Opinion

 

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

    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, an 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

  • The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

    The Groups App I Wish Facebook Would Build

    About once a week, if not more, I find myself typing these words or something similar on Facebook: “I just PM’d you, check your ‘Other’ inbox.” Or, “sorry, I’m on mobile, I can’t get to the ‘Other’ inbox right now.” Or sometimes, just “bump.” If any of these phrases sound familiar, you’re probably also a member… Read More

  • You Too May Be A Victim Of Developaralysis

    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

  • Apple Announces Too Many iPads

    Apple Announces Too Many iPads

    If you’re in the market to buy a new iPad, your choices just became dizzying. As expected, Apple announced new iPads this morning at its news conference in Cupertino, but it didn’t retire some of its older products to make way for the additions. How many iPad models can you choose from now? Five? And that’s not even counting the fact that each flavor comes with various… Read More

  • The Internet Of Someone Else’s Things

    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

  • Months After Its “Upgrade,” Simple’s Online Bank Is Still Broken

    Months After Its “Upgrade,” Simple’s Online Bank Is Still Broken

    Simple is no longer “simple.” Nearly two months after an upgrade to its systems and infrastructure, online banking service Simple is still recovering from a series of glitches that have affected every aspect of money management from bill payments to being able to see a correct available balance to refund delays, credits appearing as debits, and much more. Read More

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

    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

  • Just Say No To This Sexual Consent App

    Just Say No To This Sexual Consent App

    It’s an oft-trotted-out tech truism that there’s an app for everything. But when a pitch for a smartphone application for sexual consent lands in the inbox, well yes, it can certainly feel like there is indeed an app for everything. Read More

  • We Have Entered The Golden Age Of Hardware Hacking

    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

  • The Demons Of On-Demand

    The Demons Of On-Demand

    Are today’s on-demand and local services really about catering to the lazy rich, as as claimed, or are they about a new way to book services from local providers by satisfying demand more efficiently through the use of geolocation and advanced software that can map out where customers are, what they need and when? I’d argue it’s likely the latter, but I also understand… Read More

  • Let’s Fix The Internet

    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

  • Hey Microsoft, Acquiring A Hit Game Is Stupid

    Hey Microsoft, Acquiring A Hit Game Is Stupid

    Buying a game company is like buying an aging baseball player. You’ll need a miracle to get another hit. And while they might have plenty of fans, they probably aren’t making a lot of new ones. Mojang hit a grand slam home run with Minecraft, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft should pay $2.5 billion for it, as it’s reportedly going to announce this week. There’s… Read More

  • Twitter’s Huge Mistake

    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

  • Sean Rad Backstage Interview

    How Tinder Transformed Dating, According To Its CEO

    Do you really know yourself if you’ve never had your heart broken? Tinder is often labeled a hookup app, but its CEO Sean Rad believes that going on lots of dates can teach you what you need in a soulmate. You can hear his perspective on Tinder’s impact in our backstage video interview at TechCrunch Disrupt SF.  Some believe Tinder and the globalized dating scene overwhelm us… Read More

  • When Old-Economy Jobs Become New-Economy Gigs

    When Old-Economy Jobs Become New-Economy Gigs

    I love the sharing economy because it’s efficient. Got some spare time? Become a TaskRabbit! Spare space? AirBNB it! A car and nowhere to go? Drive for Uber or Lyft! The taxi industry is a regulatory-capture nightmare. Disrupt ‘em ’til they’re dead! …But our 21st-century sharing-economy dream is beginning to look worryingly like a 19th-century robber-baron nightmare. Read More

  • It’s Time For VCs To Run To Their Bubble Bunkers

    It’s Time For VCs To Run To Their Bubble Bunkers

    Techstars, one of the most prominent accelerators in the world, announced yesterday that it was introducing what it called “an equity back guarantee.” The idea is that founders who join the program can ask for their equity to be returned (or a percentage of it) shortly after their Techstars batch ends if they feel that the accelerator didn’t provide them with sufficient… Read More

  • There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media

    There’s Something Rotten In The State Of Social Media

    Something smells increasingly rotten in the state of social media. Facebook forcing users to download a separate messaging app if they want to carry on IMing their friends. Twitter polluting its users’ carefully curated timelines with content they did not choose to read… The drive to maximize profits in this segment is homogenizing the content we get to see. Read More

  • Online Anonymity Will Soon Be The Only Kind We Have

    Online Anonymity Will Soon Be The Only Kind We Have

    Anonymity: it’s all the rage–Whisper, Secret–and it’s rage-inducing. A Brazilian court has ruled that Secret must be removed from app stores there, and existing installs remotely wiped. The UK’s House of Lords has recommended the end of online anonymity. As usual, judges and politicians don’t understand technology. Anonymity can used for awful things, yes… Read More

  • Nerds Love Twitch Because There, They Can Be Heroes

    Nerds Love Twitch Because There, They Can Be Heroes

    Why do so many people watch others play video games on Twitch? Because the fans don’t look much different from the celebrities. They all play the same games. In a world of muscle-clad athletes and beautiful pop stars, on Twitch all that matters are your skills and your wits. Be funny or fast on the trigger, and you can be famous, too. It’s aspirational. That lets viewers identify… Read More

  • Women In Tech: It’s Not Just A Pipeline Problem

    Women In Tech: It’s Not Just A Pipeline Problem

    Why are there so embarrassingly few women in the tech industry? Repeat after me, robotically, defensively: “It’s a pipeline problem!” So says David Cohen of TechStars, echoing many others, e.g. Paul Graham and CNN. But come on, folks. We’re kidding ourselves if we pretend that’s the only obstacle here. The pipeline problem is very real; but so is the trapdoor problem. Read More

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