Jon Evans, TechCrunch

Jon Evans

TechCrunch

Berkeley, CA, United States

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Recent:
  • TechCrunch
Past:
  • The Walrus
  • Quartz

Recent articles by Jon:

Into and after the viral storm –

The path forward now seems pretty clear. First we get through the grim month-and-more ahead, supporting health care workers in any way we can. (Tip: findthemasks.com lists where to donate PPE, personal protective equipment, in the US. If you have any, do so. We are very literally all in this together, and they need it […] → Read More

Our infected machine –

We are handling the first real global crisis since the Cold War with staggering incompetence. People are already dying en masse. We all need to stay home and stay away from one another. If we wait until those who can’t do math see the awful consequences all too visible to those who can, things will […] → Read More

Burn the EARN IT Act –

I want to talk about malignant incompetence on the part of our elected officials, and this isn’t even about the pandemic. Rather, it’s about the spectacularly misguided, counterproductive, expensive, and overbearing approach to end-to-end encryption by the USA along with Australia, Canada, the UK, and New Zealand — the so-called “Five Eyes.” Consider the TSA […] → Read More

May we live in interesting times –

It’s never a good sign when, in order to discuss the near future of technology, you first have to talk about epidemiology–but I’m afraid that’s where we’re at. A week ago I wrote “A pandemic is coming.” I am sorry to report, in case you hadn’t heard, events since have not exactly proved me wrong. […] → Read More

What happens if a pandemic hits? –

What happens if a Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic hits? It’s time to at least start asking that question. What will the repercussions be, if the virus spreads worldwide? How will it change how we live, work, socialize, and travel? Don’t get all disaster-movie here. Some people seem to have the notion that a pandemic will mean […] → Read More

DeFiance: billion-dollar finance, million-dollar hacks, and very little value –

Over the last year or so, much-to-most of the cryptocurrency world has pivoted from the failure of “fat tokens” and ICOs, and the faltering growth of “Layer 2” payments like Lightning and the late Plasma Network, to the new hotness known as “DeFi,” which this week was used to … hack? acquire? steal? It’s pretty […] → Read More

The war against space hackers: how the JPL works to secure its missions from nation-state adversaries –

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory designs, builds, and operates billion-dollar spacecraft. That makes it a target. What the infosec world calls Advanced Persistent Threats — meaning, generally, nation-state adversaries — hover outside its online borders, constantly seeking access to its “ground data systems,” its networks on Earth, which in turn connect to the ground relay stations […] → Read More

Everyone loves the coronapocalypse –

The 2019-nCoV coronavirus is a global public health emergency of significant concern. It is also, simultaneously, a fount of misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, and both over- and under-reactions. Whose fault is this? So glad you asked. I happen to have a little list. Purveyors of misinformation. As archly observed by The Atlantic, that misleadingly-self-described Harvard […] → Read More

Technology is anthropology –

The interesting thing about the technology business is that, most of the time, it’s not the technology that matters. What matters is how people react to it, and what new social norms they form. This is especially true in today’s era, well past the midpoint of the deployment age of smartphones and the Internet. People […] → Read More

The marketplace of ideas is a weapons market now –

The most interesting thing I saw online this week was Venkatesh Rao’s “Internet of Beefs” essay. I don’t agree with all of it. I’m not even sure I agree with most of it. But it’s a sharp, perceptive, well-argued piece which offers an explanation for why online public spaces have almost all become battlefields, or, […] → Read More

R.I.P. Goofy Times –

A strange new sensation has settled across the tech industry, one so foreign, so alien, it’s almost hard to recognize. A sense that some great expectations are being radically revised downwards; that someone has turned down a previously unquenchable money spigot; that unit economics can matter even when you’re in growth mode. Could it be […] → Read More

Software and the war against complexity –

Look around: what is happening? Australia, AI, Ghosn, Google, Suleimani, Starlink, Trump, TikTok. The world is an eruptive flux of frequently toxic emergent behavior, and every unexpected event is laced with subtle interconnected nuances. Stephen Hawking predicted this would be “the century of complexity.” He was talking about theoretical physics, but he was dead right […] → Read More

It’s The Jons 2019! –

Happy New Year! It’s been another wild and wacky ride of a year in the tech world: breakthroughs and disgraces, triumphs and catastrophes, cryptocurrencies and starships, the ongoing rise of utopian clean energy and dystopian cyberpunk societies, and most of all, the ongoing weirding of the whole wide world. In other words it was another […] → Read More

Whatever happened to the Next Big Things? –

In tech, this was the smartphone decade. In 2009, Symbian was still the dominant ‘smartphone’ OS, but 2010 saw the launch of the iPhone 4, the Samsung Galaxy S, and the Nexus One, and today Android and iOS boast four billion combined active devices. Smartphones and their apps are a mature market, now, not a […] → Read More

The new new weird –

Neo-Pentecostal gangs in Brazil, driving out other faiths at gunpoint. A mob of 100 lawyers attacking a hospital in Pakistan to revenge themselves on violent doctors there. Anti-vaxxers, neo-Nazis, and red-pillers. Sometimes it seems like the world has fragmented into a jagged kaleidoscope of countless mobs and subcultures, each more disconcerting than the last. Much […] → Read More

Away with them –

Every so often a story comes along which is unremarkable on its face but erupts into wider attention because it seems to represent some larger social fracture zone. …And then there’s the recent story of mismanagement and malfeasance at Away, which has caught the tech world’s attention because it seems a shibboleth for all the […] → Read More

Mass media vs. social media –

In the waning years of the last millennium, at my university, one of the cause célèbres of the progressive left was a concept known as “Manufacturing Consent,” the title of a book and film, by and starring Noam Chomsky. Its central thesis was that US mass media “are effective and powerful ideological institutions that carry […] → Read More

Reasons to be climate cheerful (ish) –

The International Energy Agency published its annual World Energy Outlook ten days ago. In this era of climate crisis, that outlook includes, as you would expect, stern warnings of catastrophic warming. But it also includes interesting nuggets of hope and optimism — and they aren’t alone. Global warming is a slow-motion in-progress planetary train-wreck, true; […] → Read More

Bored of the coins –

Something strange is afoot in the world of cryptocurrencies. For the first time since Satoshi dropped Bitcoin on us like a benevolent bomb, this painfully new, highly bizarre field has become … well … boring. The true believers will tell you that great strides are being made, and the mainstream breakthrough is just around the […] → Read More

The post-exponential era of AI and Moore’s Law –

My MacBook Pro is three years old, and for the first time in my life, a three-year-old primary computer doesn’t feel like a crisis which must be resolved immediately. True, this is partly because I’m waiting for Apple to fix their keyboard debacle, and partly because I still cannot stomach the Touch Bar. But it […] → Read More