Opinion

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

A look back at the best tech ads of the last 35 years

Last week the Association of Independent Commercial Producers announced the winners of its annual awards honoring the best moving image marketing of the year and Apple’s “Welcome Home” ad took h

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

3,000 journalists covering Kim-Trump this week is WTF is wrong with media

Media businesses are in the dumper. Every week, we hear of new layoffs, budget cuts, diminished editorial quality and more, way more. And yet, somehow, miraculously, more than 3,000 journalists manage

Gaming leans into diversity at E3, but not hard

To say gaming the gaming community is not known for its friendliness to women and minority groups is something of an understatement. But we're starting to see developers abandon the usual excuses of t

Facebook still wants to be a media company

Facebook may have disbanded its “Trending” news section, but the social network is not abandoning its media company ambitions, despite whatever CEO Mark Zuckerberg said to Congress. In fac

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

Apple’s Create ML is a nice feature with an unclear purpose

Apple announced a new feature for developers today called Create ML. Since machine learning is a commonly used tool in the developer kit these days, it makes sense that Apple would want to improve the

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

It’s OK to leave Facebook

The slow-motion privacy train wreck that is Facebook has many users, perhaps you, thinking about leaving or at least changing the way you use the social network. Fortunately for everyone but Mark Zuck

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

Elon Musk has a very bad idea for a website rating journalists

Elon Musk has, as I imagine he often does during meetings or long car rides, come up with an idea for a new thing. Unlike the HyperLoop, which was cool, and various space-related ideas, which we know

Technology innovation on the second half of the chessboard

The speed and magnitude with which technology innovation is moving is mind boggling, even for those of us who have worked at the center of it for decades. Technology innovation is now a global village

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

Why Snapchat’s re-redesign will fail and how to fix it

Snap screwed it all up jumbling messages and Stories, banishing creators to Discover and wrecking auto-advance. Prideful of his gut instincts, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel refused to listen to the awful user

Facebook united

Facebook was a mess. The independence it dangled to close acquisition deals with Instagram and WhatsApp turned the company into a tangle of overlapping products. Every app had its own messaging and St

Barnes & Noble teeters in a post-text world

Barnes & Noble, that once proud anchor to many a suburban mall, is waning. It is not failing all at once, dropping like the savaged corpse of Toys “R” Us, but it also clear that its cu

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

Burning Man’s Larry Harvey passes after opening tech’s imagination

Larry Harvey normalized the abnormal, expanding the boundaries of what creators could attempt. That’s why there’s a special bond between Silicon Valley and Black Rock City, the desert settlement w

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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