Jon Evans

Jon Evans

Jon Evans is a novelist, journalist, and software engineer. His novels have been published around the world, translated into several languages, and praised by The Times, The Economist, and the Washington Post. His journalism has appeared in Wired, Reader's Digest, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, and The Times of India, and he writes a weekly column for TechCrunch. Jon also has a degree in electrical engineering and a decade of experience as a software developer, building everything from smartphone apps to billion-dollar asset-allocation services.

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  • Don’t Be Apple Crunch Network

    Don’t Be Apple

    There is so much to admire about Apple. They make superb, beautiful products. Their amazing comeback story is unparalleled in corporate history. Steve Jobs has become something akin to a modern-day patron saint of the tech industry. Tim Cook is, rightly, enormously respected. So why do I think they represent so much of what’s wrong with the tech world? Read More

  • Bluetooth Suppositories And Other Teledildonics You Didn’t Know You Needed Crunch Network

    Bluetooth Suppositories And Other Teledildonics You Didn’t Know You Needed

    Let us talk frankly about technology and sex, which are, as the old ad has it, two great tastes that taste great together. Let’s talk about vibrators, and teledildonics, and orgasms, and KinkBNB, and VR porn, and “Uber for escorts.” And let’s talk again about how our collective inability to about our collective inability to think about, talk about, and invest in sex in… Read More

  • The Thin Black-Clad Line Crunch Network

    The Thin Black-Clad Line

    We live in a cyberpunk novel. Every major nation-state clandestinely develops (and/or purchases) carefully targeted malware, and constantly probes—or penetrates—other nations’ defenses while desperately evaluating their offensive capabilities. Criminal undergrounds ransom ordinary users’ computers for bitcoin. Fortune 500 companies are breached almost monthly. Read More

  • Hack The Planet! (Before It’s Too Late)

    Hack The Planet! (Before It’s Too Late)

    Greetings from the gaudy hellscape of Las Vegas, and that overcrowded maelstrom of surly hackers known as DEF CON! What follows is a brief rundown of the talks here (and its big corporate sister Black Hat) that seemed particularly interesting. Short version: software is eating the world; software can be hacked; ergo, the world can be hacked. Be afraid. Read More

  • Should Software Companies Be Legally Liable For Security Breaches? Crunch Network

    Should Software Companies Be Legally Liable For Security Breaches?

    It’s a truism that all software has bugs and security holes. It’s another that license agreements invariably make software vendors immune to liability for damage or losses caused by such flaws. But, to my surprise, Black Hat’s founder and keynote speaker are arguing that software product liability, presumably mandated by governments, is inevitable. If they’re right… Read More

  • “The Dream Of Internet Freedom Is Dying”

    “The Dream Of Internet Freedom Is Dying”

    So says Jennifer Granick, who gave the keynote address at the (somewhat infamous) Black Hat security conference today. Once, techno-utopians could say things like “The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it.” Today, though, the ongoing centralization of the Internet in the name of security and convenience “increasingly facilitates surveillance, censorship… Read More

  • Vapor No More: Ethereum Has Launched Crunch Network

    Vapor No More: Ethereum Has Launched

    Thursday was, I think, a historic day–though whether it becomes a memorable milestone like the launch of the Altair 8800, or an obscure footnote à la CP/M, remains to be seen. Thursday was the day that the Ethereum Project finally launched, after much sound and fury, including raising ~US$10 million (in Bitcoin.) It’s a fascinating, wildly ambitious project, and it is vaporware… Read More

  • Technology Is Magic, Just Ask The Washington Post Crunch Network

    Technology Is Magic, Just Ask The Washington Post

    Most people don’t understand how technology works. When they flip a light switch, or tap their phone, what happens next is essentially magic to them. Oh, they may be able to handwave a bit about electrons and volts and microprocessors and radio waves and packet-switched networks, but they’re just mouthing the words. They don’t actually understand any of those things. Read More

  • We’re All Doomed, Or, Towards A Border Gateway Super Posse Crunch Network

    We’re All Doomed, Or, Towards A Border Gateway Super Posse

    Everything is broken. Just ask any security engineer. Way back in 1998, the members of the hacker collective L0pht testified to Congress that they could take down the entire Internet in 30 minutes by abusing BGP, the Border Gateway Protocol, an obscure but critically important routing system. That was seventeen years ago and BGP is still vulnerable. Everything is terrible. Read More

  • All Hail The Mega-Processor! Crunch Network

    All Hail The Mega-Processor!

    Once upon a time, long ago, there were computers, and they were very large. Warehouse large. Multi-story large. Tractor-trailer large. So large that in those mythical days of yore, now lost in the mists of time, men were real men(1), women were real women(2), and bugs were actual physical bugs(3), to paraphrase Douglas Adams. Read More

  • So About That Whole Tech-Eating-Jobs Thing Crunch Network

    So About That Whole Tech-Eating-Jobs Thing

    The argument seems compelling, the logic inescapable. As hardware doubles its density every 18-24 months, courtesy of Moore’s Law, and as software eats the world, technology will replace a broad swathe of jobs outright–from burger-flippers to physicians–and networks will atomize many others from full-time positions into gigs performed by many fungible workers. Tech, in… Read More

  • The Future Is Here, It’s Just Unevenly Distributed Systems Crunch Network

    The Future Is Here, It’s Just Unevenly Distributed Systems

    Hearken to me, my fellow developers. We live in complex and confusing times. Once we sought to make things ever simpler. Then we discovered that simple isn’t necessarily scalable, or efficient, or resilient, and turned to favoring composition over simplicity, deconstructing our systems into multiple independent services. And now–well–now it sometimes seems we have hit upon… Read More

  • Here Come The Dannies Crunch Network

    Here Come The Dannies

    Take a quick look, a sneak peek, into our not-so-distant future, courtesy of the great science-fiction writer Peter Watts(1), who writes in Aeon magazine: “You already know that we can run machines with our brainwaves. That’s been old news for almost a decade… But we’ve moved beyond merely thinking orders at machinery. Now we’re using that machinery to wire… Read More

  • Sidechains And Lightning, The New New Bitcoin Crunch Network

    Sidechains And Lightning, The New New Bitcoin

    The great thing about Bitcoin, for a tech columnist like me, is that it’s simultaneously over-the-top cinematic and technically dense. Richard Branson recently hosted a “Blockchain Summit” at his private Caribbean island. There’s a Bitcoin Jet. At the same time, 2015 has seen the release of a whole slew of technically gnarly–and technically… Read More

  • On Managing Developers Crunch Network

    On Managing Developers

    I’ve been a software developer, a novelist, a journalist, and a manager–and managing developers is easily the trickiest thing I’ve ever done. (Not the hardest. But the trickiest.) I don’t pretend to be an expert, or a great manager. But I can assure you I am someone who screwed up a lot along the road to being better. Here are some mistakes from which I have learned: Read More

  • The War On Crypto Terror Crunch Network

    The War On Crypto Terror

    Governments are scared of software. This month, the Commerce Department proposed to classify “intrusion software” as dual-use civilian/military technology; the UK announced a law which will require “Google, Facebook and other internet giants” to “give British spies access to encrypted conversations”; and the Justice Department claimed APIs should be… Read More

  • The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues Crunch Network

    The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues

    Bitcoin: it’s at a crucially important crossroads; it’s approaching a crisis that threatens its very existence; it has never been more likely to erupt into enormous global importance. Which? Don’t be ridiculous. It is all those things at once, of course, as usual. I only wish I was joking. If you’re dumb enough to judge Bitcoin purely by its exchange rate, you might… Read More

  • After Revolution 2.0 Crunch Network

    After Revolution 2.0

    Remember 2011? The Arab Spring, a.k.a. “Revolution 2.0”? Four governments were overthrown, and the stage was set for further social-media-fuelled protests: Brazil. Ukraine. Turkey. It seems awfully apparent, now, that Facebook and Twitter can serve as a potent catalyst of eruptions of revolutionary fervor– –and equally apparent that that isn’t nearly enough to… Read More

  • Can You Fear Me Now? Crunch Network

    Can You Fear Me Now?

    I write to you from Aqaba, Jordan, a town made famous when conquered by “Lawrence of Arabia” and Faisal al-Hashimi 99 years ago, at a confluence where today four nations divide a mere 25 miles of coastline. So I have travel much on my mind. And it seems to me that the influence of travel on technology has hit another inflection point, and traditional travel companies have much… Read More

  • Death To C Crunch Network

    Death To C

    Ladies and gentlemen, the C programming language. It’s a classic. It is sleek, and spartan, and elegant. (Especially compared to its sequel, that bloated mess C++, which shares all the faults I’m about to describe.) It is blindingly, quicksilver fast, because it’s about as close to the bone of the machine as you can get. It is time-tested and ubiquitous. And it is… Read More

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