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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  • 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

  • We Are All Venture Capitalists Now Crunch Network

    We Are All Venture Capitalists Now

    “I would again draw an analogy to venture capital,” observes Ben Thompson, in a typically incisive Stratechery post eviscerating the new streaming service Tidal. “The importance–and amount–of venture capital has never been greater. The truth is that because so many folks can now get started it is that much harder–and more expensive–to cut through… Read More

  • On The War On General Purpose Computing Crunch Network

    On The War On General Purpose Computing

    The powers that be want to control your phones and your drones. And who can blame them? It was inevitable. Of course they’re upset that smartphones are making it hard to catch speeders. Of course manufacturers are hurrying to ensure that drones refuse to fly to certain locations, before they’re forced to do so by law. Those are the instruments of power in today’s and… Read More

  • Whatever Happened To PaaS? Crunch Network

    Whatever Happened To PaaS?

    In 2009 I discovered Google App Engine and fell in love. Its promise: any software developer could build web apps available to anyone, anywhere, 24/7, without having to worry about server configuration, or database setup, or OS versions, or security patches, or load balancing, or scaling. Automatic scaling! All we had to do was write our code; App Engine would handle everything else. Read More

  • Porn, Sex, Tech, And Cindy Gallop Crunch Network

    Porn, Sex, Tech, And Cindy Gallop

    “Most likely it will be amateur pornographers who make best use of Meerkat’s special features,” observes The Economist drily, ending an analysis of the battle between Meerkat and Periscope. “They have a long history of kick-starting new video technologies.” Indeed. Porn is always at the forefront of technology. But what about sex? Read More

  • A Farewell To Jobs Crunch Network

    A Farewell To Jobs

    Few subjects elicit more skepticism than the so-called “sharing economy.” Kevin Roose argues: “The Sharing Economy Isn’t About Trust, It’s About Desperation.” Catherine Rampell warns: “there’s a dark side to these work arrangements … the shifting of risk off corporate balance sheets and onto the shoulders of individual Americans.” Read More

  • The Terrible Technical Interview Crunch Network

    The Terrible Technical Interview

    Traditional technical interviews are terrible for everyone. They’re a bad way for companies to evaluate candidates. They’re a bad way for candidates to evaluate companies. They waste time and generate stress on both sides. Almost everyone, if pressed, will admit this. And yet they persist. I humbly suggest that it is time for engineers to start to flatly refuse to participate in them. Read More

  • Creeping Towards Hardware As A Service Crunch Network

    Creeping Towards Hardware As A Service

    There seems to be cool new hardware everywhere I look these days. Swimming drones. Crash-proof flying drones. Creepy robots. Kickstarters like Hackaball, “a smart and responsive ball children can program to invent and play their own games.” Startups like Orion Labs, with their Star-Trek-esque Onyx communicator. Read More

  • The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key Crunch Network

    The Doomed Quest For The Golden Key

    Some months ago, the Washington Post waded into the debate about the NSA, pervasive surveillance, and end-to-end encryption with a call for Apple and Google to magically “invent a kind of secure golden key they would retain and use only when a court has approved a search warrant.” This was met with a chorus of contempt and opprobrium. Read More

  • Beware The Pretty People Crunch Network

    Beware The Pretty People

    The tech industry used to be home to a disproportionate number of misfits and weirdos. Geeks. Nerds. People who needed to know how machines worked; needed to take them apart, make them better, and put them back together again. People who existed a little apart from society’s established hierarchy … and often saw that hierarchy as another machine to be deconstructed and improved. Read More

  • The Bitcoin Jet, Or, How Does Cryptocurrency Go Mainstream? Crunch Network

    The Bitcoin Jet, Or, How Does Cryptocurrency Go Mainstream?

    DIGITAL CURRENCIES ACCEPTED HERE proclaims the plaque at my local froyo place, emblazoned with the Bitcoin logo: but when I ask how I would pay with Bitcoin, the Australian woman behind the counter shrugs and says, “I think we have a tablet somewhere with instructions on the back? …Nobody’s ever tried to pay me with it.” Read More

  • Don’t Be Google Crunch Network

    Don’t Be Google

    Dear Google: what happened? Android sales are falling. Chrome has become a bloated hog. Analysts are calling you “the new Microsoft,” or worse, “the new Yahoo!” And worst, most damning of all: you have squandered our trust. You used to be special, Google. Or at least we used to believe you were special. But you seem more and more like just another megacorporation. Read More

  • What You Need To Know About Zero Knowledge Crunch Network

    What You Need To Know About Zero Knowledge

    Anonymity? Privacy? How quaint. We live in a world bedecked with ever more cameras, ever more sensors, ever more drones, ever more data, ever fewer things that can be hidden. TLS and Tor can hide your activities online, true — but, realistically, everything important you do, online or off, can easily be audited and tracked by governments and/or corporations. Read More

  • Three Reasons Why Your Software Is So Far Behind Schedule Crunch Network

    Three Reasons Why Your Software Is So Far Behind Schedule

    When not opining here on TechCrunch I’m a software engineer for the fine folks at HappyFunCorp (1) and I’m occasionally called on to diagnose and fix projects that have gone horribly wrong (2). The more I do this, the more I notice commonalities among problem projects–“antipatterns,” if you will. Here I give you three more of my ongoing list of such. Names have… Read More

  • This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous Crunch Network

    This Industry Is Still Completely Ridiculous

    Things are getting pretty strange out there. Roughly a year ago I wrote a post entitled “This Industry Is Completely Ridiculous.” Since then, as you probably already know, our world has gotten even more surreal. If anything the ridiculousness is accelerating. It’s like the tech industry is subject to a Moore’s Law of weird. Read More

  • Foundation And Big Data Crunch Network

    Foundation And Big Data

    The Internet has become the world’s Sorting Hat: it identifies, and increasingly defines, the subculture(s) to which people belong. Does your Facebook feed feature Mother Jones or Fox News? The Guardian or The Telegraph? GamerGate vs Social Justice Warriors. Civil libertarians vs. terror-thumping authoritarians. r/parenting vs. r/childfree. Second Life vs. Digital Detox. Read More

  • Decentralize All The Things! Crunch Network

    Decentralize All The Things!

    They gave us a fully decentralized Internet and we used it to build web services–Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, iCloud–so massively centralized they verge on being quasi-medieval fiefdoms. Now we’re building the Internet of Someone Else’s Things, wherein every room of every home will contain devices controlled by servers the homeowners don’t know, control, or understand. Read More

  • 11 Ways Old Journalism Was The Worst Crunch Network

    11 Ways Old Journalism Was The Worst

    In October of last year, Brookings published an essay by Robert Kaiser entitled “The Bad News About The News,” which was probably well-intentioned, but was also — I’m sorry to say — hilariously bloviated, self-important, and wrongheaded. It did, however, accidentally raise a few quite interesting points. Read More

  • When Will Your Phone Replace Your Keys And Wallet? Crunch Network

    When Will Your Phone Replace Your Keys And Wallet?

    When I leave my home, I check that I have three things: keys, wallet, phone. How long will it be until the first two are obsolete? My wallet has only three things I actually need: credit cards, cash, ID. Any American with an iPhone 6 has already obsoleted credit cards, courtesy Apple Pay. Any Kenyan, Senegalese, etc. with a phone has long obsoleted cash, courtesy M-Pesa, Orange Money, etc. Read More

  • Why Is Yahoo Still So Bad At The Basics? Crunch Network

    Why Is Yahoo Still So Bad At The Basics?

    I’m reluctant to cite what I’m about to cite. It’s scathing. It’s scurrilous. It’s caustic criticism that seems often overblown and, in some cases, deliberately devoid of context. It’s the New York Times Magazine‘s condensation of Nicholas Carlson’s book about Marissa Mayer, which is clearly an attempt to do to her what Hatching Twitter did to… Read More