An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the last week of January, 2020.
Brad Cox has died
January 22, 2021 (comments)
A computer scientist has passed away. Hackernews notes this, and then immediately begin bitching at each other about programming languages.
Software engineering topics I changed my mind on
January 23, 2021 (comments)
An Internet learns from experience. Hackernews identifies specific bullet points they will either defend to the death or reject forever. Nobody learns anything, but a few Hackernews are angry about the continued existence of blogs. The most consistent topic of discussion amongst Hackernews concerns whether project managers are a boon or a drain on corporate resources; this discussion, several times, develops into an investigation regarding whether project managers should even be suffered to live.
WhatsApp loses millions of users after terms update
January 24, 2021 (comments)
The Grauniad reports that Whatsapp, a computer program with billions of users, has lost millions of users. For some reason, the article does not mention that last week I dropped a quarter and it rolled under the refrigerator, which is the same story. Hackernews recognizes that nothing in this article is worth reading, but likes to explain to one another the concept of a "network effect," which is a phenomenon wherein nobody can talk about users of a social media platform without some asshole adjusting a pair of Warby Parkers and linking to some essays on
medium dot com substack dot com about "the network effect." Most of the rest of the comments are people mistakenly believing that anyone on earth gives a shit what protocol their chat app uses.
Time-lapse of a single cell transforming into a salamander (2019)
January 25, 2021 (comments)
Hackernews posts a two-year-old National Geographic video. The ritual bitching-about-ads-on-a-website occurs, and then Hackernews settles down to the main event for the evening: batshit insane pseudoscience, combined with extremely concerning computer-based metaphors for life science topics in general. Finally, for dessert, Hackernews speculates on how many unseen dimensions we might be missing out on, and recommends some recreational narcotics.
Firefox 85 cracks down on supercookies
January 26, 2021 (comments)
The Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company
January 27, 2021 (comments)
A rich person made a landing page. Someone else involved with the landing page shows up in the comments to help, and Hackernews immediately begins describing their medical problems. Each problem description results in a raft of alternative medicine solutions, advice on where to buy outlawed chemicals in wholesale quantities, demands for doctors to operate more like veterinarians, dick-swinging competitions regarding total passports owned per Hackernews, and above all, whining about how much cheaper medical care is in countries where the infant mortality rate approaches the average shoe size. Interspersed throughout these threads are people incorrecting one another about the American medical industry. No technology is discussed.
Robinhood is limiting purchases of stocks: AMC, Blackberry, Nokia, and GameStop
January 28, 2021 (comments)
Robinhood (business model: "Uber for bankruptcy") continues its war against its own users. Since Robinhood's users have been overwhelmingly victorious, the company has no choice but to adopt a scorched-earth policy regarding viral investment portfolios. Since this news story has been making headlines for days, Hackernews is bursting at the seams with Important Opinions, and the resulting sixteen hundred comments spew forth into the threads ass-over-teakettle. The comment threads are a veritable font of misinformation, as Hackernews after Hackernews takes turns wrongly explaining the relationships between all involved entities, incorrecting one another about SEC regulations and finance law, confidently speculating about whatever shit they happened to see on Reddit, and explaining to one another the profound changes that will fundamentally reshape all of human civilization as a result. Finally, one Hackernews blames Joe Biden.
Element (Matrix chat app) suspended from the Google Play Store
January 29, 2021 (comments)
A computer program for chatting is removed from a popular list of computer programs. The fact that the computer program in question is a direct competitor to some computer programs owned by the list keeper is not mentioned. Hackernews wearily toes the traditional battle lines and unenthusiastically slugs out the same old "walled gardens" versus "freedom of speech" fights as the last sixty times this happened. Nobody's mind is changed, but at least everyone is super pissed off. In the end, as usual, Google puts the computer program back on the list and everyone forgets about this event immediately.
CDC website built by Deloitte at a cost of $44M is abandoned due to bugs
January 30, 2021 (comments)
The headline is incorrect; the website in question is still present and functioning, but some states have stopped using it. Hackernews doesn't give a shit about this minor discrepancy; their primary focus of interest is much more fundamental. Who is getting paid millions of dollars for this bullshit, wonders Hackernews, and how can Hackernews get that money instead? It's not possible, decides Hackernews eventually, because government workers are not smart enough. What a shame.
GitHub Should Start an App Store
January 31, 2021 (comments)
Yet another computer programmer thinks that Github should be the only remote host your computer ever contacts. Hackernews agrees with the basic premise, but the real fun is to be had in the comment threads, as Hackernews gleefully chases down the endless corner cases that would make this proposition unworkable for anyone. One Hackernews believes that hosting an app store is impossible because of liberals, and it turns out there are in fact other Hackernews who feel that way.