Opinion

  • Play this killer self-driving car ethics game

    Play this killer self-driving car ethics game

    Should a self-driving car full of old folks crash to avoid puppies in the cross-walk? Is it OK to run over two criminals if you save one doctor? Whose lives are worth more, seven-year-olds or senior citizens? In, This new game called the “Moral Machine” from MIT’s researchers, a car’s breaks fail and you have to choose whether it crashes into a barrier, killing the… Read More

  • Courtesy of GoFundMe, crowdfunding now comes with a guarantee, of sorts

    Courtesy of GoFundMe, crowdfunding now comes with a guarantee, of sorts

    Unscrupulous scammers have been pilfering money out of charity donation boxes for as long as they have existed. The rapid rise of crowdfunding platforms has moved this practice into cyberspace. GoFundMe today announced that it is fighting back with a limited guarantee ensuring that the money you drop in a collection bucket goes where you think it does. Read More

  • Learned helplessness and the languages of DAO Crunch Network

    Learned helplessness and the languages of DAO

    Everything is terrible. Most software, even critical system software, is insecure Swiss cheese held together with duct tape, bubble wrap, and bobby pins. See eg this week’s darkly funny post “How to Crash Systemd in One Tweet.” But it’s not just systemd, not just Linux, not just software; the whole industry is at fault. We have taught ourselves, wrongly, that there is… Read More

  • Innovation is in all the wrong places Crunch Network

    Innovation is in all the wrong places

    I live a pretty cosmopolitan futuristic life atop a glass skyscraper in New York City, but I’ve yet to get a pizza delivered by drone, order a taxi from Alexa or open a hotel door with my smartwatch. We’ve got the questions wrong: It shouldn’t be how are you innovating or which project is doing new things, but why are you doing it and on what level. Read More

  • Sol vs. Sol, for the fate of humanity Crunch Network

    Sol vs. Sol, for the fate of humanity

    I happened to spend much of this week in Abu Dhabi, from whence came, conveniently, the most important news of this week, month, year, and arguably decade. Yes, bigger than the American election; yes, bigger than the long-awaited rise of machine learning; yes, bigger than Elon Musk’s one-two punch of space travel and electric cars — although it’s related to that. Read More

  • Camera manufacturers, you’re still missing the point. Be better.

    Camera manufacturers, you’re still missing the point. Be better.

    Spotted at Photokina, the world’s largest photography trade show: A professional photographer, taking a photo, then taking a picture off the back of their camera to share the photograph on Facebook. It’s not that unusual an occurrence, but it served as the perfect parable on quite how vigorously the camera manufacturers have self-copulated themselves into oblivion. Read More

  • Twitter’s new transparency report is disclosure done right

    Twitter’s new transparency report is disclosure done right

    It’s common practice these days for companies that hold significant amounts of user data to publish transparency reports. Google, Facebook, Dropbox and Slack all put out their numbers on a regular basis, breaking down government requests for user data by country and type (platforms typically receive requests for law enforcement investigations, as well as copyright takedowns and other… Read More

  • Seriously, we don’t need smartphone-controlled candles

    Seriously, we don’t need smartphone-controlled candles

    You don’t have to spend a long time in tech journalism before you get pitched a whole stack of companies that make you scratch your head and ask yourself “why?” LuDela is one example. The company makes a smartphone-controllable candle. Why? There are plenty of real problems to solve; creating fire at the touch of an app isn’t among them. Read More

  • Subscription clothing service Stitch Fix expands to Men’s, still can’t figure out how to take my money

    Subscription clothing service Stitch Fix expands to Men’s, still can’t figure out how to take my money

    Stitch Fix can’t figure out how to take my money, but they’re expanding to include men’s clothing now. Good luck with that! Oh, am I going to write a blog post on TechCrunch about my personal issues with a startup? Yeah, maybe? (You may now click into the comments below and commence your trolling.) Here’s the thing: I haven’t been as obsessed with a new startup as… Read More

  • Don’t just pardon Edward Snowden; give the man a medal Crunch Network

    Don’t just pardon Edward Snowden; give the man a medal

    As Barack Obama’s second term comes to an end, an increasingly loud chorus of voices are calling for a dramatic final presidential act: the pardoning of Edward Snowden. Authoritarians are horrified by this, and, as usual, they are wrong. A pardon really isn’t enough. As I’ve argued before, Snowden deserves a medal. Read More

  • The Beginning Of Protest Crunch Network

    The Beginning Of Protest

    The most provocative book I’ve read this year is The End Of Protest, by Micah White, one of the two initiators of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Remember Occupy? Those crazy days when, giddy with the apparent success of the previous year’s Arab Spring, independent, decentralized groups of protestors, connected by cell phones and social media, seized public spaces across… Read More

  • AirPods and the rise of snackable audio

    AirPods and the rise of snackable audio

    In just 30 seconds, you can enjoyably consume a viral video or a few Facebook stories. But until now, the shortest thing you could typically listen to was a three minute song, especially when you factor in the time to get your headphones untangled, on, and playing. Hearing anything shorter was more trouble than it was worth. Yet with wireless earbuds going mainstream thanks to the unveiling… Read More

  • A view on VC from a realistic optimist Crunch Network

    A view on VC from a realistic optimist

    During the last year there has been considerable discussion regarding the current state of the venture capital industry: Are we in a bubble? Did that bubble pop? Why has there been a dearth of major technology company IPOs? How much higher can valuations skyrocket, yet why does it seem increasingly difficult for earlier stage startups to raise their Series A and B rounds? Read More

  • Courage.

    Courage.

    Phil Schiller today caused the largest collective eyeroll in the history of the world with his explanation of why Apple was leaving the 3.5mm analog audio jack behind. “It comes down to one thing: Courage.” Read More

  • Growing up in Generation AI Crunch Network

    Growing up in Generation AI

    Imagine a five-year-old watching Mum talking to Siri, and Dad talking to Alexa, on a daily basis — what must she think of such interactions? Children nowadays witness computers that seem like they have a mind of their own — and even a personality with which to engage. It can be taken for granted that their perception of machines, and thus of the world itself, differs a lot from… Read More

  • We’re at peak complexity — and it sucks Crunch Network

    We’re at peak complexity — and it sucks

    Virtually all companies are doing digital transformation wrong. We’re placing it around the edge, keeping it at arm’s length, like it’s a problem and not an opportunity. If companies are to succeed, we need to rebuild around what’s possible, with the greatest toolkit we’ve ever seen. Read More

  • Cinemapocalypse Now? Crunch Network

    Cinemapocalypse Now?

    Let’s talk box office! Because it’s one of my pet obsessions; I’ve long been curious how the rise of new entertainment tech (Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Pokémon Go) will impact movies, our oldest and most storied cultural commons. And because I was trawling through Box Office Mojo’s numbers, as you do, and happened to stumble across something which makes me fear for… Read More

  • The dream of the Courier lives on, but it’s still a dream

    The dream of the Courier lives on, but it’s still a dream

    Oh yes, young feller, that there Yoga Book sure is something. But why don’t you just set a while an’ listen to the stories of an old blogger. ‘Twas back in the old days — before the millennials took over. That’d be 2009 or so. Longer than most remember these days. Let me ask ya something, m’boy. Ever hear tell of a Courier? Read More