Opinion

  • WhatsApp, Signal, and dangerously ignorant journalism Crunch Network

    WhatsApp, Signal, and dangerously ignorant journalism

    There is something about encryption that brings out the worst in journalists. Because to most of them it is magic, they are always searching desperately for the proverbial man behind the curtain, without knowing what to look for. Which may explain The Guardian’s recent bizarre attack on WhatsApp, which they accused, wrongly, of having a “backdoor.” And the security… Read More

  • Dronerise: gradually, then suddenly Crunch Network

    Dronerise: gradually, then suddenly

    Drones feel a bit like old news already, don’t they? At least in the Valley, with its hyper-fragmented mayfly attention span. The military has used them for decades. DJI, the undisputed (consumer) polycopter industry leader, was founded in 2006. We tech journalists can’t stop talking about drones, but they’re still mostly playthings, curiosities. One might well ask: what… Read More

  • AirWander for your wanderlust: legitimately impressive Crunch Network

    AirWander for your wanderlust: legitimately impressive

    It’s reassuring to know that, jaded as I am, every so often, I can still stumble across a service that makes me think: “At last! I’ve waited years for this to exist!” So I’m exceedingly pleased to tell you all about AirWander, a web site built for peripatetic travel junkies like me; one which — at last — allows you to easily search for, and book… Read More

  • 2017: The year of the tune-in economy Crunch Network

    2017: The year of the tune-in economy

    We had incredible technological and societal changes throughout 2015 and 2016. Checks were being written for companies shaping the circular and sharing economies, content and social media, new influencer networks, wearables, virtual reality, artificial intelligence and big data analytics. Up until this point it felt like a test run. Read More

  • It’s The Jons 2016! Crunch Network

    It’s The Jons 2016!

    Happy New Year! 2016 was … well, we will not soon forget it. Brexit; Trump; the Grim Reaper’s celebrity killing spree; and, on the upside, a lot of magnificent tech achievements and breakthroughs. But The Jons are not about that. The Jons, an annual award named (in an awe-inspiring fit of humility) after myself, go to tech’s more dubious achievers. And hoo boy were there a lot… Read More

  • 2016 and the year ahead Crunch Network

    2016 and the year ahead

    This past year was a big one for internet attacks, encryption, blackouts, speed and IoT, and 2017 is positioned to bring even more headlines for each of these. As Cloudflare prepares for the coming year, we made some predictions about what’s next for the future of the internet. But first, let’s review what we saw as a result of the widespread use and abuse of the internet in… Read More

  • 2016’s top programming trends Crunch Network

    2016’s top programming trends

    Last January I wrote a TechCrunch post predicting the major programming trends of 2016. But in the software development world, things can change very quickly. It can be difficult to see the high-level trends clearly through all the chatter about shiny new development languages, frameworks and tools. So, as we near the end of 2016, how accurate were my predictions? Read More

  • Dear Air Canada: a systems analysis of a comically colossal cascading failure Crunch Network

    Dear Air Canada: a systems analysis of a comically colossal cascading failure

    I’ll be blunt; I’m here to vent my fury. On your behalf, dear reader! Honest. When a corporation gets things terribly wrong, those of us with platforms need to turn our wrath upon them. It’s the only feedback that actually matters. But there’s a larger issue here: the way that poisonously rigid corporate software, when it meets reality, can cause whole companies to… Read More

  • The cleantech conspiracy Crunch Network

    The cleantech conspiracy

    This, if you squint and adjust your tinfoil hat in just the right way, is the real story of the US election: the Russian candidate defeated the Saudi Arabian candidate. Why them? Because they’re more desperate than anyone else. Both are failed, fragile petrostates propped up only by oil money; so both see cleantech, and climate-change concern — ie Elon Musk — as the real… Read More

  • Adding encryption to cameras won’t solve photojournalists’ problems

    Adding encryption to cameras won’t solve photojournalists’ problems

    When the Freedom of the Press Foundation published an open letter to Canon, encouraging the company to implement encryption features into its cameras, it missed the point. Yes, encryption per se is a great idea, but when dodging bullets in war zones, gravity friction-lock batons in tin-pot dictatorships or nasty cutlery if you’re filming gangs, it isn’t going to help you. Read More

  • Death to JIRA Crunch Network

    Death to JIRA

    I have long held that Atlassian’s ubiquitous JIRA bug-tracker / feature-planner serves a valuable purpose in the software biz: it gives project teams a common enemy to bond together against. Alas, it’s not worth it. JIRA’s design is fundamentally antithetical to good software development, if it is used for anything more than simple bug tracking. Allow me to propose a better way. Read More

  • Three cheers for Valley capitalism Crunch Network

    Three cheers for Valley capitalism

    It’s easy to be critical of the tech industry, and even easier to be critical of capitalism itself. Let us all continue to do so; criticism is valuable. But let’s remember that we do so because they are so important. Capitalism is still what lifts the world’s least fortunate out of poverty, and technology increasingly feels like the last, best hope of a world otherwise dead… Read More

  • 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