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. CrunchBase profile →

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  • Talk Private To Me: Free, Worldwide, Encrypted Voice Calls With Signal For iPhone

    Talk Private To Me: Free, Worldwide, Encrypted Voice Calls With Signal For iPhone

    Rejoice, O lovers of privacy! For Open WhisperSystems has released Signal for iPhone, which gives any and every iPhone wielder the power to fully encrypt their calls against prying ears — and is completely compatible with OWS’s time-tested and well-liked RedPhone for Android. Read More

  • How To Save Books

    How To Save Books

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a time of triumph, it was a time of disaster, it was the publishing industry in 2014, just after mighty Amazon fired a new salvo in its war on traditional publishing by announcing its $10/month Kindle Unlimited book subscription service. At first glance this might seem useless and ridiculous: Read More

  • Eigenmorality And The Dark Enlightenment

    Eigenmorality And The Dark Enlightenment

    This is a post about good vs. evil and right vs. wrong, but don’t worry, it’s highly technical. Let’s start with Stormfront, the white-supremacist hate site that attracts circa 300,000 unique American visitors per month, and the recent analysis of its members (and follow-up) by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in the New York Times. Some numbers you probably didn’t expect: Read More

  • The Great Fragmentation: We Are All Weirdos Now

    The Great Fragmentation: We Are All Weirdos Now

    “Technology isn’t a section in the newspaper any more. It’s the culture,” quoth Buzzfeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith, prompting some eyebrow-raising by Guardian and New York Times columnists. And here’s some more from TechCrunch…but my stance is a bit different. “The culture”? That’s an oxymoron. There is no such thing as majority… Read More

  • Who Watches The Watchmen?

    Who Watches The Watchmen?

    In honor of the Fourth of July, let’s talk a little about how horrifically paranoid and counterproductive the US government has become. And I’m not even talking about Congress! Instead I mean our old friend the No Such Agency, who, it turns out, have been singling out for special treatment anyone who displays any interest in tools which might make the NSA’s life more difficult. Read More

  • Foursquare, Quora, Path: What Becomes Of The Underachievers?

    Foursquare, Quora, Path: What Becomes Of The Underachievers?

    Foursquare, Quora, Path. Each is (or was) a Valley darling; each has millions of loyal users; each has raised more than $50 million, albeit nontraditionally, and been valued at $400 million or more — and each has recently done something remarkable. Foursquare and Path pivoted, hard. Quora, bizarrely, joined Y Combinator. Are they flailing, or is there method to this madness? Read More

  • Welcome To Extremistan! Please Check Your Career At The Door.

    Welcome To Extremistan! Please Check Your Career At The Door.

    Will robots and software eat all the jobs? No. Will robots and software eat your job? Yes, probably. Eventually. Rejoice! …for your grandchildren. You and your kids are likely to have a pretty tough time over the next few decades. Sorry about that. Read More

  • The Only Tragedy Of This War Is That One Day It Will End

    The Only Tragedy Of This War Is That One Day It Will End

    Did you know that the book publishing industry is at war with itself? No, wait, you’re a TechCrunch reader, wrong question. Did you know that the book publishing industry still exists? …This is kind of an awkward time for those of us who love both books and technology. It’s almost like you can’t cheer for both. This week’s example: the ongoing dirty war between… Read More

  • Dear Clients, Please Stop: Ten Ways Founders Sabotage Themselves

    Dear Clients, Please Stop: Ten Ways Founders Sabotage Themselves

    I spend my Saturdays ranting opining here on TechCrunch, but I spend my work weeks writing software, building apps, sites, and services for the fine startup-to-Fortune-500 clients of the software consultancy HappyFunCorp. (Check out our spiffy new web site!) In that time I have learned many lessons from our clients…the hard way. Read More

  • The Valley Has Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

    The Valley Has Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

    Silicon Valley, at its best, is a kind of insurgency. Most of the world is ruled by dinosaur bureaucrats; but as software eats the world, Valley misfits and iconoclasts, armed with razor-edge tech and contempt for the status quo, overthrow those antediluvian empires and build better ones, which light the path to a brighter tomorrow for us all… or that’s the story we tell ourselves. Read More

  • The Internet Is Burning

    The Internet Is Burning

    Online security is a horrifying nightmare. Heartbleed. Target. Apple. Linux. Microsoft. Yahoo. eBay. X.509. Whatever security cataclysm erupts next, probably in weeks or even days. We seem to be trapped in a vicious cycle of cascading security disasters that just keep getting worse. Read More

  • The Western Twitterer’s Burden

    The Western Twitterer’s Burden

    Sigh. Here we go again. The eyes of the world turn to something awful happening in a remote corner of Africa, and what feels like half of the Western population immediately rushes to proudly embarrass itself on social media everywhere. On the Internet, at least, #BringBackOurGirls is little more than #Kony2012 reloaded. It’s condescending, it’s patronizing, it’s… Read More

  • Google Maps Has Forsaken Us

    Google Maps Has Forsaken Us

    Once upon a time, in the days of yore — meaning, in hyper-fast-forward Silicon Valley, five years ago — there were things you could count on, evident truths on which you could rely, cornerstones on which you could construct your mental model of the world; and high on any such list would have been “Google will provide you with relevant search results.” Yeah, well, that… Read More

  • After Technology Destroys Capitalism

    After Technology Destroys Capitalism

    In honor of May Day, let’s think big for a moment. No, no, no. Bigger than that. Consider all the furious attention paid to economic inequality of late, courtesy of Thomas Piketty and Capital in the 21st Century. He argues that increasing inequality is an inevitable outcome of laissez-faire capitalism, and proposes we fix this with a global wealth tax. I humbly suggest that… Read More

  • What’s Your Honeywell Bubble Count?

    What’s Your Honeywell Bubble Count?

    I divided my time this month between West Africa and the Bay Area, which triggered a lot of cultural whiplash, which got me thinking about filter bubbles. I fear today’s technology can reinforce our instinct to confuse what’s familiar with what’s normal … which leads to skewed perceptions, bad decisions, and needless conflict. It’s OK to live in a bubble, but it… Read More

  • Bitcoin 2.0: Unleash The Sidechains

    Bitcoin 2.0: Unleash The Sidechains

    “Cryptocurrencies will create a fifth protocol layer powering the next generation of the Internet,” says Naval Ravikant. “Our 2014 fund will be built during the blockchain cycle,” concurs Fred Wilson. And Andreessen Horowitz have very visibly doubled down on Bitcoin. Even if you don’t believe in Bitcoin as a currency, and I’ll grant there’s plenty to… Read More

  • Google, Eich, Rice: The Evil That Tech Does

    Google, Eich, Rice: The Evil That Tech Does

    Techies hate politics. Well, no: we hate the idea of politics. Whenever I talk to pretty much anyone in the industry about politics as a sphere of human endeavor, from individual coders to zillionaire VCs, pained expressions cross their faces and they rush to distance themselves from the whole toxic mess. Which is a problem on two levels. One, now that technology is the dominant cultural… Read More

  • When Your Carrier Becomes Your Bank

    When Your Carrier Becomes Your Bank

    I write to you from my vacation, meaning, this time, the dusty port town of Kaolack in sunny Senegal. (What, your vacations don’t involve long hours spent riding in–or, sometimes, on–overcrowded West African inter-city public transit? Weirdo.) On arrival I picked up an Orange SIM card, which cost 1000 francs (US $2) and came with 1000 francs of credit. And then my cab driver… Read More

  • The Internet Is Held Together With Bubble Gum And Baling Wire

    The Internet Is Held Together With Bubble Gum And Baling Wire

    Did you know that, to quote an angry hacker: The Internet from every angle has always been a house of cards held together with defective duct tape. It’s a miracle that anything works at all. Those who understand a lot of the technology involved generally hate it, but at the same time are astounded that for end users, things seem to usually work rather well. Today I want to talk about all… Read More

  • Enter The Blockchain: How Bitcoin Can Turn The Cloud Inside Out

    Enter The Blockchain: How Bitcoin Can Turn The Cloud Inside Out

    Drop whatever you’re doing and go read Maciej CegÅ‚owski’s absolutely magnificent essay Our Comrade The Electron, an astonishing history of the amazing Russian engineer Lev Sergeyevich Termen. Make sure you read right down to its punchline, “the most badass answer imaginable.” But if time is short, or you struggle to read English, please at least read its angry rant… Read More