Jon Evans

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.

The Latest from Jon Evans

Blood money

Some years ago an investor I met at a TechCrunch event invited me out for a coffee. This happens a lot; as a weekly columnist here I am deemed an official Media Influencer, and people in turn want to

At what point do we admit that geoengineering is an option?

In 1883, Krakatoa erupted, spewing volcanic ash and gas into the stratosphere, making clouds more reflective and cooling the entire planet by roughly 1° C that year. In 2018, the UN reported that hum

I’m very sorry, but you’re going to have to learn to love the blockchain

I apologize. I get it. You hear “blockchain” and you immediately think “shady get-rich-quick schemes” or “bubble of magical fake Internet money” or “libertari

What the heck is going on with measures of programming language popularity?

I looked at the TIOBE index today, as I do every so often, as most of the software pros I know do every so often. It purports to measure the popularity of the world’s programming languages, and

Our Precious

I’ve long theorized that one’s moral character is inversely proportional to the number of syllables in one’s Starbucks order. (Yes, this is a tech column. We’ll get to that. Ha

What is the meaning of LinkedIn?

Thanks to John Biggs for inspiring this piece; I cosign most of what he says here. I have long been mystified by LinkedIn, because of its spectacular uselessness (for me) as a professional social netw

Optimistic

I spent TechCrunch’s latest Disrupt extravaganza asking questions of various notables onstage, and what struck me most was how fantastically optimistic they were. To pick two examples: Kai-Fu Le

Burning Man: sympathy for the turnkey devil

The most interesting thing about Burning Man, says me, is that it’s a testbed for a post-scarcity society. The irony of course is that such a testbed requires enormous amounts of money and resou

Hating the wrong tech people for the right reasons

The slings and arrows aimed at tech’s titans these days are almost too numerous to count. Jeff Bezos: squandering money on space while exploiting warehouse employees. Mark Zuckerberg: complicit

What the hell is the deal with Tether?

It was a simple concept: a cryptocurrency whose units were always and constantly worth exactly one dollar, because they were backed by dollars held in a bank. Voila: dollars with the powers of crypto,

Nobody minding the store: security in the age of the lowest bidder

So, to recap: Satellite communication systems worldwide are “protected” by easily cracked hard-coded passwords. The private internet connecting the world’s mobile phone operators rem

Voatz: a tale of a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad idea

Let’s get the fish in the barrel out of the way. Voatz are a tech startup whose bright idea was to disrupt democracy by having people vote on their phone, and store the votes on, you guessed it,

Hackers on new ‘secure’ phone networks can bill your account for their roaming charges

I have good news! The infamous SS7 networks used by mobile operators to interoperate, e.g. when you’re roaming — which were built on trust, essentially devoid of security, and permitted ra

Cryptocurrency insecurity: IOTA, BCash and too many more

Cryptocurrencies: a weird agglomerate of fascinating technology built by brilliant engineers; a whole new and potentially important form of economics; … and hype-machine puffed-up crazy-talk non

Everything is… less terrible

To hack: to study a system’s flaws and emergent properties, and use them for your own ends; to instill your own instructions into a computer’s memory, and coerce its microprocessor to run

Hack the planet: vulnerabilities unearthed in satellite systems used around the globe

So this is bad. Black Hat, the king of enterprise security conventions, kicked off today, and most noticeable amid the fusillade of security research was some impressive work from Ruben Santamarta of

Who do you trust?

Another week, another high-profile hack. This week it was (checks notes) Reddit. What makes this one marginally more interesting is that the victims were using two-factor authentication, i.e. SMS code

Branded Worlds: how technology recentralized entertainment

I love Hollywood box-office numbers because they provide a hard statistical view of cultural currents. Did you know, for instance, that there had never been a weekend when 8 of the top 10 movies in Am

Information wants to be siloed

Data, they say, is the new oil, and open public data is the new commons. Give the people the facts, and they will use them to make informed decisions. Right? Except that’s not the bureaucratic i

Liberty, equality, technology: France is finally poised to become a tech power

Once America had an unassailable advantage, an economic flywheel that spun off innovation and Fortune 500 companies like a perpetual-motion machine. Bring in the best, brightest, and most driven from
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