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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  • 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

  • It’s Raining Donuts, Or, The Limits Of Exponential Decline Crunch Network

    It’s Raining Donuts, Or, The Limits Of Exponential Decline

    In 1913, in what is now an affluent suburb of Cairo, Egypt, an American engineer named Frank Shuman built the world’s first solar thermal power station, which pumped 100 gallons/second of Nile water into nearby cotton fields. He later declared in the New York Times: “After our stores of oil and coal are exhausted the human race can receive unlimited power from the rays of the… Read More

  • Surviving The Technical Cambrian Explosion Crunch Network

    Surviving The Technical Cambrian Explosion

    I’ve been doing a lot of recruiting lately. My employers HappyFunCorp are in the midst of another growth spurt. One of my most illuminating questions is: “What’s your strategy for keeping up-to-date with the Cambrian explosion of technical frameworks, languages, databases, templating systems, and so forth?” Everyone has a strategy — but nobody seems to feel… Read More

  • Obligatory Burning Man Think Piece Crunch Network

    Obligatory Burning Man Think Piece

    Larry, Sergey, and Eric are burners. So are Zuck, Dustin Moskovitz, and the Winklevii; so are Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Shervin Pishevar. Every year thousands of techies flock to ephemeral Black Rock City, Nevada’s 10th largest urban area during the week it exists. So many imagine Burning Man as a kind of summer camp for the tech industry. They could hardly be more wrong. Read More

  • The Honeywell Bubble Count Revisited Crunch Network

    The Honeywell Bubble Count Revisited

    I am a tall straight white cisgendered Canadian man in excellent health, i.e. I won pretty much every available lottery on the day I was born. People expect me to excel at things, or at least they don’t expect me not to. Concierges at five-star hotels are eager to help me, and rarely even ask me whether or not I am a guest. Read More

  • Don’t Be Apple Crunch Network

    Don’t Be Apple

    There is so much to admire about Apple. They make superb, beautiful products. Their amazing comeback story is unparalleled in corporate history. Steve Jobs has become something akin to a modern-day patron saint of the tech industry. Tim Cook is, rightly, enormously respected. So why do I think they represent so much of what’s wrong with the tech world? Read More

  • Bluetooth Suppositories And Other Teledildonics You Didn’t Know You Needed Crunch Network

    Bluetooth Suppositories And Other Teledildonics You Didn’t Know You Needed

    Let us talk frankly about technology and sex, which are, as the old ad has it, two great tastes that taste great together. Let’s talk about vibrators, and teledildonics, and orgasms, and KinkBNB, and VR porn, and “Uber for escorts.” And let’s talk again about how our collective inability to about our collective inability to think about, talk about, and invest in sex in… Read More

  • The Thin Black-Clad Line Crunch Network

    The Thin Black-Clad Line

    We live in a cyberpunk novel. Every major nation-state clandestinely develops (and/or purchases) carefully targeted malware, and constantly probes—or penetrates—other nations’ defenses while desperately evaluating their offensive capabilities. Criminal undergrounds ransom ordinary users’ computers for bitcoin. Fortune 500 companies are breached almost monthly. Read More

  • Hack The Planet! (Before It’s Too Late)

    Hack The Planet! (Before It’s Too Late)

    Greetings from the gaudy hellscape of Las Vegas, and that overcrowded maelstrom of surly hackers known as DEF CON! What follows is a brief rundown of the talks here (and its big corporate sister Black Hat) that seemed particularly interesting. Short version: software is eating the world; software can be hacked; ergo, the world can be hacked. Be afraid. Read More

  • Should Software Companies Be Legally Liable For Security Breaches? Crunch Network

    Should Software Companies Be Legally Liable For Security Breaches?

    It’s a truism that all software has bugs and security holes. It’s another that license agreements invariably make software vendors immune to liability for damage or losses caused by such flaws. But, to my surprise, Black Hat’s founder and keynote speaker are arguing that software product liability, presumably mandated by governments, is inevitable. If they’re right… Read More

  • “The Dream Of Internet Freedom Is Dying”

    “The Dream Of Internet Freedom Is Dying”

    So says Jennifer Granick, who gave the keynote address at the (somewhat infamous) Black Hat security conference today. Once, techno-utopians could say things like “The Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it.” Today, though, the ongoing centralization of the Internet in the name of security and convenience “increasingly facilitates surveillance, censorship… Read More

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