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

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

An immodest proposal: it’s time for scooter superhighways

“If a problem cannot be solved,” Donald Rumsfeld once wrote, “enlarge it.” I’m not about to praise him for his accomplishments, but he had a pretty good eye for diagnoses

Tech in a time of travesties

“Violence is like XML,” a hacker friend once said to me sardonically, re the USA’s endless flailing military presence in Afghanistan, “if it doesn’t work, you’re ob

Zcash: life on the crypto roller coaster

Suppressed in Japan. Championed in New York. Accused of betraying the billion-dollar community he created with an arcane and byzantine ritual, while accidentally solving — maybe — a transn

The techlash

People hate hubris and hypocrisy more than they hate evil, which is, I think, why we’re seeing the beginnings of a bipartisan cultural backlash against the tech industry. A backlash which is wro

The piggyback problem

I wanted to write about scooter startups this week, but, alas, I failed to care enough about them to muster any opinion at all. The problem is that they are pure piggyback startups, and pure piggyback

Whither VR/AR?

“Despite many pronouncements that 2016 was the year of VR, a more apt word for virtual reality might be absence,” The Economist observed caustically last summer, noting that during that ye

Pornography and the butterfly effect

“Whatever happens to musicians happens to everybody,” said Bruce Sterling years ago, referring to the effects of free downloadable music on their industry; and so it has come to pass for p

The crypto alternative

Suppose, just for a moment, just for argument’s sake, that (some) cryptocurrencies are not a giant scam, and what’s more, they’re not just another kind of financial asset. Come on. D

Personal privacy vs. public security: fight!

Personal privacy is a fairly new concept. Most people used to live in tight-knit communities, constantly enmeshed in each other’s lives. The notion that privacy is an important part of personal

Giving up on ‘diversity and inclusion’

I went to see Arlan Hamilton of Backstage Capital speak this week. Her remarkable story is pretty well known by now — she “built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless,&

Where have all the pilots gone?

You’d think everybody would want to fly. It’s been a universal human dream since the first cave person saw the first pterodactyl¹. You’d think better technology, greater demand, eco

Mutual assured dronestruction

Western airstrikes on the Middle East: déjà vu all over again. Twenty years ago, the USA attacked Sudan and Afghanistan with Tomahawk cruise missiles. Two days ago, the USA attacked Syria with &#823

SurvAIllance

You may not be aware that the rough consensus in the tech community is that Cambridge Analytica were almost certainly bullshit artists. Oh, don’t get me wrong, what they tried to do, and/or clai

Parasitism and the fight for the wrong century

Generals are famously always “studying how to fight the last war,” with the last war’s technology, while dismissing how the world and its tech have changed in the interim. This is tr

Towards a world without Facebook

Dear blockchain people: this is your hour. Abandon your transparently greedy get-rich-quick schemes, turn away from your casinos of de-facto modern-day penny stocks, and focus your decentralized atten

Everything is terrible: an explanation

Facebook is a breeding ground for fake news and polarized outrage, accused of corrupting democracy and spurring genocide. Twitter knows it has become a seething battleground of widespread, targeted ab

The un-lonely planet

It used to be easy to get lost. Pick up your passport, board an airplane, and zoom, you were gone, disconnected, all on your own, until and unless you stopped by an Internet cafe or an international p

Notes from Shenzhen — the next Greater Bay Area

I just walked into Shenzhen, and boy, is my mind boggled. Let me just get all my knee-jerk chorus-line reactions out of the way, before we get to the weird stuff: yes, this place is amazing. Yes, the

The three key CTO skills

I’ve been CTO of HappyFunCorp since last year, and it has been a deeply edifying experience. Everything people told me was mostly true: I write less code; I go to more meetings, and turn up in m
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