Opinion

  • 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

  • Technology and the laws of power Crunch Network

    Technology and the laws of power

    Is the tech industry partly responsible for the rise of Donald Trump? That’s what John Robb, who’s always worth reading, suggests in a series of recent posts, citing the great Nassim Taleb in support. His vision: “The nation-state as we’ve known it is rapidly hollowing out … this century’s spike in globalization, financialization, and technological change… Read More

  • Pandora should revive Rdio as pay-for-what-you-want streaming

    Pandora should revive Rdio as pay-for-what-you-want streaming

    Music listeners are cheapskates. Few will pay Spotify or Apple $10 a month even to stream almost every song ever. Meanwhile, radio services like Pandora hardly scrape by on the meager ad rates after they pay out royalties. So if Pandora wants to resuscitate the battered corpse of Rdio it acquired for $75 million last year, it can’t just be another unlimited monthly subscription. The… Read More

  • On the war between hacker culture and codes of conduct Crunch Network

    On the war between hacker culture and codes of conduct

    Did you know that a Code of Conduct war is underway in the world of open-source software development? I realize that this sounds ridiculous. Codes of Conduct boil down to: “a) don’t be an asshole, b) this is how we define ‘asshole’ around these parts”. Who could argue with that? And yet this has become eruptively controversial — and with good reason. Read More

  • After The Gold Rush Crunch Network

    After The Gold Rush

    The startup gold rush of the last ten years is over. Sorry. Those hordes of ambitious entrepreneurs still stampeding to the Bay Area in the hopes of building their Minimum Viable Product, getting into Y Combinator, and growing their app into the Next Big Thing–they’re already too late. That era is behind us. It was a good run, even a legendary one, but it is over. Time for the new… Read More

  • We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Cyberpunk Dystopia Crunch Network

    We Now Return You To Your Regularly Scheduled Cyberpunk Dystopia

    Apple will lose this battle with the US government. Maybe not this year, or next, but soon enough, and for the rest of our lives. It is folly to pretend otherwise. Most ordinary people, and most powerful people, don’t care about abstruse theoretical arguments against back doors and weakened security. They care about—or want to exploit—the raw visceral fear of terrorist violence. Read More

  • Why Apple Is Right To Reject The FBI’s Push To Brute Force iPhone Security

    Why Apple Is Right To Reject The FBI’s Push To Brute Force iPhone Security

    Apple is under pressure from the FBI to backdoor iPhone security. But how will any technology company be able to offer trusted services to consumers if government-mandated backdoors are being forced upon them? Read More

  • When Data Goes Bad Crunch Network

    When Data Goes Bad

    So I know this guy Sulemaan from my Toronto days. Really good guy, despite being a Spurs fan. Sulemaan has a son, Syed, who is flagged as a security risk, a suspected terrorist, every time he flies. Syed is six years old. This is, of course, completely insane. But the data has been parsed; the algorithm has spoken; and so others must suffer from the idiocy of those who built the system. Read More

  • How To Fix Tech’s H-1B Problem Crunch Network

    How To Fix Tech’s H-1B Problem

    I’m a Canadian who has spent a sizable fraction of his adult life working in the USA, so immigration, especially as it relates to the tech industry, is a pretty personal subject. I was at a Waterloo Engineering alumnus event in San Francisco this week, and, inevitably, the arc of every conversation bent towards immigration, and how Kafkaesque it can be, even for us fortunate Canadians. Read More

  • This Teddy Bear Could Have Exposed Your Child’s Identity

    This Teddy Bear Could Have Exposed Your Child’s Identity

    Are smart toys worth the risk? That’s a question parents are asking themselves these days as they weigh the usefulness and delight that comes from cloud-connected toys, with the potential for them to be turned into spying devices, as was the claim against the Wi-Fi-enabled “Hello Barbie,” or the possibility of massive leaks involving their children’s personal… Read More