Jon Evans

Jon Evans is a novelist, journalist, and software engineer. His novels have been published around the world, translated into several languages, and praised by The Times, The Economist, and the Washington Post. His journalism has appeared in Wired, Reader’s Digest, The Guardian, The Globe & Mail, and The Times of India, and he writes a weekly column for TechCrunch. Jon also has a degree in electrical engineering and a decade of experience as a software developer, building everything from smartphone apps to billion-dollar asset-allocation services.

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  • We’re all screwed, but let’s not be nihilists Crunch Network

    We’re all screwed, but let’s not be nihilists

    We are so doomed it’s almost funny, and always have been. Don’t worry, I’m not being political! …well, not exactly. I’m talking about the State of Internet Security, which is, as always, disastrous-verging-on-cataclysmic. Are you worried about Russian hackers? Hah! You should be so lucky as to be hacked. We should all be so lucky as to have a functional Internet they… Read More

  • So you think you elected an autocrat Crunch Network

    So you think you elected an autocrat

    Welp. I’m sorry to hear that. Whether you are Venezuelan, Zimbabwean, Russian, Turkish, or American; whether your democratic process has been fatally compromised, or your fellow citizens have knowingly voted in a monster; indeed, even whether you’re right or wrong — I feel your pain. But for what it’s worth, some technology, if used correctly, is still on your side. Read More

  • Trendspotting Crunch Network

    Trendspotting

    Brexit and Trump; applied CRISPR and the Gigafactory; the rise of self-driving vehicles, the fall of pollsters; the global saturation of smartphones, the first mass-market VR headsets; the first drone-delivered terror bomb, the first drone drug mule; Signal and the Secure Enclave; Ethereum and the DAO; AI and SpaceX — we can all agree, I hope, that this has been one hell of a year. Read More

  • Welcome to the hardtech era Crunch Network

    Welcome to the hardtech era

    Good news, my friends! The day we have all ostentatiously longed for has arrived. I come to announce that the days of sugar water are over. The era of SoLoMo photo apps, messaging copycats, new niche social networks, “Uber for X”, and on-demand delivery of artisanal civet coffee is behind us at last. No more trivial apps and web services. At long last it is time to solve the… Read More

  • Zcash, Blockstack, and appcoins, oh my! Crunch Network

    Zcash, Blockstack, and appcoins, oh my!

    It’s time to check back in to what’s happening in the world of cryptocurrencies! Which—give it credit—is never, ever boring. Some things seem evergreen; the Bitcoin civil war is resurgent; the Ethereum’s growing pains continue. But out there on the horizon, some strange and interesting things are happening. I give you, for instance, appcoins, Blockstack, and Zcash. Read More

  • Your experience is probably worth a lot less than you think Crunch Network

    Your experience is probably worth a lot less than you think

    Do you work in software? Do you have more than a decade of experience? You do? I’m sorry to hear that. That means there’s a strong possibility that much of what you know is already obsolete. Worse yet, there’s a good chance that you’re set in anachronistic ways, hidebound with habits which are now considered harmful. If you think your experience is automatically valuable… Read More

  • Let’s have a little compassion for (some of) the trolls Crunch Network

    Let’s have a little compassion for (some of) the trolls

    It’s looking pretty grim out there in social media land. A lot of what once was conversation has devolved into warfare. The issues of our time — Trump, Brexit, identity politics, housing and homelessness, how to pronounce “GIF” — seem to divide us ever more starkly, and so we huddle within our filter bubbles, and/or lash out at those outside. It’s hard to… Read More

  • E2E or GTFO Crunch Network

    E2E or GTFO

    Oh, Yahoo. We’re not just mad at you. We’re also really, really disappointed. First it took you two years to figure out that you were hacked by a nation-state. Then you allowed another nation-state — the US government — to scan all of your user’s emails … using a buggy Linux kernel module … without ever telling your security team. Seriously, Yahoo? Read More

  • Learned helplessness and the languages of DAO Crunch Network

    Learned helplessness and the languages of DAO

    Everything is terrible. Most software, even critical system software, is insecure Swiss cheese held together with duct tape, bubble wrap, and bobby pins. See eg this week’s darkly funny post “How to Crash Systemd in One Tweet.” But it’s not just systemd, not just Linux, not just software; the whole industry is at fault. We have taught ourselves, wrongly, that there is… Read More

  • Sol vs. Sol, for the fate of humanity Crunch Network

    Sol vs. Sol, for the fate of humanity

    I happened to spend much of this week in Abu Dhabi, from whence came, conveniently, the most important news of this week, month, year, and arguably decade. Yes, bigger than the American election; yes, bigger than the long-awaited rise of machine learning; yes, bigger than Elon Musk’s one-two punch of space travel and electric cars — although it’s related to that. Read More

  • Don’t just pardon Edward Snowden; give the man a medal Crunch Network

    Don’t just pardon Edward Snowden; give the man a medal

    As Barack Obama’s second term comes to an end, an increasingly loud chorus of voices are calling for a dramatic final presidential act: the pardoning of Edward Snowden. Authoritarians are horrified by this, and, as usual, they are wrong. A pardon really isn’t enough. As I’ve argued before, Snowden deserves a medal. Read More

  • The Beginning Of Protest Crunch Network

    The Beginning Of Protest

    The most provocative book I’ve read this year is The End Of Protest, by Micah White, one of the two initiators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Remember Occupy? Those crazy days when, giddy with the apparent success of the previous year’s Arab Spring, independent, decentralized groups of protestors, connected by cell phones and social media, seized public spaces across… Read More

  • Cinemapocalypse Now? Crunch Network

    Cinemapocalypse Now?

    Let’s talk box office! Because it’s one of my pet obsessions; I’ve long been curious how the rise of new entertainment tech (Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Pokémon Go) will impact movies, our oldest and most storied cultural commons. And because I was trawling through Box Office Mojo’s numbers, as you do, and happened to stumble across something which makes me fear for… Read More

  • Tech and Trump Crunch Network

    Tech and Trump

    I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending to be unbiased. I think exactly what you’d expect a Canadian who lives in San Francisco to think: how could anyone with a reasonable command of the available evidence even consider voting for Donald Trump? …But my search for an answer has led me to the uncomfortable sense that the tech industry is partly responsible for… Read More

  • Ads are bad, and also terrible Crunch Network

    Ads are bad, and also terrible

    Every so often, I find myself forced to use the Web on a browser without uBlock or an equivalent; and every time, I think to myself “How do people live like this?” The un-ad-blocked web is a miserable cesspool of autoplaying video and hysterical calls to action, slow to load, hard to look at. It’s even worse on your phone, where ads devour your battery life and up to 75% of… Read More

  • It’s time to publicly shame United Airlines’ so-called online security Crunch Network

    It’s time to publicly shame United Airlines’ so-called online security

    Dear executives of United Airlines, I have some advice for you. 1: Fire whoever is in charge of your online security. 2: Burn down the building in which they worked; it may be tainted. 3: Salt the ground so nothing ever grows there again, to be safe. 4: Hire somebody competent who will not infuriate your users while simultaneously compromising their security. Read More

  • Stand up against the stand-up Crunch Network

    Stand up against the stand-up

    It’s custom; it’s tradition; it’s dogma; it’s a cargo cult. It is well-intentioned, but all too often, ill-advised. It’s done because it is the thing one does. It wastes your time, shackles your mind, kills your productivity. It is the ritual that so many software developers suffer silently through, every day It is the daily stand-up. I say to you: no more! Before… Read More

  • VR needs a hit Crunch Network

    VR needs a hit

    I believe virtual reality is going to be huge. Huge. …Eventually. But when? Are we talking years, or decades? I visited yet another VR festival this week, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that we’re still in the very early days of the medium. It’s amazing! It’s thrilling! And it’s still kind of the Stone Age. When do we get to discover bronze? Read More

  • How much does it matter if your software quality sucks? Crunch Network

    How much does it matter if your software quality sucks?

    I ran across a fascinating piece by Leo Polovets of Susa Ventures this week, provocatively titled: “Why Startup Technical Diligence Is A Waste Of Time.” You should go read it, but its central thesis is simple: “in today’s world of SaaS tools, APIs, and cloud infrastructure … technical resources are rarely the cause of success or the reason for failure.” Is… Read More

  • Immersion is going to be immense Crunch Network

    Immersion is going to be immense

    Pokémon; Macbeth; the Illuminati. Those may not sound like they have a lot in common, but they exemplify the three whole new forms of technology-driven entertainment that have erupted in recent years. We’ll soon combine all three–and, eventually, use them to create whole new multi-faceted immersive worlds that will make today’s entertainment look like radio dramas. Read More

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