Opinion

  • We’re all screwed, but let’s not be nihilists Crunch Network

    We’re all screwed, but let’s not be nihilists

    We are so doomed it’s almost funny, and always have been. Don’t worry, I’m not being political! …well, not exactly. I’m talking about the State of Internet Security, which is, as always, disastrous-verging-on-cataclysmic. Are you worried about Russian hackers? Hah! You should be so lucky as to be hacked. We should all be so lucky as to have a functional Internet they… Read More

  • The tangle of the year

    The tangle of the year

    One of the primary reasons for Thanksgiving was always the celebration of the end of the harvest and the promise of new growth. Home gardens wilted in the first November rains and the apples and herbs died out around the ides. The land goes from oregano and blanched green bean to tan and dust and brown and the leaves cover everything in preparation for snow. I’m no outdoorsman. Our… Read More

  • So you think you elected an autocrat Crunch Network

    So you think you elected an autocrat

    Welp. I’m sorry to hear that. Whether you are Venezuelan, Zimbabwean, Russian, Turkish, or American; whether your democratic process has been fatally compromised, or your fellow citizens have knowingly voted in a monster; indeed, even whether you’re right or wrong — I feel your pain. But for what it’s worth, some technology, if used correctly, is still on your side. Read More

  • Dear Facebook, please fix the plague of fake news before you ruin foreign elections too

    Dear Facebook, please fix the plague of fake news before you ruin foreign elections too

    It’s true, Facebook isn’t single-handedly responsible for the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. But the company played an important part in the rise of Donald Trump. Many people now think Facebook has to find a way to flag fake news appropriately before the next election in 2020. But it’s a much more urgent issue. Facebook has to weed out fake news before the… Read More

  • Trendspotting Crunch Network

    Trendspotting

    Brexit and Trump; applied CRISPR and the Gigafactory; the rise of self-driving vehicles, the fall of pollsters; the global saturation of smartphones, the first mass-market VR headsets; the first drone-delivered terror bomb, the first drone drug mule; Signal and the Secure Enclave; Ethereum and the DAO; AI and SpaceX — we can all agree, I hope, that this has been one hell of a year. Read More

  • A serial founder on Trump: “He’s a startup that disrupted the establishment”

    A serial founder on Trump: “He’s a startup that disrupted the establishment”

    Fabrice Grinda, a longtime New Yorker, has helped create hundreds of jobs for Americans and others. Among the companies he has started is OLX, one of the largest free classifieds sites in the world — one that was acquired over time by the African conglomerate Naspers for $250 million. Grinda more recently co-founded Beepi, the peer-to-peer used car marketplace based in California… Read More

  • Welcome to the hardtech era Crunch Network

    Welcome to the hardtech era

    Good news, my friends! The day we have all ostentatiously longed for has arrived. I come to announce that the days of sugar water are over. The era of SoLoMo photo apps, messaging copycats, new niche social networks, “Uber for X”, and on-demand delivery of artisanal civet coffee is behind us at last. No more trivial apps and web services. At long last it is time to solve the… Read More

  • Are smart cities just a utopian fantasy? Crunch Network

    Are smart cities just a utopian fantasy?

    When cities are designed and deployed as a single unit, they don’t carry the cultural vibrancy of a city built organically in response to the needs and desires of its denizens. The piecemeal approach to integrating smart city technology is more appealing than the built-from-scratch approach — it’s the only way to preserve the character of the city. Read More

  • Apple, give me back my emoji

    Apple, give me back my emoji

    What have you done, Apple? Read More

  • The ethics of colonizing Mars Crunch Network

    The ethics of colonizing Mars

    Should we take ourselves to other planets? Human rationality and values have woven dark, damaged, all-powerful systems into the tapestry of civilization. Most notably: capitalism and consumerism. Do we see ourselves moving planet to planet, sucking life out of each one for our own survival? If we are to impress ourselves onto this universe, we must solemnly inquire about our impact on it. Read More

  • What product development teaches us about self-improvement Crunch Network

    What product development teaches us about self-improvement

    While the digital revolution has brought with it many conceptual changes, one of the most pronounced is that of the version release. Your phone is considered outdated if it’s a year old, and obsolete if you bought it three years ago. Whenever you connect to Wi-Fi your apps undergo a version update. The Facebook you’re using today is not the same version you posted to last week. Read More

  • Zcash, Blockstack, and appcoins, oh my! Crunch Network

    Zcash, Blockstack, and appcoins, oh my!

    It’s time to check back in to what’s happening in the world of cryptocurrencies! Which—give it credit—is never, ever boring. Some things seem evergreen; the Bitcoin civil war is resurgent; the Ethereum’s growing pains continue. But out there on the horizon, some strange and interesting things are happening. I give you, for instance, appcoins, Blockstack, and Zcash. Read More

  • Your experience is probably worth a lot less than you think Crunch Network

    Your experience is probably worth a lot less than you think

    Do you work in software? Do you have more than a decade of experience? You do? I’m sorry to hear that. That means there’s a strong possibility that much of what you know is already obsolete. Worse yet, there’s a good chance that you’re set in anachronistic ways, hidebound with habits which are now considered harmful. If you think your experience is automatically valuable… Read More

  • Six reasons to be hyped for the Nintendo Switch (and four reasons to worry)

    Six reasons to be hyped for the Nintendo Switch (and four reasons to worry)

    Yesterday saw the introduction — after many leaks and rumors — of the Nintendo Switch, the company’s next game console. It isn’t due to arrive until March of next year, which is infinitely frustrating because it looks amazing for several reasons, not all of them obvious. Here’s why I’m more excited about the Switch than for any Nintendo product in a long time. Read More

  • The future of work manifesto Crunch Network

    The future of work manifesto

    We humans are hunter-gatherers domesticated into becoming farmers. Around 10,000 years ago, we discovered the wonders of agriculture. To make farmers out of hunters, we used social norms and sanctions. This tension of our origins is described in the fable of Cain and Abel, which ends with Cain the farmer slaying his brother, and God’s favorite, the hunter-gatherer Abel. Read More

  • Comparing the politics of Trump and his Silicon Valley surrogate Peter Thiel

    Comparing the politics of Trump and his Silicon Valley surrogate Peter Thiel

    It’s been a weird year for Peter Thiel. The always contrarian investor has managed to stir up quite a bit of ill will with his shadowy support of the lawsuit that brought Gawker to its knees and his vocal — and now financial — support for Donald Trump. Along the way, each of Thiel’s controversies has led to calls for the companies he funded and advised, like Facebook… Read More

  • Let’s have a little compassion for (some of) the trolls Crunch Network

    Let’s have a little compassion for (some of) the trolls

    It’s looking pretty grim out there in social media land. A lot of what once was conversation has devolved into warfare. The issues of our time — Trump, Brexit, identity politics, housing and homelessness, how to pronounce “GIF” — seem to divide us ever more starkly, and so we huddle within our filter bubbles, and/or lash out at those outside. It’s hard to… Read More

  • Google added fact checking: Facebook, it’s your move now

    Google added fact checking: Facebook, it’s your move now

    Google yesterday announced it will introduce a fact check tag on Google News in order to display articles that contain factual information next to trending news items. Now it’s time for Facebook to take fact-checking more seriously, too. Facebook has stepped into the role of being today’s newspaper: that is, it’s a single destination where a large selection of news… Read More

  • E2E or GTFO Crunch Network

    E2E or GTFO

    Oh, Yahoo. We’re not just mad at you. We’re also really, really disappointed. First it took you two years to figure out that you were hacked by a nation-state. Then you allowed another nation-state — the US government — to scan all of your user’s emails … using a buggy Linux kernel module … without ever telling your security team. Seriously, Yahoo? Read More

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