Opinion

 

  • How To Not Be A Glasshole, Part 2

    How To Not Be A Glasshole, Part 2

    Remember when Google released a handful of guidelines explaining how to properly behave while wearing its new “face computer,” Google Glass? One rule in particular seems worth rehashing given recent events: Don’t “be creepy or rude (aka, a ‘Glasshole’)” suggested Google. While generally good advice, it seems like the nuances involved with Google’s… Read More

  • The Next Revolutions: Drones Vs. Phones

    The Next Revolutions: Drones Vs. Phones

    It's been a hell of a week worldwide. Caracas, Venezuela: "What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden." Kiev, Ukraine: "Dozens dead as protesters regain territory from police." Bangkok, Thailand: "Four people have been killed and more than 60 injured after a gun battle erupted between police and anti-government protesters." SarajevoRead More

  • VCs On Inequality, Unemployment, And Our Uncertain Future

    VCs On Inequality, Unemployment, And Our Uncertain Future

    The Great Bifurcation is underway. The American economy is polarizing between the minority rich and the majority poor; technology is a major cause of this; and the rest of the world will soon follow, if it hasn't already. I've been writing about this for years, and by now you're probably sick of my perspective -- so I went to tech VCs Steve Jurvetson and John Frankel for theirs. Read More

  • Tom Perkins, A Man From A Bygone Era

    Tom Perkins, A Man From A Bygone Era

    Did men like this used to sit atop the technology industry? Atop our country? Tom Perkins, once an icon in the venture industry and now a spectacle, gave yet another talk last night at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. A few weeks ago, he thrust himself into the nation’s inequality debate through a letter to the editor at the Wall Street Journal that compared criticism of the wealthy… Read More

  • Make It Sing

    Make It Sing

    Between you and many of the things you use every day, there is a complicated but elegant feedback loop, a physical dialogue, the topic of which is harmony of operation. The relationship that you build with a device is a self-optimizing relationship. First you make it speak, then you make it sing. Why does this matter? Because so few of the devices we are adopting today will ever sing like that. Read More

  • In 3.5 Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones

    In 3.5 Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones

    I reckon it's time to check in on one of my bolder predictions. Some 18 months ago, I wrote "In Five Years, Most Africans Will Have Smartphones." Let's get this out of the way: most of the smart money thinks I'm wrong by at least three years. Worldwide, according to Gartner, smartphone sales exceeded feature phone sales in 2013, for the first time -- but Africa remains a different story. Read More

  • Confessions Of A Flappy Bird Addict

    Confessions Of A Flappy Bird Addict

    Just a quick game. It only takes a second. I, I need to beat my high score. That stupid bird. DAMMIT! Ok this time I'll do better. DAMMIT! Alright the ad distracted me. F*CKKKK! I was doing so good. NOOOooo! Read More

  • My Not-On-Facebook Life

    My Not-On-Facebook Life

    I wake up with Northern Europe's low winter light filtering through the blinds in my bedroom. The silence is near perfect. It's too early to hear the week-day procession of parents ferrying their kids to the neighbourhood school. The slamming concert of car doors and tearful wails of protest at another day wrenched from comforts of home and bed will filter through the single-glazed window panes… Read More

  • Handcuffs For Hacker Schools? Why A “Code Of Conduct” For Coding Bootcamps Could Actually Be Good For The Ecosystem

    Handcuffs For Hacker Schools? Why A “Code Of Conduct” For Coding Bootcamps Could Actually Be Good For The Ecosystem

    The explosion in both online and offline programming platforms over the last year has made one thing clear: Learning to code is hot. (With two “t’s.”) Well, that and the fact that our traditional education system doesn’t seem to be pulling its weight as far as computer science education is concerned. (See here.) Literally, hundreds of hacker academies and “learn to… Read More

  • A Facebook Life

    A Facebook Life

    On Facebook, life begins at conception. "We're expecting!", your parents post. You don't have fingers but you're already accruing likes. A shared sonogram means hundreds have seen you before you've even opened your eyes. You have a Facebook presence despite lacking a physical one. Think about that for a second. Like it or not, in 10 years Facebook has changed everything. Read More

 
  • The Future Is Transcendent: A Review Of HER

    The Future Is Transcendent: A Review Of HER

    For more than an hour Her seems little more than metaphor meets Manic Pixie Dream Girl: charming, yes, but insubstantial. And then— Los Angeles, mid-21st-century: techno-utopia. The city is a forest of sleek skyscrapers; a vast subway network connects downtown to the beaches; citizens mingle in public spaces that resemble art galleries, connected by broad pedestrian walkways that soar high… Read More

  • BuzzFeed Is The Future (Whether It Lives Or Dies)

    BuzzFeed Is The Future (Whether It Lives Or Dies)

    It's time for a little inside baseball! Be still your beating hearts. But admit it: secretly you want to know about the success/failure of the myriad news sources whose stories flit disconnectedly across your Facebook and Twitter feeds from time to time, if only so you can tell your friends that you already knew who was doomed, on the day that long-fabled Great Shakeout finally comes and half… Read More

  • Facebook’s Plot To Conquer Mobile: Shatter Itself Into Pieces

    Facebook’s Plot To Conquer Mobile: Shatter Itself Into Pieces

    Swiss Army knives don't cut it on mobile. Packing in too many features creates apps that seem bloated and slow. Perhaps more than any company, Facebook has struggled to adapt its busy website to the small screen. But through a talk with Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg and its Messenger team in November, a strategy came into focus. Facebook plans to conquer mobile one app at a time. Read More

  • Welcome To The French Tech Ecosystem

    Welcome To The French Tech Ecosystem

    When I first decided that I wanted to move to Paris, I was anxious and excited at the same time. I used to write for TechCrunch in New York, in a perpetually effervescent ecosystem. But I wanted to try something new. Many things got me excited about France — TheFamily created a good-looking accelerator, LeWeb remained an unmissable event, and Europe as a whole was getting more exciting. Even… Read More

  • Failure Modes

    Failure Modes

    This was a rich month for the deadpool. Prim shut down. So did CarWoo. And much-hyped Outbox. And even moot's Canvas/DrawQuest, which had 1.4 million app downloads and 400,000 monthly users. All part of the game, right? The circle of startup life, or something. It's a truism that most startups fail. But in fact most startups don't even get to fail, in the way the word is most commonly used in… Read More

  • Jelly’s Novelty Wears Off, But Long-Term Potential For A Mobile #Lazyweb Remains

    Jelly’s Novelty Wears Off, But Long-Term Potential For A Mobile #Lazyweb Remains

    Let's get this out of the way up front: I was prepared to dislike Jelly after its reveal. After all, when Twitter co-founder Biz Stone described the new startup as experiment designed to "make the world a more empathetic place," - yes, a mobile Q&A service - it's hard not to roll your eyes. And if you look at some of the usage in Jelly's first days, it's at least equal parts enlightening and… Read More

  • The Tablet Is The New General Purpose Computer

    The Tablet Is The New General Purpose Computer

    Apple’s latest iPad spot demonstrates that tablets have general purpose computing strengths that have never been exhibited by laptops. Laptops have had decades in the spotlight as our portable computers of choice and were on their way to eradicating desktop machines before tablets came along. But they’ve never managed to exhibit the flexibility of purpose that tablets can. Read More

  • The Techno-Militarization Of America

    The Techno-Militarization Of America

    Remember last year? Edward Snowden! NSA! Shock! Horror! Dismay! Looking back I'm amazed we all seemed so surprised. Over the last decade, pretty much every arm of American authority invoked "homeland security" as an excuse to acquire boatloads of new technology, and used it to help expand their power and authority to unprecedented levels. There is nothing at all exceptional about the NSA's… Read More

  • Such DFW. Very Orwell. So Doge. Wow.

    Such DFW. Very Orwell. So Doge. Wow.

    Let's talk about doge, but first let's talk about the late great David Foster Wallace, who thirteen years ago wrote a classic essay about modern English* entitled "Tense Present," which, realistically, is better than anything I will ever write, so I should maybe just point you at it and end this post here. But I won't. Not least because I strongly suspect that if DFW had not taken his own life… Read More

  • Parlor Tricks

    Parlor Tricks

    CES looms, as it frequently does, and soon we will all be awash in the deluge; the annual international carnival of gadgetry shows no sign of slowing. But beyond this yearly cycle, a longer pattern is about to reach an inflection point. Read More