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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  • Notes From Crazytown, Day Three: Black Hat Breakdown

    Notes From Crazytown, Day Three: Black Hat Breakdown

    So far this week, at Black Hat, I have learned to deeply mistrust: passwords, chip-and-PIN cards, USB devices, HTTPS connections, more than two billion phones, governments worldwide, all human societies, and my sense of the ridiculous. You should mistrust all those too! Sorry. What follows is a summary of the most eyebrow-raising talks I attended or heard about: Read More

  • Notes From Crazytown, Day Two: How To Fix Everything

    Notes From Crazytown, Day Two: How To Fix Everything

    Did you know the CIA has a venture fund? Of course the CIA has a venture fund. It’s called In-Q-Tel, and yesterday its Chief Information Security Officer, Dan Geer, a world-weary man with white Wolverine sideburns, stepped forth from the shadows to give the keynote address at Black Hat. It was a remarkable speech and I want to signal-boost it. Read More

  • Notes From Crazytown, Day One: The Business Of Fear

    Notes From Crazytown, Day One: The Business Of Fear

    Can your computer be hacked? Yep. Can your phone be hacked? Yep. Have your passwords been harvested? Very possibly. (The NYT just reported that one Russian group has more than a billion, though it’s unclear how many are salted and hashed.) So how worried should you be, exactly? …Good luck getting a real answer to that. Almost nobody has a strong incentive to give you one. Read More

  • Dear America, Would You Please Give Edward Snowden His Medal Of Freedom Already?

    Dear America, Would You Please Give Edward Snowden His Medal Of Freedom Already?

    2013: “A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face¬≠book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur.” 2014: “Politically, it’s plutonium now for a member of Congress in this environment to be supporting something that would enhance the government’s ability to… Read More

  • 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