Opinion

  • Decentralize All The Things!

    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

  • France Will Shine Again

    France Will Shine Again

    For the last week, I’ve been away from France, covering CES in Las Vegas. When I woke up on Wednesday morning and looked at my phone, my lock screen was filled with an avalanche of notifications — French news apps, Twitter, Facebook, iMessage, Taptalk and Skype were all here to alert me about the massacre against Charlie Hebdo’s team… In many ways, the impact of the attack… Read More

  • Smartphone Makers Need To Put An End To Distracted Driving

    Smartphone Makers Need To Put An End To Distracted Driving

    I’m cruising down the road at 45 mph when – ka-ching! – the sound of a cash register blares out from my iPhone. It’s one of now several deal-finding apps I have installed that alert me to nearby sales at local stores. I love the functionality they provide, but I’m not thrilled with the timing. The phone buzzes some more as the alerts roll in as I coast past the… Read More

  • 11 Ways Old Journalism Was The Worst

    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

  • The Patriot Act Is Cannibalizing America’s Economic Edge

    The Patriot Act Is Cannibalizing America’s Economic Edge

    Editor’s Note: Amit Patel is the chief financial officer of HighQ. You would think that when tech companies, the ACLU and the NRA unite for the same cause, the federal government would listen. That was not the case in this year’s USA FREEDOM Act vote where the Senate voted against reforms that would stop the NSA from collecting phone metadata. The majority opinion… Read More

  • When Will Your Phone Replace Your Keys And Wallet?

    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

  • TC GameCast Episode 3: Open Worlds And Picking A Gaming PC

    TC GameCast Episode 3: Open Worlds And Picking A Gaming PC

    This week we’ve got a very special, very delayed episode of the TechCrunch GameCast. Darrell Etherington, Ed Zitron, and myself chatted about open-world games, noting the best of side quests, getting around, and keeping things from getting too stale. Read More

  • Following Charges, Uber Confronts Its Asian Dilemma

    Following Charges, Uber Confronts Its Asian Dilemma

    The extent governments are willing to go to crack down on Uber has reached a new high-water mark yesterday after Korean prosecutors charged Travis Kalanick, the co-founder and CEO of Uber, of violating local transportation laws. If he were convicted, the punishment could include fines, and perhaps a first for the company and its leadership, a possible jail sentence. Uber has said in a… Read More

  • Why Is Yahoo Still So Bad At The Basics?

    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

  • Fallout from the Sony Hacks

    CrunchWeek: Fallout From The Sony Hack

    Acquisition leaks, embarrassing emails, threats, theaters refuse to show The Interview, FBI’s confirmation that the hack came from North Korea, a response from the White House: There has been so much coming out of the Sony breach that this week we felt it necessary to devote our entire show to discussing everything that has happened. Read More

  • Are SaaS Companies Just Misunderstood?

    Are SaaS Companies Just Misunderstood?

    Depending on whom you ask, companies that sell their products on a subscription basis are either companies that are veritable giants of growth, or firms that hide their business models’ inherent weakness in the form of short-term losses that are dismissed under the guise of investment. Read More

  • Why It’s Right To Report On The Sony Hack

    Why It’s Right To Report On The Sony Hack

    “No one’s private life can totally withstand public scrutiny,” reads an NYT op-ed penned by screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin, angrily blasting the media for reporting the private details revealed through the recent hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in what’s shaping up to be one of the largest corporate data breaches to date. “…Every news outlet… Read More

  • FoundationDB And The New NoSQL

    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

  • Hands-On With Facebook Post Search: Strong Recommendations, Yelp Should Worry

    Hands-On With Facebook Post Search: Strong Recommendations, Yelp Should Worry

    We’re all critics, whether we Like it or not. Our Facebook posts are implicit reviews and recommendations of restaurants, apps, movies, news articles, dry cleaners, and even whole cities. Now, Facebook’s new keyword post search is unlocking the value of the opinions we share but never put on review sites like Yelp, Annie’s List, MetaCritic, or the App Store. Of course… Read More

  • A Bitcoin Battle Is Brewing

    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

  • Bullying The Bullies

    Bullying The Bullies

    Humans haven’t quite gotten the hang of human rights, let alone social media. Combined ignorance of the two leads people to spew hate from the safety of an Internet connection, writing their bigotry into the public record. Now these moments are being put display for public shaming by a Tumblr seeking justice against racists. It’s a form of cybervigilantism. But is there a… Read More

  • Mo’ Data Mo’ Problems

    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

  • Grab Your Cameras, We Are Little Brother

    Grab Your Cameras, We Are Little Brother

    Dystopian futures have always imagined governments oppressing us with surveillance. Under the all-seeing, all-hearing eyes and ears of Big Brother, free will is curtailed and only “approved” behavior is allowed. Edward Snowden revealed this was no conspiracy theory, and we wouldn’t have to wait for the future. We’re already being watched, our liberty sacrificed for… Read More

  • Uber Über Alles

    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

  • The Internet Is The Best Thing Ever To Happen To Songwriters

    The Internet Is The Best Thing Ever To Happen To Songwriters

    Ever since, Taylor Swift decided to give Spotify the boot, under the auspices of helping songwriters, there has been a conversation suggesting that there was somehow a golden age for songwriters when they controlled their own destiny –and the Internet killed all that. I’m here to tell you that there was never any such time and if anything, the Internet was the best thing that… Read More