Jon Evans

Latest from Jon Evans

  • I Do Not Want Your Stupid App Crunch Network

    I Do Not Want Your Stupid App

    I do not want your stupid app
    I will not use this siloed crap.
    I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
    I do not want this mobile spam! Read More

  • I Like To Block It Block It Crunch Network

    I Like To Block It Block It

    And lo, on the day of the ninth release, the Lord Cook did cry ‘havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of flamewars, and permitted ad blockers in iOS; and there was much rejoicing, and much wailing and gnashing of teeth, because freaking everyone had a strong opinion on the subject. Who would have thought that the chattering classes had so much passion in them? Read More

  • It’s Raining Donuts, Or, The Limits Of Exponential Decline Crunch Network

    It’s Raining Donuts, Or, The Limits Of Exponential Decline

    In 1913, in what is now an affluent suburb of Cairo, Egypt, an American engineer named Frank Shuman built the world’s first solar thermal power station, which pumped 100 gallons/second of Nile water into nearby cotton fields. He later declared in the New York Times: “After our stores of oil and coal are exhausted the human race can receive unlimited power from the rays of the… Read More

  • Surviving The Technical Cambrian Explosion Crunch Network

    Surviving The Technical Cambrian Explosion

    I’ve been doing a lot of recruiting lately. My employers HappyFunCorp are in the midst of another growth spurt. One of my most illuminating questions is: “What’s your strategy for keeping up-to-date with the Cambrian explosion of technical frameworks, languages, databases, templating systems, and so forth?” Everyone has a strategy — but nobody seems to feel… Read More

  • Obligatory Burning Man Think Piece Crunch Network

    Obligatory Burning Man Think Piece

    Larry, Sergey, and Eric are burners. So are Zuck, Dustin Moskovitz, and the Winklevii; so are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Shervin Pishevar. Every year thousands of techies flock to ephemeral Black Rock City, Nevada’s 10th largest urban area during the week it exists. So many imagine Burning Man as a kind of summer camp for the tech industry. They could hardly be more wrong. Read More

  • The Honeywell Bubble Count Revisited Crunch Network

    The Honeywell Bubble Count Revisited

    I am a tall straight white cisgendered Canadian man in excellent health, i.e. I won pretty much every available lottery on the day I was born. People expect me to excel at things, or at least they don’t expect me not to. Concierges at five-star hotels are eager to help me, and rarely even ask me whether or not I am a guest. Read More

  • 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

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