Jon Evans, TechCrunch

Jon Evans

TechCrunch

Berkeley, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • TechCrunch
Past:
  • The Walrus
  • Quartz

Recent articles by Jon:

2020 and the black-box ballot box –

One of the scarier notions in the world today is the prospect of American voting machines being compromised at scale: voters thrown off rolls, votes disregarded, vote tallies edited, entire elections hacked. That’s why the nation’s lawmakers and civil servants flocked (relatively speaking) to Def Con in Las Vegas this week, where hackers at its […] → Read More

We’re all doomed, 2019 edition –

Every year the great and good (and bad) of the hacker/information-security world descend on Las Vegas for a week of conferences, in which many present their latest discoveries, and every year I try to itemize the most interesting (according to me) Black Hat talks for TechCrunch. Do not assume I attended all or even most […] → Read More

The Russians are coming! The Russians are

Did you know that Russia’s security services, particularly those related to hacking / information security, have been in the throes of vicious high-stakes infighting for years? Did you know that the perceived Russian doctrine which informed much Western analysis of Russian strategies never actually existed? Did you know that the Kremlin’s secrecy has built an […] → Read More

Your security team is probably an infuriating obstacle – but it doesn’t have to be this way –

Security is empty, meaningless theater — or, at least, that’s the lesson taught to most employees of most large companies. Security is your password expiring every few months, your inability to access crucial services if you’re new or a contractor, a salty message from a team you’ve never met explaining that your new initiative is […] → Read More

On the Amazon panopticon –

Last year, “Amazon employees met with ICE officials … to market the company’s facial recognition technology,” the ACLU informs us. Amazon VP Brad Huseman later said “We believe the government should have the best available technology.” Then, last month, Motherboard revealed Amazon has partnered with police departments around the country to create “a self-perpetuating surveillance […] → Read More

The dreaded 10x, or, how to handle exceptional employees –

The “10x engineer.” Shudder. Wince. I have rarely seen my Twitter feed unite against an idea so loudly, or in such harmony. I refer of course to the thread last month by Accel India’s Shekhar Kirani, explaining “If you have a 10x engineer as part of your first few engineers, you increase the odds of […] → Read More

What will happen when the bad times come? –

Here in America we are now in the longest economic expansion in history. That doesn’t mean it’s about to end. But it does raise the question: what happens when it does? When the economic cycle finally inverts into recession, perhaps unexpectedly and with no obvious cause, perhaps because of some geopolitical crisis? We know what […] → Read More

Don’t hold your breath for the moon –

In the house in which I grew up, a single framed newspaper front page loomed over us. “MAN ON MOON“, it declared jubilantly, in an enormous, suitably momentous typeface. Subheadings included “‘It’s very pretty up here … a fine, soft surface’” and, of course, “A giant leap for mankind.” One leap forward, three steps back. […] → Read More

Don’t blame flawed Silicon Valley for the rot of Wall Street and Washington –

The techlash is well underway. Blame Facebook! Blame Google! Blame Amazon! (Apple and Microsoft still seem relatively immune, for now.) And, I mean, there’s a lot of objectively blameworthy behavior there, especially in that first case. But I find myself wondering: why does the ire go beyond that, into irrational territory? What is it about […] → Read More

Someone is wrong on the Internet –

You wake up, and check your phone, and see a new condemnation. Some awful person has said something outrageously insulting. Something actually evil, if you think about it. Something that belittles, dehumanizes, and/or argues against the freedom and agency of a whole category of people. You add your voice to the furious chorus in response. […] → Read More

It’s the end of movies as we know them (and I feel fine) –

“How Will The Movies Survive The Next Ten Years?” demands the New York Times, in a series of interviews with 24 major Hollywood figures. Good question! I’ve been asking it myself, here, for six years now. Very unlike music, television, books, and home video, the theatrical movie experience has proved remarkably resistant to online disruption… […] → Read More

Who’s going to use the big bad Libra? –

There is so much to write about Libra, and so much which has already been written misses the mark, mostly, I think, because most pundits haven’t spent much time in the developing world, which is very clearly the target market here. Just look at its launch video: I’ve seen apocalyptic reactions warning of Libra ushering […] → Read More

Pokémon GO and optimism as a business model –

I played Pokémon GO this weekend, because I was babysitting my nephew, and I couldn’t help but be reminded what a cultural force it was when it launched three years ago. Hundreds massed near San Francisco’s Ocean Beach every day to hunt. Huge crowds sprinted through Central Park to catch a Vaporeon. Disapproving finger-pointers penned […] → Read More

How to make remote work work –

Every time I see a “the future of work is remote” article, I think to myself: “How backwards! How retro! How quaint!” That future is now, for many of us. I’ve been a fully remote developer-turned-CTO for a full decade. So I’m always baffled by people still wrestling with whether remote work is viable for […] → Read More

Feedback loops and online abuse –

I’ve long thought that much of the world can be explained by feedback loops. Why are small companies nimbler than large ones? Why are private companies generally more efficient than governments? Primarily because in each case, the former has a better feedback loop. When faced with a baffling question — such as, “why do online […] → Read More

Password expiration is dead, long live your passwords –

May was a momentous month, which marked a victory for sanity and pragmatism over irrational paranoia. I’m obviously not talking about politics. I’m talking about Microsoft finally — finally! but credit to them for doing this nonetheless! — removing the password expiration policies from their Windows 10 security baseline. Although NIST and others precede this […] → Read More

How games conquered the movies –

We used to think that as video games matured, as a medium, they would become more like Hollywood, becoming more focused on character development, plot reversals, and tight, suspense-driven narratives, rather than action set pieces alternating with cinematic cut scenes. Hoo boy, were we wrong. Instead the exact inverse has happened. Action movies have become […] → Read More

Blockchain blockchain Malkovich blockchain –

I spent much of last week at blockchain conferences, and I’m about ready to never hear the word again. This despite the fact I’ve been supporting decentralized software, as a counterweight or at least alternative to the growing power of governments and megacorps, for years now. Do you think blockchains are no answer? Great, let’s […] → Read More

From crypto winter to crypto weirder –

Captain Kirk and neo-Dadaists. Repugnant markets and legendary cryptographers. “Digital couture” auctioned by CryptoKitties developers. Distributed autonomous art organizations. A keynote speech looking back from 2047 at the near-apocalypse of 2026, from which we were saved by a new, fully tokenized economy. Yes, that’s right: NYC Blockchain Week has begun. Where to begin? I suppose […] → Read More

Against the Slacklash –

Such hate. Such dismay. “How Slack is ruining work.” “Actually, Slack really sucks.” “Slack may actually be hurting your workplace productivity.” “Slack is awful.” Slack “destroys teams’ ability to think, plan & get complex work out the door.” “Slack is a terrible collaboration tool.” “Face it, Slack is ruining your life.” Contrarian view: Slack is […] → Read More