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

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

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,&
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