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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  • 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

  • The Great White Fail Whale Crunch Network

    The Great White Fail Whale

    Call me Ishmael. Some years ago–never mind how long precisely–having nothing particular to interest me in meatspace, I thought to visit the Vale of Silicon. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen. Whenever my meds get such an upper hand of me, that I yearn to troll passersby–then, I account it high time to get to cyberspace. Read More

  • Bitcoin Is Dead (Again), Long Live Bitcoin (Again) Crunch Network

    Bitcoin Is Dead (Again), Long Live Bitcoin (Again)

    Oh, the drama, such drama. Last week, longtime Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn declared “the Bitcoin experiment…has failed,” and resigned from that community with a fusillade of verbal grenades (and a New York Times profile of his dissent.) This in turn provoked a whole torrent of hot takes and reactions, which mostly had one thing in common: contempt for all who disagree. Read More

  • Book It, Baby Crunch Network

    Book It, Baby

    Remember e-books? Those were the days, weren’t they? Those crazy few years when the fad of reading on a Kindle swept the nation. Now, of course, that fit of mass hysteria is behind us. E-book sales are falling, down more than 10% in 2015 — YA down 44%! — while used bookstores are coming back. Yes, that’s right; print is regaining its regal primacy; e-books are dead. Right? Read More

  • The Cruel Inequities Crunch Network

    The Cruel Inequities

    There are few people in technology more infuriating than Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, who earlier this month dropped a brilliant summary and analysis of the ongoing refragmentation of modern societies, followed immediately by a blinkered, muddled, wrong-headed essay on technology’s role in economic inequality. The response from his fellow tech VCs was remarkable. Read More

  • Why Bitcoin Matters Crunch Network

    Why Bitcoin Matters

    The most epochal financial transaction of this century, to date, occurred on May 22, 2010. It did not involve Wall Street, or the City of London; it took place in Jacksonville, Florida. It did not feature collateralized debt obligations, or credit default swaps. It was a purchase of two Papa John’s pizzas, in exchange for a payment whose present value currently exceeds US $4 million. Read More

  • It’s The Jons 2015! Crunch Network

    It’s The Jons 2015!

    Merry Christmas! 2015 was a truly great year in technology, bringing us self-driving electric cars, reusable orbital rockets, the rise of precision gene editing… and some lesser achievements. Since nothing of interest will happen in the next four days, I have decided to jump the gun; today I announce my annual dubious achievement awards, named, in a fit of awe-inspiring humility… Read More

  • Technology And The Deep State Crunch Network

    Technology And The Deep State

    Donald Trump; Bernie Sanders; Jeremy Corbyn; Marine Le Pen. If you had suggested only a decade ago that any one of those four might become a significant political figure, you would have been laughed out of any room. What has happened to politics as we knew it? Where are the military-industrial complexes of yesteryear? Is this all Facebook’s fault? Sort of. Not really. Let me explain. Read More

  • OMG LOL SSL FUD Crunch Network

    OMG LOL SSL FUD

    Bad enough when some scrappy little startup comes to town and disrupts your profit margins into oblivion. Even worse–to any right-thinking capitalist–when a motley crew of idealistic do-gooders sneaks into your barn and sets one of your cash cows free. But what can companies do when faced with this sad and eternal truth: why buy your cow when they can get its SSL certificates for free? Read More

  • This War On Math Is Bullshit Crunch Network

    This War On Math Is Bullshit

    The smoke had barely begun to clear from the horrific attacks in Paris, in a neighborhood where I used to live, before the usual suspects started trying to twist the facts to fit their authoritarian agenda. CIA director John Brennan was only one of many posturing grandstanders hoping to use the slaughter as a political tool to attack secure encryption. Read More

  • My Wrong Turns And Right Thinking In 2015 Crunch Network

    My Wrong Turns And Right Thinking In 2015

    Good Lord. I have been a TechCrunch columnist for five years now, filing a piece every week, rain or shine or hail or flu, for 260 consecutive weeks. (Well–I might have missed one week when I was in Myanmar.) Can you believe it? Me neither. And so it is time, once again, for my annual self-flagellation column, wherein I itemize all the mistakes I made over the last year. Read More

  • Money For Nothing For Everyone Crunch Network

    Money For Nothing For Everyone

    “There is something more powerful than the brute force of bayonets: it is the idea whose time has come.” And so last weekend I visited the Basic Income Createathon–held, appropriately enough, at Brigade in San Francisco–to witness the early stirrings of a movement whose central goal may seem strange and radical … but which I expect to eventually transform the life… Read More

  • The Culling Of The Herd Crunch Network

    The Culling Of The Herd

    I don’t care about valuations. But I do care about the tech industry as the most powerful means for the promulgation of new / cool / interesting / important technology; and the tremors running through the industry of late, as the so-called “unicorns” begin to tremble and quake, are hard to ignore. Evernote. Dropbox. Square. Theranos. Snapchat. IPO down rounds. Read More

  • Tor Wars: The Signal Awakens Crunch Network

    Tor Wars: The Signal Awakens

    The long arm of the law wants ever more eyes, if you’ll pardon the gruesome metaphor. The UK government recently unveiled an attempt to legalize “draconian state surveillance powers.” US voices keep calling for a mythical “secure golden key” for government access to encrypted messages. Canadian police describe encryption plus legal decisions favoring online privacy… Read More

  • Liquid Bitcoin Crunch Network

    Liquid Bitcoin

    Happy Halloween! Let’s talk about the scariest thing in the tech world today. No, no, not bubbles, drones, or unicorns: Bitcoin. Seriously. (Mostly.) Whether you think it’s a boondoggle scam, a libertarian Trojan horse that threatens governments, the scourge of Wall Street, or the thin edge of the post-capitalist wedge, you face two scary prospects: what if you’re right? Read More

  • When Facebook Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself Crunch Network

    When Facebook Knows You Better Than You Know Yourself

    Every time you log in to Facebook, every time you click on your News Feed, every time you Like a photo, every time you send anything via Messenger, you add another data point to the galaxy they already have regarding you and your behavior. That, in turn, is a tiny, insignificant dot within their vast universe of information about their billion-plus users. Read More

  • Is Uber The Root Of All Evil? Crunch Network

    Is Uber The Root Of All Evil?

    It is a truth universally acknowledged, in the enlightened liberal semi-socialist California circles in which I often move, that Uber is evil. It is accepted as axiomatic that they exploit their drivers; they brazenly reject the rule of democratic law, while simultaneously kowtowing to authoritarian China; they use vicious and/or deceitful tactics; and they ignore the needs of the disabled. Read More

  • Against The Singularity Crunch Network

    Against The Singularity

    Ray Kurzweil’s predictions of the Singularity annoy me sufficiently that I once sat down to write a TechCrunch column attacking them. A brief primer: Singularity theory argues that our exponential technological growth will, several decades hence, culminate in an unimaginable transcendence that redefines humanity, sentience, and/or reality. It is also known as the Rapture of the Nerds Read More

  • I Do Not Want Your Stupid App Crunch Network

    I Do Not Want Your Stupid App

    I do not want your stupid app
    I will not use this siloed crap.
    I do not like them, Sam-I-am.
    I do not want this mobile spam! Read More

  • I Like To Block It Block It Crunch Network

    I Like To Block It Block It

    And lo, on the day of the ninth release, the Lord Cook did cry ‘havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of flamewars, and permitted ad blockers in iOS; and there was much rejoicing, and much wailing and gnashing of teeth, because freaking everyone had a strong opinion on the subject. Who would have thought that the chattering classes had so much passion in them? Read More

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