Opinion

  • On the dark art of software estimation Crunch Network

    On the dark art of software estimation

    “How long will it take?” demand managers, clients, and executives. “It takes as long as it takes,” retort irritated engineers. They counter: “Give us an estimate!” And the engineers gather their wits, call upon their experience, contemplate the entrails of farm animals, throw darts at a board adorned with client/manager/executive faces, and return–a… Read More

  • Past, present and pending photography meet in Leica’s screenless M-D

    Past, present and pending photography meet in Leica’s screenless M-D

    Footloose and LCD-free — that’s how Leica made the M-D. The new camera is actually old in several ways: It’s essentially 2015’s M packaged in the chassis of the limited, and also screenless, Leica 60. But the very fact that Leica is pursuing this almost absurd form of digital purism is suggestive of the future of photography. Read More

  • Users average 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram

    Users average 50 minutes per day on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram

    Facebook’s “family of apps” strategy is a wild success. While some might have expected it to roll Instagram into Facebook and leave chat in its main app, keeping Instagram independent and splitting off Messenger into a companion app has helped it solidify itself as more than just a ubiquitous utility, but as a downright addiction. Today on the Q1 2016 earnings call, Mark… Read More

  • The FBI is working hard to keep you unsafe Crunch Network

    The FBI is working hard to keep you unsafe

    Did you know that the US government is sitting on its own Strategic Zero-Day Reserve? A “zero-day” is a software vulnerability that allows adversaries to bypass or reduce security restrictions; lets them hack systems which use that software, basically. These are not restricted to shady criminal hackers. They are strategic weapons in the hands of nation-states, including America. Read More

  • Tip your Uber driver

    Tip your Uber driver

    Don’t argue, just do it. Read More

  • We should be worried about job atomization, not job automation Crunch Network

    We should be worried about job atomization, not job automation

    In the future, machines will do tedious, repetitive work for us, and do more of it than humans ever could, simultaneously increasing economic output and liberating humans everywhere from drudgery. We all know what that means: Disaster! Dystopia! Catastrophe! Everybody panic, the robots are stealing our jobs! We’re dooooooomed! Read More

  • Buying @Haje: How I got my given name as my Twitter handle for $250

    Buying @Haje: How I got my given name as my Twitter handle for $250

    You’ll never guess how I got my given name as my Twitter handle. It involved a six-month campaign that included some light Internet stalking, badgering staff at Twitter, $250 and a visit to the patent office. In addition to being an early adopter, I’m an idiot. I failed to realize how big Twitter was going to become in the next decade, and, more importantly, what people would be… Read More

  • Dear Facebook, why are Facebook Comments so unremittingly terrible? Crunch Network

    Dear Facebook, why are Facebook Comments so unremittingly terrible?

    For long months now, Facebook Comments have been riddled by some of the most transparent, eye-roll-inducing “I make a good salary working from home” spam you’ve ever seen. Every mail service can filter it out; but Facebook? Home to cutting-edge AI research, massively scalable services, some of the smartest software people in the world? Nope, spam appears to be beyond… Read More

  • GoPro goes all-in on VR without a winning hand

    GoPro goes all-in on VR without a winning hand

    Flat video is so last century, and GoPro is pulling out all the stops. Through a series of product launches — most recently the new Omni — the company signals that it has your back in the battle against bi-dimensional consumption of moving pictures. The strategy confirms the obvious — i.e. that it knows which way the wind is blowing. But I think it’s too little, too late. Read More

  • A few things I learned about virtual reality after spending way too much time in it

    A few things I learned about virtual reality after spending way too much time in it

    I’ve spent a lot of time in virtual reality. A whole lot. We’re in the middle of building a VR testing lab at the TechCrunch office, and I’m trying to iron out as many kinks as possible before said kinks end up costing me money. Between the Rift CV1 and the Vive, I’ve spent more time in a VR headset than anyone who isn’t building VR stuff should have at this… Read More

  • Hollywood vs. VR Crunch Network

    Hollywood vs. VR

    Let us all take a moment to celebrate the remarkable resilience of Hollywood. As “the music industry finds itself fighting over pennies while waving goodbye to dollars,” to quote the New York Times; as the publishing industry finds itself increasingly eclipsed by Amazon; as “the number of people watching TV is falling off a cliff,” as Business Insider puts it —… Read More

  • The death of ‘Internet’

    The death of ‘Internet’

    On April 2, the folks responsible for the entries in the Associated Press Stylebook announced that the word “Internet” will no longer be uppercased, thus breaking my heart and making some of our writers very happy. Read More

  • Moneyball is dead. Long live Moneyball! Crunch Network

    Moneyball is dead. Long live Moneyball!

    While it seems the term has been around baseball forever, the concept of “moneyball” – coined to describe the Oakland Athletics’ approach to building competitive teams despite being hamstrung with one of the sport’s lowest payrolls – entered the popular lexicon with Michael Lewis’ Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, in 2003 (followed by the… Read More

  • Slack’s growth is insane, with daily user count up 3.5X in a year

    Slack’s growth is insane, with daily user count up 3.5X in a year

    Plenty of startups have tried and failed to make enterprise software sexy, but Slack made it viral. Its growth rate is unheard of. Both Slack’s daily user count and its paid seat count are up 3.5X in just a year. Tons of people have still never heard of it, but with this momentum, they probably will soon (it’s workplace chat). What the growth means for Slack is network effect. Read More

  • A rant about why Snapchat 2.0 is no disappearing teen fad

    Ignore Snapchat at your own peril. It’s a lot more than sexts and ephemeral photos. Today’s Chat 2.0 update makes Snapchat a competitor to your phone itself. What started as an app for horny high school kids has blossomed into the most vibrant communication platform on the market. Watch my video rant above to see why Snapchat suddenly got a lot more important, see a demo of the… Read More

  • This war on math is still bullshit Crunch Network

    This war on math is still bullshit

    In the wake of Paris, San Bernardino, and now Brussels, the encryption debate has become such a potent cocktail of horror, idiocy, and farce that it has become hard to tease out any rational threads of discussion. There is so much stupidity that I hardly know where to begin; but let’s start with the farce. Everybody loves a farce, right? Read More

  • Disrupting the wrong stuff

    Disrupting the wrong stuff

    Author Tom Wolfe once wrote a book about the American space program called The Right Stuff. Last week I wrote a piece called Technology is disrupting everything. I don’t bring up Wolfe’s work to compare myself to him — that would be laughable — but because an astute reader named John G. Moore, Jr. left me a comment in that piece that got me thinking we are in fact… Read More

  • These are testing times: mavericks vs. ice people Crunch Network

    These are testing times: mavericks vs. ice people

    One of my earliest engineering jobs, before I fled hardware in favor of the (relative) ease and lucre of software, was in chip design. I remember being shocked when I learned just how much of the processor in question was devoted to test circuitry. Why waste so much on testing, I thought, instead of just getting it right the first time? Oh, how young and incredibly stupid I was. Read More

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