was talking about mathematics instead of bolstering employee productivity metrics at a massive faceless corporate consultancy, but Hackernews still feels smarter for having been exposed to it.