Webshit Weekly (2022/08/14)

An annotated digest of the top “Hacker” “News” posts for the second week of August, 2022.

(A tribute[1] to the seemingly ended webshit weekly series from n-gate.)

To uncover a deepfake video call, ask the caller to turn sideways

August 8, 2022 (comments)

Metaphysic (a company that seeks to “empower individuals” with artificial intelligence “content generation” (read: plagiarism laundering) tools) determines that relatively few images of people in big datasets are from a completely in profile. As such, deepfake tools have poor results when compositing someone’s face onto a profile view of a subject. Hackernews helpfully notes that this is merely a present limitation of deepfake and face alignment neural networks, and that within a few short years, these dark days of deepfake detectability will be behind us. Other Hackernews propose a series of solutions that will surely not be defeated by further advancements in deepfake tools.

An incident impacting 5M accounts and private information on Twitter

August 9, 2022 (comments)

Twitter (business model: “Uber for bad takes”) informs the public that a flaw in their code let anyone discover which account, if any, a particular email address or phone number belonged to. Again. They assure everyone that they take privacy Very Seriously and that only they are allowed to use that information for illicit purposes. One Hackernews considers the possibility of enumerating all 10 billion phone numbers. A number of Hackernews also note that Twitter helpfully victim blames suggests their users simply not use a publicly-known phone number to protect against the company’s incompetence.

Instagram can track anything you do on any website in their in-app browser

August 10, 2022 (comments)

Meta™ (business model: “Uber for antitrust complaints”) decides that not only are they entitled to write down everything you do on their websites apps metaspaces, but they are also entitled to spy on you whenever you try to leave them. Hackernews are confused about why Meta™ doesn’t simply use the APIs provided by Apple (business model: “Uber for UI frameworks”) for showing web views without spyware. A conversation ensues about whether Apple should neuter in-app, faux-Safari browsers and further clamp down on the already nigh nonexistent 3rd-party browser ecosystem (another topic of frequent consternation). Another sub-thread raises the alarm that in-app web browsers allow access to *shock*, *awe* The Internet.

A 17-year-old designed a novel synchronous reluctance motor

August 11, 2022 (comments)

A high school student improves upon an electric motor design that doesn’t use rare-earth magnets. Hackernews bitterly resents that they weren’t child prodigies and tries to nitpick the student’s work into meaningless-ness. Other Hackernews conclude that maybe the kids are alright.

Arrest of suspected developr of Tornado Cash

August 12, 2022 (comments)

The Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (business model: “Uber for stopping financial crimes”) arrests a man believed to be the developer of the Ethereum tumbler Tornado Cash (business model: “Uber for committing financial crimes”). Hackernews is very concerned about their future prospects if all of a sudden governments are arresting people who build software designed to let people commit crimes. One subthread devolves into arguments about gun rights in the United States (business model: “Uber for racial inequality”) and others into general fearmongering about the end of privacy as we know it.

I hacked my car

August 13, 2022 (comments)

In which the author finds a series of vulnerabilities that should be embarassing for a company with a 36B USD market cap, culminating in finding the private key used to sign their car’s firmware on the internet—an engineer having evidently reused it from a tutorial. At over 3000 words, most Hackernews can’t be bothered with reading it and, as such, the comments are a barren wasteland. Hackernews mostly has complaints about their own cars. Another Hackernews does a casual racism and slights the engineering ability of an entire continent (but it’s definitely okay because he’s personally had bad experiences with those people).

Oasis: Small statically-linked Linux system

August 14, 2022 (comments)

Some developers have come up with a Linux (business model: “Uber for FOSS dweebs”) distribution that will be even more annoying to use than the usual musl-based ones. Half of Hackernews rails against dynamic linking and the other half rails against static linking. Compromise is on no one’s mind; this can only end in war. Only one Hackernews is excited about any other potential merit of the project (namely that it boots a few seconds faster than their current distro of choice).


  1. Contrary to the title, I will not be doing this weekly for I have neither the time nor the energy. I deeply respect that n-gate was able to do it for nearly 5 years, I couldn’t have managed a fraction as long. ↩︎

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