Jon Evans

Latest from Jon Evans

  • 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

  • FoundationDB And The New NoSQL Crunch Network

    FoundationDB And The New NoSQL

    Databases are the spine of the tech industry: unsung, invisible, but critical–and beyond disastrous when they break or are deformed. This makes database people cautious. For years, only the Big Three–Oracle, IBM’s DB2, and (maybe) SQL Server–were serious options. Then the open-source alternatives–MySQL, PostgreSQL–became viable. …And then, over the last… Read More

  • A Bitcoin Battle Is Brewing Crunch Network

    A Bitcoin Battle Is Brewing

    Did you know the Bitcoin community is riven by tension, drama, competing agendas, and at least two starkly different visions of our economic future? That even as major banks who thought of Bitcoin as snake oil re-assess its blockchain technology as a major breakthrough, and smart money pours into blockchain startups, the few at its cutting edge are increasingly divided against themselves? Read More

  • Mo’ Data Mo’ Problems Crunch Network

    Mo’ Data Mo’ Problems

    The most exciting promise of Big Data—and if you hate that term, you’re not alone, but I think we’re stuck with it now—is this: the data collection happening on an increasingly gargantuan scale, parsed by modern data-processing and pattern-recognition algorithms, will unearth powerful new insights into our world and, especially, human behavior. Unfortunately this is… Read More

  • Uber Über Alles Crunch Network

    Uber Über Alles

    Oh, Uber. Such a great service…run by such short-sighted, thin-skinned executives. Clue: when people criticize you and/or your company, suck it up, take the criticism on board and apologize/adjust if warranted, then shut up and move on. Do not muse aloud, even at a quasi-off-the-record party, about forming million-dollar funds to attack and silence your critics. Read More

  • WhatsApp Partners With Open WhisperSystems To End-To-End Encrypt Billions Of Messages A Day

    WhatsApp Partners With Open WhisperSystems To End-To-End Encrypt Billions Of Messages A Day

    Good news for people who love privacy and security! Bad news for black-hat hackers and government surveillance agencies. WhatsApp, the wildly popular messaging app, has partnered with the crypto gurus at Open WhisperSystems to implement strong end-to-end encryption on all WhatsApp text messages–meaning not even Zuck himself to pry into your conversations, even if a court order demands it. Read More

  • Where I Went Wrong, Again Crunch Network

    Where I Went Wrong, Again

    Dear readers: can you believe I’ve been writing this weekly column for four years now? Me neither. But I have, and it’s time for my annual self-flagellation piece, in which I iterate over my opinions and predictions of the previous year, trumpet my triumphs, and confess all the things I got completely wrong. Read More

  • Disrupting Democracy Crunch Network

    Disrupting Democracy

    You have to grudgingly admire the black-hat political hackers who have pwned the American electoral system. First, entrench a two-party system; second, gerrymander districts into tortuous shapes; third, cultivate an electorate so polarized that no matter how much voters dislike their incumbent, they hate the alternative worse; fourth, profit! It’s elegant, horrifying brilliance. Read More

  • Why Is It Bad For Tech To Eat Jobs? Crunch Network

    Why Is It Bad For Tech To Eat Jobs?

    Most jobs suck. Yours probably doesn’t–after all, you’re a member of the highly educated, cutting-edge TechCrunch demographic–but most jobs, almost by definition, are done by people coerced by the fear of not having enough money into doing work they mostly don’t want to do. We should be ecstatic about the prospect of robots doing that work for us. Shouldn’t we? Read More

  • Bitcoin 2.0: Sidechains And Ethereum And Zerocash, Oh My! Crunch Network

    Bitcoin 2.0: Sidechains And Ethereum And Zerocash, Oh My!

    Strange, interesting, and wildly ambitious things are afoot in the world of Bitcoin and blockchains. I give you Zerocash, a completely anonymous currency; Ethereum, a blockchain platform designed to decentralize much of the Internet; and Sidechains, a proposal to accelerate the evolution of Bitcoin itself. Any one of these could conceivably become a very big deal. All three? Prick up your ears. Read More

  • You Too May Be A Victim Of Developaralysis Crunch Network

    You Too May Be A Victim Of Developaralysis

    Dear developers: Do you feel insecure because you’re only fluent in a mere eight programming languages used across three families of devices? Does exposure to yet another JavaScript framework make you shudder and wince? Have you postponed a pet project because you couldn’t figure out which cloud platform would be best for it? You too may suffer from Developaralysis. Be afraid. There… Read More

  • The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things Crunch Network

    The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things

    The Internet Of Things is coming. Rejoice! …Mostly. It will open our collective eyes to petabytes of real-time data, which we will turn into new insights and efficiencies. It will doubtless save lives. Oh, yes: and it will subtly redefine ownership as we know it. You will no longer own many of the most expensive and sophisticated items you possess. You may think you own them. But… Read More

  • Us vs. Them: What’s Wrong With You People? Crunch Network

    Us vs. Them: What’s Wrong With You People?

    Internet, we need to talk. In a nuanced, thoughtful, intelligent way. I don’t want this to turn into some kind of knee-jerk confrontation. But it will, won’t it? You’ll end up citing the Nazis while frothing at the mouth, won’t you? That’s what you do. Every. Single. Time. What’s wrong with you, Internet? Why can’t we just agree to disagree? By which… Read More

  • We Have Entered The Golden Age Of Hardware Hacking Crunch Network

    We Have Entered The Golden Age Of Hardware Hacking

    Hardware is the new hotness. This has been true for some years now: but today, the acorns planted by Arduino, TechShop, Kickstarter, lean prototyping, etc., are finally beginning to sprout into oaks. The best thing about this year’s Disrupt SF conference was that its Startup Alley boasted far fewer sugar-water SoLoMo apps…and many more nifty hardware start-ups. Read More

  • Let’s Fix The Internet Crunch Network

    Let’s Fix The Internet

    I hate to be the one to tell you this, but: we, the people of the Internet, have collectively run up a colossal amount of technical debt. Much of our online infrastructure consists of band-aid and/or legacy Rube Goldberg solutions hacked together with bubble gum and baling wire; and the only way to pay back technical debt is to fix it. The good news is, we’re finally doing just that. Read More

  • Twitter’s Huge Mistake Crunch Network

    Twitter’s Huge Mistake

    The worst tech news I read last week was: “Twitter CFO says a Facebook-style filtered feed is coming, whether you like it or not.” The horrified firestorm of condemnation that erupted in response was the first time I’ve ever seen anything like unanimity on my Twitter feed. Fortunately, it seems it’s not actually happening. (At least not any time soon.) Read More

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