Opinion

  • Stop Trying To Make Sense Out Of The Reddit Saga

    Stop Trying To Make Sense Out Of The Reddit Saga

    Why does reddit exist? How does reddit exist? Who are all of these people who participate? Who knows? They’re anonymous. How does something like reddit attract $50 million in funding? I have no idea, and a lot of the people I’ve been speaking to in tech circles over the past week don’t know, either. 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

  • The Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 10: The Rise Of Niche Video Streaming Services)

    The Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 10: The Rise Of Niche Video Streaming Services)

    While today’s cord cutters are replacing their former TV-viewing activities with popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, the shift away from linear television on to on-demand, online streams has allowed a variety of niche services to pop up, too. Available for a few more dollars per month, viewers now have the option of further customizing their over-the-top video… Read More

  • The Diversity Report Gap: Without Specific Goals, No Accountability

    The Diversity Report Gap: Without Specific Goals, No Accountability

    The diversity reports are back. Yesterday Yahoo became the most recent tech company to tell us how painfully similar its diversity numbers are to those it reported last year. In an effort spurred by Google, every major tech company released a diversity report last year. Releasing the first reports last year was an important step for tech. It allowed the industry to realize the scope of its… Read More

  • Reddit’s Community: Can’t Win With ‘Em, Can’t Win Without ‘Em

    Reddit’s Community: Can’t Win With ‘Em, Can’t Win Without ‘Em

    You know the story from beginning to end: A regular old website earns popularity, gains top users who are almost celebrities, and then the site dies more quickly than it rose. A lot happens in between, but those are the basics of it. Digg was a perfect example of this. Flickr is another. All of these sites have something in common: A fanatical reliance, if not focus, on… 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

  • Greek Crisis Underscores Value Of Cloud In Startup Ecosystem

    Greek Crisis Underscores Value Of Cloud In Startup Ecosystem

    There was a ton of fallout as the Greek economic crisis worsened this week week and the country struggled to come up with answers to its growing predicament. As Alexia Tsotsis explained  in an article on TechCrunch earlier this week: This week, the Syriza government failed in negotiations to receive a tranche of bailout money in time to make a $1.7 billion IMF payment on June 30th. Instead… Read More

  • When The Disrupted Push Back

    When The Disrupted Push Back

    We tend to think of disruption as kind of a passive activity. The determined upstart enters the market and the established business doesn’t give it a second thought. Then ever so slowly before it can even react, the industry suddenly realizes it’s lost control. In most cases, the incumbent tries the usual tactics, perhaps making a half-hearted effort to change strategies to be… Read More

  • Apple Music Is For People With No Clue What To Stream

    Apple Music Is For People With No Clue What To Stream

    You’re no DJ. That’s the biggest problem with streaming services. A search box connected to the history of recorded music can be discouraging. You constantly have to know what to play next. That’s why Apple was so smart to make Apple Music all about telling you what to play next. Apple is the king of making complicated technology accessible to the masses. It turned clunky… 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

  • Taylor Swift and Apple, Verizon Buys Aol & More NSA Leaks from Wikileaks

    CrunchWeek: Taylor Hugs Apple, Verizon Buys Us, And New NSA Leaks

    Hello, friends, and welcome to a slightly more important episode of CrunchWeek. This week, we became vassals of a new empire, Taylor Swift bequeathed her most recent album to Apple’s new streaming product, and WikiLeaks is back in the news as fresh NSA leaks have emerged. 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

  • Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 8: Hands-On With Sling TV)

    Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 8: Hands-On With Sling TV)

    There are two potential audiences for Sling TV, Dish Network’s relatively new internet TV service aimed at cord cutters: those who have wanted to ditch their cable or satellite TV subscription, but couldn’t imagine living without ESPN or its flagship show, SportsCenter, and then everyone else who has contemplated cord cutting in general. For the first group, I’d say fine… 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

  • Apple Stops Ignoring Women’s Health With iOS 9 HealthKit Update, Now Featuring Period Tracking

    Apple Stops Ignoring Women’s Health With iOS 9 HealthKit Update, Now Featuring Period Tracking

    Apple will at last address a glaring oversight with regard to its Health application and its usefulness to women: in iOS 9, the app will support the ability for women to track their reproductive health. Yes, finally: Apple is making period tracking a built-in feature for the iPhone. Announced briefly at yesterday’s WWDC event in San Francisco, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering… Read More

  • On Managing Developers Crunch Network

    On Managing Developers

    I’ve been a software developer, a novelist, a journalist, and a manager–and managing developers is easily the trickiest thing I’ve ever done. (Not the hardest. But the trickiest.) I don’t pretend to be an expert, or a great manager. But I can assure you I am someone who screwed up a lot along the road to being better. Here are some mistakes from which I have learned: Read More

  • The War On Crypto Terror Crunch Network

    The War On Crypto Terror

    Governments are scared of software. This month, the Commerce Department proposed to classify “intrusion software” as dual-use civilian/military technology; the UK announced a law which will require “Google, Facebook and other internet giants” to “give British spies access to encrypted conversations”; and the Justice Department claimed APIs should be… Read More

  • The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues Crunch Network

    The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues

    Bitcoin: it’s at a crucially important crossroads; it’s approaching a crisis that threatens its very existence; it has never been more likely to erupt into enormous global importance. Which? Don’t be ridiculous. It is all those things at once, of course, as usual. I only wish I was joking. If you’re dumb enough to judge Bitcoin purely by its exchange rate, you might… Read More

  • Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 7: Hands On With Noggin, Nick’s New Kid-Friendly Streaming Service)

    Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 7: Hands On With Noggin, Nick’s New Kid-Friendly Streaming Service)

    Earlier this year, Viacom-owned kids’ network Nickelodeon announced its plans to enter the subscription video market with its own over-the-top streaming service aimed at the preschool crowd. Called Noggin, the service launched this March on iOS with a decent selection of titles, including a few popular names from the kids TV market, like “Blue’s Clues.” The question… Read More