The Future Is Here, It’s Just Unevenly Distributed Systems

cable-confusion Hearken to me, my fellow developers. We live in complex and confusing times. Once we sought to make things ever simpler. Then we discovered that simple isn’t necessarily scalable, or efficient, or resilient, and turned to favoring composition over simplicity, deconstructing our systems into multiple independent services. And now–well–now it sometimes seems we have hit upon… Read More

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CrunchWeek: Taylor Hugs Apple, Verizon Buys Us, And New NSA Leaks

crunchweek-4-3 Hello, friends, and welcome to a slightly more important episode of CrunchWeek. This week, we became vassals of a new empire, Taylor Swift bequeathed her most recent album to Apple’s new streaming product, and WikiLeaks is back in the news as fresh NSA leaks have emerged. Read More

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Here Come The Dannies

wetware Take a quick look, a sneak peek, into our not-so-distant future, courtesy of the great science-fiction writer Peter Watts(1), who writes in Aeon magazine: “You already know that we can run machines with our brainwaves. That’s been old news for almost a decade… But we’ve moved beyond merely thinking orders at machinery. Now we’re using that machinery to wire… Read More

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Diary Of A Cord Cutter In 2015 (Part 8: Hands-On With Sling TV)

cord-cutter1 There are two potential audiences for Sling TV, Dish Network’s relatively new internet TV service aimed at cord cutters: those who have wanted to ditch their cable or satellite TV subscription, but couldn’t imagine living without ESPN or its flagship show, SportsCenter, and then everyone else who has contemplated cord cutting in general. For the first group, I’d say fine… Read More

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Sidechains And Lightning, The New New Bitcoin

chain-gang The great thing about Bitcoin, for a tech columnist like me, is that it’s simultaneously over-the-top cinematic and technically dense. Richard Branson recently hosted a “Blockchain Summit” at his private Caribbean island. There’s a Bitcoin Jet. At the same time, 2015 has seen the release of a whole slew of technically gnarly–and technically… Read More

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On Managing Developers

lumbergh I’ve been a software developer, a novelist, a journalist, and a manager–and managing developers is easily the trickiest thing I’ve ever done. (Not the hardest. But the trickiest.) I don’t pretend to be an expert, or a great manager. But I can assure you I am someone who screwed up a lot along the road to being better. Here are some mistakes from which I have learned: Read More

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The War On Crypto Terror

information-awareness Governments are scared of software. This month, the Commerce Department proposed to classify “intrusion software” as dual-use civilian/military technology; the UK announced a law which will require “Google, Facebook and other internet giants” to “give British spies access to encrypted conversations”; and the Justice Department claimed APIs should be… Read More

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The Bitcoin Blocksize Blackjack Mining Blues

21movie Bitcoin: it’s at a crucially important crossroads; it’s approaching a crisis that threatens its very existence; it has never been more likely to erupt into enormous global importance. Which? Don’t be ridiculous. It is all those things at once, of course, as usual. I only wish I was joking. If you’re dumb enough to judge Bitcoin purely by its exchange rate, you might… Read More

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