Opinion

Facebook launches petition feature, its next battlefield

Gather a mob and Facebook will now let you make political demands. Tomorrow Facebook will encounter a slew of fresh complexities with the launch of Community Actions, its News Feed petition feature. C

Technology’s dark forest

We used to be such optimists. Technology would bring us a world of wealth in harmony with the environment, and even bring us new worlds. The Internet would erase national boundaries, replace gatekeepe

In defense of screen time

Silicon Valley engineers who design our tech gadgets won't let their kids anywhere near those devices -- they're convinced too much time in front of smartphones and iPads is rotting kids' brains.

Our dystopian cyberpunk here and now

We in the West love our apocalyptic science fiction, in which cartoonishly evil authorities ruthlessly oppress all who so much as wonder about their absolute power, enforced via ubiquitous surveillanc

It’s the golden age of traditional retail, not its end days

A lot of people will say that traditional retail is dying. But the reality is that, thanks to technology, the future of traditional retail has never been brighter.

The YKarma experiment

Blockchains are boring now. It’s been ten years since Bitcoin launched, and cryptocurrencies have almost exclusively been used to recapitulate existing monetary systems in slightly new forms. Th

It’s the Jons 2018!

It was the best of years, it was the worst of years, it was the wokest of years, it was the most problematic of years, it was the year of AI, it was the year of scooters, it was the year of Big Tech t

What history could tell Mark Zuckerberg

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg obsessed over the wrong bit of history. Or else didn’t study his preferred slice of classical antiquity carefully enough, faced, as he now is, with an existential crisis

My product launch wishlist for Instagram, Twitter, Uber and more

‘Twas the night before Xmas, and all through the house, not a feature was stirring from the designer’s mouse . . . Not Twitter! Not Uber, Not Apple or Pinterest! On Facebook! On Snapchat!

Here comes the downturn

It’s remarkable how fast the tenor of the times has changed. Only a few months ago we were in a boom that seemed like it might never end. Now the yield curve has inverted; the markets have gone bear

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

A Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul

Facebook’s fact-checkers toil on

Facebook is fielding so many problems, oversights, scandals and other miscellaneous ills that it wouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that its fact-checking program, undertaken last year after the n

Industries must adopt ethics along with technology

How smartphone apps collect location data exposes why it's important that the ethics of individuals who code and commercialize technology is as important as the technology’s code itself.

The most common forms of censorship the public doesn’t know about

Amid all the discussion today about online threats, from censorship to surveillance to cyberwar, we often spend more time on the symptoms than on the underlying chronic conditions.

In the winds of crypto winter

Well, it was surreal while it lasted, by which I mean the 2017-18 cryptocurrency bubble. For a while there, Coinbase was #1 in the App Store, Bitcoin was above $10K, and there were more notional crypt

Changing consumer behavior is the key to unlocking billion-dollar businesses

Revolutionary products succeed when they deliver value to their users. The fact that a product creates a behavior shift is not enough. It must create value to overcome the initial skepticism.

JIRA is an antipattern

Atlassian’s JIRA began life as a bug-tracking tool. Today, though, it has become an agile planning suite, “to plan, track, and release great software.” In many organizations it has b

7 things to think about voice

Voice won't change everything but it will be part of a movement that heralds a new way to think about our relationship with devices, screens, our data and interactions.

Is ethical tech a farce?

In the past year, we’ve seen tech platforms called out for stoking hate and not doing enough to instill ethics from the top down. Indeed, when profits trump impact, ethics lose out.

Welcome to the stochastic age

In 1990, Kleiner Perkins rejected 99.4 percent of the proposals it received, while investing in 12 new companies a year. Those investees made Kleiner Perkins “the most successful financial insti
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